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Dipping the toes into frontier cartridge and frontiersman


Ambush Andy

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i guess next loaded question, pun intended... I use a lee load master progressive to load 38 now.. seems like conventional wisdom says not to use a progressive for real BP because of static, or at least not the powder charge station.. is that true?

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You will get answers pro and con regarding real BP in a conventional powder measure.  BTW, Hodgdon says Triple Seven can be safely dispensed from ordinary powder measures so I do.  I dispense real BP from a measure made for BP.

 

BTW, welcome to the darkside!

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After resizing, repriming and belling the case rim on my Dillon 550, I take the cases out of the press at station 3 and accumulate 50 in a tray.  I use the cheap plastic Lee dippers and a hand held funnel to charge each case with powder.  This allows me to make sure each case is properly filled (eliminates any concern about powder bridging in a measure) and also permits another inspection for rims that might have split during belling.  Takes me maybe two minutes to charge and inspect 50 cases this way. Then put the cases back into the press at station 3 to seat the bullet, crimp at station 4. 
 

I don’t worry about static electricity in a powder measure as much as I worry about bridges and powder charge variation.  Using dippers for black powder cartridges eliminates the worry.  I use dippers for shotshells also.  Same reasons.

 

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7 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

After resizing, repriming and belling the case rim on my Dillon 550, I take the cases out of the press at station 3 and accumulate 50 in a tray.  I use the cheap plastic Lee dippers and a hand held funnel to charge each case with powder.  This allows me to make sure each case is properly filled (eliminates any concern about powder bridging in a measure) and also permits another inspection for rims that might have split during belling.  Takes me maybe two minutes to charge and inspect 50 cases this way. Then put the cases back into the press at station 3 to seat the bullet, crimp at station 4. 
 

I don’t worry about static electricity in a powder measure as much as I worry about bridges and powder charge variation.  Using dippers for black powder cartridges eliminates the worry.  I use dippers for shotshells also.  Same reasons.

 

 

This sure seems like the safe approach.  I guess I was looking to shortcut which I know better than :)

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Can’t speak for all loading machines of course but if you use a substitutes like APP then there is no issue using a powder measure.  I load on a Dillon and even they say “no problem” with it.  But I do like J-Bar’s method with real BP.

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For shot gun I'm loading 3.1 CC of 3F real black, pink wad, 1 oz. of #8 shot. They run similar to AA low recoil , but much less felt recoil. Te knock downs always go down if I can still see the last ones!! Have fun. I'm thinking of trying the frontier cart. myself next year. Just what i need another addiction in this game!!

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I use the nail and dowel method for my shotshells, even though I own a MEC jr.

 

I use fiber wads instead of plastic cup wads, mostly to avoid the melted plastic.  Some say it leaves a hole in your shot pattern, but when shooting at paper I had nice dense patterns with mine.  I shot the four-stage BP match at TN State clean, with no missed SG shots; my loads knocked then down fine.

 

When I first started loading SG, my star crimps were uneven and about a third of the shells wouldn;t load or shuck smoothly.  I went to a roll crimp and after a few practice shells the vast majority load and shuck fine.

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You can load APP or subs using the powder measure that came with your press. Just be sure after you have completed the loading session that you take the powder measure apart and clean out any residual dust. I use hot soapy water and a nylon bristle bottle brush.  Use compressed air and a nylon bristle brush to remove any dust or spilled powder from your press. Be sure to remove the shell plate and clean under it.

 

A loading session is however long you plan to load BP cartridges before taking a break longer than 7 days. I usually load 3 to 4 thousand cartridges in a session and it may take me up to a week before I finish. Then I clean everything really well. I usually load all the smokeless cartridges in the various calibers first and then I load all the APP cartridges. It can take me a couple weeks to get everything loaded depending on how much time I can sit aside each day. 

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Been shooting bp since 1979, mostly muzzleloading until I started Cowboy Action in 2006. Lots of fun. I shoot  both c&b and cartridge. The only major problem I've had is with the 1875 Remington. The close fitting cy,inder and skinny cylinder pin tends to bind faster than Colts. 

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Dang it, just come on home to daddy!!  Was digging through some old cowboy stuff I hadnt checked in years today and stumbled onto one of the old LEE hand loaders.  Wonder how hard it would be to find some of these for old pistol calibers?

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I've been shooting BP since 1978, but just started shooting SASS a few months ago.  Cleaning BP is no big deal. I shoot BP Cartridge occasionally, and will do it more and more.

 

Two things to add to the discussion:

 

1) The 45 Colt is a bit dirtier than the 44-40, but it cleans up just fine.  The 45 Colt is so darn easy to load, compared to the bottle necked, thinner walled 44-40 that I'm not gonna switch.

 

2) Standardize your bullets and/or cases to you can tell at a glance which loads you have in your hand after picking up a spilled box of ammo.  In my 45 Colt I use Starline brass for smokeless and mixed headstamps (no Starlines) for BP.  I also try to use lead bullets for BP and coated for smokeless.  I even use a different color coating for 200 grain vs 250 gr bullets. 

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If you decide to shoot .45c long term with black (and I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to) you should look into annealing your brass.  I found a huge difference in the amount of blowback after I started annealing.  My ‘73 would get so dirty after a 5 stage match that I’d have to take it apart and clean right down to the toggles.  Now I’ll run 20 stages before I even think of opening it up unless I need to clean the carrier sides.

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Been shooting BP in muzzleloaders since the late 70s... in cartridge guns since late 1986... I load my BP shotshells on the same 600 Jr as I load smokeless, I bought my first Dillon in 1988 and have loaded BP in my 45 Colt cases on it.  Run it through the regular powder measure.  It does require a little more frequent cleaning the powder slide to clean any "fines" out of it.  After I bought my second 550B, I relegated the original powder measure/dispenser to use in BP only.  My reloading area has never been in a heated or air conditioned space... two of the most common sources of static buildup.  So, in 34 years of loading and shooting BP in cowboy action, I've never had an incident.

 

YMMV.  Proceed at your own risk.

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;)  OK Andy, I'll Leap In. :rolleyes:

 

First a CAVEAT:  If your going to play in Frontiersman, it will take commitment.  You'll need to be committed.  Prozak committed.  Your Cap Guns need to be properly set up for CAS.  OEM guns won't cut it.  Plan for that.  Your current 38s will work just fine with BP.  They will also work just fine with APP.  regardless of what "others" say, 777 was never intended for cartridges nor Percussion pistols.  Avoid Pyrodex like the plague.  Pyrodex is an instant rusting agent that also happens to burn.

 

If you select an 1866 in 45 Colt, prepare to anneal your cases.  Uberti rifles have atrocious chambers and are prone to horrendous Blow-By.  Big heavy bullets will only mitigate the Blow-By a little.  Annealing ELIMINATES the Blow-By.  My .45 rifles shoot as clean as any bottle-neck cartridge.  Annealed cases.  Annealing is skull numbing boring but well worth the effort in the long run.  Annealing is NOT for handguns.

 

There is a great advantage to APP as your Sub of choice.  No Lube.  None.  Nada.  Nix.  No special bullets.  No lube cookies.  No lube over the Ball, If you have a ton of bullets with crayon smokeless lube, APP doesn't care.  Shoot away.  Super easy cleanup.  Warm Water.  Keep your Cap Guns running with PAM.  PAM is an acronym for Hydrogen Peroxide, Alcohol, and Murphy's Oil Soap mixed in equal parts in a small squirt bottle.  Put a drink cozy over the squirt bottle to keep direct sunshine away from the Peroxide.

 

Have fun.  If you start down these paths, abandon all Hope.  Resistance is Futile.  You WILL be assimilated.

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Ah poop.  I forgot.  Keep Shotgun SIMPLE!!  ALL BRASS Magtech hulls.  Super simple to load and reload.  Huge style points too.  

 

Another forgot:  I load everything Suppository on a Dillon 650.  APP 3F.  2F APP does NOT meter well at all.  I load 2F for Shotgun.  

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I load real bp on a lee loadmaster progressive press. Use the lee powder through die and a 1cc or 1.3cc dipper depending on what weight bullet i'm running. It's the fastest way i've loaded bp cartridges short of actually using one of lees powder droppers but should you choose to go that route then it's at your own risk. 

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7 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I load real bp on a lee loadmaster progressive press. Use the lee powder through die and a 1cc or 1.3cc dipper depending on what weight bullet i'm running. It's the fastest way i've loaded bp cartridges short of actually using one of lees powder droppers but should you choose to go that route then it's at your own risk. 

I just bought the through die for my loadmaster.  Do you run 38?  Use wads?

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3 hours ago, Ambush Andy said:

I just bought the through die for my loadmaster.  Do you run 38?  Use wads?

I do load for 38 but not a lot. The 38 case don't hold enough volume to run a wad and the minimum amount of powder. If you're running true black powder you will need to make sure your bullets have a non petroleum based lube like spg or 50/50 beeswax/tallow which is my preference. Imo if you're going to run a sub then app makes the most sense because you can run whatever bullet and lube or lack of with it. Ymmv

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7 hours ago, Ambush Andy said:

I just bought the through die for my loadmaster.  Do you run 38?  Use wads?

I load 38 BP on progressive using the through powder expanding die in one station and then a powder drop in the next station filled with inert material as filler.  Drop 1 cc of BP and then fill with a small amount of walnut or grits in next stage to finish the case fill.   Can actually go pretty fast this way.

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  • 2 months later...

Wanted to thank you all for the advice in this thread, its been like my frontiersman Bible lol.  More than a few dollars more and a curious wife on my secret activities later, slightly delayed due to a bout with covid, but I'm now armed up with a couple of 1860s, a, 1866 44-40 and I've built plenty of bp rounds and shells for a few matches.  I've practiced up and learned a few more lessons (with many more to learn) and ready to make some smoke in January events should the weather hold out here in west tennessee!

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One other option when cleaning your shotgun shooting plastic hulls. I shoot brass only now and really adds a lot of fun shooting them. When I shot plastic hulls the first thing I do when I get home is remove the barrel and squirt Windex, with vinegar , into the barrels and keep unloading my truck. When everything is unloaded I run a shotgun Tornado brush down the barrels and out comes the snake. Run a couple of patches with ballistol like   and all done. It works good for me so try and use what works best for you is the important issue. Welcome to the dark side and enjoy.

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On 10/19/2020 at 3:09 PM, Diamond Jake said:

I use the nail and dowel method for my shotshells, even though I own a MEC jr.

 

I use fiber wads instead of plastic cup wads, mostly to avoid the melted plastic.  Some say it leaves a hole in your shot pattern, but when shooting at paper I had nice dense patterns with mine.  I shot the four-stage BP match at TN State clean, with no missed SG shots; my loads knocked then down fine.

 

When I first started loading SG, my star crimps were uneven and about a third of the shells wouldn;t load or shuck smoothly.  I went to a roll crimp and after a few practice shells the vast majority load and shuck fine.

 

I load my brass shells using a MEC, I adapted it so it will seat primers, after I hand charge them, then I use the ram to stuff the nitro card, wads and overshot cards.  I also use it to put the shot in.  Easy peasy and goes quick

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Is there a problem or contradiction for competitors that want to run CB revolvers, (Because they are awesome.) and just run normal loads in rifle and shotgun? 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, The Hero of Canton said:

Is there a problem or contradiction for competitors that want to run CB revolvers, (Because they are awesome.) and just run normal loads in rifle and shotgun? 

 

 

 

Unless you are shooting in a Black Powder Category there is nothing in the rules that would prevent you from shooting smokeless loads in your rifle shotgun or both.

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Normal was a unindoctrinated choice of words. 

 

Smokeless is a better word choice. 

 

Thank you. 

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I began shooting frontier cartridge shooting .38 cal pistols and rifle. I shot bp lubed bullets and no issues. For a period of time I was shooting APP but decided to go back to Goex when the APP got what I thought was too pricey. At the time was shooting an old hammerless double. For the past few years I have been shooting Frontiersman with a mismatched pair of ROA one is 5.5 inch and the other 7.5 rifle is a 66 in 44wcf and TTN hammered double but have been dabbling with an 87 lever gun. Shotgun loading is done on a Mec jr. My preference is to use fiber wads I have been using AA hulls for my 12ga. Rifle is loaded on a Dillon 450 and I cast and lube my bullets. I am also casting my rounds balls for the capguns. Cleanup is really not a biggies especially with the shotgun as I take off the barrel and run hot water through it in the slop sink in the laundry room. There is a learning curve to loading in general so take your time and ask questions as you can see there will always be lots of answers even for things you did not ask about. Look for Duelist 1954 on youtube he has tons of videos black powder specific.

 

Hochbauer

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On 12/31/2020 at 8:49 PM, The Hero of Canton said:

Is there a problem or contradiction for competitors that want to run CB revolvers, (Because they are awesome.) and just run normal loads in rifle and shotgun? 

 

 

I more often do the opposite: shoot BP shotshells and smokeless in revolvers and rifle.  Smokeless is a lot less expensive (4.5 grs vs. 35 gr) in 45 Colt, and I only reload SG with BP or substitutes.  The only time I plan to shoot smokeless in my shotgun is when I need to shoot up factory shells to get more hulls for BP loading.  when everything is BP I sign up in a Frontier Cartridge category; when mixed powders I sign up in an age-based category.

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