Anyone else go to Holy Black in Modern Guns


April 28, 2013, 03:04 PM
To start off, these are the firearms I've had successful Black Powder and home made primer shooting with:

Enfield (bought from a pawnshop sporterized and beatup)
STI Spartan 1911
Norinco 213 Tokarev 9mm
Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum
Shooter Grade S&W Model 15-3 .38 special

I've got a huge stash of ammo and reloading components, plus castable lead (just bought forty pounds of dive weights at a garage sale for ten bucks plus my other stash of a couple hundred pounds), and so on.

I got into cap-and-ball revolvers as an excuse. I'd been wanting to get into for some time and this was the perfect excuse. After I bought an ASM manufacture CVA 1858 Navy (I think I don't know for sure) I managed to get a Ruger OA.

But that wasn't enough. I enjoyed the meticulous and zen like loading of each firearm plus the soft shooting but it wasn't enough to sate my tastes. So loaded up some 9mm for my Tokarev using GOEX's chart and loaded it a little short of the 360 No.5 Revolver, and it worked. I went to .38 Special and it worked. I've used cruddy upped .38 special brass cut to size to make my loads and use corn meal to fill the gaps (not much in 9mm, and almost none in .38 Special).

In the .44 Magnum I use .44-40 loads and require a little corn meal to fill the gaps. Some say gaps aren't bad, some say it is, I prefer to error on the side of caution. In the Spartan I just go with .45 Schofield loads and it works most of the time but the slide rarely locks into battery after the last round. The Spartan was bought used and is a great shooter even with BP (adjustable sights zeroed at twelve yards), the reason I use it with BP is it is the cheapest of my 1911s and tended to have trouble with locking up in batter with still loaded magazines to where it would occassionally pop the the firing pin block, now it doesn't do that.

The Enfield was bought at a pawnshop for $150 where it had sat for over two years (I remembered it with its bushnell scope). It was beat up and I had to refinish the stock and get replacement parts. The rifling was still good but otherwise it's a beat up sporter and as such a perfect candidate for my first black powder rifle shooting. I managed to cast my own lead rounds using some bullets I had bought from a garage sale for cheap a long time ago. I pulled the 150 grain round and make a mold using modeling clay. I measured it and it was slightly smaller than the FMJ. Still I loaded it up with 70 grains and cornmeal to fill the gaps, along with nine others in spent brass. I made up primer using white paper caps from cap gun rolls (five made into a paste using acetone and formed in the primer cup).

They shot....well out to one hundred yards. At one hundred and fifty it my MOA was man sized. I could get a hit on target using the Bushnell scope but there was no reliability or ability to zero. At fifty yards I managed five inch groupings after I dialed it back. So as a firearm it would be a last ditch pick in a TEOTWAWKI.

But after some play with it I thought about Berdan primed ammo and have decided that when I can find another 8mm Mauser for a decent price (preferably a beater with good rifling) I'll try out some loads in that one. Given the primer's design I think it would work better with potassium chlorate based primers.

I'm still waiting on the ATF to get back to my on my letter so I can try and make Poudre B or Cordite but I doubt that will ever happen.

Anyone else playing with BP in their more modern firearms?

The clean up is just like with BP but you also have to neutralize the potassium chloride formed as a byproduct of using potassium chlorate primers. I just use the same method used for cleaning up surplus ammo and check for rust every few days and heavily oil the heck out of them between cleanings.

If you enjoyed reading about "Anyone else go to Holy Black in Modern Guns" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 28, 2013, 03:27 PM

Thanks for posting this. This subject has crossed my brain, but didn't think it would work. I still have a little Goex ffg and fffg from my black powder shooting. Thought it would be neat to try.

I always (strangely) enjoyed the smell of BP on the air. Would be cool to see my Glock belching smoke like a steam train at the range. :evil:

April 28, 2013, 09:06 PM
Tinker, soon as I buy a Ruger SR40 (come December), I'm taking my second gen Glock 23, and loading it to .38-40 with 165 grain LRN (or whatever casts from FMJ rounds).

Using black powder in modern arms is slightly addicting, especially when you sit on your back porch with a mortar and pestle making your own powder with denatured alcohol as a homongenizing agent, and dextrin as a granule agent. I add graphite as well to the final composition. I just don't make more than thirty rounds per caliber and no more than 120 rounds in total.

April 29, 2013, 01:50 AM

I know it is do-able for, say, my .38sp. I think those were originally BP rounds from the get-go. I would not run BP in my blued steel revolver only because I don't want to chance corroding it.

Working a load for 9mm would be interesting. I would not worry as much about corroding it with long term use as I would with blued steel. I also have an old single shot shotgun that would be open for trying some BP loads.

As to making homebrew BP....I'll leave that to you. I still have some leftover store-bought Goex to use. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Anyone else go to Holy Black in Modern Guns" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!