View Full Version : Black Powder in metallic cartridges

Bear Flare
October 22, 2001, 10:28 AM
Anybody know where I can get published load data for BP in metallic cartridges like 45-70 and 44-40?

Got a Rifle Model 1873 trapdoor I want to shoot. It's in marvelous shape, bright bore and chamber, coupla busted minor parts like rear sight leaf spring and stacking swivel.

I know the "70" is originally 70 grs of FFG black powder, but what about pyrodex substitutes? I also hear that it's hard to get 70 grns into modern cases due to the thicker case head design.

Thanks a bunch!


Cap n ball
October 22, 2001, 12:08 PM
Just enter 'black powder cartridges' into Google or any other standard search engine and you will find a bunch of material. I've used the Hodgdon manual for years. It's complete and also gives correct measurement for use of pyrodex or BP. Try http://www.hodgdon.com/

Mike Irwin
October 22, 2001, 04:36 PM
Pretty much you load the cartridge so that there is no airspace between the base of the bullet and the powder, and the bullet slightly compresses the powder.

Leaving an airspace with BP is a bad thing.

Alex Johnson
October 24, 2001, 09:42 PM
If you want match quality cartridges buy the manual on loading them by (spelling) Steve Garb and Mike Venturino.

The basics, load your cartridges with a drop tube, basically a length of brass or copper pipe about .40 diameter about 2 feet long. The measured charge of black powder is than dropped through this tube where it falls into the empty case. The powder will be uniformally packed and the loads much more consistant. If your using pyrodex use magnum primers since they take a bit more spark to ignite reliably. Make sure you buy, or mold bullets with the proper grease grooves in them and lube them with SPG lubricant. Finally, I use a paper wad between the bullet and the powder, usually I make these out of 1/2 gallon paper milk cartons, they have a nice coating of wax on them. Some people actually use a grease cookie, but I have found this to be messy. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you wash those cases when your done shooting them, the blackpowder will ruin the brass quicker than you'd think. Oh by the way, most of my 45-70 loads use about 60 grains of 2fg Goex Black Powder and a variety of bullet weights, I shot my last deer with a 500 grain variant. These are pretty close to the original loads for the trapdoor rifles. The carbines were loaded with less powder (I think 50-55 grains) since the cavalry didn't like the extra recoil. Have fun, oh by the way, no smoking when your loading these cartridges:D