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BP Pistols & Rifles Ballistic Performance

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Aaryq, Aug 17, 2008.

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  1. Aaryq

    Aaryq Member

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    Howdy, folks.
    I'm interested to know how various black powder guns with both lead ball minnie balls perform ballistically. Cap and ball revolvers, .50 and .58 caliber muzzle loaders (pistol and rifle), shotguns, and whatnot. Anyone have any descriptions or pictures to help me figure this out?
     
  2. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    Don't know. But I hear a black powder 10ga shotgun loaded with a single lead round really packs a walup. It's about a 77 caliber equivalent, I think.
     
  3. RadioTech

    RadioTech Member

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    Practical experience...

    I shot a 125 lb. deer last year with an 1858 Remington replica with a 7 1/2 inch barrel loaded with a round ball and about 45 grains of Pyrodex.
    Broke a rib on entry, went through both lungs and broke a rib on exit. The exit break was nearly an inch in diameter, I suppose that could be due to the bone shattering or the ball flattening on the entry.
    Distance was about 25 yards.
     
  4. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I will have to go off memory on this one. Some time ago in Handguns magazine gelatin testing was done on some black powder handguns. IIRC, the .36-cal., 79-gr. round ball, fired from a Colt 1851 Navy replica, made a cavity in the gelatin comparable to a .380 ACP JHP. The .44-caliber, 141-gr. round ball, fired from a Colt Walker replica, was the equivalent of a .357 Mag. 158-gr. JHP. There were some others, but I don't remember them.
     
  5. Aaryq

    Aaryq Member

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    So do the Lead Balls deform/expand at all?
     
  6. the-ghost

    the-ghost Member

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    yes they will expand, or more so flatten.
     
  7. pohill

    pohill Member

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    Here's an odd ball experiment I did a few weeks ago with a Ruger Old Army and the insert plate from a Second Chance cop vest.
    The roundball (.457) was trapped inside the Kevlar pocket. 35 grs of BP at 50 yards (yep, 50 yards not feet)
    9sqsdj.gif
    nlrcd2.gif
    bhf60i.jpg

    sideview of dent in plate
    2jfwpax.gif
     
  8. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    The Lone Haranguer :

    Boy, that sure don't say much for modern bullets does it?
     
  9. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    As far as a chronographed velocity goes, this was taken from 9' from my chrono today with my Pietta '58 NMA with a 5.5" barrel .44 caliber.

    Bullet = .457 143 grain Cast Round Ball.
    Powder = Goex FFFg black powder.
    Primer = Remington #11
    5-1/2” Barrel Average Ballistics.
    40gr. Volume 39gr. Weight = 984 fps. 307 ft. Lbs.
    35gr. Volume 34gr. Weight = 868 fps. 239 ft. lbs.
    30gr. Volume 29gr. Weight = 752 fps. 180 ft. lbs.


    As far as expantion goes:
    [​IMG]
    Each ball recovered weighed 135gr. - 141gr. the Ball that was extracted from a cylinder weighed 143gr.
     
  10. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    Fat slug + soft lead + fair velocity = splat!

    I was far more impressed with the low tech .44 round balls being fired into newspaper and plastic jugs than I had been with the standard fare LRN/FMJ .38 special. I'm not arguing against an honest .38 from a more reliable platform. If you're only looking at the end result of mangled lead and ugly holes then it was easy enough for this amateur to see that old technology is a good dose of medicine.
     
  11. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Voodoo's numbers jibe with mine. From a 7" barrel Colt .44, round ball, 28 grains FFFG, I get an average 841 FPS.

    My 50 cal BP rifle, with 110 grains FF (a very hot load for this rifle) and a patched ball from a 24" barrel, I get just over 1900 FPS. I consider 100 yards, maybe a little more, to be my practical hunting limit with this load. A longer barrel, say around 36", will get better velocity, but a moderate increase in velocity with that dismal BC of the round ball will buy you very little extra range. The exterior ballistics of round balls are terrible, but the terminal effects are pretty good, as the soft lead hits hard and flattens. The BC is zero point zero-something, so range is very limited compared to modern projectiles.

    Minnie balls, and other conicals, improve things a lot, but the heavier bullet comes out slower, making for a very ached trajectory. So go to a smaller bore and avoid the really massive projectile (we're getting closer to a modern load here). A long 40 or 45 cal rifle bullet with a more modern shape, pushed through a long-ish barrel, would be the thing for longer distance muzzle-loader shooting-- you get a superior BC in a projectile weight that can be driven to a higher velocity. A .50 bore using sabots can do pretty much the same thing.

    'Course a 750 grain 50 cal bullet could have a great BC, but you have practical limits on pressure and recoil, carry weight, etc..

    For round ball, you get better exterior ballistics by increasing the bore size. Revolutionary War era muskets were often in excess of 70 caliber. A good rifle of the period, with a good marksman, could supposedly hit a man-sized target "easily" at 300+ yards. There are BP competitions at up to 1K yards.
     
  12. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Omnivore:
    Well mine isn't that far off of yours in comparrison.

    Your .44 shooting a .454 ball out of a 7" barrel at an average velocity of 841 FPS. with 28gr. of FFFG.
    My .44 shooting a .457 ball out of a 5.5" barrel at an average velocity of 752 FPS. with 30gr. of FFFG.

    About 90 FPS slower than yours which is about right for the difference in barrel length & slight differences in powder charges.
     
  13. mike6975

    mike6975 Member

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  14. Aaryq

    Aaryq Member

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    Wow...I really should get into BP. What's holding me back? Oh yeah, a place to shoot it. I just didn't think they were that powerful.
     
  15. mike6975

    mike6975 Member

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    they are!, yes there is a fun factor in them but remember a hundred years ago cowboys depended there lives upon them.plus with the new guns,powder,bullets,etc.... there probably more powerful then ever.glad you liked the post.



    mike
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  16. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Voodoo; I may be using the word "jibe" incorrectly. I used it to mean "agree". Your numbers agree with mine.

    OK, so I looked it up to be sure:
    "Be in accord; to conform or agree with somebody or something or with one another." So says Bill Gates (MS Word).
     
  17. gizamo

    gizamo Member

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    If you are also interested in rifle cartridges~ The 45/110 shooting a 550 grain bullet is capable of great accuracy at extended ranges. 1000 yard competitions are sometimes held..

    Using traditional sights, the accuracy at 200 to 300 yards is often amazing...

    giz
     
  18. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    Omnivore:
    Sorry bud, it was me who didn't understand the use of the word "jibe,"
    I'm used to someone saying..

    That don't jibe with me & I assumed that was what you were saying, well you know what a.s.s.u.m.e. stands for.

    Right. ;)
     
  19. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    I have chronoed a 50cal PRB from my 44" Longrifle at 2100fps!! This was a 100gr charge of Goex 2fg with flint ignition. Have taken a lot of deer, turkey, and hogs with this rifle and load. :D

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  20. Omnivore

    Omnivore Member

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    Oneshooter; I totally believe it. Your .50 bore is a full 20 inches longer than my Deerstalker's.
     
  21. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    I would like to know how much velocity I loose thru the touch hole! My 62cal Hawken uses a 445gr PRB with a 120gr charge of Goex 2fg, haven't chronoed it yet. I do know that it will push the ball through a 1200lb cow Elk and break the shoulder on the far side, at 80 yards!!:D :evil:
    Again, it is a rocker.

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  22. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    I thought their capacity was 35 grains or something like that. :confused:
     
  23. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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    i think it is 40gr. at least from all of the research i did it was 40. maybe it was a typo....?:confused:
    well anyways i know it will still pack a punch.:what:
     
  24. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    I've squeezed 42gr. of FFFG into my old Pietta '58 but that was also with ball over the powder & grease over the ball & the ball nearly scraping on the barrel.
     
  25. the-ghost

    the-ghost Member

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    heh you find a 1200# cow elk call me i want a picture!:D
     
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