Smokeless Muzzel loader


October 29, 2013, 11:15 AM
Well I just wanted to post an update to a project I started about a year ago, and adding a post to a 1 year old thread, usually means it doesn't get read. BUT I really wanted to say thanks for the good advice (and bad!) and share what ended up working well for my fellow "metal heads" here, (see original post

To all those who found this article interesting and added their thought and advice, I bring news of update in this project. First off it turned out to be a huge success ..BUT I did heed alot of the advice and warnings and made 2 VERY huge game plan changes,:

1- First off I sold the 44-40 barrel and purchased a green mountain 45-70 grade 1 1/4" straight rifle barrel blank for the project (midway)- turned a taper and profile to it (full 1 1/4" at the breech for 6")

2- I decided to mount in to my stevens 180 hammer less 12 gauge shotgun receiver. Tapped it for a 1/2- 20 x 3/4" nf breech plug, bored for 209 primers (3/32 flash hole). Using reloader 7 and Lee's R.E.A.L. 260 grn bullets to proof fire it (string remote firing) I worked up to 53 grns before I quit as the primers began to deform really bad. I plan to run it at 40 grns

Next I have to drill and tap to mount the scope and then we will see how accurate she is!

I tried 2400 powder but at only 25 grns the primers started to rupture

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November 13, 2013, 02:03 PM
So I drilled and tapped the barrel installed a decent scope and went a shooting. I got her down to about a 3" group at 100 yards, but I am sure she will do better with the right mix. Now I know that a 260 grn slug is light for 45-70 style twist 1 in 22", but that's all lee had in a r.e.a.l. mold, (the real slug steps from .452 to .465 bottom groove to top- I am using bore butter for lube) So should I go more powder or less than 40 grns of reloader 7 to get better results --- thoughts?

Arkansas Paul
November 13, 2013, 03:22 PM
You're either braver than I or crazier than I. I can't decide which.

November 13, 2013, 05:13 PM
No I just proof fire first with a long string! (while behind a concrete wall!)-- Did you know that for many years proof marks meant that the firearm was "proofed"
by firing it with a 3x powder charge? at least this is what I have been told, I think if you tried that with smokeless like bulls eye you would shred any barrel!

January 4, 2014, 12:33 AM
After mounting a sweet 3x9 wide angle scope, and without much fine tuning I was able to quickly zero it in and get it down to 2" groups, ---- then too it out hunting for 2013 NY muzzel loader! 2 shots, to kills , one at 70 yards!>

I plan to crown polish it and fine tune my powder charge for best accuracy, Hopefully I can get it down to 2 inches at 150 yards, well see!

January 4, 2014, 12:45 AM
what are the velocities?

January 4, 2014, 10:01 PM
On my whish list next is a chronograph! but it's very very "cracky" implying well above the speed of sound? like what a 308 sounds like so I am guessing at least 2100 fps if not more. I know that the slug offers very little resistance to the ramrod once it gets shaped by the short starter, and there's quite a bit of grease grooves and grease (bore butter), and 250 grain @ 40 grains of re-loader 7 - but a chrony 7 is soon to be ordered!

January 4, 2014, 11:47 PM
That is vital in what you are doing. I'd stop until you get one. Just a polite concern from a hand loader myself.

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