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Where can I get loose black powder?

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by wonderwhippet, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    I know very little about muzzle laoders, but someone gave me a .50 caliber black powder derringer. It shoots just fine with the few ounces of ffg black powder he gave me, but will not ignite Pyrodex pellets. Here in southern Kalifornia I cannot find a dealer who will sell loose powder, as they don't want to go through all the red tape and hassel. Any suggestions on where to buy loose powder?
  2. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Black powder is getting very hard to find in many parts of the country.When I left Kalifornia over 10 years ago, I was unable to find it anywhere. If your dealers carry Pyrodex pellets, they should carry cans of Pyrodex powder, also. Several other black powder substitutes are out there, also. Look around the gun shops and the indoor ranges. I've found it at indoor ranges which don't allow black powder weapons in the door.

    Black powder is classed as an explosive. The black powder substitutes are classed as propellants. That is the difference in the rules for shipment and storage.

    Pops
  3. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll try the Pyriodex powder.
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Remember that all black powder and substitutes measure by VOLUME, not weight. A scoop of pyrodex is equal to a scoop of black powder is equal to a scoop of triple-7 is equal,,,etc. If you measure out 20 grains of black powder in a dipper, it will weigh (roughly) 20 grains weight. If you measure out 20 grains weight of Pyrodex, you will have an OVERLOAD. Use the volume measure. When the recipe calls for 20 grains, it means a 20 grain dipper, not 20 grains weight.

    I think I emphasized that enough. Then again, maybe not. Call me if you have questions. :D

    Pops
  5. bambihunter

    bambihunter New Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    The new alternatives are also better in respect that they are less corrosive to your firearms too. Triple7 in particular is very clean and can be left in the gun for a week or so (handy during hunting season) without having to worry about rusting like traditional black powder.
  6. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Gentlemen, I tried the Pyrodex powder and it worked like a charm! Also there was much less fouling. Previously, using some black powder (someone gave me a couple of ounces) I had to swab the bore so I could force the next ball in, but using Pyrodex the ball was easy to push down the bore. Many, many thanks to all.
  7. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Even with black powder, if you had to swab after one round, your patches are too tight, the ball is oversized, or you are not lubing your patches well enough. The old standard manual of arms called for swabbing after 5 rounds on a broken-in barrel. Pdex and other subs do foul less, but lubing the patch well is still necessary.

    Pops
  8. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Wait a minute! I am an absolute novice with muzzle loaders, and what little I know was taught to me by a shooting buddy who is always by my side. He uses revolvers, a single shot rifle, and a revolver/carbine. He does not use patches and has never told me to use them. My derringer is .50 caliber, and my balls are the same caliber. Should I be using patches? The balls barely fit now, so will I need smaller balls? What should they mike? Boy, I better read up on what I'm doing!
  9. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Revolvers don't use patches. The ball is sized to fit snugly in the cylinder and then is squeezed into the barrel by the forcing cone. Single shot guns usually use a patch to make a tight fit between the (slightly) undersized ball and the barrel. Perhaps your derringer is intended to be shot with exact fit balls, but I would be surprised.

    Get a copy of Lyman's black powder manual. This is, in my opinion, the best of the books out there to introduce you to the art of "shooting dirty." Most 50 cal barrels are designed to use 0.455 to 0.458 balls, with a 0.015 to 0.010 patch. The patch is lubed with a light grease (Wonderlube, Natural lube, lard, Crisco, etc.) worked into the weave.

    I would contact the manufacturer and see if you can get a copy of the owners manual that came with the pistol. At the least, they should provide you with loading and care intructions.

    Pops
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