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Old December 23, 2005, 08:45 AM   #1
Old Dragoon
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Powder: Weight VS Volume

There was a discussion some time back about the weight of powder VS the Volume(BP powder measures).
I was loading some Unique Smokeless this last evening so I can shoot my "58's inside and not cause any problems.

This is what I discovered.
I zeroed my scales and weighed 4.5 Grains of Unique. Wanting to load several cartridges, I wanted an easy way to measure(volume) to load with. I used my BP measure, opened it all the way to catch all the powder, and then closed it with a 44 Colt case flat on top to find the exact volume of that load. Well it turns out that 4.5 Weighed Grains of Unique actually fill the measure to 10Grns volumetric measure in my BP measure. I have not weighed ten grains(Volume) of BP to see what that actually weighs. I was amazed that the difference was over 2 to 1.

WEIGHED MEASURE AND VOLUME MEASURE IS NOT THE SAME MEASURE!

So my advice is; be very careful if you weigh BP instead of using a volume measure, you can overload without realizing it. BP has always been measured by Volume. I will continue to measure my BP by Volume
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Old December 23, 2005, 10:37 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Nonsense. All you have done is demonstrate that smokeless is less dense than black. Ten grains of black is not a .44 Colt load. Simple volume measure is good enough for cowboy and the few muzzle loading hunters still using loose powder but we BPCR target shooters mostly weigh every load, just like the Sharps Rifle Co said to. The few who load by volume use benchrest grade measures... set by scale, just as with nitro.
It is mighty hard to overload with black, especially in a breechloader, anyhow. I load .38-55 with 48 grains weight of Goex which comes to within 1/8" of the casemouth and compress it to seat the bullet.
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Old December 23, 2005, 10:52 AM   #3
Remington kid
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Old Dragoon, It seems to me that your BP measurer is set to measure BP ,Like Goex or maybe Swiss. The granulation from BP to smokeless I'm sure is different and may take more or less to fill the BP measurer.
If you used a smokless powder measurer on BP you would see a difference also.
One of the reasons I don't believe that people are getting a true measure useing there BP measurer on the "fake " powder IE- 777, Pyrodex and Clear shot and so on.
I'm not saying my thinking is true, it's just my thoughts on the subject.
A ton of coal and a ton of feathers weigh the same but you can't get a ton of feathers in a coal measurer that's set for one ton of coal
Just another good reson be careful with all the new so called powder on the market today.
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Old December 23, 2005, 11:34 AM   #4
Old Dragoon
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That was my point.
The granulations are different. So the volumns will be different also.

I weighed my 30 Grain volumn measure of Elephant 2FG and it did weigh in at 27.5 grns. on the scale. Less than the 30 on the powder measure.

I'm know a grain of smokeless and a grain of BP is exactly the same weight. NOT the same volumn.

I also weighed BP to shoot single shot BP rifles.
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Old December 23, 2005, 11:38 AM   #5
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I generally check my black powder scoop/measures by the scale using 3f g and have found the close to expectations within a couple of tenths grain. Of course the same measure full of a substitute weighs less.

Hodgdons has discouraged using conversion tables such as " the same volume as 30 grains black powder weighs X grains with pyrodex et al. They say the weights of the substitutes may be different from one lot to the next. Then, at some point in time, they went ahead and published a conversion table. Go figure.
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Old December 23, 2005, 12:39 PM   #6
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Old Dragoon, There was no doubt in my mind that you knew what was going on . You just got my mind to thinking back to my reloading day's and how carefully I would weigh everything. With the real BP a few grains here or there would not mean much to most of us but I still try to keep my loads the same by volume. I need all the help I can get when trying to be a consistent shot like you and Mec. Someday when I get old like you two I may be able to hit the target too, even with the phony BP!
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Old December 23, 2005, 04:11 PM   #7
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Old as Us??? You're not THAT far behind my friend. LOL

I will check my measure against the scale. I too want a consistant load. I don't really care wether my load is 30 grns or 27.5 grns the way this load shoots I'm not about to mess with it. I will check my measure Mec's way and see how close it is. Is just one I bought at the gunshop. Not with the funnel on it. I need one of those. I think this was a Traditions or CVA and cheap. Measures up to 50 grains,The dia of a 38 shell. or so.

I have a good size order to send to dixie Monday so I think I'll buy a good measure. like your's RK.

Last edited by Old Dragoon; December 23, 2005 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Egads! my spelling is atrocious today.....
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Old December 23, 2005, 05:05 PM   #8
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Im not even sure what kind my measurer is. It has the funnel on top that swivels out of the way to load the charge and then when you slide it back it levels off the powder the same each time.
I think there is a picture of it in the post I made a while back about loading .44g in the Remington. Anyway , I really like it and it's universal for my hand gun's or long smoke poles.
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Old December 24, 2005, 02:47 AM   #9
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This is a toughie to get anybody to see.

1st, does anybody here have a can of Goex? If you do, does it look like a pint of turpentine, for size?

2nd, does anybody here have a pound of 2400 or Unique? If you do, does it look like a quart of Similac? 4 inch round can, about 10 inches high?

First indicator that those smokelesses powders are less dense than BP.

SO, if you fill a BP "measurer" to 40 grs to fill your Rem, or go to smokeless, for your Cowboy shooting, 6 or 7 grs of whatever, and use a VOLUME measure, you're gonna blow a gun up.

UNLESS you use something like the LEE dippers, that come in many damned sizes. Mebbe even in the size you need.

Again, why nobody will even CONSIDER weighing a charge of BP, I have no idea. "Well, they never did that, why should I?"

I guarantee ole Sam Colt did NOT grab a big dipper and just dump powder and say clean bil of health for this load.He WEIGHED his loads, and said this is the load we reccommend. And if you exceed that, your warranty is gone.

Everything BP is measured by 100 grs per 100 grs by VOLUME of BP, and only BP. Only real BP wieghs 100 grs per 100 grs volume in a measure. A given.

Subs, lighter, fluffier, fill a 100 gr BP VOLUME measure, you're OK, unless you are using 777, then you should reduce VOLUME by 15 %, not weight, it weighs less, also, but by VOLUME, reduced 15%, shoots about the same.

1, 5, 10 , 100, 1000 grs of Goex BP is what you weigh against.

BUT, nobody will even consider weighing their "measurer" to see if that tube within a tube is anywheres near the weight it indicates for the "real" stuff, BP.

Go figure.

Cheers,

George

Merry Christmas to you all!!!
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Old December 24, 2005, 09:52 AM   #10
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Thanks MEC,
I weighed 30 grains of 3FG and tamped down at the 30 grain mark it weighed out 30 grains. I then went back and did the 2FG, tamped down it was closer but not dead on. I don't care really that 30 grn mark filled with 2FG shoots great in my 44 Colt cases...that is all I really care about. I just wanted to confirm, by weight what the load was.
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Old December 24, 2005, 09:55 AM   #11
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NO WAY IN H_E_ DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS would I ever measure smokeless in a BP volume measure. However I did weight the Unique..then screwed up the measurer to fit that amount of powder to use to load my cases. I think we're all on the same page.
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Old December 24, 2005, 10:23 AM   #12
mec
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The little lee-loader kits have scoops for powder measures. This works fine for standard to light charges but isn't as precise as throwing from a real powder measure. A variation of +/_ .2 to .4 grains may not make a significant difference with carefully chosen powders.
Probably helps not to own a machine rest or chronograph if you do it though.
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Old December 24, 2005, 04:16 PM   #13
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Funny you should mention Lee Dippers..I just stumbled onto a whole set on GB and bought them for $5.00 and they came today.....Co Inky Dink..I think Not. Also have a powder trickler on the way. I need a case tumbler and I'm setup completely to load the 44 Rem.

Shot the 4.5 Unique today and it did pretty well..Better than I can hold. The 4.75 did a bit better. Shot 50 rounds, 25 each . Not near as much unburnt powder in either. I need more shots to be able to hold it better but it appears that it is shooting these point of aim at 15 yds or more accurately 25 yds as it is a bit high. But neither matches the BP load in the same cartridge or the BP load in the BP cylinder.
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Old December 26, 2005, 12:29 AM   #14
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Old dragoon,

Yeah, I think we're on the same page, now. That's what I been tryin' to say all along.

You want to shoot 35 gr, set your measure to that and weigh it. If it is, what kind is it? I wanna buy the same model.

If it isn't, weigh 35 grs and adjust your measure to hold that and scratch a mark on the stem. That would be 35 grs of Genuine BP, by weight and by volume, and 35 grs equivalent volume of the subs. Pyrodex is 20 % lighter, so your 35 gr volume would weigh 28 grs or thereabouts.

Weigh then measure, or measure then weigh. Hard to blow up one of these with a chamber stuffed full, but I think accuracy would be best if you know what you are using and can load the same charge consistently.

My own measure set at 20 grs (the minimum setting) throws Goex as 27+ grs by weight. Since BP is the standard, it is 27 + grs volume. Not acceptable, need a new one.

Cheers,

George
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Old December 26, 2005, 08:19 AM   #15
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? for Mec or any of you guy's who have shot or those of you who are shooting Goex or Swiss BP and powder's like 777 or Pyrodex P. Have you found that accuracy is greatly affected from one powder to another?
I'm shooting .40g of Goex fff for hunting in my Remington .44, if I switched to 777 or Pyrodex P would 35g give me a good equivalent of my Goex load of 40g?
Was there any serious withdrawl symtems when you switched to phony powder and lost the sulfer smell and the large black cloud hanging over your head?
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Old December 26, 2005, 09:34 AM   #16
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If I were to pick up a revolver that somebody else loaded and shoot it, I would not be aware what powder was in the chamber unless the smoke enveloped me and I noticed the sulphur. Then I would know it was black. Otherwise, the sumptuous, carnal sensation is the same.

You would need a chronograph to know for sure if you had arrived a equivalency with 35 grains of pyrodex p as opposed to goex.Everybody's guns loading procedure and atmospheric conditions are different that somebody elses and I would be surprised if they got the exact results I do. What I've seen with revolvers and single shot pistols is Goex loads slower thany pyrodex p and pyrodex P and swiss playing musical chairs as to which one gets the highest velocities. I haven't shot Elephant or other black powders but have heard that they were usually slower than goex. I did clock some 60+ year old Dupont ffg against goex ffg and found the goex to be about 60 fps faster but with the same level of shot to shot consistency.

One or two of the guns I've shot- small capacity pocket models in 31&36 actually got higher velocity with goex than with Pyrodex P. I suspect everybody's list of black powder loads/velocities should be labled " results may vary."

Accuracy: No real difference unless you let black powder fouling build up too much in the barrel. I found with my Uberti Remington that bench groups weren't optimum unless I swabbed the barrel between every six shots. This was when it was new and I suspect that the bore is slicker now as foulding wipes out with one or two passes with black or substitute. My single shot pistols eat h777/pyrodex p and black with equal accuracy. Usually, black powder is likely to produce lower extreme spreads in velocity than the substitutes but sometimes not.
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Old December 26, 2005, 09:57 AM   #17
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Thanks Mec, My Goex supplier and black powder shop will be closing his doors soon ( If he hasn't already) due to age and health and he is the closest one to me even at 55 miles so I may have to switch to the evil stuff.
I was hoping that someone would buy him out but he can't transfer license here in WV and they won't issue a new one for his location. When he opened the shop many years ago it was in a great location but they built a school about 500' from him and the law say's it has to be at least 2000 from a school.
It's kind of strange that the school could open near him but no one else can have a gun shop that close to the school.
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Old December 26, 2005, 10:57 AM   #18
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they grandfathered him and the grandfather died. Schools seem to be the most efficient way of extracting money from the tax payers so, now that the supreme court has ruled in favor of taking property away from people and giving it to developers, I expect to see one on every corner. (I know-many errors of law and logic in this post. Just entertaining myself with sarcasm.}

I manage to have a lot of fun with Pyrodex P. I clean the guns just like with black powder so, don't really know it it's more corrosive or not. Fouling build up is a bit slower but you still need to do a little field cleaning every now and then. I believe it does smell a little like real black powder and is close enough in performance that your point of impact won't shift. It will compress more than black so you can get a little more in the chambers-not really an important consideration to me.

On weekend trips, I have simply wiped the revolvers down with oil and run an oily patch into the bore and chambers. Haven't had any rust as a result of two to three days delay in thorough cleaning. As a rule though, I clean the guns with soap mixture and hot water the same day.
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Old December 26, 2005, 12:58 PM   #19
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Mec, Sounds about like the way I clean mine. If I fire one cylinder full I just do a good wipe down and clean up with a little oil and lube. The barrel I will run a couple of spit patches through it and then a dry patch and a lube patch and then a clean patch. Over doing it on the bore I know but that's the heart of the gun and what it's all about.
If I fire two cylinders I will field strip and clean it and if I fire several I will tear it down to bare bones and clean it right proper Two or three times a year I will pull and inspect the nipples, clean up with real light 0000 steel wool, place lock ease on the threads and replace.
Also inspect the barrel for nicks and the mouth of the cylinders too.
Hope Walmart or one of the other stores carried Pyrodex "P" around here. I know I can get the 777 but the price for it is out of sight around this area!
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Old December 27, 2005, 03:05 AM   #20
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Bud, I don't know how far Central WVA is, but in a little shop near Butler PA, you can buy GOEX for 12.95, + tax.

They sell it now, but if they can't sell enough of it to pay the license fee, mebbe they will quit selling it, too. I ran into it by accident, goin' out with my kid, Hey, stop, mebbe they can sell me what I need, and they could not but they did have GOEX. So, bought a can. Have to go back to the kid's house and go the same way and buy more, as they have built a house down near me.

Have to travel for only the powder buy after they move.

Ah, well, only 35 miles.
I'll see if my kid can give me the directions and send it to you. Probably 60 , 70, 80 miles for you, but if you still want BP, it's there.

Cheers,

George

Edit: I read that Pyrodex makes more fouling than BP. Dunno I'd use that. 777, minimum fouling, not much smoke, not much smell, App, not much fouling, LOTSA smoke, STINKS. Shoot this can up, won't buy another, unless that is all that's available.
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Old December 27, 2005, 07:54 AM   #21
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George, Thanks but it's about 200 miles for me just to get to Wheeling and another 30 or so to hit the southern Penn line. We have some a little closer and the new Cabelas is in Wheeling. Can't get Goex or Swiss there but they have the Pyrodex "P".
I'm sure I'll find a place within 50 miles by doingb a little more checking.
When I was a kid my Dad and my brothers and I built a Cabin in Brookville Pa.
Beautiful spot with good Deer and Turkey hunting and lot's of Bear but they were hard to hunt with a 2 day season back then. Really good trout fishing for native Brookies and a few rainbows in the stream next to us.
There was several places in Brookville that carried all the powder you needed back then. That's back when we had wooden ships and steel men
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Old December 27, 2005, 08:56 AM   #22
mec
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Clarksville Arkansas. I know it's a long way from everybody. I visited there with Don Eichenberger of Clarksville Rod and Gun last spring and bought a few cans of Swiss. A few months ago, I shot off an order for 25 pounds of goex and a 4fg priming powder. The whole thing cost me about $250 which is kind of minimum because they they only deal in 25 pound and over orders. The Hazmat fee was like nothing with that size order.

Don, and I think one other place there in Clarksville have a powder magazine constructed according to the specifications of the masters who make the rules for the wisemen and the fools and which seems to be the main stumbling block for wide distribution of black powder. Other stores that sell it frequently order it in in maximum lots of 5 pounds. The orders are usually scooped up by lurking CAS shooters as soon as they hit the door. there is an internet store Graf's I believe that will send you as little as five pounds per order.

Don can be located by internet search-phone or web site, I believe. I've mislaid his card.
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Old December 27, 2005, 09:04 AM   #23
Old Dragoon
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Is this the place MEC?

Clarksville Gun & Rod
803 1/2 Vine Street
Clarksville, Arkansas 72830
(479) 754-8358

Found it with a Google Search for Black Powder Clarksville Arkansas.
Maybe some could get together to buy 25 lbs shipped to a central point.

I'd sure hate to see BP(the Holy Black) not being available anymore.

Makes my cans of Elephant more valuable every day. OK so I stole them for $10.00 for 15 1 lb. cans
low these few years ago.
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Old December 27, 2005, 09:18 AM   #24
Remington kid
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There is a place in Lodi Ohio that's called the Log Cabin Gun Shop and they carry black also and there specilty is nothing but muzzle loaders. It's about 350 miles for me.
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Old December 27, 2005, 09:24 AM   #25
Old Dragoon
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Glad to see that the Log Cabin is still in business, must be the grand kids running it now. I visited there way back in the 70's also visited H&B Forge in North east central Ohio many years ago.
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