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Old June 22, 2010, 11:57 AM   #1
wogpotter
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Why did I buy a powder flask with a measure?

I got to thinking this process through & can't come up with a good answer

I shoot a 58 Remmy in .44 & my loading process is to take the measured charge from the metering spout in the flask, dump it into a brass "transfer case" (a .44 Mag shell casing) & then drop that into the chamber, top off with wad & ball then ram. I do this to avoid the possibility of an in-flask KABOOM!

Step & repeat 5 more times & then cap.

Isn't this redundant, as in if I just dumped powder into a different sized case (.357 mag for 29 Gr by volume) & put that into the chamber aren't I doing the same thing
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Old June 22, 2010, 12:12 PM   #2
arcticap
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Cartridge cases [and spouts] may not provide quite as much of an accurate and versatile option for making calibrated adjustments to the powder charge or filler if you ever decide to try another load.
The same applies if you ever try to work up a load for a conical bullet or using different powders
And if you ever buy another gun that has much more or less room in the chambers, then you won't need to hunt around for or to construct the right size of a fixed volume powder measure from a cartridge case.
A graduated powder measure may not be absolutely necessary to shoot black powder guns, but it doesn't hurt to use one or to at least have one on hand for experimentation or a contingency.
I use a plastic funnel when filling the chambers, not because I need to but because it helps me to not spill as much powder as I would otherwise.
So sometimes there's an actual benefit for using some luxury item.

Last edited by arcticap; June 23, 2010 at 08:10 AM.
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Old June 23, 2010, 06:53 AM   #3
madcratebuilder
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Like arcticap said a measure is not absolutely necessary but it really helps for working up loads. When you find the load your revolver likes then you can file the spout on the flask or the brass case to that size.

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Old June 23, 2010, 07:29 AM   #4
Rifleman1776
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It may seem like two steps when one will do but the reason is safety related. It is possible for lingering burning embers of black powder to remain in the cylinder (or rifle barrel) after shooting. From experience and observation, I know these can last more than five minutes. If you pour directly from the flask you run the risk of having a large quantity of black powder explode in your hand in front of your face. These were used in times of war for speed where strict safety considerations were not observed. Pouring into a measure from the flask then from the measure would only cause a heart-stopping flash off if an ember ignites the charge. BTW anything can be used as a measure if you know the size of the thing.
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Old June 23, 2010, 09:49 AM   #5
Smokin_Gun
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Quote:
I shoot a 58 Remmy in .44 & my loading process is to take the measured charge from the metering spout in the flask, dump it into a brass "transfer case" (a .44 Mag shell casing) & then drop that into the chamber, top off with wad & ball then ram. I do this to avoid the possibility of an in-flask KABOOM!
With revolvers
i use a flask and a 25 0r 30gr spout and pour the charge into the chambers using the flask and spout directly. If I'm working up a load or shootin' a rifle only then do I use a measurer.
you can use anycontainer to fill your chambers, accuracy depends on repeatability and the same charge in each chamber everytime ...the numbers are basically referance points.
That's how I see it anyway... :O)
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Old June 23, 2010, 11:34 AM   #6
Fingers McGee
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With revolvers, I load directly from the flask. Chances of having it go ka-boom are a lot less than winning the lottery.

With single shot rifles and pistols, I use a funnel topped powder measure like in MCBs post, or an elk antler tip drilled out to a preset amount.

FM
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Old June 24, 2010, 10:26 AM   #7
wogpotter
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Interesting set of answers
I'd worked up my load before trying this, so that is probably not a huge issue for me, but I do have the ability to come up with a "custom load" if I feel the urge as I can use the flask as a non-measuring type & I do have a measure with me.

Now I have to go blow up some teabags as well, will the torture never stop?
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Old June 24, 2010, 10:20 PM   #8
Model-P
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Why did I buy a powder flask with a measure?

Because it is cool and what was used for many decades.
If you really want to worry about having an accidental ignition, use paper cartridges and ram a new paper cartridge along with its ball directly onto the smoldering paper of the previous cartridge!
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Old June 25, 2010, 08:14 AM   #9
wogpotter
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Thanks, but I'll pass on that experience
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Old June 25, 2010, 08:40 AM   #10
Rifleman1776
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Fingers said: "With revolvers, I load directly from the flask. Chances of having it go ka-boom are a lot less than winning the lottery."

Fingers, I hope you keep your fingers. Even you acknowledge there is a chance of things going "ka-boom". Those embers can last. It is not a matter of statistics. It is a matter of bad things happening from carelessness. You are taking a terrible risk.
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Old June 25, 2010, 10:58 AM   #11
Fingers McGee
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There's also a chance I'll get hit by a meteorite chunk; but that doesn't mean I'm gonna wear a helmet when I go outside. Carelessness has absolutely nothing to do with it. Thank you for your concern rifleman; but it isn't necessary. By the time I get around to recharging the cylinders on my revolvers at a CAS match, any ember that might have been present - not saying that there have been one to begin with - would have long since gone out.

There's a BIG difference between hot residue left behind in a 1 1/2 inch chamber of a revolver and that which is left behind in a 10 inch barrel. Air exchange rate is much greater in a revolver chamber than a single shot barrel which ensures that any possible glowing embers go out rapidly
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Old June 25, 2010, 11:00 AM   #12
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Okay- now the debate begins. I have done a bit of reading on the topic and in historical diaries, etc you actually run across the occasional frontiersman who was injured pouring a charge down the barrel of a rifle- directly from the powder horn. BUT.... I can't recall the same with revolvers. What's more, I can't ever remember seeing any sort of measure in a cased set of percussion revolvers. Why? I have no clue. I THINK maybe on a rifle there is a lot more fouling in the bore- just run a clean cloth up and down. On the revolver- I can't remember looking into a chamber and finding all sorts of fouling- maybe the best bet is to pull off the cylinder and run a cloth swab in all the chambers to check for fouling.
ANYHOW, I started over 40 years ago on revolvers, always loading from a flask, everyone did, BUT at the same time always using a measure on a rifle.
SO...has anyone had or actually heard of a actual accident with percussion revolvers in loading from a flask?
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Old June 25, 2010, 02:10 PM   #13
wogpotter
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There was a report of an incident right on this forum, just a month or so back.
That was what got me thinking of not going from measured 'shot" from the flask to the chamber directly.
It might be rare-ish, but IMHO it only needs to happen once to be something I'd prefer to avoid.
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Old June 25, 2010, 05:01 PM   #14
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Do you remember any of the particulars on the accident? Such as powder-ball-lube or powder-wad-ball, or black powder or substitute, etc. If an accident is possible (that is, such has occurred) then it is worth the extra second to use a measure. If I go that route I think I'll still use the measured- measure on the flask and pour that into a bigger than needed measure so that I don't lose any of the powder, and then pour the charge from the bigger than needed measure into the chamber- probably possible to come up with some special design just for a percussion revolver.

And....do some flasks have a better cut off system than others? What I am getting at is I wonder if a cheap flask has more gaps, etc to cause the flask to explode if a flash of flame is present. Do the better flasks have a tighter fit, etc to help ward this off? Just wonder'n
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Old June 26, 2010, 12:43 AM   #15
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I think that accident with a flask being referred to involved a long rifle and not a revolver.
See post #16 in the following thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=flask
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Old June 26, 2010, 01:16 AM   #16
davem
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Thanks Arcticap on the old post. There was a good point raised, namely that years ago a cold gun was often loaded up, put in a holster and carried. Unless there was a gun fight- reloading a just-fired percussion revolver may not have been that common, so...just because there doesn't seem to be much noted about a flask blowing up doesn't mean it can't happen. Still, (and I realize we may have a small group following this thread- has anyone ever heard/read/etc of a flask blowing up while reloading a percussion revolver? If you look at a lot of the loading manuals from the 1960's and 1970's- reloading a percussion revolver directly from a flask seemed pretty common.
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Old June 26, 2010, 05:50 AM   #17
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My experience: in 35 years of shooting black powder I'm not aware of any incidents in which a revolver ignited a charge being loaded into a chamber, whether or not the charging was done directly from a flask. This includes any anecdotal experience. For comparison, I have witnessed one incident of charging a long rifle directly from a flask result in the flask being ignited, and I've read about a small number of similar events, all involving long rifles.

However, I do not take that experience to mean it cannot happen with a revolver. I believe it would be a very, very unusual incident, though I can't reasonably assign any comparative probability.

My own personal philosophy is to avoid any possibility of an inadvertent light off if I can do so, within reason. In this case it's a simple matter to always use a powder measure or speed loader to charge any black powder gun, long rifle, pistol or revolver. I think there's simply no reason not to. I would also not permit the practice on any range under my responsibility as a range safety officer (this is consistent with the NMLRA rules).

Having said that, I do not criticize Fingers (or anyone else who chooses differently on this issue). He's a very knowledgeable and respected practitioner. and there are a lot worse practices out there.
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Old June 26, 2010, 06:14 AM   #18
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I got myself into hot water....

.....over this topic some time ago because I told a new guy that I load directly from the flask to the chamber much as Fingers and Smokin gun do. My error was to failed to point out the obvious dangers involved when the weapon has been recently (Within the last five minutes) fired.

I do this but have adopted a process which I feel minimizes the risk to a level which I am willing to accept.

I am of the opinion that there are plenty of folks who won't load a revolver from a flask on the strength of the argument that it is dangerous (which it is)but who also smoke cigarettes, exceed the speed limit regularly, speed up to make a yellow light on yellow, fill their lawn mower from a gas can that holds more gas than is needed to fill the tank, or wash their revolvers in the kitchen sink while the missus isn't looking.

I hasten to admit that when I shot long arms, I never used a flask to load. Always a measure which I made from an empty casing dipped into the powder.

Tnx,
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Old June 26, 2010, 07:26 AM   #19
sebou
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Hello doc & all

I am using cap & ball revolver since 20 years and i have always loaded them with a flask. I want to tell you i am not practise in official meeting, but just to fire for my enjoy. And i have all my fingers yet !
My english is not very good, so i put there a video that should give you some answer to load your revolver as secure as possible. And you are true about this point of view : Security is the most important thing you have to do !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM4PEqUiBfc
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Old June 26, 2010, 08:03 AM   #20
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I long ago stopped beating myself up trying to convince those who are determined to use dangerous practices. I'll advise best I can and that's it. There are cases of revolvers and flasks blowing up from direct loading. Published in both American Rifleman and Muzzle Blasts, and maybe others. If you are in an ml competition and use that method you will be told to stop or leave. I don't particularly care if someone injures themselves after a warning. It is innocent bystanders I am concerned about.
I have seen just too much with the "It ain't blowed up yet" crowd. They can't be educated and don't want to be.
This is my last input on this issue. If you do injure yourself, I hope you go to my son's hospital. He is an emergency physician and loves the money you bring in.
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Old June 26, 2010, 11:28 AM   #21
Fingers McGee
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Rifleman. If you can cite me one documented case of a flask going off when loading a revolver where a burning ember in the chamber ignited the powder being poured in, I'll take it under advisement. Every thread that I have read on every forum that I monitor has never cited first person experience. To date, all the naysayers have only referenced third person anecdotes - my cousins neighbors stepson heard about one that went off at a range - or that some other unsafe activity, like pouring powder while smoking, or using combustible cartridges and not checking for embers - or that the event was in actuality from a long gun or single shot pistol. Those events prove nothing in regards to revolvers. BTW, I've been an NRA member for over 30 years and a NMLRA member for 20. Do not recall a revolver blowup article in that time.
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Old June 26, 2010, 01:30 PM   #22
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One would have to shoot purdy fast to or use paper carts to even concider an ember being close to being warm and still not enough to lite a poured charge from a flask spout in any revolver.
A Long gun is a differant story...one shot and a rapid reload. I load from a horn and measurer.
But a Rev flask w/ a flapper valve and spout is not dangerous to load from if one knows what they are doing.
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Old June 26, 2010, 03:06 PM   #23
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Single shots use round balls with cloth patching or shot with wads, bits of which could be left smoldering in the barrel. This is not the case with revolvers (unless using paper cartridges). A flask also generally has a cut-off valve unlike a basic powder horn. While it may be remotely possible for a flask to blow up, it seems very unlikely.
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Old June 26, 2010, 03:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
A flask also generally has a cut-off valve unlike a basic powder horn. While it may be remotely possible for a flask to blow up, it seems very unlikely.
If you think a spark can't make it past that valve you're wrong. It may be unlikely with a revolver but it is possible.
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Old June 26, 2010, 03:21 PM   #25
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We teach, never to load anything from a flask. However, personally, I often load my C&B's from a flask and have no seconds thoughts about it. I still load my other M/L's from a precision measure. I have witnessed accidents but fortunately, have never had one of these. Once wa ramrod go though a palm of a hand.


Be Safe !!!

Last edited by Pahoo; June 26, 2010 at 07:19 PM.
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