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Thread: Triple-7 Loads in .450 Adams

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    Triple-7 Loads in .450 Adams

    Before we get started, I came up with these loads before reading the label and seeing that Hodgden's says not to use Triple-7 FFFg in cartridges. I do not recommend that you disregard Hodgden's advice, I am merely reporting my experience. If you choose to use these loads you do so against the manufacturer's recommendation, and entirely at your own risk.

    It's a PITA to get actual black powder around here, and in the way-backs when I was shooting percussion revolvers I found Pyrodex to be more problematic than Black powder, so I wasn't eager to use it. I did a bit of research on Triple-7 and decided to try that. I've dismantled some 19th.C European cartridges loaded with 'revolver powder' and determined that this appeared to be FFFFg, so I decided to try FFFg Triple-7. I measured the amount that fit comfortably under my bullet of choice, weighed the charge and based my load on that. This load is very lightly (barely) compressed. I fired them first in a test gun to check for any problems, and when there were no signs of issues I tried them in my Webley Model 1883 RIC with a 2-1/2" barrel. These were the chronograph results-

    210gr. copper-washed LSWC, 7.5gr 777, Federal #150 primer

    551 fps., 142 ft./lbs, SD: 9

    Loads were very consistent, acceptably accurate and recoil was notable in the lightweight pistol. The velocity from the gun's 2-1/2" barrel was about what I expected, given that original loads are reported to have made 750-775 fps. from the 8"-barreled Adams revolvers they were designed for.

    This group was fired off-hand, single action at 7 yards. Being me, of course, there had to be a flyer.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	zLfrELo.jpg 
Views:	35 
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ID:	260364

    Brass was un-damaged, and cleaned up easily with mildly soapy water. Cleaning the guns was similar to cleaning up after smokeless rounds. I was quite pleased with this result, and have used this load regularly in this gun with no issues.

    That being said I am simply reporting my experience, and do not recommend disregarding Hodgden's advice not to use this powder in cartridges. I'll continue to do so, as I have encountered no reason not too in any of the several cartridges I have used it in... but it's been noted that I am not always the sharpest spoon in the drawer.

    Frequently.
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    You have to wonder why Hodgden would say not to use it in cartridges. If it would be good in a percussion revolver why not a cartridge revolver?

    Tim
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Nice looking old Webley!

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    You have to wonder why Hodgden would say not to use it in cartridges. If it would be good in a percussion revolver why not a cartridge revolver?

    Tim
    Lawyers? Once I saw the warning I looked up older threads about Triple-7 and saw tons of speculation and some outright misinformation- all of which was contrary to my personal experience.

    Thanks Smithnframe! It's pretty amazing- the DA trigger is actually kind of awesome; super-smooth with no staging.
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  5. #5
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    wow.. beautiful gun... i thought seattle had disarmed its citizens??
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    Not even remotely- we're one of the most heavily armed 'liberal' cities, with a lot of CCPs per capita. They've driven all of the gun shops out of the city limits, but the state constitution will not allow them to disarm the people. I also live in unincorporated King County; it's just a Seattle mailing address. Really don't want this thread to devolve into politics, though; we have the entire rest of the internet to rage about those.
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  7. #7
    USMC 77, USRA 79


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    I apologize sir... sorry..

    I also use Trip 7 for cartridges of many types.. I follow the traditional methods of slight compression. trip 7 has a bit more kick then normal substitutes, so that must be factored.. this is a great thread...
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    I apologize sir... sorry..

    I also use Trip 7 for cartridges of many types.. I follow the traditional methods of slight compression. trip 7 has a bit more kick then normal substitutes, so that must be factored.. this is a great thread...
    I think the Kick or Potency or whatever might be the issue in older cartridge arms. It does produce higher pressures than black powder.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    The tongue is mightier than the blade - Euripides

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtknowles View Post
    I think the Kick or Potency or whatever might be the issue in older cartridge arms. It does produce higher pressures than black powder.

    Tim
    Yes indeed- in my experience with older cartridge revolvers pressure usually isn't the enemy, recoil is. Recoil is what stretches frames and otherwise damages these weapons. So far loads of Triple-7 have not had this effect on my guns, but I'm keeping a weather-eye on things.
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Oyeboten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Pearce View Post
    Before we get started, I came up with these loads before reading the label and seeing that Hodgden's says not to use Triple-7 FFFg in cartridges. I do not recommend that you disregard Hodgden's advice, I am merely reporting my experience. If you choose to use these loads you do so against the manufacturer's recommendation, and entirely at your own risk.

    It's a PITA to get actual black powder around here, and in the way-backs when I was shooting percussion revolvers I found Pyrodex to be more problematic than Black powder, so I wasn't eager to use it. I did a bit of research on Triple-7 and decided to try that. I've dismantled some 19th.C European cartridges loaded with 'revolver powder' and determined that this appeared to be FFFFg, so I decided to try FFFg Triple-7. I measured the amount that fit comfortably under my bullet of choice, weighed the charge and based my load on that. This load is very lightly (barely) compressed. I fired them first in a test gun to check for any problems, and when there were no signs of issues I tried them in my Webley Model 1883 RIC with a 2-1/2" barrel. These were the chronograph results-

    210gr. copper-washed LSWC, 7.5gr 777, Federal #150 primer

    551 fps., 142 ft./lbs, SD: 9

    Loads were very consistent, acceptably accurate and recoil was notable in the lightweight pistol. The velocity from the gun's 2-1/2" barrel was about what I expected, given that original loads are reported to have made 750-775 fps. from the 8"-barreled Adams revolvers they were designed for.

    This group was fired off-hand, single action at 7 yards. Being me, of course, there had to be a flyer.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	zLfrELo.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	69.8 KB 
ID:	260364

    Brass was un-damaged, and cleaned up easily with mildly soapy water. Cleaning the guns was similar to cleaning up after smokeless rounds. I was quite pleased with this result, and have used this load regularly in this gun with no issues.

    That being said I am simply reporting my experience, and do not recommend disregarding Hodgden's advice not to use this powder in cartridges. I'll continue to do so, as I have encountered no reason not too in any of the several cartridges I have used it in... but it's been noted that I am not always the sharpest spoon in the drawer.

    Frequently.
    Wonderful!!

    What a lovely old Webley too!

    Very nice to see!


    I have been very happy with '777' in Cap & Ball and in erstwhile Black Powder era Metallic Revolver Cartridges.

    It actually delivers about the same energy as the Pistol Powders of the Day had, in the 1850s, 1860s, 1870s...

    'Goex' is a fairly poor Black Powder and is well below the energy per volume of the old Powders.

    Had 'Goex' been around in the 1850s, 1860s, 1870d, 1880s, no one would have bought it, no one would have used it unless it was free.

    'Goex' is a low Grade Musket Powder, no matter it's granulation.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Oyeboten's Avatar
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    Modern "Swiss" or 'Olde Eynesford" 3f volume for volume prior to compression ( then, with good compression), deliver about the same energy and pressure as '777' does with no compression...'loose' volume for volume, they are about on par with the Pistol Powders of the Cap & Ball Revolver and early Metallic Cartridge Revolver era.

    Black Powder likes to be compressed, and has TO be compressed well if one is to use standard Loadings ( of their day ) for them, and to still be able to get the Bullet Seated and crimped for standard OAL with that Bullet....'777' so far as I recall, is not to be compressed, as it can act 'squirrely' if one does compress it, or if one have an Air Gap between it and the Bullet or Ball.

    I suspect this is why Hodgdens admonishes not to use '777' in Metallic Cartridge ( although I swear I remember reading through their Loading Tables for '777' and Metalllic Cartridge, years ago which did say "No Air Space, no Compression" ), since if used with large Air Gap, or if compressed, it may behave poorly, or behave unpredictably.

    And with Modern Solid Head Brass, unless one compress the Black Powder charge REALLY well, far more than normal, to get the actual 'standard' BP Loading of the day in there, one ends up using a lesser Charge just to be able to even get the Bullet in at all.

    Anyway, just for fun, here's my old "Webley Bull Dog" - the little Brother to Tinker Pierce's beautiful Constabulary Model -

    Hosted on Fotki
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 04-16-2020 at 09:18 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oyeboten View Post
    Modern "Swiss" or 'Olde Eynesford" 3f volume for volume prior to compression ( then, with good compression), deliver about the same energy and pressure as '777' does with no compression...'loose' volume for volume, they are about on par with the Pistol Powders of the Cap & Ball Revolver and early Metallic Cartridge Revolver era.

    Black Powder likes to be compressed, and has TO be compressed well if one is to use standard Loadings ( of their day ) for them, and to still be able to get the Bullet Seated and crimped for standard OAL with that Bullet....'777' so far as I recall, is not to be compressed, as it can act 'squirrely' if one does compress it, or if one have an Air Gap between it and the Bullet or Ball.

    I suspect this is why Hodgdens admonishes not to use '777' in Metallic Cartridge ( although I swear I remember reading through their Loading Tables for '777' and Metalllic Cartridge, years ago which did say "No Air Space, no Compression" ), since if used with large Air Gap, or if compressed, it may behave poorly, or behave unpredictably.

    And with Modern Solid Head Brass, unless one compress the Black Powder charge REALLY well, far more than normal, to get the actual 'standard' BP Loading of the day in there, one ends up using a lesser Charge just to be able to even get the Bullet in at all.

    Anyway, just for fun, here's my old "Webley Bull Dog" - the little Brother to Tinker Pierce's beautiful Constabulary Model -

    Hosted on Fotki
    Nice Bulldog! Currently I've seen advice that less, no no, compression is used with 777, and following that advice (using minimal compression) has yielded good results, with better consistency than I usually get from modern smokeless powders... but again, I'm not going to advise disregarding the manufacturer's advice!

    As to compression, when I have loaded BP to original compression standards and then pulled the bullet the powder had effectively become a solid propellant, and I needed to use something to pick at it to get it started to empty the case. (something that would not cause sparks!)
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Pearce View Post
    Nice Bulldog! Currently I've seen advice that less, no no, compression is used with 777, and following that advice (using minimal compression) has yielded good results, with better consistency than I usually get from modern smokeless powders... but again, I'm not going to advise disregarding the manufacturer's advice!

    Ahhh! Now that you mention that, I think I had mis-spoke, mis-remembered... 'light' compression, rings-a-bell here...I think that sounds right.

    Last time I was using '777' was right after it first came out, and I liked it for .38 Special as well as Cap & Ball.

    But, I had not gotten in to loading other Cartridges yet at that time to have used it further.

    Pardon my mis-speak there.


    As to compression, when I have loaded BP to original compression standards and then pulled the bullet the powder had effectively become a solid propellant, and I needed to use something to pick at it to get it started to empty the case. (something that would not cause sparks!)
    Yes...just as that...that is how it was back when, and how it is now..!

    And indeed, just as you relay in taking apart some old .450s, i have read other mentions of early 'shorty' Metallic 'Factory' ( Rim Fire and Center Fire ) Cartridges, having seemed on examination in dismantle, to have been 4f, and or possibly even a blend of 4f and a dab of other fine Powder of a sort which would usually be reserved for Pyrotechnics, giving them a little more FPS, than 4f ( or 3f ) alone would be expected to provide.

    Do you have Balloon Head Cases, or, Solid Head Cases? For your .450 Loading fun?

    My "Bulldog" is buried deep and not really accessible, for me to check or review Cylinder Bores and Groove-to-Groove...but my .455 S&W 2nd Model Hand Ejectors, the Cylinder Bores and Groove-to-Groove are .456, and one I think is .457, for which Cartridges then, at least with me, a suitable Crimp Die had been wanting!

    I finally ended up using an old IDEAL '310' Die for .45-70, and it worked alright.
    Last edited by Oyeboten; 04-17-2020 at 06:48 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    I have some balloon-head cases in several calibers, including .450 Adams, but I haven't tested in the balloon-head .450s yet.
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Pearce View Post
    I have some balloon-head cases in several calibers, including .450 Adams, but I haven't tested in the balloon-head .450s yet.
    What are you using for Bullets / Boolits?

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold Tinker Pearce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oyeboten View Post
    What are you using for Bullets / Boolits?
    Mostly 200gr. RNFPs, cast pretty soft
    Then one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90 mph I had an epiphany...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Pearce View Post
    Mostly 200gr. RNFPs, cast pretty soft
    What I meant though was more about diameter.

    Mine is not handy to check, but my S & W .455 Webley 2nd Model Hand Ejectors, the Cylinder Bores and Groove-to-Groove are like .456, .457, and modern day .45 Colt Bullets tend to be .452.

    Have you measured your Cylinder Bores and Barrel's Groove-to-Groove diameters?

  18. #18
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    I speculate that if you loaded a large case (like .44-40 or .45 Colt) with 3f 777, the pressure would exceed the 14000 psi saami spec, thus the lawyer induced warning. Of course, I remember reading that a full charge of compressed 3f black also somewhat exceeds the spec as well, but because of known historical use does not concern the lawyers.

  19. #19
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    Hmm...I did not know one wasn't supposed to shoot T-7 in cartridges. Generally....no, specifically, I do not shoot subs but about 17-18 years ago I got to wondering what I'd do if I couldn't get real BP. So, I bought 3 or 4 bottles of different subs....everything but Pyrojunk. I'd tried it when it first came out and swore never again. Anyway, of the 3 or 4 I tried in my 40-70 Shiloh, T-7 would be my choice, were BP unavailable.

    I used to have an E.M. Reilly in 500BPE and was always afraid to try T-7 in it. 'Course that would have been a 120 gr. charge, going by the real Ffg I could get in the case.

    Glad T-7 worked for you. I would have tried it if I didn't have BP.
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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