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pnolans
January 23, 2013, 03:24 PM
In an earlier thread, it was mentioned that blackpowder was measured by volume. I am really confused, as a grain is a measure of weight. At least, what I've read.

What is the correct way to measure it , then?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Pat

Pahoo
January 23, 2013, 03:32 PM
as a grain is a measure of weight. At least, what I've read.
You are absolutely correct and yes, it can be confusing. What "they" have done, is make a close proximity "Field" conversion so it's handier to load. That will allow us to load without the use of a scale. ..... ;)

BP and replacement propellants, are very forgiving and not much is lost by being a few grains off either way. Where in smokless, being off a littls, can be dangerous. ...... :eek:


Be Safe !!!

DFrame
January 23, 2013, 03:34 PM
Most black powder is measured in the field volumetrically. The volume measures are marked, based on an average grain weight per that volume.
There are problems in using a scale to measure black powder at home. Not the least of which is the possibility of a static electric spark setting it off. Black powder is FAR more easily ignited than smokless powder

Jim Watson
January 23, 2013, 03:46 PM
There are problems in using a scale to measure black powder at home.

There ARE?
I don't think I have ever loaded a .38-55 or .40-65 for BPCR target shooting with a powder charge not prepared in the manner recommended by the Sharps Rifle Co, prior to 1881: "For fine shooting, powder should be weighed on a scale."

Logan5579
January 23, 2013, 03:57 PM
Yes, blackpowder is always measured by volume instead of by weight. pahoo is correct in saying the bp and the subs are very forgiving and volume measurments are really convenient in the field. If you want to get into the density of the subs versus real bp, and the real technical reasons for measuring by volume, there are guys on here that can explain in detail. If you really want to dig into it, google "ffg to fffg conversion" and you'll find some really detailed threads about volume to weight conversions.

wogpotter
January 23, 2013, 04:00 PM
Actual blackpowder is pretty much volume =weight.
However there are substitutes & so on that both have a different density, & some even need a slightly reduced charge to run safely.

Now if this was just a couple of percent, it'd be no big deal, but if you measure, for example 50 Gr by volume of real FFg, & then the same volume of Pyrodex, or Jim Shockey's the difference when weighed will be about 60%. Thats a significant change, even with the more forgiving black powder as opposed to modern propellants. Now add the suggested 15% reduction for triple-7 & combine them & you have the potential for a 56% overload!

Some kind of standard was needed & volume was what was chosen. I guess you could remove confusion by saying its the volume equivalent of a weighed FFg charge.

pnolans
January 23, 2013, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the clear and concise, yet still confusing information! :)

So, what tool , in the field, would I use to measure? At home, I've got a powder scale.

What I've noticed is that it seems like a LOT of powder for say, 80 grains.

I am NEW at this so please bear with me.

I am using a Lyman Deerstalker Percussion cap gun.. 295 grain Powerbelt bullets, Pyrodex RS powder and #11 caps.

I thought I would start with 80 grains, looking at the charts in Lymans blackpowder manual. I weighed that on my trusty Lyman digital scale.
I took that amount and put it into a brass powder measure from TC... that 80 grains on the sliding scale on the powder measure reads 115 "somethings".

It just seems to me that that's a LOT of darn powder.

So, again, thanks for all the help. Please don't stop! :D

Pat

Pahoo
January 23, 2013, 04:15 PM
There are problems in using a scale to measure black powder at home. Not the least of which is the possibility of a static electric spark setting it off. Black powder is FAR more easily ignited than smokless powder

Well, There is always the potential of getting into trouble on open powder but frankly, I have never had any or have first hand experience. I don't mean to speak for Mr. DFrame but what is being communicated here is that BP is not only more volital than smokeless but any BP replacent. Even at that, I have done some testing and it really does take a pretty good "dirty" spark to set BP off. You still have to keep in mind that of all powders BP is considered a Class-A explosive. I hope I'm 100% correct, on that one ?? :p

I know a guy that routinely smokes when he reloads and I try to schedule my visits around those times. ... ;)

Be Safe !!!

Doyle
January 23, 2013, 04:47 PM
So, what tool , in the field, would I use to measure? At home, I've got a powder scale.

1st. Don't try to use the scale to measure your powder. Like was said earlier, always measure black powder (and substitutes) by volumn. Get yourself one of those little clear measuring devices made just for black powder shooting. They kind of look like a fat medical syringe. Some are brass, some are clear plastic.

2nd. For field use (I assume you are talking about hunting), don't try and do any measuring in the field. Get a few plastic speed load containers (like this http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/18296 ). They hold one charge of powder, one bullet/sabot, and one primer. When I'm hunting, I carry the load that is in my gun plus 3 of the pre-made speed loads.

10851Man
January 23, 2013, 04:49 PM
I am measuring with a brass powder measure....Always have done it by volume...

pnolans
January 23, 2013, 04:53 PM
thanks very much. I appreciate all the help.

So far, using pellets has worked for me. But I want to use Pyrodex RS, and want to not use too much!

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
January 23, 2013, 05:13 PM
Been shooting Black Powder for over 50 years. Always weigh on a scale.

Hawg Haggen
January 23, 2013, 05:17 PM
Real black can be weighed. Subs must be measured by volume. Static electricity won't set bp off.

brazosdave
January 23, 2013, 05:52 PM
and ifn you make yur own b.p. unless you compress it and grind it down, it is fluffier than storebought, so you have to go by weight.

jspappap
January 23, 2013, 06:58 PM
WOW what a newbie can learn from these posts. Absolutely amazing. I'm not sure I understand all of it but its starting to become clearer to me. Thanks for the great info.

pnolans
January 23, 2013, 07:47 PM
jspapapp: it's great , isn't it? You get to learn by my confusion, and "crises", and then later on, we can help others as well.

B.L.E.
January 23, 2013, 08:12 PM
Real black powder can be weighed or measured volumetrically with a powder measure calibrated in grains.

It's the substitutes that must be measured volumetrically, because when they say "max load is xx grains", they don't mean it literally. They mean the amount of black powder substitute measured by a black powder measure set to xx grains. The weight amount will be considerably lower.

All the black powder substitutes are less dense than black powder so 100 grains by volume might only be 70 grains by weight more or less depending on exactly which sub you are using.

There's nothing wrong with using a scale to measure out precise amounts of subs as long as you remember they don't mean xx grains literally, in fact, BH 209 loads for cartidges are given by weight while the loads for muzzleloaders are listed by volume.

pnolans
January 23, 2013, 08:55 PM
So, if I've got this right, it's an EQUIVALENT volume compared to what real black powder would weigh. Not the same mass, but the same volume.

It takes some thinking, but I think I have it. By George, I've got it.
I think.

B.L.E.
January 23, 2013, 09:20 PM
So, if I've got this right, it's an EQUIVALENT volume compared to what real black powder would weigh. Not the same mass, but the same volume.



That's it!!!

And just to add to the confusion, the shotgun shooters often specify their powder charges by "ounces", again not literally. When they say "I shoot 1 1/4 ounce shot and 1 1/4 ounce of powder", what they mean is that they use a shot dipper set to measure 1 1/4 ounces of lead shot to measure their powder charge. A lot of them don't even know their powder charge in grains.
But then, the ml shotgun crowd has always been a little touched in the head

pnolans
January 23, 2013, 09:39 PM
But then, the ml shotgun crowd has always been a little touched in the head


Cool! Sounds like I belong over there! :)

kraigwy
January 23, 2013, 09:42 PM
I'm new to this Muzzle Loading also.

I went to Cabalas and got a bunch of those little plastic tubes with scales for "grains of BP". On my TC Omega I use right at 100 grs. but by volume.

I took one of those plastic tubes and filled it with BP to the 100 gr mark. Then I filled one with Pyrdex, the with Triple 7, all to the 100 grn mark.

Then I weighed them. It took different weights to make up the same volume.

BUT when I ran them through the crony, they all had about the same velocity and impacted about the same place on target.

Then when I tried loading by weight instead of volume, I got all kinds of variations.

(That wont work with smokeless powder).

Anyway I decided to stick with volume. I just pre-measure a bunch of load in those plastic tubes (mentioned above) and I'm all set.

But like I said, I'm new to ML, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Go see what your own experiments come up with.

Pahoo
January 23, 2013, 09:50 PM
Anyway I decided to stick with volume. I just pre-measure a bunch of load in those plastic tubes (mentioned above) and I'm all set.
You may be new to M/L's but already have proved to yourself, what most of us took a long time to learn. I started out as a BuckSkinner and none ever carried a scale in their possible's bag. ..... :rolleyes:

I'm excluding, loading of BP cartidges but everything else, I load by volume. . :)

Be Safe !!!

B.L.E.
January 23, 2013, 11:01 PM
I think some folk work up a load by increasing the charge in 5 grain increments until shooting the gun sets off car alarms in the parking lot and then back off 5 grains.:D

Hawg Haggen
January 23, 2013, 11:09 PM
Then I filled one with Pyrdex, the with Triple 7, all to the 100 grn mark.

Triple7 should be reduced by 15% because its hotter than real bp and the rest of the subs.

Logan5579
January 24, 2013, 08:59 AM
I think some folk work up a load by increasing the charge in 5 grain increments until shooting the gun sets off car alarms in the parking lot and then back off 5 grains

Hey thats my strategy! I see you heard my next to last shot...:p

10851Man
January 24, 2013, 10:04 AM
I like the Pedersoli brass adjustable measure. My Great Grandad told me to load up a rifle until it shredded the patch, then back down the charge until the recovered patch was intact.

On a pistol, Great Grandad said, "The cylinder won't hold more black powder than the gun can handle, so just fill it and shoot..."

I shot my 1858 Remington that way for 20 years with BP and never had an issue with excellent accuracy.

Pietta recommends 22 grains BP maximum on my new '62 Police, so I was thinking 15 grains of Triple 7 FFFg would be a good place to start....Thoughts????

Tom Matiska
January 24, 2013, 11:24 AM
I've understood that it is most critical to use volume when reloading cartridges with traditional BP? A 45-70 or 44-40 with less than 70 or 40 grains of volume in it means loose charge moving around..... static happens....

As far as basic ML, I just don't think it matters enough to justify carrying a scale into the woods.

pnolans
January 24, 2013, 01:51 PM
Sounds like that is reasonable. But as a new guy, I'm measuring stuff first at my reloading bench before I go out to the National Forest. Hence my question.

I've been out shooting my new ML rifles twice.

Thanks to all of the interesting suggestions here, I now have a firmer idea of how much to measure and how to do it. Also, how to store pre-measured powder for "the field".

I would not be likely to be carrying a scale in my pack in the woods. :)

armedandsafe
January 24, 2013, 06:00 PM
This is from my maternal grandfather. Now, mind you, I'm 72+++ years old, so this goes back to when BP arms were the common arm.

Hold you hand out, palm up. Don't force you hand "stiff-flat" and don't cup it. Just relaxed flat.

Place the ball in your palm. Carefully pour powder over the ball until it is just covered. Pick out the ball and pour the powder into your measure. Adjust your measure to just full. This is your standard load for that ball.

Now, to work up the maximum load for that gun:

Lay a white sheet out in front of you. Shoot a round. Inspect the sheet. Then increase the load by about 5 grains volume. Shoot that round. Inspect the sheet. Repeat this until you see unburned powder on the sheet. Decrease your load by 5 grains volume and call that your maximum load.

The hardest part of this task is getting that sheet past Grandma without her noticing how dirty it is. :eek:

Pops

B.L.E.
January 24, 2013, 07:19 PM
I let the target tell me what's the optimum load.

Hawg Haggen
January 24, 2013, 07:44 PM
There is a point of decreasing returns but just because you're getting unburned powder is no reason to decrease a charge.

10851Man
January 24, 2013, 07:49 PM
Accuracy will suffer at elevated velocities as well..FWIW

Hawg Haggen
January 24, 2013, 08:16 PM
Not necessarily. My 44 revolvers shoot well with 30-35 grains. A rifle has two sweet spots. My .54 likes 90 grains but then accuracy falls off til it gets to 120 grains.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com
January 24, 2013, 08:27 PM
You would really be surprise at the charges in rifles they shoot at Friendship.
I would tell you but you wouldn't believe me.

Hawg Haggen
January 24, 2013, 09:26 PM
Probably 25 or 30.

Rifleman1776
January 25, 2013, 09:54 AM
There are problems in using a scale to measure black powder at home. Not the least of which is the possibility of a static electric spark setting it off.

Completely incorrect. :eek:
BP can be weighed and often is. The standard measures do give an approximation of stated weights and are used for convenience.
Static sparks will not set off bp. Proven time and again in scientific controlled tests.

Pahoo
January 25, 2013, 11:48 AM
Static sparks will not set off bp. Proven time and again in scientific controlled tests.
True, as they are small and clean but a small dirty ignition, will. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

recon14
January 27, 2013, 12:13 PM
Shooting BP in my flinter is by volume. When loading into cartridges its by weight. Remeber that the amount of bang you get for a charge depends on what powder your using and it's grain size (FF vs FFF). My .50 loves 70 gr of FFF but to get the same POI using FF I need to up it to 80. The FF is larger grains and burns slower then the FFF. When using real BP a good place to start with a rifle is to use the volume equal to the caliber and go from there. I found my .25 flint shoots ok with 25 grains but great at 30. Take the time at the range to see what yours likes...that is half the fun.

sent from my S III using TapaTalk

ZVP
March 24, 2013, 09:11 PM
With my 2 remmies I tried several loads and found that each likes it very different.
My best and most accurate load is 35 gr in each revolver but where tou load it is the trick! My 5 1/2" likes filler to keep the ball within 33/8" of the forcing cone, My 8" dosen;t like qny filler and likes a deep set ball for accuracy.
They truely are different, every one of em!
I also tried a cartrige cylinder in the 8" and found it liked the Russian cartrige best for accuracy! Sure felt like a good shot too!
ZVP

Boomer58cal
March 25, 2013, 09:41 PM
yep. I've been using a brass adjustable measure for 27 years. I also found I can use a 20ga shell holder on my stock for my .58 and .62 cal speed loaders. Magnum rifle holders work great for my .32/.36's. Great for practicing rapid fire( rapid fire :D ). I will admit I've never needed one hunting though.