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Old October 11, 2018, 01:23 AM   #1
TruthTellers
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What substitute powders do you like and not like?

It's tough to get real black powder these days other than internet ordering, but I don't care to pay a hazmat fee for 2 lbs of powder and have to wait around to sign for the delivery.

I've been using substitutes, Pyrodex and Triple 7 for years and they both work. The worst thing about Pyro is having to clean it so thoroughly, but I find it is very accurate. T7 is powerful and easy to clean and accuracy is good, only problem is it's not as easy to find as Pyro or as cheap.

Of all the substitutes you've used, which do you like most? Which works best for you? Which do you hate the most and why?
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Old October 11, 2018, 07:58 AM   #2
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Got back into muzzleloaders in 1999. Used Pyrodex, including pellets, for several years. Have also used Triple seven, APP, Jim Shockey's Gold, the now defunct Goex Pinnacle and Black MZ. i've never used Blackhorn 209 powder or the newer brands of pellets.

Pyrodex is a very good and consistent powder. Black MZ has worked very well for me. Black MZ requires a tight fitting sabot or ball seated hard on the powder.

i don't dislike any of the current black powder substitutes and will never use black powder.
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Old October 11, 2018, 08:43 AM   #3
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It really doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me. All foul about the same and require immediate {within reason} soap & water removal.

But~if I didn't have the time to clean my rifle or needed to delay its cleaning beyond what is considered >appropriate practice.
Accurate Arms "Black Horn 209" would be my choice.

BTW: I don't use Sub powers period. I'm a Traditional rifle shooter.
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Old October 11, 2018, 09:15 AM   #4
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Triple 7. It’s the only energetic powder other than BH209, which I might try if a percussion cap could ignite it as you can’t get 209 nipples for revolvers.

I’ve seen energetic numbers for Pyrodex. But I’ve seen many more that aren’t. And I don’t like the fouling as it has a sticky quality. And I don’t like how fast it begins to corrode.

But I typically buy 3 lbs at a time and get Olde Eynsford black powder through the mail.
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Old October 11, 2018, 12:40 PM   #5
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I like Alliant Black MZ for cartridges. Pyrodex pellets for in-line. Rocklocks and cap&ball get Goex FFg or FFFg. I have used the Goex in cartridges as well. Olde Eynsford - it's been recommended to me. Need to try some 1 1/2 F in my 50-70, 500 gr paper patched. A guy who knows a lot more than I do recommended it.
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Old October 11, 2018, 04:47 PM   #6
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The only sub I use is Pyrodex. It's consistent and doesn't foul any worse than real bp. It also has an undeserved reputation for rust and corrosion. Not to mention it's cheaper than all the rest.
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Old October 11, 2018, 05:54 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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I tried substituting Goex FFFg for Swiss 1 1/2. Gained a little velocity but lost on accuracy.
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Old October 11, 2018, 06:10 PM   #8
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I have used Pyrodex for years and just tried Alliant MZ. I like both of them and was impressed by the MZ and the price sure was right. But I would rather just shoot real BP.

Buy 25 pounds from powderinc and you get free shipping and hazmat. Don't need 25 pounds? Just do what I did and get a couple of buds to go in on the order and split the price.

I did that many years ago and when the powder got here the other two about half backed out on me and I ended up with about 20 of the 25 pounds I ordered. In hindsight I am glad they did. With what I already had and the rest from that order I am fixed pretty well for powder.
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Old October 11, 2018, 11:19 PM   #9
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Pyrodex has certainly earned their quick and terrible corrosion reputation. This was from a test done several years ago and posted. This was after 4 days in a humid garage. Pyrodex is much, much worse.



My rifle was an absolute mess less than 1/2 a day later. Learned a lesson there (not to listen to those who say you can go days before cleaning because they have).

I learned that if you can’t get to your gun that day you should soak the fouling in an oil (I use Ballistol).

Last edited by rodwhaincamo; October 11, 2018 at 11:24 PM.
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Old October 12, 2018, 12:12 AM   #10
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^ The first time I shot a black powder gun was with my then new Pietta 1858. Shot about 3 cylinders worth, wiped down the outside to clean the soot off, and rinsed out the cylinder, didn't touch the bore because I was told that Pyrodex doesn't need immediate cleaning like real black powder does.

Went back a week later to look at the gun... outside was fine, the area at the top strap was getting surface rust, but the bore... holy crap, that was like looking at the frame of a 15 year old truck in the Northeast, brown everywhere.

I like the results Pyrodex gives me at the range, but when I'm done shooting, I hate the stuff.

Triple 7 is awesome, but I get concerned with how little powder is used that my ramrod won't be able to seat the ball deep enough on top of the powder, so I end up putting more T7 in that what's recommended and get to hear that supersonic crack knowing that I'm somewhere near 1050 fps.

Great power, east to clean. So far I'd have to say Triple 7 is my favorite sub, but it's damn expensive.
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Old October 12, 2018, 02:14 AM   #11
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I dunno. I live in MS and it doesn't get much more humid than here and I left a Remington uncleaned for nine days with no signs of rust or corrosion. Of course it was stored under AC and not left in a garage. I will frequently go two or three days without cleaning.
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Old October 12, 2018, 03:10 AM   #12
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3F American Pioneer is my favorite for revolvers and an older inline.
Pyrodex P is my favorite for most sidelocks.
777 works pretty good in a small bore .36 sidelock.
I'll use a mixed bag of powders with shotguns.

777 seems to produce sharper recoil which is its main drawback in larger calibers.
Its residue also seems to have a little bit more of a sticky quality to it
that doesn't seem as compatible for use with Bore Butter patches.
And that's also why I don't use lube with APP either.
Swabbing with a mineral oil rag will easily clean up a revolver bore that has APP fouling.

I have some real black powder but never use it.
I hope to use it someday with the right gun.
I don't hate black powder because I know that it can be more accurate than any of the subs.
But I got set in my ways and just haven't decided to change any powder preferences yet.
Maybe someday I'll dedicate a gun to loading only with black powder.
But until then I'll stick with the sub powders and save the best for last.

Last edited by arcticap; October 13, 2018 at 01:53 AM.
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Old October 12, 2018, 08:50 AM   #13
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If you shoot flintlocks....my hunting guns are flintlocks.....you need real BP because the subs do not light in a rock gun.
People will tell you that they use subs in a flint gun. Not me. Not if I want the gun to fire.
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Old October 12, 2018, 09:27 AM   #14
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“...so I end up putting more T7 in that what's recommended...”

What recommendation? Hodgdon’s site used to state a reduction of 15% was necessary to achieve the same velocity as black powder. This was obviously old information as Swiss and Olde Eynsford regularly get a slightly higher velocity with the same powder charge. This reduction had nothing to do with pressure or safety.
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Old October 12, 2018, 12:16 PM   #15
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Too bad Dan Pawlak died in explosion, making the first big batch of Pyrodex. He was truly a pyrotechnic genius.

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Old October 12, 2018, 01:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
People will tell you that they use subs in a flint gun. Not me. Not if I want the gun to fire.
Slow ignition time is common since the powders burn a bit slower and are a bit harder to ignite. If you want to use subs in a flinter, and have quick lock times, you still need to use bp in the pan and 5 or 10 grains down the barrel first. You can use subs on top of that with no ill effect. Makes it complicated though, and that's the real drawback.
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Old October 12, 2018, 03:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodwhaincamo View Post
“...so I end up putting more T7 in that what's recommended...”

What recommendation? Hodgdon’s site used to state a reduction of 15% was necessary to achieve the same velocity as black powder. This was obviously old information as Swiss and Olde Eynsford regularly get a slightly higher velocity with the same powder charge. This reduction had nothing to do with pressure or safety.
It's right on the bottle:



"35 grain-Ruger Old Army"

I use 40 grains in a Pietta NMA.
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Old October 12, 2018, 11:59 PM   #18
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T7 fanboy here. Tried Pyro.. didnt seem as energetic to me.

Hawg you realize that AC cuts humidity as well as temp right?

T7 IS damn expensive. Would like to try some 209, but I guess I would have to shove some T7 down it first?
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Old October 13, 2018, 11:49 AM   #19
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I always clean my guns as soon as I get home and have never had a rust problem with any powders I use.

I use machinist water soluble oil mixed rich with water for a patch lube and when done shooting I run a couple of pretty wet T-Shirt material patches down the bore and wipe off around the nipple with them and that may help explain why I have never had a rust problem no matter what powder I use. Then a complete cleaning first chance I get.
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Old October 13, 2018, 12:07 PM   #20
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Anything that does not contain Sulphur.

Quote:
Of all the substitutes you've used, which do you like most? Which works best for you? Which do you hate the most and why?
My compliments on posting your question, in this manner and there have been too many spitting contests, over BP Vs. it's replacements. …..

I have used just about all the ones that have come and gone. I'm good with anything that does not contain, Sulphur and currently pretty much stuck on 777. There are times when I Pinnacle. A buddy of mine gave me a case of it. ….

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 13, 2018, 02:53 PM   #21
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I bought pyrotechnics once and stayed with BP.
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Old October 13, 2018, 02:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
I bought pyrotechnics once and stayed with BP.
I never bought any pyrotechnics and have always used BP.
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Old October 13, 2018, 09:48 PM   #23
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I use a LOT of Black MZ shooting Cowboy Action. Only $9.99/pound at Sportsman's Warehouse, and with one of their $10 off a $50 purchase, or $30 off a $150 purchase (20% off), it's only $7.99... if you can make it an even $50 or $150 purchase.
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Old October 14, 2018, 02:08 PM   #24
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For years I 've used T7 in the percussion Browning Mountain muzzleloader while opting for Goex FFF in the flintlock. FFF in my flintlock runs fine under the ball as well as in the pan.

.02. David.
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Old October 14, 2018, 10:29 PM   #25
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I've used everything starting with Pyrodex, Black Canyon then going to Black Mag 3, then Clean Shot, then Clear Shot, then APP, Pinnacle, T7, and Black MZ. I'll use anything cheap in the shotgun like garage sale Pyrodex or APP but usually Black MZ due to it's low price. In cartridges: FFg Goex in 45-70, T7 in .357 mag (SASS shoots), Black MZ in 38SPL (SASS shoots). In the C&Bs (SASS shoots) Goex FFFg or Goex 5FA. in the 58cal rifled muskets/Hawkens FFg Goex. I always clean the day of shooting if at all possible. If not everything gets an oil coat.
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