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Old February 11, 2015, 05:57 PM   #1
Tallbald
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Still feel stupid about "black powder equivalent" weights

A good friend here and real-world has tried to help me understand Triple Seven versus real black powder weight and volume equivalents. I continue to have trouble grasping it. I'm honestly embarrassed to ask Bob again to explain it, and yes I feel stupid.
I'm making paper cartridges for our Ruger Old Army's and our single shot CVA Optima V2 .50 caliber pistol. We only use Triple Seven, have no real black powder to weigh, and have several different brass measures that screw into our brass powder containers. I have one of those adjustable sliding plunger brass syringe-looking measures to show "volume(?)" of powder which I am guessing is for real BP. It goes from 10 to 120 but doesn't say what the units represent.
We do have a new RCBS beam scale so I can weigh charges of Triple Seven.

Please, can someone share a link to a chart that will show me written out black powder equivalents using weight for both FFG and FFFG Triple Seven? I'm shooting what I think is between 25 grains and 75 grains of 777.
If I can weigh out Triple Seven on our scale and be correct in BP equivalents I'd have what I need.
Thanks for any link to a chart or math formula I can write down and use.
Don
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Last edited by Tallbald; February 11, 2015 at 06:05 PM.
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Old February 11, 2015, 06:01 PM   #2
Cooldill
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It should say on the back of the can? I thought 777 was mayzured by vol'yum as well?
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Old February 11, 2015, 06:45 PM   #3
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Thrown from my measure; 100 grains volume of FF 777 powder weighs 77.4 grains. The same 100 grains volume of FFF 777 weighs 81.6 grains.

i overfill the measure and then strike it off level with my finger; no tapping, no nothing else.

More:

http://www.curtrich.com/BPConversionSheet.htm
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Old February 11, 2015, 07:11 PM   #4
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Decide what volume by grains of fffg real black powder you wish to shoot. Multiply that number by 0.85. That is the volume by grains of fffg 777 you should load. Completely ignore the weights. That's all there is to it.

For instance, if you want to shoot the fffg 777 equivalent of 35 grains by volume of fffg real black powder, multiply 35 by 0.85; that is 29.75 grains by volume of fffg 777 (I'd round that up to 30 - the extra 0.25 grains will make no difference even if you could measure it).

By the way, the numbers on your brass measure are grains by volume.
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Old February 11, 2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Fill one of the ROA's chambers with the powder of choice, leaving enough room for wad (if used) and ball. Empty that chamber into your volumetric powder measure.

Bingo.

Forget about weights. You don't use weights with black powder or subs. Measure by VOLUME.

Last edited by J-Bar; February 11, 2015 at 09:49 PM.
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Old February 12, 2015, 12:43 AM   #6
Don McDowell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallbald View Post
A good friend here and real-world has tried to help me understand Triple Seven versus real black powder weight and volume equivalents. I continue to have trouble grasping it. I'm honestly embarrassed to ask Bob again to explain it, and yes I feel stupid.
I'm making paper cartridges for our Ruger Old Army's and our single shot CVA Optima V2 .50 caliber pistol. We only use Triple Seven, have no real black powder to weigh, and have several different brass measures that screw into our brass powder containers. I have one of those adjustable sliding plunger brass syringe-looking measures to show "volume(?)" of powder which I am guessing is for real BP. It goes from 10 to 120 but doesn't say what the units represent.
We do have a new RCBS beam scale so I can weigh charges of Triple Seven.

Please, can someone share a link to a chart that will show me written out black powder equivalents using weight for both FFG and FFFG Triple Seven? I'm shooting what I think is between 25 grains and 75 grains of 777.
If I can weigh out Triple Seven on our scale and be correct in BP equivalents I'd have what I need.
Thanks for any link to a chart or math formula I can write down and use.
Don
Ok to start with Blackpowder charges are always expressed in grains. The measurement markings on your flask's and measures are for the actual weight of the blackpowder charge. In the example of the pistol flasks the blackpowder charge would likely be marked for some particular brand of 3f and the rifle measures would be for 2f.
So using your 777 the actual weight does not really matter, as it is intended to be used on a volume basis.
The one thing you do need to be cautious about is not compressing 777 but very little as it does tend to get a bit cranky when it gets compressed, and is prone to some nasty pressure spikes which will do your accuracy but little good..
This link should go along way to helping you find your way thru the 777 mystery
http://www.hodgdon.com/tripleseven.html
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Old February 12, 2015, 05:16 AM   #7
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Just how "compressed" is one allowed to get with 777. After all how is one to ensure no air gap in a muzzle loader unless they feel the ball seating against the charge. And by the time you feel the ball come to a stop on the powder it's going to be at least moderately compressed.

The only way I can see this working is for cartridge loading where you fill then fit the bullet so it just rests on or only minimally compresses the charge. But with a ball ram or a ram rod on a musket or rifle the drag of the ball being rammed home means that by the time you feel the increase in force the charge is going to be fairly stoutly compressed.
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Old February 12, 2015, 09:40 AM   #8
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I don't see the attraction of Trip 7 when it seems its pretty touchy to work with. Granted it produces some wicked numbers both velocity and energy wise but won't Swiss and Olde Eynsford produce the same numbers without all the loading glitches?
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Old February 12, 2015, 10:05 AM   #9
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I have used 777 in .45 Colt, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, a T/C Hawken, 12 gauge shotshells and numerous percussion revolvers. I load it like any other black powder. In a gun with modern steel, I don't think that 15% thing is a big deal. I don't use heavy compression with any load. Without a chronograph I don't think you are going to notice much difference. It's a black powder substitute, not uranium.

Last edited by J-Bar; February 12, 2015 at 10:11 AM.
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Old February 12, 2015, 11:17 AM   #10
DD4lifeusmc
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volume / weight

Basically and generally speaking here
In our BP guns
BP and all the substitutes are measured in grains in by volume.

It's confusing as grains is normally considered a weight.

But # of grains by volume does not always equal the exact same amount by weight.

T7 is claimed to be more energetic / powerful than real BP.
So to get the same apples to apples performance hogden claims you should reduce the T7 volume.
It has nothing to do with safe pressures.
Personally all my charges are 30 gr no matter which powder I use.
I just learned where my gun shoots and sight accordingly.
But truth be told, really haven't noticed that much of a difference anyway.
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Old February 12, 2015, 12:01 PM   #11
Don McDowell
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Substitute powders are by volume. Blackpowder is by grains, or drams weight.
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Old February 12, 2015, 01:13 PM   #12
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Blackpowder of Volume X nominally weighs "Y" grains.*
People throw that volume, but then euphamistically refer to it as "grains".
Don't worry about it.**

When people refer to "equivalent volume" for the synthetics, use a BP volume measure, not a true weight on a scale.
(They're likely significantly different.)
If you've just got to use a scale, pour the volume, then weigh it, and use that weight from then on.



* That same volume of FFFFg weighs a bit more than the same volume in Fg. But don't worry about. It's lost in the noise.

** I find my adjustable volume measures always to be under weight by about 3-5 grains
(i.e. "85" on the volume throws only 80grains). Just make sure your notes say "by volume" or "by weight"
as you write things down. Personally, I just cut off 45-70 cases to an exact weight (for that volume & granularity),
tape it to that case, and use that.

Last edited by MEHavey; February 12, 2015 at 01:19 PM.
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Old February 12, 2015, 01:33 PM   #13
Don McDowell
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When speaking of blackpowder there is a good bit of difference between charges thrown by volume, and charges measured by weight.
Using Olde Eysnford 1.5 as an example, a 70 gr volume measure throws and average of 64.2 grs by weight, using that charge in a 45-70 rifle with a 530 gr bullet the average velocity was 1170 fps. Weighing those charges to 70 grs the average velocity was 1219 fps. The volume charges had an ES of nearly 40 fps, the weighed charges the ES was 13 fps..
Probably don't mean much if your interest is just making the boomboom go bang and have clouds of smoke, but if you're interested in x'rings, knocked over sillouette animals or a sure shot on game,, weighing is likely the best option.
Of course that's nothing particularly new as Remington , Winchester and Sharps all told the same thing about the benefits of carefully measuring and weighing charges back in the 1870's..
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Old February 12, 2015, 03:32 PM   #14
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I appreciate all the help. As to "why T7?". True Holy Black of any kind is sold, at the nearest I know of, 60 miles down the road at the Nashville Bass Pro and is I think $26 a pound plus a hefty Tennessee sales tax. T7 here in Southern KY is $22 a pound and we have lower sales tax. $15 a pound if I catch it at Walmart on clearance after deer season. I can get T7 right here in Bowling Green. Thanks again. Will post a few photos of my paper cartridges in the next couple of days. Learning curve woulda been quicker had I learned to roll my own.....smokes....as a teenager. Don.
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Old February 12, 2015, 03:34 PM   #15
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You can get 5-50 lb lots of black powder delivered to your door from www.powderinc.com
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Old February 12, 2015, 03:59 PM   #16
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That's one thing I keep forgetting that black powder is very difficult to come by in some parts of the country. Good luck with the Trip 7.
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Old February 12, 2015, 05:00 PM   #17
DD4lifeusmc
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weights

Quote:
I appreciate all the help. As to "why T7?". True Holy Black of any kind is sold, at the nearest I know of, 60 miles down the road at the Nashville Bass Pro and is I think $26 a pound plus a hefty Tennessee sales tax. T7 here in Southern KY is $22 a pound and we have lower sales tax. $15 a pound if I catch it at Walmart on clearance after deer season. I can get T7 right here in Bowling Green. Thanks again. Will post a few photos of my paper cartridges in the next couple of days. Learning curve woulda been quicker had I learned to roll my own.....smokes....as a teenager. Don.
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there are 7000 grains by weight in a pound.
but as above.
BP when measured for our guns, we go by volume.
Set the measure at 20, 25, 30, 0r 35 grains by volume, not by the weight.
BP shooting is actually quite simplistic. But many people tend toover think it.
Stay at or below the maximum recommended charge for your gun, and you will be fine.
2fg and 3fg by different manufacturers can be slightly different in granulation sizing.
Thus 30 grains by volume of one brand may be slightly heavier on a scale compared to another.
But BP in our guns is very forgiving and will work just fine regardless.
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Old February 13, 2015, 09:06 AM   #18
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Nobody weighs black powder. They measure it.

When they made black powder substitutes, they said "hey, lets make this to be used in the same measuring equipment guys are using for black powder", so they added filler to it so you could use that brass marked plunger measure for both.

Always measure black powder substitutes. Do not weight.

I've never weighed 50gr pellets, but I'll bet they don't weigh 50 grains either.
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Old February 13, 2015, 10:18 AM   #19
44 Dave
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"close, horse shoes & hand grenades" I have several powder measures and they do not throw exactly the same as each other. I also have the Lee dipper set. I use a powder scale to cross check them, Goex FFF comes close to grains volume = weight.
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Old February 13, 2015, 12:04 PM   #20
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Nobody weighs black powder. They measure it.....
I'm sorry but this just isn't true. The folks that shoot BPCR weigh their charges down to the tenth of a grain for each round loaded. They might use a dipper to dole out the bulk of it into the pan on the scale but from there it's a trickler or other method to match the WEIGHT, not the volume.

The proof is that no where in the world is there any mention of a volumetric measure for "grains" other than in black powder shooting. This alone should suggest that someone way back when came up with this fix simply to make loading in the field easier.

The reason for weighing the charges is pointed out by Don's results with his 45-70 loading mentioned in post #13.
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Old February 13, 2015, 12:16 PM   #21
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Tallbald, we've gotten a bit side tracked as usual with these volume vs weight threads. Did you get what you needed for your paper cartridge making yet?
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Old February 13, 2015, 01:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Nobody weighs black powder. They measure it.
Actually... They (and I) do.
But we will establish the volume measure setting corresponding to
that weight, and then use the measure at that setting.
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Old February 13, 2015, 02:22 PM   #23
Tallbald
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Thanks everyone for all the insight. BCRider yes I have indeed gathered all the paper cartridge making stuff. As a matter of fact, I was just getting ready to post a couple of photographs here on the forum, with the hopes there won't be too much laughter! The results look a little rough but as time goes by I hope to improve. Now my shooting buddy and I have to await a warmer day for me to try them out but I'm excited. I was indeed ale to include a homemade waxed felt wad in the cartridges also. Don
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Old February 13, 2015, 02:45 PM   #24
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Once they are stuffed into the guns they'll look just fine....
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Old February 13, 2015, 03:38 PM   #25
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Thanks because that's comforting! Don.
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