Black Powder Substitute


Zeke Menuar
October 6, 2003, 03:30 AM
I am going to resurrect my 1858 Remington 44 cap and ball replica. I am interested in using something other than regular black powder. The choices I know of are:

Hodgon 777
Clear shot

what are the pros and cons of each powder, cleanup, performance etc. I am really interested in the pyrodex and 777 pellets and how they compare performance wise to their granulated counterparts. Do these sustitutes have a longer shelf life than BP. In spite of my caution, some of my GOEX went bad and had to be destroyed.

Can conical bullet of proper diameter be shot safely in a purcussion revolver?

I am working some OT and some of that money is going to the fine art of making smoke and noise. Thought the old Remington would make a fine sustitute trail gun. I am already looking for a period holster and gunbelt.


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October 6, 2003, 05:08 PM
OK, here goes...
yes, properly sized conicals can and have been fired from cap-n-ballers for a long time. I don't know if 777 has been OK'd for revolvers, but pyrodex not only works great, with lower pressure and less fouling than true black, but also come in handy .44 caliber pellets just for cap-n-ball guns. Thirty grain equivelent, I believe. I do apologize for not having any clear-shot info, as I haven't ever tried it, but have heard good things.

"Keep working...millions on welfare depend on you!"

October 7, 2003, 05:20 PM
I use 777 in my T\C rifle, but the webpage warns that it will not ignite if you do not have 209 ignition. It has no sulfur in it, from what I have read, and I guess the sulfur increases ingition ease. It may work fine with a #10 cap, but the info does not look good.

October 9, 2003, 10:25 PM
There is no substitute for black powder!

Clear Shot:rolleyes:


October 10, 2003, 02:24 AM
I tried Pyrodex in my 1860 Army (Navy Arms). FF, FFF, whatever- thing just didn't like it. Tried Goex FFF, and she works like a charm. Now I don't use anything but straight-up BP in any of my charcoal burners. Don't really notice any difference in amount of fouling, and BP smells/tastes better, too.

October 11, 2003, 12:48 PM

The load I use in my Ruger Old Army is a 22Lr shell full of 3f black powder followed by 35gr (by volume) 777 with a 250gr conical & CCI #11 magnum caps. DO NOT under any circumstances try this load in your 1860 Army. This load is only mentioned to show how I get the substitutes to ignite in our wet weather climate. The small BP charge allows the primer to act like a much larger cap. It also drastically increases chamber pressures.

With your gun I would stick with straight BP charges. BP is easier to ignite than any substitute on the market especially in high humidity areas.

As far as the conical goes, the 1860s frame is relatively weak, I think I would stick to RBs only. Besides for what reason would you want the conical? It is going to increase the cost of shooting & it wont turn your 1860 into a hunting gun.

God Bless

October 12, 2003, 11:30 AM
Those who are hardcore true black powder only shooters should consider that if that attitude is taken, then any smokeless powder they use should be tossed out and replaced by cordite... only. Oh, yeah, and throw out that compound bow a recurve with no sights.


But seriously, here in the last holdout of communism (NY) true black is so hard to obtain that I've given up. Pyrodex has been reformulated something like 6 or 7 times, and is much easier to ignite than it used to be. Plus cap and ball guns have basically inline ignition, so if you do your part and keep it clean, nipples especially, you should have no problems.

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