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Old February 4, 2013, 03:25 PM   #1
deerslayer303
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.303 Brit Black Powder Load?

Hey ya'll I hope everyones Monday has been as good as possible. Well I got the thinking (yeah I know....uh oh...) Anyway the .303 British was originally a B.P. Cartridge. SO, I got this old lyman Ammo Maker kit from 1959. It has a mold for a 205gr. boolit and .313" diameter. I'm thinking of casting up some of those boolits and propelling them with real Black. So I know I should fill the case. Should I use FFFg or FFg. And should I figure out where the bullet sits in the case at the right COL and say make a mark on the case and fill to that point? Any lastly will good ole Pyro work as well? Thoughts?
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Old February 4, 2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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@deerslayer303,

I have loaded my 7.62 X 39 level full of Pyrodex and seted the bullet, compressing the charge. Less recoil and report than smokeless, but surprisingly good accuracy.

I did this only to see if I could use BP as an apocalyptic substitute...FWIW
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Old February 4, 2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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You're going to have to compress the powder a couple of times before seating a bullet. The original British round used a 71 1/2 grain pellet and a wad that was inserted into the case before the neck was formed.
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Good Stuff Guys,

Quote:
You're going to have to compress the powder a couple of times before seating a bullet.
How do I do that? Seat a bullet and pull it back out? And also, these bullets are for gas checks, can I leave the gas check out, since I'm using B.P.? I think this will be fun!
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:21 PM   #5
Strafer Gott
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Cordite was an awesome improvement. I keep forgetting how old this cartridge is. I'm not sure a compression plug will help you much with that bottleneck. Better get the vibrator out.
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:24 PM   #6
wogpotter
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I've tried this, but the sucess was at best iffy.
Heres the trick, try to get as much powder in as you can. Then try to add a bit more..........., then some more......

Theres no way you can duplicate the original load as it was a solid pellet dropped into the case before the neck was formed. (Imagine a factory doing that today)

Long, very long, drop tube, shake vibrate & so on to settle as much as possible. Top up case & seat bullet. I got about 38 grains in, but the original was 43 IIRC. Gas check? You won't need no steenkeen gas check! the 215Gr load was about 1850 FPS IIRC & you may get 1/2 to 2/3 that.

DO remember to clean for B/P afterwards.
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
You won't need no steenkeen gas check!
LOL ^ thats funny right there! I have to try this at least once or twice! I may take a wood dowel or something to try and pack the powder down. So FFFg should be my best bet to get as much in and compressed as possible, right?
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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So FFFg should be my best bet to get as much in and compressed as possible, right?

Yes
Smaller granulation means more powder will fit in a given volume, and more surface area to "burn" when you light er off
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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YEEEHAAAWW, gonna turn old W.W. (whitetail widowmaker) into a SMOKEPOLE!!!
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:57 PM   #10
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Here's the plan Stan! I have a 15lb chunk of Lead that I used to weight a Racing Go Kart. Its hard as crap, so I'm gonna smelt that down and cast the 311299 bullet. I'm gonna go ahead and gas check em, since they are designed for it I guess. And maybe it will help. Then I will lube them with beez,parrafin,tallow, and cut em out with a fired case. Then I will fill, vibrate, fill, and shove a boolit in there. And try er out!
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:37 AM   #11
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Be careful "crunching down" B/P with dowels & suchlike, it can be ignited by impact!

We'll hold yer beer.
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:09 AM   #12
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Everytime I've heard "hold my beer and watch this" I knew it would be something funny...and maybe a trip in the ambulance

But I never seem to have a video camera handy...
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:18 AM   #13
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the British black powder load was a pellet, but does anyone know how they pelletized it?

Colloidion?

Ran it through a rabbit?
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Be careful "crunching down" B/P with dowels & suchlike, it can be ignited by impact!
False.
This is a myth many seem to want to believe.
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:10 AM   #15
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^^^^^^^^
What he says. The man knows what he's talking about.
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:00 AM   #16
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U can drop in a charge of bp and top off with cream of wheat then seat bullet. Smells like shooting cookies when u fire off!
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:43 PM   #17
wogpotter
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Why would you do that when you're desperately trying to cram every last itsy-bitsy-teensy-tinsy bit of powder in the case?
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:45 PM   #18
wogpotter
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Quote:
the British black powder load was a pellet, but does anyone know how they pelletized it?
I heard they just damp moulded it during manufacture. Once dried it was dropped into the primed cylindrical case which was necked down over it.
OSHA would have a heart attack!
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Old February 5, 2013, 02:13 PM   #19
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Little off topic but I had to say this for you FL guys.

When I travel to FL about once or twice per month I go to a Wednesday night auction in 301 near Zephyrhills.

At about 7:00 pm they start auctioning off firearms. Since I am not an FL resident I am not even permitted to touch the modern weapons. I bid only on the antiques and BP stuff. But when I was there three weeks ago they had 5 .303 British in original configuration. Most were substantially complete. One was missing the bolt. None of these rifles brought more than $90.00. The one with the missing bolt went for 65.00. The tears were rolling down my cheeks.

I say this just to make you FL guys aware.
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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Doc, that would sure make a C&R license worthwhile!
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Old February 5, 2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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This image of the Black powder pellet for the 303 ammo, has sparked my imagination, Does anyone know how big this Pellet is/was
????
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:03 PM   #22
deerslayer303
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Indy,
I've searched google and I can't find an image of a pellet or an old black powder loaded .303 round. It is very interesting indeed. I did see an old Cordite round disassembled, now that was cool. The Cordite was in like strips kinda like little pipe cleaners.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
This image of the Black powder pellet for the 303 ammo, has sparked my imagination, Does anyone know how big this Pellet is/was
The same size as the inside of a .303 case.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:26 PM   #24
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deerslayer303.. I was searching also found nothing.. have also seen those disassembled Cordite 303 rounds and it was very very cool. I would almost have not believed it if I had not seen it..
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Old February 6, 2013, 07:31 AM   #25
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The amount of impact needed to ignite black powder is FAR higher than anything you're going to get by tapping on it with a dowel.
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