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Old 11-08-2011, 03:48 AM
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Black Powder Rifles

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Does anyone shoot Black powder cartridge rifles, whats the best powder to use? Whats the cleanest?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:57 PM
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I've used Goex, Pyrodex P, Shokey's Gold and 777. Of those the Goex was the best. Been trying to get some Swiss and KiKK to try but hard around here. 8(
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:13 AM
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I shoot both a Browning BPCR and a vintage Trapdoor carbine. Both are 45-70s. I load FFg exclusively. BP cleans up with soap and water.
"Only auto racing, bullfighting, and mountain climbing are sports. The rest are just games." Hemingway.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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If you don't want to shoot black powder cartridge, get a regular smokeless load and rifle. the beauty of BPCR is doing it like they had to in the 1880's, including washing the cases, and rifle clean up. Blackpowder cleans up easily, some of the substitutes leave some chemical residues that aren't fun to deal with. Goex is a good average powder, Swiss is the best. Substitutes are just that , not the real thing. Blackpowder is easier to ignite as well. Good shooting whichever way you go.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:40 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: missouri
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i am sorry, but it burns me to hear someone tell another person to not buy a BPCR if he doesbnt plan to use real black powder. there are numerous reasons to not use black powder. and a choice of firearm is a personal one. this attitude drove me away from one forum and it will curtail my use of this one. dont judge someone by their chouce of propellant.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:54 PM
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Location: N.J.
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black powder loading

for a long time I have load 45/70 for original trapdoor long guns. I use 5744 powder, 20 grains. and tap piece of tissue down over the powder (so it don't move) (and use end of a pencil) .462 dia bullet, about 185 gr. cast. Been shooting this for many years. It's a reduced smokeless powder load. I also use 'black mag powder' in lieu of BP. But heard the factory burned down awhile back. I still have 3 pounds left. I use the 'black mag' in my original maynard, burnside and smith. clean with hot soapy water.
Blessed are those who expect nothing......for they shall not be disappointed............................
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Quincy,IL
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you can order Black Powder from Graf + sons,Powder,INC or many other fine establishments If you want totry some try Graf's Black its made by Schuetzen,its cheap and works fine .when usingany kind but Swiss you have to put at least .100 to .200 compression to get it to work the best with Swiss I have the best luck with .050 to .060 compression
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:06 PM
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Location: Minn
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Pyrodex and t7 work with BPCR just fine. I prefer the real BP but I have used the other stuff too. Understand that the substitutes are just as corrosive if not worse than the sacred black. So, clean clean clean!! I have bnot tried BH209 but if I see some proven load data I am not against trying it. be sure to pick up the BPCR primer (a book) by venturino (spelling) it's a great starting point for loading.
Endeavor to persevere
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:21 PM
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Posts: 152
Old thread but a good one, I have used BH209 in my 45/90 with 500 grain Lee bullets (459-500-3r) and it is a REALLY good propellent except for the high cost, they like to point out that it is very bulky so a light charge in grains takes up a lot of space but the per-shot cost is still quite high. To me this stuff is more of a bulky smokeless that can be used in BP firearms rather than a true BP sub, it cleans like smokeless, is not corrosive and does not foul. As an experiment I left an old cheap CVA ML uncleaned for over 3 months with nothing but a sort of grey film forming, this was just a light film that cleaned off easily and left no indications of rusting or other forms of corrosion.

I also sometimes shoot smokeless in my BPCR rifles but keep the pressures in the BP range except for my Highwall in 45/90 which will handle much higher pressures. The use of the BP subs is something I can not understand, it's not BP shooting since it loads different, shoots different (higher pressures), looks and smells different and is even more corrosive with little to no difference in fouling so what's the point? I understand wanting to shoot BP because BP is just a different sport than smokeless and I understand why some folks want to shoot it exclusively but as for the subs why not just use a smokeless equivalent load if BP is not used? The subs are just a third kind of shooting neither BP nor smokeless, they are corrosive and fouling and do not offer the "BP experience" like the real thing! JMO on this and I am not telling anyone what they should or should not shoot it's just that I myself honestly can't see the reason for shooting a sub but then that's just me, if a person wants to shoot one of the subs then fine- do it and have fun with it- I would be the last person to tell anyone they should not!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:16 PM
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Location: Michigan
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Hello, War Eagle. I had been away from black powder shooting for nearly 20 years...became discusted with then available Goex. until I started working with a couple of original B.P. rifles...a .25-25 Stevens on a Ballard No. 3 action & a Remington Mid-Range rolling block, .40-70 str. In the .25-25 I am using Swiss 3FG, the Remington gets fed Swiss 1 1/2FG. Only need blow-tube to keep fouling soft & accuracy in .40-70. The little .25 will maintain "hunting" accuracy..around 1" at 50yds. with blow-tube, But for match accuracy..3/8" groups at 50yds..needs 1 barely damp patch thru after each shot. Both clean up spotless after an afternoon worth of shooting with only 3-4 patches wet with Butch's Bore Shine.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: West of Chicago, Ill. and Ozark Mountains
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Fellar's I myself just got back into black powder, did some back in the 60's with pistols mostly. Now I got myself a coupld of rifles and want to take them to the dance.

I purchased a truck load of various brands of bullets from Beartooth B., Western B., Missouri B, Hunters Supply, Oregan Trail, Miester B. and Bullalo Arms B. and several bullet weights. I got plenty of new brass, just need to find some primers to complete the circle. I have a Sharps model 1874 45-120, John Bodine Creedmoor 45-90, Uberti 45-120 and Uberti 45-90. Well I hope to have fun shooting these rifles as soon as I muster up the rest of the components.

I tried some of the black powder and I must admit, I like the idea of cleaning up afterwards, using the smokeless powder! I am not planing on doing any blackpowder shoots (not with my age & eyes anymore!) besides the wife likes the smokeless powder too. I will use the Swiss BP for killing that buffalo but everything else is going to be smokeles gents.

Last edited by 2Bits; 03-02-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:25 PM
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i have use T7 in my 45-70 pistol and i do like the accuracy. i did find it to be abit corrosive . my gun does not like compresed T7 powder in fact just a tuch of space is better . ya ok i know . but after all T7 is a closer to a smokeless powder that smokes.

if you have not tired black horn powder yet then your shorting your self .the stuff is sweet
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:15 PM
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Location: Woodland Hills, UT
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I have been shooting 45-70's for some 35 years ever since the H&R Shikari break open. I first loaded with black powder, but hated the mess and my mother hated the smell. In the early 1980's, I got involved with historical reinactments and found that for authenticity, you want the good old smoke billowing out the the muzzle. As much as I hated cleaning muzzleloaders, I hated cleaning brass cases even worse. Then a friend tipped me on to a mixture of 1/10 white vinegar to water ratio and I just drop the cases in ( I usually punch the old primer out first to allow for primer pocket cleaning) and watch them foam and fizz. Maximum time in the mixture is 10 min, but I usually stop at 7 or 8. Too long, and it starts to etch them. After I take them out, I soak them in plain old water and let them dry. After they dry, I take some fine steal wool and a good rag and they shine up beautifully.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:39 PM
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Location: Adams County Idaho
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Purists say to use the verybest powder that you can afford, but I use Goex Reenactor as my only propellent. But I believe that your loading proceedure has more to do with down range performance than Brand of powder.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:47 PM
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Location: Colorado
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Whoa there 2bits.....45-90 and .45-120??? You certainly do like recoil! From my experience I can load my .45-70s up to more recoil than I really care for. I have an acquaintance who tried the .45-90 for match shooting.....he quickly returned to the .45-70. Those larger cartridges may be fine for hunting....but rarely seen at the sihouhette matches.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:41 AM
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Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 12
Here's the reason I don't shoot the HOLYER THAN THOU BLACK! In Canada its hard to find. Also its $10 a pound more. $20 for Pyrodex and $30 for Goex BP. Also I get about 20% more shooting from a pound of Pyrodex. A lot of shooters are like golfers. Blame the equipment for a bad day. Its easier than saying I sucked! That's half of it. The other half is someone bullying another because he thinks he's some sort of God appointed traditionalist and is scared of maybe being out shot by someone shooting subs. If you were a real traditionalist maybe you should be grinding your own BP. I shoot both and don't do a **** thing different to load it and one shoots as good as the other. As far as no one winning a major shoot with it. Who wants to be the one to upset the apple cart!
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:48 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Colorado
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Unfortunately access to BP can be a problem. Especially in metro areas. Many gun stores find the "explosive" category as being too costly to comply with. Many cities make storage of more than one pound of BP illegal even if used for sporting purposes. I know people who have gone in together to buy a 25# case and have it delivered to a group member who lives in an area without BP storage restrictions. In addition to providing legal storage he can distribute legal quantities to those living inside city limits which restrict storage.
If this isn't easy to accomplish the only alternative is BP substitutes which evade the explosive category.....i.e. pyrodex, etc.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:07 AM
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Location: Scotland and Saudi Arabia
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That a person should use black powder if he wants a black powder rifle is certainly a point of view to which he is entitled. But it sounds like the OP has already got his rifle, and wants some help to go about his legitimate occasions.

For me black powder is legally troublesome, and Pyrodex etc. is availability troublesome. While black powder residue promotes rusting very badly, there are stories, apparently unconfirmed and unpredictable, of Pyrodex residues doing the same, so I would regard it as I'd be inclined to regard it as requiring the same hot water treatment.

I'd be inclined to avoid black powder, and for small to medium cases, there are mostly loads using odinary smokeless powders which would do very well. A case in point was my .255 Jeffery rook rifle, so like a .25-20 that I used those dies ground a tenth of an inch shorter at the bottom, which was a miserable performer with black, but strong enough to step up the performance very usefully with smokeless. I haven't shot my antique Belgian Martini in what appears to be identical to the .40-65, but I think the same would apply.

It is much more difficult, though, to work up a consistent smokeless load for very large cases, or those for which rifle strength is marginal. With these there is a much better case for using black powder or its substitutes, which can safely fill the case. An alternative would be the use of an inert filller, of which there are basically two types. A substantial one, such as cornmeal, will actually alter the volumetric ratio, and thus the early pressure buildup, by pretending the case is smaller than it is. I think these will work best, and most consistently, in straight cases. A light one, such as kapok from cushions or cigarette filter-tips, has no real volume once compressed, and will simply position the powder against the primer.
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