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Old September 6, 2010, 01:00 AM   #1
Henry Van Porter
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Black Powder load Shotshells

Interested in locating 2-5/8" shotshells with black powder loads for Damascus barrel. If you know of existing supplier/manufacturer, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old September 6, 2010, 06:20 AM   #2
darkgael
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BP

The two companies that I know of that load BP shotshells are Black Dawg and Gad Custom Cartridges. There was Republic Metallic - made nice paper hulled shells - but they are gone.
Try this link:
http://www.gadcustomcartridges.com/#shotgun

Pete
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Old September 6, 2010, 09:01 AM   #3
Rifleman1776
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If you locate some, I suspect they would be expensive.
Why not load your own?
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Old September 6, 2010, 11:20 AM   #4
DG45
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Two members of the forum, darkgael and zippy 13 helped me a lot when I had a similar issue some time ago. I found their advice to be very valuable. The difference in your gun and mine is that my old gun didn't have a Damascus steel barrel.

Since you do have a Damascus steel barrel, if you haven't done this already, I recommend that you have your gun looked at by a competent gunsmith before investing any money in shells because while some Damascus barrels are safe to use with low power blackpowder loads and some can even be shot using "vintage" smokeless loads, other Damascus barrels are unsafe with ANY load and would be very dangerous for you to shoot. You need to be sure your gun is safe to shoot with whatever loads you're going to buy.

I wound up buying 100 primed Cheddite paper hulls from BPI and 10 unprimed brass hulls from Rocky Mountain Cartridge Company (RMC) and loading my own.
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Old September 6, 2010, 12:13 PM   #5
zippy13
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Greetings Harry, and welcome aboard...

All good advice -- with older guns, "Better safe than sorry" is always appropriate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DG45
I wound up buying 100 primed Cheddite paper hulls from BPI and 10 unprimed brass hulls from Rocky Mountain Cartridge Company (RMC) and loading my own.
How are they working out for you?
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Old September 6, 2010, 12:54 PM   #6
darkgael
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RMC

Quote:
brass hulls from Rocky Mountain Cartridge Company (RMC)
Brass hulls from Rocky Mt. Cartridge.....now those are the berries.
I use the ten that I have in my old Parker (fluid steel).
Pete
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Old September 6, 2010, 05:09 PM   #7
oneounceload
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IF the gun checks out OK, you might also be able to fire the low=pressure Vintager loads from folks like Polywad and RST. Several folks I know with Damascus guns use them successfully - BUT that's only after being thoroughly checked by someone who knows these guns
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Old September 6, 2010, 06:58 PM   #8
John L. Smith
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You guys seem to have a lot of experance with these old guns. What is the difference between Damascus steel and Laminated steel barrels? I have an old Eclipse SXS made in Belgium, I am guessing around 1900. One barrel shows some signs of pitting but doesn't appear that bad.

When I was a kid(50 yrs. ago) I shot the hell out of it with whatever type of 2 3/4 shells you bought off the shelf. I have tore it all apart and cleaned it. Would love to be able to shoot it again.
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Old September 6, 2010, 07:38 PM   #9
oneounceload
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Quote:
Damascus or twist-steel barrels are made by layering alternate strips of steel and iron then welding them together. The strips are then twisted until they resembled a screw, three of these wound strips are then welded together, wound around a steel mandrel, then welded and hammered into a barrel tube. Laminated steel barrels are a bit different. They start with a ball of steel and iron that is then hammered into long strips and twisted, then, like their Damascus cousin, wound around a mandrel, welded and hammered into a barrel tube. Inherently, these barrels are quite strong, and many best-quality Damascus barrels pass nitro proof. However, because of the iron content and welded manufacture, twist barrels have a propensity for rusting within the barrel material. Added to that is the fact that these guns were primarily used with non-corrosive priming, and are therefore potentially honeycombed with weak spots. While there are first-quality Damascus Parker and Purdey barrels that can be shot with modern ammunition, most if not all are not up to the task
http://www.briley.com/articles/grampas_shotgun.html
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Old September 9, 2010, 12:03 AM   #10
DG45
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Zippy13 asked how my Cheddite paper hulls and brass RMC hulls were working out. They're fine. All I'd hoped for. Thanks again to both you and darkgael.

After my brass hulls came in I didn't really need the paper hulls any more but they are fun to roll crimp with the old antique crimper I bought.I've fired a few of the pre-primed paper hulls and have loaded and shot all the brass shells about three times apiece now.

My biggest problem became buying shot in the small quantities I wanted. I finally found a dealer who was going out of business who gave me a deal on the remnants of several bags of shot. I've got lots of #7 1/2, and enough #4 and 00 buck to load a few shells. So far, I've only shot 7 1/2's but I'm going to make up a few 00 buck next time I reload.

I made a mistake and bought Triple Seven black powder substitute which is about 15% more powerful at the same volume as black powder. I should have bought Pyrodex or something that's more comparable to black powder at the same volume.

With the Triple Seven powder, I can't use the square loads I'd hoped to use, ie. I can't use a simple dipper set at one oz. to load one oz. of shot and then use that same one oz. setting to load a dipper of powder. It's not really a problem for me. I can do the math and use the correct amount of powder to get the same results, but I'd hoped to do everything as closely as possible to the way it was done by my grandfathers generation.

I also wanted to make up some "vintage" smokeless loads but wanted to buy only a 1 lb. can of Red Dot powder, and I had a heck of a time finding that around here, and the least quantity I could find on the internet was 25 lbs - with a hazard fee added for shipping. Needless to say, I let that pass. Finally I found a 1 lb. container of Red Dot at a gun show.
I got my pre-lubed fiber wads & overshot cards from BPI as you guys suggested.

All together, I was very pleased and really appreciated the help you guys offered. As is probably obvious, I like trying to do things the old way. My next project is to learn to make and mend fishing nets by hand like my granddad did, using a hand carved wooden shuttle (net needle).
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Old September 9, 2010, 12:35 AM   #11
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DG45,
Thanks for the heads-up. Glad you're happy with your hulls.

Sorry to hear about your component problems. I share in your frustration, especially in the non-availability of black powder. Around here you have to pay exorbitant prices at the LGS or order in significant quantities to distribute the hazmat fee.

What I understand, the storage requirements for BP are more restrictive than for BP substitutes, so LGSs naturally avoid BP in favor of larger stores of other powders. More than once, I've read posts where someone casually describes transporting way more BP than is allowed in a private car/truck.

Good luck with the nets. Watching the old fishermen work their nets, they make what's got to be complicated look easy.
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Old September 9, 2010, 07:52 AM   #12
darkgael
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Vintage

Quote:
I also wanted to make up some "vintage" smokeless loads but wanted to buy only a 1 lb. can of Red Dot powder,
My experience has led me to SR 7625 as a powder for "vintage" loads in old shotguns. The loads that I have been using operate at less than 6000 psi in Federal paper or plastic hulls, Win. AA hulls. Rem. hulls are between 6k-7k.
I have made the assumption the the straight walled RMC brass hulls are also low pressure, along the lines of the Federal hulls.
Pete
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