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Goodbye Cowboy - Hello Reenactor


John Boy

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* Hodgdon Powder Company has discontinued production of Goex Cowboy black powder

* And introduced a new Goex Powder ... Reenactor

Why is Cowboy discontinued? Because CAS do not shoot enough Goex Cowboy grade black powder

Why the new Reenactor black powder? Because it is estimated that 50,000 Civil War re-enactors take part occasionally. They shoot more black powder than us cowboy's and in larger powder charges.

Bottom Line: cowboy's are chump change on Hodgdon's Income and Expense Statement each year

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Is there any difference beyond the name?

 

Good question. I can see the marketing strategy though. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, and no doubt there will be a significant increase in the number of battle reenactments around the country with more and more people getting involved for the next 4 years.

 

A .58 cal Springfield takes a whopper of a charge, not to mention a 12 lb Napolean or Parrott Rifle. I was the the Gettysburg 120th reenactment in 83. There were about 2,000 reenactors and 100 field pieces involved. I suspect the BP cloud hung in the air for a week. :lol:

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Just call Bird Shot, aka Mike Daly @ Hogdon and I'm sure he'll inform you about any changes made in their powders.

 

LL'

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Howdy Bob! You should've been at the 135th ... 50,000+ re-enactors, 125 field pieces just in the ANV. We had as many men step off for Pickett's Charge as General Pickett originally had in '63.

 

I can understand the marketing shift. 120 rounds at 65 grains per round is nearly a pound of powder per man for a weekend. 3 inch guns using about one pound per shot, and a good four gun battery will get off about 10 to 20 shots per battle. It adds up fast.

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As long as it goes BANG and makes clouds of black smoke ..... they can call it anything they want. I don't go by fancy names anyhoooo.... just buy regular old Goex 2f.

 

Me too. I 'm not competitive enough to swage my bullets or use premium powder. ;)

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Being a 100% real BP shooter I will say that from what I have seen the people selling the sub powders have done one great selling job. I have pards at every shoot tell me that they love to see me shoot and hear that loud boom. They also say that the fire and sparks coming out of the barrel is great. Then they say but I shoot APP,777 and so forth because that stuff you shoot is messy to clean up and will rust your gun. If time allows I try to explain the truth to them but it falls upon deaf ears. We even have people in our own ranks that stand on the box or print articles about the woes of black powder. Black powder has been used for a few hundred years with little ill effects if like anything else you learn about it before filling up a gun and start shooting. I had one of our top shooters tell me just yesterday that he had been trying out BP for a upcoming BP Championship. This pard is one nice guy and is always among the winners. He also shoots what is known as gamer loads on a regular bases. He told me that he was not going to be shooting anymore BP as he could not believe how slow it was to shoot. I had to laugh at this point of the story. He then stated that he would get off two quick shots but then target three was gone and it seemed like ever before the next shot was fired. We have different reasons for shooting SASS matches. His is for the out right winning of the match and he does and mine is to take a trip back in time to put myself in the boots of the men before me. The shooting of BP is not for every one but don't let your time on this Terra firma come and go with out giving it a honest try. The rumors are false as any old BP shooter will tell you. I have fired my guns and waited 5 days before cleaning. Yes you will have melted plastic wad in your shotgun barrel as the BP burns much hotter than the other powder. It cleans right out with Windex /Vinegar with only a few passes. You don't tear your gun apart after every use. I have a very good friend who is the Goex Distributor for my area. He is a reenactor that shoots two big cannons and yes that is about 2 1/2- 3 pounds per shot. Figure how many 44-40 at 35 grains a piece that I may load with that much powder.I can load about 600 rounds which is about six monthly matches to each time he fires one time. No way we can match that unless we start having Gatling gun shoots.

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Being a 100% real BP shooter I will say that from what I have seen the people selling the sub powders have done one great selling job. I have pards at every shoot tell me that they love to see me shoot and hear that loud boom. They also say that the fire and sparks coming out of the barrel is great. Then they say but I shoot APP,777 and so forth because that stuff you shoot is messy to clean up and will rust your gun. If time allows I try to explain the truth to them but it falls upon deaf ears. We even have people in our own ranks that stand on the box or print articles about the woes of black powder. Black powder has been used for a few hundred years with little ill effects if like anything else you learn about it before filling up a gun and start shooting. I had one of our top shooters tell me just yesterday that he had been trying out BP for a upcoming BP Championship. This pard is one nice guy and is always among the winners. He also shoots what is known as gamer loads on a regular bases. He told me that he was not going to be shooting anymore BP as he could not believe how slow it was to shoot. I had to laugh at this point of the story. He then stated that he would get off two quick shots but then target three was gone and it seemed like ever before the next shot was fired. We have different reasons for shooting SASS matches. His is for the out right winning of the match and he does and mine is to take a trip back in time to put myself in the boots of the men before me. The shooting of BP is not for every one but don't let your time on this Terra firma come and go with out giving it a honest try. The rumors are false as any old BP shooter will tell you. I have fired my guns and waited 5 days before cleaning. Yes you will have melted plastic wad in your shotgun barrel as the BP burns much hotter than the other powder. It cleans right out with Windex /Vinegar with only a few passes. You don't tear your gun apart after every use. I have a very good friend who is the Goex Distributor for my area. He is a reenactor that shoots two big cannons and yes that is about 2 1/2- 3 pounds per shot. Figure how many 44-40 at 35 grains a piece that I may load with that much powder.I can load about 600 rounds which is about six monthly matches to each time he fires one time. No way we can match that unless we start having Gatling gun shoots.

 

 

I believe the main thing that causes folks to shoot subs these days is simply availability. It's the rare shop now that will stock real BP due to the stringent storage regulations. :angry:

So we usually have to order our BP in bulk and wait for the UPS truck.

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Now that this thread has been sorta hijacked, I'll put my two bits worth in on the wrong topic: I shoot APP because I can use the same bullets for all of my loads both smokey and non-smokey...

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Now that this thread has been sorta hijacked, I'll put my two bits worth in on the wrong topic: I shoot APP because I can use the same bullets for all of my loads both smokey and non-smokey...

 

If you use big lube bullets you can still use the same bullets for smoky and non-smokey

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I really enjoy shooting Real BP. I buy it by the case (cheaper) but I don't shoot it all the time. It's just more fun to smoke up the stage for the shooter commin up behind you and watch the TO try to hold his breath for the whole stage :rolleyes: .

 

It is a bit more expensive that shooting "less smoke" powder so I practice with less smoke and generally shoot major matches with BP. It's a myth that cleaning up is harder with BP- much easier to clean but you do have to do it!

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Good question. I can see the marketing strategy though. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, and no doubt there will be a significant increase in the number of battle reenactments around the country with more and more people getting involved for the next 4 years.

 

A .58 cal Springfield takes a whopper of a charge, not to mention a 12 lb Napolean or Parrott Rifle. I was the the Gettysburg 120th reenactment in 83. There were about 2,000 reenactors and 100 field pieces involved. I suspect the BP cloud hung in the air for a week. :lol:

 

 

that musta been somethin to see :) .......huuuuuuum maybe time to get some muzzle stuffers and drag out the spencer

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Howdy Bob! You should've been at the 135th ... 50,000+ re-enactors, 125 field pieces just in the ANV. We had as many men step off for Pickett's Charge as General Pickett originally had in '63.

 

I can understand the marketing shift. 120 rounds at 65 grains per round is nearly a pound of powder per man for a weekend. 3 inch guns using about one pound per shot, and a good four gun battery will get off about 10 to 20 shots per battle. It adds up fast.

 

 

I roll 6 oz charges for our 3" Ordnance Rifle, used to do 8 oz, but by dropping to 6 oz. I can get almost 3 rounds/pound (tried dropping to 5 1/3 oz and it didn't have quite enough UMPH). We do use an occasional 1 lb. charge. Our 12 pounder uses 2 pounds as the opening shot and then 1 pound after that. Each will get off 12 to 16 shots each battle.

 

At Gettysberg fro the 145th the organizers put limits on the numbers. We had (officially) 65 guns on the CSA gunline, and a like number on the federals side. About 10k men per side. The suggestion from the people who put it on was to carry at least 120 rounds per gun, not sure what the suggestion for the infantry was. I drove cross country with close to 100 pounds of powder rolled in charges.

 

Somewhere in NE I got to thinking. 20k infantry, likely each with 3 pounds of powder. 130 guns each with at least 75 pounds, and you get close to 70,000 pounds of powder on the site.

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While I don't like the idea of losing the Cowboy name, it might help bring more people into reenacting, and then they can move into CAS, which is the way I entered the sport. I used to be part of a Civil War Brass Band until "personal politics" reared its' head up and separated the band into factions. I decided to get back into what I originally liked which was the marksmanship.

 

I was at the 135th of Shiloh, and the clouds of smoke were glorious!

 

Two Feathers

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I entered the sport. I used to be part of a Civil War Brass Band until "personal politics" reared its' head up and separated the band into factions.

 

 

That is the downfall of many a reenactment unit. :angry:

I got sick of that silly stuff and realized I was probably getting too long in the tooth to carry on campaigning (unless I could sit on my butt like the fellers in the expensive General's uniforms) :lol:

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Now that this thread has been sorta hijacked, I'll put my two bits worth in on the wrong topic: I shoot APP because I can use the same bullets for all of my loads both smokey and non-smokey...

 

Not widely known from what I see here on the wire or hear at shoots, but you CAN use the same bullets for smokeless AND real black. I learned this from Nuttin Graceful, the husband of Honey B. Graceful(multi time Ladies FC World and Nation Champion). He loads her ammo for her and told me that he has NEVER used anything other than the same smokeless lubed bullets that he loads for himself. He posted this very info here on the Wire himself a few months back. The trick is to fill the case partially with BP and then put a layer of filler(I use Malto Meal cereal)to fill the case the rest of the way. Then seat your REGULAR smokeless lubed bullet as normal. This insulates/isolates the burning BP from the base of the bullet and prevents the hard burnt lube build up that would occur otherwise. IF you must insist on a FULL case of BP without filler this won't work for you. For what we do in CAS, a 3/4 case load of BP topped off with filler is more than enough. Believe me, I'm not the only one in CAS using this method. Hope this helps out anyone who may be looking for a solution to the BP lube issue.

Titus(luvin the smoke)A. Gnatsass

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' IF you must insist on a FULL case of BP without filler this won't work for you. '

Titus(luvin the smoke)A. Gnatsass

 

 

Oh but I do insist, I do. :lol:

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" IF you must insist on a FULL case of BP without filler this won't work for you. For what we do in CAS, a 3/4 case load of BP topped off with filler is more than enough."

 

Oh no!!! Some shooters choose to shoot in a black powder category loading all black powder with no fillers. What is the world coming to? They must be loco. Smokin Gator

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Not widely known from what I see here on the wire or hear at shoots, but you CAN use the same bullets for smokeless AND real black. I learned this from Nuttin Graceful, the husband of Honey B. Graceful(multi time Ladies FC World and Nation Champion). He loads her ammo for her and told me that he has NEVER used anything other than the same smokeless lubed bullets that he loads for himself. He posted this very info here on the Wire himself a few months back. The trick is to fill the case partially with BP and then put a layer of filler(I use Malto Meal cereal)to fill the case the rest of the way. Then seat your REGULAR smokeless lubed bullet as normal. This insulates/isolates the burning BP from the base of the bullet and prevents the hard burnt lube build up that would occur otherwise. IF you must insist on a FULL case of BP without filler this won't work for you. For what we do in CAS, a 3/4 case load of BP topped off with filler is more than enough. Believe me, I'm not the only one in CAS using this method. Hope this helps out anyone who may be looking for a solution to the BP lube issue.

Titus(luvin the smoke)A. Gnatsass

 

Howdy

 

Well, since this thread has already been hijacked, let me chime in on this subject.

 

Shooting Black Powder is all about what works best for the individual shooter. For a long time I was melting the hard lube out of regular Smokeless bullets and pan lubing them with Crisco/Beeswax. I also did a fair amount of adding lube cookies and wads and other stuff. I never heard of this method of insulating a regular bullet with a buffer of filler, but if it works, more power to you. I did my share of loading my pan lubed bullets with a little bit of corn meal on top of the powder as a filler too.

 

Ultimately, the shooter has to decide which is less work for him. I cast my own Big Lube bullets now and size and lube them with SPG. For me, one big casting session in the fall is usually enough to supply me with a year's worth of bullets for CAS. With my Star lubrisizer, lubing is a snap, and I can get all my bullets lubed up in a few evenings. So for a weekend of casting and a few evenings of sizing, I am all set and don't have to do any extra work like adding fillers or wads or other stuff. That's what works for me. I have a good supply of lead and a good supply of real Black Power, so for relatively minimal effort in the fall, I can load real Black Powder with not much more effort than loading Smokeless.

 

I fully understand shooters not wanting to bother with real Black Powder because of difficulty finding it locally. And I also understand using other methods to shoot real Black Powder using unconventional methods, like the filler/buffer idea. For me, a little bit of extra work in the fall means I can go right ahead and load up full charges of real Black Powder without much more effort than loading Smokeless.

 

As for Goex dropping one line of BP and introducing another, oh well, I stopped using Goex a few years ago and only use Schuetzen now.

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As for Goex dropping one line of BP and introducing another, oh well, I stopped using Goex a few years ago and only use Schuetzen now.

Ta Daaa!! Yep, Schuetzen is the same price as Goex and burns much cleaner. It's that German charcoal. :)

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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First ... Fairshake - Bravo. A most factual post IMHO

Then they say but I shoot APP,777 and so forth because that stuff you shoot is messy to clean up and will rust your gun. If time allows I try to explain the truth to them but it falls upon deaf ears... The rumors are false as any old BP shooter will tell you. I have fired my guns and waited 5 days before cleaning.

What is the foul in the bore of a firearm that has been shot using black powder? Give Up? :D

It comprised of some lube, some charcoal, a little oxygen and hydrogen (water)-from the hygroscopic action on BP and the chemicals ... about 55% Potassium Bicarbonate, a small amount of potassium sulfide and a few trace chemicals. Is Potassium Bicarbonate an acid that can etch steel? Nope! It is slightly basic (ph 7.1 to about 7.5) where neutral is pH 7, acid is less than pH 7 and base is greater that pH 7. The Potassium Bicarbonate is not pitting the steel because it is an chemical. Acid chemicals corrode iron

 

OK, then what causes pitting corrosion?

Corrosion is the disintegration of an engineered material into its constituent atoms due to chemical reactions with its surroundings. In the most common use of the word, this means electrochemical oxidation of metals in reaction with an oxidant such as oxygen.

 

Will you buy humidity greater than 50% which is the maximum recommended humidity for the storage of firearms?

 

So, black powder foul is dirty (granted compared to nitrocellulose based powders), is not a chemical that will corrode metal (by itself. But leave the foul in the bore in humidity greater than 50% - yep, rust and pitting

That's my story and I'm sticking to it :D

 

Next ... shooting the same lube bullets with BP or nitro based powders. I do sometimes load BP lubed bullets with smokeless and have zero lube starvation or leading. I make my own lube but SPG is a commercial lube that has been proven to accommodate both BP and smokeless reloads ... with no lube starvation or leading

 

Nearly Finished ... Hodgdon also discontinued Goex Cartridge and Goex Express. I have some great BPCR CTG reloads, so I stocked up before it was al gone. Express? I couldn't get it to shoot worth a darn so no lose for me. Bottom Line: both these grades too were non revenue producers

 

Finally: There is a possible new powder that BPCR shooters are testing for velocity, fouling control,accuracy ... and are getting excited about. One fella testing has shot a 20 shot string with no patching or blow tubing @ 200yds with no lose of accuracy and the foul was light with a RH of 57%. It too has charcoal made with the best wood - Alder Buckthorn and for the 5th Ace is ... it's CHEAP! Ya ready? It's KIK Lot 2010. Not Lot 2004 or 2007 ... but Lot 2010!

 

I bought a mixed case of Fg - 1.5Fg and FFg. Have 45-70 reloads made up and next week will start testing it myself

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"Then they say but I shoot APP,777 and so forth because that stuff you shoot is messy to clean up and will rust your gun. If time allows I try to explain the truth to them but it falls upon deaf ears... The rumors are false as any old BP shooter will tell you. I have fired my guns and waited 5 days before cleaning."

 

As Fairshake said!

 

I did an unplanned experiment last year (unscientific though it may be). I shot a match in February with my two C&B revolvers and didn't get to shoot again until February this year. Load was 22 grains of 3F Goex and a round ball (Colt Navies, .36 cal), and left them uncleaned in a hard-sided pistol case with foam liner (in my closet) for all of 12 months, checking in on them periodically to catch any rust before it got a hold. I found absolutely NO corrosion of any type after that year of sitting in that plastic case. Two passes with a bronze brush and the bores were mirrors again! Without the humidity, there isn't corrosion from BP.

 

I still shoot 777 in my 357 Marlin because that is what it functions best with. No problems making a match without cleaning. Can't do that WITH THIS PARTICULAR GUN with real BP, or that's what I would be using.

 

All the best,

Ringo

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Ta Daaa!! Yep, Schuetzen is the same price as Goex and burns much cleaner. It's that German charcoal. :)

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

 

 

+1

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Schuetzen is the same price as Goex and burns much cleaner. It's that German charcoal
Jefro - your close! The charcoal that Wano uses with the Schuetzen label is subcontracted charcoal from Slovenia - not Germany. The gypsies in Slovenia gather the Buckthorn branches in the late winter - send them to a place in Slovenia where the charcaol is made and then sent to Wano in Germany for processing.

 

You might be interested: In 2008, Schuetzen powders were reformulated to produce a 8 - 10% increase in velocity. The first lots started into the US in 2009, FFg 1st and later FFFg.

 

Don't take me wrong, I'm not knocking Schuetzen grades, I shoot them for BPCR reloads.

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I did an unplanned experiment last year (unscientific though it may be). I shot a match in February with my two C&B revolvers and didn't get to shoot again until February this year. Load was 22 grains of 3F Goex and a round ball (Colt Navies, .36 cal), and left them uncleaned in a hard-sided pistol case with foam liner (in my closet) for all of 12 months, checking in on them periodically to catch any rust before it got a hold. I found absolutely NO corrosion of any type after that year of sitting in that plastic case. Two passes with a bronze brush and the bores were mirrors again! Without the humidity, there isn't corrosion from BP.

 

Howdy Again

 

Yup, I've been saying this for years now. BP fouling is nowhere near as corrosive as most folks think. Particularly since we don't use corrosive primers anymore. I did a similar experiment last year. I didn't clean my shotgun all year. Yup, all year. Every match I would just shoot out the crud from the last match. I finally cleaned it last night in preparation for the first match this year. Yes, there was a lot of caked on fouling in the bores, but once I got it all scrubbed out, there was no rust.

 

I don't recommend everybody try such an extreme test, but your guns sure will not rust away if you don't clean them immediately.

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As long as it goes BANG and makes clouds of black smoke ..... they can call it anything they want. I don't go by fancy names anyhoooo.... just buy regular old Goex 2f.

 

 

What he said!

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I thought KIK plant closed?

 

It's a good powder.

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Skupina KIK Kamnik d.d. has been in 'bankruptcy' since 2008 and still are, most likely with a Court appointed Receiver overseeing continuing business operations. They were still making gunpowder in 2010, evidenced by the September 2010 lot of 1F-1.5F and FFg shipped and being sold by Powder Inc

 

Western Powders is the US distributor and they also sell Blackhorn 209 using KIK FFg along with their nitro based powder ... that is illegal for SASS

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I always heard mixed to mostly negative reviews from BP shooters on the cowboy grade BP from Goex.

 

Most everyone I know stayed with FFG or FFFG - regardless of Brand.

 

Myself - I still have a little FFFG for my cap and ball guns - otherwise I have switched to FFG for 38 spl, 44 russian, my big bore rifles in 45-60 and 43 spanish, and my shotgun.

 

Scheutzen to me burns cleaner, is more consistent, and produces less dust than Goex when loading shells at my bench. And since I can still buy it by the case for cheaper than Goex - I will stick with it.

 

I shoot mostly Scheutzen but I will use Diamond Back FFG BP for shotgun - espceially since I am eyeing a certain 10 guage gun.

 

PR

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Pony Racer, That dust you refer to is the graphite that is added to all powders to ease the loading from powder measures. If you have a certain lot that contains more than you like then you may sock it. It is also some "fines" mixed in. You put a given amount of powder in a white cotton sock and shake it around. The small particles of powder(fines) and the dust of the graphite will stick to the inside of the sock. I do this when I am working up a rifle load. I have at times done it for revolver but not as much.Your powder will be much better on the grains being uniform and will ignite easier. The graphite while helping with one problem will cause another called hard or difficult ignition. As all BP shooters know the most uniform round to be fired starts with the ignition process.

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Utah Bob, Being a brother LEO you took a certain train of thought and failed to look at the core of the evidence. Why don't many stores carry BP? The transportation laws that say it is in the same class as other explosives, even though they are incorrect

The rumors that I spoke about are known by many "hire a expert purchase agent that knows what people want"

The shooters who come in and say that black powder will rust your gun.

The shooters who state that it requires hours of cleaning and is messy.

The shooters who say as you that APP is easier to purchase.

I ordered 15 pounds from Graf's on a Monday and they were at my door at 8:30 on Wednesday, the problem with this two day span is that people want to drive through and get it now. We are a generation that demands instant gratification. If we can't have it right now then it is too hard to purchase.

Passing along rumors with out having enough thought to say that guy could be wrong, let me see what I find by checking myself.

Not caring enough about our history to go out of our way to preserve a part of it to pass on to our grand children.

If it's not easy then why put any effort out to do it, Let them others do it.

I had a man ask if a gun I had for sale had ever fired BP and I said yes. His answer is that you are going to lose that gun to rust. Where did his information come from Bob?

I am in no way trying to say that those who chose to shoot the subs are wrong as this sport has room for all people who are free to make a choice.

I am saying that choice is at times for the wrong reasons.

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