Safe Black Powder Guns??

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Red Neck64, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Dan Keith

    Dan Keith New Member

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    I found this post while searching the net for info on proof testing black powder guns. It seems I had the info all along, just didn't realize it. A copy of Dixie Gun Works catalog tells all. From the original post here, it looks like the fellow fired his new CVA rifle with something like a Provisional Proof load, or a triple charge. According to DGW charts, the standard load for a rifle of that caliber should have been 50-60 grains of Black Powder.

    I'm 48, and have been shooting ML's since 1979. My CVA Mountain Rifle, .45 cal. side lock-cap-lock, has been a great rifle and I generally load 50-60 grains of FFF and a .440 patched round ball. I consider 60 grains the max load.

    With my .75 cal. Musket, 80 grains of FF was the standard load.

    My .36 cal. custom built flint rifle generally gets 40 grains of FFF Black Powder.

    Here's some further info gleaned from DGW.

    Examples of standard loads:

    As a general rule, for rifles and muskets, you load one grain of Black Powder per cal. So if you have
    a .36 cal. rifle, load it with 36 grains of BP.
    a .44 cal. rifle, load it with 44 grains of BP.
    For Pistols, use half the amount.

    .75 cal Musket: 70-80 grains of FF Black Powder.

    20 guage/.60 cal. Musket: 60 grains of FF Black Powder.

    .45 cal. rifle: 45-60 grains of FFF Black Powder.

    .44 cal. pistol: 22 grains of FFF Black Powder.

    .58 cal. pistol: 20-30 grains of FFF BP.

    .69 cal pistol: 25-35 grains of FF BP.

    20 guage pistol: 20-30 grains of FFF BP.

    Provisional Proof, was done when barrel was in basic stage and tested with three times the standard load of BP.
    Definitive Proof, was done when barrel was finished and tested with double the standard load of BP.
    Service Charge, is the standard load of BP.

    DGW suggests a basic test for Proof being double the standard load, plus two patched balls. Also, remove the barrel from the stock and use a several inch long firecracker fuse to ignite the charge.

    So a test for proof of a .50 cal. rifle would be 100 grains of FFF BP with two patched balls.

    Proof for a 20 guage musket would be 120 grains of FF BP and two .60 balls.

    Proof for a 20 guage pistol would be 60 grains of FFF BP and two .60 balls.

    Just an interesting addition... back in high school,(1978 or so) in metal shop, we used to make cannons. Mine was a 2" piece of cold rolled steel, 6" long, with a 1/2"/.50 cal. bore, 5" deep and a 1/8" touch hole. I was shooting trap at the time and reloaded my own shells. So for this cannon, I'd put a several inch piece of waterproof cannon fuse in the touch hole, fill the bore with Smokeless powder, like Red-Dot, or 700X or something... to within sight of the muzzle, stick a wad in the barrel and hammer a rock in... light the fuse and RUN! Talk about a BOOM!

    After firing this cannon dozens of times in this manner, one day the barrel bulged near the touch hole, with a one inch long split visible in the steel, but not all the way thru to the bore. We tried everything from then on to see if we could get it to blow up further, but to no avail. It continued to function as a noise maker for years... don't know what became of it tho... haven't seen it in years.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  2. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Dan, great information.
    ... don't know what became of it tho... haven't seen it in years.

    Probably sold on E-bay as "Original, genuine, Civil War mortor/cannon"
  3. zaydex5

    zaydex5 New Member

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    In my ignorance,in 1970 I proofed a Pennsylvania 45 cal long rifle I had made,using 120 gr ffg and 3 patched balls,or triple the usual load. I did this 3 or 4 times,and the barrel and breech plug withstood it without any sign of bulge or splitting.Maybe this was excessive,but figured I erred on the side of safety. Any suggestions as to what I should have done? I still have the rifle,and it still is ok.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  4. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    With blackpowder or equivalent substitute, it is NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE to overload a modern BP rifle. The powder will blow out of the barrel before it ignites. HOWEVER, I suspect many of these alleged accidents occurred because the bullet was not properly seated AND THERE WAS AN AIR GAP! A combination of a heavy load and air gap between the projectile and the powder is equivalent to jamming the muzzle in the ground and pulling the trigger!
  5. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    X-ring gentelmen, X-Ring!!! IMHO no truer words have been posted as to what "really" caused the inline in question as well as 99% of all BP rifle blow ups!!!
  6. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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  7. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Randy Wakeman is the worst thing that's happened to bp in the last 900 years.:(
  8. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Was going to ask who Randy Wakeman is, then found his page. The "fine print" at the bottom of the home page says

  9. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 New Member

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    Use to ask that myself...then found out he's some sorta self-proclaimed blackpowder guru. Kinda surprised that one of his followers hasn't jumped on ole Hawg for bad mouthing their boy. :)
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    They're more than welcome to. I'll jump back tho.:D I would say what I really think of him but not quite ready to get banned yet.;)
  11. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 New Member

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    That's where my money was going. :)
    Maybe he'll show up here...seen it once before. Was on a small site a few years ago. Someone said something that apparently offended one of his followers and lo and behold who shows up? :) Yep...he made the one post and that was it. :) Surprised me that he even took the time to do that. You know his followers were oohing and ahhing cause he showed up on their little site, but then got their bubble busted when they saw he wasn't ever coming back. :)
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