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Thread: black powder data

  1. #1
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    black powder data

    So this is probably a daft question......how do you know correct charge amount of black powder in a cartridge if cannot find data for that????
    specific reason.... loading for .45/70 AND YES I KNOW thats .45calibre and 70 grns black powder behind a .405grn projectile...but what if I change the projectile weight UPWARDS.......like to 486grn cast projectile..... do I need to reduce the charge weight??? strangely I cannot find smokeless data for that weight either....
    75/15/10 black powder matters

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    Correct charge is when the case is full and you can still fit a bullet in
    Maca49, Marty Henry and Micky Duck like this.

  3. #3
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    beauty bud..just what I hoped to hear....knew it was a dumb question LOL.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaroa1 View Post
    Correct charge is when the case is full and you can still fit a bullet in
    Because you cannot have an air space it has to be solid from primer to base of projectile. Necked cases can pose a problem, so you use a filler, like ground oats, toilet paper, dacron etc. but no air space! Straight cases are easy, powder, wad, grease cookie, wad, lubed projectile. NO air space!
    Also grade of powder, fffg under 45/70 ffg 45/70 and over, ffg cannons, ffffg ignition flint lock
    ZQLewis likes this.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

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    Well if you run out of barrel to burn it all in it will just look cool

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    Black powder charge weights are more of a question of how much would I like to compress this charge.

    If you use the same volume of black powder you used for a light projectile for a heavier projectile you have a couple options. 1. reduce charge weight to account for greater volume of case being used up by the heavier (longer projectile) when seated to same over all length making the compression of the charge the same, 2. compress the original charge more by seating the heavier projectile to the same over all length, and 3. seat the projectile out further for a longer over all length but have the base of the projectile sitting at the same point in the case as the lighter projectile. Possible alternate option; remove filler, wads, or other, if used, to compensate for extra case volume used up by projectile. Ensuring in all circumstances you have 100% fill of case underneath the projectile.

    Somewhere in this mixture of charge weight/volume, compression and seating depth is your most accurate load.

    I use a powder compression die for 45-70 and compress to the point where only the last little bit of bullet seating touches and slightly compresses the charge. I also use just a card wad to try and prevent gas cutting of the base of the projectile (although I haven't tried without so it's precautionary, not responsive to a problem) nothing else other than well lubed projectiles.
    Last edited by Makros; 12-06-2022 at 09:55 PM.

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    I only lightly compress cartridges, I just try to be consistent
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  8. #8
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maca49 View Post
    Because you cannot have an air space it has to be solid from primer to base of projectile. Necked cases can pose a problem, so you use a filler, like ground oats, toilet paper, dacron etc. but no air space! Straight cases are easy, powder, wad, grease cookie, wad, lubed projectile. NO air space!
    Also grade of powder, fffg under 45/70 ffg 45/70 and over, ffg cannons, ffffg ignition flint lock
    so more fs means more fines,till its ffffffn fine indeed???
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  9. #9
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    thanks folks...I can fit 60grns home brewed BP in case with a bit of tamping so a blend of home brew and some generously donated (you know who you are,thankyou) fffs will hopefully see me about right... loaded up some jacketed projectiles from same generous person too....with smokeless AR2208 so will be interesting to see how they go..upped the charge weight a little bit from what Ive been pushing cast with...from 45grns to 47.5grns with the 400grn projectiles...should be stout but not teeth rattling..... 51.2grns behing the 350grn jacketed should be even more interesting load...and thats still below top of bottom teir not up to lever action levels yet so should be good and safe load.....shite looking at data for ruger #1-----or saimese mauser is interesting,teeth loosening levels of power.....
    75/15/10 black powder matters

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    I know the OP was about black powder but its worth pointing out that with smokeless its better to use a powder that fills the case out rather than ever use a wad. The consensus seems to be that wads are consistantly present when 'barrel ringing' has occured.

  11. #11
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    5grns 2219 and 50 grns black powder loaded under the 485s...they look scarey..... will let you know how the ygo when pluck up courage to try them LOL.
    jakewire and yeah_na_missed like this.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  12. #12
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    Black powder basic reloading is: you fill up the case and slightly compress it when you seat the bullet.

    The next thing to know is about the bullet composition: it must be soft lead. With pure lead or pure lead with a bit of tin added. The bullets you buy off Trademe that are made with wheelweights or some unknown alloy, are always too hard. You do not want a hard cast bullet - they are only for smokeless loads.

    Black powder load development of a load can get elaborate and esoteric as you want. Firstly, which type of blackpowder 3F, 2F etc. The other is the brand of powder. Swiss is best, Holy Smoke the most accessable. (Goex is gone)
    And then there is how you are dealing with lube which affects accuracy, in that you have to have enoug h of the right type for repeatable accuracy, but sometimes that can take up powder room, say if you decide to use lubed wads or grease "cookies"etc.
    What about a wad - often there was a card disc seated under the bullet on top of the powder in some cartridges, ostensibly to protect the bullet base from BP ignition.
    Then there is primers - low powered were the primers in the old days. Modern primers are more powerful and there is a theory that they may disturb the powder train as it goes off...(I have experiemneted with bit of cigarette paper over the primer to weaken it. )
    Then there is compression- some powder likes to be compressed more than others depending on the cartridge and the weight of the bullet. And while you always have to have the bullet seate din contact with the powder, the amont of compression can be varied and tested to see if the rifle shoots better with more or less compression. For example with my .44-40 I use a lot of compression 0.2 of an inch in that little case.
    You could load your 45/70 with 60 grains of powder, or you load it up to 70 grains and compress it heavily and see how it goes. If you can get more in the case and still seat a bullet, then go for it.

    But - how are you going to compress it? If you compress it with a soft lead bullet you will deform the bullet itself in the seating process. So yu either use a compression die, or you compress it with a jacketed bullet in an unsized case, then size it and seat your lead bullet.

    But, do you even resize your cases? In the old days they often didn't. In black powder single shot rifles you didnt need to rezise the case if you could chamber an empty fired case, you simply loaded it again, pushed the bullet on, and then give it a little crimp to hold, it, or maybe you didnt even need to do that.

    And then, there is the bullet again. What size bullet is not as significant as it is if you are smokeless reloading, in this case the bullet must be a bit oversized if you are using hard cast bullets, but with black powder it doesn't mater so much, because soft lead in the sharp explosion of black powder will "bump up"and seal the bore. Thats why they didnt worry so much about what diameter the bore was as they dd once smokeless powder was invented.
    But, how much tin you add affects the hardness of the bullet and some loads will shoot better with a different mix, you must experiment. In the old days they would recommend that the .44-40 be loaded with 1% tin or none at all, just pure lead. Bigger calibers like the .45/90 sometimes for more tin, up to about 8% from memory.

    And then there is lube- is your bullet carrying enough lube. Of the right kind of lube? Softer the better with blackpower. Avoid like the plague commercial lubes that come on the bullets you buy off Trademe or from a shop. It is only for smokeless and even then I dont think its much good. Scrape if off and put some of your own on. Just Chefade fat on its own is better than those horrible hard rubbery lubes. There are many recipes for lube in the net. (Even then if you are shooting for serious accuracy you can always swab the bore after each shot.)

    And then there is paper patching....

    And then there is duplex loading with a smokeless priming...

    Black powder loading is a different world and you must forget what you know about smokeless as it mostly does not apply. Even cleaning the rifle is done differently.
    Last edited by JohnDuxbury; 17-06-2022 at 12:47 PM.

  13. #13
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    well the 485s go boom,the same as 405s with black powder duplex load..... the 400grn jacketed with a load of 2208 got a heap of whallop at both ends,my scope actually lifted my hat on one round..... must hang on a bit better methinks....
    the duplex loads are pleasant to shoot no matter the projectile so it seems.....
    now for a decent range zeroing session..HOPEFULLY the BP at 50 yard zero will be close to hundred yard zero with smokeless...only holes in paper will tell me if Im dreaming....
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  14. #14
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    Full the case with 5 Percent compression
    For a reduced charge pick a charge any charge pretty much
    And full the case with Semolina
    The biggest most important thing with black powder is you full the case with no air gaps
    That can ether be powder or powder and some kind of filler or wad

    While you are correct about the numbers 45-70 for example 45cal 70gn’s
    That was back in the day when they loaded them Differently
    With modern gear and brass which has less Capacity your lucky to get 65gn’s in a 45-70

 

 

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