Chronographing 777 loads in revolvers.


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MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 04:21 PM
Okay, from the super companion thread, you'll recall I bought 777 yesterday. Took the .31 Rem, the ROA, and the super companion for some chronographing. I stuffed chambers full, not shooting for groups, shooting for power. Started off with the super companion and I was disappointed. It didn't work as good as pyrodex in that, 400 fps near bouts with a 4 buck for projectile. I forgot the conicals at the house...:banghead: I think this stuff must burn pretty slow and the short barrel doesn't do it justice. Not sure, but I'm stickin' with the Bullseye in the super companion, works great and to my hopes when getting the gun.

Next up was the .31. It shot high with this stuff, but shot 900 fps (haven't worked the averages up, but roughly 900 fps. That's via shooting a 60 grain conical, a good 150 fps improvement over Pyrodex P.

Next up, and the biggest shocker, the ROA. Now, normally it shoots around 900 fps with Pyrodex P. NOT with 777. Shots ran 1300 fps...:what::what::what: Yep, you heard right, and recoil was such with those little crappy plastic grips I have on it, I'm going to put that fugly Hogue grip my son-in-law gave me for the gun on it. It was hurting my hand with that faux checkering those cheap grips have. It shot well, its normal 2" groups, but now this is shooting a 220 grain Lee cast conical. Folks, that's 825 ft lbs! MY GAWD, that's right up there with my .45 Colt Blackhawk shooting 2400 behind a 300 grain bullet, the vaunted "Ruger only" stuff. That gun has a short barrel, 1120 fps with a 300 grain XTP, but I only get 1200 fps out of a 7" contender barrel with it. Now, that's 1000 ft lbs in the Contender, but shy of 900 in the Blackhawk.

So, move over Walker Colt! :neener: Anyway, I'm still quite shocked about that. A friggin' mazing. I don't know, however, if I'd wanna shoot a lot of this stuff in a .44 colt and FOR SURE I wouldn't wanna shoot a bunch of it in a brass gun. Now, I was loading with a 2.8 cc Lee scoop, so a Colt copy holds less and would probably be okay in steel, but man, I wore out a brass frame .44 Navy just pushing the loads with 3F BP. It only took about 6 years of occasional shooting to do it, too.

Anyway, I've found DA STUFF for the ROA and for serious loads in the .31, not that the .31 is a serious gun. Frankly, it's a brass frame Remmie and I figure it's better off shooting lighter loads in the 700 fps range which I was able to load with a smaller charge. 900 fps was a compressed load with the conicals.

One thing I didn't like, the load lever on the ROA kept flopping down under recoil. It doesn't do that with Pyrodex. I guess I could put a rubber band around it for hunting with. I would not hesitate to load that thing with hollow point 220s out of my Lee mold to shoot hogs with. It's got more juice than a .357 magnum, put it that way.

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RyanM
February 28, 2010, 05:09 PM
Started off with the super companion and I was disappointed. It didn't work as good as pyrodex in that, 400 fps near bouts with a 4 buck for projectile. I forgot the conicals at the house... I think this stuff must burn pretty slow and the short barrel doesn't do it justice. Not sure, but I'm stickin' with the Bullseye in the super companion, works great and to my hopes when getting the gun.

Next up was the .31. It shot high with this stuff, but shot 900 fps (haven't worked the averages up, but roughly 900 fps. That's via shooting a 60 grain conical, a good 150 fps improvement over Pyrodex P.

Interesting. I remember someone else chronoged 777 in a .31 (I forget the barrel length), and it was only getting a piddling 500 fps or thereabouts.

777 is definitely powerful in the big bores with longer barrels, though. I wonder what the safe maximum is for Howdah pistol? There's no way I'm going to shoot reduced loads from that thing, full bore 20 gauge all the way!

Good info, thanks. I'll need to get a can of 777.

One thing I didn't like, the load lever on the ROA kept flopping down under recoil. It doesn't do that with Pyrodex. I guess I could put a rubber band around it for hunting with.

I believe they used leather thongs back in the day.

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 05:26 PM
I did back off the load a tad on the .31 as I was filling it so full, the conical was having a hard time compressing. With the slightly lighter load, I still got 700 fps. I've got a 4" barrel on the gun, seemed to work okay in that gun, but hot the huge improvement the ROA saw. I was using the .3cc scoop that came with the super companion to load the .31, was dumping 3 scoops and the powder level was up near the top. 2.5 of those scoops is what showed 700 fps. That's about what I get with pyrodex, about 750 IIRC. That half scoop made nearly 200 fps difference. Kinda strange.

I should try it with 00 buck, too, I suppose. The load would not compress so much with ball.

higene
February 28, 2010, 06:28 PM
Good news about the ROA.

Comments about the Howdah in 'Howdah Basics' and personal experience show that the gun gets real snorty at 50 gr of BP. The real concern I have is injuring my fingers on the trigger guard with hot loads.

Load both barrels with 30 gr BP and 10 .31 cal balls in each barrel. Then touch them both off at the same time and see if you don't change your mind about the .31 being a serious gun.

:fire:

RyanM
February 28, 2010, 06:49 PM
Found an old thread where different powders were compared in a .31.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=166743&highlight=777+.31

Not the one I remember, and the performance with 777 was better, but still behind real BP. Looks like Swiss is pretty good in the small guns. It also sounds like 777 prefers conicals, but it's definitely worth testing a round ball as well, to see what you get.

--------

Comments about the Howdah in 'Howdah Basics' and personal experience show that the gun gets real snorty at 50 gr of BP. The real concern I have is injuring my fingers on the trigger guard with hot loads.

I've been reading through all the Howdah threads here. Can't wait for mine to arrive.

Good point about the trigger guard. The "hand cannon" I already have doesn't have that problem:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/syldssuf/serbu5.jpg

Her name is "Mercy." :D Lots of fun with 3" magnum rounds, though I can't convince any of my friends to try it. They're a bunch of wimps. There's no recoil at all! ;)

I may want to see about buying or making some kind of rubber bumper, like these guys put on their coach guns.

http://www.hatchergun.com/NFA/Coachgun_III-1.JPG
http://www.hatchergun.com/sbs.htm

Also, I do plan on trying to fire both barrels at the same time, at least once. A friend pointed out to me, if you do that, you have the same payload as 1 shot of 10 gauge!

Oyeboten
February 28, 2010, 09:25 PM
I was chroning "777" in .38 Special last November, Loads were less than Full House, and, FPS was better than those attributed to 'SAAMI' for 158 Grn Lead.


Seems very promising.


However, as for me, I want to review PSIs attributed to Mfr's stated 'do not exceed' Loadings for Handgun Cartridges, in order to have a better feel for what is going on for various loadings in Cap and Ball or Cartridge, if exceeding Mfr's loadings.


Did you chrono the Walker with "777"?

ClemBert
February 28, 2010, 10:18 PM
I'm curious as to how many grains of 777 you were putting in that ROA.

351 WINCHESTER
February 28, 2010, 10:32 PM
I'm curious too about how much 777 and was it pistol or rifle powder?

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 10:43 PM
double tap

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 10:48 PM
Did you chrono the Walker with "777"?

No, I was just speculating on the sanity of putting a full 60 grain equivalents of 777 in one and touching it off, the pressure thing you were speculating about. Yeah, the Walker is big, but it's an open top gun.

I'm curious as to how many grains of 777 you were putting in that ROA.

31.6 grains (weighed on my electronic scale just now) or 44.6 FFFg BP grain equivalents IOW, a full cyllinder, as full as you can fill it and compress it behind a 220 cast conical. Powder was measured with a Lee 2.8cc scoop. Powder was 777 FFFg pistol.

I don't worry about the ROA handling the pressure. That thing is BUILT to take pressure. But, I question the sanity of firing full charges of this stuff in replicas, especially open tops. Like I say, though, other than the Walker, most of 'em don't handle close to that much powder, so I reckon you'd be okay. The Walker, well, I'm not real sure about it. It's an open top gun that holds half again more than the ROA.

Oyeboten
February 28, 2010, 10:59 PM
Hi MCgunner,


If memory serve, "777" is not supposed to be compressed...where, of course, Black Powder is.

I hope you were not compressing it when Loading?

I think it could make dangerously and unpredictable high pressures when compressed, while, being all round steady-predictable when no air gap, no compress.


I remember being very careful when I was loading .38 Special with "777", not to compress it, and, not to leave any Air Gap either.

BHP FAN
February 28, 2010, 11:08 PM
'slight compression' is I believe, Hodgdond's official advice.I'll see if I can dig it up.

BHP FAN
February 28, 2010, 11:10 PM
from Hodgdon's website:
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Loading NotesWARNING - Before loading your firearm, stop and read and understand the instructions furnished with your firearm. If you do not have an owner's manual for your firearm, contact the manufacturer and request one. The owner's manual for your firearm should specify a maximum allowable load. Under no circumstances should this maximum be exceeded.
Make certain that there is no cap, primer or powder in the priming pan of the firearm. Make certain that the firearm is not already loaded.
All charges of Triple Seven or Pyrodex should be measured by VOLUME not weight. A simple, adjustable blackpowder measure is the correct tool for this job. All loads listed in this brochure are measured by VOLUME.
Triple Seven is a high energy product designed to provide the muzzleloading hunter with higher velocities when used in the same VOLUME as blackpowder. To duplicate a blackpowder load velocity using Triple Seven, you must decrease the powder charge by 15%. *See WARNING below.
Pyrodex is lighter in weight than blackpowder and weighs only about 70% as much as blackpowder. However, because Pyrodex yields more energy per pound than does blackpowder, the same volume of Pyrodex gives similar performance to blackpowder. Pyrodex loads given in this manual for muzzleloading guns are measured by volume, not weight.
Triple Seven In Cartridges: Use data specifically developed for Triple Seven FFG only. Cartridge loads should be used exactly as listed in this pamphlet. You may safely use a card or polyethylene wad up to .030" in thickness to protect the base of the bullet. Loading density should be 100% with light compression not to exceed .100". Testing has shown that Triple Seven will perform best when the bullet just touches the powder. Allow no airspace between the base of the bullet and the powder. Do not reduce loads by means of filler wads or inert filler material such as Grits, Dacron or Grex. Do not heavily compress powder charges. The use of filler wads, inert fillers or heavy compression may cause a dangerous situation, which could cause injury and/or death to the shooter, bystanders or damage property. Do not create loads for cartridges not listed. Contact Hodgdon Powder Company for recommendations concerning other loads. *See WARNINGS below.
Pyrodex In Cartridges: The mechanics of reloading metallic cartridges are quite simple, but there is one requirement of the modern shooter that cannot be overlooked. The modern loader must set aside his knowledge of loading with smokeless powders and embrace the ways of years gone by. It must always be remembered that blackpowder and Pyrodex are very inefficient powders by today's standards. The methods described here are consistent with good loading practices for Pyrodex and should be followed without regard to smokeless loading practices.
Pyrodex works best in straight walled cases, but it will work satisfactorily in bottle necked cartridges as long as our warnings are observed.
WARNING: Never allow an air space in any cartridge loaded with Pyrodex. The loading density must be 100% by light compression. 100% loading density may be accomplished in two ways:
The case is filled with powder to a level that will provide light compression of the powder (1/16" to 1/8") when the bullet is seated. Bottle necked cases must be loaded in this manner.
In straight walled cases, filler wads may be used to reduce the powder charge. This is done by inserting card or Polyethylene wads between the base of the bullet and the powder. Wads should be sized to the internal diameter of the cartridge case. The loader must be careful to insure that there are no void spaces in the assembled cartridge. NEVER use any other type of filler material. Be careful as loads are reduced. At some point, the bullet will fail to exit the bore.
When loading cartridges with Pyrodex or Triple Seven, you may use a powder measure designed for smokeless powders. Learn more.
Pyrodex does produce a corrosive residue from combustion. Even though this fouling is softer than the fouling produced by blackpowder, firearms should be cleaned after each use. Hodgdon Powder Co. recommends the use of natural cleaning solvents.
Cartridge cases that have been fired using Pyrodex require special care. As soon as possible after firing, cases should be de-primed and immersed in 50% water and white vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar will neutralize the corrosive residues remaining in the case. Care should be taken to limit the soaking time of the cases in the vinegar to 10 minutes. Soaking for a longer time may cause etching of the brass case resulting in shortened case life. Rinse cases with clear water, dry and polish in a tumbler with corncob or walnut shell media.
Flintlock: To insure proper ignition in flintlock systems, 5 grains of FFFFG priming powder should be placed into the bore prior to loading the main charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex. Consult the loading data in this brochure to determine the proper charge for the caliber firearm used and the chosen projectile. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder. While holding the firearm vertically, slowly pour the measured charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex into the barrel. Seat the projectile firmly against the powder. Make certain that there is no airspace between the powder and the projectile. *See WARNING below.
Percussion Firearms: Select the proper charge from the loads listed in this brochure. Set powder measure as indicated. While holding the firearm vertically, slowly pour the measured charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex into the barrel. Seat the projectile firmly against the powder . Make sure that there is no airspace between the powder and the projectile. *See WARNING below.
Do not prime the pan on a flintlock or place a primer/cap on the firearm until ready to begin shooting.
*WARNING: Failure to follow the recommendations for use of Triple Seven and Pyrodex could result in injury and/or death to the shooter or bystanders and damage to property.

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 11:11 PM
Yes, I was compressing it. This could account for the extra bang in the .31.

Velocities were consistent. I didn't worry about juicing up the ROA as it's tough enough to take it. Good to know, though, thanks. They really should put this on the bottle. All they say is don't exceed recommended load. Well, they show a 35 grain charge, ox yoke wad, round ball on the bottle, so I guess I exceeded the charge via a conical. Oh, well.

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 11:20 PM
Wow, just reading the bottle, in red letters, it says "do not use in cartridges". Wonder why?

ClemBert
February 28, 2010, 11:36 PM
I spoke to Hodgdon about a year ago. I specifically asked them about compression of 777. They said that compressing the powder would lend itself to inaccurate results and recommended that the bullet just barely push against the powder enough to ensure there isn't an air gap but not enough to compress the powder. I seem to recall that it was only possible to get about 38-39 grains of 777 in the ROA with a .457 round ball and no wad without compressing the powder. I probably got 40 grains in there but the 777 got compressed more than Hodgdon recommends.

p.s. Don't weigh black powder or substitutes. Use a volumetric powder measure that measures in "grains". I'd have to break out my Lee 2.8cc scoop then transfer it over to my volumetric powder measure to see how many grains it is.

MCgunner
February 28, 2010, 11:43 PM
Well, I can find nothing on the bottle about compression. I was shooting 31.6 grains of it by weight. I compressed it as I would with BP. I wasn't really shooting for accuracy, today, just testing what the stuff can do. I can afford to drop back a notch on it if accuracy turns out to be bad. I shot 3 into 2" at 25 when I did sit down at the bench and that's about what this gun does with best loads in pyrodex.

Also, something I like about it, no sulfur, should be a bit less corrosive. It cleaned up easier than Pyrodex, didn't have any goo on it like Pyrodex makes, just kinda smoky. I noticed it didn't have that BP smell, though, which is sort of a bummer, but hey, the equipment should appreciate it. :D

ClemBert
March 1, 2010, 12:06 AM
Okay, I took a closer look at how many volumetric grains your 2.8cc scoop holds. According to my measurements with my powder measure (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=714741) a Lee 2.8cc scoop holds right at about 40 volumetric grains of 3Fg 777. With that in mind you'd already be pushing the upper limits on what the ROA will hold with a round ball. So I can definitely see how that conical must have been compressing that 777. I kind of figure that compressing 777 will probably lead to inconsistent burning of the powder. In other words, I wouldn't doubt it if some of the powder was getting blown out without igniting.

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 12:07 AM
Done some googling and I seem to find a consensus that 777 takes a slight compression. One site explained it as "0.1 inch". All these sites were talking about reloading in cartridges, the bottle has read lettering says "Do not use 777 3Fg in cartridges", but then I find that it's recommended to load 2Fg in .45 colt, so that sorta explains it.

So, next time I shoot I'm going to use a scoop or two smaller and try that. It will eliminate the compression. I will shoot some groups with it and then pressure it back up and see if the groups grow.

With the .31, I'll use the smaller charge. No need for anything more in that gun and it's a brass frame I don't wanna stretch. It was shooting high with that charge and was not accurate. It's not accurate, anyway, but I can usually manage to hit a paper plate 5 of 5 from 20 yards using pyrodex.

ClemBert
March 1, 2010, 12:11 AM
Oh yeah, you are absolutely correct on the 2Fg versus 3Fg in cartridges. In my Hodgdon phone call the fella helping me out did in fact remind me to use 2Fg in cartridges and not to use 3Fg in cartridges. And again, those measurements for 777 or any black powder or substitute is in volumetric grains not weight grains so I'd pass on the scale.

mykeal
March 1, 2010, 12:18 AM
How does an open top frame design have anything to do with how much pressure the chambers in a cylinder can safely contain?

Hellgate
March 1, 2010, 01:42 AM
I can't confirm it but read on either the SASS Wire or from the Brimstone Pistoleros that a Walker loaded with 777 sent the barrel assembly down range. Afterward a gunsmith was trying to figure out how to convert it into a funny looking pepperbox. Apparently the gun came apart at the wedge cutout.

higene
March 1, 2010, 02:30 AM
I believe that 60 gr of what ever is done in Walkers on a regular basis. Type 777 in the thread search engine on the official Walker club. I owe Mykeal a steak dinner because he bet me I couldn't go to my first range session and not run 60 grains in the gun.

See 1969

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5780336&highlight=777#post5780336


Higene

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 10:56 AM
To be honest, I don't know how strong the Walker is. I just know this 777 3F stuff seems to be making an aweful lot of pressure at a mere 40 or so grain equivalents. I was thinkin' more of stretching and wearing things than blowing the Walker up, but yeah, thinkin' about it, the wedge hole in the cylinder pin is a weak point. But, the thought of torching off 60 grains of this stuff in an open top kinda concerns me. :D YMMV. If you have a walker and you believe it's strong enough to fill to the brim and fire with 777, hey, go for it. Ain't MY gun. I know the ROA a lot better and 40 grain equivs in that gun I don't lose sleep over. That thing could take a .454 casull cylinder, well, maybe a 5 shooter. :D Heck, it's built heavier than my .45 Blackhawk that spits heavy handloads out regularly. But, if it could handle 60 grains, well, I might not be so smug even with THAT gun.

I don't wanna start a Walker VS ROA argument, I know the ROA isn't authentic and some folks hate the thing. I'm just talkin' 777 and applications here. The stuff seems overly powerful for some old gun designs, all I'm sayin'. BP shooters aren't used to not just being able to dump a cylinder full of propellent and compressing it and shooting it. That's how it's done with BP and Pyrodex, all I've ever used. But, I handload cartridge guns, too, and this stuff seems to be a little more like smokeless in that you can get overpressure with it, it seems. Sure wakes up that ROA, though. I think I'll use it if I ever go hunting with the ROA. The Walker really doesn't need the stuff. 60 grains of 3F pushes, as I understand it, .357 magnum energy levels out of a Walker as it is. A full charge of BP or Pyrodex out of the ROA only pushes about 900 fps with the 220 conicals and something around 1000 fps with a round ball. It's a far stronger gun than that and 777 wakes the thing up. :D

ClemBert
March 1, 2010, 11:17 AM
As you say the frame of the Ruger Old Army can take some big loads. In fact, 50 grains of 777 seems to be the recommended charge for the 50 Caliber ROA (http://www.gunblast.com/Cumpston_ClementsFugett.htm). That sucker was made with larger capacity chambers for a .490 ball. Thus you can get 50 grains of 777 in there without compressing it or 45 grains with a conical.

http://www.gunblast.com/images/Cumpston_ClementsFugett/fiveshooter3.jpg

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 11:34 AM
Wow, the grip on it looks a bit Bisley. Cool. :D Maybe it's just my morning eyes, but it doesn't look like it quite has the standard ROA profile to it. Can't really tell on second look, though. I love the dove tail sight mounting, too, and the octagon barrel is nice.

mykeal
March 1, 2010, 03:25 PM
You keep expressing concern about 'open tops' and the use of 777 - I infer from that that you feel the Colt open top design is somehow weaker than the Remington (or Ruger) closed frame design. Is my inference correct, and if so, what leads you to that conclusion?

By the way, I completely agree that the ROA is significantly stronger than any of the current bp replicas, Italian or otherwise. But that's separate from the question of 'open top' vs closed frame design as asked above.

As far as 777's relative strength, there's no mystery about it. Hodgdon clearly states that 777 is 15% more powerful than Pyrodex, and thus real black powder. When you say it seems more like smokeless, if that's 15% more powerful, then you're correct. I don't understand how that's 'overpressure', or 'overly powerful for some old gun designs' but perhaps I don't use those terms in the same way you do.

RyanM
March 1, 2010, 05:46 PM
You keep expressing concern about 'open tops' and the use of 777 - I infer from that that you feel the Colt open top design is somehow weaker than the Remington (or Ruger) closed frame design. Is my inference correct, and if so, what leads you to that conclusion?

It's not the pressure in the cylinder that's the problem (although the rebated cylinder on Colts is probably weaker; I've heard of antique conversions where there was a hole all the way through the cylinder at the notch, leaving the brass case supported solely by the cylinder stop. The original cartridges were apparently so low pressure that it was never a problem).

The problem is the force that the bullet exerts on the barrel. The bullet goes forward, and tries to drag the barrel along with it. And the faster you drive a bullet, the harder it yanks on that barrel. A Remington barrel is attached at two places, top and bottom. But a Colt is attached only at the cylinder pin (which also means that, due to leverage, the bullet will flex the barrel downwards by a tiny fraction). That's why brass-framed guns stretch.

And with normal loads, a brass Colt will generally wear out faster than a brass Remington. Same principle with hot 777 loads in a steel gun. Of course, if the Italian replicas were built with the same metallurgy and heat treat as the Ruger, there would be no problem; for instance, the guys at Cimarron told me that the Uberti conversion revolver is made of the same materials as the Model P, and will easily handle the exact same ammunition despite being an open top.

Oyeboten
March 1, 2010, 06:11 PM
Well...for me, I feel "777" is very promising for various Metallic Cartridge in appropriate Arms, but, I have not felt any pull to use it in my Percussion Revolvers, where, the 3F BP they were made for gives such good FPS and all round good result.

If carrying a Dragoon or M1860 Colt for Self Defence, I'd still be happy with 3F BP.

For Metallic Cartridge Revolvers where I feel they can abide alright with a little more pressure and strain, "777" would be alright with me, to load as Full-House as one can...which, since it is bulkier than BP, it ( if memory serve? ) ends up being self limiting anyway, since one can not really put in much past the BP load-equivelent anyway, if it is a BP era Cartridge.


So...


My S&W Model 10 daily Carry, 3 Inch Barrel, clocked very nice Chronograph results with "777" and 158 Grain Lead...but, these preliminary tests were with a By-the-Book load for .38 Special, and, I still had a little bit o' room left for more....so, next round of Tests, I will use all that will fit to still end up with an OAL the Cylinder will accept, and, see what that does.

Plain 3F BP ( 19 grains, so, les than the original 1898 Loading) and a thin Lube-Wafer did very nicely also, equalling or bettering most present off the shelf 'saami' FPS for Standard Loading 158 Grain Lead.

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
March 1, 2010, 06:18 PM
Well....Well.. I have read ya'll say some things that sound good unless one know's better. I have fired 30 grains of Triple Seven 3fff through my '58's for many a year and before that it was 30 grains of BlackMag 3. Same thing with my carbines. Now, I have and am using a carbine with the Triple Seven load moved up to the exact equivelent of a 44-40, and I know that the '58's will carry and use the same load. Gentlemen, I have shot all of my life. I have put plenty of real hot rounds (BlackMag3/Triple Seven 3fff) through one of my Walkers and let me tell you straight out; that sonofab**** will carry the mail. I'm getting a little older now so I cut down on my Walker load. Now my standard load in a Walker is 48 grains of Triple Seven #fff. Incidentally, I have yet to find myself going downrange to look for a barrel or any other part that never came flying off of either my Walker or my .31....Hey, I know of lot's of people on this site, including me, who has tried to tell ya'll over and over, time and time again, that Triple Seven 3fff is some damn good powder. I fail to understand why some of ya'll act so surprised. It isn't like you never were told. I'm through with the subject....

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 06:49 PM
.Hey, I know of lot's of people on this site, including me, who has tried to tell ya'll over and over, time and time again, that Triple Seven 3fff is some damn good powder. I fail to understand why some of ya'll act so surprised. It isn't like you never were told. I'm through with the subject....

Because I tend to believe it when I see it. Missou attitude, i guess. And, if anyone posted chronograph results, I never saw 'em.

You keep expressing concern about 'open tops' and the use of 777 - I infer from that that you feel the Colt open top design is somehow weaker than the Remington (or Ruger) closed frame design. Is my inference correct, and if so, what leads you to that conclusion?

Well, DUH, it doesn't have a top strap. The answer is rather obvious. And it's been common knowledge that the open tops are weaker designs for the 35 years I've been shooting black powder. But, I guess I and all the others that have said so in magazines are wrong. :rolleyes: Even Sam Colt himself put a top strap frame on the gun in 1873 when Smith and Wesson's patent ran out on the cartridge concept.

Like I said, most of the BP guns don't hold anywhere close to the charge I was shooting. I doubt a dragoon would have a problem with 777 triple Fg. I don't care anyway since I don't have any open tops, just passing along opinions, not disin' any guns. If the stuff was unsafe for revolvers, why would they market it? But, it pays to be cautious when you're playing with something new and I've not tried the 777 til now. I don't shoot BP all THAT often, usually at the range with a .45, 9x19, .357 magnum or something, always with a .22, of course. I just kinda got in the mood lately to play with 'em. I guess the new super companion got me in the mood.

Next step, the Hawken with 777. Jim Shockey's Gold was a big time flop, more like Shockey's pot metal. It wasn't that it's weak, wasn't that it's hygroscopic, was that it's terribly inconsistent and inaccurate. Anybody need half a can? Everyone said it was crap. They were right. Now I know for sure since I tried it.

Cowboy2
March 1, 2010, 07:56 PM
My .50 T/C Hawken loves Triple 7 FFg. I use Triple 7 FFFg in my Colts, fwiw.

Oyeboten
March 1, 2010, 08:37 PM
Well...


I believe Gentleman of the Charcoal is relaying good info here.


I recall other experienced hands also affirming that "777" has behaved fine, or, that the Revolver did, or both, even when the loadings were max ( so long as the Revolver were a Steel Frame).


"15 percent" more pressure than regular BP, is not likely to be a deal breaker, or, a Widow Maker in any sound BP Arm...and, is still well below 'Proof' Loads, of 200 percent over standard Loading, to which the Arm is supposed to have been able to abide at least one of.


We have no idea what the story of the 'Barrel' flying down Range was about, or, if it would have done that with the next round, regardless of propellent or charge. Possibly the operative had not made sure the 'Wedge' was presnet and in place? Who knows...



The Bored Through Cylinder for use of a self-contained Metallic Cartridge, was a Rollin White Patent, not an S&W Patent, and, had nothing to do with whether a Revolver had a Top-Strap or not.


Reviewing the overall matter, my own acceptence, is that Open Tops are just as strong for abiding the stresses of right use, generally, as, any Top-Strap Revolver of the same size or Caliber-designation, and, that the legend or hear-say or superficial assay of Open Tops being less strong is not based on fact or sound enginnering evaluation, regardless of the sincerity and good intention of those holding or relaying the judgement.


Possibly, at least some of the Reason for Colt to go with a Top Strap for their then new Model P 1873 Metallic Cartridge Revolvers, was to present no ambiguity in recognition, of the departure from Percussion, in the Revolver's appearence...and, to reduce at least one variable for the operative to have to deal with, in eleminating the 'Wedge', and, how the Wedge holds the Barrel assembly to the Frame.

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 08:54 PM
Well, owing to the old design, even with modern metals, I'll treat the open tops with a bit more respect and load them with reasonable loads. I don't know an open top other than the walker that holds enough powder to do any damage, though, why I went off on a walker tangent. But, like I say, I haven't lived with a Walker. They might well be strong enough, I don't know. If you think they are, go for it.

This FFFg stuff has recipes on it for rifles. They're HOT, too, 100 grain equi behind a 240 sabot type stuff. I think I'll try the stuff, but start out about 60 grains. I really don't care if it shoots harder, shoots hard enough with Pyrodex RS. I just want the cleaner burn for it, all I really want out of 777 for a rifle. I tried the APP stuff, but that was a dud. I've heard folks say it works fine for them, maybe it's just my rifle that doesn't like it. I won't go over 90 grains and I'm thinkin' 80 might be enough. I've fired 120 grains of Pyrodex RS in it, kicked harder than my 7 mag and accuracy suffered.

Unlike my revolvers, I occasionally hunt with the rifle. Sure wish we had an actual black powder season, though.

unspellable
March 1, 2010, 09:22 PM
Did you have any problems with this hot load blowing the caps off the nipples with the ROA? I've heard of hot loads blowing caps off and causing jams when they fall into the works.

MCgunner
March 1, 2010, 09:37 PM
It normally cracks the caps and they fall out as the cylinder rotates, anyway. No real difference. Caps used to fall into my Navy between the hammer and frame, but hard to do on the ROA. They just fall out as it rotates around.

mykeal
March 1, 2010, 11:43 PM
A Remington barrel is attached at two places, top and bottom. But a Colt is attached only at the cylinder pin (which also means that, due to leverage, the bullet will flex the barrel downwards by a tiny fraction).

Actually, a Colt barrel assembly is attached in two places. First of all, the Colt arbor is much, much larger in cross sectional area (modulus) than the flimsy Remington cylinder pin plus the cross section of the top strap. In addition, the moment arm on the Colt arbor is much less as it's axis is closer to the bore axis than the Remington top strap. Second, the Colt barrel assembly is attached to the frame at the bottom, adding additional area to the modulus. The urban myth about the Remington top strap just doesn't hold up to a rational loads analysis.

Well, DUH, it doesn't have a top strap. The answer is rather obvious. And it's been common knowledge that the open tops are weaker designs for the 35 years I've been shooting black powder. But, I guess I and all the others that have said so in magazines are wrong. Even Sam Colt himself put a top strap frame on the gun in 1873 when Smith and Wesson's patent ran out on the cartridge concept.

Your condescending attitude is insulting and has no place in this discussion. I don't believe I wrote anything that justifies such remarks.

"Common knowledge" is also known as "urban legend", especially when it has no basis in fact. Myths like the Remington top strap resulting in superior strength have a life of their own when people find it easier to listen rather than reason; I submit the beliefs in a flat earth or the earth as the center of the universe. And for all the adherents that accept the musings of the gun magazines as fact there is a larger group that knows there's nothing magic about them - just because they say so doesn't make it true. Finally, Sam Colt added the top strap because the government told him to, and of all the reasons for believing the top strap is better that has to be the weakest. Unless, of course, you believe the government actually does know what it's doing.

I'd be perfectly happy to discuss a rational loads analysis of the two designs if you'd care to submit one. As a start you could take a look at my thoughts in response to RyanM above and suggest where I'm mistaken.

RyanM
March 2, 2010, 12:53 AM
First of all, the Colt arbor is much, much larger in cross sectional area (modulus) than the flimsy Remington cylinder pin plus the cross section of the top strap.

That's not really relevant. It's the area where the arbor pin attaches to the frame that gives out first in a Colt, not the pin itself.

Second, the Colt barrel assembly is attached to the frame at the bottom, adding additional area to the modulus.

Only if "attached" means "touching." The 2 little pins down there do not actually physically attach to the barrel in any way shape or form that lets them absorb any of the tensile forces on the barrel. That contact area only limits the downward flex of the barrel, so the force the arbor pin receives is almost 100% tensile, with very little flex.

The Remington, on the other hand, has a 1 piece frame, with a strap on the top, and a strap on the bottom, and then the barrel threads into that (and the Remington's cylinder pin plays absolutely no part in preventing frame stretching). And the threads used there are much larger than the threading on the arbor pin of a Colt. With the Remington, the weak point is the top and bottom straps of the frame itself, not the threading, so the actual frame stretches out. So you are correct that a Colt arbor pin is stronger than a Remington frame, because a Colt's pin is never going to stretch. But that's not the failure Colts experience, it's the threading.

Which one is functionally stronger? That, I couldn't answer definitively.

Like I said, metallurgy is the defining factor with these guns. You could easily make an open top Colt stronger than a 1858 Remington just by using slightly better quality steel. In brass, Colts don't seem to last as long as Remingtons, but that's brass and not steel. If Uberti made their muzzleloading open tops as strong as their cartridge open tops, then they would probably be about as strong as a Ruger (but then they'd cost as much, too).

Also like I said, at least one Cimarron representative has said that Uberti Open Top and Conversion cartridge guns are just as strong as their 1873 topstrap models.

madcratebuilder
March 2, 2010, 08:33 AM
The problem is the force that the bullet exerts on the barrel. The bullet goes forward, and tries to drag the barrel along with it. And the faster you drive a bullet, the harder it yanks on that barrel. A Remington barrel is attached at two places, top and bottom. But a Colt is attached only at the cylinder pin (which also means that, due to leverage, the bullet will flex the barrel downwards by a tiny fraction). That's why brass-framed guns stretch.

I disagree sir. It takes little force to push a dead soft round ball down the barrel. Brass frames 'stretch' from the cylinder moving back and hitting the recoil shield. The ratchet, well over time, leave a indentation in the recoil shield. This increase the cylinder end play that just compounds the situation.


Well, DUH, it doesn't have a top strap. The answer is rather obvious. And it's been common knowledge that the open tops are weaker designs for the 35 years I've been shooting black powder. But, I guess I and all the others that have said so in magazines are wrong.

Urban legend IMHO. For years people have been shooting poorly fit open top revolvers. Arbors that do not bottom tight in the barrel lug and move at every discharge, peening both wedge and arbor slot. This is an assembly flaw not a design flaw.

Even Sam Colt himself put a top strap frame on the gun in 1873 when Smith and Wesson's patent ran out on the cartridge concept.

Revisionist history. Sam went with the SAA design only at the insistence of the US Army. His main goal was government contracts.

MCgunner
March 2, 2010, 10:40 AM
Well, I don't see any modern revolvers, magnum revolvers, X frames, etc, with open tops. Why is that? Well, I guess you could make a case for the impossibility of designing such a weapon with a swing out cylinder. :D Okay, but even the Blackhawks use top straps. Do ya think you could build an open top in, say, .460 S&W Mag that would be as light as a Smith X frame? Not prodding, just asking, would it be possible in your opinion? Single action guns do have the advantage of not having the crane assembly as a weakness. That's why I've always liked the Blackhawks for outdoor use among other reasons.

BTW, really didn't mean it to sound condescending. I just have been reading about the advantages of the full frame top strap revolvers for a long time.

RyanM
March 2, 2010, 11:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanM
Even Sam Colt himself put a top strap frame on the gun in 1873 when Smith and Wesson's patent ran out on the cartridge concept.

Revisionist history. Sam went with the SAA design only at the insistence of the US Army. His main goal was government contracts.

That wasn't me that said that.

I disagree sir. It takes little force to push a dead soft round ball down the barrel. Brass frames 'stretch' from the cylinder moving back and hitting the recoil shield. The ratchet, well over time, leave a indentation in the recoil shield. This increase the cylinder end play that just compounds the situation.

The cylinder moving back doesn't exert a particularly huge amount of force, either. It takes some work to make a BP gun kick. Sure, the cylinder would go flying if the frame wasn't holding it, but if you fire a Colt with the wedge out, the barrel will go a pretty good distance (I, uh... saw someone else do that once).

It's probably a combination of both. The bullet pushes the barrel forward, and at the exact same time, the cylinder pushes the frame backwards. Recoil alone can certainly squish the recoil shield, but it won't "stretch" the frame. Look at it this way, if you take a hammer to the inside of the frame of a revolver, will the top and bottom straps stretch if you're holding it by the grip? No, it'll get squashed in the back (enough of a squish, over time, will still increase endplay, but that's not the same as a genuine stretching). But if you hold it by the barrel instead of the grip, then it stretches.

In terms of resisting cylinder battering, there's no difference in strength whatsoever between an open top and a Remington, given equal quality materials and fitting.

--------

Well, I don't see any modern revolvers, magnum revolvers, X frames, etc, with open tops. Why is that? Well, I guess you could make a case for the impossibility of designing such a weapon with a swing out cylinder.

There's a huge difference between a cartridge gun and a C&B gun. As I'm reasonably sure you know, ;) the back of a C&B cylinder is sealed. That means when the gun fires, all the rearward force of the explosion pushes on the cylinder. Then the cylinder pushes on the recoil shield, which means all the force is in the middle of the frame there.

With a cartridge gun, the explosion pushes the cartridge case back, and it pushes on the recoil shield directly. There's a little bit of force that gets transferred to the cylinder because the case expands and sticks, but the lion's share of the recoil force is on the cartridge case.

So for a given power round, a standard cartridge revolver experiences more severe forces due to the leverage.

But, if you look at the Mateba Unica autorevolver, you'll notice it has no topstrap, not even in .454 Casull! That's because the Unica fires from the bottom chamber instead of the top. The recoil force is at the bottom of the frame, the leverage works in the gun's favor instead of against it, and a topstrap is completely unnecessary. Someone needs to put Unicas back in production. :(

Anyway, though, I do agree with you that topstraps make normal top-chamber-firing cartridge revolvers stronger, because they reinforce the gun right where it's experiencing stress. But that doesn't translate back to C&Bs.

MCgunner
March 2, 2010, 11:38 AM
Well, it WAS a cartridge gun, but the top break Smith and Wessons went the way of the dinosaur, too, when the triple lock came out. The hinged, top lock frame was not as strong as a solid top strap and couldn't handle the loads a solid top revolver could and remain of reasonable size and weight. Yeah, they're cartridge guns, but it's just further evidence to ME of the weakness of not having a top strap.

I would relegate the open tops to fun gun status (hell, all my C and Bs are fun guns in that I don't carry or hunt with 'em) for another reason, the rudimentary rear notch in the hammer sight. That's pretty goofy IMHO. But, it did work for Bill Hickock who was a fair to middlin' shot with his navies, so I guess you can work around that, too. I just prefer a better sight system than that. I'm no Bill Hickock.

But, if I get another open top, I'll load it with loads that don't stress the gun much and play happy. :D I ain't gonna push one, no real need to. I may decide to hunt with that ROA considering what I'm getting out of it, but why? I mean, I don't even use my Blackhawks that often, prefer my TC contender with 2x scoped .30-30 barrel for hunting. I've killed a few hogs and a couple of deer with my 6.5" .357 Blackhawk, but the Contender is deadly accurate and powerful and my old eyes like the optics. As my eyes age, and they were never that great in the first place, I feel I owe the game a well placed shot of adequate power.

mykeal
March 2, 2010, 02:55 PM
But, if I get another open top, I'll load it with loads that don't stress the gun much and play happy. I ain't gonna push one, no real need to.
Excellent point. We should all do the same with all our guns.

sundance44s
March 2, 2010, 03:39 PM
Its a little cloudy I think it might rain today.
I can`t say for sure ..but it would be normal for a cloudy day ...just from the looks of it.

ClemBert
March 2, 2010, 06:02 PM
I was shooting 31.6 grains of it by weight.

Just wanted to be a second set of eyes and tell you that I also weighed my 777 3Fg (2.8cc or 40 grains by volume) and also noted the weight to be around 31.6 gains.

Just for grins I also did the same thing with my GOEX 3Fg (2.8cc or 40 grains by volume). Today my GOEX weighed around 38 grains or slightly less than the volumetric measurement in grains.

BHP FAN
March 2, 2010, 06:46 PM
I can't seriously believe that some of you guys think that open tops [beautiful, and gracefull though they be] are as strong as a Ruger,or even a Remington.

sundance44s
March 3, 2010, 09:59 AM
BHP FAN ....haha it does kind of make you take a step back and say ..WHAT !
Maybe they haven`t shot both enough to see the difference .
When I take just my Colt Open Tops to the range , I don`t leave home with out my tool box ........ that was a lesson learned the hard way .

BHP FAN
March 3, 2010, 11:16 AM
Yeah,I just got off an ASM .38 Richards last year.I STILL miss it! I love those open tops, and I seriously think they are graceful and beautiful,and they fit well in the hand...and the balance! But,they are what they are.They originally came out with the 1872 open top as a way to cash in on the new metallic cartridge fad....and as a way to use up some suddenly obsolescent parts.

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