Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Chronographing 777 loads in revolvers.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by MCgunner, Feb 28, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Okay, from the super companion thread, you'll recall I bought 777 yesterday. Took the .31 Rem, the ROA, and the super companion for some chronographing. I stuffed chambers full, not shooting for groups, shooting for power. Started off with the super companion and I was disappointed. It didn't work as good as pyrodex in that, 400 fps near bouts with a 4 buck for projectile. I forgot the conicals at the house...:banghead: I think this stuff must burn pretty slow and the short barrel doesn't do it justice. Not sure, but I'm stickin' with the Bullseye in the super companion, works great and to my hopes when getting the gun.

    Next up was the .31. It shot high with this stuff, but shot 900 fps (haven't worked the averages up, but roughly 900 fps. That's via shooting a 60 grain conical, a good 150 fps improvement over Pyrodex P.

    Next up, and the biggest shocker, the ROA. Now, normally it shoots around 900 fps with Pyrodex P. NOT with 777. Shots ran 1300 fps...:what::what::what: Yep, you heard right, and recoil was such with those little crappy plastic grips I have on it, I'm going to put that fugly Hogue grip my son-in-law gave me for the gun on it. It was hurting my hand with that faux checkering those cheap grips have. It shot well, its normal 2" groups, but now this is shooting a 220 grain Lee cast conical. Folks, that's 825 ft lbs! MY GAWD, that's right up there with my .45 Colt Blackhawk shooting 2400 behind a 300 grain bullet, the vaunted "Ruger only" stuff. That gun has a short barrel, 1120 fps with a 300 grain XTP, but I only get 1200 fps out of a 7" contender barrel with it. Now, that's 1000 ft lbs in the Contender, but shy of 900 in the Blackhawk.

    So, move over Walker Colt! :neener: Anyway, I'm still quite shocked about that. A friggin' mazing. I don't know, however, if I'd wanna shoot a lot of this stuff in a .44 colt and FOR SURE I wouldn't wanna shoot a bunch of it in a brass gun. Now, I was loading with a 2.8 cc Lee scoop, so a Colt copy holds less and would probably be okay in steel, but man, I wore out a brass frame .44 Navy just pushing the loads with 3F BP. It only took about 6 years of occasional shooting to do it, too.

    Anyway, I've found DA STUFF for the ROA and for serious loads in the .31, not that the .31 is a serious gun. Frankly, it's a brass frame Remmie and I figure it's better off shooting lighter loads in the 700 fps range which I was able to load with a smaller charge. 900 fps was a compressed load with the conicals.

    One thing I didn't like, the load lever on the ROA kept flopping down under recoil. It doesn't do that with Pyrodex. I guess I could put a rubber band around it for hunting with. I would not hesitate to load that thing with hollow point 220s out of my Lee mold to shoot hogs with. It's got more juice than a .357 magnum, put it that way.
     
  2. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    Interesting. I remember someone else chronoged 777 in a .31 (I forget the barrel length), and it was only getting a piddling 500 fps or thereabouts.

    777 is definitely powerful in the big bores with longer barrels, though. I wonder what the safe maximum is for Howdah pistol? There's no way I'm going to shoot reduced loads from that thing, full bore 20 gauge all the way!

    Good info, thanks. I'll need to get a can of 777.

    I believe they used leather thongs back in the day.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    I did back off the load a tad on the .31 as I was filling it so full, the conical was having a hard time compressing. With the slightly lighter load, I still got 700 fps. I've got a 4" barrel on the gun, seemed to work okay in that gun, but hot the huge improvement the ROA saw. I was using the .3cc scoop that came with the super companion to load the .31, was dumping 3 scoops and the powder level was up near the top. 2.5 of those scoops is what showed 700 fps. That's about what I get with pyrodex, about 750 IIRC. That half scoop made nearly 200 fps difference. Kinda strange.

    I should try it with 00 buck, too, I suppose. The load would not compress so much with ball.
     
  4. higene

    higene Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Sunny Yacolt Washington
    777

    Good news about the ROA.

    Comments about the Howdah in 'Howdah Basics' and personal experience show that the gun gets real snorty at 50 gr of BP. The real concern I have is injuring my fingers on the trigger guard with hot loads.

    Load both barrels with 30 gr BP and 10 .31 cal balls in each barrel. Then touch them both off at the same time and see if you don't change your mind about the .31 being a serious gun.

    :fire:
     
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    Found an old thread where different powders were compared in a .31.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=166743&highlight=777+.31

    Not the one I remember, and the performance with 777 was better, but still behind real BP. Looks like Swiss is pretty good in the small guns. It also sounds like 777 prefers conicals, but it's definitely worth testing a round ball as well, to see what you get.

    --------

    I've been reading through all the Howdah threads here. Can't wait for mine to arrive.

    Good point about the trigger guard. The "hand cannon" I already have doesn't have that problem:

    serbu5.jpg

    Her name is "Mercy." :D Lots of fun with 3" magnum rounds, though I can't convince any of my friends to try it. They're a bunch of wimps. There's no recoil at all! ;)

    I may want to see about buying or making some kind of rubber bumper, like these guys put on their coach guns.

    http://www.hatchergun.com/NFA/Coachgun_III-1.JPG
    http://www.hatchergun.com/sbs.htm

    Also, I do plan on trying to fire both barrels at the same time, at least once. A friend pointed out to me, if you do that, you have the same payload as 1 shot of 10 gauge!
     
  6. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,696
    I was chroning "777" in .38 Special last November, Loads were less than Full House, and, FPS was better than those attributed to 'SAAMI' for 158 Grn Lead.


    Seems very promising.


    However, as for me, I want to review PSIs attributed to Mfr's stated 'do not exceed' Loadings for Handgun Cartridges, in order to have a better feel for what is going on for various loadings in Cap and Ball or Cartridge, if exceeding Mfr's loadings.


    Did you chrono the Walker with "777"?
     
  7. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Orlando
    I'm curious as to how many grains of 777 you were putting in that ROA.
     
  8. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,106
    I'm curious too about how much 777 and was it pistol or rifle powder?
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    double tap
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    No, I was just speculating on the sanity of putting a full 60 grain equivalents of 777 in one and touching it off, the pressure thing you were speculating about. Yeah, the Walker is big, but it's an open top gun.

    31.6 grains (weighed on my electronic scale just now) or 44.6 FFFg BP grain equivalents IOW, a full cyllinder, as full as you can fill it and compress it behind a 220 cast conical. Powder was measured with a Lee 2.8cc scoop. Powder was 777 FFFg pistol.

    I don't worry about the ROA handling the pressure. That thing is BUILT to take pressure. But, I question the sanity of firing full charges of this stuff in replicas, especially open tops. Like I say, though, other than the Walker, most of 'em don't handle close to that much powder, so I reckon you'd be okay. The Walker, well, I'm not real sure about it. It's an open top gun that holds half again more than the ROA.
     
  11. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,696
    Hi MCgunner,


    If memory serve, "777" is not supposed to be compressed...where, of course, Black Powder is.

    I hope you were not compressing it when Loading?

    I think it could make dangerously and unpredictable high pressures when compressed, while, being all round steady-predictable when no air gap, no compress.


    I remember being very careful when I was loading .38 Special with "777", not to compress it, and, not to leave any Air Gap either.
     
  12. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,810
    Location:
    Northern California
    'slight compression' is I believe, Hodgdond's official advice.I'll see if I can dig it up.
     
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,810
    Location:
    Northern California
    from Hodgdon's website:
    Home
    Products
    Smokeless
    Muzzleloading
    Pyrodex
    Triple Seven
    Company Store
    MSDS
    Data
    Download Data Manual
    Reloading Data Center
    Shot Shell Bushing Chart
    MEC
    Hornaday/Spolar
    Ponsness Warren
    Lee
    Powder Burn Rate Chart
    Youth Loads
    Dealers
    Find A Store Near You
    Dealer Support
    Distributors
    MSDS
    News
    Industry News
    New Products
    Press Releases
    Print Ads
    Video / TV Ads
    Shoots and Promotions
    Success Stories
    About Us
    Contact Us
    Company History
    Loading NotesWARNING - Before loading your firearm, stop and read and understand the instructions furnished with your firearm. If you do not have an owner's manual for your firearm, contact the manufacturer and request one. The owner's manual for your firearm should specify a maximum allowable load. Under no circumstances should this maximum be exceeded.
    Make certain that there is no cap, primer or powder in the priming pan of the firearm. Make certain that the firearm is not already loaded.
    All charges of Triple Seven or Pyrodex should be measured by VOLUME not weight. A simple, adjustable blackpowder measure is the correct tool for this job. All loads listed in this brochure are measured by VOLUME.
    Triple Seven is a high energy product designed to provide the muzzleloading hunter with higher velocities when used in the same VOLUME as blackpowder. To duplicate a blackpowder load velocity using Triple Seven, you must decrease the powder charge by 15%. *See WARNING below.
    Pyrodex is lighter in weight than blackpowder and weighs only about 70% as much as blackpowder. However, because Pyrodex yields more energy per pound than does blackpowder, the same volume of Pyrodex gives similar performance to blackpowder. Pyrodex loads given in this manual for muzzleloading guns are measured by volume, not weight.
    Triple Seven In Cartridges: Use data specifically developed for Triple Seven FFG only. Cartridge loads should be used exactly as listed in this pamphlet. You may safely use a card or polyethylene wad up to .030" in thickness to protect the base of the bullet. Loading density should be 100% with light compression not to exceed .100". Testing has shown that Triple Seven will perform best when the bullet just touches the powder. Allow no airspace between the base of the bullet and the powder. Do not reduce loads by means of filler wads or inert filler material such as Grits, Dacron or Grex. Do not heavily compress powder charges. The use of filler wads, inert fillers or heavy compression may cause a dangerous situation, which could cause injury and/or death to the shooter, bystanders or damage property. Do not create loads for cartridges not listed. Contact Hodgdon Powder Company for recommendations concerning other loads. *See WARNINGS below.
    Pyrodex In Cartridges: The mechanics of reloading metallic cartridges are quite simple, but there is one requirement of the modern shooter that cannot be overlooked. The modern loader must set aside his knowledge of loading with smokeless powders and embrace the ways of years gone by. It must always be remembered that blackpowder and Pyrodex are very inefficient powders by today's standards. The methods described here are consistent with good loading practices for Pyrodex and should be followed without regard to smokeless loading practices.
    Pyrodex works best in straight walled cases, but it will work satisfactorily in bottle necked cartridges as long as our warnings are observed.
    WARNING: Never allow an air space in any cartridge loaded with Pyrodex. The loading density must be 100% by light compression. 100% loading density may be accomplished in two ways:
    The case is filled with powder to a level that will provide light compression of the powder (1/16" to 1/8") when the bullet is seated. Bottle necked cases must be loaded in this manner.
    In straight walled cases, filler wads may be used to reduce the powder charge. This is done by inserting card or Polyethylene wads between the base of the bullet and the powder. Wads should be sized to the internal diameter of the cartridge case. The loader must be careful to insure that there are no void spaces in the assembled cartridge. NEVER use any other type of filler material. Be careful as loads are reduced. At some point, the bullet will fail to exit the bore.
    When loading cartridges with Pyrodex or Triple Seven, you may use a powder measure designed for smokeless powders. Learn more.
    Pyrodex does produce a corrosive residue from combustion. Even though this fouling is softer than the fouling produced by blackpowder, firearms should be cleaned after each use. Hodgdon Powder Co. recommends the use of natural cleaning solvents.
    Cartridge cases that have been fired using Pyrodex require special care. As soon as possible after firing, cases should be de-primed and immersed in 50% water and white vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar will neutralize the corrosive residues remaining in the case. Care should be taken to limit the soaking time of the cases in the vinegar to 10 minutes. Soaking for a longer time may cause etching of the brass case resulting in shortened case life. Rinse cases with clear water, dry and polish in a tumbler with corncob or walnut shell media.
    Flintlock: To insure proper ignition in flintlock systems, 5 grains of FFFFG priming powder should be placed into the bore prior to loading the main charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex. Consult the loading data in this brochure to determine the proper charge for the caliber firearm used and the chosen projectile. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder. While holding the firearm vertically, slowly pour the measured charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex into the barrel. Seat the projectile firmly against the powder. Make certain that there is no airspace between the powder and the projectile. *See WARNING below.
    Percussion Firearms: Select the proper charge from the loads listed in this brochure. Set powder measure as indicated. While holding the firearm vertically, slowly pour the measured charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex into the barrel. Seat the projectile firmly against the powder . Make sure that there is no airspace between the powder and the projectile. *See WARNING below.
    Do not prime the pan on a flintlock or place a primer/cap on the firearm until ready to begin shooting.
    *WARNING: Failure to follow the recommendations for use of Triple Seven and Pyrodex could result in injury and/or death to the shooter or bystanders and damage to property.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Yes, I was compressing it. This could account for the extra bang in the .31.

    Velocities were consistent. I didn't worry about juicing up the ROA as it's tough enough to take it. Good to know, though, thanks. They really should put this on the bottle. All they say is don't exceed recommended load. Well, they show a 35 grain charge, ox yoke wad, round ball on the bottle, so I guess I exceeded the charge via a conical. Oh, well.
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Wow, just reading the bottle, in red letters, it says "do not use in cartridges". Wonder why?
     
  16. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Orlando
    I spoke to Hodgdon about a year ago. I specifically asked them about compression of 777. They said that compressing the powder would lend itself to inaccurate results and recommended that the bullet just barely push against the powder enough to ensure there isn't an air gap but not enough to compress the powder. I seem to recall that it was only possible to get about 38-39 grains of 777 in the ROA with a .457 round ball and no wad without compressing the powder. I probably got 40 grains in there but the 777 got compressed more than Hodgdon recommends.

    p.s. Don't weigh black powder or substitutes. Use a volumetric powder measure that measures in "grains". I'd have to break out my Lee 2.8cc scoop then transfer it over to my volumetric powder measure to see how many grains it is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Well, I can find nothing on the bottle about compression. I was shooting 31.6 grains of it by weight. I compressed it as I would with BP. I wasn't really shooting for accuracy, today, just testing what the stuff can do. I can afford to drop back a notch on it if accuracy turns out to be bad. I shot 3 into 2" at 25 when I did sit down at the bench and that's about what this gun does with best loads in pyrodex.

    Also, something I like about it, no sulfur, should be a bit less corrosive. It cleaned up easier than Pyrodex, didn't have any goo on it like Pyrodex makes, just kinda smoky. I noticed it didn't have that BP smell, though, which is sort of a bummer, but hey, the equipment should appreciate it. :D
     
  18. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Orlando
    Okay, I took a closer look at how many volumetric grains your 2.8cc scoop holds. According to my measurements with my powder measure a Lee 2.8cc scoop holds right at about 40 volumetric grains of 3Fg 777. With that in mind you'd already be pushing the upper limits on what the ROA will hold with a round ball. So I can definitely see how that conical must have been compressing that 777. I kind of figure that compressing 777 will probably lead to inconsistent burning of the powder. In other words, I wouldn't doubt it if some of the powder was getting blown out without igniting.
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Done some googling and I seem to find a consensus that 777 takes a slight compression. One site explained it as "0.1 inch". All these sites were talking about reloading in cartridges, the bottle has read lettering says "Do not use 777 3Fg in cartridges", but then I find that it's recommended to load 2Fg in .45 colt, so that sorta explains it.

    So, next time I shoot I'm going to use a scoop or two smaller and try that. It will eliminate the compression. I will shoot some groups with it and then pressure it back up and see if the groups grow.

    With the .31, I'll use the smaller charge. No need for anything more in that gun and it's a brass frame I don't wanna stretch. It was shooting high with that charge and was not accurate. It's not accurate, anyway, but I can usually manage to hit a paper plate 5 of 5 from 20 yards using pyrodex.
     
  20. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Orlando
    Oh yeah, you are absolutely correct on the 2Fg versus 3Fg in cartridges. In my Hodgdon phone call the fella helping me out did in fact remind me to use 2Fg in cartridges and not to use 3Fg in cartridges. And again, those measurements for 777 or any black powder or substitute is in volumetric grains not weight grains so I'd pass on the scale.
     
  21. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Michigan
    How does an open top frame design have anything to do with how much pressure the chambers in a cylinder can safely contain?
     
  22. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,440
    Location:
    Orygun
    I can't confirm it but read on either the SASS Wire or from the Brimstone Pistoleros that a Walker loaded with 777 sent the barrel assembly down range. Afterward a gunsmith was trying to figure out how to convert it into a funny looking pepperbox. Apparently the gun came apart at the wedge cutout.
     
  23. higene

    higene Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Sunny Yacolt Washington
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,318
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    To be honest, I don't know how strong the Walker is. I just know this 777 3F stuff seems to be making an aweful lot of pressure at a mere 40 or so grain equivalents. I was thinkin' more of stretching and wearing things than blowing the Walker up, but yeah, thinkin' about it, the wedge hole in the cylinder pin is a weak point. But, the thought of torching off 60 grains of this stuff in an open top kinda concerns me. :D YMMV. If you have a walker and you believe it's strong enough to fill to the brim and fire with 777, hey, go for it. Ain't MY gun. I know the ROA a lot better and 40 grain equivs in that gun I don't lose sleep over. That thing could take a .454 casull cylinder, well, maybe a 5 shooter. :D Heck, it's built heavier than my .45 Blackhawk that spits heavy handloads out regularly. But, if it could handle 60 grains, well, I might not be so smug even with THAT gun.

    I don't wanna start a Walker VS ROA argument, I know the ROA isn't authentic and some folks hate the thing. I'm just talkin' 777 and applications here. The stuff seems overly powerful for some old gun designs, all I'm sayin'. BP shooters aren't used to not just being able to dump a cylinder full of propellent and compressing it and shooting it. That's how it's done with BP and Pyrodex, all I've ever used. But, I handload cartridge guns, too, and this stuff seems to be a little more like smokeless in that you can get overpressure with it, it seems. Sure wakes up that ROA, though. I think I'll use it if I ever go hunting with the ROA. The Walker really doesn't need the stuff. 60 grains of 3F pushes, as I understand it, .357 magnum energy levels out of a Walker as it is. A full charge of BP or Pyrodex out of the ROA only pushes about 900 fps with the 220 conicals and something around 1000 fps with a round ball. It's a far stronger gun than that and 777 wakes the thing up. :D
     
  25. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Orlando
    As you say the frame of the Ruger Old Army can take some big loads. In fact, 50 grains of 777 seems to be the recommended charge for the 50 Caliber ROA. That sucker was made with larger capacity chambers for a .490 ball. Thus you can get 50 grains of 777 in there without compressing it or 45 grains with a conical.

    fiveshooter3.jpg
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page