Blackpowder Rifles

Welcome to one of my other passions.

I have created this page to feature my Black Powder rifles and some of the accessories I have made for them.

I own two Black Powder Muzzle Loading rifles.

A Parker Hale P61 also known as the Musketoon in .58 calibre. Parker Hale P61

A Parker Hale Volunteer in .45 calibre. Parker Hale Volunteer

Both of these rifles have slings that I obtained from Shedtime Handcrafted Leatherwork in the UK.

Range Accessory Box

The first item that I would like to feature is the Range Accessory Box.

This box was inspired by one featured on the excellent britishmuzzleloaders You Tube channel.

Like the Range Box featured in the video, this one is also is set up to hold 60 prepared projectiles, 60 preweighed charges, wet and dry patches, wads, caps and everything else thaat you would need for a day at the range.

While plans were not included in the video it was not hard to come up with something similar. I decided upon internal measurements of 200mm wide X 1075mm long by 90mm deep (this necessitated sides to be 92mm as a saw cut was lost when the box was split).

All of the metal fixtures and fittings are non ferrous where possible. In the few instances where steel was used it was punched or recessed and puttied over

Range Box

Range Accessory Box open

Range Box

Like the original featured in the video, this box also serves as a rack to support the rifle while being loaded.

What have I done differently?

Firstly, the box has a simple hinged lid. I am not a carpenter and only have very basic woodworking skills so everything had to be kept as simple as possible.

Because I have two rifles I decided to make the box multi purpose depending on which rifle I intended to take to the range.

This meant that the bullet block had to be interchangeable and not fixed as it is in the video.

I accomplished this by constructing a hinged shelf under the bullet block. The shelf folds down resting on some supports and the bullet block is then placed on the shelf for easy access to the bullets.

Bullet Block shelf

Shelf stowed

Bullet Block shelf

Shelf down

Bullet Block shelf

Bullet block stowed

Bullet Block shelf

Bullet block on shelf

I redesigned the support legs so that they fold out much further to improve the stability of the box.

Leg in

Legs stowed

Legs out

Legs deployed

The containers for the wads and patches were made from brass sheet that was repurposed from an old garden pot. This ended up being more work than I expected and would not go down this path in future.

In fact I have already made the containers for the next box and these are a simple construction, some from plywood, some from nice timber, just to see the difference..

Various wooden boxes

Because there was a space available at the bottom I made a spare parts box to fit there.

Leg in

Spare parts box

Legs out

Spare parts box contents

You will note that there are two capping tools on the inside of the lid. One is for Musket Caps and one is for No 11 percussion caps. This is because there is currently a shortage of reloading components here in Australia. I have purchased a nipple that takes the No 11 caps as I have a quantity of these caps. They are for use with general plinking and the Musket caps are kept for competition and hunting.

What could I have done better?
The Range Accessory Box was made mostly of 12 mm plywood. While strong this has made it very heavy. When fully loaded and ready to go to the range the box weighs about 16 Kg. As a result the next thing that I will be making for the Range Box is a set of wheels.

The bottles for the pre weighed powder charges are too large. I miscalculated the volume needed to hold the powder charge. The bottles I purchased are 15 Mils. It seems that the 15 mil bottle will hold up to 270 grains. A 5 mil or 10 mil bottle would be more than sufficient.

The support shelf that the rifle rests on for reloading could be narrower. This would enable the support legs to be wider.

The next Range Accessory Box is on the drawing board and will be made from 9 mm plywood and will be set up to hold 30 projectiles and charges. This will be lighter.

The Range Tin

The tin came about to cater for occasions when the Range Accessory Box was not necessary, such as some casual plinking or a hunting trip.

I used a metal tool box and simply fitted a bullet rack and a powder charge rack to hold a convenient amount of powder charges and bullets. A tray is located under the powder charge rack to hold other components and some plastic bullet boxes are used to hold the wads and patches.

The Tin holds 50 powder charges and 48 .45 bullets or 35 .58 bullets.


Tin showing contents


Tin packed

I would really appreciate any feedback that could help me improve my accessories. Please