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BPCR Loading with Smokeless: NOT AS MUCH FUN AS SMOKING!
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Is this "good clean fun" or what? Sacrilege?
Cannot the 45-70 Govt. cartridge loaded with smokeless powder in a modern replica BPCR duplicate any of the 45-caliber "Quigley" or longer hulls?
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It can. I've seen a guy shooting a beautiful Sharps Repro. in 45/70 using IMR 3031 getting fabulous results with 300-350 gn. jacketed bullets.
I have an old Lyman loading manual that states one can use tried and true 45/90 load data for the (then) "Newly introduced .458 Win. Mag."

That said...some of us prefer to use compressed charges of genuine blackpowder with BIG soft-cast bullets in classic rifles..."just because".
 
Posts: 953 | Location: Florida | Registered: 17 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I shoot 45-70, 40-65 and .38-55 with SR4759, 5744, 4198 at BP velocities. Lots and lots of fun for the money. None of my rifles are originals, they are either replica Pedersolis or Brownings.

There are Accurate Powders (old Accurate Arms) data around for some of the larger cases in 45 cal as well as .50-70 and .50-2.5 Sharps.
 
Posts: 13978 | Location: http://www.tarawaontheweb.org/tarawa2.jpg | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP--Smokeless IS good clean fun in these rifles, and I wouldn't call it sacrelige. But it is not the whole experience. By so doing you are simply shooting a single shot rifle--not a BPCR. It's sort of like taking your sister to the prom. You are at the prom, with a girl, but you are not getting the whole prom package.

I think most people don't shoot black powder because they don't know how, and don't know anyone that does know how that can show them the ropes. They hear all the horror stories about fouling and poor accuracy and don't try for themselves. And, often, if they do try to shoot black powder themselves, they get it wrong, have a bad experience, and repeat the horror story.

Shooting black powder well is not difficult, but it IS a bit different. There are some things you cannot do if you expect it to work, and some things you MUST do if you want good results.

It is a fact that I can get 50 to 60 consecutive shots without a blow tube or wiping if I want or need to. It is also a fact that most days I get moa or slightly better accuracy without a scope, although this is more a function of light rather than gun or ammo. The equipment is capable, and it is not only capable, IT FORCES YOU TO DO YOUR PART AND BECOME PART OF THE PROCESS. And I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. When you truly understand your rifle, you become a much better shot and this instills a confidence and mental approach that is otherwise not present. Shooting black powder in a BPCR does have a lot to offer beyond smoke and a different sound.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well said Sharpsguy.

JM
 
Posts: 789 | Registered: 18 February 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although admittedly not a lot, I have shot both black and smokeless in my #3 Rolling Block 45-70. The projectile was the RCBS 45-500 BPS bullet cast 20:1, un-sized, and pan lubed with Emmert. When shooting smokeless I used 27 grains of AA 5744 and a florist foam wad of about 1/8" thick pushed down over the powder to hold it against the primer. When I did my part, the rifle would cut holes at 100 off a bench with this load; I was using a Shaver rear sight.

The black load was 1-1/2 Swiss, 65 grains. This load was fun and very soft on the shoulder, but accuracy wasn't quite up to par with the 5744 load. Perhaps I didn't compress the powder quite enough, or maybe I needed to change primers (CCI-200s used in both loads...). Cleanup after the black was a non-issue with Ballistol cut 50/50 with water...
 
Posts: 4748 | Location: TX | Registered: 01 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Appeal of BP understood.
Cleanup is no problem.
I keep Goex FFFg and FFFFg around for my flintlocks, and all kinds of BP cleaners including water!!! tu2
However, I am currently limited to 45-70 and 50-70 Govt. BPCR.
Surely a little fun with smokeless will not condemn me to hell. Wink
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Surely a little fun with smokeless will not condemn me to hell. Wink

Oh yeah? I'm telling the Sharps guys!!!! :-)
 
Posts: 19091 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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RIP--The ONLY BP cleaning solution you need is water. Straight water. All those other solutions are nothing but snake oil. The fouling residue left behind is a mixture of potassium carbonate and sulphur carbonate, and both of these compounds are 100% water soluble.

To clean your BPCR do this: Open the breech, and blow 8 or 10 long breaths down the muzzle. Then blow 5 or 6 up the breech. Then take a DRY patch and run it from breech to muzzle. This will push about 99% of the fouling out of the barrel as the moisture from your breath will have hydrated the fouling and softened it. Now run a damp patch from breech to muzzle, followed by a dry patch or maybe two. Then run an oiled patch from breech to muzzle, and you are done.

People make the mistake of running a wet patch down the bore FIRST. This is a mistake, as all it does is dissolve the fouling and smear it every where, and it can take a dozen or more patches to clean it up. When you hydrate the fouling with your breath, it turns greasy and pushes out with the first patch which is dry. This makes clean up a snap. Try it--you'll like it.

Why have a little fun with smokeless when you can have a lot of fun with black powder?
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The voice of experience!
 
Posts: 19091 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Biebs, what's the closest BPCR match range to you ? I ask because I'm quite close to you. Maybe I could come and watch .
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mete, i have my own range with benches to 300 yards, and the capability to use our hunt club property or my neighbor's hay fields, which would allow me to play out to 800 or 1,000 yards. I don't think I'd ever get into the match thing...just love shooting and then eventually hunting with a BPCR. Where are you located?
 
Posts: 19091 | Location: Very NW NJ up in the Mountains | Registered: 14 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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17 miles above PJ on the river. My 1885 and Lone Star Rifle are 45-70 and used for hunting.My property limits me for range but I don't hunt my deer only other people's but this area is a 100 yd max one usually in any case..
 
Posts: 7636 | Registered: 10 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sharpsguy:
RIP--The ONLY BP cleaning solution you need is water. Straight water. All those other solutions are nothing but snake oil. The fouling residue left behind is a mixture of potassium carbonate and sulphur carbonate, and both of these compounds are 100% water soluble.

To clean your BPCR do this: Open the breech, and blow 8 or 10 long breaths down the muzzle. Then blow 5 or 6 up the breech. Then take a DRY patch and run it from breech to muzzle. This will push about 99% of the fouling out of the barrel as the moisture from your breath will have hydrated the fouling and softened it. Now run a damp patch from breech to muzzle, followed by a dry patch or maybe two. Then run an oiled patch from breech to muzzle, and you are done.

People make the mistake of running a wet patch down the bore FIRST. This is a mistake, as all it does is dissolve the fouling and smear it every where, and it can take a dozen or more patches to clean it up. When you hydrate the fouling with your breath, it turns greasy and pushes out with the first patch which is dry. This makes clean up a snap. Try it--you'll like it.

Why have a little fun with smokeless when you can have a lot of fun with black powder?


Thanks, sharpsguy, I knew I would learn something here. tu2

And don't sweat the traces of lead fouling, like a giant 22RF firing lubed lead bullets?
A discourse on lead fouling of BPCR rifles whenever you get the chance? coffee

Anyone got any loading tips/pet loads for these BPCR cartridges so I could stop profaning them with smokeless and treat right with BP?
Single shots and lever guns:

50-70
45-75
45-70
38-55
45 LC
44-40

My starting point is the second number after the dash is grains charge of BP, but I do plan to research this some more.
I'll start with 50-70 Govt. of 1867 adoption (THE FIRST BPCR CENTERFIRE of USA, and Buffalo Bill Cody) and go forward from there historically. patriot

And finally, the piece de resistance for me would be loading my 400/.395 Nitro Express 3" with BP, like it's progenitors from the 1870s.
That would be a lot like a 40-85 Ballard or 40-90 Ballard, and 1/4" shorter than the 40-90 Sharps (Straight) "Everlasting."
IIRC, those might shoot .395 lead bullets paper patched up to .403. dancing
But I digress, forget the .395-caliber lead bullets and paper patching, for now.
That is way over my head. Wink
 
Posts: 28032 | Location: KY | Registered: 09 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I get leading extremely rarely. Proper bullet fit and good lube keep it from happening. Most people have a tendency to shoot a bullet that is too big, and this causes the bullet to be squeezed and distorted to the extent that particles shear off. When this occurs, a good bore seal is destroyed, and gas cutting can happen, causing even more leading. This tendency for over sized bullets is trickle down technology from shooting smokeless with cast bullets. Smokeless does not cause the bullet to obturate, or bump up as does black powder. As a result, smokeless shooters commonly use a bullet one to two thousandths OVER groove diameter. This approach does not work well with black powder.

The proper fit of a cast bullet for black powder is groove diameter or a thousandth LESS than groove diameter. The cast bullet will bump up and custom fit itself to the bore, and it will do it every shot. Softer bullets in the range of 20-1 to 40-1 lead to tin will lead less than harder ones. My most commonly used alloy is 50/50 wheel weights and lead.

On the rare occasion that I do get leading, I clean the rifle with a dry patch, a wet patch, and a couple of dry ones. If leading is present, I take a small piece of 2/O steel wool--not bronze wool--and put it on my cleaning jag so that it is a snug fit in the bore. I push it from the breech to the muzzle where I stop it from coming out of the barrel with my finger, AND PULL IT BACK THROUGH THE BARREL AND OUT OF THE CHAMBER. The trip back through the barrel and out of the breech causes any lead to hang in the steel wool and it is easily dislodged.

The use of 2/O wool is important, as it is coarse enough to snare the lead, and not coarse enough to mar the inside finish of the barrel. 4/O wool is too fine to snag the imbedded lead, and will only polish and burnish it. The 2/O will get it out in one or at the very most, two or rarely three passes down and back. You don't use bronze wool because some solvents such as Shooters Choice which remove copper fouling will also dissolve the bronze wool and leave teaces of bronze in the barrel. Any copper or bronze fouling is fatal to fine accuracy in a BPCR.

I have one 45-70 with nearly 22,000 rounds on it, and a 45-90 with 19,000 down the tube and this is how I clean them. Both will shoot MOA if I hold up my end of the bargain. Hope this helps.
 
Posts: 807 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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