Final Test Results with Black Mag 3 Powder


Mark whiz
May 12, 2005, 03:56 PM
Well, I finally got back to the range to do some more extensive testing with my can of BM3.

Overall, out of my 22" Knight USAK, I can say I am unimpressed. :(

The stuff is VERY clean, but at least in my circumstances - that is the best compliment I can give it.

Testing a full range of sabots, conicals, and patched ball I found:

1. It takes 15gr more BM3 powder to equal the velocity the identical bullet gets with 777 powder. Dropping a load just 5gr below that mark drops the speed approx 100fps and about 3" on a target set at 75 yards.

2. My groups with BM3 are over double the size of my best groups with 777 at 75 yds. The BEST group shot today with BM3 was 2.2 inches, with most of them between 3 and 4 inches - while my 777 loads would cut .85" groups with the same bullets.

3. Also I found that it did very wierd things to the powercheck cups on Powerbelt bullets. Even though I lube the bullet posts and make sure the cups are loose on the bullets, on about 1/3 of my powerbelt shots the cups failed to disengage from the bullets - ripping huge holes in the target and really putting a whammy on accuracy. And several of the cups I found after firing showed that the skirts were cut pretty badly and the center hole the post goes thru were expanded to over twice the size of the original hole. I have had problems with the skirts not dropping off when trying them with 3fg 777, but I've never seen the cups damaged so much with 777, Pyro, or Clean Shot.

I to summarize my findngs, I think BM3 is pretty powerful, but shorter barrels like mine can't take advantage of it's burn rate unless you push the powder charge to levels that affect accuracy. So for now, 777 will remain my powder of choice for this rifle - I think I'll use the rest of my BM3 to teach my future stepson how to shoot...............the cleaner shooting will make it easier for him to get the hang of operating the rifle.

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Lee Woiteshek
May 12, 2005, 06:34 PM
Other blackpowder forums have pretty much bad mouthed 777 pellets. Seems like its hit or miss. I have a Knight Disc Extreme in .45. Shooting three 777 pellets behind a 175 grain Barnes Red Hot. Groups are measured in feet. Its got me talking to myself. I'm sold on convenice of the pellets, but I can't get 777 to shoot in my rifle. I'm told that there is so much pressure with the three pellets that the sabots are stripping the rifling. Haven't tried shooting it with just two pellets, as I wanted the extra range the three pellets provide. Pyro pellets work fine. I also have the dreaded crud ring, and it took a total of three men with tools to break the breech plug loose. The other forums are real strong on BM3. I didn't want to get into pouring, and measuring my powder again, but I think I'm going to have to try some. If I can't get the Knight to shoot with BM3, I'll have to get an Encore or a Contender.

Mark whiz
May 12, 2005, 06:45 PM

I never had very good luck at all with Pyro pellets in this rifle, so I never even bothered with the 777 pellets. One thing I do know about Knights in general & mine specifically, they tend to be more accurate with heavier bullets. While there are not a lot of heavier weight bullets available in .45cal, you ought to try some that go at least 200gr................maybe even the PowerBelts which are the heaviest I've seen on the market (275gr).

You probably also ought to go ahead and try the 2 pellet load too. The Encores are about the only rifles I've heard of that handle the 3 pellet loads well and I know my shorter Knight does not like hot charges or light bullets at all.

That's why I ended up using loose was the only way to get the accuracy I wanted out of this rifle.

Good Luck

Lee Woiteshek
May 12, 2005, 08:46 PM
I orginally owned the Knighthawk in 50 cal. It was a MK 85 stainless with a thumbhole fiberglass stock. For ten years I shot nothing but the lead 260 grain sabots. I could keep three shots with pyro, pellets or powder in a watch crystal at 100 yards. After reading an American Rifleman article that the .45 Knight Disc was gonna be the next hot thing, I sold the MK 85, and got the Disc Extreme. Of course this comes under the what was I thinking??? I e-mailed Knight and asked their recommedation on which was the most accurate Barnes Red Hot with three 777 pellets in .45. The reply was the 175 grainers. So I went out and promptly purchased 100 dollars worth. All my friends shoot the Powerbelts and rave about them, but I've got about 5 years worth of these bullets, so I'm gonna try and find a powder they like. The final insult is that the .45 is a dying blackpowder caliber, probably selling as well as the .54 calibers. So I don't see a whole lot of R&D going into what will shoot well in .45. Its been my experience just to find suitable bullets is an adventure in and of itself. The last couple of times I've been in the gunstore I have lustfully fondled the Omega and Encore in 50 caliber. I'm almost there.....

May 13, 2005, 08:01 PM
Lee, you pretty much summed up everything I've heard about BM3. I'll stick with 777.

I tried 777 pellets in several guns, but none liked them. I switched to granular 777, and the crud ring disappeared and my breechplug now comes out easy as with pyro. Two pellets of 777 gave the crud ring and the tight breechplug, but 130 grains granular ffg gives great accuracy with 300 grain sst's, and no problems.

It seems that the 1:28 twist guns do prefer heavier bullets. My Omega doesn't shoot 240 grain or 250 grain bullets for crap, but 300's make me do the happy dance. 430's shoot good too, but they kick real bad.

May 23, 2005, 06:03 PM

Here is something ( powder cleaner.html) that will help you get those stuck breech plugs loose.

Good luck,

May 23, 2005, 06:09 PM
You are not alone with the accuracy and velocity findings. See Triple Seven vs Black Mag3 ( article on this site.


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