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Thread: S&W Mod 19 Anyone have a workable black powder load?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man heelerau's Avatar
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    S&W Mod 19 Anyone have a workable black powder load?

    Gentlemen,
    I have the above, has anyone ever shot one with black powder and have a load that works ok? I will be shooting a timed fire event at 25 yards and don't have a black powder cartridge revolver. If I can avoid reinventing the wheel as they say. I am guessing FFFg, full case and a waxed felt wad so the load is slightly compressed. and my usual 148 grain round nose lead bullet.
    I shot this revolver for years with a light smokeless load for service pistol.

    cheers

    Heelerau
    Keep yor hoss well shod an' yo powda dry !

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    Most people who have played with it report severe fouling and locking the gun up after only a few cylinders of B/P loads,accucay is usually good.I see no good things happening to the revolver with fouling and cleaning solution getting down into action and doing no good.Plenty of suitable Italian copies of everything B/P that would serve you better,those Mdl#19's are not getting any cheaper to replace. Can it be done ? sure for a little while until dissatisfaction sets in.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Your load sounds about right, but figure that you will need a different lube on your bullets. Alox and other smokeless lubes do not play nice with real blackpowder.

    I don't think you need to go with 3f unless you want the extra power. 2 or 1.5f would work too, especially if you already have it on hand.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    I have not shot a 19 with blackpowder loads, but have done so with single actions. I would echo Brent's suggestion to use a good blackpowder lube on the bullets. I would also suggest not using the felt wad as it will take up quite a bit of powder space, and instead use a thin card wad under the bullet. You're charge weight will depend on the seating depth of the bullet.. Generally in handgun cartridges enough black powder that the bullet will make a firm contact with the powder/wad is sufficient.
    Between reloads a quick wipe down of the face of the cylinder the top strap and end of the barrel will keep the cylinder from tying up. Make sure the cylinder pin is well oiled before starting.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I have a mod. 19 and a 28 HV patrolman and either one will shoot more than a few shots with black powder. The tolerances are to tight between the cylinder and forcing cone that binds it up.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I tried mine with pretty much the exact load you have in your post as I was loading up some 43 Spanish and thought "why not". I wouldn't recommend it as it's very dirty and I didn't get through a cylinder before it got too gritty for me to continue abusing this nice gun with.

    In my not so very valuable opinion this is an EOTWAWKI Zombie Apocalypse type thing. It would work but you would have to be out of everything else.
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    Boolit Man heelerau's Avatar
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    Gentlemen, the only reason for me doing this is we have an end of year trophy shoot for cartridge revolver on and I don't actually have a bp cartridge revolver at this stage. It being polished stainless should not be to much of a problem to clean. I won't be surprised with the fouling and cylinder binding, and it won't be an ongoing thing. Still will be an interesting experiment. The loads are the same as I use in my Navy Colt , so hoping the waxed felt wads will keep it clean like they do in my said colt. Will report back tonight after the match. Cheers and thanks for the interest.
    Keep yor hoss well shod an' yo powda dry !

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would recommend a wad cut from a playing card and the bullets pan lubed in SPG or emmerts improved. light compression will help with ignition and fouling, Compress separate of seating the bullet.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I thought a Model 19 S&W was by definition, carbon steel. Stainless steel would be a Model 66. Yours may indeed be a Model 19, finished in bright nickel. This was a factory option before stainless became really popular. But it is your gun, if you clean it really well afterward, it should be OK. I would take the side-plate off as well and flush with boiling water after doing this.

    Just as an added piece of advice; I did this with a Navy Arms Scofield replica in 44-40 years ago. To help with reducing the binding, I put some Crisco in the mouths of the chambers, ahead of the bullets. Just like a cap and ball revolver. This helped a lot.

    Hope it works out for you.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man heelerau's Avatar
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    Junk\bug, guess you are right, its a mod 66 polished stainless steel ( a watchmaker owned it before me and he polished it inside an out ) anyway it shot well, put two lots of 13 shots 10 to count and it shot pretty much on poa ! did not lead or foul, arbor did not bind. I was quite impressed. I think the secret is the hard 1/8 greased felt wad, same combo works a treat in my Navy Colt. Thank you all for your interest and avice.
    Keep yor hoss well shod an' yo powda dry !

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    As long as you have enough grease to keep the fouling from hardening up most anything can shoot BP. The tighter tolerances on the front of the cylinder actually keep the fouling from blowing out everywhere. I shoot my 1916 45 acp Government Model 1911 with BP quite often and it works fine for a 50 shot stage.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Oh, it's a stainless. You should be alright, then. I'll be interested in what you end up with accuracy wise
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Are you sure itís stainless? If itís stamped ď19Ē it has to be nickel or blued. S&W never made a 19 in stainless. Anyways back to your original question. 3fg black powder and a decent BP lube combined with a soft lead boolit will work fine. Grease cookies and wads are not necessary and will only complicate things. Tight tolerances are better than loose ones.


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  14. #14
    Boolit Man heelerau's Avatar
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    2ndA, it is a Mod 66, just old age confusion ! I had little fouling with the FFFg and a greased felt wad , it was an alox beeswax mix that I lubed the bullet with. Finished up with quite a good group.
    Last edited by heelerau; 12-05-2018 at 05:06 PM.
    Keep yor hoss well shod an' yo powda dry !

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The O/P's results are a little surprising to me, but I am glad things worked out well.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I lube the cylinder arbor with synthetic grease on my BP revolvers to help with the binding issue. Seems to work quite well. This, along with some of the other suggestions, should help you a lot.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Absolutely no reason not to shoot bp in a Smith, Ruger or Colt.

    I shot many bp rounds in my Ruger security six, Ruger GP 100, Smith 686 and my pocket Ruger revolvers.

    Load was 23 grains ol E 2Fg powder under a Lee 158 grain semi wad cutter and the 148 grain hollow base wadcutters.
    Lubed with SPG and sparked with CCI small pistol primers.

    These shot very well with the lube on the cranes and ejectors. I wiped off the cylinder face every cylinder full. I run a moist rag thru the bore every cylinder full as well.

    Cleanup is easy peasy. Same as any revolver shooting bp. Flush well with a Ballistol water mix and allow to work a couple min. Then clean as per usual. Only use the Ballistol water mix for your cleaning solution. After cleaned and dry i squirt rem oil in all orifices till she drips gun oil. Wipe down and good to go.

    Same as a percussion revolver, i disassemble every two or three outings to wipe down all inner parts.

    Just do it. Tons of fun.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Lots of good advice here, I have not shot BP in my Mdl. 19 but would definitely recommend the use of synthetic grease on the cylinder arbor. I use it in my BP revolvers with great success.
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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