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Old May 21, 2008, 10:05 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Black powder cartridge guns / loads... who plays...

I have a couple of guns I'm thinking about loading up some black powder cartridges for... most noteworthy is an old Martini in 50-70 Gov...

1st off... anyone have / shoot 50-70 ??? I'm still shooting up the loaded ammo I got with the gun, when I bought it... I know he gave me the reciepe, but don't remember what he was using off the top of my head... but I'm thinking about reloading these with black powder, when the time comes... since this is an older / weaker gun, could I assume that 70 grains of black powder should be safe, then back it down to 60 - 65 grains just to have something to play with ??? any of those that own 50-70 reload with black powder ??? got any suggestions for loads ???

I also have a new Chinese lever action 12 ga. & thought about doing black powder loads in that, but am afraid of the complicated action & the detailed clean up required... anyone shoot black powder cartridges in a lever action, if so, is clean p as difficult as I'm imagining ??? I guess I'd hate to fully diassemble the tube magazine, etc every time, but wouldn't want rust forming on something I didn't take apart... this is my 50-70...

I'd like to see what you black powder cartridge members are shooting, & sugesstions for cleaning things like lever actions, etc...

bottom gun in this pic...



my 12 Ga.

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Old May 21, 2008, 10:09 AM   #2
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BTW... what would you guys think of loading a Blackhawk in 30 carbine with black powder ??? curious if ou think that headspacing on the case mouth would cause more problems loaded with black powder???
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Old May 21, 2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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The Martini will be safe with 70 grs. of bp but it's doubtful you'll get more than 65 in a solid head case without a compression die. If you do lighten the loads you have to use a filler over the powder like corn meal. BP must be compressed.

Cleaning bp is easier than cleaning for smokeless as long as you only use vegetable based lubes in the bore. Soapy water is all you need to clean with. No need to tear it down to clean it. Spray the action out with WD-40 to dispel water and then lube. Petroleum lubes are ok in a bp action just keep it out of the bore.

Loading the Ruger with bp won't be a problem. I wouldn't use jacketed bullets tho.

I shoot bp out of a Rossi 92 in 44-40, a pair of Uberti 73 Colt clones in 44-40, an original Win. 87, A Norinco Win. 97 and a variety of SXS shotguns. I had an original 45-70 trapdoor carbine but I traded it for a whole bunch of other stuff.
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Old May 21, 2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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The 30 carbine revolver loaded with black powder /// might be a problem finding bullets that will hold spg black powder lube in 30 cal enough to keep things smooth ..I can`t think of any off hand . ..a sub like 777 might work with moly lube bullets . Let us know if it works well.
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Old May 21, 2008, 01:28 PM   #5
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Bullets for the 32-20 could be resized.
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Old May 28, 2008, 07:34 PM   #6
W. C. Quantrill
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It appears that your Martini has been "customized"?

Rebarreled?

For sure .50-70? It appears to be an unknown quantity there. I load .50-70 for my buffalo gun. BP in cartridges works better if it is compressed. You need to do a couple things here. One, get some bullets. Since your rifle is bastardized, you dont know for sure what the bore is until you slug it. Get a dead soft fishing sinker, egg shaped, just bigger than the bore and drive it in the end of the barrel then push it through and let it drop out the chamber end on a towel. Mike it and see what your barrel measures. That is the only way to know if you are going to need .500, .505, .510, .512, or .515 bullets. That is going to determine whether you can use an off the shelf loading die or whether you will need to get custom expanders.

Fill a case level full of powder and then measure what you have. A case full should be right at 70 grains volume. Weigh it now. Now you have some reference point. I would back it back to 65 grains, add a .030 over powder card, and seat the bullet. Before seating, I would measure the bullet for how deep it will be seated, then use a compression die to seat the OP card to that depth then seat the bullet easy on top of it so as not to deform the bullet.

All you need for the .30-Carbine is some .308, 110 gr cast bullets. Obviously, there isnt any BP loading info for the .30-Carbine. I would use FFFg powder, dip the case level full then seat the bullet--compressing the powder.
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Old May 28, 2008, 11:09 PM   #7
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one additional thing to remember, do not forget to wash out your fired brass. bobn
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Old May 29, 2008, 06:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tips guys...

yes I have a "bastard child" Martini... but the builder is still around, & I got the custom made bullet molds along with the rifle, the dies, & a couple of 100 loaded rounds ( solid head cases )... was just thinking of loading black powder after I shoot up the originals I got with the rifle...

the 30 carbine Blackhawk, I was just thinking it might be "fun" to load as a black powder cartridge... ( they guy who built my Martini, also has offered me a cast bullet mold for 30 caliber, that might be suitable for black powder ??? )... my only concern on that gun, would be how long it would take to foul the cylinder to the point that the cartridges head spacing on the case mouth becomes a problem ??? maybe it wouldn't be any worse than a cartridge head spacing on the rim... I don't know... but thought the gun would be a natural as a black powder cartridge ???
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Old May 29, 2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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I shoot a Norinco copy of the Winchester 1897 pump shotgun with black powder and solid brass cases. It's not too bad to clean up, most of the fowling stays in the barrel. I only use paper wads in you cases though, plastic wads will melt and streak up the inside of the barrel. A real pain in the butt to get out. I tied a nail to a string, the string has a loop at one end. I cut a fair sized piece of cloth soaked in Windex (w/vinegar) and put that through the loop. Drop the nail down the barrel from the reciever end first. That way you can drag most of the fowling down the barrel and out the muzzle, you won't get so much in the action of the gun that way. Having the big loop in the string lets you replace the cloth a couple of times while you're cleaning the shotgun. It's pretty messy and stinky, so do it outside if possible.

If you use plastic shotgun shells, you'll only be able to use them once with black powder (usually). The plastic shells tend to melt and distort with black powder. If you can find paper shells, they work well. I use full brass cases from MagTech (available from MidwayUsa). Just use an overshot card, then glue it in with some waterproof glue or some "Fletchtight" that you use to glue feathers onto arrows.

All you need to remember when loading black powder cartridges is to fill the case up to the base of the bullet, regardless of how much powder. I put just enough powder that the bullet will just barely compress the powder (1/16" or so). Once you figgure how much powder fills the case properly for one case, then dump that onto you powder scale and set your powder measure for that much. Just add a little at a time until it looks right, then weigh it and set your powder measure.

It's best to use a good black powder lube with lead bullets. Don't use jacketed bullets, too much pressure! You can use a thin wad between the bullet and the powder to help keep the bullet lube from migrating into the powder. Don't worry about that too much unless you plan to store the loaded cartridges for any length of time.

The 30 carbine Ruger Blackhawk would be a hoot with black powder. Use 3Fg if you can get it for small cases like the 30 carbine. Just clean it up real well afterwards. I use Windex with Vinegar (NOT ammonia) then oil the barrel and cylinder well. You can also use some of the black powder cleaners that are available. Be sure to run a dry patch through the cylinder an barrel before you fire the pistol next time to remove any oil from the chamber.

Hope this helps you, I didn't mean to ramble......
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Old May 29, 2008, 07:55 AM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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Thanks DEZ...

BTW... anyone ever put a shotgun slug over black powder ???

my lever action 12 ga... seems to be having some hull length issues with the 2&3/4" shells ( some are just a tad too long to eject properly )... so the brass cases interest me... I'm also setting it up with fully adjustable peep sights ( actually the custom front bead will be fully adjustable, the rear will only be elevation adjustable, I've been shooting slugs in the gun right now, ( ... well before it went to "the shop" for the custom sights ) & I'm trying to find a slug that groups well in the gun... thought a black powder, brass cased slug would be interesting...
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:17 AM   #11
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I see no reason that you couldn't use a slug. I'm not into shotguns with slugs, so I don't know how long the slug is, or how much one would weigh. I figgure that you could start with 60 or 70 grains of 2Fg, maybe up to 80 grains. Put an over powder card, then a thick fiber card, then maybe another overpowder card, then the slug, then maybe a overshot card on top of that (glued in if you're not roll crimping). If you use solid brass, don't try to crimp them, just use glue or they will split. You could even coat the slug with a good black powder lube to keep the fowling soft.
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:26 AM   #12
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BTW. You may not have a case length issue, but a pressure issue. My Norinco 97 doesn't like "high brass" at all. It tends to jamb the action. I guess these Norinco copies are more like the originals that one would think. They're not intended for high pressure "express" loads. Black powder shouldn't cause you any problems, it's relatively low pressure.

If you use plastic hulls, you can trim them to 2.5" or so, and glue the overshot card into the case with fletching glue. You won't even need a press to load them. I load all mine by hand with a dowel and a block of wood! If you look around the 'net, you can sometimes run accross an antique "roll crimp" tool. It will just barely round over the mouth of the hull so that it will slide into the chamber nicely. I rounded over all my brass hulls, but only the first time. After that they hold a nice "rounded over" at the mouth of the hull.
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:37 AM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
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I was actually thinking ( prior to loading black powder & using brass cases ), about using the Aquilla mini shells... I could tell by how the action worked afterwards, that my last slug loads were perhaps a bit "hot" for the action... I know Midway offers a whole slew of different lengths, but all in shot shells... no slugs in less than 2&3/4" until you get down to the mini's...

I just got the shot gun last winter, so I'm still playing with it, figuring out what I want to do with it...
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:42 AM   #14
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I didn't know there was a difference, or that there were "shot shells" and "slug shells". Like I said, shotguns with slugs are not my cup of tea. I would think that if you load your own, that you could cut the plastic hulls down to whatever length you want, but use glue rather than a crimp to hold it all together.
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:50 AM   #15
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sorry... hulls are hulls ( as far as I know )... I was refering to buying factory loaded shells ( to start with )...

currently my loading bench is down for a remodel of that area of the house... I have done a fair amount of cartridge reloading, but, while I inherited a few shotgun loading presses, I've never used them ( yet )... I hope to get my bench set back up by this winter & have some time to play with that stuff more then...
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Old May 29, 2008, 09:11 AM   #16
Dezynco
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Ok, I gotcha....

The fun thing about shot shells (especially black powder) is that you don't need a press to load them. You'll need a measure for the powder, an appropriate sized dowel, and a punch to knock out the old primers, and some glue. Of course you need the wads too.

Here's a picture of some I loaded with nothing more that a piece of dowel. I have an old shotshell press, but this is fun too. These are loaded with 00 buckshot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0242.JPG (240.1 KB, 93 views)
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Old May 29, 2008, 09:33 AM   #17
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nice...
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Old May 29, 2008, 03:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
My Norinco 97 doesn't like "high brass" at all.
Mine has no problem with it. I even accidently fired a 00 buck 3 inch magnum out of it and the only problem was once fired the hull was almost too long to eject.
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Old May 29, 2008, 05:25 PM   #19
Dezynco
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I figgure that there's a certain amount of "slop" in the Norinco's, but I really enjoy mine anyway! It's so handy with that little short barrel. I installed sling swivels and a military style sling on mine, looks really good.

The only way to miss a clay pigeon is to let it get too far away!
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Old May 30, 2008, 11:17 AM   #20
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M-87 Lever

Wheel Man, Look at Marader's website for takedown instructions. Look at Coyote Cap's website for gunsmithing fixs.
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Old October 29, 2009, 05:33 AM   #21
willard-slug
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My shotgun BP experiences 1887 and 1893 ! Just shoot them !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0-RMWWVJtE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GY4AWN5LgE

What struck me was the accuracy of the slug !

Last weekend I shot clay pigeons with the 1887. 7 out 25....
I have to practice I guess ???





Question: I hammer on the blackpowder when loading, is this necessary ?

How do you solve 'space'problems in the shell....?
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Old October 30, 2009, 12:14 AM   #22
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Those were great!
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Old October 30, 2009, 02:01 PM   #23
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If you want to shoot blackpowder slugs out of that Norinco '87, I would suggest you get yourself a 3/4" hollow punch from Harbor Freight, a Lee Load-All press, a Lee .690" round ball mold, some cardboard, orange 1 1/8 oz trap wads, and of course, empty shells, blackpowder, and primers. The open cylinder choke barrel is needed for this, which is what the Chinnese guns normally have. Punch out a bunch of cardboard wads from cereal boxes or other decent sturdy carboard (nothing corrogated!). Load your shell as normal, using a 70-80 grain BP charge, put a cardboard wad on top of the charge (this helps keep the plastic wad from leaving fouling crud in the barrel), put a .690" round ball (made of soft lead, of course) inside the shot cup, and put it all together and crimp it up as a normal shotshell. You'd be surprised how accurate (and devestating to the target) those big punkin balls are!
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Old October 30, 2009, 07:16 PM   #24
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Quote:
I would suggest you get yourself a 3/4" hollow punch from Harbor Freight,
Track Of The Wolf sells cardboard over-powder and cardboard nitro cards for something like $7.50 per 1000, what you would probably pay for that punch.

You can calculate the weight of a roundball in grains by cubing its diameter in inches and then multiplying the answer by 1503.

A .690 round ball weighs .69 X .69 X .69 X 1503 = 494 grains
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Old October 30, 2009, 08:00 PM   #25
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50-70

Lots of good info in this thread.
I load 50-70s also. I load BP shotshells also - both with shot (used them this morning) and with slugs (used them this afternoon.). I have a Martini in 577-450 and in .310 cadet.
Two ideas which have not been mentioned about the 50-70 and BP: If you ever follow BP cartridge rifle competition you'll notice that virtually all the competitors use more than a cardboard wad between the bullet and the powder. They use some form of "grease cookie" - two thin fiber wads with beeswax between - to reduce and to soften fouling. Just an added idea.
The other idea is that you can form cases for the 50-70 from .348 Win brass.
Shotshells - factory loaded BP shells are available from Black Dawg and from Republic Cartridge Co. The Republic cases are paper. Very nice. The Black Dawg cases are plastic.
I use paper cases, brass cases, and zinc cases. The last were made by Alcan. Brass cases: I have a box of cases made by BELL that are easily 25 years old and still going strong. Magtech cases are as good. The one "need to know" thing about those cases is that, because they are thinner-walled than "normal" hulls, they are larger than 12ga. inside. Regular 12 gauge components are too small. You need to buy 11 gauge wads, etc. for best performance (available from Circle Fly and from BPI). I have another set of hulls made by Rocky Mt. Cartridge Co. I use them for hunting with some old doubles - they can be used with either smokeless or BP. The RMC cases are lathe turned (the others are drawn brass) and are true to gauge so normal 12 gauge components will work. They are primed with #209 SG primers (the others use large pistol primers). They are also pricey. I have only ten of them - all I could afford at the time - $6 each in 2007.
Slugs - 0.690" round balls work, so do 0.715" RBs. I load .715s over 2 3/4 drams of FFg BP -about 75 grains. Nitro card, a 1/2" fiber wad, a 1/4" fiber wad and then an overshot wad. I roll crimp when I can.
Pic of an Alcan hull:
[IMG][/IMG]

And left to right: an RMC lathe-turned hull, Magtech, Alcan zinc, Bell loaded with a slight crimp.
Note that the RMC hull is longer than the others (2 5/8ths inches).
[IMG][/IMG]

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Last edited by darkgael; October 31, 2009 at 05:32 AM.
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