View Full Version : Reloading Black Powder for a SRC

November 2, 2002, 10:57 PM
I'm looking to start reloading my 45-70 Shilo Sharps Saddle Ring Carbine and using black powder.

I've been thinking about getting the Lyman 310 tool & 4 die set, is this a good setup to use on with black powder??

What is a good way to measure & pour the black powder using the Lyman 310 die set???

Jim Watson
November 3, 2002, 10:44 AM
Is there some particular reason you want to use a tong tool, like tradition or no place to set up a press? Hand tools like the 310 take a lot more work to turn out ammo. Also, they only neck size the brass. That is ok and even desirable when you are shooting the same brass in the same rifle, but it does kind of limit your flexibility.

The Sharps shooters I know use regular presses. Usually single stage, although there are some progressives set up for black. But that would be an unnecessary challenge and expense for the beginner.

That said, there are a lot of 310s in black powder shooting. But they are only used to decap the brass - usually on the range immediately after firing a string - so as to get the empties into a jug of soapy water as soon as possible. It also keeps BP fouling out of their main equipment.

Serious BP target shooters actually weigh their powder charges. They get better accuracy, in spite of years of magazine articles claiming that BP is so "inefficient" that a grain or two makes little difference.

Lyman makes a Black Powder Measure on the No 55 design but with metal hopper and brass lined rotor.

Or you can use a dipper. There might be one (or a combination of two) in the cheap Lee set. Or you can make one out of a cartridge case with a handle glued or soldered on. Cut it off til it holds the right charge. Which is what fills the case up to the base of the bullet when trickled slowly down a long tube on the end of your funnel. Most black should be compressed, fill it up at least 1/16" deeper so the bullet will pack it down. Sometimes more compression helps but you need a compression die to do it, seating the bullet any harder will deform it.

I am not a serious BP shooter or expert and I have barely touched the surface. A good source for general loading information is the SPG Black Powder Cartridge Reloading Primer.

November 3, 2002, 12:13 PM
The main reason I was thinking about going with the 310 is that I've got very little room and have never reloaded BP before. Figgure it would be a good way to learn the in's and outs of playing with BP while at the same time putting the ammo togeather.

I do have a Dillion 550B and could use that, but from what I understand BP can't be used with any plastic parts. I've got no idea what/how to modify the press so it can be used for BP.

Right now I'm not looking for the ninth degree of accuracy, but some light loads to have fun shooting and possible shoting some plainsman matches in CAS.

Thanks for the link :D

Alex Johnson
November 3, 2002, 02:55 PM
Some may disagree, but I feel you can pretty much forget about using a powder dispensor in the press to drop charges of black powder. At best, it won't produce accurate loads, and at worst it could be dangerous if your powder dispensor isn't desiged especially for black powder. What my father and I do is use the press to size and prime the brass, use a drop tube to pour weighed charges of BP into the cases and lastily seat the bullet with press once again. This doesn't take too long to do, and it will produce match quality ammo if that is your intention, though a saddle ring carbine probably won't be used in any serious long range matches. Still they will produce good hunting loads as well. If you use the hand tools that will be ok, but buy, build, borrow, or steal a drop tube for pouring either weighed or dipped measures of powder, also don't forget to use an appropriate lubricant in the bullets, SPG is one of the best out there for dealing with BP fowling.