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

hi-tec/low-tec .45 Colt BP loading...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by mtngunr, Sep 13, 2008.

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

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    Many writers and posters make loading .45 Colt BP rounds seem like an arcane science, prone to failure and disappointing results unless expensive bullets, proprietary lubes, fiber wads, etc are used.

    This is horse-hocky...using nothing but commercial hardcast bullets and a microwave, entirely satisfactory and accurate black powder loads can be assembled with not much more trouble than loading standard smokeless.

    Firstly, let's deal with the bullets....commercial hardcast RNFP or SWC bought properly sized to fill chamber throat and bore are a must-have. If your gun has undersized throats swaging bullets down to a rattling fit going down-bore, you can stop right here....conversely, oversized throats/undersized bullets will allow a lot fouling blow-by/build-up. If your gun is properly made, simply place a folded papertowel in a stout tupperware container, set your bullets base-down on the towel, and micro-wave on a lower setting like "reheat" to melt out most the useless crayon-hard lube....the bullets will get hot very quickly, so keep an eye on things so they don't get hot enough to do a China Syndrome thing through the tupperware....then, set them aside and allow bullets and lube-soaked paper to cool....it's OK if traces of lube remains on bullets.

    Secondly, let's deal with lube....BP and petroleum based stuff just doesn't mix....paraffin, petrolatum (Vaseline), etc, various greases, expensive additives, etc. either don't keep fouling soft, and/or make fouling cake-on and burn like spilled oil on an exhaust manifold. All you will need is a cake of beeswax and some veggie oil. Using another tupperware container, and using the microwave on "reheat", simply put chunks of wax in the container, add a little oil, and heat until melted. Allow the stuff to cool, and then add either more wax or more oil and re-nuke to adjust stiffness...expect this to take a couple of tries.

    Thirdly, let's lube the bullets....using the tupperware you heated the bullets in, place your now-delubed bullets back in the container, without a papertowel, reheat your lube, and pour it into the bullet container until grooves are just covered...leave 1/2" min. spacing between bullets....after the lube/bullet cake cools, pop it out of the tupperware, hold it in your hand, and whack the bullets on the nose with a plastic mallet, piece of dowel, etc., knocking them out base-first from the back of the cake onto a waiting folded papertowel...it helps to knock them out between your spread fingers, the fingers supporting the cake so it doesn't break, ditto the space we left between bullets.

    Fourthly, load them just like you load your smokeless rounds, but use Magnum pistol primers such as CCI 350's, the only caveat being BE SURE THERE IS NO AIRSPACE LEFT IN THE CASE OR YOU WILL BLOW YOUR GUN UP!!!.....do I need to repeat that?....no?....OK.....either fill the case with BP until bullet base contact during seating is guaranteed, or, add a filler such as Cream Of Wheat or cornmeal until bullet contact is guaranteed....IF YOU LEAVE AIRSPACE, YOU WILL BLOW YOUR GUN UP!!!....oh, sorry, you said you didn't need the repeating.

    With this recipe, you will have assembled loads that will fire 50rds straight without the slightest hint of binding/fouling, and which will maintain whatever accuracy your gun started with until the last round is fired....in truth, the gun will appear cleaner than loads using Bullseye pistol powder.

    Cleaning is a chore, no getting around it, but, again, and can be simple and cheap.....very hot tap water in the sink with ammonia-based household cleaners works great, as does Murphy Oil Soap....I recommend detail strip every time, cleaning the large parts in the sink, and small parts in a bowl. After cleaning, flush parts with very hot water, shake/blow, place on papertowel, and immediately lube with either a thinned version of your bullet lube or Bore Butter (same thing), then reassemble.

    You'll note no fancy chemicals, lube, wads, greases or bullets were harmed during the filming of this....errr......film.....and neither were you by contact with any of them.....

    The brass should be immediately deprimed after firing and chucked into a jug filled with a soap/water mix, occasionally sloshed around....once home, rinse/slosh several more times in the jug, then dump them out to dry on a papertowel, and then clean as usual.....or just be lazy, use your old cases, and trash them after firing.....but I would NEVER do such a thing.....
     
  2. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    good post i use winchester primers. no need for magnum though. never needed it.
     
  3. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    I get cleaner burning, less fouling, higher velocity, more consistant ignition/velocity using magnum primers....others have worked, just not as well....
     
  4. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    i still dont see it. You ever compare caps and primers. the spark ie flash of a #10 cap is very small. #11 is really no bigger. Yet the #11 cap when properly used ignited my 55 grains of Goex in my Walker just fine. Now comparing that to a Winchester Large Pistol Primer is totally different. The ignition on a WLP is huge compared to a #10 or #11 cap. Same time im only loading 35 grains of black in a cartridge just using a regular WLP compared to a #10 or #11 cap is huge. Its already like using a Magnum cap.

    Ok lets take a step back. In Line muzzle loaders were designed to use #209 shotgun primers. An excellent invention on an old design. About a year ago they came out with muzzleloading 209 primers. Why because what they found out was the 209 primers were so strong by itself it could move the bullet. With the change of the 209 muzzleloading primers the primers flash is at a slower rate allowing all of the powder to burn then propelling the bullet rather than allowing the primer to propell the bullet.


    Now going back to using magnum primers on a colt shooting black powder. Your lucky you do not have fouling. I seriously doubt your are getting a higher velocity shooting magnum primers. This would have to be recorded with a meter. Most likely the powder is not burning all the way and is escaping through the barrel. Black powder is not designed to be shot using magnum primers. It is highly explosive and can be set off with a flint and piece of metal. Thats why we have the flintlock. However using a magnum primer could do the same with the 209's and that your moving the bullet before the powder burns thoroughly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  5. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    The differences HAVE been chronographed.....higher velocity, lower standard deviation, both my loads and published loads, using 350's....better burn with less fouling, too....no luck involved....poofball cowboy games loads might be a different story, but 250gr+ bullets pressed into an undersized brass sleeve and then tightly crimped aren't going to start moving easily...if that were the case, recoil would cause bullets to creep out from the cartridge.

    Now, musket caps in some rifled muskets were shown in an NRA article some time back to cause erratic ignition, along with 209's.....209's were really intended to light harder-to-ignite substitutes....the article writer postulated the musket cap started powder/ball moving downbore....however, a bullet tightly seated and crimped into a brass cartridge isn't the same thing at all as a muzzleloader....if the theory of bullet/powder movement had general merit, you'd surely see it with smokeless loads, too, and it's just not there....

    I'm posting of actual results, which just today included a 5-shot/25yd/standing-braced group of 1" at rounds #41-45.....does this sound like fouling build-up/loss-of-accuracy/luck, or even anything vaguely debatable?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  6. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Well here is my hightec low tec on shooting 45 colt.

    I dont microwave anything


    I go to my back yard. Put in 10lbs of lead in my pot then do my standard casting. After i cast i take the bullets to my lubrisizer and i size and lube the bullets using spg lube.

    After that i size my cases, then prime using WLP. then i use 35 grains of 3f goex. Seat the bullet to the powder and apply a very light crimp.

    Once i fire all my rounds at the range i dont do anything chemical to my cases. When i get home i dump them in my case tumbler and turn it on. About an hour later my cases come out perfectly shiney brass. I then deprime clean the flash holes and primer pockets then repeat.

    No leading of the barrel, fouling is no greater than shooting cap and ball, accuracy has always been good with my WALKER.

    Someone pointed out to me about the case tumbler. In the case tumbler i use 2 cap fulls of nu finish. 2 drier sheets and pieces of paer towels. I change these often. However i do have two tumblers. 1 i use for black powder and one for smokeless. Why the difference. The chemical residue left over from smokeless can be mostly lead. The chemical composition of black powder depending on what powder you use is sulfur burnt which we know is more caustic than regular smokeless. With this i change drier sheets and papertowels often and avoid any airborne particles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  7. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Works great but is the wrong thing to use. We have talked about ammonia based cleaners to many times on the reloading area. Ammonia and brass cases do not mix. Ammonia will leach the zinc from the cases turning them red. This actually breaks down the cases. If you are going to use a chemical the only chemical to use is warm water vineagar and dish washing soap. However you need to make sure the cases are not in there to long as the vinegar will still attack the brass. Im not too sure where your getting your information from but its wrong. Some people use to use brasso on cases but brasso contains ammonia. The only thing recommended in case tumblers is nu finish. You ever see what ammonia does to cases especially over a period of time and shooting. your going to start finding small pin holes in your brass first.
     
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Delete!

    rcmodel
     
  10. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Magnum primers and Black Powder

    taken from

    http://www.hpmuzzleloading.com/Technical3.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  11. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    Scrat, I appreciate your taking over my thread on how easy .45 Colt loading/shooting/cleaning can be.....without your input, I would have been lost.

    The ammonia cleaner was mentioned for cleaning the GUN.

    For anyone not already bored to tears by this good-intentioned thread, if you're considering .45 Colt BP as something new, the detail strip/clean/reassemble as I mentioned above shouldn't take much over 45mins from start to finish, which is what many spend cleaning a gun with smokeless loads.

    Rinsing the cases was mentioned to save on cleaning media if you use one of the fancy case cleaners....if you're working kitchen-sink, you can brush them out at that time.....
     
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Well then good job thanks for the lesson. :what:


    Im sure the bluing on my revolvers would love that ammonia.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  13. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    scrat, the entire purpose of my original post was to help someone who DIDN'T cast, DIDN'T own a lubrisizer, DIDN'T want to invest in special lubes or equipment just to give it a try, find out how easy and fun shooting black powder in their .45 Colt could be....especially to those scared of what corrosive salts might do to their pride and joy revolver, or worried over putting in a bunch of extra expense and trouble just to get a gun that lost accuracy or quit working due to fouling.....

    To repeat, cheap storebought bullets, a little home-brew lube, and standard loading equipment will result in a gun/load that fouls LESS than many standard smokeless loads and gives sterling accuracy in guns capable of sterling accuracy with any other loads.

    No change in die settings desired or required....firm crimp for complete ignition/combustion, just not too firm so as to deform the bullet....easy as pie, guys.....try it....you'll like it....
     
  14. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,458
    on a semi related note. I got hold of a box of circa 1913-16 factory black powder .44 specials. The primers were dead so I pulled them apart and replaced with new remingtons. I used both the original powder and some modern goex
    Link to article:
    http://www.leverguns.com/articles/44special.htm
    Interestingly enough, the old loads used a cupro-nickel jacketed bullet with small lube grooves filled with a still waxy light colored lubricant. The gun got dirty on the outside but the barrel fouling was less pronounced than I get with percussion revolvers and accuracy was good.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Oh mec please tell me you didnt shoot them all. WOW nice find. Look at the bottom of the bullet. Kinda odd looks like it has a cover on it. you can see a folded edge. Id love to see that bullet
     
  16. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,458
    mater of fact, I pulled most of the bullets and still have some left over Its a standard jacketed bullet.they wil polish out "whilte" because of the nickel content. When I return a package to you, I'll send one along. I'd always heard of black powder .44 factory loads but the jackets surprised me. We actually found two boxes. One was in better shape and was full so we passed that one along to John Taffin. He used it in one of his Krauss or DBI books. "Book of the 44" or something like that. He had never seen these loads either. The next year I went back and got this box which was almost full.

    I used the 90 year old powder to check some things out with paterson and pocket model loads. Most loads were slower than modern goex though one or two were faster. The shot to shot variation was about the same as I remember.
     
  17. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Thank you very much that is so cool.
     
  18. Pulp

    Pulp Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,019
    Location:
    Valliant, OK
    mtrgnr, I enjoyed your article. I've done everything you've said with good results. Except I've done it .44-40. I've only recently gotten a .45Colt. Another piece of advice that I will add is: flat based soft lead bullets will work better with BP than tapered base hardened lead. But I've shot a bunch of the hardened lead bullet too, and can't really complain too much.

    Concerning cleaning brass. The easiest way is to take a milk jug with some soapy water with you to the range. Put all your spent brass in the jug. The drive home will agitate them good, especially on Oklahoma roads. I've also vinegar cleaned, but with a diluted vinegar/water mix, and only let them soak for a few minutes.
     
  19. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    Pulp, although I totally agree that high quality soft-cast plain-base bullets are THE best way to go, I'll have to admit suprise at how well the USFA does with most any bullet....I think the soft PB bullet helps most with revolvers with internal dimension problems by obturating better....ditto the oversize factory hollow-base in Remington and Winchester loads.....also will hypothesize the heavy (35grs+ 3f) load possibly obturates even the hardcast to a degree.....but, mainly, the USFA minimum chamber, .4525" cylinder throats and matching .452" bore free of choke at the frame allows some mighty good shooting with the bevelbase hardcast, as they'll fit as designed....the good soft homebrew lube seals the deal, doing what BP lubes are supposed to do.
    The lube leaves a light greasy coat on cylinder face and at the muzzle, and that's about it.....with 50rds straight, the gun ran like it was just cleaned, with zero leading in the bore (kudos to the USFA tolerances again).

    There seems to be a bit of confusion on what chemicals hurt what (not on your behalf)....strong ammonia certainly isn't good for brass, and even will etch steel if left long enough.....vinegar makes a great blueing remover, which I have used to great effect on USFA Rodeos......but normal dilute household ammonia cleaning stuff like Parsons, or Windex w/Ammonia-D work great at cutting/nuetralizing BP fouling and salts with NO harm to finish, especially straight Windex or a sinkfull of hot water with a healthy splash of Parsons thrown in. If the ammonia bothers a shooter, Murphy's Oil Soap is also used to great effect.....I haven't tried Windex with vinegar for reasons I'd think are apparent.

    My state roads must be a bit better....I have to manually agitate the jug a couple of times.....
     
  20. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    Mike, that Smith STILL looks marvelous....simply mah'vlus.....
     
  21. mykeal

    mykeal Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    5,147
    Location:
    Michigan
    posted by mistake, post deleted.
     
  22. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    Mtngunr, That comment made me read the rest of your Post, you really put Zinc alloy lead hardcast boolits in a micro wave and turn it on? Why not a Confection oven there is less chance of burning your house down.
    Anyway whatever you like is fine as long as it's you doin' it.

    Most of the rest I am down with the lube you would put on Home cast Soft lead boolits that expand twice the size a silhouette bullet. And if I buy lube boolits in a box I ain't removin' lube. But again I don't buy store bought boolits.

    I don't use amonia on Blued or any type of BP firearm. I use very very hot ouch! it burns soapy water and Stator Bros. Blue or Green bottle dish soap is great. With Scaldin hot so the metal actually dries itself after wipin' it down..

    The Primer well, it's usually fffg BP unless you use ffg and have a need to use that Magienum primer otherwise 35gr of FFFG can only burn so fast...a cap sets it off right now, ya know what I mean Vern?

    Otherwise I liked your post and probly agree with you on it.

    http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c277/Smokin_Gun/FireShow.jpg

    SG
     
  23. Eric F

    Eric F Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,934
    Lead in a micro wave oven............Where as I can see this just getting hot but not sparking as lead is non ferus metal, even warm lead emits lead particles into the air, I hope for your sake ant the sake of others this is a dedicated micro wave oven for which you do not place any food in. Lead poison is no joke..........

    Ammonia......its an oxidizer it will rust metal and quiclkly, I am not sure of your wisdom on this for a cleaner, soap and water have worked for centuries now.

    And last is the toss cases in soapy water, Sulpher is a compound in BP when sulpher and water come in contact you get acid, not good on brass, unless you have a really large quantity of water say a gallon per 10-20 rounds you need to be some what quick to a rinse over a period of just a few hours the mild acid will eat the brass and weaken it. Might be better to leave the cases dry until you can get to a source of running water where you can fill up a jug with a few drops of soap shake dump and repeat a few times then dump in the tumbler.

    other than these issues and the brass thing being minor its a good read.

    As a note I have read but never tried this if you put the bullits in boiling water and melt the lub off let them cool you can scrape the lube off the top of the water and pick up the freshly un lubed bullets after you drain the water. Use a dedicated pot on a burner of some fassion out doors again lead issued with this too execpt the lead is confined to the water.
     
  24. mtngunr

    mtngunr Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    SEUS
    The bullets get between warm and hot to the touch in the microwave, IF you do your part....at no point do they become hot enough to give off any sort of vapors associated with melting lead....otherwise, lead doesn't "emit" particles like kryponite or something.....but sure, if you think using an oven is safer, go right ahead, but all you'll accomplish is spinning the power meter faster.

    I've never had a lick of trouble placing the fired/deprimed cases in a jug of soapy water until arriving home, and HAVE experienced hard caking and corrosion before getting home if the jug were NOT used....one specialized piece of equipment I DO recommend for new shooters is getting a universal decapper to keep crud out of loading dies when decapping/dunking.

    Most objections raised against my original post have been purely theoretical, whereas my post is based on experience.....the 350 primers have worked best every time...primers in loaded cartridges do NOT perform like 209 primers with muzzleloaders.

    Diluted houehold cleaners containing ammonia don't harm steel or finishes in the slightest, and I doubt they do much harm to brass, so long as both are rinsed off with hot water.....I don't leave guns or brass soaking in plain water overlong, either, as water is a sure-nuff oxidizer, too.

    There's a bunch of different ways of running/maintaining black powder cartridge guns....this is an easy way for beginners (or anyone else)....you want to do it different, be my guest......but, argue is another story.....you're arguing with 1"/25yd/standing-braced groups after almost 50rds straight, so it WORKS.
     
  25. scrat

    scrat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,882
    Location:
    Monrovia, CA
    Im not saying it doesnt work. First of all your on the black powder forums. Not the smokeless powder forum. For most of us if you want to shoot 45 Colt then you need to have a competant revolver and must purchase a Conversion Cylinder. As for cleaning up black powder. Well again your on the black powder forums. So if we dont know how to clean our guns then we have a problem. As for making cartridges. Most people who shoot black powder cast their own. Those who dont buy powder, caps, balls, patches and conicals. Those of us who cast and dont already know the size of the bullets we need and what we need to accomplish. Same time for those that purchase a conversion cylinder its not a question of wanting to try 45 colt. If we didnt want to try 45 colt why would we buy a conversion cylinder. What decisions need to be made now is what do you want to shoot. Now we all know that low powered cowboy action loads is what we need to be shooting. Not high velocity loads. As we are shooting these out of Cap and Ball Revolvers. We talked about this before and i would still recomend low charges. Using a filler or not using 45 colt cases but 45 schofield. We talked about this already. in fact i just got my 45 schofields this week. If your having success using a microwave then so be it. I do not think its wise to go on a public forum and tell people to use a microwave. What makes sense is to find out what the lube is that was used in the first place. Then it makes better sense to use a pot with boiling water. As for the way you lube the bullets. This is called pan lubing. its been around a long time. It actually works better with a punch. Lee used to make a kit years ago. Its a very slow method of lubing. One might find its easier to hold the bullet by the front and use spg lube running it over the grooves or using your finger to apply the lube into the grooves. Opposed to panning. Panning is a pain and does not always come out correctly. sometimes when striking the bullet from the lube they will come out with too much lube or the lube will not be in the lube grooves. this is why the punch was used. As for accuracy. Accuracy will be an individual thing. Some revolvers may or may not achieve this accuracy. When shooting a conversion cylinder you may sometimes find that cap and ball shooting is more accurate than shooting a conversion cylinder. The loads may or may not make a difference. as a reloader and shooter you need to try out different combinations per gun to achieve a desired effect regardless of who is telling you what works.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page