Muzzle Blasts Online
July 1996      Volume 1, Number 2
Muzzle Blasts Online Cover
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A Message from the Editor
Welcome to the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association's second issue of its electronic magazine, Muzzle Blasts Online (MBO). Last month we told you a lot of the history of the NMLRA and the growth of our sport. From here on, we'll concentrate on "what's happening now."

Flood Picture The biggest news for June is the cancellation of the National Championship matches in Friendship. Scheduled for June 8 through 16, the matches got underway to the accompaniment of steady, heavy rain. As the day continued, Laughery Creek started to swell, and by early evening, all hands were involved in towing trailers and moving vehicles to higher ground. The rain had made the camp grounds slick and many towing vehicles became stuck. All of NMLRA's tractors, as well as those of local residents, were pressed into service.

The good news is that no one was killed or injured. The bad news is that most of the trailers suffered extensive water damage and many were declared total losses by their insurers. Two were swept clear of the grounds, through the Friendship Associates flea market, and were last seen heading for the Ohio River.

The light of Sunday morning revealed the extent of the damage. The grounds were still under water, the fences had been washed away, electrical lines were down (in the water), and all sanitary facilities were out of commission. There was no choice but to cancel the shoot. Even if the water had gone down, there wouldn't have been room to park trailers because the ground remained too muddy.

A work party was formed of those members who stuck it out and by Wednesday the water had receded, trash had been collected and the firing line and target racks were usable. A fun shoot was quickly organized and some of the members could at least get in a little shooting after all the unanticipated excitement.

NMLRA's Executive Committee met on Friday and voted to re-schedule the National Championship matches for September 14 to 22, 1996 in place of the National Fall Shoot. Even though the Fall Shoot is cancelled, the National Territorial Championships will be held concurrently with the National Championships. In NMLRA's 63 years, this was the first national shoot to be cancelled. We all hope it is also the last.

On a brighter note, Arco Powder has begun shipping its new black powder substitute. Called Black Mag, it's available in both FFg and FFFg sizes. Arco says it has conducted extensive testing on this product and has produced the documentation to back up its claim. They have also provided the NMLRA with a sample. We will be evaluating it in the near future to determine whether we can reproduce the documented test results. Long time NMLRA member, and chemist, Phil Orem, will also be conducting tests on Black Mag. We'll report the results here in Muzzle Blasts Online. See you next month.

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