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Thread: BP in 1800s

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    BP in 1800s

    I read once that in the 1800s BP was different (moister) than today and they didnít need to use greese cookies or swab after each shot because of that. Would anyone care to comment if that was true or not? Did it have anything to do with them being paper patched boolits?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    No it's not really true. The loading instructions in the Sharps and Remington catalogs both stressed the importance of using a lube for sporting purposes, and the need to wipe between shots for accuracy.
    GUSA #6
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    You want to tighten your filter when you read what a lot of internet keyboard shooters say about black powder loading and shooting.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    So how did the buffalo hunters load their cases? Did they swab each time after they shot? How were military rounds made?

    I’m not contesting what has been said, just curious.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Greg A lot of the hide hunters used factory loaded munitions by the case. I imagine that they carried some tools to reload but I doubt it.
    Here you go, do some reading now that the weather is bad and do a search for some books in the Library of Congress and some old forrest and Stream articles. You will find a lot of inside what and how they did things in the mid 1800rds. As far as fouling control, I have looked at a lot of photo's of hide hunters and by there side or on the breach loading rifles was a wiping stick.
    Also spend time at the loading bench and behind the buttplate working up loads and see what works and don't.
    Kurt
    http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.../14-journal003[url]http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/publishing/send/5-[url]http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/publishing/send/5-journal/13-http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.../16-journal004
    Last edited by Lead pot; 01-01-2019 at 01:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    While powders were more than likely different from todays in some ways in a lot of ways they are close. It would be interesting to test powders made to the original formulas and with the same equipment and compare to todays. What I'm trying to say is even with proper storage and canisters after 100 yrs+ the original has changed some, where as our powders are freshly manufactured.

    In the day of these rifles and where they were used the most, most people couldn't read or write. So very little of the practical loading techniques and procedures got written down while fresh in the memories. A lot was passed along by spoken word from person to person. We have probably gotten to the level of information a 10-11 year old boy would have had back then in those areas.

    Most of the PP bullets used in the day were on the heavy side for caliber. The weight probably did help with cleaner burning and consistency. The Actual Patch would have prevented leading. Wads used in the day may have also acted like a scraper pushing fouling from previous shot out the bore. Im betting they wiped between shots and cleaned fairly regularly. Lubes of the day would also have been slightly different that what we have today having an effect on fouling.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    So how did the buffalo hunters load their cases? Did they swab each time after they shot? How were military rounds made?

    I’m not contesting what has been said, just curious.
    A lot of those hide hunters bought factory ammo by the case. They did do some reloading, but they loaded using wads and grease cookies, pretty much like the factory ammo.
    Some I would imagine wiped between shots, others carried 2 rifles and when the first one started to fouling out and shooting wild, laid it aside and picked up rifle #2. Some of them worked in pairs and while one was shooting the other was wiping and loading the next rifle.
    GUSA #6
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  8. #8
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    never heard of such silliness as moist bp, that would make little to no sense as any amount of water is the bane of bp for good consistent ignition (so sez my flintlock guns). i've read where the buffalo runners could get gov't issue cartridges for free or for cheap - the gov't wanted to eliminate the bison and in turn, eliminate the indians. as such, unless a good lube and/or lube cookie was in that ammo it'd mean wiping instead of blowing. that was a long and large era, lotta things happened that never got writ down.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    I think that much of the discussion on how soft or hard your fouling is should consider where the majority of the competition shoots were held.
    Living in Colorado, I can assure you that fouling is harder here than on the East coast or in England simply as a function of relative humidity.
    Also, in second half of the 19th Century, much was made of a rifle’s ability to digest cartridge after cartridge without the need for wiping. This was a great consideration for military use and was, I think, what led to the adoption of bore sized boolits being the standard for military arms as the boolit could slide past the fouling in the grooves of the bore when chambered.
    The only way I know of to effect the hardness of the fouling of a given powder is to employ more lube in the form of a cookie.
    Original British cartridges did not use a lube of any kind though.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    they militaries of the world specified bullet lube in the black powder era. Even the retarded English has issues with a big mutiny in india over the source of the fat used as bullet lube.

    America used it. Although I admit in the Minnie ball era, they might not have used as much.

    There used to be 14 granulations of black powder in the 1800s. it came as glazed or un glazed.

  12. #12
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    Intersting book from Pioneer Press, a part of Dixie gun works. A lot of it was orders for supplies that the buffalo hunters placed with the supply houses. Lead bars, kegs of powder and primers are in a good many of the orders. Sharon Cunningham was one of the authers and CRS wont let me remember the book and I cant find my copy.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankycalico View Post
    they militaries of the world specified bullet lube in the black powder era. Even the retarded English has issues with a big mutiny in india over the source of the fat used as bullet lube.
    I should have specified cartridges with paper patched boolits.
    Some may have had some sort of oil on the patch but the wad column didn’t add any sort of lube in the form of a cookie or disc.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    there are some books you need to read getting a stand. they talk about wiping between shots also an ingenious way to get hot water after all was used up. in that same book they talked about loading their own shells.

    the cap lock muzzle loading rifle a lot of ground is covered about the powders.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Thanks a lot for those links Kurt. They look very interesting. Unfortunately, I tried to register to view them, but it didn’t work. I sent an email to them and I am waiting for a response. I can’t wait to start reading them.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Thanks a lot for those links Kurt. They look very interesting. Unfortunately, I tried to register to view them, but it didnít work. I sent an email to them and I am waiting for a response. I canít wait to start reading them.
    Greg
    Sometimes we lose sight of the forest because of all the trees
    How many of the old hunters shot their buff at more than 200yards?
    Ther has been some more discussion recently on that 500g LEE boolit - I have shot that one quite a bit - With my straight blackpowder and decent lube I am quite sure I could sit up on a hill and fire that load all day without fouling out (ditto for their 405 grainHB) - so long as I kept the rate of fire at a level that didnt overheat the barrel - off a rest we would do 2 to 2 and a half MOA with out wiping between shots - and not lose anything as the shooting progressed - good enough to get a stand?? Who knows ? we were not there
    I dont know much but heres a couple of things - there is a huge difference in the level of fouling between the cleanest and dirtiest blackpowder I have shot - you really cant pick it by eyeballing the powder - and they both got the job done as far as decent accuracy and velocity. One I can shoot my flinter till I get sick of it - tother had me bailed up on a walk through shoot trying to batter the sixth ball down onto the powder so I get the shot off and clean it to keep going.
    Whats the difference? Likely the wood the charcoal was made from I think
    Ok - 150 years ago the forests were abundant - anybody making powder could pick and choose the wood they used for charcoal - and as well BP was primarily a propellant powder - these days - the forests are cut out in a lot of places or locked up as parks and rifle grade BP is a niche market - they wasted more in fireworks a few nights ago in sydney harbour than all the BP shooters in Aus will use in ten years of rifle shooting.

    Whats my point? I bet my gold tooth that most of the powder used in the old days was way cleaner burning stuff than most of what we can get today .

  17. #17
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    i've sampled most bp brands in both flintlock long guns and cartridge guns ... hard to beat swiss, and i doubt there was a better black powder back in them thar dayze.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i've sampled most bp brands in both flintlock long guns and cartridge guns ... hard to beat swiss, and i doubt there was a better black powder back in them thar dayze.
    yah swiss gets the nod (if ya got the jingle for it) my thought is there might been a lot that was close to as good back then.

    Most of our shooting life there has been a lot of fireworks quality stuff around
    I have used three batches of homebrew so far over the last three years and number three is chasin the tail of Swiss and OE - based on that I dont reckon its that difficult of a process.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Just so people don’t think I was crazy when I mentioned moist black powder, I came across it again on bpcr.net

    “Black powder leaves more fouling in the barrel and chamber than smokeless powder. One hundred years ago the better grade of powders left a moist fouling which did not affect repeated shots too much and allowed many shots to be fired before the barrel needed to be wiped out.

    Current powders leave a hard dry fouling which will soon make it difficult to chamber another round and will also affect accuracy.”

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    ... “Black powder leaves more fouling in the barrel and chamber than smokeless powder. One hundred years ago the better grade of powders left a moist fouling which did not affect repeated shots too much and allowed many shots to be fired before the barrel needed to be wiped out.

    Current powders leave a hard dry fouling which will soon make it difficult to chamber another round and will also affect accuracy.”
    none of that makes any sense to me. there is no way that black powder in and of itself will leave the barrel moist, but black powder residue is hygroscopic and will readily attract moisture, to the extent of its residue being corrosive and not about mitigating residue fouling.
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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