RepackboxRotoMetals2ADvertise hereWideners
Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionInline Fabrication

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: Newbie to Black Powder Cartridges

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228

    Newbie to Black Powder Cartridges

    Ok, yes, new to BPC and boy do I have questions, but first a little background. I am already a fairly accomplished hand loader, and while I have not (quite) loaded Black Powder yet, I have several general BP manuals, (Lyman and such), that I have studied. I also have untold hours researching on the web, but that can be "sketchy ground". Lots of heresay, myths, self proclaimed experts, etc. I have more books on order, and yet more on my wish list.

    I wish to load black powder cartridges in 44 magnum occasionally, and in 45-70 a good bit. Use will be informal target, plinking, just plain fun, and maybe some hunting or dangerous animal defense. (Big "maybe's" there...)

    My main reason for writing at this moment is to inqire about the real world truths of fouling. I have read every thing from "Blow tube every round, wipe every five" to "Shoot all day no problem, clean it when you get home." Pondering this in a historical sense, I never saw in a Cowboy and Injun movie where they frequently stopped during a furious battle and said, "Take five everyone, and clean your guns."

    So, I don't want to have to blow tube, but I don't want useless accuracy after 8 or 10 rounds either. That wouldn't be any fun....

    I DO understand the need for an absolutely sufficient amount of a good and proper type lube. No petro-chemicals, etc. 45-70 is 24" barrel, 44 mag is 7.7" revolver. Will be using 240 grain cast in 44, and Lee 405 HB and Lee 500 in 45-70.

    Sorry for long post, but giving you as much info as possible negates unnecessary follow up posts and saves everyone time and typing.

    Oh... an idea I had. Could a fellow blast a bp lubed SMOKELESS round through, say every 12th round, to blow out the fouling??? Would that be effective and restore accuracy??

    Looking forward to your suggestions and responses.

    Vettepilot
    Last edited by Vettepilot; 01-08-2020 at 06:25 PM.
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    NWO sunset country
    Posts
    406
    you sir, are not alone, I am joining you in the "what about boat" and will follow this ferverently

  3. #3
    Hello Vettepilot,

    I have shot Black Powder in a muzzleloader for years, but have not shot a cartridge loaded with it.
    I do shoot Aliant Black MZ in conversion revolvers, lots of smoke & lots of fun.
    I am not against loading Black Powder, just have not shot any.
    I must say, don't believe to much Hollywood. One of my favorite hobbies is finding faults in the movies.
    One thing to remember is no air space, if your not shooting full loads some type of filler must be used.
    I'm sure someone will jump in & tell you why you should or shouldn't use Black Powder.

    AntiqueSledMan.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    23
    Ok. You likely wont get much starting out help here. Some will provide a bit of insight, but the response will eventually come stating to “read through the archives” on this site, along with possibly a link on why they get frustrated with newbies. About 9 or 10 posts below I asked about overpowder wads or cards with hollow base bullets, as I too am entering the BPCR world, with a .45-70. I advise you do read it as there is some really good info within, by literal experts. That is no joke either, they are experts.
    I have not had the opportunity to try my loads yet due to the season and weather. When I do I will post the results.
    Fyi, I have been reloading smokeless in dozens of cartridges for 30 years and shooting BP traditional percussion and flint muzzleloaders for 23 years.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    Well, actually I have honestly been studying studiously all over the web, but can't seem to find the answers to the questions I posed. It seems quite hard to find info for BPC beginners, especially those that are not into competing. There's lots of advanced info out there, but as I said I am not into blow tubing, constant bore wiping, 500 to 1000 yard shots, nor competition. I just want the fun and economy of BP shooting, with the convenience of cartridges that my muzzle loading rifle and pistol don't give me.

    My reference to the movies was in jest, but really, the average BP hunter and casual fun shooter doesn't blow tube....

    This forum in general has been very good to me in the past, and I try to help people whenever I can too, so hopefully some good will come of my queries.

    Thanks,
    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    I did find this, and found it quite interesting:

    http://www.longrangebpcr.com/Controlling-Fouling.htm

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by CoryT View Post
    Ok. You likely wont get much starting out help here. Some will provide a bit of insight, but the response will eventually come stating to “read through the archives” on this site, along with possibly a link on why they get frustrated with newbies. About 9 or 10 posts below I asked about overpowder wads or cards with hollow base bullets, as I too am entering the BPCR world, with a .45-70. I advise you do read it as there is some really good info within, by literal experts. That is no joke either, they are experts.
    I have not had the opportunity to try my loads yet due to the season and weather. When I do I will post the results.
    Fyi, I have been reloading smokeless in dozens of cartridges for 30 years and shooting BP traditional percussion and flint muzzleloaders for 23 years.
    As a matter of fact, I had already read your thread/post, before starting my thread. For whatever it's worth, from my studies and experience, in your case I would try filling the hollow base with soft lube, and use a stiff wad. Worth trying. I am ordering that same mold actually...

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    17,799
    The probable solution to your question is there but it's a hotly contested subject; it's called "duplexing". Properly done you can indeed "shoot all day long with out using a blow tube or cleaning. Also, like most everything we do in reloading, if done correctly it is entirely safe and if not.....there can be some problems. I shoot mostly duplex loads in my trapdoors to replicate M1873 and M1882 loads. I have shot over 100 rounds in one day through my H&R LBH carbine w/o cleaning and accuracy was just as excellent with the last rounds as with the first. I also have shot quite a few in my Uberti SAA Artillery model w/o cleaning and the action or cylinder never bound up once.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,255
    There are variables to the fouling issue that need to be taken into account. Heat, humidity, rifling and barrel length. Watch the fouling when shooting when it starts getting hard and crusty its time to clean. Watch for a lube star at the muzzle. It should start to show in just a few rounds. Use a good lube, SPG, Emmerts or emmerts improved.

    Loading Black powder isnt rocket science by any means. The main thing to remember is no airspace. Figure the depth of the bullet in the case and find the charge that fills it to that point. Start there and work up in 1 or 2 grn increments. A card wad sometimes helps between the bullet and powder. Seat bullet onto powder / card and crimp

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    Thanks guys. I think I have the loading part down... studied hard and took notes, memorized all the "no-no's". I'm pretty good, and dam careful and a perfectionist at loading.

    It's the maintenance during shooting that has me bothered. Really, how did the old time warriors and other shooters get by?? Serious question there....

    Duplex, yeah, heard of it.... I don't know....

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    So, regarding that duplexing. Instead, what of my idea of shooting a BP lubed smokeless powder round through every once in a while during a session to blow out the fouling??? Maybe with a .060" stiff wad under the bullet to help?

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    23
    Well, I ripped twenty .45-70 rounds, loaded with 60gr Goex 2fg, and my self cast, pan lubed 405HB without a card or wad through my Marlin GBL 18.5” bbl. I got it sighted in at 1.5” groups from a rest at 100 yds. Never wiped once and found no ill effects. My lube is 40% deer tallow/40% bees wax/20% olive oil. No drop tube but did some hand vibrating, a bit of compression and crimped.
    This is as good a group as my smokeless load of IMR4198 does. This is strictly a hunting/plinking gun so I am quite happy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    17,799
    That might work but then if in a match it might not be allowed or if out shooting for fun will the zero be the same or would you be wasting 10 shots every 100?

    I suggest you read the section about proper duplexing for Spence Wolf's book on replicating M1873 Trapdoor loads. A recent pressure test (measure the pressures with an Oehler m43 PBL) of my duplexed 45-70 M1873 load using the Lee 405HB over 54 gr GOEX Cartridge and with 54 gr GOEX Superfine (fffg) with 7 gr 4759 under both resulted in measured pressures of 400 and 900 psi higher than with a straight 70 gr load of both powders. All pressures were considerably under the SAAMI MAP for the 45-70 Cartridge. The benefit was the fouling left in the bore was, for the most part, significantly reduced to the point that fouling was never an issue or detriment to accuracy through out many rounds fired. The zero remained constant and no "odd rounds were needed, carried used nor wasted.

    I also posted a lengthy report on loading the 45-70 on this forum; a "search" should turn it up. You might find that information useful.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Longview, Washington
    Posts
    652
    I to do a little duplexing , but when the subject comes up there is those who cry out , it is not needed , and no it is not always needed but it does shoot cleaner and done right I agree it is another tool to be used and also respected , read up on it where you can get good advice and then if you do use it , stay smart and use common sense , I started shooting black powder in the 70's and when you had a good mentor and followed their advice you learned , mr. gibson has the pressure testing equipment and I would follow his advice , good day and good shooting.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1,505
    Quote Originally Posted by Vettepilot View Post
    Ok, yes, new to BPC and boy do I have questions, but first a little background. I am already a fairly accomplished hand loader, and while I have not (quite) loaded Black Powder yet, I have several general BP manuals, (Lyman and such), that I have studied. I also have untold hours researching on the web, but that can be "sketchy ground". Lots of heresay, myths, self proclaimed experts, etc. I have more books on order, and yet more on my wish list.

    Too much study not enough action methinks

    I wish to load black powder cartridges in 44 magnum occasionally, and in 45-70 a good bit. Use will be informal target, plinking, just plain fun, and maybe some hunting or dangerous animal defense. (Big "maybe's" there...)

    My main reason for writing at this moment is to inqire about the real world truths of fouling. I have read every thing from "Blow tube every round, wipe every five" to "Shoot all day no problem, clean it when you get home." Pondering this in a historical sense, I never saw in a Cowboy and Injun movie where they frequently stopped during a furious battle and said, "Take five everyone, and clean your guns."

    wanna bet that during lull in the fighting those ole boys didnt dribble a bit of H2O outa their canteen down the barl to cool / clean things - in their place I would for sure

    So, I don't want to have to blow tube, but I don't want useless accuracy after 8 or 10 rounds either. That wouldn't be any fun....

    I DO understand the need for an absolutely sufficient amount of a good and proper type lube. No petro-chemicals, etc. 45-70 is 24" barrel, 44 mag is 7.7" revolver. Will be using 240 grain cast in 44, and Lee 405 HB and Lee 500 in 45-70.

    ok you lucked onto two of the best lube carrying mold designs for the 45/70 - make you some simple lube - beeswax and tallow, or neatsfoot, or olive oil, or, or, or, - and use an overpowder wad (thick card, or a couple thicknesses of juice box, or milk carton, or HDPE poly cut from a ten litre water jug - something that fits neat and is 40 to 60 thou thick)


    Prime yr case, fill it with powder a whisker higher than the base of the boolit will sit, insert a wad, put in lubed boolit, little bit of crimp so it dont fall out, go forth and make ye some smoke - tis that simple (ya said plinking and fun not match ammo)

    Get a big lube mold for yr 44 and its even simpler

    Sorry for long post, but giving you as much info as possible negates unnecessary follow up posts and saves everyone time and typing.

    Oh... an idea I had. Could a fellow blast a bp lubed SMOKELESS round through, say every 12th round, to blow out the fouling??? Would that be effective and restore accuracy??
    I am gonna say BAD idea .........you should know why ........PRESSURE(potential)..... ya gonna fire a smokeyless load up a tube thats gunked up wit BP fouling to the point it wont shoot ........think about that fer just a teensy while!!!!!!!

    Looking forward to your suggestions and responses.

    Vettepilot
    Ya know if/when ya get yrself organised and make some of that nice willow charcoal powder - fouling will almost disappear from the radar.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Arizona
    Posts
    3,450
    Generally, the smaller the bore, the quicker it fouls, unless, of course, the powder charges are small in proportion. The calibers you are starting out with are pretty forgiving, and using the better grades of black powder, you shouldn’t need duplexing. The .45-70 is, hands-down, the easiest to get shooting well with black powder, and you should be able to adapt the .44-40 data you find to your .44 Magnum.

    If you aren’t interested in formal target shooting, you won’t need to clean or blowtube every shot. How many shots you can make before the barrel cruds up and accuracy falls off depends on what you regard as acceptable accuracy in the shooting you do.

    Eventually, though, your guns are going to throw wild ones and will have to be wiped. The old buffalo hunters sometimes had to use two rifles, when one would heat and foul beyond the capacity of the relative humidity of the air to keep the fouling soft. Some would urinate down the barrels to wash out the soluble combustion products. (I imagine the sequences in the cowboy and Indian movies where they did that were left on the cutting-room floor.)

    How long you can get away without the extra work depends on your rifle, your loads, your shooting and your eventual expertise. I would advise that during load development for optimum accuracy, you wipe between shots. Once you have sorted out the proper boolit, powder charge, cartridge length, lube mixture, and the other nuances, then fire a bunch of shots and see what you can get away with before your shooting becomes unsatisfactory to you.

    There are Internet savants who say they can fire fifty blackpowder shots into the same big hole at 200 yards without wiping or blowing. There are smokeless cast-boolit shooters who say they can fire 2700 ft/sec cast loads into under three MOA groups, too. I can’t do either one, but I can’t prove that they can’t do it, either. Maybe you can; maybe not. I would advise you to get a copy of the SPG loading manual, combine the directions in there with the most consistent advice and results on the Shiloh site and this one, and make up loads in accordance, and see what you can do. Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can see if you can reproduce those fist-size groups at 150 yards, firing one shot after another.

    As Indian Joe indicates, there is no high road to blackpowder cartridge shooting that can be accomplished simply by reading the proper literature, loading ten rounds and pouring them into the X-ring. The loading procedures and management are different from smokeless shooting, but are pretty internally consistent for everybody. We all started where you are now (some with much less and much less reliable information that is available now), and we simply dove in and learned the nuances by doing.

    It’s interesting work, and a lot of fun. Good luck.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,700
    When shooting black powder cartridge rifles I'm generally target shooting ( silhouette or BPTR ) and am trying to get the max possible accuracy so I always wipe between shots.

    But, I have done some BP shooting in .45 Colt ( Marlin 1894, Ruger New Vaquero ), and a Winchester 1886 in .38-56. In those firearms I did nothing to deal with fouling except to blow into the breech now and then with the lever guns. I live in a reasonably humid area so my results might be different than yours, but I can say that in these firearms I can easily get 20 rounds of accurate shooting without cleaning or using a blowtube. I didn't use bullets with extra large lube grooves, just the RCBS 250gr bullet for the .45's and a custom 260gr one for the .38-56. Goex FFg, Pan lubed with DGL and no lube cookies. I think it works pretty well. In my Marlin I'd say the accuracy is pretty much as good as any smokeless load I've used at 100 yards.

    In the Ruger New Vaquero I have to pull the cylinder and wipe it off before too long as it starts to bind, but it's pretty easy.

    Chris.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    345
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    That might work but then if in a match it might not be allowed or if out shooting for fun will the zero be the same or would you be wasting 10 shots every 100?

    I suggest you read the section about proper duplexing for Spence Wolf's book on replicating M1873 Trapdoor loads. A recent pressure test (measure the pressures with an Oehler m43 PBL) of my duplexed 45-70 M1873 load using the Lee 405HB over 54 gr GOEX Cartridge and with 54 gr GOEX Superfine (fffg) with 7 gr 4759 under both resulted in measured pressures of 400 and 900 psi higher than with a straight 70 gr load of both powders. All pressures were considerably under the SAAMI MAP for the 45-70 Cartridge. The benefit was the fouling left in the bore was, for the most part, significantly reduced to the point that fouling was never an issue or detriment to accuracy through out many rounds fired. The zero remained constant and no "odd rounds were needed, carried used nor wasted.

    I also posted a lengthy report on loading the 45-70 on this forum; a "search" should turn it up. You might find that information useful.
    Larry could you please post what those pressure numbers are?

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    228
    Thank you everyone for the great information. I REALLY appreciate it.

    I am limited as to what I can do right at this moment. I am caring for my 75 year old sister that has terminal cancer, and believe me, that's a full time job! (She is exceedingly demanding.) Anyway that is the reason for the extensive study with no real action yet. Plus, that's just my nature too; thoroughly research and study things. I love to learn.

    Ha. Ha.... I purposely chose those two molds BECAUSE of their big grease grooves. I can get BOTH molds for about 1/4 the cost of one "Big Lube" mold with handles.

    Once again, thanks for the great answers!
    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Outside Rolla, Missouri
    Posts
    1,026
    You received a lot of good info!

    I shoot duplex loads in two rifles but not for fouling control. However, duplexed loads ARE extremely clean and, sometimes, in some cartridges, return pressures lower than the original BP loads. But, that doesn't seem to be where you want to go and, that's fine.

    Indian joe posed some good points.

    Purely my opinion but Bent Ramrod's post was the best. No matter the powder, cartridge, bullet or load, no BP cartridge can be fired in perpetuity. Fouling IS inevitable. It is simply part of the game. We learn to manage it as best we can and wipe the bore or use a blow tube when we have to. It's mostly match shooters or shooters at a bench who use a blow tube I believe. I do when sitting at my bench and working up loads. For fun...it's sorta "who cares" as long as I can hit my target....somewhere. Hunting, I get anally serious!!

    I too would recommend SPG's Black Powder Priming Manual. Steve and Mike's methods aren't the only right way but they're definitely a good way. Paul Matthew's "40 Years With the 45-70" is a good book as well. Perhaps you already have both.

    I understand time constraints. Three days ago, 1-6-18, it has been one year since I finished chemo therapy. Anyway, jump in and get your feet wet. It's the best way to learn what works for you. Post your results as well, everyone wants to see them!!
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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