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BigV
November 22, 2009, 11:01 PM
Blackhorn 209

Any one try this powder??
I recently switched from 777 powder to Blackhorn 209
Here are the reasons.
The only way I could get consistent groups using Hornaday SST 250 grain sabots and loose 777 powder was to clean the barrel after every shot. If I didn't clean, I would shoot almost 2” low and right. In addition after the 2nd shot (without cleaning) I had a difficult time getting the 3rd sabot down the barrel.

Blackhorn 209 claims to burn cleaner thus eliminating the need to clean between shots.

I've been to the range twice now using this fairly new powder. The first string of shot were 10 consecutive without cleaning. The 10th sabot went down just as easily as the first and I held 1” or better groups at 100 YDS.

I never like using water to clean my muzzle loader. It just seemed unnatural to me. Blackhorn 209 cleans up with solvent based gun cleaner thus eliminating water and rust.

Blackhorn 209 is non hygroscopic so it does not absorb water like black powder does.

The only downside that I can see is you must use standard 209 primers, not the ones designed for black powder. Blackhorn 209 is harder to ignite and the hotter the primer the better.

If you haven't tried it, I would urge you to give it a try. Oh, and one other thing... The cheapest I could find this powder was $32.00 a can. That's for a 10 oz can not a 16 oz (one pound) can.

B.L.E.
November 22, 2009, 11:36 PM
I have only used it in cartridges and it works quite well. All my muzzle loaders are traditional using #11 caps or flint so they burn real black powder.

simonkenton
November 23, 2009, 10:47 AM
Great report! I have heard nothing but positive reviews on this powder.
If I weren't shooting smokeless in my Savage I would certainly be using the Blackhorn.

I only wish I could use it in my cap and ball pistols.

Andy Griffith
November 23, 2009, 11:16 AM
There is one problem that I've seen with it...price.

Maybe where I've seen it retailed just had it too high, but I think that it shouldn't be anywhere 2x to 4x times the price of the holy black.

To me, it...and even Triple 7 and good old Pyrodex aren't good alternatives when based upon price.

I might just have to order a case of that Brazilian powder to try.

simonkenton
November 23, 2009, 05:45 PM
Is it true that the Blackhorn is "fluffy?"

In other words, is it true that you get as many shots from the jug of Blackhorn, as you would get from a pound of black powder?

B.L.E.
November 23, 2009, 08:05 PM
It's basically a high bulk smokeless powder I believe which would explain why you need a normal 209 primer to set it off. The grains are short hollow tubes, when you open a can of it, you get that ether odor charactoristic of many smokeless powders. If you set a match to a small amount of it, it flares up an burns slowly like smokless powder, does not go "poof" and burn up instantly like black powder does.
It makes very little smoke and the smoke kind of smells like smokeless powder.

arcticap
November 23, 2009, 08:10 PM
Is it true that the Blackhorn is "fluffy?"

In other words, is it true that you get as many shots from the jug of Blackhorn, as you would get from a pound of black powder?


Not as many shots as in a pound, but more than the eqivalent of 10 ozs. worth of BP & other sub. powders.
For example, there's 7000 grains per pound of BP or 70 shots @100 grains.

10 oz. of BP equals 62.5% of 1 lb. which would yield 43.75 shots @100 grains per load, while a 10 oz. container of "fluffy" Blackhorn might yield 54 -55 shots @ 100 grains.

*The actual yields are similar to that asserted above. However the names have been changed to protect the innocent and are totally fictitious and any resemblence to actual people dead or alive, real or imagined is totally coincidental. ;)

B.L.E.
November 23, 2009, 08:43 PM
I set my adjustable black powder measure to throw "100 grains" and it held 65 grains by weight of Blackhorn 209 verses 93 grains by weight of Goex fffg. Doing the math, it turns out that 10 ounces of Blackhorn = 14 ounces of black if you want to do a cost comparison.

shortwave
November 24, 2009, 05:01 AM
This stuff is looking more interesting all the time. When shooting Blackhorn, do you measure loads by volume, same as Pyrodex, or by weight? With BP/shotgun seasons getting very close, its to late for me to experiment but thinking about trying it out after close of seasons.

B.L.E.
November 24, 2009, 06:52 AM
The muzzleloading data is by volume using a black powder measure. When they say "100 grains" they mean the amount that a black powder measure would throw when set to 100 grains which would be approximately 65 grains by weight.

The cartridge data is by weight. Most people who reload have scales.

shortwave
November 24, 2009, 08:48 AM
Thanks B.L.E.

Smokey 92
November 29, 2009, 11:29 AM
Can Blackhorn be used in a CVA Kodiak?

simonkenton
November 29, 2009, 02:58 PM
The Kodiak uses 209 primers, doesn't it?

If so, Blackhorn will work fine.
It should eliminate those crud problems you are having with 777.

enheimer
November 29, 2009, 09:35 PM
I'm new. Last year I purchased a CVA Kodiak (Stainless barrel and synthetic stock). Put a scope on it, sited it in using 777 - took about 6 or 7 rounds to get a reasonable group at 100 yards. Off to the hunt. I fired it once in the field, and after the smoke clears, I saw my nice buck on the ground ready for his tag.

This year everybody is singing the praises of Blackhorn 209. So, off I go to the local mecca and buy me some Blackhorn 209. Then, I hear I need to use 209 shot shell primers. They are hotter - more complete burn.... So, off to another store for those (tough to find by-the-way). Next, I'm advised that I need better sabots so the gas seal is more secure. Got 'em.

Now, off to the range. First experience 2:6 misfires. And wow, those sabots go in awful tight. Bent my stock CVA ramrod even with one of those sabot pushers that rotate to follow the rifling without unscrewing from the ram-rod.

Second trip to the range. 3:7 misfires. Again, 209 Shotshell primers and those super duper sabots.

I think I'm going directly back to 777. I cannot afford to miss the deer because this 209 stuff (just bought like 5 weeks ago) isn't lighting.

Anybody wanna bet that when I go to 777 I don't have a single misfire? we'll see.

For sure the 777 is messy. But at least the stuff ignites!

arcticap
November 29, 2009, 09:47 PM
Unless your breech plug has an extra narrow opening, you probably just need to use some hotter primers.


http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381812&highlight=blackhorn

enheimer
November 29, 2009, 10:30 PM
I'm using Federal 209a primers. My rifle is a CVA Kodiak Magnum with the stock breech plug. I'm wondering if there is something about the stock breech plug that may be contributing to this problem.

Also, in some instances, I've noticed I struggle to get the sabot fully seated on the powder. Since I suspected this as a contributing factor, during my second trip to the range I loaded the first round and used a sharpie to mark the location on the ram rod where it was flush with the tip of the barrel. This established a best case location for a 100 grain charge and 250 grain bullet (Hornaday SST but with different sabots.)

Subsequent loads did not always bottom to this same location. Occasionally, the sharpie mark was about an 1/8" above the muzzle.

Does anyone have an opinion on.... lightly or not-so-lightly tapping the ram rod to seat a bullet against the charge?

arcticap
November 29, 2009, 10:41 PM
Assessing the breech plug problem would depend on what order and when the misfires with BH209 occurred in each of the shot sequences that you described.
Did any of the misfires occurr on the first shot when the bore and breech plug were the cleanest?
Were the barrel and breech plug cleaned well enough from the beginning?
Some breech plugs that have had problems were cured by drilling a slightly bigger hole in them. But the necessity of doing that needs to be verified by following diligent cleaning procedures when testing.
A spare breech plug can be purchased and test drilled to see if that fix works, but it needs to be done very incrementally. Only open it up as much as needed to be reliable and not more. You don't want to create any excessive blow back pressure.
And properly seating the sabot is more important than worrying about tapping on the ramrod and slightly damaging the tip of the bullet.
It sounds like too much residue is getting pushed down into the breech, or not enough is getting dissolved and pulled out.
And BH209 shouldn't require wet swabbing for every shot. AFAIK it's supposed to be swabbed with a smokeless solvent, and then swab the bore dry.
Are you removing the spent primer before loading to allow air to escape from the bore during ramming? Or maybe air is pushing loose and wet residue into your [small] ignition channel when you ram and blocking the primer flash?

shortwave
November 29, 2009, 11:38 PM
Another tip I have found for easier cleaning of the breech plug other than a nipple pick is a set of torch tip cleaners available at any welding/cutting supplies shops and possibly Lowe`s. The rough sides clean/file hardened powder residue out nicely. Also if you do drill the flash hole in your breech plug, set drill bit aside for future cleaning.

enheimer
November 30, 2009, 06:10 AM
Arcticap & Shortwave,

Thanx for your input.

Yes, my routine is to remove the 209 primer (209a) immediately after the shot. However, I think I may than be closing the action so that all of the heat and any residual moisture is trapped..... Never thought of that. Could also explain why my sabot isn't seating properly. The jacket is so tight that there may be a compressed "air" gap at the bottom of the bore.

I've not had a misfire during the first shot. Therefore, I think my cleaning routine is sufficient (Hoppe #9).

Admittedly, the breech plug is more difficult to get clean. I verified the I.D. to be clean using plug gages (I'm an Quality Engineer and have some gaging in my garage/shop). The area where I struggle to get all residue removed is the counterbore on the barrel side of the breach plug. This may be another big contributing factor.

I'll try some changes.

B.L.E.
November 30, 2009, 07:22 AM
In the shotshells that 209 primers were originally made for, the hole on the end of the primer is the flash channel.
With smokeless loads, the purpose of the primer is not just to set the powder on fire but also to generate the initial chamber pressure that smokeless powder needs to burn efficiently. A small flash channel along with any unintended air space can easily cause misfires.
This powder really shouldn't need any between the shots cleaning. If you really insist, you might try the old target black powder trick of wiping the bore after loading to keep from partially drowning the powder charge.

Smokey 92
November 30, 2009, 04:27 PM
BigV, what brand rifle do you use?
1" groups at 100 yrds very good.

arcticap
December 1, 2009, 03:45 AM
BigV shoots a TC Omega.

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=383401

DigerDog
December 1, 2009, 12:12 PM
Blackhorn doesn't work in all ML's and with all 209 primers. In my Knight Rolling Block the 209 primer went off but the Buckhorn did not ignite. The same thing happened with a friends Triumph using Blackhorn where the powder didn't ignite.

Because of this I won't use it and will stick with the Pyrodex that has worked so well for so many years.

Smokey 92
December 1, 2009, 07:00 PM
Now I wonder will 777 primers work with BH209?

Edit: after some research it appears shotgun .209 primers are required. Any one brand stand out/better than others?

tpcollins
December 1, 2009, 07:39 PM
I tried some the other day in my Knight MK85 with the 209 primer conversion kit. I was using Winchester 209 primers, I had a hang fire on the first one, couldn't get the next 3 primers to ignite the next load. Another forum recommended Federal 209A or CCI Magnum primers, I went back to Triple 7 for the upcoming season, I'll try again with a hotter primer next summer.

B.L.E.
December 1, 2009, 07:39 PM
You don't want to use 777 or any other 209 size primers intended for muzzleloaders. You want 209 primers meant for reloading shotgun shells with smokeless powder.
The muzzleloader specific primers are more fire than explosion, they are intended to set black powder on fire.
Smokeless powder doesn't just need to be set on fire, it also depends heavily on the primer's explosion to establish the initial chamber pressure that smokeless powder needs to burn fast and efficiently. Simply set it on fire and you get bloopers and squibs.

BH 209 behaves more like smokeless powders than black powder.

Smokey 92
December 2, 2009, 09:10 AM
Edit: question answered.

DigerDog
December 2, 2009, 09:19 AM
You don't want to use 777 or any other 209 size primers intended for muzzleloaders. You want 209 primers meant for reloading shotgun shells with smokeless powder.
The muzzleloader specific primers are more fire than explosion, they are intended to set black powder on fire.
Smokeless powder doesn't just need to be set on fire, it also depends heavily on the primer's explosion to establish the initial chamber pressure that smokeless powder needs to burn fast and efficiently. Simply set it on fire and you get bloopers and squibs.

BH 209 behaves more like smokeless powders than black powder.

The 209 primers we used are Winchester Primers for shotshells. (W209). In using these the powder didn't ignite like it should or at all.

With this experience we will continue to use Pyrodex and to harvest deer.

I have a 10 oz container of this stuff. Anybody want it? At best I have an odd looking and highly volatile paper weight.

shortwave
December 2, 2009, 11:47 AM
I have a 10 oz. container of this stuff. Anybody want it? DigerDog, If your in Ohio I`ll take you up on that offer. I`d like to see how my Encore does with it.

sourdough44
December 2, 2009, 12:17 PM
Be sure the gun is clean,clear, & dry. Seat the load with good firm pressure. There is no reason to 'pound' on it & possibly deform the bullet. I use the CCI mag primers in my Knight. I took 5 deer with 5 shots in IL a few weeks ago. My load was 115grn B209 & a Hornady 250 grn SST.

DigerDog
December 2, 2009, 12:23 PM
DigerDog, If your in Ohio I`ll take you up on that offer. I`d like to see how my Encore does with it.

Yeah....I probably should have mentioned I am in Nebraska.

Sorry about that.

BigV
December 3, 2009, 06:29 PM
I use Winchester W209 primers as well. No problems whatsoever with ignition. My buddy has a TC Omega exactly like mine and he was experiencing hang fires with BH 209. He found the diameter of his breach plug hole was carboned up and using a 1/16” drill bit by hand cleaned the carbon out and he did not experience any problems since. Now as part of the end of the session cleaning we both use a 1'16” drill bit screwed in by hand to clear any carbon deposits.

BIGR
December 4, 2009, 08:03 PM
I tried the Blackhorn 209 (100 Grains) this year in my stainless .50 CAL. T/C Omega. I was using regular 209 shotgun primers since the label said to and my bullets were the 295 GR. Hollowpoint Powerbelts. When I went to check my scope, the first time I pulled the trigger the Omega failed to fire. The only thing I can figure is I didn't have the breech plug hole cleaned out enough on the first shot. I shot 2 times after that, almost putting both bullets through the same hole at 1 inch high at 50 yards. I didn't fire it anymore until the 3rd day of muzzleloader season when I took a decent 8 point. The deer went only a short distance and I would say my 30.06 would not have put it down any better. After I shot the 8 point, I loaded the muzzleloader and carried it the rest of the week, at times in rainy weather. At the end of the week instead of pulling the breech plug and dumping the powder and bullet I wanted to see if the gun would fire. I pulled the trigger on it and it fired just fine. Clean up was very easy with very little effort. Another thing I noticed was there was very little smoke when the gun fired. In the past I have had to wait for the smoke to clear to see if the deer was on the ground or running off. Not so with the Blackhorn 209.
I must add also that my brother in law tried the Blackhorn 209 in his Knight muzzleloader this year. His performed well and he shot a bigger 8 point than I got. He also commented that there was little smoke with that powder. I noticed when he shot his deer, from a distance I heard the shot and it didn't even sound like a muzzleloader. I can tell that powder has some umph to it.
I have tried about all the muzzleloader powders on the market and it appears to me that Blackhorn 209 is going to be one of the best ones. What's not to like? Great accuracy, no swabbing the barrel between shots, easy to seat bullet after mutiple shots, real easy clean up without the sulfur smell of other powders and its supposed to be no corrosive according to the company.

BigV
December 5, 2009, 12:04 AM
Another great advantage... No crud ring that you get with 777, Pyrodex and Black power.... No crud ring at all!!

B.L.E.
December 6, 2009, 09:26 PM
I just tried some Blackhorn 209 in my .44 Magnum today. I used 22 grains by weight of BH209 in a .44mag case primed by Winchester large pistol primers (WLP) and seated a muzzleloading .433 round ball on top of the powder and crimped it, slightly compressing the powder charge.
Sort of a modern cap-and-ball load you might say.

Gun used: Smith and Wesson Model 29
Barrel length: 6 inches

Chronograph results of a six shot string:
1027
1024
1033
1011
1023
1024

I didn't have a bench to shoot off of but it seemed to be shooting more accurately than I can aim.

Absolutely no problems with misfires.