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How much is too much?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ferret, May 21, 2006.

  1. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    and whats the maximum grains you've shot in yours?

    Reason that I ask this is that today, I got sidetracked whilst loading my Remmie 58 and double charged. Yup, I managed to pour two lots of 30gr measures into one chamber. I was using 777 and this filled the chamber to the rim.
    Well, madness (insanity:evil: ) caught me by surprise and I wondered what it would be like to shoot. I plopped a ball on top and seated just enough that the ball wouldnt interfere. Capped all the chambers (the other 5 had 30gr 777) and went out to let it rip.
    I shot the 3 normal loads, then the 60gr, then the other 2 chambers, just to see what the difference was.
    Well, I had 5 shots in a nice group 2" above point of aim (normal for this gun) and one shot bang on point of aim. I also had a ringing in my ears after the 60gr load, and yes, I had ear protection on. The recoil on the 60gr load wasnt that much more but WOW the flame out of the front end was amazing!!! I am guessing that a good amount of the powder went out of the front end still burning.
    Nothing seems to have happened to the gun, except that the double loaded chamber had less fouling in it than the rest!

    I shot another 60gr load through the chrono and got a speed of 1385 fps. I shoot CAS rules and this is well over the 1000fps rule. And no, I am not likely to be shooting this load with any regularity.


    JJ Ferrett

    Edit Note.. these measurements are WRONG.. check my later post. for the 30gr read 23, for the 60 read 46.
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    I'm may be wrong, but I've always heard that you really can't overload with BP. The important part is to make sure that the bullet is seated on the powder charge. Like you deduced, most of the overload burns outside the barrel. The secret is to find the load that gives the best combination of accuracy and power.
    Somebody, please set me straight if I'm wrong.:eek:

  3. mausgun

    mausgun Active Member

    I'm no expert, but what I've read is that 777 is about 15% more powerful than regular black powder on a volume basis, and it doesn't like to be compressed as much as black powder. You may have a powerful load, but I'd think it isn't very good for the gun. You're putting much more than a recommeded load, and then strongly compressing it. If you want to try it again, it may be prudent to count your fingers now, just to keep track.:eek:
  4. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    Best combination... oh yes, been trying to work that one out for a while now.
    First was loading this revolver with .451 balls and a variety of powders and loads. Went through all different combinations and I have settled on 30gr 777 and .457 balls give 2 inches above POA and 1" groups at 30ft.

    I have heard that you cant 'overload' BP, but with subs, I am not looking at shooting the 60gr load again, I dont want to risk it.

    I also do agree that there is a point where the powder just starts to exit from the muzzle still burning, yup X amount of the powder would have provided the impulse to get the ball out of the barrel, but, there would be a goodly amount of the powder that isnt providing any pressure coz its just going straight out the front end. Nice fireworks though.

    Edit note - 23gr of 777, not 30
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  5. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member

    Well, here's a handy little chart...comparing Goex FFg to subs. Note that it say that Goex FFg 60gr by volume/weight, "adjusted" rate 15% 37.4gr, that would be weight by the way the chart reads, I believe. 60gr of BP minus 15% s/b 51gr of 777 FFg. Still 60gr is alot of powder, what Revolver are you shooting 60gr out of? Must be a Walker...
    I only use Black powder myself so I can fill and compress or measure and compress the lever all the way down everytime. Concistency usually yields accuracy for me.
    Anyway here's the chart it lists several powder variations.
  6. frosty

    frosty Well-Known Member

    How much is too much

    Dont ever think for a minute that you cant overload black powder guns:scrutiny: There is an optimum load for every gun, and after that all you get is more recoil, more smoke and a hell of alot more pressure. I have been building and shooting black powder guns for over 30 years now, and I have seen the results first hand of what happens when you overload. I took a 30" section of Green Mountain barrel that was properly breeched and made a test gun to find out for myself. I started with normal 50 cal round ball loads, slowly working my way up...When I reached 190 gr. of ffg, the barrel burst into several long shards. Several pcs. are still missing(anyone see a new satellite lately). The breech plug remained in the barrel, and it burst several inches from that area. Care was taken on every shot to insure that the ball was seated properly. I dont know what went wrong, but alot of things could in that short period of time. I just recently began shooting cap and ball, and the only revolver I would trust to heavy charges is my Ruger Old Army, because it is built on a Blackhawk frame.
  7. mrelijahgardner

    mrelijahgardner Well-Known Member

    Tripple 7

    I use 35 grains of tripple 7 and it works well. A little more power and still acurate. It would be a really bad idea to overload a brass frame or half frame revolver.

    I think you could use a heavier conical bullet to get more impact out of your revolver safely instead of overloading.
  8. Low Key

    Low Key Well-Known Member

    I've heard the statement that you can't overload bp guns applied to revolvers and maybe it should be phrased that way. I don't disagree with you frosty, though I've never pushed the limit with by 58 Remington. My max charge is 40 grains of pyrodex p. I've seen it posted on The firing line that with revolvers you can load up to the caliber of the gun with powder and after that you're just burning powder out the end of the barrel...meaning that a 44 cal would only be pushing the bullet with the first 44 grains of powder loaded and the rest is out the end of the barrel with a lot of flame, (a 36 cal would push with the first 36 grains and the rest is just fire out the muzzle), etc. Whether this is actually true, I don't know. Rifles I'm sure are a completely different story and no doubt can be overloaded since you can stuff powder all the way to the muzzle if you're crazy enough to try it.
  9. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    Might be true for a revolver because you can't fit as much powder in it because of the cylinder limit and the gap between the barrel and the cylinder will bleed off some pressure too. A rifle on the otherhand does not have that gap to help bleed off the pressures and there is not limit to the amount of powder that can be crammed in (unless you fill it to the brim, but then you would have a pipe bomb!).
  10. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    Along similar lines...

    I've heard that one cannot overload a BP cartridge firearm, you'll run out of case capacity long before you hit a pressure limit from the propellant of choice. Knowing what I have to do to make loads for my .44 Special and .45-70 Sharps, that seems like an accurate statement. ;)
  11. frosty

    frosty Well-Known Member

    Along similar lines

    Gewehr98: Yes it is true, it is impossible to overload ctg cases with black powder. My shoulder is still sore from two dozen or so postells out of my 45-70:evil:
  12. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    I've tried myself.

    I got a batch of 550gr swaged spitzers I've been running from my 32" Sharps, and I use a compression die to get the full 70gr of Goex Cartridge Grade in that old REM-UMC case. Solid thump to the shoulder, that is. :D
  13. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected. I must have been thinking cartridge guns and revolvers.;)

  14. gmatov

    gmatov member


    It isn't really true that after you hit the calibre/weight, of powder it all comes out the barrel with no effect. 1 grain per calibre is the efficiency limit.

    F'rinstance, a max charge is 40 grs. 30 grs will make 8oo fps. 35 grs will make 900 fps. 40 grs will make 975 fps. 45 grs will make 1025 fps.Say 50 grs will 1050 fps.

    This is the rule of diminishing returns. You cram in more powder, you get less velocity gain, you get more kick, you waste more powder.

    Once again I will post that the Rebs, in the 1860's, test fired their Colt 36 copies with 165 grs powder and double balls, wadded. That is within 3/4 inch of the muzzle. They held. And they were brass framed.

    I don't advise 60 grs of powder. I will put a demurrer here that I strongly advise against it. However, I DO think the steel is better, today, than they had then. Pietta, Uberti or Euroarms. Today's tin can metal is better than their "twisted iron", I assume wrought iron, as they could not wait to get contraband English steel.

    I retired from a steel mill, none of what we made was what you could call garbage. Different grades, yes, but most is better than what they had 100+ years ago.


  15. Low Key

    Low Key Well-Known Member

    That makes sense. After thinking about that, I also realize that there is a time limitation operating here also...very small one but it's still there. The time it takes the ball to exit the muzzle is a limiting factor. After the ball exits the barrel, any gasses still expanding will not push the ball any faster and you've wasted extra powder. The powder only has that amount of time to burn, expand and push the ball faster.

    I don't advise pushing these guns to the limit either. I prefer to have a margin if safety in anything I do, so I keep my max charge to a limit I know isn't dangerous.
  16. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Well-Known Member


    LoL! What is that???:what:
    How do you get 165gr of BP and two balls into a .36 cal cylinder Reb Brass frame Colt copy?
    They did that with rifled muskets but not with .36 cal revolvers. Impossible...
    Me thinks we covered this ground elsewhere.
    That must a been read or typed very late at nite ... HeHe! Take er easy George.
  17. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    as to the 165Gr of Black Powder in a revolver. erm. wouldnt it start spilling out of the gap between front of chamber and back of barrel??

    Plus, adding to the 'rule of diminishing returns', yup, completely agree but, yes, there will be a point when the ball/bullet has left the barrel and some powder is still burning. This has no chance of providing any more pressure to propel the ball and will just flame out of the muzzle. As I said in me post earler, the fireworks were fantastic. The 60gr (edit note... 46gr not 60) 777 load shot about a foot of flame out of the end of the barrel, PLUS flames (not just smoke) out of the cylinder gap.

    From my thinking, when the powder goes bang, the whole cylinder is pushed back against the rear of the frame and opens up the gap between cylinder and barrel. As soon as the ball has left the chamber and into the forcing cone, you are gonna get pressure/gas spillage out of the gap, so bleeding off pressure from behind the ball. The higher the load, the more pressure, the more bleeding through the cylinder gap. Almost a regulator. Any excess powder that is still burning when the ball leaves the barrel will be exitting the muzzle or the cylinder gap.

    I still hold that I aint gonna be trying a full chamber of 777 again, its far too hot, but, I am interested in trying this with standard 'holy black' if/when I manage to get myself some. I want to try this at dusk too... with a camera running... :) :) :) :)
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  18. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member


    I didnt say earlier, and this may be of interest.

    When I fired the 60gr 777 loads (tight 457 ball) in the 58 Remmie, I didnt get any hammer blowback! Plus, checked the cap afterwards and it was split, but still tight on the nipple.

    Edit note.. 46gr not 60
    Last edited: May 23, 2006
  19. RON in PA

    RON in PA Well-Known Member

    I would love to know how anyone including the starter of this thread could get 60 grains of power (by volume) plus a ball into the chamber of a Remington C&B. Did you use a hydrolic press? B.S.
  20. frosty

    frosty Well-Known Member

    How much is too much

    My OLd Army will hold around 47gr of Pyrodex p, and that is it. As far as I know, the cylider is unmodified. I have to compress the ball around 5/16", but it digests the load with no problems. No ill feelings here, but I find it hard to figure out how to fit 60 gr in a 58 Rem.:scrutiny: Thats more like a Walker or dragoon load:evil:

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