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Old September 23, 2004, 12:05 AM   #1
Join Date: September 22, 2004
Posts: 29
new guy question

Here's what may be a stupid question,

What would happen if pyrodex "P" was used in a rifle?
Would this be dangerous?
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Old September 23, 2004, 12:16 AM   #2
Baker Boy
Join Date: September 19, 2004
Location: Lehi, UT
Posts: 28
Pyrodex, as you probably know, is a black-powder subsitute that produces ballistic characteristics similar to traditional black powder. Smokeless powders produce dramatically increased pressures over black/pyrodex powders. Consequently, firearms built to withstand the pressures of smokeless powder should have no problem containing charges of pyrodex. However (and this is a big however) you'd better be pretty sure you know what you're doing if you substitute pyrodex/black for smokeless - AND NEVER THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Although using low-pressure black or pyrodex shouldn't be harmful to a gun designed for smokeless powder, with an improper charge you run the risk of anything from a bullet getting lodged in the barrel to the whole thing blowing up in your face. You just never know. That's why you should find some reputable load data to use as a starting point.
If I'm not mistaken, there are cowboy action loads out there that use black powder in cartridge firearms, but I'm not really sure. At any rate, use established load data as a starting point for any load experimentation. Hope that's helpful and be careful.
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Old September 23, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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After reading Baker Boys answer, I'm confused about whether you mean using P in a modern cartridge rifle, or P in place of RS or FF black in a BP muzzleloader...?? If you're using it in a cartridge rifle, the same rules apply as with black, the most important being that you leave no dead air space between the powder charge and the bullet.

P is a substitute for FFF black, so it would be similar to using FFF in place of FF. 3F is used in BP pistols & revolvers, while 2F is mainly used in rifles of .54 cal and up. You would get a little more "steam" behind the ball, resulting in a bit more velocity and pressure, but if the rifle is a modern BP gun, and you weren't exceeding the recommended charge of FF, you would be just fine. For instance, in an H&R Huntsman .58 cal, H&R recommends no more than 100 grains FF (volume) as a max load, but if you used 100 grains (volume) of P (pistol) instead of RS (rifle/shotgun), it isn't going to come apart.
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Old September 23, 2004, 11:00 AM   #4
Join Date: September 22, 2004
Posts: 29
New guys question

I'm sorry for not being clearer.
I meant using pyrodex P in a percussion rifle instead of pyrodex RS.
I wondered if "P" was much more powerful than "RS" by volume or weight.
thanks and my apologies.
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Old September 23, 2004, 07:34 PM   #5
Mark whiz
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Location: Wabash, IN
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Pyro P is the rough equivalent of 3fg black powder, while Pyro RS & Select are equivalents to Black 2fg powder.

P or 3fg powders are finer cuts, so they ignite & burn a little faster - developing higher pressures as they burn ................. so to use them in a rifle, you need to reduce your powder loads 10 to 15%. In other words, it you shoot a particular bullet with 100gr of RS, you need to drop that to 85 or 90gr of P powder to maintain a close equivalent.

Many sidelock shooters DO use P or 3fg powder as it speeds ignition some and tends to make them more accurate - but typically, P or 3fg is standard for pistol use.

Now I HAVE tried 3fg 777 powder in my Knight rifle and it works REAL well with heavier bullets - plus there is very little difference between 2fg & 3fg 777 ........... so reducing your load has not proven to be necessary.
"Every moving thing that liveth, I give unto you as meat" (Gen 9:3)
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