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Black powder safety question


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:ph34r:  You experienced Soot Lords likely know this.  I'm loading .38 Short Colt cases with 3f, and have both Goex and APP.  I know there should be no air space between top of powder and base of bullet.  Do you compensate (and in what manner) when using the Speer 148 gr. hollow-base wadcutter?  

I developed a nice mild Trail Boss load to prove to myself the bullet would work and not lead the barrel, but the end objective is to get it to work with smokey powder.  Using Taylor's .38 conversion cylinders and Starline brass with Trail Boss I got a nice average 620 fps with a SD of 8.  Groups nicely, shoots mild.

I can think of ways to fill the cavity in the base, but am leery of any actual powder compression. 

Am I living in needless fear, or is this a real concern? 

 

Any experience-based help is greatly appreciated.

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If the bullet base contacts the powder, you can ignore the little dab of air in the domed base.

 

If you fill the hollow base, the little bit of powder compression is not going to matter either.

 

You could try both and see which you like best.

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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Never loaded APP, with real BP, have the bullets base compress the powder 1/16" and you're GTG.

I'm curious how many grains of BP that will take,  with this cartridge.

OLG 

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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When I was shooting that boolit with real BP, I put a vegetable wad on top of the powder.

—Dawg

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1 hour ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

If the bullet base contacts the powder, you can ignore the little dab of air in the domed base.

 

If you fill the hollow base, the little bit of powder compression is not going to matter either.

 

You could try both and see which you like best.

 

^^^^ THIS^^^^

 

BTW,  Goex in a 38 short colt case WILL NOT make the smoke standard and I seriously doubt that APP will either.

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Your velocity should be sufficient to be able to run down to the target and adjust it while the bullet is in flight ;)  A little compression with BP is just fine and in fact is recommended.  APP doesn't like compression and that tiny little air space likely will make no difference.

 

PS:  If you can't get a full "CC" of Black Powder or equivalent in that little case, under your choice of projectile,  you're going to fall some short of the "Smoke Standard."

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
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20 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

I thought the discussion on smoke factor was dead. Apparently it still floats to the surface.

 

Taking every advantage WITHIN the rules I understand. Knowingly breaking the rules is unfair to everyone. 

 

If I am working the unloading table and I know that the shooter is shooting in a BP category and they eject 38 short colts out of their pistols. You can bet I'll call them on it. 

 

Anyone that doesn't needs to ask themselves how they would feel if they were cheated.

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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Your velocity should be sufficient to be able to run down to the target and adjust it while the bullet is in flight ;)  

So right on par with pretty much every 38 special smokeless shooter these days? 

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Hmmm... re: air space in cartridge guns...  IMHO, it much ado about nada!  Feel free to flame away.

 

IMHO, it doesn't matter as long as the case is at least 75% filled.  The prohibition against leaving an air space in BP guns is more geared to non-cartridge guns, especially those used in hunting with lubed conicals...  In a cartridge gun the brass case acts like a "gasket" between the "explosive" force of the charge and the barrel.  In addition, the seal of the bullet to case, is generally far greater than that of a lubed conical to barrel wall.   But, to the point... A "ringed" barrel is thought to develop from two main causes, shooting an obstructed bore, or a secondary detonation.  An obstructed bore can happen with the preceding charge doesn't clear the projectile from the barrel.  Your "air space" is now wholly independent of any density of load in the next cartridge.  A secondary detonation is described as when part of the charge is detonated and the ball & patch move partially down the barrel... then the rest of the powder charge is detonated.  

 

So, when will a less than full volume charge cause a separation of the powder charge & create a situation where the powder charge becomes a primary and secondary detonation?  Especially in a cartridge case with a crimped in bullet.  Enter your theory here:  ____________________________________________.   Mine is that it can possibly happen when the powder in the case has enough room to separate into two wholly lumps in the case...  something less than 50% load density.  Ergo, my limit of not less then 75% of case volume.

 

I've been shooting between 28 & 30 grain of Goex "Cartridge" powder in my 45 Colt cases since it was introduced... and still have nearly a ½ case of the last one I purchased.  I'm now loading APP in the same manner in the 3F granulation and shot these in my 45 Colt rifle at both EOT and CAC this year.  I don't shoot BP in my suppository revolvers, but if I did it would still be with the C45S case, APP & a 160 bullet.  I also only shoot about 43 grains of the same in my 12 ga hulls with 1 oz shot.  I must admit I don't know if that constitutes a "no air space" column with the 12R (or equivalent) wad I use, but it makes for a better crimp than my 38 grain loads... 

 

 

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5 hours ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

So right on par with pretty much every 38 special smokeless shooter these days? 

 

Pretty broad brush you have there.  I'm guessing you shoot full house .45 "wart pig" loads that warp targets.

 

Caliber has nothing to do with it.

 

If you load your ammo such that is goes bang... tick-tock... clang, then you're not getting the feedback you need to shoot fast.

 

Of course, if shooting fast isn't your thing, then carry on.

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Stump Water said:

 

Pretty broad brush you have there.  I'm guessing you shoot full house .45 "wart pig" loads that warp targets.

 

Caliber has nothing to do with it.

 

If you load your ammo such that is goes bang... tick-tock... clang, then you're not getting the feedback you need to shoot fast.

 

Of course, if shooting fast isn't your thing, then carry on.

 

 

 

Apparently nobody can take a joke anymore. While at times with shadows I can literally see the bullet path to the targets with many shooters, my post was not meant to be any more literal than the one I replied to. 

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Griff nailed it.  You have almost no risk with your tiny 38 short loads.  I eye ball what Lee dipper I should use to load 38 shorts for my derringer.  So 125gr RNFP (cause it’s what I got handy) and eye ball the APP load has worked just fine in my Bond.  Doubt you will have different results in your cartridge revolver.

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The whole BP standard of does it make enough smoke is a joke. It should have been based on some sort of chrono FPS standard. The issue being no one wants to set up a chronograph.

Power factor doesn't work because my 32-20 rounds with a full case of FFFG doesn't compare to a 45 Colt, or 38 special.

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What was the BP standard and how was it judged? Just courious, I've never shot BP, but it looks like fun.

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39 minutes ago, Rebel Bill said:

What was the BP standard and how was it judged? Just courious, I've never shot BP, but it looks like fun.

 

The BP "smoke standard" is still in effect.

REF: SHB pp. 25-26

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57 minutes ago, Rebel Bill said:

What was the BP standard and how was it judged? Just courious, I've never shot BP, but it looks like fun.

Just shoot Frontiersman.  ;)  C&B revolvers meeting main match criteria meet all requirements by their very nature.

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On 9/29/2021 at 11:05 AM, Kid Rich said:

I know a few that shoot that cartridge with BP and and no one questions them. 

PS. NO I don't believe they make the smoke factor, but they manage to win their Frontier cartridge category.

kR

Maybe someone should question them, gaming with Uber mousefart loads is pretty sad and not in the spirit of the game...

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On 9/29/2021 at 11:05 AM, Kid Rich said:

I know a few that shoot that cartridge with BP and and no one questions them. 

PS. NO I don't believe they make the smoke factor, but they manage to win their Frontier cartridge category.

kR

 

On 9/29/2021 at 10:18 AM, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

...

PS:  If you can't get a full "CC" of Black Powder or equivalent in that little case, under your choice of projectile,  you're going to fall some short of the "Smoke Standard."

Looked it up. Had to look since I plan to run .44 Russian loaded with APP in my .44 Special revolvers); I don't want a "gaming" charge:

 

"... 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).

 

The testing specification includes minimum power factor, minimum velocity, and the 1cc of powder goes into a:

 

  • -  Standard .38 Special case.

I also noted the test firing takes place after raising the gun to "at least 80 degrees into the vertical" before each test firing...

 

So does this suggest loaded cartridges may have air space? 

 

What is the powder capacity of a .38 special and a .38 Short? Compared to 1cc. All I could find is a .38 Special holds 21 grains which is more than 1cc...

 

Edited by John Kloehr
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12 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

 

Looked it up. Had to look since I plan to run .44 Russian loaded with APP in my .44 Special revolvers); I don't want a "gaming" charge:

 

"... 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).

 

The testing specification includes minimum power factor, minimum velocity, and the 1cc of powder goes into a:

 

  • -  Standard .38 Special case.

I also noted the test firing takes place after raising the gun to "at least 80 degrees into the vertical" before each test firing...

 

So does this suggest loaded cartridges may have air space? 

 

What is the powder capacity of a .38 special and a .38 Short? Compared to 1cc. All I could find is a .38 Special holds 21 grains which is more than 1cc...

 

 

All values are uncompressed powder

 

A 38 Short Colt holds about 0.6 cc of powder.

A 38 Special holds about 1 cc of powder.

A 44 Russian holds about 1.3 cc of powder.

A 44 Special holds about 1.7 cc of powder.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Rebel Bill said:

 

 

 

 

What was the BP standard and how was it judged? Just courious, I've never shot BP, but it looks like fun.

Jump in with both feet. It is way too much fun to pass up.

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15 hours ago, Rebel Bill said:

 

 

 

 

What was the BP standard and how was it judged? Just courious, I've never shot BP, but it looks like fun.

 

Come to the Dark Side. Once you do you'll give up on that smokeless stuff.

 

Besides, We have cookies. :)

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16 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

So does this suggest loaded cartridges may have air space? 

Just as with smokeless loads, nothing in the SHB suggest "how" you should load your ammo.  The single prohibition is that no "duplex" (combination of smokeless & BP) are allowed.  Load density, choice of powder, filler, no filler are left to you, the responsible party.  Enjoy your new found freedom AND RESPONSIBILITY!

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21 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

 

Looked it up. Had to look since I plan to run .44 Russian loaded with APP in my .44 Special revolvers); I don't want a "gaming" charge:

 

"... 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).

 

The testing specification includes minimum power factor, minimum velocity, and the 1cc of powder goes into a:

...

 


Power factor and minimum velocity regs do not apply to BP category ammunition.
 

Quote

AMMUNITION COVENANTS

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.

SHB p.25

 

Edited by PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L
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48 minutes ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:


Power factor and minimum velocity regs do not apply to BP category ammunition.
 

SHB p.25

 

Oops, I completely misread:

 

Testing of blackpowder rounds for the production of adequate smoke will also be conducted in a similar matter as described above.

 

And thought the reference to above was also requiring the smokeless tests.

And on reading the handbook again, I find this:

 

Through testing of various loads, it has been determined that 1cc of blackpowder, in either a .32, .38, .44 or .45 caliber case, all produce approximately the same amount of smoke (see Blackpowder  Testing section for additional requirements). Before deciding on any reduced loads, a competitor should test them to ensure they meet the base line standards.

 

So low recoil black powder is not gaming, only making too little smoke is?

 

And in reference to the OP, less than 1cc of powder is pushing the standard without a way to shove 1cc of smoke into 0.6cc.

 

Though there may be a way... I see some hints in this study which is trying to do the opposite:

 

http://www.jes.or.jp/mag/stem/Vol.79/documents/Vol.79,No.3,p.59-69.pdf

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19 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

Oops, I completely misread:

 

Testing of blackpowder rounds for the production of adequate smoke will also be conducted in a similar matter manner as described above.

...


"Similar manner" refers to "...they will be asked to provide five rounds from each suspect firearm, already loaded at the loading table."

(text correction added to "the list" of edits)

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