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Thread: Newbie to Black Powder Cartridges

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Read, Read & Read!

    The above books are great resources. I shoot BPC in several calibers. By experimentation and elimination you will find what your rifle likes best.
    I think you will find that any hollow base bullet will never give you the accuracy of a flat base. The Lee 405 bullet in the flat base is a good starting point. The 500gr Govt and the 525 Postell are also good choices. See if you can get a small amount of a number of different bullets before you go investing in molds. Some of us have molds for a specific caliber that add up to more than the rifle cost!
    Go slow. SPG lube is good. Harlows is also good. Easy to make your own also.
    Ive been shooting BPCR for 20 years and enjoy its challenges.

    Did I say Read, Read & Read
    So many toys........so little time.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    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
    I have used duplex loads on occasion but been wary of possible pressure increase - usually get about 100FPS velocity increase with duplex load - (imr 4227 - I got better accuracy than with SR4759 - but the 4227 was new bought, the 4759 was ancient and been decanted into different containers as well) ..............sooooo I thought maybe the pressure increase would be more than you got - that is good news
    The major negative with duplexing is its the "get out of jail card" and we dont learn anything much new about fouling management when we use it.

    I would like to convince old mate VP that this whole blackpowder thing is not even one tenth as complicated as it seems to be in his mind right now ! --Sure the long range boys go to serious trouble loading ammo but I dont reckon it is any more pedantic or complex than the smokeless benchrest crowd.

    Plinking with blackpowder is just a heap of fun - I shoot into a dirt backstop sos I can retrieve the lead and I shoot homemade powder - I can shoot my big guns for less (cash cost) than the cost of cheap 22LR ammo.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettepilot View Post
    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
    If you wanna spend a couple bucks extra LEE will sell you (spare parts) the bottom plate piece and the base plug for that 405 HB mold - then you can file the tit off the plug and ya got a 415-420 grain flat base boolit -- if ya got a lathe or a mate down the road with one - make up a new base plug (just a piece of brass or aluminium rod about an inch long) that eliminates the bottom driving band and one lube groove - that gets ya a 345 grain flat base - that mold is a bit slower casting because of the base plug but for 30 bucks you got three molds 345 g, 405grHB, 415 g. - thats cheap fun!! it casts 459 - 460 and the three different versions of it shoot fine in my 45/70 and 45/75 (I milled the top face of the mold so I got a wider meplat flat nose because I am using it in tube magazine guns - reduced weight about 15 grains - but no point of that in a single shot)

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    All great answers and info guys! Thanks so much!

    I have the ability to modify that mold if I end up wanting/needing to do so.

    I am not necessarily against duplexing.... just cautious and considering it. I'll read up some more on it. How did it come by it's detractors? Carelessness and getting the powders mixed??

    Fire, smoke, great smell, and cheap shooting.... It's all good!

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

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Larry
    I have used duplex loads on occasion but been wary of possible pressure increase - usually get about 100FPS velocity increase with duplex load - (imr 4227 - I got better accuracy than with SR4759 - but the 4227 was new bought, the 4759 was ancient and been decanted into different containers as well) ..............sooooo I thought maybe the pressure increase would be more than you got - that is good news
    The major negative with duplexing is its the "get out of jail card" and we dont learn anything much new about fouling management when we use it.

    I would like to convince old mate VP that this whole blackpowder thing is not even one tenth as complicated as it seems to be in his mind right now ! --Sure the long range boys go to serious trouble loading ammo but I dont reckon it is any more pedantic or complex than the smokeless benchrest crowd.

    Plinking with blackpowder is just a heap of fun - I shoot into a dirt backstop sos I can retrieve the lead and I shoot homemade powder - I can shoot my big guns for less (cash cost) than the cost of cheap 22LR ammo.
    The idea I use behind using a duplex load is that taught me by Spence Wolf; the idea is not to increase velocity or 'power" of the load but simply to reduce the BP residue/fouling left in the bore so a blow tube or frequent cleaning are not needed.

    To do that an equivalent amount of the BP charge is reduced per gr of smokeless used. I n the 45-70 for use in my TD rifle I use a 2.8 gr reduction of BP (GOEX Cartridge or FFFG) for every gr of 4759 used. A low starting load of 4759 was used and was increased one gr at a time until visual examination (looking through the bore from the breach end) after 3 shots of each test load. The visual examination will show that after each test load the fouling is moved further toward the muzzle. When the fouling is just blown out of the barrel you have a correct duplex load. As I've posted that load usually ends up being, with the 405HB and 500 gr M82 bullets right at the same level of velocity and very close to the same pressures as a straight BP load. The benefit is you won't have to be blowing through a blow tube or wiping the barrel every so many shots to maintain accuracy.

    Using the above method I've found a load for rifles is 7 gr of 4759 under 54 gr GOEX Cartridge or FFFg duplicates either the M1873 (1350 fps) or the M1882 (1200 fps) loads. For my 45-55 carbine duplication load with the 405HB I use 5 gr of 4759 under 49 gr COEX cartridge or FFFg. I found in the carbine loads the BP does not burn as efficiently and fouled more. Thus it needed a bit more 4759 to blow all the fouling out. However, the psi is at the low end of 45-70 psi's and the velocity runs 1130 - 1150 fps out of my Carbine.
    Larry Gibson

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

  6. #26
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    The longer the barrel the more problems you will have with hard carbon build-up/fouling. I shoot SASS matches with 44-40 pistols and rifles, along with my daughter, and we have no problem with fouling if we use bullets with enough lube. We have shot 60 rounds one day and then shot another match the next without even cleaning the guns in between.
    Long range rifles are a whole different ball game. Almost always the barrels are much longer, plus the accuracy expected is much greater. So what works for one may not work for the other. I personally wold rather spend more for a mould that works than go to the trouble and time of using duplex loads. But I load for 4 people so my time is limited.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy
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    Larry can you post what those pressures are?

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    For those unlikely folks who started BP cartridge after 4759 was discontinued, any recommendations on alternatives? Been following this conversation a bit. Thanks for your great info...

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    The idea I use behind using a duplex load is that taught me by Spence Wolf; the idea is not to increase velocity or 'power" of the load but simply to reduce the BP residue/fouling left in the bore so a blow tube or frequent cleaning are not needed.

    To do that an equivalent amount of the BP charge is reduced per gr of smokeless used. I n the 45-70 for use in my TD rifle I use a 2.8 gr reduction of BP (GOEX Cartridge or FFFG) for every gr of 4759 used. A low starting load of 4759 was used and was increased one gr at a time until visual examination (looking through the bore from the breach end) after 3 shots of each test load. The visual examination will show that after each test load the fouling is moved further toward the muzzle. When the fouling is just blown out of the barrel you have a correct duplex load. As I've posted that load usually ends up being, with the 405HB and 500 gr M82 bullets right at the same level of velocity and very close to the same pressures as a straight BP load. The benefit is you won't have to be blowing through a blow tube or wiping the barrel every so many shots to maintain accuracy.

    Using the above method I've found a load for rifles is 7 gr of 4759 under 54 gr GOEX Cartridge or FFFg duplicates either the M1873 (1350 fps) or the M1882 (1200 fps) loads. For my 45-55 carbine duplication load with the 405HB I use 5 gr of 4759 under 49 gr COEX cartridge or FFFg. I found in the carbine loads the BP does not burn as efficiently and fouled more. Thus it needed a bit more 4759 to blow all the fouling out. However, the psi is at the low end of 45-70 psi's and the velocity runs 1130 - 1150 fps out of my Carbine.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by djryan13 View Post
    For those unlikely folks who started BP cartridge after 4759 was discontinued, any recommendations on alternatives? Been following this conversation a bit. Thanks for your great info...
    4227 is about as good as it gets for duplex loads - we were using it under dirty Chinese fireworks powder - and for Larry - definitely got an increase of velocity = 60 to 100fPS over the straight black load - while that may not be the aim - I reckon its gonna happen most times ifn you fill the case to the same height and density with BP over the smokeless .
    Mr Vettepilot has been talkin about makin his own Powder for some time - if/when he gets that sorted out - I dont think he will have need for duplex loading - I dont use it (duplex) anymore except for a model 92 in 38/40 where I want that bit of extra sting

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrier View Post
    Larry can you post what those pressures are?
    The M1873 45-70 rifle load [7/54 of 4759/GOEX Cartridge] runs 20,400 psi. With 54 gr Superfine it ran 25,000 psi.

    The M1873 45-55 Carbine load [5/49 4759/GOEX cartridge runs 17,700 psi.

    SAAMI MAP for TD level loads is 28,000 psi.
    Larry Gibson

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

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by djryan13 View Post
    For those unlikely folks who started BP cartridge after 4759 was discontinued, any recommendations on alternatives? Been following this conversation a bit. Thanks for your great info...
    I have not tested any yet but I know a couple guys who are using IMR 4227, H4198 and 5477 with apparent success. I've had a jug of 8 lbs 4759 which I save for these duplex loads. I may get around to testing the others one of these days? Remember the key to TD duplex loads is not an increase in velocity or "power" but simply using enough of the smokeless to blow the BP fouling out of the barrel so a blow tube or frequent wiping isn't needed.

    With the other three mentioned powders to start with I would decrease the BP charge 2.2 gr for every gr of smokeless used starting at 4 gr smokeless and 63.6 gr BP. After inspecting the bore after 3 shots and seeing the long streaks of BP residue I would increase the smokeless 1 gr and decrease the BP another 2.2 gr per test (3 shots) until the streaks of BP residue were no longer present. You will still see lube and some fouling but it is the long streaks of BP fouling (hard charcoal residue) that are the problem and what you want blown out. Once you find the amount of smokeless needed to just blow the residue out. The BP charge can be tweaked +/- a bit to give an equal velocity to the standard 70 gr load (with either 405 or 500 gr bullet)
    Larry Gibson

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

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    The M1873 45-70 rifle load [7/54 of 4759/GOEX Cartridge] runs 20,400 psi. With 54 gr Superfine it ran 25,000 psi.

    The M1873 45-55 Carbine load [5/49 4759/GOEX cartridge runs 17,700 psi.

    SAAMI MAP for TD level loads is 28,000 psi.
    Thank you.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    4227 is about as good as it gets for duplex loads - we were using it under dirty Chinese fireworks powder - and for Larry - definitely got an increase of velocity = 60 to 100fPS over the straight black load - while that may not be the aim - I reckon its gonna happen most times ifn you fill the case to the same height and density with BP over the smokeless .
    Mr Vettepilot has been talkin about makin his own Powder for some time - if/when he gets that sorted out - I dont think he will have need for duplex loading - I dont use it (duplex) anymore except for a model 92 in 38/40 where I want that bit of extra sting
    Hi there Indian Joe, good to hear from you and hope you had great holidays.

    I ALMOST managed to make my first batch of powder before the holidays, but ran out of time. And now, for various reasons, I am still not yet home from my holiday travels. But hopefully soon I will experience that wonderful smell from my own bp....

    I am really glad I started this thread. Lots of good info flying in and being exchanged. You guys are great!!

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

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just for my own education, are pressure concerns the big "bug a boo" against duplex loads? If not, what are the concerns?

    I will be loading BPCR for 45-70 for a gun that will tolerate 40,000 psi, so I am not too concerned with BP pressure.

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

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettepilot View Post
    Just for my own education, are pressure concerns the big "bug a boo" against duplex loads? If not, what are the concerns?

    I will be loading BPCR for 45-70 for a gun that will tolerate 40,000 psi, so I am not too concerned with BP pressure.

    Vettepilot
    The main thing people have against duplexing, at least long range shooters, is that they are not traditional, or even necessary for competition.

    Duplexing was used a fair bit in the schuetzen era, so is more accepted as a common practice.

    If you are just doing your own thing, then it certainly should have some advantages for you.

    Chris.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy
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    Can the same duplex method and calculations be used for 44-40?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by djryan13 View Post
    Can the same duplex method and calculations be used for 44-40?
    Using 4227 - I use the LEE 3cc scoop for my 38/40 (about 3.75 grains) ---26 inch barrel
    the 5cc scoop would be enough for the 45/70 (about 6.2 grains) --- 26 inch barrel
    If I load duplex they are layered -----the smokeless goes at the base on the primer and then case is filled to normal height with blackpowder - THEY ARE NOT MIXED

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Using 4227 - I use the LEE 3cc scoop for my 38/40 (about 3.75 grains) ---26 inch barrel
    the 5cc scoop would be enough for the 45/70 (about 6.2 grains) --- 26 inch barrel
    If I load duplex they are layered -----the smokeless goes at the base on the primer and then case is filled to normal height with blackpowder - THEY ARE NOT MIXED
    For what it is worth, 20 years ago Lee Shaver and I were talking in Raton about duplexing smokeless powder with black powder for Longrange match events (800, 900, & 1000yds). It was legal for NRA matches then as well as in the Canadian matches.
    He had told me he experimented using his match load three ways. Putting the smokeless on the bottom/BP on top. Putting the BP on the bottom and the smokeless on top and last he mixed it all up and dropped it in the case. His observation was, it all shot the same.

    I have used it both smokeless under BP and mixed. I could not tell the difference. I quit there.

    One other quality duplexing may help with is making poor powder shoot better. I learned this shooting with Dennis Bruns last century.


    -There are a lot of right ways to do this..... Have fun and be safe.
    Chill Wills

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for that Chill. Very interesting!

    Chris.

  20. #40
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    BP is a lot of fun. A couple of years ago, I was wondering if I could shoot it in my .45/70 Marlin. Surprising how many people said not to do it because I’d ruin the gun. Luckily some fine folks from this forum set me straight that there was no problem doing it. It was great fun experimenting with different ways to load. I still enjoy shooting the .45/70 with BP, especially with friends who have never shot BP or a.45/70. I normally shoot a smokeless rond at the end. It makes clean up a lot easier. A year ago I bought a muzzle loader and spend most of my gun time with it.

    Good luck and have fun with it!

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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