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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used black powder back in 1970 when I had a .45 cal muzzle-loader. Haven't messed with it since. ("messed" is an appropriate word because it was so messy!) Noticed in the Quigley thread that a lot of the participants use black powder. Now don't yell too loud at me, but WHY? I understand using it in the old black powder barrels, but why in the world would anyone use that nasty and dirty old powder in today's rifles? I don't understand. Be gentle with your answer, I mean no harm by my question. :biggrin:
 
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Quigley shooting is a term that many use when going to these tournaments shoots and used the older or antique rifles that shoot black powder. Ever see the movie "Quigley down under" or the movie "Tom Horn". A lot of the older rifles that they use at the Quigley shoots are not made to safely use modern powder and still use the good old black powder. People like Wind that shoot and hit the dingers at the range they are set with open sights are true marksmen or women especially with the environment like wind gust and such working against them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I've seen the movie. (one of my favorites) I understand the Quigley shoots. What I'm asking is why would anyone use black powder in a smokeless powder barrel? Is the use of black powder just a nostalgia thing and just fun to smoke up the area with, or is there an accuracy advantage using it.
 
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Yes, I've seen the movie. (one of my favorites) I understand the Quigley shoots. What I'm asking is why would anyone use black powder in a smokeless powder barrel? Is the use of black powder just a nostalgia thing and just fun to smoke up the area with, or is there an accuracy advantage using it.
More like nostalgia and fun smoking up the area but you have to admint that hitting a dinger at 600 yds with black powder takes a lot of skill:biggrin:. When using black powder you have to pack the case full compared to modern day powder where changing a grain or two either way will change how much force that bullet is coming out the barrel.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More like nostalgia and fun smoking up the area but you have to admint that hitting a dinger at 600 yds with black powder takes a lot of skill:biggrin:. When using black powder you have to pack the case full compared to modern day powder where changing a grain or two either way will change how much force that bullet is coming out the barrel.
Fully packed cases, huh? Interesting!
 
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Fully packed cases, huh? Interesting!
I may be wrong but I do know that black powder needs to be pack tight to work properly unless something is used as a filler to pack it in I do believe that the blackpowder is measure into the case to where the bullet packs it in.
I copy this off another site "modern powders which are fine with big air spaces in the case, Black powder loads need to have no air space at all".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Learned something new today. I already knew that, for example, the .45-70 cartridge was originally a black powder cartride and was .45 caliber and held 70 grains of black powder..............just didn't know it filled the case behind the bullet.
 
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I shot a few of the black powder cartridge guns when I was youngster and my dad did reload using black powder. but geeze that been over 37 years ago lol.
 
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Chris623 - There are some cartridges, 40-65 Winchester, 40-70 Sharps Straight for example, that have no established SAAMI pressure limits. Black powder was in use by everyone back when these calibers were in their prime. As black powder pressures are considerable less than smokeless, most users of these (and other oldies) stay with black powder. Using smokeless powder basically makes each load/gun a potentially over pressured load, and unsafe. To remain "safe" most published data for smokeless powders are kept to the pressure levels generated by black powder. Remember too most of the firearms chambered for these oldies are in excess of 100 years old, of vairous quality, and some indicate they have lead a hard life. Shenandoah
 

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Yes, I've seen the movie. (one of my favorites) I understand the Quigley shoots. What I'm asking is why would anyone use black powder in a smokeless powder barrel? Is the use of black powder just a nostalgia thing and just fun to smoke up the area with, or is there an accuracy advantage using it.
Chris,
Yes, there can be an accuracy advantage to using b.p. in some calibers / rifles. I have seen some groups posted on b.p. forums in single shot rifles that would be hard to beat with a smokeless loading.

I have never found a smokeless load that will produce the accuracy that i can get with b.p. in my .44-40. The only inconvenience I have found is cleaning the cases after firing. Believe it or not, the barrel cleans up faster after shooting b.p. than with smokeless! I read that a long time ago and thought that was just b.s. until I experienced it for myself.........

30wcf
 

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I think the rules for Black powder Cart. Silhouette require black powder, as do a few other matches. All of my experience except for my Dad's trapdoor has been in muzzleloaders. The trapdoor is a blast to shoot. In muzzleloaders since I have flintlocks I use only black powder. I figure why use the subs when the real does what they try to do.:biggrin:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chris,
Yes, there can be an accuracy advantage to using b.p. in some calibers / rifles. I have seen some groups posted on b.p. forums in single shot rifles that would be hard to beat with a smokeless loading.

I have never found a smokeless load that will produce the accuracy that i can get with b.p. in my .44-40. The only inconvenience I have found is cleaning the cases after firing. Believe it or not, the barrel cleans up faster after shooting b.p. than with smokeless! I read that a long time ago and thought that was just b.s. until I experienced it for myself.........

30wcf
Are you talking about the black crud being on the inside of the cartridge or the outside? I don't own a single shot rifle and one of the things I'd be worried about is all that crud getting into the workings of my lever actions.
 
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Chirs,

With the invent of Thompson Center's 1000+ products, cleaning is easy, not fouling build up, and modern barrels do not corrode like the originals did.

Ive tried modern black crap, and smokeless in my buffalo gun, holy black just shoots better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Te-he............re-read post #1. I've shot it. Still have a powder horn filled with it. Can't say I'm particularly attracted to the scent, though. :biggrin:
 

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chris
in a center fire rifle all the fouling stays in the case and barrel (unless pierced primer or split case) revolvers can get kinda messy, but it shoots good. i have shot 32-20, 30-30, 38-55, 45-70, and 50-45 with black powder. just take a milk jug about half full of soapy water with you to the range and drop your cases in
 

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I think Mike Venturino noted that some cartridges, especially those specifically designed for black powder just work better with the original propellant. He had guns that were just more accurate using the BP than smokeless. I believe the 38-40 was one in particular as well as some of his long range guns he used for competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, somewhere along the line, I may give it a try in my .45-70 and .38-55. For right now I've too many load recepes to mess with. Just thinkin' about the future.
 
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When you get around to trying black powder there are more variables than you may be used to in using smokeless. First is the need to insure there are no gaps between powder and bullet as black can tear even a modern barrel apart at the gap. Second accuracy is going to be impacted quite heavily by the lubrication of the bullet and the build up of hard fouling in the barrel just ahead of the chamber. Black powder fouling is totally soluble in tap water. Soap and hot water is not required and is not as effective as just plain tap water. The idea of the hot water is to make the barrel hot enough to evaporate any water left in the bore. Better practice is to use a water displacing fluid like Ballistol or WD 40 then wipe it dry. Be very careful whenever you have an open can or cartridge full of black powder exposed. Takes just a little spark to touch it off - like your stupid buddy lighting up his cigarette. A lb of powder is essentially a hand grenade as black ignited in open air is an explosive. I shoot flintlocks and blackpowder cartridge rifles using them exclusively for my elk rifles. I see little difference in a .45-110 and a .375 H&H on bulls except the rainbow trajectory of the .45-110. Over a chronograph the blackpowder velocities are pretty low compared to modern rifles. But they get power from bullet diameter and weight. Don't try to get magnum velocities - can't be done. Make sure you are using correct granulation FFg or FFFg depending on caliber. I use Fg in the big .45-110 cartridge.
 

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Are you talking about the black crud being on the inside of the cartridge or the outside? I don't own a single shot rifle and one of the things I'd be worried about is all that crud getting into the workings of my lever actions.
The fouling is on the inside of the case.....in most calibers. There is a bit of an issue with b.p. in the .45 Colt in that due to the generous chamber dimensions, there can be a bit of blowby on the outside of the case which can get into the action. That can be easily avoided by annealing the brass and neck sizing.

I have fired 1000's of b.p. rounds in my .44-40 and the action remains very clean........

w30wcf
 
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