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Old February 27, 2008, 02:23 AM   #1
Drinking Beer
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Do blackpowder 44's have the same power as 44 Mag’s?

I have a question for you fellows.

I was considering on getting a Ruger 44mag but then I started reading about these old timer blackpowder 44's

I wanted a 44 for to hunt and protection in Montana wilderness.

I wanted to know, Can I get equal muzzle velocity or power out of a blackpowder 44 revolver as I could with a standard cartridges 44 Mag?

Lets say I have a 240-grain bullet at 700 fps with a ruger 44Mag; Can I expect to get the same standard power with an 1858 army blackpowder 44 revolver?

Or do blackpowder revolvers lack power over the modern gun cartridges?
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Old February 27, 2008, 04:04 AM   #2
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No. IMHO With a 30 gr. charge you'll be somewhere between a .38 spcl. and a .44 spcl. You can get closer with a Walker but they're heavy. If you want .44 mag power get a .44 mag.
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Old February 27, 2008, 04:36 AM   #3
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I agree with Hawg.

A .44 caliber load with 30gr. FFFG & a .457 144gr. ball will produce about 860fps. 236ft. lbs. out of an 8" barrel, which is slightly better than the standard .38 spl load of 158gr. LRN.

A 5.5" barrel with the same load will produce about 810fps. 209ft. lbs..

The Walker revolver with the same Ball but with a 55-60gr. load of FFFG was close to .357 magnum power & at the time was the most powerful revolver till the advent of the .357 magnum.
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Old February 27, 2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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I agree with the others, not even close. Bear in mind the differences between a roundball and a bullet. Roundballs are very light for their diameter and run out of steam quickly. They're deadly at relatively short range on human targets but not much good for anything above coyotes in the hunting fields. Most consider the roundball .45 caliber rifle (much higher velocity) to be bare minimum for big game hunting. I use a .54" ball at 1900fps if that tells you anything.

The .44Magnum on the other hand has effectively taken every head of big game available on the planet. Up to and including elephant. Heavier bullet weight, higher sectional density, higher velocity and downrange effectiveness are far superior to the cap 'n ball pistol.

I own several of each and enjoy them all but they do have their place.
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Old February 27, 2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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A quick check for 44 magnum cartridges found:

Federal American Eagle 240gr 1180fps 742ft lbs

Buffalo Bore 340gr 1478fps 1649ft lbs

Compare those to Raider's 147gr 860fps 236ft lbs

and it does not look like the BP w/44 ball is anywhere close.
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Old February 27, 2008, 07:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting the numbers Raider. I didn't have time to look them up before I went to work this morning.
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Old February 27, 2008, 10:35 PM   #7
CraigC
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Quote:
Compare those to Raider's 147gr 860fps 236ft lbs
Just swapping that roundball for a 250gr Keith bullet with no change in velocity makes a world of difference. Putting you very near Skeeter's famous load.
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Old March 3, 2008, 06:05 AM   #8
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Just for comparisons sake: If I shoot a 2 liter bottle full of water with 30gr BP and a .44 roundball, it punches a small hole through the bottle. If I shoot the same bottle with my .44 Mag, it rips open from top to bottom and flys up into the air.
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Old March 3, 2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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Not really.

Once upon a time, I was smitten by the biggest and meanest caliber revolvers too. Such as the .500 and the .460. But after a while, everybody becomes enlightened.

I prefer to be able to hit distant targets with a reasonable load than have a nice a** kicking recoil and not be able to hit anything at all.

If you want a .44 magnum, get a nice Ruger. They are built like a tank.

Somebody here said 30 grains of bp produces 860? fps with a roundball? Depends on what powder you use. Homemade bp with high saltpetre content produces about 1000 fps. H777 produces roughly 30 fps higher, and Pyrodex produces about the same as bp with high saltpetre content.

Goex produces remarkably low velocities because they were engineered to let SASS shooters not exceed the 1000 fps limit at matches. Likewise, the American Pioneer powder means the same thing.
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Old March 3, 2008, 10:59 AM   #10
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I go through a lot of Goex, and I've not heard that before.
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Old March 3, 2008, 11:21 AM   #11
mykeal
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Quote:
Goex produces remarkably low velocities because they were engineered to let SASS shooters not exceed the 1000 fps limit at matches.
That's just plain silly. Goex has been around a lot longer than SASS matches. I was shooting Goex in the 70's (that's 1970's), well before SASS was ever even a dream.
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Old March 4, 2008, 03:36 PM   #12
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BP Revolvers

never mind I missed one!!!

Last edited by ffrooster; March 4, 2008 at 03:38 PM. Reason: blind!
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Old March 4, 2008, 09:48 PM   #13
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I think I overheard the thing about the Goex when I was listening to a couple of guys conversations while riding on the Long Island Railroad. I was partly asleep at that time, but upon hearing the content of their conversation, it was like an electric shock went right through me.

Cuz it's kinda hard to run into people who like the same things as you and share your interests. Anyway I HAD to jump in, and we talked about a whole lot a' muzzleloaders along the trip. Everything from traditional Hawkens to the super duper in-lines. However, I wished I asked them more about Goex before we parted. Cuz thats where it got a little confusing.
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Old March 4, 2008, 10:26 PM   #14
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Most sporting powders ( Fg types ) aren't as hot as BP was in the 19th century. Our powders are now graphite glazed for safety and to lessen static risk, but they just aren't as good, unless your using Swiss, or Goex express. 19th century powder was more often than not, made with Willow or Alder charcoal.
I used GOEX for years without having any other powder to compare too. Turns out that GOEX uses some inferior wood for the charcoal ( probably maple or other dense hardwoods), when the very best powders use Willow or Alder.
I don't think GOEX has engineered the powder for CAS. I'd think that CAS shooters would prefer a much cleaner powder, like Swiss or Express.
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Old March 5, 2008, 08:34 AM   #15
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I've got to agree with jtaylor on 19'th century bp being hotter. I've had the opportunity to shoot some 19th century powder and it is most definitely stonger. Didn't have a chrono but I'd say it's about a 10 grain difference in power.
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