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BP in modern rifles

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kBob, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    We occassionally get questions about BP in modern rifles around here and I usually pop up with the winchester 94 .30-30 vs .32 Special story where in the fast pitch of "modern" .30 cals is blamed for poor accuracy with lead .30 cal bullets.

    It occured to me that the stripping, tipping and melting of lead bullets in fast pitch might well be due to the need to use full charges of BP in rifle cases to prevent kabooms and that if perhaps a smaller quantity of BP might be used MAYBE there would be some legitamate BP use in Modern .30 cals.

    Specifically I am thinking in the pistol cartridges used in "shell shrinkers" Might it be that a BP load in a .32 S&W case with a lead bullet might not be driven to hard fast and hot for the 1-10 common .30 cal modern rifle twist? Or a BP loaded .32 ACP or even .30 Carbine? My only concern is the possibility of loading a bulet that was too slow to exit in my barrel. ALso it might be a bit nasty if BP residue were blowing around the shell shrinker.

    I was also wondering if one took the conicals from those curved handle brass .31 bullet molds and pushed it through a sizing die if that might not make a usable bullet for these shell shrinkers.

    I recently read of a guy making gallery loads for a .32 ACP using single O buck shot for a bullet and a hint of smokeless and am wondering if the round ball in that mold might not do for that as well as I currently use Single O Buck in my 1849.

    See what happens when you are on the mower tractor thinking about nothing? Oh I am not mowing even in Florida today , though temps are to hit 80 F later today, I am am using a drag to spred the horse piles around the pasture. Ah, the joys of land ownership.

    Back out to it.

  2. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    Some loads using lead bullets and fired at modest muzzle loading velocities can work very well in full size cartridge cases like the .30-06.
    And Trail Boss loads can often be replicated by using black powder or substitute powders.
    A chamber adaptor may work and offer the benefit of being able to switch to another cartridge.
    But I'm not so sure that the fast twist .30's need to be loaded to high velocity to obtain good accuracy.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  3. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    Ah a miss understanding.

    The velocity is not the issue as far as stablization goes when forinstance trying to load a .30-30 with BP.

    The issue is that the heat and pressure from a full case of BP behind a lead .30 cal bullet causes base deformation and melting resulting in both heavy leading of the barrel and tipping of the bullet as well as stripping.

    I am well aware of low pressure loads using smokeless powder such as trail boss or small amounts of Unique using lead bullets in .30-30 or other modern .30 cal rifles. A friend went so far as to turn a solid brass .308 case so as to have a very thick walled and so low volume case ( just a .30 cal cylinde rrather than a .45 cylinder) to allow more uniform burning of pistol powders behind rifle bullets and had some success but the expense was prohibitive, though to be honest I wouldn't mind paying for such a case or five myself if they had as long a reload life as I suspect.

    Allegedly the whole purpose of Winchester coming out with the .32 Winchester Special was to allow Winchester 94 users that wanted to reload with lead bullets and BP to have a rifle that allowed that to work well in the .32's slower pitch rifling. Supposedly the issue was that the fast pitch rifling of the .30-30 did not allow accurate loads to be produced in BP loadings because the fast pitch cause the problems meantioned.

    I believe that stuffing a full sized .308 or .30-06 or .300 savage or 7.62 x54 R with BP and capping it with a lead bullet would result in the same problems as loading a .30-30 with real BP and doing the same.

    Using the pistol cartridge inserts would allow a smaller volume of BP be loaded behind a lighter bullet,( ormaybe like some silhuete pistol shooters actual rifle bullets on the pistol cases) perhaps resulting in less pressure and heat and allowing something like accuracy to be obtained with BP in those rifles.

  4. arcticap

    arcticap Well-Known Member

    Why not simply use filler and/or wads with black powder to duplicate the velocity of Trail Boss loads which would solve the problem with leading.
    And there's also hard cast bullets and/or gas checks.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Well-Known Member

    You know, a 12 gauge shotgun is really good for getting rid of stuff. You could probably use that to spread the horse scat! :evil:

    These 98 grain LRN bullets would make for some pretty respectable parlor loads. I use them in .32 S&W long and short but one of the reviews mentioned that these can be used in the .30 WCF and the .303 British. Another review mentioned the .30-30 Winchester, and the .30-06.

    They are good torpedos, the lube groove seems to help with fouling in small handgun cartridges, although I've never tried shooting these from a rifle.

    Hope that helps!
  6. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    why not just use gas checks?
  7. Malamute

    Malamute Well-Known Member

    30-30's work fine with cast bullets, even at higher velocities than black will produce. There's something else about the changes in twist rate than lead bullets. I had always heard it was the powder fouling. Not sure why a different twist rate would make that much difference though.

    I seriously doubt black powder is harder on cast bullets than smokelesss, other than the powder fouling. Much of the problem with cast bullets and black powder is the lube, not the bullet or powder so much. It's also possible that it was about the lower velocity of black loads, or simply the larger diameter (45-70 uses a 1/20 or 1/22" twist rate for black or smokeless). I also wouldnt entirely rule out a marketing ploy.

    "THIS is what you REALLY need! It's BETTER than the other best thing ever"

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    I wonder what would happen if I filled a .303 British with 777 2f behind a 180 gr. jacketed bullet and shot it from a no4 or no5?
  9. Malamute

    Malamute Well-Known Member

    The original 303 load was compressed black powder. They used the Metford rifling at the time, then changed to the Enfield rifling when smokeless came along.

    Would probably work OK, but may need some sort of lube to help keep fouling soft if you used real black. You could probably research it and see what they used in the original loads. 777 may be fine with plain jacketed bullets.
  10. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    it works pretty good with gas checks. I've use 3f Goex, but prefer Triple Seven which acts kinda like the British Cordite rounds. My brother has done the same with 7.62x54R. Gas checks seem to scrape the bore clean of fouling. I also had a very light coating of Alox on the bullets, which was just to get the bullet and gas check through the ''die'' to install the gas check. I didn't want to over-do, after my experiment with Aloxed .45-70 bullets [too much Alox and black powder fouling combine to make a heavy, tar like substance that's really nasty and hard to get out of the barrel] but with only a little residual Alox, it actually seemed to help clean the barrel, and reduce fouling. Or, maybe it was the gas checks....
  11. wildeboer

    wildeboer Active Member

    I build a .303 muzzleloader last year, I used a standard 1:10 twist barrel and fitted a breech-plug with a no11 CCI cap as ignition. I used a locally produced 3F powder, a moderate 25gr volume, and standard .310 cast bullets. They weigh around 77gr and the little rifle produced nice groups at 75 meters.
    I didn't chrony it but the report on the swinging bells/ghong was nice and crisp, I guestimate around 1700-1900fps with no lead stripping in the barrel. The fouling was the culprit that made me not continue any further, small bores suffer from the fouling and needs a swap between every shot.

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