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McPhee
December 5, 2010, 08:12 PM
Anyone ever use empty brass cases such as a .38, .32,.357, etc. to measure black powder or equivalent products?

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
December 5, 2010, 08:13 PM
Yep, Been doing it that way for over 40 years. Twist or solder a stiff piece of
wire on for a handle. Like old coat hanger wire.

McPhee
December 5, 2010, 08:23 PM
Actually I should have added to the question...

Does anyone know how many grains each caliber case would hold? I am interested in a 38 or 357 in particular.

Thanks

the rifleer
December 5, 2010, 08:45 PM
I would measure it to be sure, but the .38 case I use holds almost exactly 30 grains. this is perfect for my Ruger Old Army.

Howard31
December 6, 2010, 08:42 AM
A couple
2F 3F
38 sp 25 25.5
357 27.5 28
45acp 27.2 27.8
44mag 38.5 40
45lc 44 46

I think I got these from DGW. Hope it helps


"I said I had no use for one,I never said I didn't know how to use one "Matt Quigley

Jim Watson
December 6, 2010, 09:08 AM
The Dixie Gun Works catalog has a chart of case capacity so you can use various pieces of brass to make black powder measures.
You can also trim the brass for fine adjustment.

Rifleman1776
December 6, 2010, 10:00 AM
Better to weigh it. Or simply pour into the case then pour that into an adjustable measure designed for black powder.
I have made many measures from wood, antler, cartridge cases, copper tubing and other stuff. This method is quite accurate. Just pour carefully and do not 'settle' the powder before pouring.

Fiv3
December 6, 2010, 10:34 AM
I bring a handful of .38 special casings every time I shoot BP. It's a great quick 'n' dirty way of getting a fairly close consistency in performance.

I also have a couple scoops made out of a .357 and some tie wire. However, if the wind allows it, I like to use six .38 casings. I fill all of them up to the level. Then I load each cylinder with a charge. I do this so that I don't lose count or double load. I know it sounds stupid, but I have been bringing novice shooters with me to the range the last couple of times. They usually wait until I have my hands full to ask a question:rolleyes: By loading each chamber with a single case, I know when I have gotten all of them charged, and it allows me to visually inspect each one to make sure the powder is seating in there correctly with the wad over it.

But when I don't feel like going through all that, I just use the .357 scoop and get "close enough":p

zippy13
December 6, 2010, 05:40 PM
I've taken a slightly different approach, I use larger cases, like .45 LC and .454 Cas, and trim them down to form a pouring spout. I have a series of them with each stamped showing it's capacity.

http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/1952/dipper.jpg

B.L.E.
December 6, 2010, 10:54 PM
Black powder happens to have approximately the same density as water and cartridge case capacity is often given in grains of water.
For example, the .357 magnum case holds 27 grains of water and according to Howard31, measures 27.5 FFg and 28 FFFg black powder.

Want 45 grains? pick up a .30-30 case and use it for a measure. It holds 45 grains of water.
Want 69-70 grains, a .30-06 case.
Want to measure 294 grains? Pick up a .50 BMG case.

Here's a link to a list of common cartridge case capacities.

http://kwk.us/cases.html

Hardy
December 8, 2010, 06:28 PM
Rifleman is right. Unfortunately substitutes like J Shockey are inconsistant in my tests. A 38c spent cartridge ( I always thought held close to 25 grains of BP. If you use J Shockey you need at least 35 g for a 44c. 30 to 35 grains of 3f pyrodex and 25 to 30 grains of goex. Pyrodex seems to be the best so far of substitutes. Some swear by J Shocky for its easy cleaning--but not consistent. I will not order anymore of J Shockey. Hey by the way--check out my post on the "For sell" After Christmas I might want to get rid of some treasures at GREAT Price. Thanx

Hardy
December 8, 2010, 07:31 PM
I meant a 38 special case, not 357 mag. to hold 25 g of powder. And rule of thumb--Ha lucky to have one:) 5 more extra grains of pyrodex (30) and 10 more grains of J Shock (35) to get results in 44 calibers. (30) grains of real BP is all you need in a 44 Colt. But I have been told that American Pioneer is good at 30 grains in one, but have never used it. Probably same as J Shockey. But I could also tell ya'll how to make chili but you done figured it out:) I like the copper powder flasks w/ nozels:D

TomADC
December 8, 2010, 08:50 PM
I checked 38 spl, 357, 44 spl & 44 mag and then marked them on the side of the cases what they hold, until I get a powder measure/flask these will work just fine.

Gunn Smithy
July 17, 2012, 01:04 AM
I have two items that I'd like to make cartridge powder measures for. The first is a golf ball sized stainless mortar that really does not have a powder chamber, just a depression in the bore where fuse and bore meet. The manufacturer gave me a laundry scoop for the suggested "blank load". The next is a vertical three shot signal device again with no powder chambers, just bore which is 1 3/16" diameter by 3" long. Now I've heard a cheap and easy formula for blank charges in any size cannon is to take a cylinder of bore diameter and have it as long as the bore diameter. So in this case it would be a cylinder of 1 3/16" diameter by 1 3/16" long. In this short signal cannon that would end up being about one third of the barrel's bore (ie. one inch of powder in a 3" long bored barrel). The maker was giving me suggestions in number of tablespoons (heaping at that) and there is no consistency in using a heaping tablespoon to measure powder. After I figure out my load for the three shot number I thought of my case for measures for both. I'll take two 50 BMG cases that I've drilled and tapped the primer hole to say 1/4 X 20 and loctite the threaded end of a brass machine screw where it's not protruding into the case. After the loctite hardens I'll cut off the remaining portion of the screw and polish it flush with the bottom of the case. Then I'll measure the extractor groove and drill that diameter hole in each end of a flat piece of 7" long by 1/8" thick piece of brass. At the half way point of each hole I'd Dremel the end half of the brass off. That way the half a hole would slide into the extractor groove for me to solder together. It would sit flat and be able to service my three shot signal cannon and my golf ball sized mortar. Since I've made a mortar bed with steel reinforced brackets for both signal devices, I would then be able to chain the fusing together so that the three shots would individually go off in sequence to be followed by the big bang of the golf ball mortar. Great fun on the fourth I'd bet. Do you folks think that a cut 50 BMG case would hold the powder that I need for each of these? By the way, the laundry scoop is a small one, not a cup in size but more like the ones found in concentrated laundry soap. Smithy.

B.L.E.
July 17, 2012, 06:07 AM
I think morters typically used very small powder charges, the idea was to lob a bomb over the walls of a fortified position, not to blast a cannon ball to kingdom come.

bedbugbilly
July 17, 2012, 06:34 AM
If I'm remembering correctly, someone put a thread on here a year or so ago that gave the measurements that you could get from the various cartridge cases - it was quite an extensive list as I remember. i.e. not just a few common cartridges but included just about anything you might run across that you could utilize for a measure. I don't remember who posted the chart but it was in response to a question similar to the OP's. Anyone remember the post and possibly what the title was so the link could be posted on this thread?

wogpotter
July 17, 2012, 07:11 AM
Are you thinking of this one?

Case name / H2O capacity.

14 Hornet 12
.17 Hornet 14
.17 Rem 27
.204 Ruger 33
.22 Hornet 14
.22 K-Hornet 15
.218 Bee 18
.22 Rem Jet 18
.221 Rem 21
.222 Rem 27
.223 Rem 31
.222 Rem Mag 32
5.6x50R 34
.219 Zipper 34
.225 Win 41
.22-250 Rem 43
.220 Swift 48
.223 WSSM 53
.22-06 65
.22-15 Stevens 17
.22 Sav 35
6x47 33
6x52R Bret. 36
6x70R 39
.243 Win 54
6 Rem 55
.240 Wea Mag 65
6x62R 67
.236 USN 51
.240 Fl. N.E. 58
.25-20 WCF 19
.256 Win 22
.25-21 Stevens 25
.25-25 Stevens 29
.25-36 Marlin 37
.25-35 WCF 37
.25 Rem 42
.250 Sav 46
.257 Roberts 56
.25-06 Rem 66
.257 Wea Mag 84
6.5x70R 39
6.5 Jap. 48
6.5x52 Carcano 49
6.5x53R 49
6.5x54 M-S(.256) 50
.260 Rem 53
6.5x55 57
6.5x57(R) 58
6.5 Rem Mag 68
.264 Win Mag 82
.270 REN 16
.270 Win 68
.270 Wea 83
.28-30 Stevens 37
7-30 Waters 45
7x72R 54
7-08 Rem 56
7x57(R) Mauser 59
.284 Win 66
.280 Rem 67
7x65R 68
7 WSM 81
7 Rem Mag 84
.30 Carbine 21
.30-357 AeT 25
.30-30 45
.30 Rem 46
.303 Sav 48
.300 Sav 52
.307 Win 54
7.62 NATO 54
.308 Win 56
.30 Fl.NE Purdey 58
.30-40 U.S. 58
.30-06 U.S. 69
.300 H&H 86
.300 Win Mag 89
.30 Fl. H&H 90
.300 Wea Mag 99
.30-378 130
7.62x54R 64
.303 Brit 57
.375/303 W-R 62
.32-20 WCF 22
7.65 Mauser 58
8x72R 59
.32-40 Ballard 41
8x50R Lebel 66
8x57(R) Mauser 62
8-06 70
8 Rem Mag 98
.318 W-R 69
.333 Jeffery 86
.33 WCF 63
.338-06 70
.338 Win Mag 86
.340 Wea Mag 98
.338-378 132
.348 Win 75
9x57(R) Mauser 62
.357 Mag 27
.357 Max 34
.357/44 B&D 35
.400/350 Rigby 78
.350 ME Guide 2 49
.35 Rem 51
.356 Win 57
.358 Win 57
.35 WCF 69
.35 Whelen 71
.35 Greevy 72
.350 Rem Mag 73
.358 Norma Mag 88
9.3x57 Mauser 64
9.3x54R Finn. 65
9.3x72R 67
9.3x62 77
9.3x74R 82
.360 No.2 NE 111
.375 Win 49
.38-56 Win 62
.375 2½ N.E. 67
.375-06 73
.375 H&H 95
.375 Fl. Mag 97
.375 Ruger 100
.369 N.E. 102
.378 Wea Mag 136
.38-55 Ballard 52
.38-72 Win 74
.38-40 WCF 40
.400 Whelen 75
.405 Win 78
.400 Jeffery 117
.450/400 NE 3¼ 123
.416 Taylor 92
.416 Rem Mag 107
.416 Rigby 130
.416 Wea Mag 134
.423 OKH 77
.404 Jeffery 113
.44-40 WCF 40
.44 Spl 34
.44 Rem Mag 39
.444 Marlin 69
.45 Colt 42
.454 Casull 47
.45-70 U.S. 79
.450 Marlin 74
.45-90 2.4" 90
.458 Win Mag 94
.458 Lott 108
.450 3¼ N.E. 129
.460 Wea Mag 140
.465 N.E. 144
.470 N.E. 146
.475 3¼ N.E. 137
.50-110 109
.50 BMG 293

Remember though this is for actual black powder, substitutes have drasticaly diferent weight to volume relationships. You can use this for measuring VOLUME of substitutes though.

arcticap
July 17, 2012, 07:15 AM
Cartridge Grains
.22 LR = 5
.320 ACP = 7
.380 ACP = 10
9mm = 13.3
.40 S&W = 19.3
.38 Special = 23
.45 Auto = 26
.357 Mag = 27
.44 Spl = 34
.44 Rem Mag = 39
.45 Colt = 41.6

Wogpotter's list and B.L.E.'s link in post #10 above appear to be the same source:

http://kwk.us/cases.html

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4905870&postcount=8

Sure Shot Mc Gee
July 17, 2012, 09:03 AM
Seem to me using an empty cartridge case to measure out powder is no different than a pre-measured Brass Charger. The only difference between the two: a Brass Charger is period correct. A modern cartridge case used for that purpose needs a (name?) Lets call call it: a gen-u-ine generic, hybrid, watch-U-call it, _for openers. Y'all got something different in mind. What?

Mike Irwin
July 17, 2012, 09:12 AM
For years I used an empty .45-70 case to measure FFFg for my .50 Hawken.

It held right at 65-66 grains, which was perfect for a hunting load with round balls.

wogpotter
July 17, 2012, 11:34 AM
Y'all got something different in mind. What?

Yup, free measure.:D:D:eek:

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
July 17, 2012, 01:17 PM
I have a plastic "Lee" dipper set. Works good. When using a adjustable
measure I fill it up with my short can spout pour spout method.

http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o127/prizzel/PowerCanBig.gif

bedbugbilly
July 17, 2012, 06:35 PM
YEP Wogpotter . . . that there would be the chart I was a thinking' of! Thanks for posting it . . . and thanks for making me realize I wasn't getting daft! :eek: