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Dirty Doc, SASS #18176

SMOKELESS OR BP SUBSTITUTES IN ANTIQUES

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FIRST UP, I AM LEARY ABOUT THE holy black. spinal surgery left fingertips numb. I have a large stock of BP given to me by those who tried it and didn't like it. I read 20 year old Venturino & other books that say smokeless puff loads in a BP cartridge gun may be safe, but prematurely wear out guns. I have 2 Merwin Hulberts in 44W and a 75 Remington in 44Rcf. I've been out of the game since '09 and need to find if there are BP substitutes which are clean and non-corrosive to use in my shooters, Pistols and rifles or is there a SAFE smokeless. I am clueless on how to load 12 Ga shells using thick gold Remington hulls with BP. Will "normal" pink or white wads work? Where to find light loads should I try to go black. I would rather use a cleaner substitute or something like Clays or Trailboss powder. TOTALLY ignorant of BP other than shooting my '51 Ubertis. Good to be back in the saddle, but don't know about new powders since 2009. Thanks for any input. Mark "Dirty Doc" Zachary

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American Pioneer Powder is a relatively clean burning BP sub with mild recoil.  It is not as clean burning as Clays - no sub is.  It is easy on steel but will corrode brass.  My loads in Remington Nitro hulls are probably too stout for your likes so I will not send you load information.

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APP is a good sub.  &&& is as well, but it is about 15% hotter than real BP.

 

for shotgun, consider brass hulls.  Magtech has them for about $1 each.  get circle fly wads in 10 g, and you can make as stout or as winpy a load as you want. 

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Only truly corrosive BP sub is Pyrodex.  Real BP is no more corrosive than any of the other subs. As far as subs go American Pioneer Powder (APP) and Black MZ are the two most popular. 777 is rather hot and I don't recommend it for CAS.

 

You can load 12 ga plastic hulls with BP or one of the subs using conventional plastic wads.. I can PM you my 12 loads using APP if you like. Others will also gladly share their favorite loads.

 

Real BP in cartridge guns requires the bullet to be lubed with a BP compatible lube or grease cookie under the bullet. APP and Black MZ work well with Hi-Tek coated bullets. They also do ok with most smokeless lubed bullets.

 

I highly recommend you ask one of the BP shooters in your local club to give you some pointers in getting started.

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6 hours ago, Dirty Doc, SASS #18176 said:

Pistols and rifles - is there a SAFE smokeless?

 

If the gun was designed and manufactured when Black Powder was the only choice, then, no, don't be using smokeless powder in it.  That was great advice when smokeless powder first came out, and it's good now.

 

If you were an expert in interior ballistics, you might be able to conduct research to find out.  But you're not, having neither the equipment or experience.  Just to save a little cleaning and a little cost of powder, you want to risk blowing up those BP designed guns?   Pound foolish for sure.

 

Use either APP or Black MZ.   Or real Black, which you say you have "a ton of"   Real Black won't hurt your guns, even if you forget to clean them for a day.

 

For loads, just ask.  If locals don't have a clue, then ask here.   I've got a very nice load with real black in Remington STS/Nitro hulls.

 

Quote

Will "normal" pink or white wads work?

 

Typically, no they won't.  They will not leave you enough room for the bulky BP or substitute powders.  You will find the Winchester Red wad (WAA12R) or Claybuster copy of it (CB1138-12)  to be quite capable of making good smokey shotgun loads.

 

BTW - there are several "normal white" 12 gauge wads.   If you want the right shotgun wad, shopping by color is the wrong thing to do.  Make sure you have the right manufacturer's NUMBER for the wad you need.

 

 

Good luck, GJ

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A long time ago when had BP loaded brass shotshells, put a nitro card over the powder and then a plastic wad.  Worked well enough just you still get plastic melt. 

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+1 to GJ with one caveat. I use pink (1 oz shot) and grey (7/8 oz shot) wads which allow for about 40 grains of BP. For me, that's plenty for most knockdowns. If I'm unsure about the knockdowns at an unfamiliar club, I use the red wads which allow for more powder and "oomph".

 

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Abilene - about the lightest I will go with BP loads is ounce and eighth of shot and about 45-50 grains BP.   With that, I can usually make a wad designed for ounce and eighth work pretty well in either STS or AA hulls by adjusting the powder charge.   Guess I don't trust most knockdowns.   :ph34r:

 

Good luck, GJ

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+10 to GJ as well

 

My loads are similar to Abaline's.  If a AA LNLR will take it down then my 7/8 oz BP loads will as well. 

 

I have several bottles of 2F APP and discovered that I can get enough powder in the hull using a WAA12R wad with 7/8 oz of shot to get good performance.

 

 

 

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First off, Black Powder is the best to use in your old gun. APP & Black MZ will work fine. 777 is capable of producing higher pressure than you ought to have in the old guns if not loaded correctly, but can be use. If you do so, I suggest a light load.  And finally, I don't care WHO says otherwise, the pressure spike on the front end of the burn of smokeless powder, even a very light charge and especially a fast powder is much too high for the old Iron Frame guns. It will stretch the frame and It might blow apart the first time you use it or it might take a long time, but at some point something is eventually going to fail.  About the closest smokeless powder that I have found is 8700 smokeless. It is VERY slow burning, but never the less will still have a higher spike than BP type powders. Don't use smokeless powder, PERIOD!  Get over your uneasiness of using real BP. It is an easy powder to load and following simple basic directions will give you good results. 

 

Snakebite

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O.K.  DSo how to best clean shoot er and brass??

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And which "BP" is the cleanest?? Thanks, D.D.

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Smokeless is a very bad idea in antique revolvers.   People have said why.   Trailboss, as much as I love it for other things, is especially not a good idea due to its very sharp pressure spike.   Unless you can find a smokeless powder, and as far as I know there is not one, that the manufacturer has said it duplicated BP pressures and is safe to use in antiques, then don't.

 

For what it is worth, I have in the past used mild smokeless loads in some of my antique revolvers with no ill effects.   I attribute this to luck and the foolishness of ignorance.   I don't do it anymore.

 

The same goes for shotguns.   Smokeless there not a good idea due to the way the barrels were made.

 

For rifles...   Well, there is more disagreement there.   There are published smokeless loads of .45-70 that are considered safe for use in Trapdoor Springfields for example.    Do your research and make an informed decision in those cases.  Not too long ago, there was a thread here on the wire where it was pointed out that some tests of some kind pointed out that an antique Winchester 73 in .44-40 could handle standard smokeless loads, but that a Colt Lighting could not.   So take it all with a grain of salt.

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7 minutes ago, Dirty Doc, SASS #18176 said:

O.K.  DSo how to best clean shoot er and brass??

Too avoid repeating information posted recently try this thread: https://forums.sassnet.com/index.php?/topic/284032-ballistol-to-clean-black-powder/

5 minutes ago, Dirty Doc, SASS #18176 said:

And which "BP" is the cleanest?? Thanks, D.D.

I find APP produces the thinnest layer of residue.  However, real BP and all the subs leave more residue than any smokeless powder I have shot.  In shotguns BP and all the subs will melt plastic wads leaving a "snakeskin" of plastic inside the bore.  There is no advantage in this respect of one powder over another.

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19 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

American Pioneer Powder is a relatively clean burning BP sub with mild recoil.  It is not as clean burning as Clays - no sub is.  It is easy on steel but will corrode brass.  My loads in Remington Nitro hulls are probably too stout for your likes so I will not send you load information.

Does this "not as clean burning as Clays " mean that there is a safe load in BP cartridge guns using CLAYS??? I use Clays and Trail Boss in all my loads for it's cleanliness. Only experience is with Black or Pyrodex in cap-n-ball Ubertis. You guys gotta understand that I am not stupid, but ignorant. And old. BIG difference. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, Dirty Doc 

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2 minutes ago, Dirty Doc, SASS #18176 said:

Does this "not as clean burning as Clays " mean that there is a safe load in BP cartridge guns using CLAYS??? I use Clays and Trail Boss in all my loads for it's cleanliness. Only experience is with Black or Pyrodex in cap-n-ball Ubertis. You guys gotta understand that I am not stupid, but ignorant. And old. BIG difference. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, Dirty Doc 

I have no intention of insulting you - just providing information I hope you find useful.  I will not comment on whether you can use Clays in your older BP cartridge guns.  That is not my expertise.  I hope you enjoy your journey into the Darkside.

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20 minutes ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

I have no intention of insulting you - just providing information I hope you find useful.  I will not comment on whether you can use Clays in your older BP cartridge guns.  That is not my expertise.  I hope you enjoy your journey into the Darkside.

LUUUUKE I AM YOUR FAAATHER!!" Thanks a ton. After this weekend race, I will be going to reloading gun shops and dabbling with BPish Pellets like Pyrodex.. As far as smokeless goes, I have been using the Hogden's CAS reloading booklet, going 1/2 between high & low loads. Thanks again, Doc

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2 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Smokeless is a very bad idea in antique revolvers.   People have said why.   Trailboss, as much as I love it for other things, is especially not a good idea due to its very sharp pressure spike.   Unless you can find a smokeless powder, and as far as I know there is not one, that the manufacturer has said it duplicated BP pressures and is safe to use in antiques, then don't.

 

For what it is worth, I have in the past used mild smokeless loads in some of my antique revolvers with no ill effects.   I attribute this to luck and the foolishness of ignorance.   I don't do it anymore.

 

The same goes for shotguns.   Smokeless there not a good idea due to the way the barrels were made.

 

For rifles...   Well, there is more disagreement there.   There are published smokeless loads of .45-70 that are considered safe for use in Trapdoor Springfields for example.    Do your research and make an informed decision in those cases.  Not too long ago, there was a thread here on the wire where it was pointed out that some tests of some kind pointed out that an antique Winchester 73 in .44-40 could handle standard smokeless loads, but that a Colt Lighting could not.   So take it all with a grain of salt.

The info gets better and better. In Ubertis I have always used a poured in load of powder to the top of the chamber. This allows a Wonder Wad& ball. Then Moly grease (Valvoline) would a compressed load be the ticket for BP cartridges. Also, How would I treat the fired BP cases??  THANKS to all for the input. And as for being insulted (forgot which post) I never get insulted when someone trying to help. Thanks again, Doc

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I am still fairly new to loading BP or Subs in my cartridges for the antiques I own, so I am not an expert.   That being said, I do understand that it is vitally important that you leave no airspace between the power and the bullet.   Also, depending on if you use real black, or one of the subs, a certain amount of compression of the powder is needed.   If you want to do a reduced charge, you need to take up the airspace with some sort of filler.   Sooner or later, someone with more experience than I will chime in with better details.  Also, you can't normally use the same lube for smokeless and black powder loads.

 

For fired cases, I just throw 'em into my tumbler and let them tumble until they are clean.   So far that has worked okay for me.

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Howdy Doc, some things you may want to consider. This my experience only, so your mileage may vary.

 

* Clays is a smokeless powder, so it's a no-go for any antique gun. From everything I've read, no smokeless loads of any kind are safe.

 

* My experience with subs:

   - 777 leaves a tad less residue than APP. As said above, it's a bit hotter by about 15%. Meters well. I think it's OK for antiques, but I recommend calling Hodgdon just to be sure. It produces a thicker cloud of smoke than BP and APP. Can be used with smokeless bullets or no lube at all in a C&B gun. Do NOT use FFFg granulations in cartridges. I like the stuff, but rarely use it except when out of BP bullets.

   - APP is a good powder. Looks more like BP loads when fired. Meters well, but I find it's dusty and makes a mess when reloading on my progressive press. Can also be used with smokeless bullets and balls. Less residue than BP, but not enough that I care. I like the stuff, but rarely use it except when out of BP bullets.

   - Pyrodex - I hate the stuff. It smells like rotten eggs and is highly corrosive. You have to clean your guns as soon as possible to avoid rust. A trusted soot lord I know uses it in his shotguns because it's cheaper than the the other subs and BP. Plus, cleaning a S x S is pretty dang easy. The pellets are for C&B, not cartridges.

   - Black MZ: never tried it so I have no opinion.

 

My experience with real BP:

   - Love the stuff for cartridges, C&B and especially shotgun. The best thing it does is spit an awesome flame from the muzzle with a satisfying boom, where the others don't. You do need BP lubed bullets & balls though, which are more spendy than smokeless. Cleans up just as easy as the subs, so I don't understand all the fuss about that. For that matter, it's no more difficult than smokeless except you use a water mixture instead of Hoppes #9 or similar solvents. The downside (to those who seldom clean their guns) is you should be cleaning BP guns within a few days after a match.

   - Caveat: another pard I know uses smokeless bullets with BP, but he runs a boresnake thru the barrel between stages. I'm too lazy for that.

 

Case cleanup is the same for all BP and subs. Toss your fired brass into a container filled with water and dash of dish soap after each stage. When you get home, shake the container a bit and dump it into a collander/strainer over a drain or outside. Rinse thoroughly with water, then spread them out on something to dry. I use a towel. They dry faster if on their side where the water can drain better. They dry even faster in the sun. Some bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven at a low temp, but I don't like putting lead-contaminated objects into things used for cooking. After that, toss 'em in the tumbler with your smokeless cases.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

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Stick with real BP and Big Lube bullets, you'll be glad you did;). Clean up is real easy with  any water based cleaner, I prefer Murphy's Mix. Lube and protect with Ballistol. Check out the "Darksiders Den" and the ""Dark Arts" at CASCITY for more info. Good Luck:)

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?board=19.0

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,18257.0.html

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