View Full Version : Black Powder Loaded question

01-06-2010, 10:06 PM
As a most people on hear know I shoot black powder along with center fire. A few months ago at the range i was having problems with an 1847 Walker. The cylinder was charged (full with powder and balls). However what i found later to be a spent cap fragment was stuck in the works making the gun unable to fire. I removed the caps and cylinder and kept them seperate when i transported the revolver back home. Once i fixed the revolver i later returned to the range reinstalled the cylinder and capped it again to fire the charged cylinders. In looking through DOJ website they really do not say a lot about antique or black powder arms. From what i gather a black powder arms is only considered loaded if it is capped. Same time if anyone has ever shot black powder you will know that once it is charged with powder and a projectile you cant really remove it unless you have one of those threaded pullers which usually dont work or you shoot it out.

If it is legal to transport a cylinder like this is there anything i can carry with me that can show a black powder arms is not considered loaded unless it is capped. In talking with other black powder shooters this seems to be a common problem that many shooters have been faced with and you usually have to go home with a few cylinders on your revolver that are charged but you can not fire the gun so your remove the caps and the cylinder from the gun.

01-06-2010, 10:16 PM
This is just conjecture on my part, but I would think that removing the cylinder from the gun (in the case of a revolver) would be comparable to removing the magazine from a semiautomatic pistol, and thus the gun would be considered unloaded even if the removed cylinder was capped.

Last time I was looking online at black powder stuff, I saw devices which attach in place of the nipple and clear the chamber/barrel with a CO2 cartridge. I don't know how well they work, but I wonder if they would work better than one of those threaded worm doohickeys that screw into the bullet?

I have a cap and ball revolver, but I haven't fired it yet. I'm also interested in getting a flintlock pistol sometime.

01-06-2010, 10:56 PM
The law is very interesting when it talks about antique firearms or reproductions of antiques. In fact a firearm made before 1898 is not a firearm under california law unless it is ready to fire a round. And the law gets very specific and says that it has to have a charge of powder, a ball in the barrel and a cap or primer in the pan to be considered loaded. So, essentially you could leave the cylinder attached and simply remove the caps to be within the law. I'll go even further and say that if a police officer asks you if you have any firearms, you can say not because it isn't a firearm unless it was made after 1898. What's even more interesting about this, the "e" check that everyone talks about isn't valid if they want to check your 1876 Winchester, because unloaded, it isn't by definition a firearm. I believe however, it magically becomes a firearm if you are within the 1000' GFSZ, so if I were you, I would make sure I'm not in those boundaries when tellin them to go pound sand.

01-06-2010, 11:08 PM
You are correct that a muzzle loader can only be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed *and* has a powder charge and projectile in the chamber. Both of those conditions must be met. Either one or the other alone does not constitute a loaded muzzle loader.

(g) A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of
this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell,
consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or
shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but
not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof
attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be
deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder
charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.