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Thread: FFg in a .44 revolver

  1. #1
    Boolit Man

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    94

    FFg in a .44 revolver

    I recently got back into shooting percussion revolvers after a 30 year hiatus. During the intervening years, I did own and shoot BP rifles, though not extensively. Last year an acquaintance came into a deal on a large amount of reloading equipment and supplies as part of an estate sale. This guy is not a reloader and basically gave the stuff away for little-to-nothing. Unfortunately, he didn't approach me until he'd already sold most of it...but he still had all the powder! There was about 40 pounds of it!!!

    This stuff was all over the board, including both opened and sealed cans of various pistol and rifle powders and several cans of FFg GOEX and Pyrodex RS. All of this powder was 20+ years old. There was waaaay too much for me to use, so I called several buddies and we split it up. I was already in good shape for smokeless so I didn't keep much of that, but I did keep all of the FFg and Pyrodex.

    Fast forward several months later and I acquired a nice, steel-frame 1858 Remington repro. In the past, I'd always shot FFFg in revolvers, but now all I had was some of my FFg rifle powder and all of this new-to-me old GOEX FFg. I already knew that it was safe to shoot FFg in a .44 revolver, but I had never done it before.

    I stuffed the Remington with 30 grain charges of both my newer FFg and the 20+ year-old GOEX and spent an enjoyable afternoon creating clouds of smoke and sending .454 balls down range!

    The bottom line was that the old GOEX performed just as well as my newer FFg (which was expected, as BP doesn't deteriorate with age) and I experienced no hang or misfires using new CCI caps. Unfortunately I didn't (and still don't) have any FFFg to do a side-by-side comparison, but the FFg seemed to perform flawlessly and (admittedly going on memory, here) seemed to shoot as well or close to as well as the FFFg I'd used years previously. I haven't tried the old Pyrodex RS yet, but that'll be next on the testing agenda.

    There may be more performance issues trying to use FFg in a smaller .36 BP revolver, but the big .44 Remington digested it just fine.

    Best regards
    Doc
    Last edited by Doc1; 04-12-2013 at 06:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    maine
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    809
    My ruger oldarmy prefers ff, as far as accuracy is concerned. Also,the ff has a lot softer recoil.
    I much prefer ff,in my revolver.......

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Mike Brooks's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Iowa
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    2ff is fine, don't matter how old. I have shot BP better than 100 years old. I'd dump the pyroducks.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc1 View Post
    I recently got back into shooting percussion revolvers after a 30 year hiatus. During the intervening years, I did own and shoot BP rifles, though not extensively. Last year an acquaintance came into a deal on a large amount of reloading equipment and supplies as part of an estate sale. This guy is not a reloader and basically gave the stuff away for little-to-nothing. Unfortunately, he didn't approach me until he'd already sold most of it...but he still had all the powder! There was about 40 pounds of it!!!

    This stuff was all over the board, including both opened and sealed cans of various pistol and rifle powders and several cans of FFg GOEX and Pyrodex RS. All of this powder was 20+ years old. There was waaaay too much for me to use, so I called several buddies and we split it up. I was already in good shape for smokeless so I didn't keep much of that, but I did keep all of the FFg and Pyrodex.

    Fast forward several months later and I acquired a nice, steel-frame 1858 Remington repro. In the past, I'd always shot FFFg in revolvers, but now all I had was some of my FFg rifle powder and all of this new-to-me old GOEX FFg. I already knew that it was safe to shoot FFg in a .44 revolver, but I had never done it before.

    I stuffed the Remington with 30 grain charges of both my newer FFg and the 20+ year-old GOEX and spent an enjoyable afternoon creating clouds of smoke and sending .454 balls down range!

    The bottom line was that the old GOEX performed just as well as my newer FFg (which was expected, as BP doesn't deteriorate with age) and I experienced no hang or misfires using new CCI caps. Unfortunately I didn't (and still don't) have any FFFg to do a side-by-side comparison, but the FFg seemed to perform flawlessly and (admittedly going on memory, here) seemed to shoot as well or close to as well as the FFFg I'd used years previously. I haven't tried the old Pyrodex RS yet, but that'll be next on the testing agenda.

    There may be more performance issues trying to use FFg in a smaller .36 BP revolver, but the big .44 Remington digested it just fine.

    Best regards
    Doc
    My Chrono tests show about a 200fps difference. with 30gr FFG in mine it runs~700fps and using 30gr Pyrodex P or FFFG I get ~900fps.
    to combat some of the ignition reliability problems that I had with Pyrodex P I loaded 5gr FFG under 25gr Pyrodex P as a started charge and got the same velocity (maybe 30fps less).

    THat's just my experience with it using an 8" 1858 and 140gr lead ball

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    SoCal
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    I've heard Pyrodex degrades once opened... And you gotta clean your gun real well after shooting.... Then clean it again the next night.

    But Wait! There's more!! It smells bad.

    Probably not even good lawn fertilizer, but that's what i would do with it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    235
    Quote Originally Posted by BadDaditood View Post
    I've heard Pyrodex degrades once opened... And you gotta clean your gun real well after shooting.... Then clean it again the next night.

    But Wait! There's more!! It smells bad.

    Probably not even good lawn fertilizer, but that's what i would do with it.
    it does cause corrosion faster, but every metal part on mine is stainless so it doesn't make much of a difference. However my 45lc conversion cylinder is not stainless and I used some pyrodex loads in it to use it up and with in a few hours of shooting them I started to see rust on the cylinder

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    My old army did a lot better with 2F.
    John Taylor, Taylor Machine, gunsmith

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Mike Brooks's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Iowa
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    Unless you're shooting high end competition, it really doesn't make a difference.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Alan's Avatar
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    most of my C&B sixguns shoot better w/ 2F than 3F, including the .36's. Some of them shoot WAY better with 2f, as in cutting group sizes in half. It wants a bit more ramming pressure than 3F. With 3F, I seat it just til I feel the powder "crunch" a bit. 2F I put a good bit more pressure. IIRC, Hodgdon says Pyro wants about 80 lbs of compression.

    BP fouling is pretty much inert below about 30% humidity, but Pyro fouling will eat a gun quick no matter how dry it is. Best to clean it, then clean it again once a day for 2 days or so.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I used 2F for years before I found out I wasn't supposed to. Guess I never learn cause I'm still using it.
    Obamas wars:
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    Detectives, and Cobras, and Agents!
    Oh my!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Mar 2005
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    maine
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    Just picked up another one of these old armies,,this one is 1972,first year,with brass grip frame.Shoots tighter groups then my 1976 model..Yup,,,,ff goex-30 grs,with a greased wad,this thing will shoot way better then i can hold it.6 balls into a ragged whole in the paper,,sweet!

    Wonder why these silly things shoot so good?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Sergeant Earthworm's Avatar
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    Never tried ffg in my 1858 but sounds interesting. fffg has always worked just fine for me, but an alternative that does not produce corrosive residue would be a great and wonderful thing as cleaning the nooks and crannies of the revolver is labor intensive. Given all the negative comments I have read over the years it seems obvious that alternative is not Pyrodex (which I have never tried in any BP gun in any case). On the other hand, I have heard good things about American Pioneer fffg, as in burns consistent and clean. Anybody got experience with that?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check