Black Powder

Black Powder


Black Powder is not really just one match but a series of matches. They differ from all other matches in that the pistols used be they revolver or single shot, retain ignition systems which were used before the invention of (in the 1860’s) the self contained metallic cartridge.

The pistols

Pistols for this match do not have to be exact replicas of an original and can have adjustable sights. There is no minimum trigger weight but triggers must be “safe”. The pistols use a percussion cap placed on a nipple, which when struck by the hammer ignites the propellant, which is a charge of black powder. Projectiles must be round ball (used by almost everyone) or traditional pointed “picket” style bullets.

Orthopedic grips are ruled out by a limit on the width and downward extension of the grips which must not cover the front and rear grip strap.

Notwithstanding their “out of date” technology these pistols when properly loaded are capable of accuracy approaching that of the very best centrefire revolvers and although the atmosphere at a Black Powder shoot tends to be somewhat more relaxed than is common at some other matches the participants are no less competitive and the scores reflect this.

Course of fire

Although there are a number of black powder matches depending to some extent on the type of pistol used i.e. adjustable sight revolver, fixed sight revolver, replica single shot or modern single shot. St Ives typically shoot the 25 metre aggregate match which is more or less the same as the Centrefire / Sport match except that twenty scoring shots are fired in each stage instead of thirty.


Shot on alternating Saturday afternoons, and every Wednesday morning from 9.00am