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7mm Rem Mag *BLACK POWDER*

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by The_Next_Generation, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Well-Known Member

    Yep, you read that right.

    After a few afternoons of searching the internet looking for things about loading holy-black into modern bottleneck cartridges, I decided to load up some rounds for my Ruger M77 Hawkeye (all-weather, aka stainless steel) to eat.

    Well, it didn't do much eating..after one shot and a TON of smoke and flame, the area where the bullet engages the rifling was so gunked up that when I tried to load and then unload the second cartridge, it pulled the bullet from the casing.

    The plan was to get the second shot on video, but because my rifle was so gunked up that didn't happen.

    To load the rounds I used my Lee Classic Loader (gotta love using a mallet) and filled the cases, then vibrated them with an old toothbrush, then filled again, and then seated the bullet. From what I read, as long as there is no air in the case, it's darn-near impossible to blow the gun up with black powder.

    Unfortunately I did not have a chrono, but I will next time I go out. I used some old 175gr Speer SP bullets I had along with Pyrodex RS powder.

    So was this a dumb idea or should I keep playing? Any ideas as to how I might crimp the cases with the lee loader?

    FWIW, I was able to hit a 7" frying pan at around 150 yards. Of course that was using a 630 yard zero for my normal ammo :D

    - TNG
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member


    I want to follow this one

    PACKIN' PLASTIC Active Member

    Black powder doesn't work well in small caliber arms and the larger the charge weight the worse the fouling problem becomes. If you continue the project I would caution you to brush and wipe your bore clean after every shot. This was standard procedure with small bore arms back in the day and should allow some kind of accuracy and prevent any possibility of the bore becoming blocked.

    If you aren't familiar with black it will corrode brass and rust any kind of steel including stainless.

  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I am confused.
    Do you have black powder or Pyrodex? Or both?
    You can compress the dickens out of real black but best not to mash down the Pyrodex too hard. The more the compression, the cleaner the shooting. .303 British was initially loaded with 71 grains of black, compressed into a solid rod with an ignition hole down the middle. It was inserted into the case before the brass was necked down. I have seen one favorable report on black in .32 Winchester Special. 7mm is probably pushing it.

    Clean with water or something containing a good deal of water and you will be ok.
  5. Casefull

    Casefull Well-Known Member

    So would this experiment work better with a larger bore like .375 for example?

    PACKIN' PLASTIC Active Member

    Yes, with a larger bore the fouling is much less of an issue and you can get decent power from black powder pressure levels.

    If you load a .375 winchester with black you basically have a .38-55 which is a tried and true black powder hunting and target round.

    Most black powder pistol rounds are in the 800-900fps range and rifle rounds are in the 1200-1400fps range so a big bore and heavy bullet gives you good performance.

  7. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Well-Known Member

    Jim, my fault. I was not using true black powder, but the Pyrodex stuff.

    And Packin', I am aware of the corrosive qualities of black powder :what: Luckily, that's because of my interenet-learning and not a horrible screw-up...

    I should be out on the range sometime over the next couple of days. I'll set a chrono up and let y'all know what kind of numbers I am producing.
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Hodgdon recommends only light compression of Pyrodex in cartridges.
    It is probably MORE corrosive than real black.
    Clean well.
  9. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    If you're going to use Pyrodex, then use the "P" grade and not the R or RS. Haven't shot any of the crap since it first came out, but back then we had to compress the snot out of it to get any decent results in bpcr cartridges. Using a magnum primer might help.
    On the 375 ouchnouch, 92 grs of goex 3f, a tablet backing wad , will really make the 330 gr Lyman postel bullet scream out the end of the barrel with it's hair on fire.
  10. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    If I wanted a one shot BP weapon, I would grab a muzzleloader.

    Cartridges were invented for multiple shots.

    This sounds like the worst of both worlds- not the best.
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Pressures have ranged from 5,000 psi for shotguns to 25,000 psi or so for rifles. The notion that blackpowder can "ONLY" produce low pressures is incorrect, as England's Abel and Noble were able to generate pressures of over 100,000 psi in their experimentation in the 19th Century. http://www.chuckhawks.com/blackpowder_pyrodex.htm :uhoh:
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    That overlooks the rolling blocks, falling blocks, trapdoors, bolt actions etc that were all designed around black powder cartridges. Some of the greatest cartridge arms of all time were single shot rifles. Properly loaded a good Sharps will still outshoot most modern smokeless repeaters.

    But in this case, esp. using Pyrodex, it's really not too practical. The cartridge is the wrong size and shape.
  13. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    All of which are multi-shot weapons, especially in comparison to what the OP has presented us with.

    PACKIN' PLASTIC Active Member

    The falling block, rolling block and trap door rifles hold one cartridge. You can reload them much faster than a musket or muzzle-loading rifle but are not repeaters.

    Anyway black powder doesn't care how many rounds your firearm holds, it is perfectly happy being fired out of a lever, bolt or pump action, double barrel or revolver. There are even a few autoloaders that work reasonably well with black powder.

  15. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    And you can quickly take one of the spent ones out, and insert a new one.

    Magazine ? No. Repeater ? No. But one after the other all day long.........

    This 7mm job sounds like more work than a muzzle loader- and after jamming the bullet out, you STILL dont get a shot off :D
  16. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Well-Known Member

    I should be out on the range with a chrono sometime this week. I'll let you guys know how it goes!

    And of course I realize this is completely the "wrong" firearm to use BP/pyrodex in. The problem is that its too much fun :D

    Hardy har-har blarby....I see what you did there!
  17. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Well-Known Member

    The Winchester models 1873,1876,1886,1892 and the Hotchkiss rifle are all repeating magazine fed rifles designed around black powder cartridges, along with the Lee enfeild (actually began production in the Sharps factory) and an entire bevy of bolt action rifles from Europe.
    And probably the ultimate magazine feed repeater, the Gatling gun was fully operational years before smokeless powder became safe to use..
  18. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Well-Known Member

    What kind of projectile are you using, do they make a 7mm projectile with enoulgh groove to get the proper ammount of lube for it to prevent BP fouling?
    Or am I again showing my ignorance?
  19. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Well-Known Member

    I was using 175 Gr Speer soft-point. Not a BP round at all, therefore no lube, therefore TONS of fouling. Unfortunately I traded the rifle (and some cash) for a nice AR15 so I won't be posting chrono data anytime soon...

    Maybe someone wants to pick up where I left off? :evil:
  20. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Well-Known Member

    If you're just wanting to get a low recoil round, may I suggest Trail Boss.

    If its just an entertainment factor, errr, well, knock yourself out. But if really wanting to play with BP in a modern gun, I'd look to straight walled rifle or pistol weapons. 357, 41,44, 45LC, 45/70, etc. even older slightly tapered stuff like 30-30, 32WS would work well. 7mm RM, uh no. Too much bottle neck. It was meant for smokeless.

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