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Old January 11, 2019, 04:11 PM   #1
deerslayer303
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Smokeless Powder in the NMA

Hey ya Fellers,
I hope the new year is treating you all well. Anyway I came across a video on the tube where this feller is firing 4.6 ish grains of clays, 30 grains of corn meal, and a RB in his Pietta NMA. The revolver handled it just fine. And as interesting as this is I can't say I would ever try it. Have any of you heard this? And where might I find info on peak pressure that a load of this sort may produce? I believe that if you keep the pressure the same as with black then a smokeless load could safely be used. What say you?

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT, repeat, I DO NOT recommend anyone using or trying smokeless powder in a muzzleloading firearm. I do recommend you read and FOLLOW your manufacturers safety instructions included with your firearms.
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Old January 11, 2019, 06:21 PM   #2
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The instructions that came in my owners manual states:
".....Percussion revolver intended solely for use with BLACK POWDER and should NEVER , under any circumstances, be loaded with ANY TYPE SMOKELESS POWDER as the results could be damage to the revolver and injury to the shooter and bystanders...."
I don't have a problem comprehending what this means...if you want to go the way of the Utuber ... have at it , I'm not going down that road !.
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Old January 11, 2019, 08:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
I don't have a problem comprehending what this means...if you want to go the way of the Utuber ... have at it , I'm not going down that road !.
What makes you think I had any trouble either? I never said I wanted to go the way of the "Utuber" I am merely interested in the difference in that charge with the clays powder vs say a 30 grain charge of black. I'm sure it has to be much higher as ANY smokeless powder is lightning fast compared to black.
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Old January 11, 2019, 10:45 PM   #4
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The smokeless produces a sharper pressure spike that puts more sudden stress on the softer BP gun parts.

Here's a link to a pressure curve and a photo of an 1860 army with only 1.5grs Bullseye under a ball.

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...n-guns.829596/
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Old January 12, 2019, 03:20 AM   #5
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You tube is full of idiots trying to weed their genes out of the gene pool.
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Old January 12, 2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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The 4.6 grs of Clays probably got somewhat mixed in with the cornmeal and likely was muted in its pressure peak.
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Old January 12, 2019, 03:41 PM   #7
bladesmith 1
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I've been shooting nitro powders in Damascus barreled SxSs for over 12 years. I also put on a SxS Shoot every year where anywhere from 30 to 80 guys attend and I'd have to say about half of them also shoot nitro powders in Damascus guns. We keep pressures down to what BP would produce. JMHO, but how fast you get to maximum pressure doesn't matter. Guys with shotguns have been arguing that for years, but no one at my shoot or anywhere else I've heard of have blown up a gun. That said, guess I'm taking the safe route and wouldn't do it with my replica revolvers. That side wall in the cylinder looks awful thin. And, I like shooting BP in my NMAs, where as shooting a 150 shells a night three times a week in my shotguns is a different story. My friend use to shoot Bullseye in his OMA Ruger with no problems. He felt that gun used the same steel as used in the Blackhawk, so it was safe.
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Old January 12, 2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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Hellgate, That is wild. Just 1.5grs scattered that thing. The guy in the video is running on borrowed time. I won't post the link here as to not give him any more exposure. Your reasoning about the cornmeal is probably true. I think the corn meal is finer than the granules of clays powder allowing the cornmeal to dillute the charge so to speak. So that might be saving that cylinder at the least. Now the conversion cylinders available for our hand cannons are made of stronger steel of course. But the rest of our guns are not. So what will save them over repeating use with a conversion cylinder? Is it the gap between the barrel and cylinder? What about my babies who have been Goonerized and have a cylinder gap tighter than a Gnats booty? Or I guess the conversion cylinder installed in my guns won't be as tight as the percussion cylinders that Mike fitted?
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Old January 12, 2019, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Now the conversion cylinders available for our hand cannons are made of stronger steel of course. But the rest of our guns are not. So what will save them over repeating use with a conversion cylinder?
Modern ammo is kept light to keep from ruining original guns so it works out well for the conversions.

Quote:
I've been shooting nitro powders in Damascus barreled SxSs for over 12 years. I also put on a SxS Shoot every year where anywhere from 30 to 80 guys attend and I'd have to say about half of them also shoot nitro powders in Damascus guns.
I grew up doing it with 2 3/4 factory shells before I knew any better but it's not exactly the same thing. The chamber walls of a shotgun are a lot thicker than the chambers of a revolver. I would never think about putting any amount of smokeless in a percussion anything.
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Old January 12, 2019, 10:03 PM   #10
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Hawg, Do you only shoot cowboy action loads in yours with conversion cylinders? I think I'm at a point where I want to get one with a gated Kirst. I used to turn my nose up at it cause I would think buying one that was made to fire cartridges made more sense. But for some reason I find myself wanting a NMA 5.5" with a Kirst.
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Old January 12, 2019, 11:23 PM   #11
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Hawg, Do you only shoot cowboy action loads in yours with conversion cylinders?
I don't have a conversion but if I did I'd shoot reloads that match off the shelf ammo. Off the shelf ammo is loaded light so as to not ruin original guns. I doubt I could stand the pop gun cowboy loads.
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:28 AM   #12
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Deerslayer303, the cyl clearance in your open top should be fine and help with efficiency just as with the cap cyl. If it needs fitting, I'd do that for you since I've already set the revolver up. Give me a call if you want to discuss.

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Old January 13, 2019, 10:19 AM   #13
John E.B. Rawton
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I have had both of my uberti walkers fitted with kirst konverters in .45 colt. I’ve shot many reloads using trailboss which were about the same as the cowboy ammo that you would by off the shelf. I have also shot bp loads. The starline brass holds about 35 gr of bp. I’ve never been too interested in pushing hot loads so I couldn’t say more. I would go to the kirst site and review their info. I believe they disclose what they see as safe parameters for their product.
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:25 AM   #14
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Kirst KonverterTM
U.S. Patent No. 6,047,490 • Patents Pending
Shoot cartridges in your Cap and Ball revolver
Kirst Konverter LLC manufactures the safest, quickest, most scientifically advanced Cartridge Converter for your cap & ball revolver. The Kirst KonverterTM is not a firearm. It is an accessory that you install. If you can own a firearm, you can install this device in your cap & ball revolver.
For your SAFETY read the following before using!
Kirst’s Cartridge Konverter is not a firearm according to provisions of 18 United States Code Chapter 44, Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 178. Installing a Kirst Cartridge Konverter® into a percussion revolver creates a firearm subject to those provisions, however under Federal law; an individual who is not prohibited from possessing firearms can lawfully install the Cartridge KonverterTM in a percussion revolver for the personal use of that individual.
Check your revolver thoroughly for mechanical condition and bore obstructions before installing a Kirst KonverterTM. If you are uncertain have it checked by a gunsmith. Make certain that the caliber of the barrel is correct for the cartridge. USE ONLY Black Powder or equivalent loads; use of loads other than these will void all warranties, expressed or implied.
Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms or handling ammunition may result in exposure to lead and other substances known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm and other serious physical injury. Have adequate ventilation at all times. Wash hands thoroughly after exposure.
WARRANTY
We will replace any manufacturing defect. We reserve the right to replace defective product with new. No returns will be accepted without a Return Authorization on the package and all sales are considered final after 15 days unless otherwise agreed through warranty arrangement determined on a case by case basis. For warranty return instructions contact your dealer.
STATEMENT OF LIABILITY
The Kirst’s Patent cartridge conversion device is classified as a FIREARM ACCESSORY and is sold with the express understanding that we assume no liability for its re-sale, unsafe handling or improper use under local laws and regulations. Kirst Konverter LLC and its distributors assumes no responsibility for physical injury or property damage resulting from either intentional or accidental discharge, or for the function of any device subjected to influences beyond their control, and will honor no claims which may result from careless handling, unauthorized adjustment, alteration, modification, defective or improper ammunition and loading components, corrosion or neglect. Permanent alteration to the frame of a percussion revolver, to accommodate cartridge use, will re-classify that revolver to firearm and as such must be transacted as a firearm thereafter. The purchase, receipt and use of this product imply understanding of, agreement with and acceptance of this Statement of Liability.
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:30 AM   #15
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So in their statement, kirst says use only bp loads or the equivalent. Does that mean if you work up a load using modern powder equal to 60 gr of black powder that so many cram into the big walker that it is ok? I dunno. I know uberti says 30 gr is max charge.
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:40 AM   #16
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Why ever use smokeless? I use to get +1000 fps with both RBs and conicals out of my Remmy with Holy Black. Just to avoid cleaning?
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:09 AM   #17
John E.B. Rawton
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When I started cas all I had were cartridge guns and started out with smokeless. I’ve only recently found the sweet alure of bp.
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Old January 13, 2019, 02:57 PM   #18
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If you want the most velocity from a bp gun, use Triple 7
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Old January 13, 2019, 03:46 PM   #19
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I met someone who uses smokeless in his damascus barrel shotguns. He uses a very light charge. OK, if he wants to do it, let him. But I don't want to be anywhere nearby and I fond of my vision and face and hands.
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Old January 13, 2019, 05:32 PM   #20
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"THE REVOLVER HANDLED IT JUST FINE."

And, you gave your disclaimer. Good, very good. You certainly can find most anything on youtube, eh?

Now here's how I see this whole thread, and Cardinal Rule #1, with BLACK POWDER firearms:

Smokeless powder use in ANY black powder replica, ANY smokeless powder, equals= ONE BIG DARWIN AWARD.


Then, this thread goes on about Damascus shotguns and smokeless loads. Sorry, this thread was about B.P. replica revolvers, smokeless loads in them, and their demise, along with the loss of a hand, or worse. Enough bad thoughts on the handgun concern, and why people would even entertain the thought of smokeless powder (LET ALONE USE IT) in a replica B.P. ONLY firearm. I just don't get it at all. And this posting is nothing more than an old B.P. guy's opinion.

BTW, I just love my fine Uberti '58 NM Army. Why would I violate the fine thing by using anything but good ol' GOEX 3fg in it (my tried and true brand)? It's all I'd ever consider in the piece for propellant. Well, I do have a couple of pounds of 3fg Schuetzen, too...
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Old January 14, 2019, 11:34 AM   #21
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Remington, and others I'm sure, claimed their guns were proofed for nitro powders back when they were still offering Damascus barreled guns. Everyone I know hand loads their shells to 7500psi, or under. That certainly is safe for Damascus barreled SxSs with good barrels. No deep pits, .100 thick at the breech and .030 thick down the barrels. The British look for .020 on Damascus barrels before they'll proof them.
I think most Americans don't know the British have always felt Damascus barrel guns, rifle and shotguns, are safe to shoot so long as they're proofed. In this country where a lot did their own reloading, we got in trouble blowing up Damascus guns because we used the same measures for nitro powders that were used for BP and bulk smokeless powders. That didn't work. Also, because at one time Damascus barreled guns were considered safer than steel barrel guns because the steel ones were made by wrapping a flat piece of steel around a mandrel and lap welding it the entire length of the barrel. This one long weld the length of the barrel was weaker than a bunch of short welds going around the barrel. Then Remington developed a means making barrels by rolling a piece of 2" round stock by 8" long with a 1/2" hole in the middle into a barrel - no welds. They made rifle barrels for the world - saved them a couple of years before bankruptcy. Once they and others started using this method, the Americans needed a means to get customers to buy " fluid steel " barrels because they were so much cheaper to manufacture. SO, we got the " Damascus is unsafe " crock of sh!!."
When I was a kid we use to shoot the biggest, baddest shells we could find in old Damascus guns, never giving it a second thought. Never did blow one up. I wouldn't want to guess how many others did the same thing. They got blown up because of something stuck in the barrel, not nitro shells. I wouldn't do that now because I don't like the snoot flying out of my nose. Sherman Bell did tests that were published in the DGJ where it took 30,000psi to blow up a old Parker. I'm not saying all Damascus barrel guns are that safe, just they're not all that unsafe some people make them out to be. JMHOs.

Last edited by bladesmith 1; January 14, 2019 at 12:21 PM.
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Old January 14, 2019, 12:25 PM   #22
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Can't go thar !!!

This is one subject where I practice what I preach and teach. If the container does say; PB or replacement M/L propellant, I don't use it. I'm sorry to say that I personally know of two acquaintances that have been hurt playing/experimenting with this subject.

Granted, BP and its replacements present "unique" set of problems but can live with these as oppose to getting hurt. At my age I love zip-lining but that is as far as I take it.. ..

Be Safe !!!
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Old January 15, 2019, 09:20 AM   #23
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I'm not seeing the picture of the revolver that had the bullseye in it?
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Old January 15, 2019, 11:57 AM   #24
John E.B. Rawton
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This was the image the link took us to for the Bullseye reference
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg C59A8FD6-8B2B-4793-80C0-A5667CFFA3C5.jpeg (82.8 KB, 16 views)
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Old January 15, 2019, 07:00 PM   #25
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Pahoo I am with you, I am too old to experiment. Peashooterjoe
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