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Black powder substitutes ... yet again ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jski, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. jski

    jski Member

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    This has been asked before on THR but now there’s been more time and much more experience with these 2 powders: Hodgdon’s Trip-7 and Alliant’s Black MZ. How do they compare ?
     
  2. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Midway is showing Black MZ as discontinued on their site, which is a shame because at least by description I really like the way it sounds. If they end up regulating black powder out of existence I would want something as close to the real thing as possible. But I also read some good things about Triple 7 and look forward to reading the input of users here.
     
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  3. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    T7 is a very good substitute, albeit slightly more powerful by volume than its equivalent in genuine black powder. It is easily ignited as well. It is no less corrosive than BP, being equally hygroscopic. It also, in my experience, fouls harder than BP and, as such is harder to clean. T7 offers no advantage over BP other than availability.

    I have less experience with Black MZ. Based on that lesser experience, it seems to me to be the closest of all the substitutes to actual BP, except in two things: 1) it is harder to ignite, and 2) it seems, and this is subjective, less hygroscopic and corrosive than BP or other subs.Again , other than availability, Black MZ offers no advantage over BP.
     
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  4. Eyrie G. Dogg

    Eyrie G. Dogg Member

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    I shoot revolvers.

    T7 is very energetic. Some shooters follow the 15% reduction rule - others don't. Cleans up easily enough if the fouling is kept soft. Good for hot loads. No ignition problems.

    BMZ is the cleanest burning powder I've ever used. Medium energy, good smoke. Tends to clump up and does not pour well from measured flasks. Ignites fine. I like it a lot for its clean burn.
     
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  5. stantheman1986

    stantheman1986 Member

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    I have a sealed pound of American Pioneer 2f that I'm going to try , just because I hear it burns really clean and might be good in my muzzleloading target rifles.
     
  6. red rick

    red rick Member

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    The one thing that I don’t like about T7 is the crude ring you get in your rifle after just one shot. It makes reloading very difficult if you don’t swab between every shot.

    I bought some MZ but haven’t tried it yet.
     
  7. DeeTV

    DeeTV Member

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    Black MZ has been out of production for several months now. Sportsman's Warehouse has finally sold out online. You can still get it here and there for its more usual price of 23.00+ dollars but it won't be long now before it's unavailable anywhere
     
  8. Catman42

    Catman42 Member

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    triple seven in rifles leaves a bad hard crud ring in the breech. it is a very accurate powder but a pain to use in a rifle. however in my 38 special cowboy loads it works very well. no fouling and again very accurate. if you shooting a inline muzzleloader that uses 209 shotgun primers use iether real black power and wipe between shots or blackhorn 209 powder and never wipe between shots. both of these powder are very accurate and work well. tripe 7 would be a good powder except for that hard crud ring in rifles. again use it in a 45 long colt or 38 special cowboy load. i use blackhorn 209 powder in my sidelock muzzlleloaders as i have mag spark nipples on all of them that use a 209 shotgun primer. however many use it with regular primers and they just put like a 9mm case full of real black under it then 209 powder on top of that. 209 powder cant be set off except for shot gun primers. i know of a club of flintlock shooter who all use 209 powder but load their rock lock to the set off hole with real black then 209 powder on top of that. that way they dont have to wipe between rounds as 209 powder burn to a very dry ;oose dust with no guck on it. hopes this helps you. dont use pyrodex, it really causes rust and it is not generally a accurate powder. if you meter it and use no compression at all, it can shot fairly good to real good. however it still is bad for rust.
     
  9. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Just went to the range with several pistols and a .36 cal flinter. Shot black MZ in all of them. Pistols were revo!vers, had no issues at all. The . 36 worked fine as well with 3f priming and NO black powder in main charge. There was a very slight delay from pan flash to boom, not enough to be a problem. Accuracy was good as well. I also went full house loads with a Walker with more than satisfactorily results, it went boom, the loading lever dropped, the ball went above the target(100yards) kicked up a lot of dust. Overall was pleased with the session.
     
  10. jski

    jski Member

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    Does Midway carry black powders of any ilk ?
     
  11. wmgeorge
    • Contributing Member

    wmgeorge Contributing Member

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    Graf & Sons is where I got my black powder, very easy to deal with and fast shipping.

    One thing I had thought about and please folks think this over before jumping the gun, so to speak. There will be a day when we can not purchase real BP, for us flinters could we mix a little smokeless powder like Winchester 231 in the priming pan with the substitute BP and would it ignite with the spark enough to fire off the main charge which will NOT have smokeless?
     
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  12. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    No, Graf is the only online source I'm aware of at the moment.
     
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  13. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I think in a scenario like that I would attempt to make my own black powder. For priming you wouldn't need large volumes of production. With due care and some basic safety precautions I believe it could be done.
     
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  14. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

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    Graf is who I buy mine from because all the others require downloading, printing, signing, and faxing a form - something I can’t do with a phone. However, there are several online black powder vendors, Maine Powder House, Powder Inc., and Jack’s just to mention a few.
     
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  15. jski

    jski Member

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    Are BP substitutes very popular at shoots ? In the field ? Are there any reliable breakdowns/statistics as to what % of “black powder” shooters use real BP and what % use substitutes ?
     
  16. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Powder Inc and Buffalo Arms also online sources for black powder.
     
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  17. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Good to know, thanks for that info.
     
  18. stantheman1986

    stantheman1986 Member

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    Real Black will remain available due to the huge muzzleloading market in Europe.
     
  19. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    One of the largest in the eastern US-

    https://blackpowderva.com/
     
  20. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    I compete in North South Skirmish Association with Civil War era guns including artillery. Our competition rules do not allow the use of any substitute. AFAIK, we are one of the largest, nongovernmental organized consumers of black powder in the US in terms of quantity used. Most reenactor units use black powder, but they aren't picky about quality as all they want is a bang and smoke. We are interested in accuracy with live rounds on target. SASS guys can use subs and since they're an analogue to 3gun, accuracy isn't on the top of their list. So as such, there are grades of black powder, just as there are for smokeless. Ranked in order from very best to crap-

    1)Swiss (very consistent, minimal fouling)
    2)Old Eysnford (Goex product) (almost as good as Swiss)
    3) regular Schutzen and Goex (decent stuff for 90% of bp shooting, hunting and plinking)
    4) Goex reenactor grade (crap suitable only for blanks)
    (There are some others but they fit in about in the #3 area of the rankings. Serious target shooters and those after accuracy are using Swiss and Old E almost exclusively)

    Our usage spans revolvers, rifled muskets, smoothbore muskets, carbines, repeaters (Henry, Spencer), cannon and mortars. Back Creek is located at the exit to our main range in Winchester, VA.
     
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  21. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    And I will give serious credit to Goex for introducing OE. I've seen a lot of companies that would have been content to let someone else occupy the top rung...Goex didn't.
     
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  22. stantheman1986

    stantheman1986 Member

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    I am firmly an Old Eynsford guy, I use Swiss 3f in my Volunteer rifle but other than that, my rifled muskets are fine with OE.

    I use it in my Smoothbores too, because less fouling is important with them too.
     
  23. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    Black MZ has one huge benefit, Super cheap at $10 a lb. Is it as clean as T7? Yes. Does #11 cap set it off easier than T7? yes. Black mz still leaves a crud ring like T7 when used with 209 primers.

    T7, more powerful and consistent from one shot to the next.
     
  24. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    As noted earlier: Black MZ has the benefit that it will work reliably in flintlocks. (At least it does in mine)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  25. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    in the barrel its ok - i wouldnt hunt with it in a flintlock and certainly couldn't use it in the pan.
     
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