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Thread: Double Black Powder Load at Today's Match

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Double Black Powder Load at Today's Match

    I went to a new (for me) range today and there were 14 of us shooting. A couple were fairly young and had very little muzzle loading experience. Many of the guys were using the pre-measured powder charges in little containers. It appears one guys has dropped his powder load in when his buddy said his cleaning rod was stuck and he needed some help. His buddy helped him and them went back and got ready to shoot. I was walking up to take my shot for a turkey when a rifle went Ka-Boom! It was the helper and of course it scared the hell out of him. We did a cease fire and looked at things and in checking his powder containers found an extra one was used! Fortunately he uses 50 grains in a T/C 50 caliber which can easily take a 100 or more rain load. Lucky boy!

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    In the blink of a eye, things can and will go south if one is not paying attention. Can happen to anyone

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The same thing can happen and a guy will end up dry balling his gun. Things happen and that's why it is important to "pay attention". A good rule is to never bother someone when they are loading but we all know it happens. A good reminder that if interrupted, then check your bore to see how far the ramrod goes down (and mark you ramrod for a loaded barrel with your normal charge). I'd rather dump a load of powder on the ground or go to the line and shoot a "ball less" load than to double charge. Glad nobody got hurt.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy kens's Avatar
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    Oh yeah!
    In muzzleloading world, all sorts of silliness happens.
    Sooner or later, everyone will double charge, or load no charge at all, or get a patch down at the breech and wonder why it won't go, or shoot your ramrod downrange !!!
    All sorts of stuff. The good thing is that black powder is quite forgiving in this regard.

  5. #5
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    I wonder what happens with the modern substitute powders? I have no knowledge of the detonation rate of that fake powder. I guess if you overload one, you will be notified by parts of the gun leaving the area at high velocity.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy 59sharps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kens View Post
    Oh yeah!
    In muzzleloading world, all sorts of silliness happens.
    Sooner or later, everyone will double charge, or load no charge at all, or get a patch down at the breech and wonder why it won't go, or shoot your ramrod downrange !!!
    All sorts of stuff. The good thing is that black powder is quite forgiving in this regard.
    YEA THEY SAY YOU CAN LOAD IT TO THE END OF THE BARREL W BLACK. and all the powder will do is burn going down range.
    14th VA. CAV.
    N_SSA

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    Well, 50 gr. to 100 gr. is no problem with 777. Most of the new rifles will take 150 gr. or so with no problems.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Back in the 60s in Asia I borrowed a native friends muzzleloader. They Used a Large cap from a sheet of caps covered with aluminum foil for detonation and a toothpaste tube cover attach with a rubber band to hold the hammer off the cap. We made our own powder and slugs. With these guns you judged the powder load by how far the ramrod was sticking out of the barrel. He forgot to tell me that this gun had a short ramrod. I loaded a moderate load and practically disintegrated a sapling I was shooting at and set me on my backside. To sight these in you stuck the barrel between two trees and tweaked it a little bit until it got to where you liked it. His dad had killed an elephant with one in the late 50s.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Fortunately M/Ls are much more forgiving that smokeless. I seen a vid on Utube where someone tested a old CVA Kentucky rifle. He filled it all the way up. Just enough to put a ball in it. It didn't blow up. The stock was destroyed but that was mostly by the mount that held it, not the powder charge.
    Aim small, miss small!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy kens's Avatar
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    I have seen muzzleloaders shoot double charge, shoot the ramrod out, shoot double balls, and many others.
    But, the one that got a guy hurt was not really gun related.

    A guy had his powder horn at his side, and smoking a cigar.......well maybe you get the idea.......a cigar ash lit off the powder horn, disintegrated the horn into miniscule particles that embedded into him, burned him, set his clothes on fire, oh what a mess.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy waarp8nt's Avatar
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    There was a section of patch left in a barrel that I purchased off the internet. I could blow through the barrel easy enough, so I'm guessing the patch wasn't fully seated at the breech plug. However, once loaded the patch blocked off the pat. breech plug and it wouldn't ignite the charge. Pulled the ball, dumped the charge and found a charred patch...

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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks guys, I think the shooter learned one of many lessons yet to come! At one of the San Diego Schuetzen matches one of the very, very experienced shooters did a double load of his smokeless powder and the gun blew all to pieces. Fortunately he was using a palm rest so he did not lose his left hand!

  13. #13
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    Sharon Barrels did testing many years ago on over loads in their barrels. Heaviest charge was 1400 gr. powder, with 14 patched round balls over that. No failure.
    The only damage they were able to do on barrels was by separating the ball from the powder. They ended up with bulged barrels, but no catastrophic failures.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I have a buddy who sent his 250 gr. saboted round and his ramrod over 3 50gr. pellets of 777 downrange....with no harm to the rifle (TC Omega). He did bloody his nose and we never found his ramrod. (shooting in the direction of a beaver pond surrounded by tag alders)
    The only thing really damaged was his pride...and we remind him of it every year so it still stings.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    A chain fire on a c&b revolver will get your attention. This I KNOW.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Almost all of the things that are done wrong with a ML will be prevented with a witness mark on the ramrod.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    The best one I ever saw happened at our local range to an unnamed gun writer and his wife. He was shooting his 54 Hawken and she was shooting her 40 calibre pistol...and they were sharing one powder measure. He loaded up and forgot to reset the measure for her and then she loaded up...

    90 grains of fffg in a 40 calibre pistol is quite impressive. Guess when needed a new posterior when the smoke cleared.

    We had one member who would get to talking while loading and shot 3 ramrods down range that I know of. It's all fun and games till someone gets poked in the eye!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Well he shouldn't be adjusting the powder measure for her IMO. If she was doing it herself then it more likely wouldn't have happened. Creatures of habit we are. Luckily MLs are allot more forgiving than center fire which would likely have blown up with a double charge. I haven't messed up too much myself but that's more to the fact that I generally shoot alone these days. No body to shoot with. I get side tracked easy especially now adays that I am getting older. I think I have forgot powder 2 times that I remember.
    Aim small, miss small!

  19. #19
    .......and the pellets with the hole through the center (Pyrodex?) make a really cool whistling sound flying down range when fired without a projectile in the bore.
    That got everyone's attention , and laughter.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Boogieman's Avatar
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    Never trust anyone who says he has never dry balled, he'll lie to you about other things too
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

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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