“Under Attack”

“Snapshot Saturday”

Kneeling, a fort defender fires his firelock through a gun port in the logs.

The caller has never been to Friendship, the home of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. While responding to one of his questions, I explained the “Fort Greenville Match” that takes place at the two-story blockhouse on the Max Vickery Primitive Range. “This match is one of the few opportunities for a living historian to experience “defending a fort under attack”…

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4 Responses to “Under Attack”

  1. Rancocas says:

    The kneeling figure appears to be shooting left-handed with a right-hand weapon. I think I see an earplug in his left ear, but I cannot be sure in this photo if he is wearing eye protection.

    I am also a lefty. One time I was shooting an original, antique, right-hand percussion rifle. The lock was right there in front of my nose. The nipple blew out! The flare of hot powder gasses blowing out through the open nipple hole burnt off my left eyebrow! Thankfully, I was wearing shooting glasses and that saved my eye.

    Safety First – always.

  2. Bill Mesa says:

    Mr. Neely,
    I am new to flintlock shooting; having had a 45cal. rifle for only two years.
    I recently acquired a 62cal.\20g. smoothbore fro tennessee valley muzzleloaders. Having just started shooting round ball out of a smoothbore, I wonder if you have any advice on aiming with front sight only. I understand that I will need to work on various overpowder, overshot, cushion, patched ball, or grass/leaf wads as you use, to see what works best; I am interested in any comments you may have concerning front sight aiming for lead ball.
    It may only be a matter of practice,and more practice.

    Also, your posts and website are first rate!
    Cordially, Bill Mesa

  3. Rancocas says:

    Hello Bill;

    Mr. Neely must be having problems.
    I shoot a Wilson’s Chief Trade Gun, made by Caywood. It is a .62 cal./20 ga. smoothbore. It only has a small front sight and no rear sight – just like a modern shotgun. I took a fat doe with mine last season.

    Learn to shoot it instinctively like a shotgun. You can also use the tang screw as a reference point in lieu of a rear sight. Aline the screw with the front bead in order to get the barrel lined up with the target.
    With practice and given time, you should be able to keep all your shots within “minute of boiler room” on deer size game out to 50 yards or so. Remember, these are not rifles, so long range accuracy is not there. IMO it beats a bow and arrow, and is much more fun.

    • Dennis Neely: Traditional Woodsman says:

      Thank you, Rancocas,

      I sent Bill an email, asking to set up a telephone conference to address his question. I haven’t received a reply, but I recently learned some folks use a separate email for the internet and/or social media.

      Many times the answer to a reader’s question will take time, so I’ve found talking one-on-one is quicker and more efficient.

      That said, I am working on a post to address his question in a more general fashion. Right now, all of my efforts for the blog are centered on addressing the hosting issues and updates to the software. As I noted in the “sticky post,” I do not want to crash the site, and I have an impending deadline to meet with the host provider. I hope to get back to posting on a regular basis by May. Say a little prayer and keep your fingers crossed…

      Again, thank you all for your patience,

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