For almost thirty-five years black powder shooting and the many fascinating activities allied to it have been an important part of my life. Hunting is my primary black powder shooting interest, and most of my activities revolve around that, but historical reenacting, trekking and the study of life in this country in mid-eighteenth century get a fair share of my attention. This page is simply my musings about these interests, my experiences and thoughts about many aspects of the hobby. Because life is more than black powder, a few other topics are included. Hopefully, something here will strike a sympathetic chord with the reader, and add to their enjoyment.

Black powder shooting is synonymous with muzzle loading shooting, with me, and there is only one ignition system worthy of serious consideration, the flint lock. That's where I come from in anything said here. Although much of it is applicable to muzzle loaders with percussion ignition, all my comments are directed at the flintlock, unless otherwise stated.

CAUTION: Any load information found in these pages is for my guns, not yours. I know the condition of my guns, and I take full responsibility for anything I decide to shoot in them. I can't know the condition of your guns or your ability to load them safely, so anything related to loads on this site must be considered only a description of my own experiences, in no way a recommendation for you. Think twice, shoot once.

I keep a journal of my experiences in the field, and some of the entries stimulate me to write a little about them. Here are a few scribblings which may be of interest.

Siren Song Double Dream Smoothbore Buck
Squirrel Stew The Honey Tree Just An Old Farm
Turkeys the Old Way Mulie Number One The Gift
A Love Story, of Sorts A'Doving We Will Go Afternoon on Bass Lake
The Mind Wanders A Special Season Pass the Coffee
The Magic Hat Small Game, Big Thrill Dish to Set Before the King
Rainy Day Gobbler A Simple Trek A Very Special Turkey
A Perfect Doe Hunt

Carrying sage advice for the shotgunner still totally appropriate today, down across 270 years of time comes the voice of A. B. Markland, in his most excellent poem "Pteryplegia: Or, The Art Of Shooting-Flying".

Curiosity as to how things work has led me to consider a variety of topics, many related to the ballistics and physics of shooting. Some are fairly technical, some aren't, but all are important aspects of the hobby I enjoy so much.

A Little Math
Basic Ballistics
Black Powder Shotgun Basics
Making Fire With Flint and Steel
Shooting the Flintlock
Practical Hunting Trajectories
Sighting-In the Black Powder Rifle
Flint Lock Terminology
Percussion Lock Terminology
Basic Lock Function
Trigger Function and Terminology
Flintlocks in Wet Weather
Some Thoughts on Gun Fit
Some Shooting Problems Considered
My Smoothbore Loads
Sage Advice from Mr. Aimwell
One Ball, One Trajectory
Throwing the Tomahawk
The Kentucky Rifle Song
ML Shotgun by V.M. Starr
Casting Balls Over the Campfire

Many things about the hobby of historic living fascinate me, not least cooking the food. I've experimented a bit with trail foods and have come up with a few which work well for me. A few modern recipes also hold my attention, and I'd like to share a few of my favorites of both types.

In trying to describe, to remember, those special moments while afield, there are times when words just will not suffice. Occasionally , the moment can be caught in the camera, and I enjoy trying to do that. My usual tool is an Agfa Photo CL50 digital camera. I find it small and handy enough to toss in my haversack and take along on many treks, and I do so, because you never know when that special opportunity will come along. For a selection of photographs which help me relive some of my experiences, and some, made over the years with varying techniques, that I just am pleased with, browse my Photo Album.

And now for something completely different. I've long been an avid fan of sailboats and the sailing of them. Of all man's inventions, few catch my eye and my imagination like a beautiful sailboat. If that sounds familiar to you, you may like to browse my sailing page. Be patient. It's graphic intensive and slow to load. I hope it's worth the wait.

Flying gets in your blood. It did mine, and my love affair with an old Stearman biplane was the result. Now, I don't fly them, I just talk about the days when I did. If the smell of hot oil and fabric dope, the sound of radial engines and wind in the wing wires are familiar to you, too, you might enjoy this little diversion

Whenever my thoughts turn backward to view the events of my life, I see what could only make a father sons. Because of them, whenever I hear the question, "What's it all about?", I smile, because I know.

Keith Spencer's Work Page

Scot Spencer's Work Page

Mark Spencer's Work Page

This page created and maintained by Bob Spencer
Copyright ©2000-2003 B. E. Spencer. All rights reserved.