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Old May 25, 2013, 05:31 PM   #1
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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What seems to be is not always what it seems to be.

Nothing to do so I and the 54 hawken took a ride this afternoon. We did a pretty good job of scenting the still air around us. Ran out of 2-FF in my Day Horn but luck as have it. I had a half can of Gorex 3-FFF under the front seat. Back in business so I thought. I poured the metered measure to it's 90gr. line and kind of tapped it's level down and filled the remaining vacancy again then leveled the charge off. It struck me right then and there somethings amiss. I was using much more 3-FFF than 2-FF in my measure. But hey 90 grains is 90 grs. so I've been told. Well lets say after I pull the trigger on that loading. Yes Sir!! there was a definite difference between 2-FF and 3-FFF. (when measuring both powders to the same volume.) So what am I missing here?

I shot up near 2-3-oz. of that 3-FFF and had to quit. My (Right) arm is so sore that I'm actually walking around tilted to the (Left) hoping to recover tonight.
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Old May 25, 2013, 06:41 PM   #2
Pahoo
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Changing Technique

The goal is to burn as much powder inside the barrel and limit the amount you blow out, on the ground. With the 3F, you are doing just that as you are getting more effective burning. I'm also assuming you stuck with BP before and after. Also, we know that consistency is the game and I don't tap to level. I just pour into a calibrated measure, top off and load. Tapping and refilling will always give you more powder than not tapping. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 26, 2013, 12:41 PM   #3
bedbugbilly
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I'm with Pahoo on that . . . I never tamp powder in a measure. I always pour, level and charge the bore with it. Another way to look at it is through the use of a flask. When you push the lever on a flask, tip and fill the spout . . . the spout is sized for "so many grains" i.e. 30, 40, etc. The powder in it is not compressed so the grains of powder are "as poured" . . . so to speak.

Everyone has their own methods . . . I learned a lot about muzzleloaders and shooting them from an old gunsmith who was in his eighties . . . and that was 50 some years ago. He always preached to me to "use enough powder to get the job done but not more than you need". LOL

Everyone works their loads up to what works best in their rifle/shotgun/pistol and no two shoot alike. Over the years, I've had some smaller caliber rifles - .32, .36, etc. as well as larger caliber - .54, .58. As a rule, I always stuck to 3F for the smaller calibers and 2F for the larger - but hey, we all get stuck at times and have to substitute granualations. I know that on the several smaller caliber rifles that I had - substituting 2F for 3F definitely made a difference in accuracy for the same amount of grains - difference int he recoil wasn't that noticeable due to the smaller caliber - but doing it in the larger bore - there was a difference.

I'm curious - as far as accuracy - did you notice a difference? And, did you try a reduced load of the 3F (maybe you couldn't as you didn't have an adjustable easure with you?) to see how/if the accuracy was?

Inprotant thing - you got to make smoke and didn't have to cut your range time short!
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Old May 26, 2013, 01:05 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Quote:
But hey 90 grains is 90 grs. so I've been told.
First thing is, you have been told wrong.
The grain is a unit of weight, not volume, no matter what is marked on that measure. By using a finer grain and shaking it down, you got in MORE POWDER. Then think about easier ignition and faster burning of the finer granulation. No wonder your shoulder felt it.
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Old May 26, 2013, 09:54 PM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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[QUOTE]I'm curious - as far as accuracy - did you notice a difference? And, did you try a reduced load of the 3F (maybe you couldn't as you didn't have an adjustable measure with you?) to see how/if the accuracy was?[/QUOTE]

Accuracy being the same? Pretty near the same. Maybe a paper hit a tad lower than usual was seen. Not all that much needing to really take notice of. At the time I just thought the difference was perhaps its bullet arch was flattening out some.

did you try a reduced 3-FFF load?
No I didn't. And I did have an adjustable brass powder measure along for this occasion.

By using a finer grain and shaking it down, you got in MORE POWDER.
Your correct ^ there. But as far as my tapping down of a per-measured powder habit. Doing the tapping thing assures me I'm getting a fully settled and compacted charge time after time. Perhaps 92 or 93 actual not compacted but (loose.)

Shooting of the two different B/ powder grades in my R-ball rifle. I probably wouldn't have noticed much of a difference other than its barrel report. But under heavy cast. Oh yes you do >take notice.

What I've failed to mention I guess to you fellows. The rifle I was using is a T/C Hawken stock 1-48 54 cal. that's sighted in for 100 yards with the use of Lyman Maxi Cast (only) while it's sitting a-top of a Ox-Yoke Wonder Wad. What seems to be is not always what it seems to be. Now you know the rest of the story._
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:38 AM   #6
Pahoo
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Calibrated taps and bouncing rods

Quote:
Your correct ^ there. But as far as my tapping down of a per-measured powder habit. Doing the tapping thing assures me I'm getting a fully settled and compacted charge time after time. Perhaps 92 or 93 actual not compacted but (loose.)
As long as there are no safety issues, I will never fault one's loading technique. You obviously know what you are doing and what to expect. ....

Consider;
Again, one important point, is to be consistent. Minor point, but it's difficult for anyone to measure a calibrated tap as well as calibrated, bouncing the rod. It' done all the time. .....

From what I see, on your shot-string, it is almost identical to my Hunting load. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 27, 2013, 11:14 PM   #7
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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MORE POWDER. Then think about easier ignition and faster burning of the finer granulation. No wonder your shoulder felt it.
Since I shoot a Hawken. No matter what the charge with cast its shooter always suffers especially so with a heavy charges. Since your basically shoot a hawken rifle off your upper arm muscle and not your shoulder. For a while I wore a Past shoulder pad. But its kind of cumbersome to wear. After a while I took it off. I should have known better. But its been awhile since I shot cast. We learn from out mistakes. Taking the Past off was a Dandy that afternoon.

As far as compacting a load. We all have our little tricks and technique's. If we didn't at least try. How would this sport progress. What took place 150-200 years ago may not apply today because of mans ability to change things for the better most of the time. My Thanks, to all those who commented here.

S/S
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:37 AM   #8
Pahoo
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Ready or not !!!

When I started this "Great Adventure" called M/L's, I started with a brand new TC Hawken model. I read the manual front to back and back again. Found the my sweat spot at about 70grns. of FFG. Then I tried a Maxi-Ball and understood I needed a little more push for more lead. Manual said my max load was 120grns. Okay, loaded that baby up and I was far from ready. That mule kicked straight up and caught me a good one, under my cheek. Wore a bruise for about two weeks and not proudly. ....

Also keep in mind that the more lead you want to push, the harder the kick. ...

I know a group of Buckskinners that only hunt with 54's and about 95grns. of FFF Bp. with same charge there, is a noticeable difference between FF and FFF. ...

Be Safe !!!
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