blackpowder 32/20 loads


October 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
would 4f black powder work in a 32/20 for a rifle?

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October 1, 2012, 09:21 PM
It might, but not well.

You might have to drop it in the case one granule at a time.

It would be better to use 3F or 2F.

Most modern brass will only hold 18 grains of 3F, as opposed to 20 grains of 2F in the orginial loads.


October 1, 2012, 09:34 PM
why wouldnt 4f work

October 1, 2012, 11:18 PM
I don't know about 4F, but have tried 3F. With my limited experence I did not have good results in 32-20 caliber, as it fouled up pretty quickly, because within 10 shots I couldn't hit anything. If I were to try it again, besides using soft lead bullets with spg lube, I would add a grease cookie under that bullet, because I was shooting an old 1889 rifle with a 26" barrel and it needs all the lube it can get to keep that long barrel greased. LM

October 1, 2012, 11:32 PM
i have an 1889 marlin with a 24 in barrel

Foto Joe
October 2, 2012, 11:16 AM
4f is pretty fine stuff and it will work but I'd be inclined to use 3f. As far as the fouling is concerned you'll just want to make sure that you're using a Black Powder compatible lube such as SPG or a similar home-brew. Personally I would not use a grease cookie between powder and bullet though, too much chance of fouling your powder, especially if the days are warm. The lube on the bullet should be sufficient but you'll still want to patch the barrel if things starting flying in odd directions.

I've had a tendency to shoot 44 Special Black Powder Cartridges out of a modern Marlin with "Micro-Groove" rifling (worthless for Black Powder). I can drive nails with the first few shots but after about ten rounds the only safe place for spectators to stand is directly behind me and they still should duck for cover.

October 4, 2012, 12:17 PM
Two of my friends uses BP in the 32-20 and I notice they do barrel swabbing between stages. Maybe not each stage but at least a couple of times during a 6 stage match. 4F ought to work just fine. You may want to start casting up the DD 32 80gr Big Lube bullet. It carries a lot more lube than standard bullets.

October 4, 2012, 01:47 PM
It would work, you just gotta lube the heck outta that bullet. I have used FFFFG as a propellant before, and it's dirty stuff.

I would predict that from a rifle your velocity would increase substantially due to the greater surface area of the powder, but your accuracy might decrease with the excessive fouling. I second Hellgate, get some bullets that carry a lot of lube.

Acorn Mush
October 4, 2012, 08:34 PM
I concur with everyone's recommendations regarding lots of lube on your bullets, however I do not think you will be happy with the results of using 4fg as the propellant. In some limited testing I performed, 4fg gave very erratic velocity readings on my chronograph. In discussions with other BP shooters I was told that what I experienced was to be expected with the 4fg granulation.

You will be happier using 3fg, or possibly 2fg Triple Seven. At any rate, good luck in your quest.:D

October 4, 2012, 10:42 PM
Maybe the 4F is all burned in a short distance of travel down the barrel compared to the more coarse grinds that may continue to burn and accelerate the bullet down the barrel. Maybe if the charge is used up too soon the bullet may actually be slowing down for the last several inches (or foot) which could give erratic results. Just postulating.

October 5, 2012, 10:17 PM
how about triple 7

October 6, 2012, 12:35 AM
I would highly recomend 777 for the 32-20. It has little fouling, and packs more whomp than BP. You can use it with conventional bullets lubed with smokeless lubes. Give it a try.

October 7, 2012, 12:00 AM
i have 3f triple7

October 7, 2012, 01:10 AM
I don't know what to say about the 3F 777. That is what I use in my .357 mag which is a high intensity/pressure round. Hodgen does not recommend using the 3f form of T7 in cartridges. I had already worked up muy load before I read the package. Where they must anticipate trouble is in the larger capacity BP cartridges like 38/40, 44/40 and maybe even 45LC & 47/70 for sure. The 32/20 is in that "iffy" zone. I do not know the operating pressures for that caliber. I do not have a lot of faith in the dtrength of the toggle link actions like the 66 & 73 Winchesters. I would expect a modern made Mod 92 or Marlin to be OK. One caution would be to avoid heavy compression of the powder.

October 7, 2012, 02:16 AM
four f is actually meant to be used as a primer powder for flintlocks. I have used it in my little NAA mini-revolvers, as propellent, and as others have said, it is dirty...

October 8, 2012, 07:51 AM
Interesting that many consider ffffG to be a dirty powder. In the past, it was used against the primer, under a load of ffG or fffG to promote clceaner burning in cartidge rifles.

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