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Tequila Chase

BP Substitute - First time loading

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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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My favorite shotgun load is

Primer of choice

Federal Top Gun Hull (Remington Gun Club also works.)

35 grains by weight of 3F APP

Claybuster CB0178-12 wad. I use moderate compression to seat the wad.

About 7/8 oz of #8 shot. ( I have an adjustable charge bar and adjust the shot to give me a good crimp.

 

Has taken down every KD that I have come across.

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9 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

My favorite shotgun load is

Primer of choice

Federal Top Gun Hull (Remington Gun Club also works.)

35 grains by weight of 3F APP

Claybuster CB0178-12 wad. I use moderate compression to seat the wad.

About 7/8 oz of #8 shot. ( I have an adjustable charge bar and adjust the shot to give me a good crimp.

 

Has taken down every KD that I have come across.

 

Thanks - I may try that one.  @Sedalia Dave just to make sure it's 35 grains by weight, correct?

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33 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

 

Thanks - I may try that one.  @Sedalia Dave just to make sure it's 35 grains by weight, correct?

 

Yes 35 grains by weight not volume.

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Naaaa.  Bestest 12Ga Shotgun loads are Magtech All Brass hulls, 40Gr 2f APP, 10Ga 1044 wad cut for 1 Oz shot and an overshot card.  Mucho Stylin!!

 

When loading for 45 Colt (I don't anymore), with whatever amount of APP 3f I use, I make op the airspace with Cream-0-Wheat.  Breakfast works a treat.  However, I must throw out a CAVEAT:  I don't shoot reduced loads in the 45 Colt case.  Actually, I don't shoot ANY loads (anymore) in a 45 Colt case.  I drop back to 45 Schofield cases or C45S cases.  I still make up any airspace with Breakfast Food.  Recommended you greatly reduce the amount of liquid when using C-0-W filler.

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2 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

the last load is the same amount of powder but without the backer rod.

I agree that it wont blow up your gun but what you'll see with this method is varying degrees of powder burn. some will burn completely and others will be light recoil. It allows for inconsistent burn rates and the recoil will vary. 

 

i'm running light for recoil management. 45 colt with 25 gr 2f real black, .455 dry wad and compress lightly, grease cookie that comes up to the base of the bullet, 200 gr rnfp from outlaw bullets, nice solid crimp.  It's time consuming to load but I never have powder fouling locking up my guns. I can run 6 stages and never wipe a thing down other than my hands. everything rinses right out with hot water and minimal swabbing at the end of the day. 

 

Now something that i'm just starting to give a try is the rod backing. skip the dry wad and grease cookie. i've been dipping about 1/4 inch of the rod backer into my lube and setting that end up against the bullet. I've only loaded and tested 100 rounds that way but i'm liking what i'm seeing so far. 

 

For the 12 ga i'm running magtech brass hulls trimmed back to 2 1/4" so they cycle better in my 87. federal magnum lrg pistol primer, 50gr of 2f, 1/4" 11ga nitro card, 3/4" 11 ga fiber wad, either a construction paper shot cup or any 12ga 7/8oz plastic wad cup. (cut the cup off and use just that), 7/8oz of reclaimed shot, 10 ga overshot card sealed in with 50/50 beeswax/lambs tallow (or beeswax/crisco if i've been to lazy to render fat). and a light roll crimp so they chamber easily. 

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2 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

 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.

 

 

In the spirit of “give credit when credit is due”, the author of that treasure trove of information is not Curt Rich, but our very own Captain George Baylor.

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5 minutes ago, Abe E.S. Corpus SASS #87667 said:

In the spirit of “give credit when credit is due”, the author of that treasure trove of information is not Curt Rich, but our very own Captain George Baylor.

 

My apologies to him, I saw the link for the Captain George Baylor blog but I didn't put 2 and 2 together.  Any way you slice it that was a very good tutorial that he wrote.

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57 minutes ago, Abe E.S. Corpus SASS #87667 said:

In the spirit of “give credit when credit is due”, the author of that treasure trove of information is not Curt Rich, but our very own Captain George Baylor.

Ahhh - Curt Rich IS the good Capt. Baylor ...........

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Posted (edited)

No reason to load .45 Colt unless you need it for a rifle. For pistols I suggest first, C45S (.45 cowboy special) or second, .45 Schofield, which don't have to be downloaded with fillers. (An unnecessary PITA in my opinion).

 

If you need it for a rifle, I still don't think fillers are necessary. The average rifle is heavy enough to absorb the recoil of a full case.

 

YMMV.

 

Edited by Abilene Slim SASS 81783
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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

 

When loading for 45 Colt (I don't anymore), with whatever amount of APP 3f I use, I make op the airspace with Cream-0-Wheat.  Breakfast works a treat.  However, I must throw out a CAVEAT:  I don't shoot reduced loads in the 45 Colt case.  Actually, I don't shoot ANY loads (anymore) in a 45 Colt case.  I drop back to 45 Schofield cases or C45S cases.  I still make up any airspace with Breakfast Food.  Recommended you greatly reduce the amount of liquid when using C-0-W filler.

 

Instead of C-O-W what about ground un-popped popcorn?  In the fiery explosion I could get popcorn out of the barrel.  Of course I'm kidding and wouldn't do it.  Besides how'd you get the butter on it? :lol:

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8 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

 

Instead of C-O-W what about ground un-popped popcorn?  In the fiery explosion I could get popcorn out of the barrel.  Of course I'm kidding and wouldn't do it.  Besides how'd you get the butter on it? :lol:

Use Bore Butter of course.:D

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So, went to the range today with my three test loads here's what happened:  The battery died on the chronometer, so I couldn't get that data.  I shot all the rounds in the same pistol to eliminate any difference between guns.  First I shot 5 rounds with a full load, recoil was better than I thought it would be and felt softer than smokeless powder.  Then 5 rounds with partial load with the air space made up with 1/2 inch of backer rod, recoil was better yet but not terribly noticeable.  Than 5 rounds with the same partial load but without the backer rod, this was just as light of a recoil as with the backer rod.  After each 5 rounds we looked at the spent brass to see how the powder burned, if there was any unburnt powder and with the loads with the backer rod if there was any foam left in the brass, all the brass looked the same and no burnt foam.  I shot all the rounds Duelist with my strong hand.  Since recoil is perceived Gator Bait then shot 5 rounds each in the same order 2 handed.  Then we did it again with Lady Gator off to one side watching how much muzzle rise there was.  All along we watched for accuracy, amount of smoke, and consistency. After all was said and done I'm comfortable with loading the partial load with no backer rod and getting good results.  The reason for not using the backer rod was that it took a lot of time to cut them up and stuff it into the cartridge without a noticeable change in recoil or shootability.  

 

My next is to work on a 12 gauge shotgun round using the same 3FG APP powder, so stay tuned.

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33 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

My next is to work on a 12 gauge shotgun round using the same 3FG APP powder, so stay tuned.

See Sedalia Dave's  data above. It's spot on.

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23 minutes ago, Yusta B. said:

See Sedalia Dave's  data above. It's spot on.

 

Wonder how you know that. :ph34r:

 

 

 

Could it be that its becuse I got that load from you???

 

Are you shooting the Oklahoma State match at RRV?

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1 minute ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Wonder how you know that. :ph34r:

 

 

 

Could it be that its becuse I got that load from you???

 

Are you shooting the Oklahoma State match at RRV?

Wish I was. Gonna shoot as many as I can at Bar-3 Sat. Last time I shot there only made it thru 3 stages.

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So, now I've got some new questions with the shotshell.  I'm planning on using a plastic wad, and I've been told that it'll melt in the barrel.  How do I get rid of the burnt plastic and will I have to clean the shotgun between stages?  

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

So, now I've got some new questions with the shotshell.  I'm planning on using a plastic wad, and I've been told that it'll melt in the barrel.  How do I get rid of the burnt plastic and will I have to clean the shotgun between stages?  

 

You can shoot 6 stages as day for three consecutive days and not worry about cleaning your shotgun using plastic wads. I have done it a couple of times with ZERO issues. The trick is to be sure your hulls are sealing the chambers.  You can test this by looking at the outside of a fired hull. There should be very little if any fowling on the hull below the crimp line.  If there is then you may want to use a chamber brush every couple of stages to prevent hulls from sticking.

 

Getting the burnt plastic out is easy and there are lots of ways to do it and all of them work. Find the one you like and you are all set.

 

The way I do it is to insert a cork into the muzzle end of the barrels(s) and then stand them vertically. Squirt a couple of shots of Ballistol into each barrel and then fill with hot water. Let them set till all your other firearms are clean and then remove the corks and drain the barrels.  I use a 12 gauge Remington Squeeg-E inserted from the breech end and push everything out the muzzle. You can also use a wadded up sheet of paper towel to do the same thing. Follow up with a patch oiled with a BP compatible lube and you are good to go.

 

One thing I have noticed is the amount of fowling in the barrels varies greatly depending on the weather.

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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43 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

You can shoot 6 stages as day for three consecutive days and not worry about cleaning your shotgun using plastic wads. I have done it a couple of times with ZERO issues. The trick is to be sure your hulls are sealing the chambers.  You can test this by looking at the outside of a fired hull. There should be very little if any fowling on the hull below the crimp line.  If there is then you may want to use a chamber brush every couple of stages to prevent hulls from sticking.

 

Getting the burnt plastic out is easy and there are lots of ways to do it and all of them work. Find the one you like and you are all set.

 

The way I do it is to insert a cork into the muzzle end of the barrels(s) and then stand them vertically. Squirt a couple of shots of Ballistol into each barrel and then fill with hot water. Let them set till all your other firearms are clean and then remove the corks and drain the barrels.  I use a 12 gauge Remington Squeeg-E inserted from the breech end and push everything out the muzzle. You can also use a wadded up sheet of paper towel to do the same thing. Follow up with a patch oiled with a BP compatible lube and you are good to go.

 

One thing I have noticed is the amount of fowling in the barrels varies greatly depending on the weather.

 

Do you recommend more Ballistol or something else?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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I don't clean the shotgun barrels after every stage but do remove the plastic after every day of shooting.  It's just part of my routine.  I use cheap Dollar Store window cleaner followed by a paper towel shoved through with a rod.  Some use automotive windshield fluid.  With its alcohol content I think it would work fine.  For oiling I usually use Ballistol but have used spray cooking oil and even synthetic motor oil.  All worked well.  What doesn't work is leaving the barrels un-oiled.  That melted plastic sticks to clean bare steel really well.

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9 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

So, now I've got some new questions with the shotshell.  I'm planning on using a plastic wad, and I've been told that it'll melt in the barrel.  How do I get rid of the burnt plastic and will I have to clean the shotgun between stages?  

 

It's not difficult to remove. I simply run hot water through it and it pushes out with a standard bore brush. But I was given a tip from another long time BP shooter. he applies crisco on the wad between the shot cup and the over the powder base. says a dollop on a popsicle works well to apply it. I have yet to try this method. 

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I put a 13 gauge Circle Fly .070" Card Wad between the powder and plastic cup and don't get any plastic in the barrel. 

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3 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

 

Do you recommend more Ballistol or something else?  Inquiring minds want to know.

 

I just use more Ballistol. But any BP compatible lube will work. 

 

 

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Today's adventure, I load on a Dillon XL650, a fine press and once used to it easy to use.  Anyway, I took the load information from yesterday and wanted to load 1-2 hundred rounds.  As I said earlier I took the measured amount of AAP and weighed it (electronic scale) 10 times.  I made sure the scale was calibrated to zero with the pan on the scale and I checked during the weighing to make sure it was going back to zero with an empty pan.  My results were (IMHO) inconsistent, I ran the board from 16.4 to 14.7 grains.  I wrote down all the weights thru out the high and low and averaged the remaining 8 samples.  I decided not to use the Dillon powder measure because of this.  The other thing I've noticed is that even with 3FG sometimes it still needs a little tap to get down the funnel, which makes me think without a powder check die I may get some bad results, I don't want a squib (I've seen them and it's never pretty).  If anyone has loaded 3FG APP using the Dillon powder system please let me know what kind of results you're getting, I'd be interested to see if using the large charge bar the powder sometimes does get caught up.

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1 hour ago, Tequila Chase said:

Today's adventure, I load on a Dillon XL650, a fine press and once used to it easy to use.  Anyway, I took the load information from yesterday and wanted to load 1-2 hundred rounds.  As I said earlier I took the measured amount of AAP and weighed it (electronic scale) 10 times.  I made sure the scale was calibrated to zero with the pan on the scale and I checked during the weighing to make sure it was going back to zero with an empty pan.  My results were (IMHO) inconsistent, I ran the board from 16.4 to 14.7 grains.  I wrote down all the weights thru out the high and low and averaged the remaining 8 samples.  I decided not to use the Dillon powder measure because of this.  The other thing I've noticed is that even with 3FG sometimes it still needs a little tap to get down the funnel, which makes me think without a powder check die I may get some bad results, I don't want a squib (I've seen them and it's never pretty).  If anyone has loaded 3FG APP using the Dillon powder system please let me know what kind of results you're getting, I'd be interested to see if using the large charge bar the powder sometimes does get caught up.

 

I have loaded 10s of thousands of rounds of 38 special with 3F APP on a Dillon SDB with very few issues.  Probably the most important thing with APP is to use a coarse mesh screen in the funnel as you pour it into the powder measure.  APP will occasionally clump and these clumps will cause feeding issues. The screen catches the clumps before they make it into the powder measure.

2nd APP like real BP is loaded by volume not weight. However, because APP is rather coarse compared to real 3F BP powder, getting spot on consistant weights like you would for smokeless powder will be an exercise in flustration. So don't get too hung up about charge weight variations. Be more concerned if the volume is varying by large amounts. At the distances we shoot at small variations are nothing to be concerned about. 

 

I use the large charge bar for APP

 

Couple of other things I have learned. 

This applies to your shotgun press as well as cartridge press.

 

1. After every loading session put the powder back into the bottle. APP will suck moisture out of the air causing it to clump and bridge if you leave it overnight in your powder measure.

 

2. Remove the powder measure and clean the inside of the expander plug after every loading session. I use a appropriately sized brass brush on a short handle. Lube the outside with a little powdered graphite or other dry film lube.

 

3. If you are done loading for more than a couple of days disassemble your powder measure and wash throughly in soap and water. Be sure to brush away all the black residue from the charge bar and inside the frame where the charge bar travels using a nylon or other soft bristle brush. Do not use a steel or brass brush on the aluminum surfaces of your powder measure. If the residue will not come off soak it 10 or 15 minutes then brush again. Repeat as necessary.

Once clean, be sure to dry throughly and lubricate with a dry flim lube or powdered graphite. Do not use any lube that leaves behind a wet film as it will cause issues with smokeless, BP, and BP subs alike. 

 

When you get into long range shooting with real BP then the loading procedures are going to change. You will be using a drop tube, Compression die, and other techniques that are needed to hit the target at 1000 yeards plus.

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I have tried to use Dillon and RCBS uniflow powder measures with APP ; both 2f and 3f , with no success. Usually end up dipping the charges.

Just as well , I am basically lazy , so that eliminates having to take the powder measures apart for cleaning after using APP.

Rex :D

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Well here's a new update.  Since the range went well I loaded 100 rounds last night, this took a while since I hand dipped each round.  I looked at it as a "labor of love" but I can see it getting old quick, I'll have to get a powder check die.

 

Now this is where it gets a little crazy, I decided why not, let me load some shotshells.  I checked Sedalia Dave's recipe which is posted above and I called Gator Bait because he mentioned what he used when he was shooting APP.  I liked Sedalia Dave's recipe because it was very close to what I was already loading, but to be honest I didn't have a bushing to throw that much powder, so I used the biggest one I had (#30) checked the weight a couple of times  and although it was below 35 grains it was still in the upper 20's which I felt was acceptable.  I loaded 36 shells and 2 practice rounds that didn't pass the shell checker and boxed all up for today's match.

 

So I'm going to shoot my last match before I leave to go to Comin' at Cha and possibly the TN State match.  I'm going to shoot Black Powder Duelist, this should be fun.

 

I'll let y'all know how it went and if my loads worked out. 

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For cleaning my shotgun barrel I cork the ends and squirt a bit of "Windex with vinegar" in them. Wipe it off the bluing to avoid possible damage. I then wait a short while and flip the barrel over occasionally. Then pull the corks on the chamber end and push in a 1/4 sheet of paper towel or half sheet if your towels are the half sheet perforated. push it thru to muzzle with your cleaning rod and everything comes out nicely. The plastic looks like a snake accordioned. With a full match in them I follow up with my normal cleaning patches and solvent. Not usually needed however. Good luck. I'm still waiting to see a burning wad stick to the target.:D

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