View Full Version : Anyone chrony a Walker with 60 grains of BP?

September 22, 2010, 03:17 PM
Curious what kind of chrony data you folks have for a Walker. 40 grains on up to 60 grains. Please post.

September 23, 2010, 07:02 PM
The only data I have is from the Lyman Black Powder Handbook, 2nd Edition.

With Goex FFFg, .454 140 grain RB:

40 grains = 950 fps
45 grains = 983 fps

With Goex FFFg, .451 180 grain Conical:

40 gains = 898 fps

Anyone have any data beyond 45 grains they want to share?

Doc Hoy
September 24, 2010, 05:20 AM
I shot mine for the first time a coupla weeks ago and got a high of right at 900 fps at 40 grains. Lube over the balls. GOEX. No wad. Got good accuracy. I went to 50 and top speed went up to 988 fps, but the accuracy went to crap.

Speeds measured as low as 750 and I think it had to do with the fact that I was not being careful about the powder load. I used a 40 grain measure every time but I still have some reservations.

I did not think I would like this pistol. I bought it because I did not have one. But, I must tell you, I love shooting it.

September 24, 2010, 08:05 AM
Hmmm, that is interesting Doc. I've read others state that their most accurate load was somewhere in the low 50's. I wonder what the difference may be between you and them? Specifically, curious about the theories as to why the accuracy may suffer as the charge increases. Many times it has to do with the shooter but I'm sure there are other reasons that are scientific that don't include the shooter. I wonder what effect a wad would have had?

September 24, 2010, 11:04 AM
The reasons are many and varied. They're why black powder is interesting. Every load is different, sometimes by just minute things and sometimes by significant things. Sometimes due to esoteric scientific facts (barrel dynamics), sometimes due to simple facts (chamber/bore dimensions) and sometimes due to things we can't really account for (powder variations, powder compression, voids in projectiles).

I'm always amused by the interest in chronograph test results; people act like they really mean something, to three significant figures, when in fact they're looking at numbers from uncalibrated instrumentation measuring data from a test with uncontrolled, changing variables.

FTIW, my Uberti Walker is most accurate, as determined by 5 shot group size, when shooting .457 rb's over 50 gr fffg Goex with a lubed felt overpowder wad. Change any of those variables and group sizes increase (I've not tried Swiss, however). I have no idea how fast the balls were moving when they left the barrel.

From my data, the presence of the wad improved group sizes by a small amount. I presume this is due to moving the ball closer to the chamber mouth, but I don't know why that's 'better'.

September 24, 2010, 12:24 PM
I'm always amused by the interest in chronograph test results; people act like they really mean something, to three significant figures, when in fact they're looking at numbers from uncalibrated instrumentation measuring data from a test with uncontrolled, changing variables.

Are you implying that the data such as that from the Lyman BP Handbook is taken from uncalibrated instrumentation in an uncontrolled environment?...or that some data from some people is taken as such? I don't know if eveyone/anyone hangs their hat on 3 significant figures. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe they post the 3 significant figures because that is what they have in front of them and it doesn't make sense to round up or round down.

mykeal, your point and former points on this topic are well taken. Don't get me wrong. However, I think there are any number of reasons that people would be interested in chrony data. I don't want to presume I know whether or not their reasons are valid or not. This is probably a short list but here are a few reason they might be interested: (1) just a passing interest to get an idea of how fast they can propel a chunk of lead, (2) want to check if there is something way off in their load or firearm, (3) want to make sure they are within SASS (or whoever) rules, (4) want to see what difference there may be in one powder versus another. I take it that this forum encompasses more than just a bunch of loons posting pics and talking about smoke-n-boom. Seems reasonable that chrony is a valid topic. I would assume there is a reason why so many loading manuals post such information; but that is an assumption.

I enjoy reading posts about chrony results. I may take them/some with a grain of salt and look at them as just one data point of many. And I admit I get a chuckle whenever a hear about a miscue where someone accidentally shoots their chrony.

It could be just as amusing when someone claims that an 1858 gets three inch groupings at 25 yards with 35 grains of FFFg. I can't determine if they were scientific in posting their results either. Was it really 25 yards? Was it really a 3 inch grouping? Did they measure with a ruler and was their yard stick or ruler calibrated? Was their load really 35 grains exactly and everytime? How did they calibrate their load? Was the 1858 fine tuned by a professional gun fighter? Did they really use FFFg or was it FFF? Was it Goex or Swiss? Was the wind blowing?

Again, your point is well taken. However, if we (as a group) discount posted data/results because we don't have proof that everything was calibrated to a certain standard then we'd wipe out a significant number of posts. That just might take too much fun out of this forum.

Us boys can have a lil' fun can't we? ;) I'm just sayin'..... :D

Doc Hoy
September 24, 2010, 12:28 PM
I think my decline in results with a bigger charge has to do with me.

I am really considering wads though.

Last week end I realized that I am being careless with my lube. I don't make sure the same amount of lube goes over each chamber. Nor do I make sure that the lube is even over the ball. I just sort of schmootz it on. I don't know how much this has to do with accuracy but I would not be in the least bit surprised if someone does not come back and chastise me for the way I do it.

In any endeavor in which numerous variable effect the outcome of the endeavor, we are able to learn much with each experience. What we find is that we never seem to identify all of the questions we should be asking. I do acknowledge and admire those among us who have more or less mastered the variables. I am not one of them.

September 24, 2010, 07:57 PM
ClemBert - I don't criticize your interest, I criticize the meaning, or perhaps the construed meaning, of the numbers. Let's try it this way: what does "1026 fps from 50 gr ffg Goex under a .495 rb spit patched with 0.018" pillow ticking" mean?

I have no doubt Lyman used calibrated instrumentation (although they've never published the calibration data, which they certainly should have), and I know for a fact that much, if not all, their testing was done under well controlled conditions (which they did publish). But, all these other guys doing their own measurement with inexpensive backyard equipment are not, so how much can they actually determine when they attempt to compare their numbers with the Lyman data, or even worse, each other?

Look, if you want to compare your loads with different powders, or different loads with the same powder, or different projectiles with any number of the same or different variables, using your own equipment under consistent conditions which you define, more power to you. I think that's fine; I even concede it's probably meaningful if you really understand the variables. But publishing those numbers on the internet as though they would have meaning for someone using different equipment under different conditions, well, I think that's stretching it a bit. The comparison is perhaps useful (eg, "I got 12% higher velocity using Brand B over Brand X."), but the actual numbers to 3 significant figures, sorry, I just don't get it.

Doc Hoy
September 25, 2010, 02:35 AM
I get off about 100 to 120 rounds in a shooting day. I shoot at least three pistols each day. This is not very many rounds upon which to base a scientific observation.

In some statistical analysis you can make predictions about a population using a sample size of thirty examples. But in this case, other variables must be eliminated or at least understood.

September 26, 2010, 09:00 PM
Doc, I look forward to your report when you solve the mystery. Seems like your chrony is one good tool to help in your investigation.

I wonder if you might try to include a lubed felt wad or even a fiber wad to assist as a gas check. Seems like there are a number of Walkers with groove diameters much larger than their chamber diameters. Also, I'd like to inquire as to the hardness of your lead ball used. Are you casting your own?

Doc Hoy
September 27, 2010, 03:59 AM
The balls pass the thumbnail test. I am sure that the lead has a purity of not more than two percent other stuff. I just got a bunch of wheel weights and will keep them separate because I think these will be not as pure. A tech rep told me they could be as high as seven percent tin or antimony.

I am starting the think that I need to move to wads. I would use felt, make my own and use my own lube. Crisco and wax rings.

The reason I am starting to think about wads is that the last time I went shooting, I realized how careless I am with lube.

September 28, 2010, 01:50 AM
I enjoy the chrony figures too. Nothing else involved with black powder is usually calibrated at all. The balls get shaved upon loading so each weighs differently, the chambers aren't uniform so no two are exactly alike, and the powder charges are measured by volume and not weighed so there's not any standards anywhere. But the figures do provide an accurate measurement of energy and are just plain fun. So sure the figures have meaning, as much meaning as calipers are useful for measuring any object. I never saw a seal of weights and measures on any measuring device unless it was used for some kind of consumer trade. I believe that most chrony readings are more true than they are false, and valid conclusions can be drawn from them with just a tiny grain of salt. :)

September 28, 2010, 04:47 AM
Ok, I'll try again: what does "1026 fps from 50 gr ffg Goex under a .495 rb spit patched with 0.018" pillow ticking" mean?

Doc Hoy
September 28, 2010, 06:46 AM
It means nothing.

That single data point means nothing. Or at most it means very little.

the Black Spot
September 28, 2010, 08:20 AM
check out John Taffins book/articles. he has done a lot of chrony checking with various bp revolvers.

September 28, 2010, 12:27 PM
Ok, I'll try again: what does "1026 fps from 50 gr ffg Goex under a .495 rb spit patched with 0.018" pillow ticking" mean?

In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343 metres per second (1,125 ft/s). This equates to 1,236 kilometres per hour (768 mph)...


It means that the projectile's rate of travel was subsonic, or not moving as fast as this jet plane pictured below. Ain't it beautiful? :D


September 28, 2010, 12:30 PM
They must have used quite a large chrony for that thing to fly through. ;)

September 28, 2010, 03:39 PM

September 29, 2010, 07:07 AM
Your grease seal or felt lubed wad is to keep the fouling down in the barrel. If you want to get the ball up in the chamber put some cream of wheat or corn meal on top of your powder as a filler. Your ball in the cylinder placement can / will make a differents with your grouping. Just my HOP.

September 29, 2010, 02:42 PM
For what it's worth, here is a bunch of data from a Uberti Walker. The measure is one of those adjustable volume things that seem to be calibrated for Goex. Swiss powder thrown from the same measure weights a few grains more due to density but when weighed, Swiss is still "hotter" than goex.

As to calibration, all I know is that I have used two chronographs on the same day on more than one occasion and the readings were very close together.

I note no fall off in accuracy between 55 and 60 grain charges or from one type of powder to the next but attempting to use very light charges could result in wild velocity variations because projectiles really need to be set down on top the powder column with possibly a bit of compression to get consitent ignition and burn. I have tried various combinations with and without overpowder wads finding no significant difference in velocities or round to round consistency. The better treated wads will keep the barrel clean for extended firing while leaving them off is ok too if you clean out the (considerable) powder fouling after shooting a chamber full. A cursory pass or two through the bore with a spit patch will do the trick.
Charge Velocity Extreme Spread
{5 rounds}
140 Grain Ball
55 Gr/Vol Goex FFFg 1001 fps 54
60 Gr/Vol Goex FFFg 1115 fps 46
60 Gr/Vol Pyrodex P 1221 44
60 Gr/Vol A Pioneer 974 80
60 Gr/Vol Swiss FFFg 1278 53
55 Gr/Vol Swiss FFg 956 46
60 Gr/Vol PyrodexRS 1045 35
37 Gr/Vol H 777 1201 72

200 Grain Lee Bullet
40 Gr/Vol Goex FFFg 927 40
45 Gr/Vol Swiss FFFg 1074 33
45 Gr/Vol Pyrodex P 1087 47

170Grain Original Pattern Picket Bullet
40 Gr/Vol Swiss FFFg 1031 36
Energy 402 ft/lbs
45 Gr/Vol Goex FFFg 1026 84
45 Gr/Vol Swiss FFFg 1158 35
Energy 506 ft/lbs
45 Gr/Vol. Pyrodex P 1035 57


September 29, 2010, 09:47 PM
Hey mec,

Thanks for posting your data. It would appear that you gave your Walker a torture test. There have been reports that around 60 grain loads that some people have experience crushed wedges or other damage to their Walkers. Just curious, did you notice anything that would lead you to believe that shooting 60 grains loads is a bad idea. It could be that the Uberti Walkers are a bit tougher than ASM, et al. What manufacture year is your Walker stamped?

Impressed that 37 grains of 777 gave you that result.

September 29, 2010, 10:32 PM
made in 2005. The only problem with the full charge is getting a ball seated on top of it. Likely a lot of stress on the rammer. There is no particular indication of excess pressure, recoil etc with the full charges but 55 grains is a decent level for most shooting. My 60 grain charges were mainly to see what would happen with various powder types and I never have shot them extensively.
The only experience I had with ASM was a nicely finished Dragoon. The finish was nice but the other aspects of the revolver were NOT. Chambers were of different sizes, timing was pitiful. It had to be reworked in a major way to make it shootable.

October 2, 2010, 02:00 AM
An Ed SANOW article from a Feb '98 issue of HANDGUNNER mag lists a vel of 1287 fps w/ 60 gr BP and 14gr roundball.

The article was entitled "BP Stopping Power" and they shot perc revolvers into gelatin as well.

The Walker, and the Dragoons, were the hands down winners.

October 2, 2010, 09:07 AM
Think you typo-ed and meant a 141 RB.

Wow, thats cranking it out there considering just the 9 inch barrel it has.