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Black powder granulation in bpc rifles
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Fellas:
I read many here on AR use 1 1/2 F or 2F black powder in their cartridge rifles. I also read many years ago the larger the case the more corse the black powder should be.

Well, I've been playing with black powder in double rifles for 30 years and I have found 3F gives me the closest to the original velocity. I shoot FFFg from the .450 3 1/4 (4 drams) to the 4-bore at 14 and even 16 drams.

What is your experience?
Cal


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Cal Pappas, Willow, Alaska
www.CalPappas.com
www.CalPappas.blogspot.com
1994 Zimbabwe
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1999 Zimbabwe
1999 Namibia, Botswana, Zambia--vacation
2000 Australia
2002 South Africa
2003 South Africa
2003 Zimbabwe
2005 South Africa
2005 Zimbabwe
2006 Tanzania
2006 Zimbabwe--vacation
2007 Zimbabwe--vacation
2008 Zimbabwe
2012 Australia
2013 South Africa
2013 Zimbabwe
2013 Australia
2016 Zimbabwe
2017 Zimbabwe
2018 South Africa
2018 Zimbabwe--vacation
2019 South Africa
2019 Botswana
2019 Zimbabwe vacation
2021 South Africa
2021 South Africa (2nd hunt a month later)
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Posts: 7041 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experience pretty matches yours with 'express' cartridges. I have tried most different brands and grades of current BP and found that Goex 3F gave the highest velocities in rounds like the .500 3", 450 3-1/4", 500/450 No.1 Express 2-3/4" which all use light-for-caliber bullets. Eventually I went to Swiss 1-1/2 Fg duplexed with 5% or so of 4759 or 5744 next to the primer to achieve regulation in the doubles. The 'express' cartridges were generally more accurate for me when used with paper patched bullets and grease cookies, and also required more frequent cleaning than 'standard' types to maintain accuracy.

The 'standard' black powder cartridges, like US commercial numbers and various military BP rounds, most of which used heavier bullets, did seem to me to prefer coarser cuts of black, even to using single Fg to reproduce original ballistics and better accuracy. Different ball game than 'express' rounds.

Either way, I found BP to be very addictive!
 
Posts: 794 | Location: paradise with an ocean view | Registered: 09 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It depends on the maker; 3F Goex, or Swiss, will be far faster than 3F Elephant; yes I still have cases of DuPont, Elephant, Goex and even some Meteor and Hodgdon left; started shooting the stuff in 1968. Original DuPont is the best.
Powders of the 19th century were more refined and they had more granulations than we do now.
Do not tell anyone but I use ten% 5744 under the powder. I was using DuPont 4756 but the stopped making it.
 
Posts: 14310 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Either way, I found BP to be very addictive!


It is, I went to the range and shot some 438gr 12,7mm slugs with 50gr of Pyrodex rs the only powder I have tryed so far in my Husqvarna rolling block. A friend shot his Swedish 1860 model Wrede percussion rifle.
 
Posts: 3549 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 02 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very true; however the sad thing is that everyone here, and not just the young guys, all use the inlines with BP substitutes. While true, they are muzzle loading, they are in NO way anything like shooting a traditional black powder rifle.
I even have friends who shoot rolling blocks and Sharps with nothing but smokeless. They are afraid of real BP; thinking it is some sort of alchemy that will immediately rust their barrels away. For those who still think that; it is nonsense. It was the corrosive caps and primers; not the powder.
Wait, did you say Pyrodex? Can you get real black powder there? I hope you can, Because Pyrodex is nothing like it.
War story; in about 76 or so, when Pyrodex came out, I had to have some, so I went to Sumner's Hardware (rally a huge gun store that also sold hardware) on Dixie Dieway, (Highway) to get some; and I bought 4 pounds of it.
I thought it would be a good idea.
NOT; it is crap and I still have some. Come over and I will give it to you. And it killed the inventor, Dan Powlock or close. And it is much more corrosive than BP ever was/is. It will eat your brass too.
Anyway, not sure why they are still friends. Not close ones.
 
Posts: 14310 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agree with dpcd on the corrosive properties of Pyrodex. Nordic, if you can get some real black, you will appreciate the difference. I learned about Pyrodex the hard way, thinking a Remington New Model Army revolver was all clean after shooting Pyrodex P in it. A week later it was pitted with rust in spite of WD-40 bath. I don't use WD-40 on my guns anymore either.
Cal, if you find some Swiss up your way, be sure to give it a try. Clean, hot and consistent. I believe the "secret" is that the maker uses alder buckthorn for making the charcoal.
Swiss is probably as close as we will get to the legendary Curtis & Harvey Diamond Grade No. 6 used in the late Victorian era.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
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Posts: 14337 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Bill/Oregon:
Agree with dpcd on the corrosive properties of Pyrodex. Nordic, if you can get some real black, you will appreciate the difference. I learned about Pyrodex the hard way, thinking a Remington New Model Army revolver was all clean after shooting Pyrodex P in it. A week later it was pitted with rust in spite of WD-40 bath. I don't use WD-40 on my guns anymore either.
Cal, if you find some Swiss up your way, be sure to give it a try. Clean, hot and consistent. I believe the "secret" is that the maker uses alder buckthorn for making the charcoal.
Swiss is probably as close as we will get to the legendary Curtis & Harvey Diamond Grade No. 6 used in the late Victorian era.


Ii did lots of ballistic work with my new Lab Radar and Swiss FFFg worked the best. I don't have much remaining but I shoot mostly smokeless now anyway. 3F Swiss gives me velocity to equal the old C&H no6.
Cal


_______________________________

Cal Pappas, Willow, Alaska
www.CalPappas.com
www.CalPappas.blogspot.com
1994 Zimbabwe
1997 Zimbabwe
1998 Zimbabwe
1999 Zimbabwe
1999 Namibia, Botswana, Zambia--vacation
2000 Australia
2002 South Africa
2003 South Africa
2003 Zimbabwe
2005 South Africa
2005 Zimbabwe
2006 Tanzania
2006 Zimbabwe--vacation
2007 Zimbabwe--vacation
2008 Zimbabwe
2012 Australia
2013 South Africa
2013 Zimbabwe
2013 Australia
2016 Zimbabwe
2017 Zimbabwe
2018 South Africa
2018 Zimbabwe--vacation
2019 South Africa
2019 Botswana
2019 Zimbabwe vacation
2021 South Africa
2021 South Africa (2nd hunt a month later)
______________________________
 
Posts: 7041 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not sure where I read it but Pyrodex is sugar based which explains its corrosiveness.

I agree with the others that there's nothing like real blackpowder.


Roger
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Posts: 2513 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cal, I use 3f in my 38-55's and 30 Wesson. Lighter bullets benefit from the increased velocity in these two calibers. Having shot in excess of 20 thousand BPC rounds I almost always use 1 1/2 or Cartridge (Goex) in 40's and above.
 
Posts: 2703 | Registered: 10 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes I can buy real black but I have to buy it from a different store than I have bought other reloading components. Shipping and storage regulations are also tougher for black power.
 
Posts: 3549 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 02 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, true, black powder is harder to ship and some place's laws make it harder to have, because it is classified as an explosive, whereas Pyrodex is not.
It is not because of sugar; that is a pretty stable substance. Pyrodex contains Perchlorates; also fairly stable, but the combustion residue is highly corrosive.
The makers, and proponents of it will say, it is no more corrosive than Black Powder, "IF you clean it correctly". Fail to fully clean out all of the firing residue from your barrel or brass and you will soon regret it. Black Powder is far more forgiving; as I said, most of the destroyed old barrels are from the corrosive priming; not the propellant. Anyway, if that is all you can get, by all means use it; just clean everything afterwards.
 
Posts: 14310 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a can of black Wano pp i have used in my percussion colt/uberti 1860 and in my PH/Enfield 1858 and I will try Swiss 2 then I buy more powder.
 
Posts: 3549 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 02 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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