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Thread: .45-90 Black Powder results

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    .45-90 Black Powder results

    Back on the 28th of December, I asked for advice on loading my Sharps with black powder. I got a lot of good info and promised to post results. Definitely a learning experience.
    Annealed the case necks on 20 new .45-90 Starline cases. Full length sized and flared case mouths. Primed with WW large rifle primers. Scooped Goex cartridge powder to fill case and carded flush with case mouth. Held charged case against vibratory case tumbler and settled powder about 2/10ths. Placed shirt cardboard wad and compressed powder about 3/8in. Seated Lyman pre-cast, pre-lubed 535grain Postell and taper crimped. Function tested to be sure breech would close on all rounds.
    First round fired at 50 yards. Bulls eye. Much joy. Next round refused to seat fully. No joy. Pulled round had hard fouling on bearing (flat) side of bullet. Was able to fire remaining rounds by running a patch covered nylon brush with black powder solvent down the bore between shots.
    What I think I learned, is that several things may have to be changed. Reduce the powder charge to reduce the the amount of compression. Get some better wads. Vegetable ? Need a lube cookie. No lube star at end of muzzle and hard fouling at ball seat. Reduce overall length of loaded round a few thousandths. Do not leave cases in milk jug with water and Dawn detergent till following evening. Flushed and dried cases now have a left on the ground for a year, purplish patina.
    Overall, much fun. Great to see that big gun spit flame and smoke like that. People at the range got a kick out of it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    13Echo's Avatar
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    With hard fouling on the first shot I have to wonder just what were you using for lube and was there grease or oil in the barrel when you fired the first shot? You should not have that kind of fouling problem with a proper black powder load unless your bullet is so large that even a small amount of fouling can prevent it from seating.

    Jerry Liles

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    That's why I use duplex loads- help blow some of the fouling out. But also the lube is a concern, of course.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master




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    I was thinking lube as well, although I wouldn't have thought that one shot would cause that much fowling. I don't have any experience with Goex Cartridge, but the Swiss definately is cleaner than regular Goex. I would guess that you could drop that powder charge back and go for less compression and see what happens.

    Bob
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Goex Cartridge seems too fast to use in the 45-90(Faster the powder, harder the fouling). Try wiping patch with soluable oil(10%)/distilled water, or blow tube between shots to control fouling.

    Jon
    Col 2:13-17

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    1st bp loads

    Ya, sounds like you're on your way!

    1)check bullet jam length so front bearing surface of bullet engraves maybe 1/10"
    2)load all internal case components to equal this 1/10" engraving

    Components would include: powder charge, .030"+/- wad, grease cookie, .030"+/- wad, seat bullet to compress total column about .05"-.1" (3/8" seems a little too much). To get this compression you'll have to experiment a little with the powder charge- that's where the total length (OAL) is adjusted.

    Blow tube and grease cookie will help soften fouling so next bullet won't jam so hard into throat/leade and soft fouling won't distort bullets as badly as they fly down the bore.

    Might try just FF Goex

    For very best accuracy might have to swab between shots. Ballistol/water mix (moose milk) works well. Push two soaked patches on correct sized jag down bore followed by two dry patches.

    What I just desciribed has given me far and away the best accuracy in BPCR with both paper patched and regular cast bullets. BUT, if you intend to shoot 5-10 shot strings or more without cleaning and even with a gease cookie and blow tube, you may have to seat the bullet deep enough to back away from the troublesome fouling build-up in the thoat. Always a compromise- eh!

    One partial solution to the fouling build-up of course is the duplex load. Since the smokeless can increase pressure be sure to follow the published duplex loads as in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook- keeping in mind the pressure issues. Also, some competitions don't allow duplex. The smokeless I've used with some success in duplex BPCR loads is either 4759 or 5744. But, be aware of the possible pressure issues! 5grs of smokeless does not equal 5grs BP in pressure equivalent.

    When home put fired cases in small plastic tub and add a little Dawn or dish soap with warm water. Individually, twirl a bottle brush (test tube brush is best) inside each case, use Q tip to clean primer pocket. Rinse brush and cleaned cases in warm water. Fling excess water out and lay cases on tray with paper towel and let dry in warm spot. If you want to get fancy you can buy or build a case drying rack. Some of the BPCR supply outfits sell them or you can look at their catalog for a design- easy to build. And, yes, the bueish odd case color is normal for fired, cleaned BP cases
    Last edited by 405; 01-17-2008 at 07:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master wills's Avatar
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    You mentioned "Seated Lyman pre-cast, pre-lubed 535grain Postell". Do you mean boolits you bought pre lubed? If so bear in mind the principal quality of commercial boolits is usually their ability to withstand shipping. Both the boolits and lube may have been too hard for best results. I use SPG, blowtube, and the cases come out of the chamber moist.

    Chuck the nylon bore brush into a drill (cordless if you are the nervous type) and brush them out while wet. Put the still wet cases in the vibratory tumbler with the lid off. Put the tumbler somewhere the dust wont be a problem and let it run. Seems to work better than putting dried cases into a closed tumbler.
    Last edited by wills; 01-18-2008 at 12:26 AM.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master kodiak1's Avatar
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    If they were prelubed bought they may have been lubed with a petroleum base lube.
    As mentioned earlier Oil in the barrel.
    After firing a shot if you run your rod a patch through the barrel if every thing else is as should be one patch should make it clean enough to seat your next shell.

    Taking it these were grease grooved as they were pre lubed, You get the right lube and you won't need a grease cookie. That is for the paper patch thing. It won't hurt anything if you use one but not really needed with grooved bullets.
    Ken.
    Ken.

    Be nice if it was better, but it could be worse

  9. #9
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    And...Cartridge grade Goex powder is a very good choice for the .45/90.
    It is just a more carefully screened 2F, with a graphite coating.

    I haven't worked on the finer points of compression yet, just going with whatever exists as I try various powder charges.
    But, Goex is said to start performing best (and fouling the least) when compression gets up to about .330".

    I think your lube was your main problem. Boil it off and use something you can identify.
    You can wipe between shots with plain water, if you don't want to waste your BP solvent.

    Even spit will work.
    If you have a clean patch in your mouth when you take the shot, you will have something to absorb the mindless drool...as you're waiting for the recoil to smack you.

    Just swab your chamber dry before reloading.
    CM
    Last edited by montana_charlie; 01-17-2008 at 10:48 PM.
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I use a blow tube between each shot for at least 5 seconds 3 times. Drink water before each blow session. Keeps moisture in the barrel. LUBE, LUBE, LUBE. You can't over emphasize the impotance of a good animal or vegetable fat lube hardened by beeswax. And keep all petroleum away from a BP barrel. That crud is a curse. Less compression. Swiss almost none, Goex never more than .250"
    So many toys........so little time.

  11. #11
    Reaper :

    It ain't all that complicated! I have been shooting a Shiloh 45 x 2.4 (what some label as a 45-90) for several years. It is used regularly for long range buffalo matches, NRA midrange and silhouett. Probably 3-4000 rounds through it by now.

    Your loading and load looks good to me. I use basically the same thing except for a drop tube, a poly wad, a custom PJ bullet including GOEX CARTRIDGE. However for the first year, I shot the Lyman Postell. Damn fine bullet. I wouldn't get too hung up on this compression business.GOEX likes some but just try different wads, primers and charges to find out what your rifles likes. Just don't leave any airspace between the powder and the bullet.

    There is one great truth about black powder. It fouls the bore. So this fouling has to be managed if accuracy is to be maintained. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, be sure to use a black powder lube and not one that is for smokeless. The first method is to wipe the bore with a wet and then a dry patch after every shot. Another is to use a blow tube. There is always a risk of leaving moisture in the chamber by wiping though, not a good thing!

    The tale of useing lube to keep the fouling soft is just a tale. What the black powder lube does, is to prevent any carbon buildup in the bore which is very hard to remove and it also allows the moisture in your breath to soften the fouling so that the next cartridge can be chambered and it's bullet will push the fouling out the muzzle each time.

    And there is a litte more to useing a blow tube that just blowing through it. Some days, more breaths are needed depending on the current temp and humidity. So after a blow tube is used for a couple of breaths, a dry patch is pushed through the bore. The patch then should be greasy and wet as it exits the muzzle. If not, the number of breaths are increased untill it is. This shows that the fouling is truly soft and will be pushed out with the next bullet fired. So the number of breaths need to be adjusted to the conditions at the time.

    So in light of all this tribe, Just decide on how you want to attack the fouling for each shot and make sure that you use a black powder lube on the bullets. Looks to me that you'r well on the way to the one true way.

    As to case cleaing, the easiest way that I have found it to decap and throw all the empties in a gallon jug with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water as soon as possible. Slosh them around and let it sit for 30 min. or so. Slosh them around again, pour them out and brush each case out with a bore brush. Then throw each empty case in something with water and dish washing soap. Take them out, rinse and let dry. Finally I use a vibrating tumbler for a couple of hours. Works fine for me.

    Good luck
    RD

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    I would have to question your lube as I shot a 45 2 6/10 case with 94 grains of Goex and a wax wad and with good lube I could hold up to 12 shots in group before they started to wander. With just the grooves lubed i was still getting 5 or more. You might want to invest in a fischer cleaner if you want to get serious about target work as then you can shoot all day and not worry about how the lube is holding up.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Reaper,
    R.Dupraz gave you some good advise, just dont leave those cases in the 50/50 solution of vinegar and water too long as the vinegar can etch the brass. I wash my cases in hot water and squirt of "Dawn" dish washing soap. After letting them soak for a few minutes I take my battery powered drill with a brush in the chuck and run the bore brush in and out of the case and then dump the cleaned case into a bucket of clean water. If the inside of the case isnt clean and smooth it isnt good enough for any kind of competitive shooting.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for all the feedback. The bullets I'm using are Lyman's own LHRP (long range/ high performance) Postells. They come in 50 bullet boxes with Lyman black powder already applied. Don't see them on Lyman's website any more. I have 400 of them I got at a good price. As far as oil in the barrel, only use Ballistol in the bore and drypatch before shooting. The powder charge will be reduced the next go round so I can reduce the amount of compression, add a lube cookie and an over cookie wad. A friend is making a poor mans lube extruder for me, so we'll see how that works out

    I have a question about wads. Some people use plastic coffee can lids (LDPE?) . Others, milk cartons. Any pros or cons? My current homemade muzzleloader lube is 60% beeswax and 40% olive oil. Works as good as any I've tried for patch or Minie. It's been recommended that I switch to 50/50 beeswax and unsalted lard. Yes. No.

    Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but life intervenes. Thanks for all the great info.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Don't use anything plastic with B/P as the heat can smear the bore with melted plastic. I prefer either waxed cardboard or veg fibre wads. I quit using milk cartons as I couoldn't tell wether they were plastic or wax coated and it was just easier to make my own.

    I have never used the Lyman lube so I can't comment on that aspect, but with the same bullet and a soft lube of bearsoil and beeswax I can get at least 10 rounds in group without throwing a flyer and on a 90 degree day i went 17 shots in a test before the first flyer.

  16. #16
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper View Post
    The powder charge will be reduced the next go round so I can reduce the amount of compression, add a lube cookie and an over cookie wad.
    The cookie really shouldn't be needed with a grease grooved bullet...as long as it has a good lube in the grooves.
    I have a question about wads. Some people use plastic coffee can lids (LDPE?) . Others, milk cartons. Any pros or cons?
    Milk carton, vegetable fiber, and LDPE are all about equally popular among the 'big boys' at the 'big matches'.
    Those who like LDPE won't hardly use anything else.

    I have some LPDE sheets, but haven't tried the material. Vegetable fiber has been my choice, so far.
    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

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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