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Old April 15, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
mega twin
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Rifling depth in antique guns

Watching some of the auction shows on t.v.,and noticed that most of the old muzzle loading guns had really deep rifling,and more V shaped.
Was this just easier to make back then,or did it have any advantages over the newer,square cut rifling that we see now?
You would think more of the replicas would use that type.
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Old April 16, 2012, 03:45 AM   #2
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It was thought back in the day that deep rifling enhanced accuracy.
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Old April 16, 2012, 07:06 AM   #3
mega twin
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Looks like they would be really hard to load.
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Old April 16, 2012, 08:14 AM   #4
Rifleman1776
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That's TV.
There have been, and still are, as many rifling styles as can be imagined. The theories on what style and twist rate is best are infinite.
In museums you will find both kind, deep, shallow, V, round, flat, etc.
Draw no conclusions from TV.
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Old April 16, 2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Draw no conclusions from TV.
I don't. Go back past 1840 or so and rifling gets pretty dang deep for the most part.
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Old April 16, 2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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Hello, Just a thought..black powder technology kept improving thru the 19th century..until it's near perfection in clean burning at the end of the century. Back in the early 1990's, I spoke with Bill Knight asking just where in time our modern day Goex would fall..I knew it was far inferior to the later black (it is said there were as many differen't grades of black as we have of smokeless)..I was thinking perhaps 1860's or so. He said he had duplicated a formula for a small-bore round ball powder of the 1840's. He used an original
.40 percussion rifle..kept firing & needed no wiping..he quit only because he got tired! He up-ended gun after firing nearly 50 shots & tapped on paper..only a light grey ash..1 wet patch cleaned e'r up! Now why can't we have a powder like that today? He said if Goex had of been on market then..only American Indians or the African native trade would have wanted it!
Hawg said it was pretty deep before 1840..I wonder if it was to make room for the excess fouling of earlier powders?
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Old April 16, 2012, 04:45 PM   #7
mega twin
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That would make sense about the powder types,as I doubt that they went from a crude form of black powder straight to smokeless.There would have been a transition period.
As for the Goex,It was probably the cheapest to manufacture,and gave off lots of smoke for the traditionalists.
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Old April 17, 2012, 06:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
I spoke with Bill Knight asking just where in time our modern day Goex would fall..I knew it was far inferior to the later black...He said he had duplicated a formula for a small-bore round ball powder of the 1840's...kept firing & needed no wiping...He up-ended gun after firing nearly 50 shots & tapped on paper..only a light grey ash..1 wet patch cleaned e'r up!...He said if Goex had of been on market then..only American Indians or the African native trade would have wanted it!
Ok, so if the current Goex powder is so inferior as to be something only a few people would want, and it's so easy to make that one guy makes it himself, why isn't this vastly superior, easily produced powder on the market, putting Goex out of business?

Is the reference to American Indians and the African native trade intended to imply that they have lower standards for some reason, and thus an insult to those groups of people? If so, you don't do Mr. Knight a favor by repeating it.
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Is the reference to American Indians and the African native trade intended to imply that they have lower standards for some reason, and thus an insult to those groups of people? If so, you don't do Mr. Knight a favor by repeating it.
I took it as an implication that, being less technologically advanced, they may actually have had lower standards.

Steve
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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I don't think there was an African native trade and American Indians weren't stupid when it came to guns. They did trade for some inferior stuff but it was because it was all they could get. A lot of raids they undertook was primarily for weapons they couldn't trade for.
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Old April 17, 2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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My good friend Bill Knight (aka Mad Monk) is a retired chemist and former consultant to many if not all the American BP makers. We have had quite a few conversations on the topic. He is the eminent authority in North America regarding Black Powder.

If I may be so bold as to summarize the tiniest snip of one of our conversations, Bill was asked as a paid consultant, to analyze and evaluate various batches of BP (at different times by different corporations) and to advise them on how they could improve the powder in various ways.

Each time it seems, the analysis did not echo what the powder company wanted to hear, and the advice seems to have been generally ignored.

One particular bit of advice was regarding the wood to use for charcoal, and the fact that the wood absolutely needed to be debarked prior to being turned into charcoal. This info was disregarded as "too costly" and when the wood is not debarked the resulting powder always produces copious fouling.

Another recommendation was that the species of wood was paramount,
with several specific species recommended over all others. That advice was also rejected as one manufacturor only wanted to use whatever he could obtain most economically.

When it was said that BP shooters demanded a better product, Often the reply was to the effect of "they'll take whatever we make or have none at all."

I could wax eloquent at nauseating length regarding the numerous "simple fixes" that were rejected for reasons ranging from "too costly" to "what does he know"... :-(

As a result, Mr. Knight no longer bothers to "cast his pearls before swine" and only participates in select forums. When he does choose to post, and an equally learned colleague engages him in some esoteric discusion (for example, regarding early experiments in measuring pressure curves) the resulting thread is like a golden lecture from a NASA scientist on rocket design.

One of the finest and least fouling of powders is Swiss, which if I recall correctly uses debarked Buckthorn Alder, and they are practically fanatical regarding their charcoal. Even that powder does not compare with the finest grades of powder that were produced in 1890 (as Mr Ideal Tool points out)

Bill has experimented with quite a number of different wood types, even the same species grown in different geographical regions. Type of wood is absolutely critical, as well as climate and region, since we are in fact dealing with the porosity of different species, and organic chemistry of the saps, sugars, and other organic and inorganic materials in the wood. Even the discrete size of the sticks, manner of stacking, charcoal cooking temperature, and length of cooking are important in the end result of a quality charcoal .


>Ok, so if the current Goex powder is so inferior as to be something only a
> few people would want, and it's so easy to make that one guy makes it
>himself, why isn't this vastly superior, easily produced powder on the
> market, putting Goex out of business?

It is simply the market forces involved. Please remember that the North American commercial market for BP is a mere fraction of the Military and Defense Market which has little care about "moist fouling" and fine residue as prized by small arms hobbiests.

yhs
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Old April 17, 2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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Agreed, there just isn't the market to support the quality of black powder equal to period Curtiss and Harvey No 6 or Diamond Grain.
Swiss Powder ain't bad but it may not be up to what was used when black was all there was and serious users depended on it to win matches, fill the larder, or defend life and liberty.

I had a gunzine article about the .32 Winchester Special, supposedly based on smokeless factory loads and black powder reloads. The author was not impressed by the performance of BP loads with current production. But some pre-WW I DuPont gave higher velocity, better accuracy, and less fouling.
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Old April 17, 2012, 11:00 PM   #13
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It's a dang shame those companys have a "It's good enough for them" mentality and thus we have to deal with inferior, albeit workable products.
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Old April 18, 2012, 05:58 AM   #14
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Yes, it is a shame. So fix it. Go make some of this super powder, sell it and get rich.
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Old April 18, 2012, 06:29 AM   #15
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I dunno, maybe there was better black powder available in the past. I know that you can't duplicate the velocity of a modern 1 1/8 ounce 3 dram equivilent 12 gauge shotshell by using 3 drams of Goex in a black powder shotshell.

3 drams = 82 grains if I am correct in understanding that a dram is 1/16 of an ounce.
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Old April 18, 2012, 08:44 AM   #16
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http://www.theopenrange.net/forum/index.php?topic=13.30

Quote:
Back in the early 1980's I was looking at what I thought were shelf-life problems with certain lots of GOEX out of the old Moosic, PA plant.

In the lab I found that some lots would go highly acidic during storage while other lots did not. Using the particle size analizer I found changes in the sulfur within the powder.

The theory is that ground sulfur particles form a monomolecular layer of oxide on their surfaces. When combined with moisture it forms sulfurous acid (H2SO3) which in time auto-oxidizes to sulfuric acid (H2SO4). This acid generation then induces additional chemical change in the powder. The end point acid formed was nitric acid from the lower oxides of nitrogen released from the potassium nitrate as the process went on in the powder. In my work a decomposing lot of GOEX gave a highly positive test for smokeless (yet another project) by the diphenylamine test.
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Old April 18, 2012, 06:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
It's a dang shame those companys have a "It's good enough for them" mentality and thus we have to deal with inferior, albeit workable products.
It's an even bigger shame that most of us are too cheap to pay the extra cost of the premium products.
The powder vender I buy black powder from probably sells a case of Goex for every can of Swiss he sells, and it's not like Swiss is that much more than Goex.
There is a price point where a product is no longer marketable.
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