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View Full Version : Is there a modern bulk smokeless?


tube_ee
January 15, 2009, 08:21 PM
It occurred to me, when reading the last installment of Double Gun and Single Shot Journal's "Finding Out For Myself" series, which has done so much to restore the reputation of the fine double guns of the past, that the old "bulk smokeless" powders seemed like a really cool idea.

My understanding is that, at least in shotguns, they could be loaded volume-for-volume for black, and produce a similar pressure profile, but with less smoke and fouling. Yet, they were true smokeless powders, IE, nitro based. The specific part that sparked this chain of thought was where the author loaded a full 3 drams of Unique (on the basis that it was very, very close to the earliest energetic smokeless powders) into a paper-hulled shotshell, and stuck it into a twist-steel Remington hammergun. KABOOM.

The idea was to duplicate the thought process of a careless loader, at the time that these powders first became available. "I know how to load a shotshell, I've been doin' it all my life. I don't need to read no danged instructions!!"

Reading the article got me thinking, though...

This would be a very useful thing for a lot of applications.

Any and all muzzleloaders, vintage shotguns, CAS loads in pistols, very old cartridge guns...

Is there a technical reason that no powder lab has come up with something like this, or am I missing something that makes it impossible? It would seem like the market was there.

--Shannon

Hawg Haggen
January 15, 2009, 09:27 PM
There is no smokeless that can take the place of bp. Even reduced smokeless loads are too hot for muzzleloaders. I've fired many 2 3/4 smokeless loads out of twist steel barrels when I was young but that's not the same thing and I don't recommend doing that now.

CraigC
January 15, 2009, 11:56 PM
With damascus barrels, it really depends on the individual shotgun. Damascus does not automatically preclude a shotgun from seeing action. Many damascus guns were indeed nitro-proofed. In another issue of DGJ, they tested two identical vintage shotguns, Parkers or L.C. Smiths I believe. One with damascus barrels, the other with fluid steel barrels. The guns were tested incrementally to destruction. The damascus barrels actually withstood more pressure than the fluid steel barrels and both went well beyond industry pressure standards.

jdscholer
January 16, 2009, 11:08 PM
Is there a technical reason that no powder lab has come up with something like this, or am I missing something that makes it impossible? It would seem like the market was there.

I'm with you Shannon, we can come up with drugs to cure ED but no one can invent a powder that duplicates black without the stinking, fouling, corrosive, mess. COME ON.:(

Yeah, I know I sound like the kind of lazy bastard that just doesn't want to spend time cleaning his guns, and maybe I am. Well I'm not the only one who would like to shoot my antique revolvers and other guns without preforming a total takedown when I get home.

I'm gonna keep hoping. jd

arcticap
January 17, 2009, 04:35 AM
It's my understanding that the new Blackhorn 209 is a light & fluffy smokeless powder that is also a BP substitute. However, in a muzzle loader it requires a 209 primer to ignite and an enclosed breech plug is recommended.
But it also works in metallic cartridges and here's the loading data:

http://www.blackhorn209.com/files/pdf/b209blackpowdercartridgedata.pdf

http://www.blackhorn209.com/

HAMMER1DOWN
January 17, 2009, 02:09 PM
hogden makes that BP called triple seven i use that and it cleans with just water and it doesn't have the sulpher smell its great stuff i use it in my Lyman Trade rifle cap and ball

jdscholer
January 17, 2009, 02:36 PM
I'm interested in Blackhorn, but so far nobody in my area stocks it. If I were to find that it is the ticket for what I'm doing, I'd bite the bullet and order some.

I'm after a pressure curve which closely replicates black powder for the whimpy little pistols I'm shooting -38 S&W specifically.

I've done the Pyrodex thing, and just don't care for the fouling and filth.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone using Blackhorn, or anything else for what I'm doing. jd

Jim Watson
January 21, 2009, 11:00 AM
I guess they just don't think you will buy the tonnages required to pay them to (re)develop and tool up to manufacture bulk smokeless powders.

The fake powders from Pyrodex to Buckhorn 209 have been getting hotter and hotter as the guns were modernized. I don't think I would care to shoot Jdscholler's .38 S&W with Buckhorn and maybe not 777. Mine gets fired very occasionally with factory smokeless. If I were going to shoot it a lot, it would get real black.

Hawg Haggen
January 21, 2009, 11:53 AM
BP is what it is and has always been so. I just don't see the point of wanting to modernize it so it doesn't smoke. That's the biggest part of the fun of shooting it.

we can come up with drugs to cure ED but no one can invent a powder that duplicates black without the stinking, fouling, corrosive, mess.

Some of us actually like the smell. The fouling is really only a minor irritant with revolvers. A properly lubed rifle will run as long as you want it to without fouling being a problem. BP's and Pyrodex's reputations for corrosiveness is undeserved. It's not necessary to clean immediately or even the same week.

Well I'm not the only one who would like to shoot my antique revolvers and other guns without preforming a total takedown when I get home.

That's not necessary either. I tear mine down maybe once a year.

It's my understanding that the new Blackhorn 209 is a light & fluffy smokeless powder that is also a BP substitute.

It's also 34.00 for 10 oz.'s, Pyrodex here is 16.00 per lb. Triple 7 is 27.00.
I'll stick with Pyrodex, it works. Blackhorn wont work in my guns anyway, It's made for inlines

long rider
January 21, 2009, 07:30 PM
Ill go with HH on the bp, i love the smoke and
the smell Mmmmmm the smell of the years,:D
and if bp goes so do my pistols, there would
be no point in haveing them right,
and lets face it thats why they are black powder
pistols hance the name.:D