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Thread: What am I doing wrong?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    What am I doing wrong?

    Ok I'm not fully understanding this. First thing that alarmed me was I went for the good-ol load. 40gr of BP in a 45 Colt, modern brass is pretty much maxed out at 35gr though. So lets start there...Set the plunger for the measuring device at 35gr and load it up. Dropped it down the tube and...



    This can't be right. So I weighed the charge to see what it is. Set the measurement at 35gr and it didn't budge the arm. I added a little more to get it even...



    Dropped that in a case and...




    If you read my last thread of 357 Magnum with 25gr load. I WEIGHED that exact load today and it leveled out at 21.5gr weight. What am I doing wrong here?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    First what granulation are you using? That looks very coarse. You should be using FFFg, or 3f. The coarser the grains the lower an actual volume will weigh. I get 34-35 gr of FFFg in a .45 Colt cartridge with a 230 gr bullet. 37-38 gr in a 44-40 cartridge with a 200 gr bullet. This is by weight not volume. BPCR rifle shooters weigh all of their charges. Pistol BP shooters use either weight or volume depending on personal preference. As long as the bullet fills the cartridge to the powder, no air space, the load is good. Yes the original .45 Colt load for the Army was 40 gr. This was lowered to 35 gr upon complaints of too much recoil. Try FFFg for your loads. I bet you get 35 gr +-.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Volume measures measure a given volume by filling a chamber. different densities or granulations of powder weigh different in the same chamber. Pyrodex is a good example here as its loaded volume to volume with black powder, but the 40 grn setting is around 28 grns by weight with pyrodex in the BP measure.

    Not sure how Black MZ, 209, triple seven compare to this. Most BP measures are calibrated to 2f granulation powders. 3 f or 1f will throw a different weight do to the different density and airspace between kernales.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stopsign32v View Post
    Ok I'm not fully understanding this. First thing that alarmed me was I went for the good-ol load. 40gr of BP in a 45 Colt, modern brass is pretty much maxed out at 35gr though. So lets start there...Set the plunger for the measuring device at 35gr and load it up. Dropped it down the tube and...

    This can't be right. So I weighed the charge to see what it is. Set the measurement at 35gr and it didn't budge the arm. I added a little more to get it even...

    If you read my last thread of 357 Magnum with 25gr load. I WEIGHED that exact load today and it leveled out at 21.5gr weight. What am I doing wrong here?

    Only thing youre doing wrong is confusing volume equivalent with actual weight - a blackpowder myth that has caused a lot of un necessary confusion over a long period of time -
    Why not do this the easy way instead of getting all in a knot over technicalities?
    Take a fired case - mark on the outside of it where the base of the seated projectile comes - then figure how much compression you want to use on the powder - mark that above the first mark - 1/16th, 1/10th, 2/10ths -- whatever - most fellers would not bother with the drop tube for these pistol calibre cases but it you want to use it thats fine - so if you want the drop tube ?- next step is drop tube powder into that fired case up to your compression mark on the outside - next - tip it out and pour it back into your case - make a mark and cut the case to that third mark - now you have a scoop measure that gives exactly the right amount for your drop tube process - it cost 50 cents. You can weigh a charge and record that for future reference (maybe in case you lose your measure and need to make a new one)

    So lets blow a few more myths away
    Powder granulation (from the same brand) makes very little difference to grains weight in a measure - maybe one or two grains in a 40 grain measure - it falls in the "who gives a hoot category"
    But granulation effects burn rate quite a lot - Fg is slow - FFFFg is really really fast
    Brand makes some difference - Swiss is noticeably heavier for a given volume I am told - but its still only a few grains. I am also told that Swiss is a faster powder for its granulation size -
    Manufacturers complicate all this by fudging the rules on granulation
    Burn rate between brands makes a difference - I know for sure that Wano is a slower powder than the Goex I have in store - slower meaning less velocity for the same grains weight of equal granulation size. (at least 100FPS in the cartridges you are loading)
    Last edited by indian joe; 07-11-2018 at 11:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Volume measure and scale weight are rarely the same.
    Today's cases have less volume than that BP era(balloon head)because of the PSI of smokeless powder.
    LG
    Hav'n you along-Is like lose'n 2 good men

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpy grits View Post
    Today's cases have less volume than that BP era(balloon head)because of the PSI of smokeless powder.
    No, not entirely true... Older cases have a hollow (balloon) head, while modern brass manufacturing has eliminated this, thus resulting in a solid head which produces a case that has a smaller volume, everything else being the same.
    As a result of this better manufacturing process, the head is able to handle higher pressures.

    -Tom

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Herman View Post
    No, not entirely true... Older cases have a hollow (balloon) head, while modern brass manufacturing has eliminated this, thus resulting in a solid head which produces a case that has a smaller volume, everything else being the same.
    As a result of this better manufacturing process, the head is able to handle higher pressures.

    -Tom
    Bottom line-Volume was reduced when smokeless came on the scene, due to higher psi..........
    LG
    Hav'n you along-Is like lose'n 2 good men

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    The brand of powder will change things. The granulation size will change things, AND the way it's poured into the container (measure or case) will change things, as far as volume goes.
    For instance, pour a weighed charge into a case. Note how full the case looks. Then take the same powder, drop tube it into that case, there will be a difference in the volume, but the same weight.
    In fact, pour the charge into a case, and gently tap it, the volume will change.
    A gun in hand is worth two cops on the phone.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I haven't tried them all but BP substitutes all vary in weight compared to the same volume of black powder and the BP volume varies by grain size. Lately I've been trying to get Black-MZ to work in 45 Colt loadings and from my experience the volume equivalent of 35g of FFFg in Black-MZ weighs ~29g. Likewise the volume equivalent of 30g of FFFg weighs about 25g for Black-MZ.

    Years ago I tried Pyrodex and volume equivalents to BP were always much lighter, as someone said earlier.

    Dave

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I also get caught up in the "SCOPE ERA" of thinking about accuracy.

    Fact is that as sighting devices improved so did the expectation of our firearms.

    So WHAT you ask does this have to do with volume versus weight when loading black powder? Allow me to continue.

    As fellers worked out in the outdoors, a tool they had in use was either a rifle or shotgun and maybe a handgun (revolver). As you huddle round the fire at evening time and as the need arose, you would drag out your loading equipment [ that looked a bunch different then] from the oil cloth/leather wrap and set about loading more ammo for your weapons. A tender weigh scale was NOT part of this equipment. Instead you had a scissor like mold to cast the needed bullets with. Also to be found was a scissor type loading tool to assemble the rounds required for your needs.

    The mechanics looked like thus,

    1 ... cast required bullets to load how ever many rounds you desire to load.
    2 ... lube these bullets with all natural lube (remember the times ... no smokeless powder nor petroleum products).
    3 ... using the tong type tool, deprime and prime your cases.
    4 ... here is where we forget how simple loading was and can continue to be ... fill a case ( no drop tube, weight device or powder metering device) with powder and install a bullet and squeeze the whole case into the tong tool that seats, compresses the powder and crimps the case into your cast, lubed bullet and WALLA your cartridge is ready to do what you need done.

    Here is where the accuracy thing i refered to above comes into play ... with few exceptions ... fellers were happy with paper plate size accuracy at 100 paces. Great accuracy to harvest game, defend your place or stuff or kill the animals you want to sell either the hide or meat or both ... plenty good for this expectation.

    Demands for better accuracy have muddied the water a bunch through the years. Same can be said for the quantity of shots required at a setting [ fouling out ]. Progress has brought more than improvements ... such as a more complicated process for everything to include our HOBBY which is TARGET shooting ( which was rarely practiced back when ).

    Ttoo much expectation placed upon something so simple and easy.

    Just fill your case, squish it with the boolit, seat and crimp into place and go SHOOT IT.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

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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