View Full Version : Triple 7 Vs. Pryodex:

January 13, 2013, 05:18 PM
Back when I was 15, (I am 47 now) we took a trip to see the family in West Kentucky. Among helping with butter churning and liquor making, I was introduced to shooting BP with a .50 caliber Hawken by my uncle. I liked it so much that he gave me a 1858 Remington replica.

He used genuine BP and he told me to just fill the cylinder, pack in the ball and shoot it. he said, "We only measure powder in a rifle, cause the cylinder will only hold so much..."

In fact, it was many, many years before I ever started measuring my charges in a revolver. I found that I could shoot Pyrodex in the same manner, although I started backing down the charges to around 36 grains (IIRC) in my .44 Remington. That gun has well in excess of 4,000 rounds through it, as we shot up all 4,000 balls Dad & I cast together over the years.

Some days, we had to let the gun sit and cool off before we could reload it.

Now yesterday, I bought me up a pound of Triple 7 FFFg, mainly because it was local and less than $25.00 out the door. But, after reading the label, I'm a little leery of the stuff.

It warns of compressing the charge too much and I always gave the ball a good solid push down into the charge.

So, how much compression is enough to eliminate an airspace and not over-compress the charge????

Thanks guys...:confused:

January 13, 2013, 05:52 PM
Triple Seven(777) is more potent than regular BP, Pyrodex or other well known substitutes by about 15%.

You should reduce your charge by 15% when using 777 measuring by volume.

I don't shoot BP handguns but if your charge is 36grns. of reg BP then you should use a charge of 30.6grns of 777.

If you used an actual measurement of 36grns. of 777 it would be the same as shooting 41.7grns of reg. BP, Pyrodex or most other subs.

Far as compression goes, again, speaking in long rifles, I run the projectile down till it is fully, but lightly seated.

January 13, 2013, 06:46 PM
Just push it down until you feel it contact the powder.

January 13, 2013, 07:29 PM
Yep. Like Hawg says. Seat it firmly enough so that you know it's on the powder. Firmly, not strongly.

January 14, 2013, 01:04 AM
I haven't tried it in C&B revolvers, only in rifles. As indicated it is somewhat more energetic by volume than black or fffg so reduce loads by 15-20%. Sometimes a bit difficult to ignite but I doubt that will be a problem in a revolver given the cap location directly behind the charge.

January 14, 2013, 09:11 AM
I've fired it plenty of times in revolvers, and if you reduce the load 15%, like the other guys said, and just seat the ball, you'll be fine. Some people told me not to use it in revolvers, before I knew I wasn't "suppose to". Hogwash, it's no different than pyrodex, just reduce your charge by 15%.

January 14, 2013, 09:54 AM
Thanks, guys....

I have been out of it for a long time and want to get back into it smartly....

January 14, 2013, 10:16 AM
It's been my understanding you measure BP and BP substitutes by volume, not weight.

Pyrodex is lighter then BP. For example, in my 45-70, 70 grs of FFG BP works quite well. 70 grs of Pyrodex wont fit.

So I take my measure I use to get 70 gr of FFG and use it with Pyordex, I end up with about 54 grns of Pyrodex.

So I load some rounds of each, some 70 grn FFG and some 54 grs of Pyrodex and run them though the chronograph, I get the same velocity.

I also get the same impact at the target. Same thing with Triple Seven.

I just got started in Muzzling loading but I do the same thing, I load by volume instead of weight. I'm trying to find out what works best in this rifle.

On my in line TC 50 cal, I use 100 grn (by volume) off FFG, I use the same measure for pyrodex and triple seven and I can keep them in the same group (its been too cold to try the chronograph).

All three also seem to shoot the same as two 50 grn pellets.

I know this is all contrary to smokeless powder but its a different game.

Many years ago I met an old guy who was really into muzzle loading/BP shooting. He made his own rifles including the barrels, and they shot, and shot good.

He would use nothing but Swiss Black Powder, he said everything else was junk.

In choosing a charge, he to not to worry about getting too much powder the gun as long as the bullet was setting on the powder. The way he taught to pick a load was to put 'too much" powder in the rifle, lay some newspaper on the ground, get prone and shoot. Not all the powder would burn but would be found laying on the paper. You keep reducing the powder charge until you stop getting unburned powder on the paper. Then you add or subtract tweaking the charge until you get the accuracy you wanted.

At that time I was living in Alaska but before I went to work for APD, so I didn't work in the winter. I lived a lot on small game but didn't have many 22 shells. I had a supply of BP and Pyrodex and a 36 cal revolver, mold and lead.

I did a lot of rabbit shooting with this revolver, it was winter (when I didn't work) and I didn't want to fool with measuring powder with mittens on. I'd just fill the cylinder with powder and push the ball in enough to turn the cylinder. I sill load this revolver that way (some 40 odd years later). The only difference is I have another revolver just like it and shoot it the same way. I also put grease over each hole, I didn't back then because the grease froze before I could load the revolver. I lucked out on that one.

I suppose I could shoot it better if I was picky on my loading, but I can't shoot that revolver good enough to tell the difference.

Now as too my InLine TC. I try to keep it consistent, (using by volume, 100 grns of BP measure for my substitute powder, and so far its pretty dern accurate.

As to a question I asked on this form a while back, I cannot tell the difference in shooting my Inline, the difference between BP 209 primers and regulars 209 shotgun primers.

I'm new to Muzzle loading, so don't take this as gospel, I'm just telling you what I've found so far in my guns.

January 14, 2013, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the info, Kraigwy....

January 25, 2013, 10:08 AM
Pietta recommends 22 grains max BP in my '61 Police .36 Revolver. So when using Triple 7, the recommend reducing the load (by volume) by 15%.

15% of 22.0 is 3.3% and by my calculations, the result would be 18.7 grains.

Would 15 grains be a good starting point, since my adjustable measure is in 5 grain increments????

Thanks for your shared expertise...

January 25, 2013, 12:26 PM
Yes. Measuring black powder (or it's substitutes) to an accuracy of a single 'grain' by volume, and by extension tenths of a grain, is an exercise in futility. You may be able to accomplish it, but seeing a difference in result (in terms of velocity, energy or group size) is extremely unlikely.

January 26, 2013, 07:34 PM
triple 7 has about 30 precent more power than pyrodex

January 26, 2013, 07:43 PM
triple 7 has about 30 precent more power than pyrodex

I disagree. Pyrodex and real black are pretty close to the same performance by volume. So Triple 7 is only 15% stronger than Pyro by volume.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
January 26, 2013, 09:16 PM
Not all the powder would burn but would be found laying on the paper. You keep reducing the powder charge until you stop getting unburned powder on the paper.Then you add or subtract tweaking the charge until you get the accuracy you wanted.
That's a good sound piece of advice kraigwy. I really like hearing about those old timer ways. Would have made one very interestingly and fun book to read no doubt if all those quips & suggestions were written down back in the days of real traditional shooting. A time when there wasn't Triple 777, Pyrodex RS-P or Select, poly-patches or Designer Smelling patch lubes.
OP not wanting to be a naysayer but a suggestion. Be careful with these now-a-days substitute powders as many of there brands were never engraved on your firearm to use. Keep in mind substitutes always try to compare themselves to Black Powder in theory or measure. But in reality they don't quite make it too the same level as B/P for one reason or another. Many times than not it pays to be Old School about this stuff.

January 26, 2013, 10:57 PM
I especially liked:

He would use nothing but Swiss Black Powder, he said everything else was junk. :D


Not all the powder would burn but would be found laying on the paper. You keep reducing the powder charge until you stop getting unburned powder on the paper. Then you add or subtract tweaking the charge until you get the accuracy you wanted.

IMHO Swiss is the best available. I've shot thousands of rounds in my time and it is simply superior. I know I'll probably take a bunch of heat for saying this and also the reason I don't post often.

Real BP (Goex/Swiss) is an explosive, substitutes are propellants. Big difference. This is why the "box" stores don't sell it. Liability and also a Federal licence required.

I do use T/7 pellets in my in-lines but they are designed to shoot them. That being said, just because something CAN shoot 150gr. DOES NOT mean that's what you should shoot. Most in-lines have a 28 inch barrel. This size barrel can't burn 150gr. of powder. At the very most, 120gr. of pellets or powder is the max that can be burned. (powder left unburned on the paper)!!! The old boy kraigwy posted about is exactly right! My in-lines shoot the same using 120gr. og Swiss or 120gr. of T/7 pellets. Imagine that. ;)

As to the question: I cannot tell the difference in shooting my Inline, the difference between BP 209 primers and regulars 209 shotgun primers. It was found not long after the introduction of 209's they were excellent ignition, but a bit too hot! They were causing problems such as: the sabot would jump ahead in the barrel from the 209 (before the powder ignited) causing a slight air gap. This led to the "crud ring" and accuracy problems. IMHO the crud ring is nothing more than melted plastic from the sabot. This is why I always clean between shots with a sabot gun to get the plastic out of the barrel... powder fouling is NOT the real issue!

Shoot em up!


January 27, 2013, 06:54 PM
Real BP (Goex/Swiss) is an explosive, substitutes are propellants. Big difference.

I'll go you one further. Substitutes AND smokeless powder are explosives.

Many people (even other EOD tecs) will argue but if you don't believe me stick a blasking cap into a can of BP Substitues or Smokeless powder.

The difference is what it takes to get them to explode.

Actually an Explosion is nothing more then a "fast burning rate". Burning rate (how fast it burns is what seperates Low and High Explosive.

January 28, 2013, 12:19 PM
So, if Pietta recommends 22 grains maximum of BP and I am using Triple 7, a 15% reduction (as they recommend) in charge volume would be 18.7 grains/volume????

I am currently shooting a .36 round ball over 15 grains/volume of Triple 7, since my brass Pedersoli measure is clearly marked in 5 grain increments.

Did I add that up right in my head????:confused:

January 28, 2013, 12:45 PM

The Hogdon website shows 15 grains of Triple 7 FFFg behind a .375" ball clocks 662 fps, which is about where I am currently loading.

The chart shows a second load of 20 grains Triple 7 FFFg under the same .375" ball at 832 fps.

Which is best for accuracy???

January 28, 2013, 02:56 PM

January 28, 2013, 03:45 PM
The "reduce your charge by 15% to replicate a blackpowder load" thing scares people about 777. I've used it on and off for years, and honestly I don't see any reason to be nervous about the stuff. Choosing pyrodex or 777, I prefer pyrodex myself because under compression 777 gets kinda inconsistent. I don't have a chrono but the difference is audible...did it just go bang or did it go BANG! And its a little harder to light off than pyrodex, sometimes a #11 cap wont do it and I've had some hangfires with 777.

I can't suggest any charges for the 36 cal because I don't have one myself, but your math is right, 22grains of blackpowder reduced by 15% is 18.7grains. If you upped it to 20grains of 777 with your 5grain increment powder measure, you're not going to hurt anything. I say take 18 or 24 shots with 15grains of 777 and then clean up and take another 18 or 24 shots with 20grains of 777 and see if you can tell any difference in your groups...at the very least you have a reason to go make smoke! :)

Have fun and post pictures! :D

January 28, 2013, 04:04 PM
@ Logan,

Here are the results of my recent testing:

15 grains of FFFg Triple 7 under a Speer 95 grain ball and 1/8" felt wad and Remington #10 caps.

The single-shot that appears at 5 O'clock was the very first shot fired through the gun. I fired it at 9 feet, rapidly drawn from the holster, and fired as soon as the barrel could be leveled, a sort of 'Old West Emergency Action Drill,' I guess you could say.

The next 12 rounds were fired at 50 feet from a traditional weaver-style combat stance, cocking the hammer with the thumb of the left support hand and firing at a fairly rapid pace.

The 3 headshots were fired at 21 feet, one at a time, from the holstered position, drawing the pistol quickly and firing as quickly as sight picture could be obtained.

Very pleased...

January 28, 2013, 05:46 PM
Bad day for the masked bandit...

That's some good shootin, looks like 15grains is your load and the paper guy shouldn't oughta have thrown down on you! :D

January 28, 2013, 07:07 PM

He's tough looking, but doesn't move around much....:D

January 28, 2013, 07:09 PM

Triple 7 is a breeze to clean up. I like this aspect of the powder and that I can use fewer grains for a given velocity...

January 28, 2013, 07:11 PM
Triple 7 is a breeze to clean up
I cant see it being any easier than Pyrodex.

January 28, 2013, 07:12 PM
@ Logan,

I modify my 1911's with a 14.5 lb recoil spring and a squared firing pin stop. It has a huge effect on controlability.

In this still, taken from a video, I demonstrate (4) rounds of factory 230 grain ball fired from my Colt-Hartford 1927A1 in less than 1/2 second...

January 30, 2013, 11:28 AM
What has your experience been with Triple 7 good or bad????

January 30, 2013, 12:29 PM
Re: 4 shots in 1/2 second, Man you don't just double tap em, you double double tap em! :D
If the BG gets up after that, give him the other 3 and reload while running! :eek:

But as far as 777 goes, Overall I'd say good experiences. As you mentioned the cleanup is easier than BP or pyrodex, and you get a little more thud for the same volume powder charge. I know a couple of guys that won't shoot anything else just because of that. Some people don't like the smell of 777, I can tell if your shooting 777 or pyrodex as soon as the smoke from the first shot hits me...I think it has a sort of chemical smell, but 777 isn't sulfur based so you don't have the rotten egg smell.

Pyrodex is a couple of bucks cheaper per pound around here so I've stuck with it for years. But theres nothing inherently wrong with 777 and I shoot it in my inline from time to time and if I take a notion to CC the Remmy I'll use it for a special SD load that I worked up that is very reliable and packs a nice whump on the target when I decide that its time to put fresh powder under the lead. If I'm just target shooting I get distracted talking with my shooting buddies and I tend to get a little heavy handed on the loading lever. But brazosdave said it right though, just seat the ball on the powder and you'll be fine.

January 30, 2013, 03:23 PM
Thanks, Logan, I appreciate your input.

I used Pyrodex for years in my '58 Remy and I would just fill the cylinder level-full, ram a .451" ball in and shoot. Did that for over 1,000 rounds with no issues. I am much more careful with the 777 and measure it out....

January 30, 2013, 09:50 PM
I use 777 because it was on sale at Walmart. I am satisfied with it. I don't have any experience with any other powder. Easy to clean up, I like that.

Willie Sutton
January 30, 2013, 11:16 PM
Late to the game, but I liked this:

I'd just fill the cylinder with powder and push the ball in enough to turn the cylinder.

And I thought I was the only one to use the cylinder as it's own powder measure. Fill it up, blow it off level, and load ball.



January 31, 2013, 03:32 PM

I might not do it with Triple 7, but I did it for probably 15 years with Pyrodex...