Need advice on powder load and type

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Jronjakoh, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. Jronjakoh

    Jronjakoh New Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    N.E. Ohio
    My boys bought me a couple of black powder pistols for Xmas and i'm just getting around to trying them out.

    Not sure of the load and type of powder to use. Just got the guns and no papers or instructions.

    Both are .50 caliber. One is a Kentucky Pistol and the other is a W.Parker. Should I use ffg or fffg powder and what would be a good load. Online suggest 30 gr, for plinking and 40 grn or higher for hunting.

    Need some sound advice so as to not 'blow my head off'. I am new to Blackpowder also.
  2. sierra308

    sierra308 New Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    I believe the loading manuals say to use 2F in anything .45 cal and up.I always used 3F myself it seemed to shoot better.the powder charges sound right,try a .495 round ball and .015'' patching.You can buy precut,prelubed patches at anyplace that sells black powder supplies.I use Goex black powder and Wonder Lube patches.

  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Sierra, I believe it's .50 cal or larger that 2F is recommended, I know 3F is recommended for .45 or less ...even though I use 3F in both my flintlock .45 and my son's .50 caplock Hawken and both work fine. I use 3F in both my .36 and .44 caplock revolvers too. (Mainly because real black powder is getting tougher to find, and more expensive too, so it's easier for me to only have one kind) (BESIDES the4F for my priming powder for the flintlock, which one can is lasting me a LONG time....)

    Now if I went to a .54 or a .58, or any smoothbore musket I would use the 2F.

    Jron, you should be OK with either 2F or 3F for either of them, just start out on the low side, most people overload their BP guns anyway....the most accurate load will almost always be on the lighter side anyway.

    And also, depending on the length of the barrels, 40 grains, MAY be too much, not because you are in danger of blowing it up, but the fact you may be wasting powder....too much in a short barrel USUALLY just means you will be blowing unburnt powder out the barrel with the ball whcih is just a waste of powder....start with about 20 or 25 grains and work up is what I'd do....the 20 grainers will probably be most accurate (your target load) and when accuracy falls off too much, back off 5 grains and that will probably be your "hunting" load. 40-50 grains willl probably be pretty stiff to shoot as well, with regards to recoil, in a handgun...depending on the wight of the ball....I'd guess you will settle somewherre between 30 and 40.....

    The best way to find your MAX load, is to shoot over fresh snow if you have that chance....when you see "pepper" on the snow right in front of your muzzle that means you are pushing unburnt powder out and wasting it, back off a little each shot until there is none, and that is probably your "max" load....

    For example, at about 80 grains I find the "pepper" out of my short barreled .45 flintlock rifle, about 40-50 grains gives me best accuracy, so my hunting load is 60 or 65 grains.

    Black powder is actually pretty forgiving and generates relatively low pressures, you'd have to work pretty hard or do something really idiotic like HAMMER a too tight ball (or two! People HAVE managed it!:eek: ) down on top of almost a double charge of black powder to blow one. In fact, that's how Dixie recommends to "proof" old guns...a double charge of powder behind TWO balls, with the gun tied to an old tire, and a LONG string....(although it seems it would be an expensive way to learn if your gun FAILS the "proof test....:eek: )

    Now the "smokeless BP substitutes' are a different story, I have no experience with them, and I read there is an issue with newer "cheap" CVA and Traditions rifles using "recommended" heavy loads behind saboted bullets causing blow be careful with Pyrodex or the like....
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
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