Quantcast

Smokeless Powder Muzzle Loaders

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ourway77, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,618
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Yeah, I read 22 grains and went "GULP". :) The frame of the ROA IS beefier than a Blackhawk, but I don't know about "strength". No matter, I have absolutely NO plans to fire it with any smokeless power. A full charge of 3F 777 is enough to get my 220 grain RN to pull and start interfering with the forcing cone after 3 rounds. I really have little use for THAT charge. I generally shoot 30 grains of Pyrodex P under a RB with cornmeal filler. It's accurate and so long as it whacks my steel gong, I'm happy. :D
     
  2. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,189
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    I don't think the guys who have maimed themselves did so by knowingly using nitro-cellulous based (smokeless) propellant, and screwing up on either the type or the amount. I think that what they did was ask a clerk for "black powder" and got the wrong stuff, plus didn't check the label on the container themselves, OR got their two types of powder on the shelf at home, mixed up, again lack of attention to basic details..., plus as luck would have it the powder itself sorta looked (when only glanced at) like black powder, or they'd never seen the stuff before so had no reference memory. I also think it's much more likely that a fellow asking for the BP substitute will get the wrong stuff from the clerk or make a mistake among his own powders. The containers are similar, and some of the labels are similar in color, and a lot of shops that sell the stuff store it right next to the smokeless powder. :confused:

    All of the BP substitutes ARE essentially black powder..., in fact Pyrodex IS black powder, with a reverse engineered formula. The original gunpowder was charcoal and salt-peter, and took a very high heat source to touch it off..., like a piece of copper or iron wire that was glowing hot. It was then found that adding sulfur to the mixture of about 15 - 20 percent would make the gunpowder much easier to detonate (OK for the purists deflagrate) and it burned "cleaner" because it burned more completely. Pyrodex reduces the sulfur to about 8% and thus it becomes a propellant instead of a low explosive, but it's dirty and still corrosive. It's meant to give the mom & pop shop owner a propellant for traditional muzzle loaders that doesn't need special storage.;) Thus, the cleaner burning BP substitutes that have come along, usually completely remove the sulfur and use mixtures of salt-peter and something akin to potassium perchlorate, plus several other chemicals in lesser percentages, when mixed along with the charcoal, give a more complete burn, but these then may need an even hotter ignition such as a primer instead of a musket cap. It takes more to set it off, BUT it burns very fast in those shorter barreled inlines, and you get a more complete burn and thus less crud when done. :D

    Smokeless powders are all nitro-cellulous based I believe, so might produce lower pressures when formulated right, but are still not quite the same animal as BP or its substitutes.

    LD
     
    Bushpilot likes this.
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,618
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Well, .303 Brit is traditionally loaded (for the military) with sticks of Cordite. :D

    So, thanks for the explanation of Pyrodex. Wonder if you could add sulfur and make it more ignitable. I mean, I have addressed this problem at the ignition source, just a thought. Heck, around here, primers are often more easily found than percussion caps. :D
     
  4. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    442
    Location:
    South Dakota / Black Hills

    Yea, right, and I once had a cousin who had a friend, who knew of a guy that heard from a reliable source that somebody, well you get the idea. Show me proof, not some hearsay story.

    It should be required that anytime anyone uses smokeless powder in a muzzleloader, before the shot is fired they must yell in a loud and clear voice, "Hey Ya'll, watch this".
     
  5. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    Salt Lake, UT
    Here is a video I watched a while ago that I liked. It is a "two guys being stupid" video. However, I was a bit surprised by how much abuse the rifle stood up. in no way would I use it as an endorsement of Smokeless powder in a muzzle-loader. They were finally able to get it to grenade; but it tool a lot of stupid to get to that point.
     
  6. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,564
    Location:
    Iowa
    You want proof of what? If it's that smokeless powder doesn't always blowup a muzzle loader, no matter the type or quantity, Hasaf's posted video should help. Yes 80 grains of H110 made a bulge in the barrel. What would that charge do in a 300 Win Mag?
    I have watched guys load and shoot smokeless powder, so I know what and how much they are using. I won't post and don't recommend the loads they use but they are accurate and safe regardless what you, I or anyone thinks.
     
  7. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah, if the explosion is big enough that will cure a case of stupid. :)
     
  8. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    I just looked up the Alliant loading table for Bullseye in the the .44 Remington Magnum. It is 6 grains.
    44 Rem. Magnum 240 gr cast LSWC Speer 1.605 7.5 CCI 300 Bullseye 6 894 -
    The heaviest load of Bullseye I could find in any loading table was 8.7 grains in a .357 Magnum that gave 1407 fps with a 110grain bullet.

    I would say that 22 grains of Bullseye would blow up just about any firearm.
     
  9. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    19,359
    Great image ourway77.
     
  10. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    Question. How much of what kind of powder was required to produce the damage shown in the picture? IMHO, it was MUCH more than you will find in any load data table for that specific powder for any cartridge.

    The rifle in the picture looks like a CVA Optima. This same basic action is made by CVA in 45-70, .44 Remington Magnum, .35 Whelan and .444 Marlin, all of which use smokeless powder loads. The .444 Marlin in one loading produces almost 3,000 fp of energy at the muzzle. The .35 Whelan is a necked up 30-06 cartridge that is loaded to produce 3,500 fp at the muzzle. There is nothing weak about an action that can handle these energies.
     
  11. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    What forum would you suggest for the discussion of the use of modern powders in a muzzleloader, or do you want such discussion banned altogether? IMHO, The rifle guys would not want muzzleloaders, nor would the handloaders. The only true black powder (aka gunpowder) is the traditional 75% KNO3, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur. Everything else is just a modern powder (or pellets) that somewhat approximates the pressures of black powder by volume. From what I've been able to glean from the literature, Pyrodex is closest, Blackhorn is a bit hotter, and Triple 7 hotter yet.
     
  12. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    From Wikipedia:
    Cordite
    is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom since 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance. These produce a subsonic deflagration wave rather than the supersonic detonation wave produced by brisants, or high explosives. The hot gases produced by burning gunpowder or cordite generate sufficient pressure to propel a bullet or shell to its target, but not so quickly as to routinely destroy the barrel of the gun.
     
  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,533
    Location:
    Il
    These were "mistakes" made by a careless reloader who filled his measure with bullseye instead of 2400.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
    MCgunner likes this.
  14. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,288
    Location:
    East KY
    Out of curiosity... why not? Do you not handload for the same reason?
     
  15. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    Manufacturers cannot recommend using modern powders in muzzleloaders because they cannot control what buyers put into them, or how much. MAYBE a real dolt could pour enough black powder, Pyrodex or Triple 7 into a ML to blow it up, but I doubt it. On the other hand, 22 grains of Bullseye will blow up just about any firearm. Another problem is that ML guys are used to measuring by volume, and sometimes the difference between safe loads and overloads are measured in grains. Sure, there have been some recalls - CVA's that end in -95 and -96, for instance - but I've never heard about problems with the steel in T/C's or Knights.

    The main problem with ML users today is they want them to perform like modern cartridge firearms, with muzzle velocities over 2000fps and MOA accuracy, but want to measure charges by volume and want to assume that all PRB's are identical. Massed produced factory cartridges are very close to identical, and certainly most shoot better than your average shooter can hold.
     
  16. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,639
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I handload extensively and do understand why people wonder why I would do one and not the other.
    I've just seen too many photos of blown up MLs. I know there are kaboom pics of every kind of gun imaginable.

    It's just a thing with me. ML's are for BP.
    Just my take on it. Heck part of the fun is the cloud of smoke and the acrid smell.
     
  17. Snidely70431

    Snidely70431 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Messages:
    70
    When you handload, I would imagine you do not start with the max load in the loading tables? I don't. Not just for safety, but because I like to see what mild loads produce in the way of accuracy in different firearms. No matter how much power a firearm produces, if the projectile does not get on target nothing good happens. I like ML's because it's easier to play with the different inputs of ignition, propellant and projectiles.
     
    Arkansas Paul likes this.
  18. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,524
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Do you feel the same about diesel fuel and gas??

    Do you handload? I have about 15 jars of powder... and I don’t accidently put pistol powder in a rifle round.

    Personal accountability is a thing of the past I suppose.

    To the OP. The concept is interesting to me. If I was going on a $5k elk hunt I could see using the best rifle I can for the job. I doubt I’ll ever buy one but I like to tinker so who knows.

    HB
     
  19. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,098
    Location:
    Michigan (Gods country)
    You do whatever floats your boat. I said it sounds like a bad idea to ME. That sounds alot like I'm taking a great deal of personal responsibility for MYSELF. You can dump whatever you want down your muzzle.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice