Black Powder Range

Black Powder / Cowboy Action 2016 Match Schedules;

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About The Black powder Range at Delaware County Field & Stream

By Bill MacCain, Jr. CRO

Looking to try something new?  The Black Powder range may be a place to stop by.  The Black Powder range offers several opportunities for shooting including traditional muzzle-loading firearms, Cowboy Action and Black Powder Cartridge.  For those who may not be familiar with here is some background on each.

Muzzle Loading firearms are those where loose powder, (black powder) is measured out and poured down the barrel from the muzzle-end for a single-shot firearm or into individual cylinder chambers on revolvers.  A lead ball is typically used as the projectile and once the powder is poured in the lead ball is seated over the powder charge then compressed.  There are two ways of firing the firearm, cap-locks and flint-locks.  For cap-locks the shot is fired when a hammer falls on a priming cap, which acts similar to primers in modern cartridges to ignite the powder charge.  In the case of flint-locks, a flint that is attached to the hammer which falls and scrapes across the face of the steel frizzen to create a spark. This spark travels through a touch hole and ignites the powder charge. These traditional muzzle loading firearms are fired in matches that are held on the second Sunday of every month.  A list of matches along with the firearm style being shot for the monthly muzzle loader matches is available at the range or from our web page. These matches typically require shots to be made from around 10 to 75 yards.

Cowboy Action is a competition that recreates the old west with historical correctness or big screen imagination depending on the desire of each participant.  The match typically requires each of the competitors to use period correct firearms (those available from 1860 through 1899).  To compete you are required to use two pistols, one lever action pistol-caliber rifle and one shotgun, either double barrel or pump.  At our club we understand that everyone may not be in a position to purchase the four primary firearms immediately so we permit those competing to use double-action revolvers (if they are fired as a single actions) and to use modern side-by-side or pump shotguns (those without external hammers like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500).  Smokeless powder is the most widely used in the cartridges we shoot but we do have people using black powder from time to time.  We do ask that people dress in period correct clothing which adds to the event and makes an interesting scene for visitors who may stop by to see what looks like a scene from the old west and is certainly unique to our range at DCF&S.  The Cowboy matches are held on the third Sunday of each month from April through October with other matches posted from time to time. These matches require shots to be made from around 10 to 75 yards.

Black Powder Cartridge is the third completion we hold on a monthly basis.  The black powder cartridge match permits competitors to shoot either original or modern rifles using cartridges that are filled with black powder.  Most of the firearms that are used are firing cartridges that were developed during a transitional firearm period from near the end of the Civil War to around 1900 when firearm technology was moving from muzzle loading to cartridge, but still before the invention and wide availability of modern smokeless powder. Cartridges like 38-55 and 45-70 are common as are other cartridges from that period. For our matches we permit any cartridge to be used as long as it is loaded with black powder, using cast lead bullets and fired through a rifle.  We have had people compete using 32 special rifle and .357 pistol cartridges shoot through lever action and single-shot rifles.  These matches typically require shots to be made for from 25 to 100 yards.

As you can see there is quite a bit going on at the Black Powder range. We welcome anyone who would like to try a shot or two, shoot a match or simply would like to stop by to see what’s going on to come out on a Sunday and join us. Hope to see you at the range.

Please remember normal range hours are 9 am to SUNSET.

Plack Powder Shooting


**Unless approved for use by the match director the Black Powder Range is closed to non members during matches**


Range Officers

Chief Range Officer

  • Bill MacCain, Jr.

Assistant Chief Range Officer

  • Tom Neill

Range Officers

  • Jerry DiBonna
  • Bob Spangler, Jr.
  • Ray Uleau
  • Bob Webb
  • Tom Eno
  • Mark Greenwalt
  • Bertie Tustin
  • Jeff Slavin