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Old July 5, 2013, 10:25 AM   #1
Poindexter
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Good cartridge for FFFg?

Or cap and ball caliber?

I have enough FFFg to think about buying a gun for it. My 45 Colts don't care for it, neither does my 45-70.

How would .357 magnum do loaded with a snoot full of FFFg under a cast bullet around 158 grains? Maybe a 4" barrel?
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Old July 5, 2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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The .36 and .44 C&B are good choices.
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Old July 5, 2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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What Hawg said.
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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robhof

Don't forget the 31's, they love 3f and are cheap to shoot.
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:33 PM   #5
Mike Irwin
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"How would .357 magnum do loaded with a snoot full of FFFg under a cast bullet around 158 grains? Maybe a 4" barrel?"

Hum... Interesting question...

The original .38 Special held 21.5 grains of BP, up from the .38 LC's 18...

The .357 Mag. was lengthened slightly more than the .38 Spl. over the .38 LC...

So, say, maybe 25 grains powder max...

I'm thinking 875 fps or there abouts?
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:35 PM   #6
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I know you are asking about "cartridge" . . . but I agree with the others . . . get a good .36 or .44 C & B - you'll enjoy it and it's a whole let less work than loading cartridges.

I'm sure someone will come along that can answer your initial question though . .
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:59 PM   #7
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I would prefer cartridge because I shoot them and reload for them already. No offense intended to the C&B crowd, I probably will get one someday.

However, I do shoot steel target. If I can get a 143 grain or heavier bullet to 875fps that load would "make energy" to compete in any of USPSA, IDPA, NRA action and would meet the (now dropped) minimum energy floor for steel challenge.

Certainly still might get scratched for distracting the other shooters with spark shot clouds of sulfurous fume, but it would be fun and I would still get to play.

FWIW a 125gr bullet would need to reach 1000 fps to make energy for all the sanctioning bodies. I'd druther load a 168gr bullet to 750fps, but the 158 gr bullet at 791 plus fps would be cheaper when making a bunch of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor_(pistol)
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Old July 5, 2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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Sell or trade the BP to someone that has a .36 or .44, and get some smokeless that you like. BP can be used in modern guns, but it is dirty stuff, and IMHO shouldn't get in the works modern guns. Cap and ball revolvers are easier to clean up after shooting BP, and the internal workings are very simple. Just my opinion. By the way, my cap and ball revolvers converted to .45 colt love fffg.
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Old July 5, 2013, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
I would prefer cartridge because I shoot them and reload for them already. No offense intended to the C&B crowd, I probably will get one someday.
Well you did say in the original post "or cap and ball caliber".
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Most single action cartridge revolvers clean up just as easy as cap and ball revolvers do, maybe easier. I just wouldn't shoot black powder loads in a double action revolver just because I would hate to disassemble one to clean out the powder fouling.
But a single action, just pull the cylinder pin and the cylinder comes completely out of the frame for a scrubbing and you don't even have nipples to remove and the rest of the frame cleans up just like the cap and ball versions. Also, there is less powder fouling in the hammer channel and lockwork because there is no nipple blowback.
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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44 special or mag
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Old July 7, 2013, 05:51 PM   #12
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I shot some black powder in cases in my S&W 624 .44 Special. When I finished the gun looked like it had been dunked in a bucket of soot. Modern cases do not obturate well with low-pressure black, and the soot goes everywhere. I like to shoot the 1851 and 1860 Colt replicas and the 1858 Remington, however, and think they clean up a little easier than a modern double action.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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The .44-40 has a very thin case designed to obturate under black powder pressures. You'll still have cylinder to barrel gap gas leakage to soot up the revolver though but the fouling should stay out of the firing pin area.

I have heard of people shooting black powder loads out of 1911 .45ACP pistols. No cylinder gap to jet powder fouling all over everything. Just remove the barrel and wipe it out after you're through shooting. I haven't tried it myself though.
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Old July 8, 2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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I have noticed that if I fire a moderate pressure modern smokeless load in my brass, clean and then size just enough of the neck to get good bullet pull I get less soot in the firing pin area of the gun when using BP.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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The lower pressured of black powder coompared to smokeless can do wierd things like really dirty up things. You will find some major fouling and accuracy issues as well, no matter what kind of lube you use on the bullet.
You can make about any caliber go bang, but hitting anything with it is something else.
If you are intent on doing it, I'm glad you are the one cleaning up afterward and suffering through the problems involved.
A case full of wooden match heads can fire also, but there are just things that will work a lot better.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:11 AM   #16
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I would have to concur with B.L.E. on this one. I have shot bp out of my uberti cattleman .357, and the cleanup was no worse, and in many ways easier, than the cap and balls, for the very reasons he mentioned. And yup, smokeless is nice, cleanup is a breeze, but its, well, not black powder. Just something about that stuff that makes me smile
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:05 PM   #17
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My first experience with black powder cartridges was back in the '70s, I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum revolver. I got a hold of some FFFg from the sporting goods dept. of Gibsons, I didn't even have a muzzle loader yet.
I loaded a dozen or so .44 magnum cases full of that black powder behind 240 grain Sierra jacketed hollow points. Yes! Jacketed bullets! I was experimenting with black powder and nobody told me what to load. They shot just fine and were pretty accurate too, kicked about like .44 special loads.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:12 AM   #18
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Also, 3Fg makes some wonderful shotshells. It will burn nice and clean.
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Old July 17, 2013, 08:49 PM   #19
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40 grains of 3F in the Winchester 38-55 is great.

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Old July 18, 2013, 04:25 PM   #20
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I agree with the 38/55 suggestion. If you have a slow enough twist they can be a joy to shoot. Any of the original type pistol cartridges work great too...32/20 thru 44/40.
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