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Black Powder .38 Special loads

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Fu-man Shoe, Nov 20, 2006.

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  1. Fu-man Shoe

    Fu-man Shoe Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    While doing some reloading for .38 SPL, I thought to myself that
    since the .38 SPL was originally a black powder cartridge, I'd give
    it a try for old times sake, so to speak.

    I looked around on the internet for some black powder load data,
    and it turns out that BP loads in .38 SPL are pretty low pressure.

    That's a good thing, as I didn't want to blow myself up. :eek:

    So I took 15 grains of GOEX, put it in a case, and topped it off with
    a little bit of corn meal, since you need to compress the black powder.

    With anticipation, I loaded and fired my first old timey round.

    :what: BOOM ... giant cloud of thick white smoke... :evil:

    Now THAT is fun. After a few of those, I felt kind of bad though,
    because I could hear a couple of guys down the line coughing as
    my smoke cloud drifted thier way. Sorry guys...:D

    Fu-man shoe
  2. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Brother of mine and I did that over Labor Day, with Pyrodex.

    We filled the cases with powder, used standard 158 grain LSWC. They were pretty anemic rounds. The bullet made it through a couple inches of punk wood, almost undeformed.

    Fun for a while (but not near as much fun as "blackpowder" .45 ACP at Christmastime), but cleanup was awful.
  3. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Happy Valley, Oregon
    They call us "downwind shooters" for a reason.:evil:
  4. dao

    dao Member

    Feb 21, 2006
  5. shooting on a shoestring

    shooting on a shoestring Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Near Austin
    Be sure to clean up after yourself

    I've burned many a pound of Goex via cap and ball revolver, muzzle loader rifle, muzzle loader shotgun and S&W Mod 19. Yep its a hoot to shoot. But beware the residue invades every corner of the gun, insides too. The residue contains salts which will rust a gun quickly with just the moisture in the air. So EVERY time you shoot it, completly disassemble, every screw, spring, and metal thingy on the gun and wash it with hot water, dish detergent, more hot water, scrub it, wash it rinse it, dry it dry it dry it oil it, put it together and oil it some more. This is not being fanatical, just real.

    There's a lot black powder cleaning recipes out there. Just remember black powder residue is water soluble. Smokeless powder is oil soluble. Don't use smokeless solvents on black powder.

    I look at shooting black powder as an educational experience. I get well educated in firearm dis- and re- assembly. Its good to know. And its part of the hobby. I enjoy working in and on guns.
  6. moewadle

    moewadle Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    Many man smoke but Fu Manchu

  7. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    I did that once too. After a couple dozen rounds, the cylinder wouldn't turn anymore! Had to wipe the front of the cylinder down with muddy water from a nearby puddle to get it to work again. Good times.

    I just did trial and error until I found a load that would be just barely compressed by the bullet I was using (158 grain Berry's plated hollowpoints). 4x Goex. No chronograph, but felt recoil was a bit lighter than some standard (non +P) .38s I made with the same bullets.

    Make sure you wash out the cases with water too, if you plan on using them again. Otherwise, they'll turn all green inside.
  8. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    S.E. PA, USA
    Ryan, your revolver froze-up because you were using non-lubed bullets, you need special bullet lube for black powder cartridge shooting.
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