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Just getting into the hoby of shooting Black Powder cartredges. Seems to be alot of variations in loads out there. I am looking for anyone who can help with a load for a .45 colt ( lead 230 gr rcbs cowboy mold # 82308) and .38 spec. (lead 140 Gr. rcbs mold # 82304). FFF or FF Black Powder? And what about fiber fillers? use or not? Thanks for any help. Any reccomended books on the subject.
 

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Bp

Try fffg powder. Put as much into the case as will allow slight compression of the charge when the bullet is seated. I have had my best results when using a 0.030" thick fiber wad between the bullet and the powder.
Pete
 

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I agre with the above info...But make darn sure you clean well after each use or you will get into trouble...I know of one guy who failed to clean and his cylinder would not turn....Just a word of caution...Have fun and make smoke...Festus
 

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.45 newguy with Ruger New vaquero

I bought a Ruger replica of a Colt peacemaker Colt .45. Range rds say they have a muzzle velocity of 750fps. Hornady Home Defense are 960fps. I have looked and looked and asked and looked an nowhere can I find the suggested smokeless powder and was lucky enough to come on a short piece that showed Muzzle velocities for the Colt.45 with many powders and different charges and none of the smokeless powders are out there-BUT the chart also had Muzzle velocities for several types of black powders and black powder substututes like Pyrodex. This chart showed a Muzzle velocity of 1036 fps with a new to me imported BP called KIK- supplied a Goeth. I had read thet the only reason some black powders are more powerful than others is in the way the charcoal was made and the wood it was made from. KIK was more powerful than any other BP or BP substitute on the market and obviously even more power than some smokeless. I know this is a beautiful almost brand new Ruger replica of a 1873 peacemaker that isNOT rated at +P loads, and lighter than then the Ruger VAQUERO OR blackhawk-again mine is a NEW VAQUERO and being careful to NOT use the high power loads is stressed. Not being able to find any smokeless to load with I went ahaed and bought the RCBS .45-255 mold and it is putting out a 270 gr slug- off by 15 gr's and i can live with that -it is the lead I bought surely not RCBS. With the Hornady and the range rd's it has very little blowback on the casings and it looks like it should be no more harder to clean after firing than my cap n ball pistols. I've read that adding 10% tin will help stop leading and I have some bullet lube designed to help stop leading.
The suggested load by volume for the KIK was 29.5 gr's and that is just about all the powder the casing will hold with the 255 RCBS semi dum dum and the flat nose is a lot more dum dum than the range rds.It just appears to be that with black powder casings they were made to hold BP all the way to the lug and THAT is the recommended load. For instance I also have a Martini-Henry .577-.45 that takes a 500gr slug and my lead is coming out to 515 to 530 grs. Must have been a real hodge podge of stuff melted into those ingots. But it takes all of the casing that there is to put 85 grs of FFG BP into that case and the slug is tight against it.
I don't want to ruin a cherry Ruger with BP but that's all that is available- so long as I clean it up right away - and the blowback is minimal and the only way smoke can get into the trigger is by a perfectly firring spring loaded a part that holds the cylindar in place- should I go ahead and try it? Back in the days of the old west after 1880 only 7 years after the peacemaker came out BP was made with guncotten and was much more powerful than Civil war era stuff.
 

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Whoa there, Delwin17! Guncotton is nitrocellulose!---You know, as in smokeless powder, but without the coatings or inhibitors on it! Please do not try to fabricate any, and especially don't try to use it in ANY firearm! Without the inhibitors, there is NO controlled burn, it is, rather, an explosive! You are correct in that the type of wood can determine the potency of blackpowder, though!
 

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Not only is Guncotton way too hot and quick for firearms, but you have to store every bit of it under water, as a hint of static electricity will detonate it. IIRC, Winchester Less Smoke 22's were part guncotton, and part Black Powder. The employees praised the Lord when those production lines were switched over to nitro cellulose powders. It is like throwing gasoline on a pile of black powder, when it is finally dried out, mixed, and loaded.
 

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The experience with KIK BP is interesting and atypical. KIK powders, in the past at least, have been "fluffier"/less dense than other brands of BP, except for - perhaps - Elephant.
The density king has always been Swiss.
 

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I also like Swiss the best but have got some good groups with KiK. Have good luck with Goex in muzzle loaders but not cartridges. The substitutes all suck. No one shooting competition uses them.
 

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M-h

I just was re-reading this thread. A bit off the topic of .45 Colt loads but the Martini-Henry reference caught my eye.
I have a M-H long lever and load for it. I use 85 grains as a standard load also....but that load does not nearly fill the case (it's a big case). My experience is that Kynoch 577-450 cases will hold 110-120 grains of BP, depending on brand and granulation.
Pete
 

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I shoot a 577-450 and my load is100grs of 1f, a.030 ldpe wad and a 550gr creedmore bullet. Shoots great but hang on. Never leave a air space between the powder and bullet when shooting blk powder!!!!!!!!!
 

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Tiger Load

IIRC, The Old Western Scrounger used to list a brass cased, nitro 577 Snider load with a Tiger on the box. It shot a 450 gr. bullet. The problem is that the original Brit cartridge was mostly paper, and it only held 70 grains of B.P. The solid brass Kynoch hulls hold way too much more. This old timer may like Trail Boss, under a 450 gr. bullet. I have a feeling that this will only make for a target load, if that.
Black Powder must be compressed, so Trail Boss, might be the answer, filling 75% of the available space, under the seated bullet. But there's no 'bump' up of a lead slug, as would be over a heavy charge of B.P.
These tipping blocks are relics, and were originally made for Black Powder. So Caveat Emptor!
 

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I have shot BP out of my Ruger Vaquero [original issue revolver] not the one built for the "cowboy" shooting [ New Vaquero] games without a problem. Of course you HAVE to follow the BP regimen of cleaning afterward but that's have the fun!
 

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I also like Swiss the best but have got some good groups with KiK. Have good luck with Goex in muzzle loaders but not cartridges. The substitutes all suck. No one shooting competition uses them.
True, but revolver rounds are not BPCR competition. Goex FFF is just fine for basic revolver rounds. I've shot most of my modern Ruger Blackhawks with FFF rounds just for fun. Accuracy isn't too bad!

I use soft checks in all my BP pistol loads.
 
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