Since their invention, black powder firearms have been used for two main purposes: war and hunting. The first black powder firearms were made during the 1830s and then improved into technical weapons thanks to the progress recorded in technology. Black powder firearms have been used by hunters during centuries to hunt animals. In the United States, not all states give the residents the right to use black powder firearms for hunting purposes. The few states that enable such a practice possess a strict set of rules that the hunters must comply with in order to start and keep hunting. Those rules include the fixing of season dates to do the hunting, the different types of powder that can be used to hunt, the use of optics, the distinct kinds of primers, and the different types of bullets.
Black powder firearms are accessible in an array of distinct types. Flintlocks were the first black powder firearms that used a flint to cause the ignition. Then, muzzleloaders became available and distinguished themselves by using a specific type of powder, bullet and primer. A person who desires to acquire a black powder gun has the option of selecting either a shotgun or a rifle. Shotguns are typically available in a 12 or 20 gauge, while rifles come in 40, 50 or 58 caliber. There are specific seasons to use black powder firearms for hunting. For example, the state of Nebraska allows that hunters use the muzzleloader to hunt whitetail deer during the whole month of December. It is often common that two different seasons overlap. When this happens, the hunters may use the authorized weapons to practice their hobby.
Many animal species are regularly hunted in the United States. Hunters, who are legally permitted to hunt, use black powder firearms to hunt antelope, moose, elk, black bear, whitetail deer, or even mule deer. The individuals that are interested in starting hunting in a state that allows such a practice are strongly advised to check the local, state and federal related regulations prior to proceeding. Since these regulations are often modified, it is in the responsibility of the interested persons to acquire the updated information, which is generally free and accessible at any local sporting goods stores. Using black powder firearms presents several dangers for the user. Gunpowder is the earliest type of combustible product that was created. It was first used to cause great damages in war times before undergoing substantial modifications. Indeed, because of its ability to cause fire, black powder was seen as a very unstable material by all the people that were charged to either transport it or use it.
The handling of black powder was a great concern as it could cause death and injuries. These concerns are still present today. The dangers of using black powder are related to ignitability, impact sensitivity, smoke, and manufacturing. Because it is made with saltpeter, charcoal and sulfur, black powder is a highly combustible material that can ignite with almost no effort. If put under extreme heat, sunlight, or static electricity, black powder can turn into fire regardless of the quantity of black powder that gets exposed. In addition to static electricity, black powder is also very sensitive to impact.
When handling a black powder gun, an individual must be sure that no involuntary impact hit the weapon otherwise this can result in a gun fire and cause injury if the weapon was pointed at somebody. Another danger that the black powder may pose is the amount of smoke that gets released after the gun fire is shot. The smoke that the black powder creates is thick enough to block the vision of the shooter.