View Full Version : mass / volume of black powder

November 28, 2002, 01:40 PM
blackpowder and blackpowder replacement powder loading information is usually listed in volume charges. Simple enough, but uses grains ass the unite (mass). I assume a 100 grain mark on a volume measure is supposed to deliver roughly 100 grains (mass) of black powder if it were put on a scale. Not really much confusion until pyrodex and other black powder substitutes are used. While regular pyrodex can just be used with the same volume measure, the mass is actually less, but produces the same effect as the equal "volume" grains of black powder. Hodgdon's new powder, triple 7, suggest using 15% less volume for equivalent black powder charges.

What I'm curious about, is what actual volume measurement is supposed to correlate to a mass measurement of powder.

November 28, 2002, 08:46 PM
Uhm, well let's see if I got the question right.

With BP you can actually load more accurately if loaded by weight instead of volume. However this weight will vary quite a bit with different brands or different batches, it is also more dificult to reload with a scale when out hunting or at the Alamo, etc. So volume loading is very aceptable, and has become the norm.

At a certain granulation BP will correlate very well weight to volume.

BP replacements mess all of this up, they are substantially less dense than BP and while they can be more acurately loaded by weight also the weights are all over the board and you would get into the same deal as loading smokeless, looking up differnt weights for different powders for different loads, etc much easier to load by volume.

If that wasn't the answer to the right question I apologize. :)

November 28, 2002, 09:06 PM
Yet another reason to stick with REAL Black Powder;
Just measure (or weigh) and then shoot!

Jimmy Mac
November 29, 2002, 08:29 PM
Tests have shown that when using real blackpowder that accuracy is the same no matter if you use weighed charges or by volume.

June 27, 2004, 11:34 AM
You seem to have the concept grasped firmly, but then do not believe your conclusions.

Stripping away the baffle-gab, recognized black powder substitutes can use identical powder measure settings as the black powder each is intended to replace to deliver [nearly precisely] comparable amount of substitute.

Ignore the numbers and pay attention to "space taken in the measure." Results -- that is, velocity, peak pressures -- will be as similar as the substitute manufacturer can get. Think of results of the measured amount rather than the amount itself.

A powder measure need not be "approximate" or adjustable. Any container that holds the powder safely is acceptable. If you create a measure specifically for a charge of specific propellant, your volume measurement will be very close to a scaled measurement of weight.