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Old April 30, 2019, 10:54 AM   #26
Pahoo
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I don't give it much thought

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What I’ve read a few times is that when people lay out a white sheet or shoot over snow and find what they believe to be unburned powder it is likely to actually be the particles that just don’t burn. This makes some sense to me when you look at the muzzle flash, that huge fireball, and wonder how and powder ejected would not catch and burn outside of the barrel. I guess the only way to know for sure, and it seems as though someone tried it, is to capture the ejected particles and see if it will burn.
This is true but not in all cases. You will always get ash and some degree of unburned powder that gets flushed out. I have done a "few" of these tests and got mixed results. The goal is to find your optimum load and still limit the amount of unburned powder. It happens and we can live with it. …..

I'm sure some of you remember the CVA-Electra. The design/goal was to burn as much powder inside the barrel by eliminating the primer pressures. In theory, it was good but in practice, not practical. ….

Be Safe !!
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Old May 1, 2019, 12:38 AM   #27
arcticap
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I agree.
There's not much that you can do about preventing the muzzle blast with such a large bore.
It's just like with a cannon, there's going to be a bunch of external fire and blast.
It's said that only about half of black powder actually burns in any barrel, the rest is carbon waste.
Even a Walker revolver with a 9 inch barrel can be loaded with up to 60 grains of powder.
What doesn't burn is basically leftover carbon particles from the charcoal.
That doesn't necessarily mean that it's excess gun powder.
The pellets have already exited the barrel long before the muzzle blast shows itself.
Even a blunderbuss would look like a flame thrower.

Last edited by arcticap; May 1, 2019 at 12:45 AM.
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Old May 1, 2019, 04:50 PM   #28
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People are always talking about loads that burn as much of the the powder as possible inside the barrel as being optimum loads but what they actually are is wussy loads. The more powder you use(up to a point) gives you more velocity but it is a case of diminishing returns.
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Old May 1, 2019, 07:09 PM   #29
HillBilly Willy
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Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
People are always talking about loads that burn as much of the the powder as possible inside the barrel as being optimum loads but what they actually are is wussy loads. The more powder you use(up to a point) gives you more velocity but it is a case of diminishing returns.
And there's the rub. No one else has a 15 3/8" barrel like I have, so I'm pretty much winging it here. I suppose I could try more powder, but will it make any difference? If it ends up blowing out the barrel before igniting, it is doing nothing towards adding to the velocity of the ball.

Just for kicks, I could load 120 or even 200 grains with no ball, and see if the fireball is any bigger. If it is, then at least that's a good indication that the powder IS being burned.
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Old May 1, 2019, 07:43 PM   #30
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It's a personal choice !!!

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People are always talking about loads that burn as much of the the powder as possible inside the barrel as being optimum loads but what they actually are is wussy loads.
That's one perspective or opinion and that's fine. Under normal circumstances " every" M/L has an optimum target and hunting load. One method of deterring an optimum load is by using a Chrono. You load, you shoot, you measure. Eventually you will reach a point there too much powder will not shoot any better than the previous load. The same is true by using 3F instead of 2F. You may get the same performance by using less of 3F. ….

Most of my M/L's are rated for a max of 120 of 150 grns of 2F. My optimum target load, is in the low 70's and my optimum hunting load is at 90-95. When we teach, we use 40grns of 2F and everyone can shoot and still bucks..

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Old May 1, 2019, 08:05 PM   #31
HillBilly Willy
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Originally Posted by Pahoo View Post
That's one perspective or opinion and that's fine. Under normal circumstances " every" M/L has an optimum target and hunting load. One method of deterring an optimum load is by using a Chrono. You load, you shoot, you measure. Eventually you will reach a point there too much powder will not shoot any better than the previous load. The same is true by using 3F instead of 2F. You may get the same performance by using less of 3F. ….

Most of my M/L's are rated for a max of 120 of 150 grns of 2F. My optimum target load, is in the low 70's and my optimum hunting load is at 90-95. When we teach, we use 40grns of 2F and everyone can shoot and still bucks..

Be Safe !!!
I don't think I have mentioned this in any of my previous posts, but when I place a toothpick in the touch hole, and pour my 3F down the barrel, it takes 50 grains to just cover the toothpick. That is how I came to decide that 60 grains would be minimum amount of powder to guarantee blast off.
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Old May 2, 2019, 02:20 AM   #32
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Quote:
Most of my M/L's are rated for a max of 120 of 150 grns of 2F. My optimum target load, is in the low 70's and my optimum hunting load is at 90-95. When we teach, we use 40grns of 2F and everyone can shoot and still bucks.
I use 90 grains of 2F in my .50's and .54's which is a little light for a .54 but it works very well. I use 65 in my .58 Enfield with minies. I use 80 in 12 gauge shotguns and used 80 in my .54 Sharps.
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Old May 3, 2019, 09:05 PM   #33
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Rust

Let me be the naysayer here. I keep looking at pictures of that gun and every one shows a coating of heavy rust. I would not shoot that gun.
Have you had it xrayed?
Do you know how deep the rust pits actually go? What the effect is of two or three deep pits linked together is on the structural integity of the gun.
Remember that stress damage is cumulative. Just because the gun did not blowup already does not mean it is safe to fire.
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Old May 4, 2019, 09:51 AM   #34
HillBilly Willy
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Originally Posted by darkgael View Post
Let me be the naysayer here. I keep looking at pictures of that gun and every one shows a coating of heavy rust. I would not shoot that gun.
Have you had it xrayed?
Do you know how deep the rust pits actually go? What the effect is of two or three deep pits linked together is on the structural integity of the gun.
Remember that stress damage is cumulative. Just because the gun did not blowup already does not mean it is safe to fire.
Your points are well taken.

When you say you see a coating of heavy rust, I assume that you mean you see heavy pitting which is evidence that the barrel was rusted in the past. That has been a concern of mine, which is why I test fire it remotely with every increased load.

I have not had it xrayed. Where would one go to have that done, and how much would it cost? I assume one doesn't just bring it to the hospital, and say I think my gun is "sick" and needs an xray.

I jest, but in all seriousness, the pitting does appear to my untrained eye to be more at the muzzle end, as evidenced by my shoving a 3/4" wooden dowel down the barrel. It got progressively tighter the further it went in. I also put a bore light down the barrel and I don't see any pitting that looks deep.

Ideally, I would like to hang it up on the wall in a shadow box along with my other family heirloom antique pistols, and obtain something in better condition to replace it when I want to shoot black powder. In any case, I don't plan on shooting this piece for years to come.
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