Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blackpowder and Balmy Weather!

My paucity of postings, prompted by a pared-down posse of Park Rangers, is here precipitously pre-empted pending the proximity of powder; black powder particularly.

This week I attended "class II (non-firing)" black powder training. It was really fun and quite informative.

With the upcoming sesquicentennial observations, service-wide, the number of living history opportunities will be greatly increased.  To that end, I requested this training so's I could be a little more handy to the park.

Park Ranger John Reid, the historic firearms maven from Manassas organized this short course to familiarize about twelve participants from area NPS facilities in the history, technology and safe-handling of blackpowder firearms.

John brought examples of both percussion and flintlock longarms for demonstration.  He has really cool stuff and is incredibly knowledgeable.

Everybody was quite engrossed with John's easy style and encyclopedic mastery of his subject.

Period attire was encouraged as demonstrated by this gaggle of skulkers.

I, however, though far less meticulous in authenticity, was much more attentive to duty.

Following the classroom session John demonstrated the loading and firing "in nine times' as they'd say back in the day...

then we all took a turn at burning some powder.

We got to choose between percussion arms or...

 as Issac and K.C. so ably demonstrate...

a flintlock too!


A fun, instructive, and safe time, was had by all.

Getting ready for the 150th!

Ranger Mannie


Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

That was the non-firing class? What kind of fun do they have a firing classes. I can't find anybody who'll let me play with black powder. Hmmph.

Did your staff get down-sized? My crew did for the upcoming summer, but we knew this would happen. Alas, no more roving for me. drat.

Anonymous said...

Was it the invention of the percussion cap that allowed men to grow beards again? Stay away from those flintlocks Mannie!

John C. Nicholas

Jeff said...


Good to see you wearing Federal blue. I always thought your Momma raised you right!

Ever imagine when you were in the Navy that you'd still be shouldering arms for Uncle Sam in 2011? (Though I suspect the stuff in the Navy had more of a "kick")

Looks like a fun day!


By John A. Miller said...

Is that Isaac I see in two of these photographs? Cool training. We're getting ready to go through our recertification training for black powder safety as well in April.

fuel93 said...

You look the part Mannie...wish I knew the event was coming.

Anonymous said...

Mannie, my home computer has been in the shop for over a month so I'm just now seeing this post. I might add that you look great in the blue forage cap and uniform! Good enough to shoot at my ancestors in the 21st Georgia might say! :)