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Thread: Black Powder Granulations

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Black Powder Granulations

    A buddy of mine who has 3 or 4 custom muzzle loading rifles, who is a BIG black powder shooter and a BIG history buff on all things Black Powder, told me that todays granulations are different than back in the old days when black powder was the ONLY powder used.
    He says that 3FG today is like 2FG back in the bygone era.
    ALL he uses is 3FG.
    Now I know that belief and passion about a subject is of great importance to each and every one of us but, is there any historical fact or laboratory evidence to support what he says?
    I don't know where to look myself and I have looked.
    Remember leaving out belief (based on gut feeling) and passion and using as close to near fact as possible is what I am looking for.

    Thank you in advance.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  2. #2
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    I am of the same thought as your friend.
    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!


  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Would be interesting to find a known can from that era and screen it comparing to todays and the screening. It would have to be from a can or keg since coming from loaded cartridges its compressed and dug out

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    Well the southern troops used smaller granules then the Northern troops it was due to trying to make it go further.The South also used a lot of river willow to make their own powder.
    Last edited by SSGOldfart; 05-23-2019 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Window's
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Check out this thread post #7:
    https://www.cascity.com/forumhall/in...?topic=57532.0

    My sentence below paraphrases the point made in the above link.

    If your firearm is producing less than the historical velocity you expected with the historically correct quantity of powder then change to the next finer granulation and re-chrono the load.
    Also moving to a higher quality of powder plus the finer granulation will put your MV up where it will be historically correct.

    I have some 3fg Old Eynsford BP on order so I can test this in my own 45 Colt New Vaquero.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenjoytj View Post

    I have some 3fg Old Eynsford BP on order so I can test this in my own 45 Colt New Vaquero.
    I tried that in my short barrel Colt. It's pretty dramatic and plenty powerful, and I went back to 2f just to calm it down a bit. That old 45 is pretty impressive when it's loaded like it's meant to be.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy burch's Avatar
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    I know a lot of folks use FF in these cartridge rifles but let me say this without meaning to ruffle any feathers. I’ve shot muzzleloading rifles ( not cartridge rifles ) and smoothbores all my life with tack driving accuracy using FFF Goex. My 50 cal. will wear out the bottom of a dixie cup at 50 yrds. Does anyone use FFF in their cartridge rifle. I’d love to use it in my 45-70 cause I have 4 lbs. of the stuff.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I use 2F and 3F OE and Swiss in my .45-90, .44-75 Ballard and the .44-100 Rem Straight.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by burch View Post
    I know a lot of folks use FF in these cartridge rifles but let me say this without meaning to ruffle any feathers. I’ve shot muzzleloading rifles ( not cartridge rifles ) and smoothbores all my life with tack driving accuracy using FFF Goex. My 50 cal. will wear out the bottom of a dixie cup at 50 yrds. Does anyone use FFF in their cartridge rifle. I’d love to use it in my 45-70 cause I have 4 lbs. of the stuff.
    FFF will work fine in your 45/70 -----if its a modern build rifle - FFF certainly is gonna generate more pressure than FF - so if its an 1800's roller or trapdoor maybe give that old steel some extra respect.

    I shoot FFFg in my '86 chiappa and my sharps (45/70's) and in muzzies up to 50 - got a 54ml and an 1876 uberti that get FFg -

    Once you start playin 4lbs of powder will disappear quicker than ya thought!

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub DAVIDMAGNUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    I tried that in my short barrel Colt. It's pretty dramatic and plenty powerful, and I went back to 2f just to calm it down a bit. That old 45 is pretty impressive when it's loaded like it's meant to be.
    After my first cylinder of 44WCF 2F loads in my 1858 conversion all I could think of was ...."why, why would anyone think we need a 44 Magnum?" An impressive fire breathing dragon for sure.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Exactly.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I won some 2F Old Eynsford as a door prise at the last Lodi match. I thought I would load it for my daughter's rifle for the upcoming Quigley and when I opened it up I was surprised at how fine it was. It looked like a mix of 3F and 4Fand the granulation was not very uniform so I went back and loaded with my normal 1- 1/2 Swiss. There's quite a difference between 1 1/2 Swiss and 2F Olde Eynsford granulation with the Swiss being more course. I think each company has their own idea of what the size should be when it comes to labeling their powders.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old-Win View Post
    when I opened it up I was surprised at how fine it was. It looked like a mix of 3F and 4Fand the granulation was not very uniform - I think each company has their own idea of what the size should be when it comes to labeling their powders.
    The label on my canisters of Olde Eynsford say “Royal Blend” so I believe that this powder is a blend of powders from different sieve screen sizes. As you and I observed OE granules size is not uniform as would be culled from a single sieve screen size.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use Olde Eynsford 1-1/2F and 2F and the 2F is much finer than the 1-1/2.
    So much so that I haven't even tried it in any of my big bottle neck cases.

    1-1/2 on the left, 2F on the right:




    The original Eley 450/400 cartridge I dismantled had bigger granules than the 1-1/2F OE eventhough it was compressed into the case. It all picked out with very even granulation and very little fines in the case.


  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I believe Buffalo arms in their powder section has the screen sizes for the various powders not only by granulation but maker also. This might help some

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    swiss black powder only.

    1-1/2f for all bpcr/tr cartridge rifles, 3f down the tube and in the pan for all flintlock long guns.

    when i had cap'n'ball pistols, 3f only.

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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