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FFg powder for pistol?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by SeanSw, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. SeanSw

    SeanSw Well-Known Member

    I want to purchase a blackpowder substitute locally, avoiding hazmat fees, but no one in the area carries finer powder then FFg.

    My Colt 1851 is brass framed and I am not making any attempts to hot rod the pistol. I am just looking for a standard load with fair power and accuracy for plinking. Should I watch out for anything in particular when using FFg, or should I just keep safety in mind and enjoy the locally available powder?
  2. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    FFg & FFFg

    You should have no difficulty using FFg instead of FFFg. The coarser particles will burn slightly slower and might provide somewhat lower muzzle velocity but will not be a safety problem. In effect the impulse is longer duration with a lower peak but essentially the same amount of energy; the short cylinder length will provide less time for the pulse to exert it's influence, resulting in slightly less velocity.

    I suggest you visit Hodgdon's web site; they provide loading data for Pyrodex and 777 and the same data applies to both FFg and FFFg granulations for cap and ball revolvers.
  3. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    Unless it was a typo in his book Sixguns, Elmer Keith thought FFg was correct for anything over 31 caliber. You might get a bit more fouling accumulation but it probably wouldn't be noticeable.
  4. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    I have used FFg Pyrodex in my pistol with no effects.
  5. Plink

    Plink Well-Known Member

    I've used FFG in .45 and .50 muzzleloading pistols when I forgot to bring the pistol flask to the range. No problems at all, other than a bit of reduced velocity, and in heavier loads, a lot of unburned powder blown out.

    If you have a rifle also, you might consider sifting the FFG. You'll get more consistant FFG and what you sift out is mostly FFFG with some finer particles. Reduce the charge a bit to compensate for the finer particles and it should work great.
  6. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    from an old COLT INDUSTRIES - FIREARMS DIVISION pamphlet:
    "FFG black powder is best for the large and medium-sized revolvers, and FFFG for the small pocket models, but any grade that is available will work reasonably well. DON'T USE SMOKELESS POWDER."

    Also from the pamphlet (for what it's worth):
    "Percussion caps are now made in sizes from nine to thirteen. Ten and eleven are the best numbers for the small and medium-sized arms, and twelve for the larger sizes, although as different sized nipples are sometimes met in specimens of the same model, no hard and fast rule can be given. It is better to have caps slightly too large than too small, as large caps can be pinched together at the bottom so they will stay on the nipples..."
  7. SeanSw

    SeanSw Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. I will probably buy the FFg locally and avoid paying the hazmat until I can get to a gun show next spring.

    I have another question which probably deserves it's own thread. What is the max load you would put through a brass frame revolver? I don't shoot a lot and am not particularly concerned with making sure the gun lasts for more than a couple years.
  8. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    Is your 1851 a .36 or a .44? I have an old brass framed Spiller & Burr .36 and I keep the BP load around 15 grs. I should think a low load for a brass framed .44 would be somewhere between 20 - 25 grs of BP.
    Then again, I use FFFG - not sure what it would be for FFG.

    Do you buy the FFG at Walmart? They sell it (Pyrodex) in my area during hunting season. Also, they sell Remington #11 caps at a ripoff price, but at the end of the season they mark them way down to get rid of them.
  9. SeanSw

    SeanSw Well-Known Member

    It is a .44 and I was using a borrowed cannister of FFg Pyrodex. One of the Wal-marts in our area usually has pyrodex year round but I'd prefer to get it from the gun shop. Size 11 caps are the only ones available but they are a bit large on my revolver and I'm already tired of pinching them to fit. Doesn't seem safe.

    Do you prefer FFFg over any other for your pistol?
  10. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    The Author of The Blackpowder Plainsman said that he has shot his brass framed Remington type.44 for years by not exceeding 28 grains of black powder. (standard spout on .44 flasks) You should also pay attention to seating pressure and use .451 balls if they are large enough for your chambers. One guy reporting colapsing the frame on his remington with too much pressure on the seating lever.
  11. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    I use FFFG black powder. I tried Pyrodex but I find the BP gives a better, more consistant snap (and it's cheaper). I once tried FFG Pyrodex in my Walker and it seemed OK, maybe a little slower on the burn.
    As far as the caps - a few responses back, I posted some quotes from an old Colt cap and ball pamphlet. This is what it said about caps:
    "It is better to have caps slightly too large than too small, as large caps can be pinched together at the bottom so they will stay on the nipples..."

    I've had only one chainfire, and that was on the Spiller & Burr brass framed .36. To this day I don't know what I did wrong to cause 2 chambers to fire, but I'm sure it was my fault and not the gun. And it was no big deal - little extra flash and smoke, and the ball marked a trail on the brass frame at a 45 degree angle out of the chamber to the ground. Probably better to have a 36 caliber chainfire than, say, a Walker.
  12. mec

    mec Well-Known Member

    Results from Uberti Walker 3f vs 2f vs pyrodex rs and ball.
    55 Goex FFFg 1001 fps 54
    55 FFg 956 46
    60 Gr./Vol. PyrodexRS 1045 35

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