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Dragoon Questions

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by rodwha, Nov 5, 2011.

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  1. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I'm curious to know what kind of velocities can be expected from loads from 35 to the full 50 grns behind a wad and ball using what ever powders you use.
    How about with a conical?
    Anybody loading with Triple 7?
    I noticed Uberti claims it can be catastrophic loading with any substitute other than Pyrodex, though I read many accounts of people feeding theirs a steady diet of T7.
    I've been considering a Walker or Dragoon, and feel the Dragoon may make the most sense for me. I'm hoping to achieve 45 Colt or better (450 ft/lbs +) levels with a conical bullet for hunting.
    I'm not quite ready to cast bullets yet and I don't see anything available other than 180 grn conicals from Dixie, as well as a guy selling 240/255 grn bullets he makes himself.
    I don't want to have to remove the cylinder to load, and the way I understand it is anything over 220 grns or so would require me to do so.
    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Would Goex Black Dawge .454 bullets work?
     
  3. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Why such a cost difference between a Lee and RCBS bullet mold???
     
  4. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger Member

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    Bob,

    Welcome to the forum. You'll find tons of info by doing a bit of searching of past threads. That said, I know that can be time consuming and a might tedious. So here's my Dragoon Data in short form...

    1. They do not shoot well with conicals. Rounds go HIGH and tend to spread out a bunch.
    2. Roundball loads with a decent load will print tighter groups.
    3. Lee mould blocks are made from aluminum and are cheaper to make that the mild steel and iron by the (in my opinion) better molds from Lyman and RCBS.
    4. T7 in a Dragoon is not really an advantage in that with a full dose of BP the Dragoon is a force unto itself! Trying to milk out every FPS from this weapon using T7 may not prove to be to your advantage.
    5. Attempts to gain as many ft. lbs. as you can from your weapon will be of no value to you if, in doing so the accuracy of your weapon is so bad that you can't hit anything. You can have 1000 ft.lbs. and it it doesn't hit what you're aiming at, then it's a waste of time, lead, powder, and cap...

    I have had the same 2nd Mod. Dragoon since 1969 when I got it new. Since that time I have dropped many hogs, 4 deer (very close range) and countless other varmits using nothing but basic BP loads and cast roundball. Believe me that I tried T7 for a short time in my Dragoon with reduced loads and found no better grouping, and other than a little easier clean up, there was nothing there to make me want to switch.

    The above may sound a might hardline, but then I've been shooting BP weapons almost 50 years now. So I was simply trying to give you the "Reader's Digest" version here :)

    Again, look around in some of the other threads here and you will find mountains of data, facts, opinions, and just plain fun too!!

    Wade
     
  5. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!
    I've been reading what I can find from a "Dragoon" search here...on page 9, and it is quite tedious with lots of info. Very little info with "Dragoon conical" though.
    It also seems that I have found a lot of contradictory info with my internet searches, but I guess that's just what you get on the net. :rolleyes:
    As for powder, well, I'm not too fond of the idea of a huge mess that can lock you up in no time. So less mess sounds great to me! More time shooting at the range!
    I must admit to wanting to ring out as much power as possible (without sacrificing accuracy) for the event in which I must track a wounded hog or such. In that case the range would be 15 yds or less and so I'm not sure how a maxed out load would effect it.
    For a while I'll just worry about RB for bullets as I read they are good enough to hunt with.
     
  6. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger Member

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    Well Bob,

    I shot hogs as heavy as 300# and used a cast Roundball and 45 gr. of fffg and they went down like I hit 'em with a hammer. But I am a very paitent man and will only take a shot that I know I can make. If there's a hint of doubt, I'll pass on the shot. But a RB in the boilerroom will tear a good wound channel and I seldo ever had to make a follow up shot unless the hog is down and still kicking. Then it's just a case of putting the thing out of it's misery.

    Just never had a load that worked well with conicals in any of my BP revolvers. RB seams to just flat shoot better. I did take the old Dragoon up to 40 gr (by vol.) with some T7 and it was a SNAPPER! I mean it cracked! So I know it went beyond 1120 fps. IT did shoot pretty tight as I recall, but I seldom use T7 as is it so darned compression sensitive! If you put a bit more umph in the seating, then you'll have a verticle string like crazy...But it is cleaner....

    Well, gotta go feed the rest of my critters....

    Good luck with your Dragoon,

    Wade
     
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    These photos are courtesy of mec.
     

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  8. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 Member

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    The Dragoon is a horse pistol and even with a round ball is quite capable of dropping a horse. If you run in to a Grizzly bear you might want a .44 Magnum or .500 S&W
     
  9. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    You could probably kill a hog using a Dragoon that was shooting blanks. Just the shock wave coming out of the thing will cause what ever it's aimed at to experience a brain hemorrhage.:)
     
  10. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    45-70: Kinda surprised that a RB handled a 300 lb hog so well. I think I would have allowed him to pass figuring it just wasn't enough projectile.

    Arcticap: Quite surprised in the velocity difference between Goex and Pyrodex. My understanding was that they behaved fairly similarly.

    Skinny: Colorado is definately on the list of cool places to move to, and about the only place I might run into a brown bear. I'd have to hope the 50 cal rifle did him in!

    If a Dragoon has a max load of 50 grns with a RB, what is it with a lubed wad? How about with a wad and 220 grn bullet?
    How does American Pioneer FFF or Super fit in as far as clean (long gunning time before sticking) and smoke concentration? It seems Blackhorn 209 is something to try only if it's given to you. Is that about right?
    Is 777 the least smoky of the subs? Followed by?
    I appreciate the info guys!
     
  11. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger Member

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    Bob,

    I used to use T7, but I now no longer do. That is a personal choice on my part that will start folks up if I go into it. I perfer good old BP or Pyrodex for my wheelguns. I have no expirence with the other subs as I simply can't get my head wrapped around them. They are too many and I don't have the time and coin to go and buy them as most folks. So I stick with what I know.

    As to the RB and hogs? Man, I gotta tell ya, a .454 RB mashes out to about .575" and more when the make impact and runs through that pig. The wound channel is far greater than those I've hit with a .357 mag with HEALTHY loads! I lost count on the nunber of hogs I've done in with my old Dragoon, but I recall only a few follow up shots to put one down after the first hit. The Dragoon, properly loaded and handled, IS a formitable weapon. The Walker carries even more punch. Either are great pig killers.

    Wading, or over the ball lube, are simply something that keeps the BP fouling down. If you shoot bare lead, your weapon will tend to get locked up faster as the fouling just causes it to stop revolving! With a conical you can forgo the wad and simply lube the bullet itself. It's been said that with T7, it creates its own lube as it shoots 'moist' and thus does not require the lube to keep the fouling down. I found this to be partially true.

    So I guess you'll just have to go out and get busy with a Dragoon and learn all the fun stuff that the rest of us have been doing for years! Once you get going with that big hogleg, you're gonna get hooked! I know I did....for well over four plus decades,,,,,Hooked! My Dragoon is my "go to weapon" when I want a handgun that will stop a small tank. :)

    Wade
     
  12. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Now that I've convinced the fiance that I need a Dragoon for my upcoming b-day instead of whatever else it was she had in mind I'm excited! She's awesome!
    I've already called a LGS for availability and interest in trading for a 44 Mag Taurus Tracker. It's a 1st model.
    I can't wait to get all of the stuff I'll need to make smoking thunder claps at the range! See if I can't shoot it much better than the Taurus so as to try some handgun hunting too!
    Thanks for the replies and enthusiasm!
     
  13. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    mec has shown us a lot of velocity data indicating that Pyrodex often exceeds Goex by 100 fps or more when loaded with equal volumes. Pyrodex performance is often closer to the performace of Swiss than Goex, at least in most revolvers.

    At times, American Pioneer 3F has produced enough smoke to obscure the target.
    So far Blackhorn 209 hasn't been shown to work very well in C&B pistols at all. But there hasn't been very many reports about testing it in revolvers.
     
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