I want to shoot this Whitney Kennedy light frame...but

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by dexterblack, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. dexterblack

    dexterblack New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Near the People's Republic of Boulder, CO
    It was my dad's. He got it from his dad. It is a partial octagonal .38-40. Its bore is very bright, but the receiver is full of old powder residue, dried grease, and general crud. Once it's cleaned out, lubed and reassembled, I don't want to have to take it apart every time I shoot it, but it is a black-powder cartridge rifle, so it'll get crudded up fast.

    Does anyone know if any of the newer BP substitutes (like Blackhorn 209 or Black MZ) can safely and reliably be used in that cartridge without over-pressuring the gun?

    I'll have to take new pictures at lower resolution; the current photo files are too big to upload.

  2. toppkatt

    toppkatt New Member

    Jul 29, 2011
    From another thread...
    Originally Posted by dexterblack View Post
    Does anyone know if BH209 is ok for BP cartridge rifles? (Not a replica: In this case, a light frame Whitney ca. 1885, .38-40)
    See my #4 reply. I use it in my 1886 Winchester in caliber .45-70 made in 1887. It was my grandfathers rifle and I use it at least once a year for our club's buffalo shoot. A .40 caliber or better is required and distances of 100, 150, 200 and 300 yds. I load Blackhorn 209 for the black powder class. I've never won but have fun every year even in the January cold.
    Occasionally I'll use it in the club's lever action shoot.
    Just don't go overboard, you should be fine.
    I might be getting a Colt Lightening pump rifle in .38-40. I never thought of using it in that rifle. I might have to try! Thanks for the idea.
  3. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    You don't have to take it apart every time. The 38-40 is a bottleneck. The neck expands enough to prevent most of the blowback you get with straight walled cases. Leave a fired case in the chamber when you clean the bore and you won't put any more in the action. What fouling you get in the action can be cleaned by swishing the action around in soapy water. let it drain a bit and spray it out liberally with WD-40 to displace what water is left. Follow that up with a liberal dose of Remoil. My 44-40 gets almost nothing but black and it hasn't been disassembled in almost two years.
  4. TRAP55

    TRAP55 New Member

    May 10, 2004
    Occupied Territory Of Kalifornia
    Trail Boss powder, foolproof to reload with, burns clean, and made for exactly what you need.
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