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Signs of unsafe shooting conditions

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Darth-Vang, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    From the many threads I’ve read concerning the .32 I’ve never seen anyone load beyond 30 grns, and many load well below that with as little as 10, and this for hunting small game.

    What I see often recommended as a start is to load a volume comparable to the caliber rounded (30 grns in a .32 and 35 in a .36), though this was always in much larger calibers. Also it seems the slower twists tend to use heavier charges, though I’ve often seen it claimed (slower twists?) rifles often have 2 accurate loads, one light and one heavier (barrel harmonics?).

    I’ve also seen it claimed often enough that a tighter fitting combo of ball/patch gets tighter groups, but that many prefer a load that’s easier to load for field use so as not to need a short starter or even mallet.

    Once you are done with the powder you have I’d suggest you try Goex Olde Eynsford. It’s much more energetic and so may require less powder offsetting the slight cost difference (~$1.50/lb), but more to the point that it leaves less fouling by all accounts, which, from what I’ve read, can be a big deal in smaller calibers.

    Another tid bit of info is if you find yourself lacking time to thoroughly clean your rifle(s) use a liberal amount of BP oil (I use Ballistol and love it as it will readily mix with water allowing it to evaporate leaving just the oil) which will neutralize it. I’ve tested this with my 2 revolvers leaving them for days in the Texas summer in high humidity and it worked like a charm (I was told this after leaving my rifle over night having shot Pyrodex which left a nasty rusty mess).
     
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  2. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    No one mentioned the first thing a person should do before loading and shooting a used muzzle loader would be check to make sure that it' wasn't left loaded by a previous owner.
    I think that has caused more deaths and injuries than any other factors, usually by not realizing that the barrel is being obstructed by a live charge, and not knowing how to safely remove it.
    Or it could even be loaded with 2 projectiles and 2 charges on top of each other if someone didn't check first.


    The choice of powders is highly subjective.
    I wouldn't blame anyone for choosing to use black powder.
    However with the small calibers, I've found that 3F 777 works quite well.
    Because it burns very clean when loaded in small volumes such as with the smaller caliber bores, it can eliminate most all of the need for swabbing between shots, perhaps for as many as 40 - 50 shots or more depending on how much powder is loaded.
    And because it's more energetic than black powder, only 10% - 20% less powder should be loaded to obtain similar velocities compared to Goex.
    Its residue does have some different cleaning characteristics, so it may be best to start with conventional black powder so that you have a basis for comparison if you ever do decide to try it.
    If you find that you end up needing to swab using Goex, then you'll appreciate not needing to swab nearly as much or if at all when using 3F 777.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  3. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have been involved in shooting sports for over 30 years and reloading my own ammo for over 25 years... if I bought a muzzle loader I would reach out to an experienced fellow muzzle loader because I have never owned a black powder gun before either. It is a great way to tap into years of experience in a couple hours and learn a lot of little things that I would not even know to ask.

    I know there is a black powder club near me full of guys that would be happy to share their enthusiasm for there passion with anyone that is interested in learning proper techniques. Have you considered searching for a local black powder shbooting club? The one close to me is associated with the local shooting range.
     
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  4. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    Incoming Minie` balls and arrows.
     
  5. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    But seriously, yes, the gunsmith will want to be paid for his time and expertise, but it's cheap insurance. Is there any way you could post pics of the bore and breech areas of both rifles? Maybe longitudinal shots of the barrel so we can look for bulges, as well. If you haven't checked for loaded barrels, please do so before proceeding with the photo session.

    A long old time ago, a friend brought me a Thompson-Center rifle he'd build from a kit. He tried to brown the barrel and somehow managed to put a 1/4" bend in it. I was building ton of kits back then, so he thought I'd have some insight about bending the barrel back into shape. I didn't so I called my guru (exactly what you're doing here- reaching out to experience, good on you!) and he told me two things-

    "You have nothing to lose by trying to bend the barrel back into shape. Go slow, be smart, check the flats of the barrel with a tight string as you go. T-C uses quality steel."

    "THAT SAID, you make sure the owner understands that if he chooses to use this rifle without getting it Magna-Fluxed or professionally examined by some other method, it's on him if it shatters to teemortal giblets when he fires it. A couple of Hail Marys and Our Fathers couldn't hurt either of you. Godspeed."

    I straightened the barrel, gave the man his barrel, and he warning. He ignored it, and still shoots the rifle. I would have gotten the barrel further inspected had it been mine.
     
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  6. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Wow I guess my 20 grain load is wimpy and I guessed about 1400 FPS . It's accurate tho ! I had no idea you could get that kind of velocity out of those small traditional bores. Like I said I would feel OK with 30 hrains in my Seneca..
     
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  7. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I thought the TC Seneca Rifle call for a .315” ball with a .010” think patch. I have the TC mold for a .32 cal and a lyman .310” mold. I’m going to do some experiment on the ball diameters and patches and charges.

     
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  8. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Mine takes a nice firm push down the bore with a .310 ball and a .010" prelubed patch , it certainly is not loose ! shoots well. I am bidding on an old Navy Arms Mule Ear .32 also.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  9. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I don’t see why anyone hunting small game would go over 30 grns. It’s generally not been too hard to get close enough.
     
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  10. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    I'm going to really muddy the waters here, but the ball against the powder thing is good for muzzleloaders. Start messing around with breech loaders and cartridge guns and things change. The Sharps percussion is designed to have an air gap and no filler. And before anyone starts getting their possibles bag in a wad, I am a NRA Muzzleloading Instructor and North South Skirmish Association black powder/muzzleloading competitor and I shoot a 1863 Sharps carbine in competition, in addition to a 1862 Colt Contract, P53Enfield, Smith, and 1842 Macon smoothbore.
     
  11. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Oh Heck yeah!! Come shoot with the North South Skirmish Association and shoot minies in competition along with artillery! Yup, we shoot Civil War cannons with live ammo! Ain't going to do that about anywhere else.
     
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  12. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Magnaflux the barrel at an autoshop. My local autoshop doesn't have one though.
     
  13. damoc

    damoc Member

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    In that ballistics data pics you posted earlier in this thread it showed very little increase in velocity and power for all those loads above 30 grains.
    Lots more sound and fury signifying almost nothing.
     
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  14. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I’m actually surprised they didn’t start lower.
     
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  15. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    Learn something new everyday. Sure glad I join this forum. :)
     
  16. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

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    ACA9C673-A9C5-4D3C-B267-9582BC0DFB90.jpeg
    I bought this used from GB, guess what the first thing I did was?
    Sure enough, it still had a charge and ball in it.
     
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  17. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    For a 32 or even a 36, you're probably better off starting in the 15gr area using 3f and work up to the point of best accuracy. Lots of folks get wrapped up in the "power" myth when hunting. It's far more important to have good shot placement and be able to accurately shoot your gun. Having a 600Nitro doesn't do squat if you can't hit the elephant where it counts. Let's face it, if a good .22pellet rifle will do for squirrels and rabbits, why do you need tons of power in a muzzleloader? Being able to shoot accurately is far more important.
     
  18. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I’m a bit curious. Are these merely range toys or might you end up hunting with them?
     
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  19. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    These will be for hunting purposes. I’ve always wanted to hunt with one of these cool primitive firearms. And as a SHTF kind of scenario weapons or survival when an apocalypse decides to rear its ugly head. When civilization ceases and when it comes down to every man for himself kind of scenario.
     
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  20. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Were I you I’d start at 10 grns with the .32 and work up in 5 grn increments, as well as the .36, as far as small game goes.

    For the .36 I’d look into a wide meplat conical/paper patched bullet backed by a felt wad. I’m not sure how spectacular it would be on medium game but with enough powder it might get close to the levels of a .38-55. But before you try using something like that on game check your state regulations. It would fly here in TX and might well be plenty on our tiny deer within a modest range. You’d need to figure out what bullet length will work in that twist.
     
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  21. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I live in Oklahoma. And it be great to hunt hogs if I don’t see any small games moving about. Of course with a well placed shot. Yeah once I get the time for the range, I’ll test those out and work my way up.
     
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  22. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    Reading through some the replies
    Might I suggest reading up on the subject?
    You can research books online.
    Their reviews, can save a few $$ on a used book.
    Someone out there published their findings.
    Some the old Dixie Gun Works catalogs had snippits of wisdom scattered through the whole catalog.

    Few examples below.
    https://www.pewpewtactical.com/muzzleloading-basics/

    https://materials.nrahq.org/nra-how-to-series-muzzleloading-book.html

    https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/muzzl...YAiABEgIkFPD_BwE#isbn=1581591381&idiq=5546885
     
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  23. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I’m not sure why I said .38-55. You’ll never get close to that. You can’t get that amount of mass at all, and maybe not that powder charge either. I’d think .38-40 is more plausible. Still not bad but certainly cuts the range down a lot. Think 10mm Auto.

    Check with CVA if you haven’t and see if you can get a manual if they don’t have them online.
     
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  24. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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  25. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    I still remember the Dixie Gun Works powder measuring method of placing the ball in your slightly cupped palm.
    Use powder horn to dribble powder over ball till its just covered (from view) with black powder.
    That is your starting powder charge to work up or down from.
    I tried checking this with my cap and ball revolver, i used my powder flask to dribble powder over the ball in my slightly cupped hand.
    Then removed ball and dumped the powder on a sheet of paper and funneled it into my adjustable powder measure to quantify what I had.
    It was fat pinch of powder less than the charge thrown by my powder flask for that revolver.

    As I recall DGW also mentioned firing over fresh snow to judge powder burn.
    Once you hit the maximum burn of powder, the overage of unburnt powder is blown from the barrel and you can see unburnt powder on the snow.
    Helps save powder.
    Also cuts down on fire hazard in areas prone to fire.

    http://www.shootersreport.com/muzzleloading/capandballrevolver.htm
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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