The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 5, 2010, 08:12 PM   #1
McPhee
Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2010
Location: Cortez, CO
Posts: 33
Measuring powder with empty brass cases?

Anyone ever use empty brass cases such as a .38, .32,.357, etc. to measure black powder or equivalent products?
McPhee is offline  
Old December 5, 2010, 08:13 PM   #2
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,230
Yep, Been doing it that way for over 40 years. Twist or solder a stiff piece of
wire on for a handle. Like old coat hanger wire.
kwhi43@kc.rr.com is offline  
Old December 5, 2010, 08:23 PM   #3
McPhee
Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2010
Location: Cortez, CO
Posts: 33
More info

Actually I should have added to the question...

Does anyone know how many grains each caliber case would hold? I am interested in a 38 or 357 in particular.

Thanks
McPhee is offline  
Old December 5, 2010, 08:45 PM   #4
the rifleer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2008
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 1,260
I would measure it to be sure, but the .38 case I use holds almost exactly 30 grains. this is perfect for my Ruger Old Army.
__________________
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.
the rifleer is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 08:42 AM   #5
Howard31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2009
Location: Hudson Valley,NY
Posts: 207
Case Volumn

A couple
2F 3F
38 sp 25 25.5
357 27.5 28
45acp 27.2 27.8
44mag 38.5 40
45lc 44 46

I think I got these from DGW. Hope it helps


"I said I had no use for one,I never said I didn't know how to use one "Matt Quigley
Howard31 is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 09:08 AM   #6
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,379
The Dixie Gun Works catalog has a chart of case capacity so you can use various pieces of brass to make black powder measures.
You can also trim the brass for fine adjustment.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old December 6, 2010, 10:00 AM   #7
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Better to weigh it. Or simply pour into the case then pour that into an adjustable measure designed for black powder.
I have made many measures from wood, antler, cartridge cases, copper tubing and other stuff. This method is quite accurate. Just pour carefully and do not 'settle' the powder before pouring.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 10:34 AM   #8
Fiv3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2010
Posts: 273
I bring a handful of .38 special casings every time I shoot BP. It's a great quick 'n' dirty way of getting a fairly close consistency in performance.

I also have a couple scoops made out of a .357 and some tie wire. However, if the wind allows it, I like to use six .38 casings. I fill all of them up to the level. Then I load each cylinder with a charge. I do this so that I don't lose count or double load. I know it sounds stupid, but I have been bringing novice shooters with me to the range the last couple of times. They usually wait until I have my hands full to ask a question By loading each chamber with a single case, I know when I have gotten all of them charged, and it allows me to visually inspect each one to make sure the powder is seating in there correctly with the wad over it.

But when I don't feel like going through all that, I just use the .357 scoop and get "close enough"
Fiv3 is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 05:40 PM   #9
zippy13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2008
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,416
I've taken a slightly different approach, I use larger cases, like .45 LC and .454 Cas, and trim them down to form a pouring spout. I have a series of them with each stamped showing it's capacity.

zippy13 is offline  
Old December 6, 2010, 10:54 PM   #10
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,008
Black powder happens to have approximately the same density as water and cartridge case capacity is often given in grains of water.
For example, the .357 magnum case holds 27 grains of water and according to Howard31, measures 27.5 FFg and 28 FFFg black powder.

Want 45 grains? pick up a .30-30 case and use it for a measure. It holds 45 grains of water.
Want 69-70 grains, a .30-06 case.
Want to measure 294 grains? Pick up a .50 BMG case.

Here's a link to a list of common cartridge case capacities.

http://kwk.us/cases.html
B.L.E. is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 06:28 PM   #11
Hardy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 659
Rifleman is right. Unfortunately substitutes like J Shockey are inconsistant in my tests. A 38c spent cartridge ( I always thought held close to 25 grains of BP. If you use J Shockey you need at least 35 g for a 44c. 30 to 35 grains of 3f pyrodex and 25 to 30 grains of goex. Pyrodex seems to be the best so far of substitutes. Some swear by J Shocky for its easy cleaning--but not consistent. I will not order anymore of J Shockey. Hey by the way--check out my post on the "For sell" After Christmas I might want to get rid of some treasures at GREAT Price. Thanx
Hardy is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 07:31 PM   #12
Hardy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 659
I meant a 38 special case, not 357 mag. to hold 25 g of powder. And rule of thumb--Ha lucky to have one 5 more extra grains of pyrodex (30) and 10 more grains of J Shock (35) to get results in 44 calibers. (30) grains of real BP is all you need in a 44 Colt. But I have been told that American Pioneer is good at 30 grains in one, but have never used it. Probably same as J Shockey. But I could also tell ya'll how to make chili but you done figured it out I like the copper powder flasks w/ nozels
Hardy is offline  
Old December 8, 2010, 08:50 PM   #13
TomADC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Posts: 565
I checked 38 spl, 357, 44 spl & 44 mag and then marked them on the side of the cases what they hold, until I get a powder measure/flask these will work just fine.
__________________
US Navy Retired,NRA Life Member,SASS member, Time magazine's Person of the Year 2006!
TomADC is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 01:04 AM   #14
Gunn Smithy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2011
Location: CA's central valley
Posts: 100
I have two items that I'd like to make cartridge powder measures for. The first is a golf ball sized stainless mortar that really does not have a powder chamber, just a depression in the bore where fuse and bore meet. The manufacturer gave me a laundry scoop for the suggested "blank load". The next is a vertical three shot signal device again with no powder chambers, just bore which is 1 3/16" diameter by 3" long. Now I've heard a cheap and easy formula for blank charges in any size cannon is to take a cylinder of bore diameter and have it as long as the bore diameter. So in this case it would be a cylinder of 1 3/16" diameter by 1 3/16" long. In this short signal cannon that would end up being about one third of the barrel's bore (ie. one inch of powder in a 3" long bored barrel). The maker was giving me suggestions in number of tablespoons (heaping at that) and there is no consistency in using a heaping tablespoon to measure powder. After I figure out my load for the three shot number I thought of my case for measures for both. I'll take two 50 BMG cases that I've drilled and tapped the primer hole to say 1/4 X 20 and loctite the threaded end of a brass machine screw where it's not protruding into the case. After the loctite hardens I'll cut off the remaining portion of the screw and polish it flush with the bottom of the case. Then I'll measure the extractor groove and drill that diameter hole in each end of a flat piece of 7" long by 1/8" thick piece of brass. At the half way point of each hole I'd Dremel the end half of the brass off. That way the half a hole would slide into the extractor groove for me to solder together. It would sit flat and be able to service my three shot signal cannon and my golf ball sized mortar. Since I've made a mortar bed with steel reinforced brackets for both signal devices, I would then be able to chain the fusing together so that the three shots would individually go off in sequence to be followed by the big bang of the golf ball mortar. Great fun on the fourth I'd bet. Do you folks think that a cut 50 BMG case would hold the powder that I need for each of these? By the way, the laundry scoop is a small one, not a cup in size but more like the ones found in concentrated laundry soap. Smithy.
__________________
Salvation is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
Gunn Smithy is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 06:07 AM   #15
B.L.E.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Somewhere on the Southern shore of Lake Travis, TX
Posts: 2,008
I think morters typically used very small powder charges, the idea was to lob a bomb over the walls of a fortified position, not to blast a cannon ball to kingdom come.
B.L.E. is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 06:34 AM   #16
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,312
If I'm remembering correctly, someone put a thread on here a year or so ago that gave the measurements that you could get from the various cartridge cases - it was quite an extensive list as I remember. i.e. not just a few common cartridges but included just about anything you might run across that you could utilize for a measure. I don't remember who posted the chart but it was in response to a question similar to the OP's. Anyone remember the post and possibly what the title was so the link could be posted on this thread?
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 07:11 AM   #17
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 3,414
Are you thinking of this one?

Case name / H2O capacity.

14 Hornet 12
.17 Hornet 14
.17 Rem 27
.204 Ruger 33
.22 Hornet 14
.22 K-Hornet 15
.218 Bee 18
.22 Rem Jet 18
.221 Rem 21
.222 Rem 27
.223 Rem 31
.222 Rem Mag 32
5.6x50R 34
.219 Zipper 34
.225 Win 41
.22-250 Rem 43
.220 Swift 48
.223 WSSM 53
.22-06 65
.22-15 Stevens 17
.22 Sav 35
6x47 33
6x52R Bret. 36
6x70R 39
.243 Win 54
6 Rem 55
.240 Wea Mag 65
6x62R 67
.236 USN 51
.240 Fl. N.E. 58
.25-20 WCF 19
.256 Win 22
.25-21 Stevens 25
.25-25 Stevens 29
.25-36 Marlin 37
.25-35 WCF 37
.25 Rem 42
.250 Sav 46
.257 Roberts 56
.25-06 Rem 66
.257 Wea Mag 84
6.5x70R 39
6.5 Jap. 48
6.5x52 Carcano 49
6.5x53R 49
6.5x54 M-S(.256) 50
.260 Rem 53
6.5x55 57
6.5x57(R) 58
6.5 Rem Mag 68
.264 Win Mag 82
.270 REN 16
.270 Win 68
.270 Wea 83
.28-30 Stevens 37
7-30 Waters 45
7x72R 54
7-08 Rem 56
7x57(R) Mauser 59
.284 Win 66
.280 Rem 67
7x65R 68
7 WSM 81
7 Rem Mag 84
.30 Carbine 21
.30-357 AeT 25
.30-30 45
.30 Rem 46
.303 Sav 48
.300 Sav 52
.307 Win 54
7.62 NATO 54
.308 Win 56
.30 Fl.NE Purdey 58
.30-40 U.S. 58
.30-06 U.S. 69
.300 H&H 86
.300 Win Mag 89
.30 Fl. H&H 90
.300 Wea Mag 99
.30-378 130
7.62x54R 64
.303 Brit 57
.375/303 W-R 62
.32-20 WCF 22
7.65 Mauser 58
8x72R 59
.32-40 Ballard 41
8x50R Lebel 66
8x57(R) Mauser 62
8-06 70
8 Rem Mag 98
.318 W-R 69
.333 Jeffery 86
.33 WCF 63
.338-06 70
.338 Win Mag 86
.340 Wea Mag 98
.338-378 132
.348 Win 75
9x57(R) Mauser 62
.357 Mag 27
.357 Max 34
.357/44 B&D 35
.400/350 Rigby 78
.350 ME Guide 2 49
.35 Rem 51
.356 Win 57
.358 Win 57
.35 WCF 69
.35 Whelen 71
.35 Greevy 72
.350 Rem Mag 73
.358 Norma Mag 88
9.3x57 Mauser 64
9.3x54R Finn. 65
9.3x72R 67
9.3x62 77
9.3x74R 82
.360 No.2 NE 111
.375 Win 49
.38-56 Win 62
.375 2½ N.E. 67
.375-06 73
.375 H&H 95
.375 Fl. Mag 97
.375 Ruger 100
.369 N.E. 102
.378 Wea Mag 136
.38-55 Ballard 52
.38-72 Win 74
.38-40 WCF 40
.400 Whelen 75
.405 Win 78
.400 Jeffery 117
.450/400 NE 3¼ 123
.416 Taylor 92
.416 Rem Mag 107
.416 Rigby 130
.416 Wea Mag 134
.423 OKH 77
.404 Jeffery 113
.44-40 WCF 40
.44 Spl 34
.44 Rem Mag 39
.444 Marlin 69
.45 Colt 42
.454 Casull 47
.45-70 U.S. 79
.450 Marlin 74
.45-90 2.4" 90
.458 Win Mag 94
.458 Lott 108
.450 3¼ N.E. 129
.460 Wea Mag 140
.465 N.E. 144
.470 N.E. 146
.475 3¼ N.E. 137
.50-110 109
.50 BMG 293

Remember though this is for actual black powder, substitutes have drasticaly diferent weight to volume relationships. You can use this for measuring VOLUME of substitutes though.
__________________
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 07:15 AM   #18
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
Cartridge Grains
.22 LR = 5
.320 ACP = 7
.380 ACP = 10
9mm = 13.3
.40 S&W = 19.3
.38 Special = 23
.45 Auto = 26
.357 Mag = 27
.44 Spl = 34
.44 Rem Mag = 39
.45 Colt = 41.6

Wogpotter's list and B.L.E.'s link in post #10 above appear to be the same source:

http://kwk.us/cases.html

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...70&postcount=8
arcticap is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 09:03 AM   #19
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 2,147
Measuring powder with empty brass cases?

Seem to me using an empty cartridge case to measure out powder is no different than a pre-measured Brass Charger. The only difference between the two: a Brass Charger is period correct. A modern cartridge case used for that purpose needs a (name?) Lets call call it: a gen-u-ine generic, hybrid, watch-U-call it, _for openers. Y'all got something different in mind. What?
__________________
Watch it!!! their both out to get us.
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 09:12 AM   #20
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,298
For years I used an empty .45-70 case to measure FFFg for my .50 Hawken.

It held right at 65-66 grains, which was perfect for a hunting load with round balls.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 11:34 AM   #21
wogpotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2004
Posts: 3,414
Quote:
Y'all got something different in mind. What?
Yup, free measure.
__________________
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”
wogpotter is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 01:17 PM   #22
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,230
I have a plastic "Lee" dipper set. Works good. When using a adjustable
measure I fill it up with my short can spout pour spout method.

kwhi43@kc.rr.com is offline  
Old July 17, 2012, 06:35 PM   #23
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,312
YEP Wogpotter . . . that there would be the chart I was a thinking' of! Thanks for posting it . . . and thanks for making me realize I wasn't getting daft!
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12722 seconds with 7 queries