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Smokeless powder

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kell, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Smokeless in a cap and ball? Nah.

    Duplex loads were a thing in competitive BPCR and schuetzen type events in the past. Maybe it still is... Lyman has some loads listed in the old manuals for these. Generally it looks like 5 to 10 percent smokeless and the remainder being black was an accepted ratio. Not cap and ball as the original question asked, but smokeless has been used just in another form.

    I'd say these old guys had more knowledge on this stuff than the average shooter. And it likely started with the semi-smokeless stuff articap mentioned. Blending it for a bit more velocity and easier cleanup between shots is the reason I've seen mentioned for this experimentation.
     
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  2. Scott S

    Scott S Member

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    Years ago I started with black powder revolvers. 30 grains 20 grains whatever. Lots of fun. Then I started loading handgun cartridges. A few tenths of a grain can make a huge difference. I then learned a new appreciation for the power of smokeless. Not at all worth playing with putting it in a BP firearm.
     
  3. kBob

    kBob Member

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    There was a shop on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando that for years displayed a 1860 Colt repro with blown cylinder that supposedly was fed Bullseye by its former owner.

    on the other hand a couple of local Ruger Old Army shooters swore by adding a few tenths of a grain of Bullseye to their BP loads to pretty much duplicate what Articap described as semi smokeless powder. I reminded myself to never ask to borrow any powder from them for my .44 repro Colts...

    -kBob
     
  4. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I've read Pyrodex is actually a smokeless power. It used to say that on the label, but no longer does for obvious reasons. It was developed so it could be shipped using ground commercial shipping companies and be compliant with shipping regulations. Both Pyrodex and Triple Seven are now called black powder substitutes, which is a little silly because they are not true substitutes. they are both stronger than black powder, although less flammable.
     
  5. grter

    grter Member

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    Pyrodex despite being harder to ignite and being a little hotter than SOME black powders (I doubt it's hotter than stuff like Swiss) is actually very close to black powder in composition and performance. I have to say it's not very smokeless when fired, is much easier to ignite than smokeless regardless of it's non-explosive certification, and it's pressure curve is nothing like smokeless.

    Pyrodex pellets on the other hand (here goes the song again) is some type of funky hot rocket fuel like concoction that cannot be crushed when loading if one wants to avoid adverse effects such as unpredictable pressure changes (spikes.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  6. 748

    748 member

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    Why does the ATF care what it uses for propellant as long as it doesn't used fixed ammunition?
     
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Some black powders "may" be able to outperform Pyrodex and the other subs. on an equal volume basis in some barrel lengths, but not on an equal weight basis.
    As a Chuckhawks page explained, the subs are so much lighter and less dense than black powder, which means that equal weights of the sub powders would have significantly more volume and generally be able to outperform black powder. --->>> https://www.chuckhawks.com/difference_black_powders.htm

    For example, if you look at the 2012 conversion sheet, Pyrodex P weighs about 24% - 25% less than an equal volume of Goex 3F.
    And since Swiss weighs as much as 11% more than Goex because it's denser, the difference between equal weights of Pryodex verses Swiss would give Pyrodex a performance advantage over even Swiss IMO.

    In real terms, equal weights would mean that a 125 grain volume of Pyrodex P would need to match of exceed about a 90 - 95 grain volume of Swiss 3F which Pyrodex P would probably always produce more velocity. -->>> https://www.curtrich.com/BPConversionSheet.htm
    Even if Swiss wasn't denser than Goex 3F, I doubt that it's 25% hotter than Pryodex P when charges of each are measured by equal weight.

    The percentage volume disparity would be even greater if loading equal weights of Swiss and Pyrodex Select or RS, which is probably why the updated 2012 conversion sheet doesn't include the coarser Pyrodex granulations.
    But the 2005 conversion sheet did and Pyrodex RS was listed as weighing ~32% less than an equal volume of Goex 2F. --->>> https://www.curtrich.com/BPConversionSheet2005.htm
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  8. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    According to Chuckhawks,
    "Schultze introduced the first commercially successful blackpowder substitute in 1864."
    A Schultze label states it's "Smokeless." and "Introduced 1864"
    That would mean that substitute powders were present during the antique era. --->>> https://www.chuckhawks.com/real_blackpowder_substitute.htm

    schultz_powder.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  9. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Here's a YT video where a guy does it. I will say that in my humble opinion this guy is a complete idiot for doing this. The cylinders are not proofed for smokeless powder. This is so crazy I hesitate to even post it, but you asked if anyone had done it. Yes they have, stupidly. It will work, until it doesn't, and when it doesn't, he's going to be holding a pipe bomb in his hand.

     
  10. 1066

    1066 Member

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    I have one of the UK Westlake .357 muzzle loading revolvers designed for nitro powder. It actually shoots very well. To fit in with our ridiculous firearms law, the Alfa revolvers are imported into the UK from the Czech Republic in a semi finished state with no cylinders, a new muzzle loading cylinder of a special design is manufactured and nitro proofed here in the UK. These cylinders use a 209 shot shell primer and once loaded, shoot just like any other .357 revolver.
    This is my 6" .357 revolver: (Muzzle loading)
    hNyuicPm.jpg
    6 shots at 20 yards, open sights, rested. .8" C to C group.
    OFhXqcTm.jpg FGndvl7m.jpg
     
  11. Jerry M

    Jerry M Member

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    Only lefty! Used to be righty!
     
  12. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    I’ve always felt it was a better idea to throw the grenade rather than holding on to it. But then, my nickname isn’t lefty or stumpy either.
     
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  13. D. Buck Stopshere

    D. Buck Stopshere Member

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    This a repost from the post,"Is it safe to use smokeless powder in a Uberti 1858 repro .36 caliber pistol?"

    A friend of mine was a volunteer guide at Fort Fisher Military Park just south of Wilmington NC. Every so often, tourists would ask the proverbial question about shooting smokeless powder (Hey, its black, they would say) in original or replica muzzleloaders & and cap & ball revolvers. So, he took one of his own well-used revolvers, and loaded only the top chamber with smokeless powder from a 9mm pistol target load, (1.5 grains by weight of Bullseye Powder). He set the revolver in his outdoor brick fireplace, and put two heavy steel plates to cover the two openings in the grill, and stood back 60' with a string, and pulled .

    If you need a graphic image about the strength of smokeless powder, here it is:
    RQ5A4209 copy.jpg
     
  14. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    FergusonTO35 posted: "I would love it if there was a way to proof a quality inline for low pressure smokeless powder use. I'm talking like shotgun pressure, not anything like centerfire rifle."

    In 2 posts, Jedman replied:

    "There are many inline muzzleloaders that would be safe to shoot with smokeless powder at shotgun pressures but your on your own for loading data. Many quality muzzleloader barrels are 4140 steel and would be perfectly safe but you wount get the manufacturer to ever say it’s safe. Load data I have seen for the Savage smokeless MZ would scare the hell out of me even in their rifles. If I were to experiment using smokeless in a quality inline with 209 primers I would never use a full bore size bullet . Always use a sabot, compare what you are loading to something similar in a lower pressure cartridge then start a little lower. For example say you have a 45 cal. muzzleloader and want to shoot a 40 cal. boolit at lower pressure - think of the 38-40 cartridge with smokeless load data. Using a slower powder such as I 4198 or R 7 you can load whatever will fit in a 38-40 case with a 200 gr. Lead bullet and be within sammi limits and get reasonably hi velocities.
    I am not giving any load recommendations but whatever velocities are possible with black powder and a given weight of boolit it is possible to duplicate or improve upon with smokeless at the same pressures.
    Myself and several other I know have done quite a bit of testing smokeless loads with slower burn rate powders and realize we are in uncharted waters but don’t push it for anything near what they say a Savage is capable of and have not had any indications we are stressing the gun."

    And:

    "Not to get to far off topic of this thread but it is still kinda the same thing is I took a early H&R 58 cal. Huntsman muzzleloader and lathe bored the breech end of the barrel to use 24 ga. shotgun hulls. It is shot with smokeless powder in a plastic hull with either a 54 cal. lead round ball in a 24 ga. Plastic wad or with a Lyman hollow based 58 cal. mini ball and roll crimped.
    It is a proven pig killer !"

    See posts #27 & #28: --->>> http://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...s-In-Line-Muzzleloaders&p=5002266#post5002266
     
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  15. Captain*kirk

    Captain*kirk Member

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    Manufacturers go to great lengths to emblazon barrels with huge, annoying stampings reading "Black Powder Only". There is a reason for this. Mainly, because "you can't fix stupid", so at least try to dodge the lawsuits.
     
  16. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    In some cases, it could also be to avoid government regulation such as with the NAA C&B revolvers.
    When they 1st came out, NAA advertised that they could be loaded with Bullseye powder until the gov't. threatened to remove their antique classification.

    Also, every modern gun manufacturer recommends against using reloaded ammunition in their guns.
    That's another prohibition that's completely ignored by reloaders since it doesn't stop them from firing it.
    There wouldn't even be a reloading industry if folks followed the manufacturers guidelines about using reloaded ammunition.
    Yet you don't see folks refer to those who reload or use reloaded ammo. as being stupid for doing so.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  17. Captain*kirk

    Captain*kirk Member

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    I trust my reloads over factory ammo any day of the week. I am meticulous about keeping within SAAMI specs and published load data. That, and also the fact if I could only shoot factory ammo I wouldn't be shooting at all. Because factory ammo in many different calibers is just not out there.
     
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  18. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    As George Orwell would say "Doubleplusungood!"
     
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  19. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Don’t.

    Geez.
     
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