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Thread: Chronograph Results with Black MZ

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Chronograph Results with Black MZ

    A few days ago I chronographed two 45 Colt loads using Black MZ under 256g RNFPs from Montana Bullet Works.

    First load was a dipped 1.9cc charge, settled in the case by tapping on the bench top. The results were:

    USFA 7.5" SAA = 842 fps

    USFA 5.5" SAA = 749 fps

    USFA 3" Sheriff = 659

    Next I tried a dipped 2.2cc charge, again settled by tapping on the bench. This produced:

    USFA 7.5" = 916 fps

    USFA 5.5" = 831 fps

    USFA Sheriff = 711 fps

    The 1.9cc charge was pleasant to shoot but short of the performance I was looking for. The 2.2cc charge was exhilarating but hard on the knuckle of the middle finger on my shooting hand. (smile)

    25+ years ago I shot 35g of FFFg behind 255g soft cast RNFPs and got results similar to the 2.2cc load ion the 7.5" barrel, but not for the 5.5" gun. It's performance should have been more like 875 fps or there abouts.

    I also noted a wide extreme spread for all the loads tested. That leads me to believe I need either a lot more practice dipping powder charges, or a better way to meter this Black MZ. It is very course.

    Any suggestions or recommendations for more uniform charges (short of weighing each one) would be appreciated.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    May 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    A few days ago I chronographed two 45 Colt loads using Black MZ under 256g RNFPs from Montana Bullet Works.

    First load was a dipped 1.9cc charge, settled in the case by tapping on the bench top. The results were:

    USFA 7.5" SAA = 842 fps

    USFA 5.5" SAA = 749 fps

    USFA 3" Sheriff = 659

    Next I tried a dipped 2.2cc charge, again settled by tapping on the bench. This produced:

    USFA 7.5" = 916 fps

    USFA 5.5" = 831 fps

    USFA Sheriff = 711 fps

    The 1.9cc charge was pleasant to shoot but short of the performance I was looking for. The 2.2cc charge was exhilarating but hard on the knuckle of the middle finger on my shooting hand. (smile)

    25+ years ago I shot 35g of FFFg behind 255g soft cast RNFPs and got results similar to the 2.2cc load ion the 7.5" barrel, but not for the 5.5" gun. It's performance should have been more like 875 fps or there abouts.

    I also noted a wide extreme spread for all the loads tested. That leads me to believe I need either a lot more practice dipping powder charges, or a better way to meter this Black MZ. It is very course.

    Any suggestions or recommendations for more uniform charges (short of weighing each one) would be appreciated.

    Dave
    yeah use the real stuff

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    yeah use the real stuff
    Thank you. That was so helpful. Makes me glad I joined this forum.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Might try running some thru a powder measure, they may be a bit more uniform than dipping.
    A different bullet lube can sometimes tighten things up as well.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Weigh 10 dipped charges and average them. Then when dipping weigh charge and trickle up to this amount on the scales. This gives the exact same charge every time. Then the high ESs are cases, Primers,or powder.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    Thank you. That was so helpful. Makes me glad I joined this forum.
    Dave
    Sorry - just kinda couldnt help it -- however there is a lot of opinion in a lot of places that suggests the subs (in general) are way more variable in shot to shot velocity than quality black powder (so my smarta$$ remark did actually have some substance behind it) - I was chastized recently for suggesting to tap the measure - but I would again suggest its worth a try - tap your scooped measure a fixed number of times then top it up - weigh some charges done in various ways to see if you can come up with a consistent method - would also say weight some charges and chronograph them - as a first effort - if weighed charges dont fix the problem then you at least established it is something else than your measuring technique.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    joe,

    I can be a smart A$$ sometimes so go in peace.

    I just loaded 30 rounds by weighing every charge and will chrono them in my 3 barrel lengths next chance I get. I'll report the results in case anyone else using Black MZ is curious.

    Dave

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    joe,

    I can be a smart A$$ sometimes so go in peace.

    I just loaded 30 rounds by weighing every charge and will chrono them in my 3 barrel lengths next chance I get. I'll report the results in case anyone else using Black MZ is curious.

    Dave
    Put me down as one who would be very interested to see the results. I live on a fixed income, and given that Black MZ is much cheaper than the other subs I can find around here, I would be very happy to learn about it's effectiveness and any tips to improve accuracy with it. I don't shoot competitively, but would still like to get the most from my loads that my budget allows. With the velocity spread you've gotten so far, how was the accuracy in regards to casual shooting or hunting?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
    joe,

    I can be a smart A$$ sometimes so go in peace.

    I just loaded 30 rounds by weighing every charge and will chrono them in my 3 barrel lengths next chance I get. I'll report the results in case anyone else using Black MZ is curious.

    Dave
    Dave
    That will be good information for all

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Washington State
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    I want to start by admitting no clue to loading BlkMZ into a pistol case. What I did find when shooting it in my Knight MK85 54 cal inline muzzleloader was the powder likes a fair amount of compression. I shot a 3 shot group of powder measured by volume and pouring it down and just seating my bullet. Then I shot another 3 shot group same volume measure but this time I used a flat faced loading jag and leaning really heavy on the ram rod then sat the bullet. Noticeable change in recoil and really shrunk the group size. I did not have a chronograph so have no idea what the MV was or how it changed. Maybe some compression would help when loading a cartridge. I do believe that I read that it does like compression, maybe on the powder website.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    It took me a while to find a powder measure I was comfortable using with BP and Black-MZ. Found an old Pacific Pistol Powder Measure with a brass powder reservoir and several brass rotors. After some experimenting I found the largest rotor would throw 9g of BLK-MZ, and with three charges that consistently added up to 27.1g of BLK-MZ. Using this 27.1 charge, which filled the case enough to need good compression with Montana Bullet Works 256g RNFP. It was seated to the same overall length as factory 45 Colt round with its traditional 255g.

    When I finally managed to drag my busted up self to the range with the chronograph I used the same 7.5" USFA single action I used to fire the dipped charges. Results were:

    Lo - 898 fps
    Hi - 960 fps
    ES - 62 fps
    A - 930 fps
    Sd - 24

    I was really surprised to find these results within a few fps of the results I got with the 2.2cc Lee dipper and no more consistent or uniform.

    My impression is that Black-MZ just isn't all that precise or consistent, however when compared to buying black powder for $25-$30 a pound and then paying $9.95 for Black-MZ , it may shoot good enough.

    I am going too experiment drilling out one of the other Pacific rotors so I get a case filling charge with one throw instead of three. That may not produce any more consistent results but it will make reloading with Black-MZ easier.

    Dave

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    It's been a while but I thought I owed it to the folks who followed my adventure with Black-MZ in the 45 Colt cartridge to give final report on this stuff.

    I have now chronographed weighed charges of 29g, 27g and 26g. In my 7.5" USFA the average velocities were: 916 fps, 930 fps and 895 fps respectively. Please note the 27g loading gave a 5 shot average higher than the 29g loads. And the 26g load was within 21 fps of the heaviest 29g loads. There was a wider extreme spread for most of the strings than there was between the average for the three different weight loadings.

    My rational for trying this stuff (Black-Mz) was that it was so much cheeper and easier to acquire that real black powder. That old saying about getting what you pay for may apply here. Cheep doesn't seem to be very consistent or repeatable. Now some would say I'm just blowing holes in cardboard or smacking steel plates so who cares about velocity or uniformity. Well, after 11 years of shooting real black powder in 1st Generation Colts, and testing and seeing how accurate and consistent those rounds could be, I guess I care more than I originally thought.

    So, I'm giving up on Black-MZ and going to go the expense of acquiring real black powder. LOL - sometimes I'm my own worst enemy. (smile)

    Dave

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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