Silhouette Division - Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) Overview


As part of the Silhouette Division, this match is conducted on the second Sunday of the month, March thru November, at the Silhouette Range. The rifles used are the traditional type in use during the 1870-1900 time period - strictly black powder and lead alloy bullets. No gas checks or jacketed bullets allowed. The only black powder substitute allowed is Pyrodex.

Rifles common to the era are: the 1874-1875 Sharps, 1885 Winchester, Remington Rolling-Blocks, and Stevens 44,1-1/2. There are many more rifles, too many to list here, suitable for this type shooting. Modern reproductions are acceptable.

Calibers most commonly in use are the .40-65 Winchester and the .45-70 Winchester. You will also see the .38-55 Winchester, .38-50 Remington Hepburn, .40-70 Sharps Straight, and the .45-90 Winchester. Cartridges of lesser power are not desirable because they will not consistently knock over the targets and those of greater power are usually unnecessarily powerful & not needed to insure knocking over targets.

Normally, sighting equipment consists of a tang mounted vernier rear and a globe type front sight using interchangeable inserts. Apertures or post are the most common. There is also a growing interest in the newly formed scope category. Scopes are of the traditional style in use during the 1860-1900 time frame. There are three (3) or four (4) brands available with the Montana Vintage Arms being the most popular.

The targets are of steel plate, cut to resemble full sized animals:

  • The 200M target is a silhouette of a Chicken. Shot in the standing position.
  • The Pig is positioned at 300M and shot from the sitting or prone position using crossed sticks.
  • The Turkey is at 385M.
  • The Ram is at 500M. Again, shot from the sitting or prone position using crossed sticks.

Ten (10) shots for score at each animal at each of the four (4) distances. Unlimited sighters shots are allowed for each animal prior to going for score. Keeping in mind you will have a seven (7) minute time limit for the first five (5) shots for record. The second five (5) shots for record will have a five (5) minute time limit, and sighters are not allowed. Approximately sixty (60) rounds are required for a complete match.

This is a highly competitive and highly rewarding sport. Using the equipment and the basic technology available to the shooter and hunter of the late 1800s to hit the steel animal sized targets from 200M out to 500M distances. There are also Black Powder Target Rifle type matches, shot at paper bulls-eye targets at ranges of 200 yds, 300 yds, and 600 yds. For the more adventurous types, there are the Creedmore matches shot from 800, 900, and 1000 yds, again, at bulls-eye targets. There are also Quigley Matches shot at very long distances -- generally, exceeding 1000 Yds.

If you feel you would like to participate in this type competition, or just want to know more about it, come on out on the second Sunday of the month beginning in March. If you cannot wait until then, please feel free to call or email: 

Randy Rannberg

Phone: (405) 205-3274.