Inline FabricationStainLess Steel MediaGraf & SonsRotoMetals2
ADvertise hereMidSouth Shooters SupplyLee PrecisionTitan Reloading

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 39 of 39

Thread: How Much Weaker Is Goex Compared to Original Black Powder?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    4,941
    Original black powder was serpentine.
    True ... The original dry-compounded powder used in 15th-century Europe was known as "Serpentine", either a reference to Satan or to a common artillery piece that used it.The ingredients were ground together with a mortar and pestle, perhaps for 24 hours,resulting in a fine flour.
    Then corned powder was adapted with the use of ball mills with wet ingredients mixed together, then corned into press cakes, dried for subsequent sieving to the different grain sizes
    Regards
    John

  2. #22
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Canada, Ontario, Durham region
    Posts
    76
    Don't forget that Modern blackpowder has a Graphite coating which puts the Black in "Blackpowder". Original serpentine powder was more gray in colour.
    I believe that strength of the powder is very dependant on the purity of the potassium nitrate and the quality of the charcoal (carbon) used.

  3. #23
    Boolit Bub yulzari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    France Nouvelle Aquitaine
    Posts
    48
    Cheap black powder is musket quality powder, better modern powder is of rifle powder quality. Swiss is the only major black powder of sporting quality. It is made with the same care and ingredients as old time sporting powder and in the same manner except for production improvements with roller pressing and machine corning. No graphite is used, despite which it is shiny and silvery in colour. The differences vary with the comparator but about 15% stronger than musket and 10% than rifle powder. It also differs from the other powders in having a higher potassium nitrate proportion which provides a lesser quantity of gas but at a higher temperature. The nett result is a higher expansion to propel the bullet and the higher temperature allows more of the fouling to be expelled from the barrel and not condense on the barrel wall.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by yulzari View Post
    Cheap black powder is musket quality powder, better modern powder is of rifle powder quality. Swiss is the only major black powder of sporting quality. It is made with the same care and ingredients as old time sporting powder and in the same manner except for production improvements with roller pressing and machine corning. No graphite is used, despite which it is shiny and silvery in colour. The differences vary with the comparator but about 15% stronger than musket and 10% than rifle powder. It also differs from the other powders in having a higher potassium nitrate proportion which provides a lesser quantity of gas but at a higher temperature. The nett result is a higher expansion to propel the bullet and the higher temperature allows more of the fouling to be expelled from the barrel and not condense on the barrel wall.

    True, but I think point is that there was at least as great variation in black powders in the days when it was the standard propellant. The processes of incorporation, corning, glazing etc. are time and labour intensive, and most countries had legislation, for safety reasons, on how much could be milled at once. This made a great difference to cost.

    Military musket powder, or that used by market hunters, travellers etc. was probably of a very basic grade. If you have a smoothbore and will only see your deer or member of the aboriginal native populace twenty yards off in woodland, the powder makes very little difference. Then as now, self-defence was seldom long-range. But with what the American scheutzen and British long-range match rifle shooters were doing, the best target shooting powders were probably at least the equal of anything available today. Much of that surely carried over to the sort of hunter who envisaged the shot of a lifetime.

    With so much research being done on military rifles and cartridges in the last years before smokeless powder, I'm prepared to believe similar improvements may have reached the military. Accuracy is subject to endless variables (although black powder can ignite and burn with at least as much consistency as smokeless. Trajectory is a better indicator of energy, and maybe someone can give a detailed account of how the extreme-range graduations on a military sight of the 1880s pan out with modern powder.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
    John in PA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Hollidaysburg, PA
    Posts
    189
    Quote Originally Posted by yulzari View Post
    Swiss is the only major black powder of sporting quality. .
    I believe there are many current BPCR match shooters who would say that OE is of identical quality to Swiss, and some guns/loads seem to do better with it, with Swiss being preferred in others. Other than Swiss and OE, I believe the quality of other brands currently available is indeed inferior.
    John Wells in PA

    Peabody's and Peabody-Martini's wanted
    Also shoot a 10-PDR Parrott Rifle in competition

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub yulzari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    France Nouvelle Aquitaine
    Posts
    48
    I don't doubt it John. I have never used OE but, from what I am told of the production process, it would make a good rifle powder. Even a very good one but not quite a sporting powder. I suspect (pure surmise) that it may be found by some as being as consistent as Swiss. For target shooters that is what matters. For the likes of my mid 19th century smooth bores used in hunting most things will do the job. Here there is an even cheaper BP than Vectan's 'Musket Powder' as 'Hunting Powder' for shotgun use. As far as I can see from the specifications it is the left overs and sweepings from everything else; so you can buy a wide range of qualities. As a good rifle powder Goex may shade as less than 10% under Swiss. As ever, today as in the past 'you pays yer money and you takes yer choice'.

    But, to address the OP, the original powders varied quite as much as in the present day and probably even more so. A fair comparison would be between Goex and a good rifle powder and I suspect (again a surmise which is a posh way of saying guess) it is probably quite close. Much better than the cheap peasant's powder but just a small edge off the powder bought by the carriage trade.

    Back in the day people bought according to their pockets and most of civilian BP sales went to the cheapest end of the market. The sporting powders were directed at the monied end who could choose what they bought not what the local store had behind the counter. I may treat myself to Swiss today but my ancestors definitely would have been buying at the cheap and mucky end of the market as would the ancestors of most of us.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    8,417
    I have used Swiss, Olde Ensforde, and Goex, along with a little cartridge goex. The cartridge Grade is now discontinued. Swiss is very good and performs very well once the load is found and the proper compression level. Olde Ensford again is very good ( at least the equal to Swiss in my rifles ) shoots very accurately and repeatably, once compression level and load is found. Goex will work it is dirtier in my rifles and takes a little more both in compression and charge to reach the same velocity range. But once the compression level is found and proper load worked up it is okay. More important than most powders is the load work up and finding the right combination of everything. How the new powders compare to 1880s vintage powders I'm not real sure. Cases have changed over the years alloy has changed primers have changed considerably over the years along with wad materials and loading equipment. So to say which is better then or now is hard. We are reaching the same basic velocities with the same basic charges so ....

  8. #28
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    5,634
    Great thread. Many years ago I pulled down silk igniter packs from separate-loaded artillery for 8-inch and 11-inch naval guns of WW2 era. Granulation was similar to Fg and it worked wonderfully in. 45-70, but I also shot it in. 44-40 rifles and it worked fine.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield, Nebraska
    Posts
    5,210
    What original black powder? There were way more brands than than now and each was as different. In the late 70's I tested powders ranging from an old DuPont to some old Scottish powder and some South American stuff. There was good and bad then as now. Supposedly Curtis and Harvey was the cleanest burning and Dupont was a strong powder but that was testing with an eprouvette. In my tests Modern Dupont and Old 1880 vintage Dupont were close and Meteor was the worst. I don't have any old stuff left to test with and then there is the fact that 100 year old powder may not test the same as fresh.

    In the old days you tested each batch of powder you bought and then decided how to alter your load. Same as the target shooters do today.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    467
    This article by Ross Seyfried may be of interest:

    http://www.classicarmsjournal.com/fr...loading-bench/

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    59
    Howdy guys.

    I feel I can add a little perspective here, or at the least some interesting (and maybe useless!) information.

    As most would be aware, blackpowder dates back several centuries, perhaps to around 1250 or earlier. As can be appreciated, the manufacturing process and ingredient ratio (and sometimes list) has changed many times since then. For example according to Davis (1941) we see a formula attributed to Marcus Graeceus in the 8th century as being; 66.66% Nitrate, 22.22% Charcoal and 11.11% Sulfur. The current formula (with possible minor variations company to company) is generally reffered to as the Waltham Abbey Formula and comprises of 75% Nitrate, 15% Charcoal and 10% Sulfur, this formula is also the most common one used by amateur pyrotechnicians and the like, with some opting for slightly different ratios for different purposes (like lift powder, bursting powder, delay etc etc).

    The "original powder" (or one of) was terrible and reffered to as serpentine powder, which consisted of finely ground ingredients, which were subsequently dry mixed with no pressing, corning or other incoorporation. This powder was/is a slow powder by comparison and had the undesirable quality of seperating out into it's three components in transit (vibration caused this on wagons etc), sometimes needing to be remixed by artillerymen prior to use. It was also far less moisture resistant, as far as black powder can be moisture resistant anyway. Many of these issues inherrent to serpentine were resolved when corning became the accepted practice.

    Various ill fated experiments were carried out with the substitution of Potassium Chlorate for the Potassium Nitrate. As any enthusiast will tell you, the mixing of Chlorates and Sulfur is a no-no and having this then run through a roller mill was sure to be a disaster. In the days of these experiments in England (I beleive Victorian era) there is record in some entrepreneurs attempt to make this variation on blacpowder, with small scale tests showing how very powerful the Chlorate based powder was. They upscaled to a full size roller mill and celebrated the commencement of the first batch with a glass of wine, only to be killed by the shattering explosion seconds or minutes later.

    As for modern powder; my studies indicate that while commercial makers could go quicker, they opt to focus on consistency (a relative term I know) rather than bare naked lightning fast powder every time. Faster powder can also be a problem in terms of safety, but I do not know if this influences their decision to go this route.

    It is the opinion of Maltitz (2003) that Goex and the like could indeed go faster, but "To what end?" (Maltitz,I., 2003). They could use a faster charcoal or reduce final grain density and even manipulate grain geometry, but again I do not beleive it is their intent to make the fastest powder available. Maybe the legal factors influence this, or plant safety even. Personally I have no doubt they could "hot rod" their powder, maybe they should release a small batch powder that has some of these properties? Would it be financially viable?

    One last note; a huge factor (some say the key factor) in blackpowder speed and to an extent quality, is the type of charcoal used. Take two identically made powders, give one of them clean well cooked willow (or other high volatile content charcoal) and give one of them dirty hardwood charcoal and you will see night and day in terms of performance.

    I love discussion of powders and the like

    I apologise in advance if this is too long, useless or boring. Apologies as well for the grammatical and spelling errors!

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hell Gap Wy
    Posts
    5,060
    Quote Originally Posted by KCSO View Post
    What original black powder? There were way more brands than than now and each was as different. In the late 70's I tested powders ranging from an old DuPont to some old Scottish powder and some South American stuff. There was good and bad then as now. Supposedly Curtis and Harvey was the cleanest burning and Dupont was a strong powder but that was testing with an eprouvette. In my tests Modern Dupont and Old 1880 vintage Dupont were close and Meteor was the worst. I don't have any old stuff left to test with and then there is the fact that 100 year old powder may not test the same as fresh.

    In the old days you tested each batch of powder you bought and then decided how to alter your load. Same as the target shooters do today.
    Absolute true story. Hazard powder had 4 varieties of sporting powder, Kentucky Rifle, Duck shooting, Trap, and Electric. The F sizes of the Kentucky was a good bit smaller grain size than what we are accustom to today. The other 3 powders were not given F sizes, but numbers, and were intended mostly for shotgun powder.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    4,941
    In my tests Modern Dupont and Old 1880 vintage Dupont were close and Meteor was the worst.
    KCSO ... disagree. Sure isn't worst compared to C&H powder ... See below

    Based on the comparative range test for the Austin(lot Dec 1955) & Meteor (lot 1973) … I am 99% convinced that Austin (‘markedCurtis and Harvey') & Nobel’s Meteor are both Curtis’s and Harvey powders with Meteor powder made in 1973 made from the same C&H formulation as the Austin

    As I posted previously, I believe that the Meteor powder made in 1973 at the same location Curtis's and Harvey was made, Ardeer, Scotland is C&H formulation. So I contacted wildthing, asking him to send me some of the Austin Powder Co powder. Received the 200grs and did the testing in the previous thread for grain ratio and density.

    Now, for the range test results:
    Four 38-55 Austin rounds and 4 using Meteor FFg -
    WW cases - Br2 primers - 0.004 Construction paper OPW -42gr powder - 0.235 compression - Ideal 375166, 320gr, 0.379 base (1:30) - 0.090 dry felt wad wad - 2.625 COL
    Sorry, no targets because I forgot my range settings book
    * Austin Powder chrono: Avg fps- 1121 with an SD of 17.9
    * Meteor Powder chrono: Avg fps- 1129 with an SD of 17.6

    I bore patched each round with a previously weighed patch that I later dried @150F to determine what the foul to original charge ratio is, plus be able to view the dried foul
    * Austin powder foul ratio 4.46% to 42gr powder charge
    * Meteor powder foul ratio 4.58% to 42gr powder charge






    The foul for both powders are the same (visual & ratios) - same very small micron size charcoal in the foul
    Regards
    John

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Posts
    379
    When Goex was in PA,the military comissioned an expert to do a report on the Goex powder,due to a series of misfires in 155mm guns.The report was not favorable to Goex.He concluded that the use of polluted wellwater was causing the powder to deteriorate rapidly in storage,and that Goex s claim of using "reagent grade " nitrate was untrue.Incidentally,I also had a quantity of shell igniter powder,about 1f granulation,and IMHO it definitely shot cleaner than storebought powder.I still have a jarful.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

    Knarley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Central Minnesota
    Posts
    297
    What are you using for wadding? Traditional fibre or shot cups?
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
    MOLON LABE

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Posts
    379
    The "strength/weakness" of blackpowder is influenced by moisture content.Ideally ,this should be zero.When blackpowder is made with reagent grade Potassium nitrate,it has virtually no attraction for atmospheric water.The commercial grade of nitrate has some sodium nitrate ,which is highly hygroscopic.The more sodium compound,the greater the attraction for water....Another important factor is the amount of ash contained in the wood.This varies from under 4% to over 10%,and is the factor that makes a powder "dirty".It also robs that much "fuel" from the volume of powder.

  17. #37
    Black Powder 100%


    cajun shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Livingston, La. 20 miles east of Baton Rouge, La.
    Posts
    4,409
    I will disagree with the statements that only Swiss and OE by Goex are the only two modern BP's that will deliver great accuracy and shoot clean. About 4-5 years ago I purchased a 10Lb lot of KIK powder, lot 3910. It shot better than any other powder I had on hand. I called and ordered another box of this same lot and still have some today.
    I believe that all powders have good and better lots of powder and if you are serious about your shooting, then you need to test. Every time a coil of fuse is purchased, you cut off a foot and test the burn time so you give yourself the proper safe time. Gunpowder should follow this.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat; 44 WCF filled to the top, 210 gr. bullet

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Queensland Australia
    Posts
    74
    John K might know about this but no one has mentioned Wano. its all I can get now. It comes in the F grades and also P grades which are supposed to be better. It shoots well for me but dont know how it stacks up against the others as I have none to compare.
    . by Keith Cree, on Flickr

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    270
    keith,
    wano p series stacks up well against swiss.
    can't say about the f series.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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