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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the expense of sounding really stupid... I have a question pertaining to "Black Powder".
What is it and what is it not? Is black powder, gun powder or smokeless? Is it the same stuff modern muzzle loaders use now-a-days?
I am in the final stages of putting together a CVA/Jukar Pennsylvania rifle (kit) in .45 cal, and the barrel reads Black powder only... so.. what is black powder?
I know not to use modern propellants like my IMR and Alliant powder I use in my -06 and .40 S&W hand loads.
Thanks for the input, and sorry if this is a stupid question. Im just trying to be on the safe side here.
Shawn
 

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Back in the old days they called Black Powder, gunpowder but Black Powder is not the same as the smokeless in modern guns, goex, swiss, elephant are real BP, Pyrodex and triple 7 are BP substitutes which are a little softer fouling due to some added ingredients and a bit cheaper than regular BP, either will work, but not smokeless....BOOM!....ouch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So... pyrodex and triple7.. in powder form or can one use the pre measured packed pellets?
And will it hurt to use the substitutes? Or just benefit from cleaner burning?
 

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No the subs are fine although you are supposed to reduce your load when using triple 7. I dont know much about the pellets, they are not black powder though they are some kinda sub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok.. now next question... what would be a good starting point for a charge? This is a .45 cal. I figured lead ball for the projectile, what diameter (I assume smaller than .45") and what about patches?
If you cant tell, I have no experience with B.P. anything.. I'm a modern firearm guy, doing a favor for the boss! But ill be darned if I don't test this thing out before I hand it over to him!
Thanks for the input guys,
Shawn
 

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Suggestion: Check Out American Pioneer Powder Before Making Any Decisions
Used several different Black Powders over the years including Goex "True Black"
and many different Subs.
Settled on APP few yeaqrs back , and use it for Cap & Ball, ShotShell and Cartridge Reloading including Sticks for my TCs.

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Ok.. now next question... what would be a good starting point for a charge? This is a .45 cal. I figured lead ball for the projectile, what diameter (I assume smaller than .45") and what about patches?

Shawn
.440 round ball with a .015 lubed patch and 50-70 grains of powder to start. All guns are different as to the best load combo. You just have to play with powder charges and patch thickness. Cleanup is with hot soapy water. Modern smokeless solvents don't work on bp fouling. The Pennsylvania rifle has a pinned barrel so its not easy to remove it for cleaning. Use a piece of aquarium tubing attached to the nipple and the other end in a bucket of water. A tight patch on a jag(not a slotted tip) or shotgun bore mop will create a suction and draw water up through the bore. No need for a brush. After cleaning use a vegetable based lube in the bore. Petroleum based lubes and bp don't like each other. I use loose Pyrodex. I wouldn't waste my time with pellets. 777 has to be reduced by 15% and doesn't like compression but can't have an air space. The other powders need compression. If you can get real bp use it. FFFG is best in a .45 but FFG will do just fine. Swiss powder is the best and then Goex. Those are the two you will most likely find if you find any real bp at all. I dunno about the new Elephant powder but the old Elephant was about as good as shooting dirt.
 

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To ShawnDow...if all the "F" is confusing. Black powder is carefully "ground" to certain size grains. Why you see the designations on the cans. Generally goes from one "Fg" to triple "FFFg". Courser to finer.

Single Fg is Cannon powder size.. FFg is suitable for most everything else...e.g. muskets (percussion and flintlock), rifles, most pistols and so on. FFFg is usually used as "priming powder" size to prime flintlock pans. (but we always used FFg)

Pyrodex was created as a "safer" substitute for actual Black Powder. It had a checkered history at first. A lot of BP users didn't like it. My husband never liked using it although we have a can of it. Sometimes it miss fired but I understand it was improved over the decades since it appeared.

Cleaning weapons after using BP was simple. Hot water was used and swab down the barrel and you were fine.
 

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Single Fg is Cannon powder size.. FFg is suitable for most everything else...e.g. muskets (percussion and flintlock), rifles, most pistols and so on. FFFg is usually used as "priming powder" size to prime flintlock pans. (but we always used FFg)
3F is a pistol/small rifle powder. 4F is priming powder. 3F will work to prime and if you have a good lock FF will work but will most likely give slower ignition times. I use 2F in revolvers with good results and some people use 3F in large caliber rifles with good results.
 

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3F is a pistol/small rifle powder. 4F is priming powder. 3F will work to prime and if you have a good lock FF will work but will most likely give slower ignition times. I use 2F in revolvers with good results and some people use 3F in large caliber rifles with good results.
I used to take my pyrodex and put some in a mortar/pestle and grind it fine like dust, and then put that in my pan charger for my flintlock... still had to run a nipple cleaner thru the flash hole after every shot it seemed.. :)
 

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At the expense of sounding really stupid... I have a question pertaining to "Black Powder".
What is it and what is it not? Is black powder, gun powder or smokeless? Is it the same stuff modern muzzle loaders use now-a-days?
I am in the final stages of putting together a CVA/Jukar Pennsylvania rifle (kit) in .45 cal, and the barrel reads Black powder only... so.. what is black powder?
I know not to use modern propellants like my IMR and Alliant powder I use in my -06 and .40 S&W hand loads.
Thanks for the input, and sorry if this is a stupid question. Im just trying to be on the safe side here.
Shawn
To the what is it question. Black powder is an explosive, it can be used for mining/quarrying or is most frequently used as a means to launch a projectile from muzzle loading arms. It was still in use when breach loading arms come into existance, and is still popular in cartridges such as the .45 Colt primarily a hand gun round, and 45-70 which is primarily a rifle round. Those two are only a couple of the many other cartridges came into being as first being loaded with black powder. Black powder as it is called now, used to be called "gun powder" before smokeless powder come into existance. Black powder is made of charcoal, sulpher, and potasium nitrate or more commonly know as salt peter, and is classified as an explosive. Smokeless powder as is used in most all modern cartridges, is made of a combination of different chemicals and compounds and is a propellant only, and is not classified as an explosive
 

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If you click on the link I'm posting, it takes you to the warning page for Hodgdon's Pyrodex data. Click on the agree box and the get data box and a pdf of Hodgdon's official Pyrodex data opens. And read the page that opens on the original link, because there's a lot of good info there - for using Pyrodex or Triple 7.

http://www.hodgdon.com/ml-warning.html
 

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Ok.. now next question... what would be a good starting point for a charge? This is a .45 cal. I figured lead ball for the projectile, what diameter (I assume smaller than .45") and what about patches?
If you cant tell, I have no experience with B.P. anything.. I'm a modern firearm guy, doing a favor for the boss! But ill be darned if I don't test this thing out before I hand it over to him!
Thanks for the input guys,
Shawn
I used to own a .45 cal long rifle. They usually have a slow twist, so patched round ball is the way to go. Try a .440 ball and .010 lubed patch initially. You can play with the ball diameter and patch thickness if that's too loose or too tight. Use 3F (fffg) powder for both loading and priming. Start out with about 60 grains for a hunting load. If it's a flintlock, the BP substitutes like Pyrodex won't work very well....
 

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I've used the pellets in my inline .50 but changed to loose, the pellets are in preset amounts so tailoring a load is purt near impossible. They come in 50gr or 30gr is all I've seen so it'd be mixing and matching and set up a chance to get it wrong. I shot 100gr behind a 246gr saboted bullet and it's a bit much for my shoulder so reduced to 70gr loose and it works great and just as accurate. FFG in mine since it's an inline.

I use windex soaked patches while shooting if I need to clean, then a patch with a bit of Bore Butter on it before loading, as some have said don't use any petroleum based products on it.
 

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4F is priming powder, I would not use anything courser for a flintlock pan.

3F is what I use in my BP guns, 2F works fine also but is better suited for longer barrels.

pistols, I would stick with 3F for the main charge.

I've only used Goex, still have some old cans kicking around, only shoot BP occasionally anymore. Going to try some other stuff soon, looking at the APP. I prefer the 'real thing' as opposed to the substitutes. I also hate inlines.

did I mention I hate inline muzzleloaders?
 
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