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Old March 28, 2011, 02:22 PM   #1
MikeKPP
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Black Powder Cartridges

I would like to shoot black powder Cartridges out of my Uberti 45 LC. I here stories that the black powder cartridge can blow your cyclinder up. Is this a safe bullet to shoot and also would it damage the gun.

Thank you
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Old March 28, 2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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A black powder cartridge is much, much, less likely to "blow up" a cylinder than an incorrect load of smokeless powder would.
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Old March 28, 2011, 02:53 PM   #3
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeKPP
and also would it damage the gun.
What damages the gun is if you don't clean it afterward!
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Old March 28, 2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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Also if you have an airspace between bullet and powder it will create undue pressure.
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Old March 28, 2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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The pressure spike experienced in Black Powder ignition is far less than that of smokeless. No one wants to say (including me) that it would be impossible to blow up your gun using Black Powder cartridges, but realistically the odds of causing damage due to over-pressure or a bad load are fraction of what smokeless loads are.

Are you rolling your own or using commercial ammo like Black Dawge?

45 Colt was originally a Black Powder cartridge. It is possible (but difficult) to actually cram 40gr of powder into a modern cartridge, but even the government cut that back to 30gr simply to make the guns easier to control back in the day.

I don't know what powder charge commercially available Black Powder 45 Colt cartridges are using, but I would guess it's probably the 30gr load or less. If you load your own, the sky is the limit regarding what bullet weight or load you use. From 20gr +filler and a round ball for Gallery Loads, to 40gr and a 235 RNFP for knocking down stampeding Buffalo.

One word of warning though: If you start shooting Black Powder cartridges out of your gun, you more than likely will become completely addicted and require years of re-hab to break the cycle. Personally, I believe that re-hab is for quitters.
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Old March 28, 2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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That is not true. The gun does get way dirtier though. But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets.
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Old March 28, 2011, 04:54 PM   #7
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But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets.
What?

Ain't nothing like stepping up to the line with a 7 1/2" single action in each hand, belching hellfire, smoke and lead! Plenty o' lube will make your shooting session much more enjoyable - I've got a tub of Snowcap lard I've been wondering what to do with, so I've been using about 30g BP, a Walters wad, a good dollop of lard, then a 250 grain cast RFN bullet to cap it off. So far, it seems to work well.
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Old March 28, 2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets.


Um...
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Old March 28, 2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets.
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Old March 28, 2011, 09:31 PM   #10
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"But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets."

Ah, what?
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Old March 28, 2011, 10:56 PM   #11
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I'd use 100% lead bullets in all my blackpowder cartridge guns (pistol calibers) if I could afford it, but I can only afford cheap lead alloy I can get from wheelweights.
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Old March 29, 2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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"That is not true. The gun does get way dirtier though. But it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets."

You do realize that pure lead bullets were EXTREMELY common in the early cartridge days, especially for those who reloaded their own ammunition?

Hardening elements like antimony didn't come into common usage until right around the time smokeless powder started to gain acceptance.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:31 PM   #13
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yes you can blow a gun up with black powder cartridges. what needs to happen is obstructionin the barrel or in the chamber. or you simply need to be careless and leave an airgap between bullet and powder.

air gap will also damage your standard muzzle loading handgun or rifle too.
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Old April 4, 2011, 02:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
45 Colt was originally a Black Powder cartridge. It is possible (but difficult) to actually cram 40gr of powder into a modern cartridge,
Well, tonight I was loading 38 grains of FFg into some W-W cartridge cases using a compression plug. The powder was being compressed about 3/16" even after a 24" drop tube. Then I got to remembering what I read about the possible danger of crushed granules increasing the burn rate. I got the powder out of one of those cases and sure enough there was a whole bunch of fines, so I went back to loading my usual 34-35 grains. I had loaded eight of those heavy charges, so I'll let you guys know how the gun fared after I shoot it.
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Old April 4, 2011, 06:39 AM   #15
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A bit of tin helps the casting (and helped in the day.) Lead:tin at 40:1 is close to old revolver bullets. Creedmoor target rifle bullets were as much as 16:1 even though tin does not harden much. W.W. Greener recommended type metal for express rifle bullets, or hardening with mercury.

Powder compression of as much as 3/8" is common in black powder rifle cartridges, with consistent velocity and good accuracy. No guns blown up from "fines" that I have seen.
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Old April 4, 2011, 09:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model-P
Well, tonight I was loading 38 grains of FFg into some W-W cartridge cases using a compression plug.
I've loaded quite a few 45 Colt cartridges with 40gr and a 235 RNFP. I do however use 3f powder instead of 2f as well as a Montana Precision compression die. I prefer the die over the plug because it's easier for me to adjust the compression depth.

Personally I don't see much purpose for loading 40gr other than to get an idea of what the original ammunition was like to fire. If I were to use it for a bear gun up in the mountains I'd consider it, but other than that I actually prefer loading "Gallery Loads". 20gr 3f, veggie wad, fill to the top with corn meal, compress to depth and seat a 150gr RNFP Big Lube. Wickedly accurate, little to no recoil and easier on the wallet powder wise.
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Old April 4, 2011, 01:07 PM   #17
Model-P
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Well, the plan was to go out and make some smoke today, but a sick son kept me home.

I guess I don't know the difference between a "compression plug" and a "compression die". Doesn't a die body become a "compression die" when you insert the "compression plug"? I have a Buffalo Arms Compression Plug in an RCBS expander body.
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Old April 4, 2011, 02:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
but it will only explode if your using cheap 100% lead bullets
hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!
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Old April 5, 2011, 10:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Model-P
I guess I don't know the difference between a "compression plug" and a "compression die". Doesn't a die body become a "compression die" when you insert the "compression plug"?
I too have a couple of those, they fit into the expander die. They do work, but for my purposes, (and it could have been operator error) I found the Montana Precision die to allow me to fine tune better. The biggest downside to using a compression die is that they are spendy. You can view on at MidwayUSA at this link.
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Old April 5, 2011, 01:26 PM   #20
Mike Irwin
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Compression die...

Compression plug...

Doesn't anyone just use an iron rod of appropriate diameter and a ball pein hammer anymore?
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Old April 5, 2011, 03:40 PM   #21
zcar75
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Will the cylinders chain fire if a wad or grease is not used at the end of the chamber when cartridges are used?
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Old April 5, 2011, 03:50 PM   #22
Hawg Haggen
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Will the cylinders chain fire if a wad or grease is not used at the end of the chamber when cartridges are used?
The conversation is about metallic cartridges. You're not likely to have a chain fire with paper cartridges out of a cap and ball but using no lube at all will bind your cylinder up so fast it'll make your head spin.
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Old April 5, 2011, 04:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcar75
Will the cylinders chain fire if a wad or grease is not used at the end of the chamber when cartridges are used?
Metallic Cartridges i.e. 45 Colt: Not much chance of it happening because of the cartridge itself seals and contains the powder. A chainfire via the front of the cylinder would only happen if the bullet got dislodged by recoil and by dislodged I mean way knocked loose. A chainfire from the back would mean that a primer didn't get seated all the way and didn't jam the gun when you rotated the cylinder. Both of these situations are highly preventable. I've never heard of a chainfire in a metallic cartridge revolver, but I lead a sheltered life, it probably has happened to someone somewhere.

Paper Cartridges: Likelyhood of a chainfire when loading paper cartridges is the same as when not. I shoot a LOT of 'em. Properly fitting caps and roundballs are your best insurance against a surprise. Don't count on grease, wads, cornmeal etc. to stop a chainfire.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I use cornmeal for filler and I use Crisco for lube. Both because they work and they're cheap. Besides, my wife hasn't missed either one yet.
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