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Captain Bill Burt

Black Powder and substitutes

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35 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

Comments inline, hope that helps.

Thanks Tyrel.

 

So to summarize.

1. Don't worry about annealing, but bigger bullets will help minimize fouling per Driftwoods comment. I keep Ballistol on hand already so that's no problem.  I may pick up some Murphys too.

2. So 15 grains, or perhaps less, will get me the smoke I need, I just need clarification on using filler.

3. I'll buy one of those, make sure I'm getting the volume I want, then periodically check.

4. I just need a hopper that will accept BP and subs and fit on a Dillon 650, pretty straightforward.

5. Make sure there is no gap between the APP and the wad for the shotshell, not sure how to do that.  Measure how deep the APP is in the hull and how deep the bottom of the wad is?  What about filler here?

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12 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Thanks Tyrel.

 

So to summarize.

1. Don't worry about annealing, but bigger bullets will help minimize fouling per Driftwoods comment. I keep Ballistol on hand already so that's no problem.  I may pick up some Murphys too.

2. So 15 grains, or perhaps less, will get me the smoke I need, I just need clarification on using filler.

3. I'll buy one of those, make sure I'm getting the volume I want, then periodically check.

4. I just need a hopper that will accept BP and subs and fit on a Dillon 650, pretty straightforward.

5. Make sure there is no gap between the APP and the wad for the shotshell, not sure how to do that.  Measure how deep the APP is in the hull and how deep the bottom of the wad is?  What about filler here?

 

2. I haven't loaded BP in a .45 in a long time. But if you're only using ~15gr you'll need some type of filler, I recommend Foam Backer rod like I linked earlier in this thread.

 

5. I'd start with 40gr of APP and whatever plastic wad you have. If you don't get a good crimp either add some powder or a pinto bean in with the lead shot.

 

See here -> There is a conversion chart at the bottom of the page.

https://www.curtrich.com/bpsubsdummies.html

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The key to constructing a BP or Substitute shotshell is to recognize that these powders are much more forgiving than smokeless powders.  Reloaders must follow the recipes for smokeless shotshells exactly as printed; brand of hull, primer, wad, shot weight, etc, or risk bad results.  BP and BP Subs permit a rather wide latitude in powder charge with good results.  I assume you want low-recoiling shotshells just like you are asking for low recoiling cartridges.

 

So the first decision is how much shot do you want to throw?  I like 1 ounce of #7 1/2 or #8.

Then choose a plastic wad for that amount of shot.  I like the white wads, Claybuster CB 1118-12.

Now, take an empty hull, the brand you are going to use, push a wad into the hull so that the petals are just below the crimp fold.  That is where you want the wad to be positioned when it contacts the top of the powder charge, and not so high as to interfere with the crimp.

Hold the hull with the wad in it up to a bright light, and mark the bottom of the wad on the outside of the hull with a Sharpie.  That mark shows how much powder you need to put into the hull to contact the plastic wad when it is in position to give you a good crimp.

Make a test shell and confirm the load.  If you do not get a good crimp, add or subtract enough powder to give a good tight crimp.

 

When I do this with Remington STS 12 gauge hulls and a white wad, I get a space that is filled with 38 grains of 2F powder.  It is a very comfortable load, noticeably less than factory target loads, that still takes down any knockdown target.

 

Some folks like a lot of fire and smoke and load up to 70 grains of powder, with different wads of course.

Others use even less than 38 grains of powder with even smaller shot volumes.

One of the nice things about blackpowder shotshells is you can play with the recipes to give you what you want.

The golden rule still applies though, do not allow air space between powder and wad in the shell.

 

  

 

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1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

2. So 15 grains, or perhaps less, will get me the smoke I need, I just need clarification on using filler.

 

Do you know why the minimum smoke standard, or what ever it's called, was adopted?

 

Because a bunch of years ago a guy was shooting in the BP categories and he was making so little smoke that it appeared he was using a bare minimum of BP to be in the category. He made such a tiny amount of smoke that it appeared he was maybe shooting Smokeless, but he was able to score high in the category because he did not have to contend with smoke obscured targets.

 

Here is the definition of the BP smoke standard:

 

Blackpowder category contestants are expected to understand they will contend with smoke obscured targets. To ensure this, all shotgun, revolver, and rifle powder charges must produce smoke at least equivalent to a baseline load of 15 grains by volume (1 cc) of blackpowder (see Blackpowder – Testing section for additional requirements).

 

I wrote the bit about having to contend with smoke obscured targets. I actually wrote a lot more than that, but that is what it has gelled down to. I took the idea from President Kennedy's speech (yes, I am that old) about getting to the moon.

 

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

 

That is my interpretation of shooting Black Powder. It is not as easy as shooting Smokeless, if it was everybody would be doing it.

 

Of course, not everybody agrees with me about this, but that is my take.

 

Anyway, 15 or grains or 1CC is about as much BP as you can stuff into a 38 Special. To put that amount into a 45 Colt is ridiculous, in my not so humble opinion. The 45 Colt probably has close to twice the internal capacity of a 38 Special. I regularly put about 33 grains of FFg Schuetzen into a 45 Colt. That is about as much as I can stuff into modern solid head cases without compressing the dickens out of it. I'm not saying you have to stuff in as much as I do, but 15 grains in a 45 Colt? Sheesh!

 

I keep telling you that in a heavy rifle like a '73 you are not going to notice the recoil so much. I shoot cases full of BP in my 44-40 rifles and I never notice the recoil. But I do notice the smoke. Sometimes if there is no wind and the humidity is up and we are shooting into the sun, the targets are so obscured that I have to bob and weave to see the targets. Sometimes on a dump target I will keep shooting through the smoke where I remember the target was, because I cannot see it any more.

 

This is what a case full of BP in a 45 Colt looks like. That is the way it is supposed to be!

 

Pistol%2002_zpsx1mghgzu.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the harangue, but Sheesh!

 

OK, I'm ready for the slings and arrows now.

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8 minutes ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

 

Do you know why the minimum smoke standard, or what ever it's called, was adopted?

 

Because a bunch of years ago a guy was shooting in the BP categories and he was making so little smoke that it appeared he was using a bare minimum of BP to be in the category. He made such a tiny amount of smoke that it appeared he was maybe shooting Smokeless, but he was able to score high in the category because he did not have to contend with smoke obscured targets.

 

Here is the definition of the BP smoke standard:

 

Blackpowder category contestants are expected to understand they will contend with smoke obscured targets. To ensure this, all shotgun, revolver, and rifle powder charges must produce smoke at least equivalent to a baseline load of 15 grains by volume (1 cc) of blackpowder (see Blackpowder – Testing section for additional requirements).

 

I wrote the bit about having to contend with smoke obscured targets. I actually wrote a lot more than that, but that is what it has gelled down to. I took the idea from President Kennedy's speech (yes, I am that old) about getting to the moon.

 

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

 

That is my interpretation of shooting Black Powder. It is not as easy as shooting Smokeless, if it was everybody would be doing it.

 

Of course, not everybody agrees with me about this, but that is my take.

 

Anyway, 15 or grains or 1CC is about as much BP as you can stuff into a 38 Special. To put that amount into a 45 Colt is ridiculous, in my not so humble opinion. The 45 Colt probably has close to twice the internal capacity of a 38 Special. I regularly put about 33 grains of FFg Schuetzen into a 45 Colt. That is about as much as I can stuff into modern solid head cases without compressing the dickens out of it. I'm not saying you have to stuff in as much as I do, but 15 grains in a 45 Colt? Sheesh!

 

I keep telling you that in a heavy rifle like a '73 you are not going to notice the recoil so much. I shoot cases full of BP in my 44-40 rifles and I never notice the recoil. But I do notice the smoke. Sometimes if there is no wind and the humidity is up and we are shooting into the sun, the targets are so obscured that I have to bob and weave to see the targets. Sometimes on a dump target I will keep shooting through the smoke where I remember the target was, because I cannot see it any more.

 

This is what a case full of BP in a 45 Colt looks like. That is the way it is supposed to be!

 

Pistol%2002_zpsx1mghgzu.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the harangue, but Sheesh!

 

OK, I'm ready for the slings and arrows now.

No slings or arrows from me Driftwood.

 

I'm just getting into BP.  I want to be sure I'm loading correctly so that the issue of enough smoke never comes up.  I'm not getting into BP because I want to be a King of Kaboom and shoot big, loud, heavy recoil loads. Not that I'm averse to that, I sometimes shoot my Winchester Model 70 in 300 Win Mag.  It definitely has lots of flash, lots of bang and pretty heavy recoil.  Nothing we load in our guns is going to get my 1873 anywhere near that, so it's not the rifle I'm thinking about, it's the pistols.

 

I would like to do something similar to how I handle smokeless.  What's the edge of the envelope load (in my case 2.5 of Clays under a 125 grain bullet), then bump it up just a bit to be sure I'm making power factor and minimizing the likelihood of a squib.  In my case that means I set my powder drop to 2.6, which means every now and then I get 2.5 or 2.7, but never 2.4 or 2.8.


The same for BP.  What's the minimum grains of APP in a .45 that gets me reliable combustion and meets the smoke factor, then up it a bit to get a margin of error.  Is that so bad?

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While I do not regularly shoot black powder, I will occasionally load up a few rounds of black (or a sub, whatever I happen to have on hand) just for fun.   I don't shoot a BP category, but might mix said rounds into my smokeless stuff at random for a surprise.   Sometimes maybe even a whole stage with the stuff, just to mix it up.  I am a middle of the bottom of the pack shooter, so I don't worry about handicapping myself, I just have fun.   

Yes, there are those who say you should not mix smokeless and BP ammunition, as the procedures for cleaning up afterwards are so different.   All I can say is that when I do do this, I take extra care to be very meticulous in cleanup.   So far, I none of my guns have suffered any ill effects from doing this.

 

But I will also say that when you normally shoot smokeless, and then suddenly you take 2 or 3 shots of black in the middle of the string, the big cloud of smoke is a lot of fun to deal with.  Especially if it's not expected.

 

Of course, if the wind is in your face, the smoke does clear, but then you have other problems to deal with...

 

 

Everyone once in a while I think of having the cylinders on that Walker bored through so I can try .45 Black Powder Magnum.


Then I wise up.

 

 

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I have no experience with APP or 777 but I can tell you BlackM is more powerful than black. I ran three test of BlackMZ against three black powder loads. One black powder load had a fiber wad under the bullet and other two had no wad. All were full to compression.  Yet the 15 grains by volume of BlackMZ put out as much or more smoke and power. 

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2 hours ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

 

...

 

That is my interpretation of shooting Black Powder. It is not as easy as shooting Smokeless, if it was everybody would be doing it.

 

Of course, not everybody agrees with me about this, but that is my take.

 

Anyway, 15 or grains or 1CC is about as much BP as you can stuff into a 38 Special. To put that amount into a 45 Colt is ridiculous, in my not so humble opinion. The 45 Colt probably has close to twice the internal capacity of a 38 Special. I regularly put about 33 grains of FFg Schuetzen into a 45 Colt. That is about as much as I can stuff into modern solid head cases without compressing the dickens out of it. I'm not saying you have to stuff in as much as I do, but 15 grains in a 45 Colt? Sheesh!

 

I keep telling you that in a heavy rifle like a '73 you are not going to notice the recoil so much. I shoot cases full of BP in my 44-40 rifles and I never notice the recoil. But I do notice the smoke. Sometimes if there is no wind and the humidity is up and we are shooting into the sun, the targets are so obscured that I have to bob and weave to see the targets. Sometimes on a dump target I will keep shooting through the smoke where I remember the target was, because I cannot see it any more.

 

This is what a case full of BP in a 45 Colt looks like. That is the way it is supposed to be!

 


Agreed!

 

OR STATE 09.jpg

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792583694_LonesomeRyderJuly2019.jpg.1cb5e29bcc3423e6282a95f5ca4d8325.jpg

 

Lonesome Ryder shooting 60 Army.

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I for one, use both smokeless and BP thru the same guns.  2 Colt SAAs, 2 Uberti 1873, an 1860 Henry, a little 1885, all in 45 Colt; along with an 1874 Sharps in .40-90SBN.  I don't shoot BP thru my Marlin 45 Colt Cowboy or Rossi 1892 in 45 Colt... simply because... well... why?  When I have perfectly well-suited other candidates!  :P

 

One needn't completely tear down any of them to switch propellants.  If I shoot smokeless first, I do clean the barrel to remove any trace of the petroleum lubes used with those bullets.  If I shoot BP, I'll again swab out the barrel to clear any fouling out.  A single wet "mop" with water followed with a oiled patch does that well enough.

 

As for loading BP vs. loading smokeless... gosh, I find 'em to be an 'apples to apples' comparison.  If I recall the steps (Dillon 550B), size/decap, recap, move shell holder, bell case mouth then dump powder, move shell holder, seat & crimp bullet, move shell holder.  The same steps regardless of propellant.  The only change is the relative amount of powder.  I bought my Dillon in 1987... been loading both smokeless and BP on it ever since.  ;)

 

There ain't any magic involved... loading BP ain't rocket science... needn't be any more difficult than loading smokeless.   I certainly don't need to complicate my life with claiming otherwise.  If it were, I simply wouldn't shoot BP... And, since I've been doin' it since 1987 in CAS, it probably isn't.  Okay, in the interests of full disclosure, BULLET prep is more onerous with BP.  I have to either clean all the smokeless lube from the lubri-sizer or use another lubri-sizer dedicated to BP lube.  (Which is what I do)... however, with APP I understand that is not needed.  It will work fine with any lube.    Don't get me wrong, BP will push bullets lubed with petroleum base waxes thru your barrel just fine... but will leave a very hard, difficult to remove fouling behind.  Not with the very first round, maybe not the first 10 rounds... but by the end of the match, yep... hard, baked in fouling.  

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My .45 colt loads are not shot in barrels longer than 5.5 inches because to use them in 7.5 inch guns will cause them to infract the 1,000 Fps. Speed Limit ....

They are under the 1,400 Fps. Speed Limit in my 20 inch Barreled 66 with bullets weighing between 250 -270 grains , as to blow-by I don't seem to have this issue !!!

What I DO have is plenty of Smoke and Flame ...

 

I do have a lack of understanding of WHY folks pick the .45 colt and then choose to NUETER it with loads totally Unsuited to it's Virtues of Buck an Boom !!!

You Want little Caliber performance, Choose a Little Caliber ....

If you want less than the .45 Colt, chose a smaller case like the .44 Special or the .38-40 ( .38 WCF ) the .38 WCF is the very best feeding and  sealing case out there ...

 

I have Never Understood the need to buy a certain Caliber and then either HOT-ROD it or Down-load it to make it preform like a different Caliber ....

This from a Cowboy Who shoots Soft Cast Bullets Hard .....

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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14 minutes ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

My .45 colt loads are not shot in barrels longer than 5.5 inches because to use them in 7.5 inch guns will cause them to infract the 1,000 Fps. Speed Limit ....

They are under the 1,400 Fps. Speed Limit in my 20 inch Barreled 66 with bullets weighing between 250 -270 grains , as to blow-by I don't seem to have this issue !!!

What I DO have is plenty of Smoke and Flame ...

Do the velocity restrictions even apply to black powder categories?

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J Bar Binks;

Pard ,,, I have never asked ,,,,,,So don't care to open that can of worms ....

I just keep on shooting loads that preform like the loads of Yore ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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19 minutes ago, J Bar Binks, #47015 said:

Do the velocity restrictions even apply to black powder categories?

 

Minimum velocity - NO

Maximum velocities - YES
 

Quote

 

Power Factors

The minimum standard for center-fire ammunition used in all smokeless categories in all SASS matches, including State, Regional, National, International, and World Championship competitions is not less than a minimum power factor of 60 and no velocity may be less than 400 fps.  

 

The maximum velocities are 1000 fps for revolvers and 1400 fps for rifles.  Ammunition that exceeds these velocities is considered illegal (this does not include ammunition that does not meet the power factor).  Pocket pistols, derringers, and long-range rifles are exempt from the power factor and velocity requirements.   

 

SHB p.26

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1 hour ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

My .45 colt loads are not shot in barrels longer than 5.5 inches because to use them in 7.5 inch guns will cause them to infract the 1,000 Fps. Speed Limit ....

They are under the 1,400 Fps. Speed Limit in my 20 inch Barreled 66 with bullets weighing between 250 -270 grains , as to blow-by I don't seem to have this issue !!!

What I DO have is plenty of Smoke and Flame ...

 

I do have a lack of understanding of WHY folks pick the .45 colt and then choose to NUETER it with loads totally Unsuited to it's Virtues of Buck an Boom !!!

You Want little Caliber performance, Choose a Little Caliber ....

If you want less than the .45 Colt, chose a smaller case like the .44 Special or the .38-40 ( .38 WCF ) the .38 WCF is the very best feeding and  sealing case out there ...

 

I have Never Understood the need to buy a certain Caliber and then either HOT-ROD it or Down-load it to make it preform like a different Caliber ....

This from a Cowboy Who shoots Soft Cast Bullets Hard .....

 

Jabez Cowboy 

It's actually quite simple Jabez. 

 

If I were made out of money I would just buy 20 or so 1873s and have one for every possible application I could want.  Unfortunately I'm not, so I buy another 1873 and plan on using it for multiple purposes, some for which it is perfectly suited and some for which I have to make compromises.  That allows me to shoot the other categories I want to and still put braces on the youngest cowboy, or cover any other expenses I might have.

 

BTW, I don't see that your comment addresses any of the questions I posed when I created this thread.

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I'm thinking most of you know this already, but, I wrote to Alliance and asked about loading data for Black MZ here is their response:

 

Black MZ for centerfire cartridges is to be measured by weight. Black MZ is replacement for FFg black powder. Black MZ does not like excessive bullet lube that are petroleum based. Excess use of lube will lead to premature bore fouling.

Below is the tested data for the Black MZ. The charges, again by weight, are the charge, not to be increased or reduced. Here is the tested data that Alliant has for centerfire cartridges:

 

Cartridge

Bullet Wt. (gr)

Bullet Type

Brass

Primer

OAL (in)

Charge Wt (gr)

Velocity (ft/sec)

               

.38Special

158

RNFP

Federal

Fed100

1.47

15.0

966

               

.44Special

240

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.45

22.0

971

               

.44RemMag

240

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.575

27.0

1063

               

.45Colt

250

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.58

26.5

899

 

300

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.6

26.0

905

               

.45-70Govt

350

RNFP

Federal

Fed210

2.52

53.0

1503

 

405

RNFP

Federal

Fed210

2.52

49.0

1364

 

Thanks,

 

Duane V. /Technical Service Representative

 

 

Hope this may help someone.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

I'm thinking most of you know this already, but, I wrote to Alliance and asked about loading data for Black MZ here is their response:

 

Black MZ for centerfire cartridges is to be measured by weight. Black MZ is replacement for FFg black powder. Black MZ does not like excessive bullet lube that are petroleum based. Excess use of lube will lead to premature bore fouling.

Below is the tested data for the Black MZ. The charges, again by weight, are the charge, not to be increased or reduced. Here is the tested data that Alliant has for centerfire cartridges:

 

Cartridge

Bullet Wt. (gr)

Bullet Type

Brass

Primer

OAL (in)

Charge Wt (gr)

Velocity (ft/sec)

               

.38Special

158

RNFP

Federal

Fed100

1.47

15.0

966

               

.44Special

240

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.45

22.0

971

               

.44RemMag

240

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.575

27.0

1063

               

.45Colt

250

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.58

26.5

899

 

300

RNFP

Federal

Fed150

1.6

26.0

905

               

.45-70Govt

350

RNFP

Federal

Fed210

2.52

53.0

1503

 

405

RNFP

Federal

Fed210

2.52

49.0

1364

 

Thanks,

 

Duane V. /Technical Service Representative

 

 

Hope this may help someone.

 

 

 

 

Would help to know the barrel length  - as in at least handgun or rifle.  

 

I cast and size my bullets and load with NO lube.  Runs cleaner than with lubed bullets. 

 

They don't list loads for any of the calibers I load but I don't use half as much powder and get more than enough smoke and power. 

 

One of my shooting pards loaded 44WCF with full charge like he does with FFg black and had to quit shooting them because of the punishing recoil. 

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Not everyone is interested in shooting guns with the Recoil, Boom and Smoke of our ancestors, whom had no choice.  The ability to reload cartridges to our individual preferences is actually a boon to our GAME!!  Kindly remember .... IT IS JUST A GAME!!!  Those who choose to malign and criticize those who choose not to endure punishing recoil venture into the realm of ignorance.  So long as one's ammunition passes the test, "others" have no given right to criticize nor judge.  This GAME was designed so we could ALL play at our own level.

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13 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Not everyone is interested in shooting guns with the Recoil, Boom and Smoke of our ancestors, whom had no choice.  The ability to reload cartridges to our individual preferences is actually a boon to our GAME!!  Kindly remember .... IT IS JUST A GAME!!!  Those who choose to malign and criticize those who choose not to endure punishing recoil venture into the realm of ignorance.  So long as one's ammunition passes the test, "others" have no given right to criticize nor judge.  This GAME was designed so we could ALL play at our own level.

Thank you for that statement.  I definitely appreciate all the helpful responses.  I understand BP and subs much better than I did before.  That was what I was looking for when I started this thread.

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29 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Not everyone is interested in shooting guns with the Recoil, Boom and Smoke of our ancestors, whom had no choice.  The ability to reload cartridges to our individual preferences is actually a boon to our GAME!!  Kindly remember .... IT IS JUST A GAME!!!  Those who choose to malign and criticize those who choose not to endure punishing recoil venture into the realm of ignorance.  So long as one's ammunition passes the test, "others" have no given right to criticize nor judge.  This GAME was designed so we could ALL play at our own level.

 

I would just like to say that there is a wide difference between full and mousefart BP loads.  Many of us are somewhere in the middle.  Yes there is a smoke standard.  I have to agree with Driftwood about why that is so.  People who are pushing the envelope at the minimum end are not shooting in the spirit of the category.  Simply my opinion, and I had that opinion before the smoke standard came about.  ( I load 25gr and grits filler in .45 Colt and 44-40,  20gr in 44 Spcl.  I will never download a .38 ).  Carry on.

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35 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 

I would just like to say that there is a wide difference between full and mousefart BP loads.  Many of us are somewhere in the middle.  Yes there is a smoke standard.  I have to agree with Driftwood about why that is so.  People who are pushing the envelope at the minimum end are not shooting in the spirit of the category.  Simply my opinion, and I had that opinion before the smoke standard came about.  ( I load 25gr and grits filler in .45 Colt and 44-40,  20gr in 44 Spcl.  I will never download a .38 ).  Carry on.

Would it be fair to say that if a shooter is asking for a load so he can ensure he is making enough smoke, without just filling the cartridge full of BP/sub that he is trying to ensure he stays within the guidelines for the category?  Isn't that 'in the spirit of the category'?  I'm not trying to be rude, but the thread wasn't intended to be about how BP/subs should be loaded in the view of Warthogs, it's about how to load it correctly, safely, within the rules, but not necessarily full house loads.

 

This wasn't intended to start an argument between those who believe BP loads should be maxed out and those who do not.  If anyone wants to argue that .45 BP loads should be a full case of BP, start a thread addressing that.

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Well, I am not arguing.  I was replying to Coffinmaker.  As regards the spirit of the category for trying to keep the smoke to a minimum, I was stating an opinion.   Not saying you are one of those.

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Just now, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

 Not saying you are one of those.

 

But I am, he oughta be ashamed of himself...

 

 

 

 

 

I'm kidding CBB.

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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Not everyone is interested in shooting guns with the Recoil, Boom and Smoke of our ancestors, whom had no choice. 

 

Case in point...

 

When I got my Uberti SAA Clone in .44 Magnum, I did not yet have enough ammo loaded up to shoot a match with it.  So I very quickly gathered the following...

 

Loaded up one round with a minimum charge of Trailboss

Loaded up one round with a max charge of Trailboss

Grabbed an old round my father had loaded.

Grabbed a round of factory ammo.

 

 

After the shoot was over, I found an empty bay and put all four rounds in the dirt in the above order.

 

The first shot was not all that different from the "standard" load that I use when I load up .45 Colt.

The second shot had a little more oomph to it, but not much.

Dad's load was pretty stout, but manegable

The factory load had the gun pointing straight up in the air from the recoil and my wrist hurting from the snap.

 

I resolved that I would never shoot factory ammo in that gun again.

 

I really should load up one or two with black/subs just to see what it's like.  

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On 7/14/2019 at 3:46 PM, Captain Bill Burt said:

I recently made a deal on an 1873 in .45 Colt that I plan to use to get into Wild Bunch and also as a black powder rifle.  I've never loaded black powder and only shot it a few times.  This may open a can of worms, but I would like to hear from the BP shooters on this.

 

If a shooter is using .45 Colt and has the following priorities (in order) what is the best BP substitute?

 

1. Can not be corrosive

2. Good smoke

3. Minimal fouling

4. Low recoil

5. Easy to load

 

My .02. By sharing my own recipe and process I'm probly opening myself up to some criticism, but so be it. It works for me and as Capt Baylor says "Your mileage may vary".

 

I switched from GF to FCGF several years ago and love it. It did take some getting used to the differences in loading techniques, but once those were ironed out I've come up with what works. For me. In my guns. For the way I shoot. For the way I Clean. Feel free to steal any ideas because I stole em all from smarter shooters than me anyway.

 

I've always shot .45 Colt. In smokeless it was 700x which left a ton of room in the case but never seemed to cause a problem. So that was the first thing I had to change - how to take up that extra room on the top of black (or a substitute)? First I tried backer rod (Capt Baylor has a cool jig to cut with an exacto knife) and that worked fine. Only problem is it was slow on my Dillon 650. Again, Capt Baylor to the rescue, and I think HE stole the idea from Pettifogger, who said to get a Lee Autodisc and set it up on station 3 to dispense the right amount of old lumpy grits (the powder, not the person) or whatever other filler you like on top of your powder. Somebody also said get Cream of Wheat, but I like to eat that stuff, not shoot it. Voila! After multitudinous adjustments I got it to drop the right amount so that there would be mild compression inside the case so as not to let the powder wander too much from the flash. The Autodisc barely fits along with the normal Dillon powder measure - but it  does fit (see picture).

 

And speaking of the Dillon powder measure - I was so dumb I didn't know you weren't supposed to meter black or substitute that way. By time the smart folks told me I couldn't do it, I'd already done it thousands of times with no problems. So I guess I'll stick with it. Plus with the Autodisc dumping in filler next door, I can always check visually before I put a bullet in that the powder drop must have been in the ballpark, at the very least. My rounds are very consistent and I can't remember the last time I had a squib. I did have a primer not go at EOT this year, but that's rare too.

 

And speaking of "or substitute", I use BlackMZ exclusively. It drops about 6.5 grains by weight under a 200gr RNFP coated bullet. I don't use any lube obviously and have never encountered leading in either long guns or revolvers. I don't anneal, but I've never had a problem with accuracy or consistency since I've been using filler on top of the powder.

 

And speaking of filler - I just use my old cleaning media once it gets too dirty. I dump it in a big can and the granular corncobs or walnut shells work great as a filler. Cheap and it saves my Cream of Wheat for breakfast where it belongs. Seems to be very easy to clean up, too.

 

And speaking of cleaning - I'm kinda anal about that. I "clean" my guns after every stage. Yeah, I can go two or three before they start getting gummy, but it only takes like five minutes to clean with straight old WD-40. I can hear the gasps already. Hush, you all. WD with a wire brush for the cylinders and hand area of my Vaqueros and WD sprayed onto the carrier area of the '73 and then the excess wiped off does wonders. I also put a couple of sprays down the barrels of the SKB and then wire brush it and feel with my pinkie for any residue I might have left behind. I know I'm probly not conforming to the norm, but this process works great for me. When I wanna get more serious post-match I'll break em all down and get the residue off with a brass wire brush and soapy water. Then I spray em down again with my trusty WD and put em away for six months. ;)

 

So let's double check your list:

1. Not corrosive. BlackMZ is on the low side of corrosive so yeah, that works. APP is the same stuff - I had a friend who put both under a microscope and couldn't tell which was which, plus the patent number is the same. BlackMZ cause I get it for ten bucks a pound at Sportsmans. Check.

2. Good smoke. Yep. "Good" is subjective, but everybody knows I'm shooting black when it goes boom plus, I can't see the target anymore. Check.

3. Minimal fouling. Purty much. I clean after every stage cause I want to, not cause I have to. Check.

4. Low recoil. I'm guessing if other folks felt my recoil they would say I'm gaming it. Especially Tex. But don't tell him. ;) Check.

5. Easy to load. Bout as easy as smokeless with my setup. Check.

 

Hope this helps. Ok, now all you nitpickers can tell me what I'm doing wrong. :)

20190719_090447.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Will Two Gun Adams said:

It drops about 6.5 grains by weight 

 

Not a typo? 

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Some powder manufacturers state their sub(s) can be safely loaded using a conventional powder dispenser.  I load both Triple Seven and Pyrodex using standard powder measures because Hodgdon says it is safe to do so.

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2 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Not a typo? 

 

Oh, heck. Mebbe it's 8. I've slept since I last double checked. I just know it's not 65 grains or .65 either.

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1 hour ago, Will Two Gun Adams said:

And speaking of cleaning - I'm kinda anal about that. I "clean" my guns after every stage. 

 

I’m curious how you do your share of posse chores?

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2 hours ago, Will Two Gun Adams said:

 

Oh, heck. Mebbe it's 8. I've slept since I last double checked. I just know it's not 65 grains or .65 either.

 

I settled into using 1cc of BlackMZ for everything.   That comes 15 grains by volume and in the one sample I weighed by request, 15 grains by weight.  That charge fills 38 Special nicely and also 32WCF and C45S.  I use the same 1cc in 44WCF with a filler of 1/3 U-Haul packing peanut.  Makes plenty of power and smoke. 

 

 

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I have loaded .38spl with APP fff the ff was like chunks of charcoal. But the fff metered well through my Dillon. I have tried the subs but for me they lacked the pyrotechnics of shooting real BP. But of all of the subs my first choice if I were to use that would be APP. That said I rarely shoot the .38spcl but if I do it is a full case of real Goex ff. My rifle is 44wcf loaded with a full case of Goex ff and 200gr bullet. Pistols ROA's with about 25gr Goex fff . I have tried fillers and would have to agree with Mr. Johnson regarding the use of fillers more trouble than its worth. If you do feel the need for filler than try fiber wads from Circlefly that have wads for about every caliber you shoot.

That's my 2 cents

 

Hochbauer

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8 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

 

I’m curious how you do your share of posse chores?

 

Only takes about 5 minutes. I shoot first or close to first, so by time I'm done cleaning is about the time to take over the clock.

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I started BP and used many options until I found what I like to use currently. All Goex 2F. All full loads under a 200 gr bullet.  But for you, Black MZ for 9.99 a pound is the way to start out in my opinion to test the waters. 

Using Black MZ means you can use smokeless lube bullets and not mess with BP lube bullets. I used the same .45 200 gr .452 RNFP in my 1873, 1892, 1911, Ruger OMV's. when starting out with Black MZ. (Unique in the 1911 and rifles when shooting WB). Keep things simple. I believe that a 2.2 cc Dipper in 45 colt under the 200 gr bullet should be your starting point for your rifle. There will be no space, no problems.  Good crimp less fouling.  If you shoot 45 in your revolvers, consider buying a few cowboy special brass and use 1.3 cc under the same 200 gr bullet. Ignore all the mess and problems with caulk backer, filler, etc.  

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