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Old February 24, 2008, 08:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 10, 2008
Location: Springfield, IL (formerly TX)
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My Black Powder Baptism (cartridge)

Another first for me was loading and shooting some BP loads in my EAA Bounty Hunter .45 Colt. The load was thrown with a Lee 1.9 CC dipper giving me 30.3 gr of Shockey's Gold fffg. It was, overall, as much fun as the Navy....the boom...the smoke.......but it appears it might have given me more problems.

I only loaded a dozen rounds since all I had for bullets were 250 gr RN with smokeless lube. It bound up once with the first cylinder full. I couldn't see anything wrong and fiddled with it and it eventually freed up and I continued on. I shot the second cylinder full and then switched to my Unique loads. 8 gr with the same bullet, using WW large pistol primers.

Here's he problem......after the first cylinder or two I started to get frequent misfires from lite strikes. I only had 38 rds(about 24 by the time the problems started)so I couldn't really troubleshoot it real well. I have some ideas though.

I took the cylinder out and checked the firing pin. The piece is one of those new "safe" guns with the integral firing pin and hammer block safety. Sometimes the pin would not protrude after being hit with the hammer......other times I couldn't push it back into the recoil plate at all! Usually it could be worked both ways without trouble. The way I see it, one possibility is the little bit of BP I did fire might have gummed it up a little. Another is the hammer block safety might have been activated. Maybe someone can tell if this makes a difference......I'm not sure but I may have been inadvertantly applying pressure to the trigger on cocking the piece. When I got a misfire, it would leave a very small indentation on the primer, little more than a scratch. Every time I unloaded, reloaded, and attempted to fire the rounds, they went problem. Could my heavy trigger finger have caused this to happen?

What can someone suggest (discounting getting a new gun at this time) that could help me avoid this so I could 1) shoot my normal loads, and 2) be able to shoot BP reasonably reliably?

Overall it was fun. I would like to use both guns for CAS, at least starting out. But I'm in real trouble if I keep getting lite strikes on my cartridge gun.
M.D. Berk
SFC USA Ret. (NRA Life Member 21 yrs)
There's nothing like a good woman, a good pistol, and a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
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Old February 24, 2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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Location: Mississippi
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Shooting bp and smokeless from the same gun without a thorough cleaning in between is asking for trouble. Smokeless lube/oils or any petroleum based lube/oils and bp do not mix.
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Old February 24, 2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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Location: Token Creek, WI
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Ditto on not using smokeless lube with BP.

Keep it in the realm of beeswax, lard, Crisco, etc. Petroleum-based bullet lubes will create a mess very quickly when used with black powder, and with a revolver, it won't be just in the bore.

SPG is another good BP lube that also works well with smokeless. If I didn't make my own BP bullet lube in the kitchen, I'd go with that.
"Bother", said Pooh, as he chambered another round...

Neural Misfires
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Old February 25, 2008, 03:18 AM   #4
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I lube my hand-cast Lee 255 RNFP bullets with the soft sticky wax of toilet bowl sealing rings. In my Ruger Vaquero with fffg powder this combination has worked well. I don't know what to tell you about your misfires; I'd have to be there.... Oh, yeah, I shoot black then smokeless then black then more smokeless. Then I didn't clean it for a month...... checked it a few times for problems! My stainless Vaquero is an ongoing experiment in neglect just to see what I can get away with in less than ideal conditions. What a great survival gun!
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