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  1. This topic may be repetitive to cowpokes that've been on the wire for a while, but I thought I'd start a post about starting to load and shoot BP substitute. If I'm beating a dead horse please let me know.... Today I started loading American Pioneer Powder (APP) 3FG in .45 Colt cartridges. I'm starting small with 3 test loads of 20 rounds each in varying combinations. I'll be using Pietta SAA clones with 4 5/8" barrels for the test. Also my SASS mentor (Gator Bait) is coming to the range with me to compare the loads and to put them on a chronometer. I've read, re-read, and read again BP Substitutes for Dummies by Curt Rich (BPFORDUMMIES) and using as much information as I can to come up with a safe, accurate load that isn't so hot that recoil becomes an issue. Using some of the research Mr. Rich shared and his reassuring words that even with a small air gap (with the amount of powder we're using) the gun won't blow up. One load is filled to to the base of the bullet with a small amount of compression, one load has half the powder (by volume) with the empty space made up with backer rod and the last load is the same amount of powder but without the backer rod. Today all loads were hand dipped with Lee powder dippers so each load was done by volume, once I find a good load I'll dip that amount at least 10 times and weigh each one to see if I can use the powder hopper on my Dillon XL650. Tomorrow is range day and I'll try to post the results of the different loads and my impression of each. If things work out with the cartridges the next step will be to work out a shotshell load.
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