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Old September 16, 2021, 08:59 PM   #1
kilotanker22
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Black Powder

Anyone have a bead on black powder? FFG or FFFG?

I recently acquired a kit for a Traditions Shenandoah rifle. I intend to shoot patched round balls and kind of want to stick with real black powder instead of a black powder replacement. Unless, of course there is a real benefit to the black powder replacements. I currently have some of the Pyrodex RS Select FFG powder.
Let's have a discussion on the benefits of such powders vs the nostalgia of the real deal. I am certain that I could do a decent job of producing black powder, but I do not have the time, nor the patience to do so right now.

Also, any tips on where to begin on charge weight for .490" lead balls with a .015" lubed patch? I have not yet had the chance to measure the depth of the rifling or the bore diameter yet.
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Old September 16, 2021, 10:08 PM   #2
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Grafs- has 3F and 4 FFhttps://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...ategoryId/3501
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Old September 17, 2021, 04:29 AM   #3
mehavey
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Start with caliber in charge weight, and work up til
the group falls apart or patch begins to shred.
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Old September 17, 2021, 05:22 AM   #4
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Powder Inc has it. Price includes shipping and hazmat. https://powderinc.com/black-powder/
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Old September 17, 2021, 10:37 AM   #5
Pahoo
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50min and 100max "general" rule

Quote:
Also, any tips on where to begin on charge weight for .490" lead balls with a .015" lubed patch? I have not yet had the chance to measure the depth of the rifling or the bore diameter yet. I recently acquired a kit for a Traditions Shenandoah rifle.
Okay, if you didn't get an instruction manual with you M/L, then the "safe" general rule of thumb is; min load at caliber diameter and max @ 2X caliber so for your M/L, it's 50 and 100grns. Also Traditions will be more than happy to provide you with the manual. When we teach at Hunter Safety, we load 40grns. Eventually you will work up an optimum target and hunting load. All .50's are not the same, so range time, is in order .....

Enjoy and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old September 17, 2021, 11:43 AM   #6
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I've never tried it, but the oldtimers said that the proper charge was enough powder to cover the ball.

No idea what that would work out to in grains, sorry...
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Old September 17, 2021, 12:29 PM   #7
reinert
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I have two .50 cal. round ball shooters; one flint, one percussion. I have settled on 70 grns. of 1.5fg of Swiss black powder for a charge that shoots very well in both rifles while using my .490" r.b. mould for the projectiles (same charge of GOEX 2fg works equally as well, I've found). BTW, and FWIW, I have a nice old Shiloh, double cavity, .490" mould that I've used through the years and have run countless ball through the thing, and it still runs as good as the day I got it. They haven't been made for quite a while, but if you can find one in good shape, don't be afraid to pick it up. They always have come with their own handles, too. Nice moulds.

FWIW: There's an old rule of thumb from back in the day that says half the weight of the round ball you're shooting is generally a good powder charge weight in your rifle. A .490" ball from my mould weighs right near 180 grns., but I've found the 70 grn. charge is a good, accurate one for both my rifles. 90 grns. would no doubt work well in my rifles, too, just found I don't need that much powder for good accuracy (for me and my old eyes) in either rifle. It's also said that the best powder charge for your rifle is the one that burns ALL the powder up right as the ball exits the muzzle. So the old rule says...
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Old September 17, 2021, 03:57 PM   #8
Old_School
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilotanker22 View Post
Anyone have a bead on black powder? FFG or FFFG?



I recently acquired a kit for a Traditions Shenandoah rifle. I intend to shoot patched round balls and kind of want to stick with real black powder instead of a black powder replacement. Unless, of course there is a real benefit to the black powder replacements. I currently have some of the Pyrodex RS Select FFG powder.

Let's have a discussion on the benefits of such powders vs the nostalgia of the real deal. I am certain that I could do a decent job of producing black powder, but I do not have the time, nor the patience to do so right now.



Also, any tips on where to begin on charge weight for .490" lead balls with a .015" lubed patch? I have not yet had the chance to measure the depth of the rifling or the bore diameter yet.
For my purposes, I've always liked the real deal. My buddies and I tried Pyrodex and a few other substitutes and we always had much better luck with black powder in rainy or humid conditions. Have had a lot more hang-fires with substitutes in wet conditions, no matter how well the bore and lock was protected from rain.

Also, it may be psychological for me, but I feel like I get faster ignition at the range with black powder.

Sent from my SM-G781U1 using Tapatalk
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Old September 17, 2021, 06:53 PM   #9
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Alas, most of my black powder musket shooting was either a 68 cal Lee Enfield, or 68 cal Springfield.
Even with the different barrel lengths, i was always told not to goover 60 grains of FFG.
Any more & "your just pushing powder out of the barrel".
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Old September 18, 2021, 07:29 PM   #10
Thomas Clarke
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Start at 40 grains at 50 yards. Shoot 10 balls. Go up to 45 grains. Shoot 10 balls. Keep doing that until you see what you think is a fine load for paper.

Once you are sure of your hold move up to 100 yards with the load you liked best at 50. Continue the shooting 10 shot relays and then increasing 5 grains. I use a 6 O'clock hold. The gun was a .50 CVA Hawken I made in 1975. It is a fine shooter. I generally shoot flint today, but use the same rules, though the loads vary by gun. My 100-yard load is 75 grains. My 200-yard load is 90 grains. My everyday fun load is 45 grains. No need to have an unpleasant experience. 90+ grains is a pain for me. My longest shot was pure luck at 400 yards at a 55-gallon lid hung in a tree over a pond. I shot it Creedmoor, on my back with 120 grains. Kentucky windage. All were a .495 roundball I cast. Pure lead. Pure luck. I quit shooting that day and recognize I hit it. I heard it and so did everyone shooting with me. Pure luck.
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Old September 18, 2021, 09:29 PM   #11
kilotanker22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahoo View Post
Okay, if you didn't get an instruction manual with you M/L, then the "safe" general rule of thumb is; min load at caliber diameter and max @ 2X caliber so for your M/L, it's 50 and 100grns. Also Traditions will be more than happy to provide you with the manual. When we teach at Hunter Safety, we load 40grns. Eventually you will work up an optimum target and hunting load. All .50's are not the same, so range time, is in order .....

Enjoy and;
Be Safe !!!
It did come with a manual. The manual said to follow powder manufacturers suggested load data.
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Old September 19, 2021, 10:42 AM   #12
Pahoo
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The "Traditions" manual ???

Quote:
It did come with a manual. The manual said to follow powder manufacturers suggested load data.
Are you referring to the M/L manufacturing manual, that came with your M/L? If so, then they are now passing the buck. I have worked with dealt with Traditions for a number of years and have not seen this. .....

Another source is the Lyman Black-Powder book by Sam Fadala. This is an excellent source of information, on M/L's ......

Again, during our Hunter Safety field-days, at out M/L station, we load 40grns of FFG or FFFG, when we have it. Now then, that is on our .50's and it give the age range that we teach, a fair kick and so far, not problems. ....

Make Smoke and;
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Old September 19, 2021, 11:04 AM   #13
mehavey
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See p 48
https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/d...1477335832.pdf
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Old September 19, 2021, 11:19 AM   #14
Pahoo
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Thanks; mehavey

Quote:
See p 48

Yep, it's still there. Thanks. mehavey !!!!

Be Safe !!!
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Old September 19, 2021, 12:43 PM   #15
Hawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_School View Post
For my purposes, I've always liked the real deal. My buddies and I tried Pyrodex and a few other substitutes and we always had much better luck with black powder in rainy or humid conditions. Have had a lot more hang-fires with substitutes in wet conditions, no matter how well the bore and lock was protected from rain.

Also, it may be psychological for me, but I feel like I get faster ignition at the range with black powder.

Sent from my SM-G781U1 using Tapatalk
I live in the south and never had any ignition problems with Pyrodex.
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Old September 19, 2021, 06:37 PM   #16
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Even in the craze, all the local shops around me still have been carrying it. So I bought an extra pound of 2f and 4f. I get GOEX real deal stuff. Just better luck with it than Pyrodex. They say that Pyrodex cleans up a bit easier than real stuff, but I shoot my smoke pole maybe a dozen shots a year, all in the span of a month. Just not that much of a pain in the backside to take the time to rip it apart and give it the proper scrub. Plus the nostalgia of the smell... as horrible as it may be. And not knowing if you hit the broad side of a cow's bottom with a snow shovel until that plume of smoke cleared. Heaven help you if it was a breezy day and you were down wind of your hunting buddies.

Anyways!! I have a carbine length Tennessee by Traditions, huge fan, perfect length for chasing those dang elusive deer through the woods and not catching on too much. I have had GREAT luck with 80 grains of 2F behind the ball, and a pan loaded up with 4F for just about 90% of all the deer scaring I do and target shooting.

If I know I will be sitting on the corner of a huge open field, I up it to 100 grains of 2F. Just gives me that extra little bit of comfort knowing I have a bit more punch behind it.

Mind you, these rock locks have the TINIEST sights on it, so the fact that I ever actually do hit anything is a miracle. Plus that rock sparking right in front of my glasses I swear makes me flinch.

I love love love flintlock seasons and range days with them.
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Old September 19, 2021, 09:08 PM   #17
kilotanker22
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Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
Thanks Mehavey, That manual was definitely not in the box with my kit.
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