Black powder has been around since the 9th century, but it never ceases to amaze me that each year brings more new products related to this ancient explosive. Blackpowder hunting and historical replicas represent opposite ends of the market. Hunting prompts remarkable technological innovation while the demand from shooting enthusiasts, collectors and reenactors keeps designs from the 18th and 19th centuries in catalogs year after year.
For example, the major trend I’ve noticed this year was increasingly more black powder guns, old and new, covered with nitride. The corrosion resistance of stainless steel made it the ideal metal for blackpowder firearms, but it’s more expensive than standard carbon steels. Nitride treatment makes even standard steel nearly impervious to rust and wear because it draws nitrogen and carbon into surface layers, boosting strength, lubricity and corrosion resistance. This treatment is popular on high-wear surfaces like camshaft lobes. But for a black powder rifle, CVA determined that a nitride-treated barrel is not likely to wear or rust in your lifetime, so the company guarantees them for life. That’s saying something.
Other trends honor history, like beautiful deep-laser-engraved cap-and-ball revolvers. The classic 1858 Remington New Army revolver also gets a lot of attention, with special editions from Pedersoli, Uberti, Taylor’s & Company Firearms, EMF and Traditions. So without further ado, scroll through the gallery above to see what’s new and noteworthy in the world of black powder guns.
- RELATED STORY: 3 Confederate Handguns of the Old West