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Old February 8, 2001, 03:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 13, 2000
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Never really done much with black powder but I have been reloading regular smokeless ammunition for 10+ years. I frequent the other parts of this BBS but this is my first post here in BP and CAS. I figured you guys would be the most helpful, especially the ones loading black powder fo their cowboy shooting.

I live near and work on a military post (in SE AZ) which has a ceremonial horse cavalry troop.
They frequently travel around participating in different types of events where they put on demonstrations of riding, swordsmanship, and shooting (mounted ballon shooting) along with reenactments of calvary charges etc... They use black powder blanks in their handguns and trapdoor carbines.

I work with their commander and we got to talking about their blank loads. Their handguns are in .45 Colt and the carbines are in 45-70. They use a charge of BP with a thin cork wad seated over the powdercharge which gives then lots of noise and smoke. The commander mentioned that the guy who was doing the reloading was being re-assigned and they didn't have anyone who was knowledgeable about reloading. I mentioned I have been doing it for years and would consider reloading for them since I have a few Dillon progressive reloaders and it wouldn't be much effort as it was for the person who is currently doing it.

They basically resize and decap cleaned brass (with the flash hole drilled out), re-prime with a lee hand prime, use a dipper (made out of a pistol case) to put in the BP and then press in a cork wad (made out of cork sheets) with a wood dowel.

Now I know about BP enough that I can't run it through my powder measure on my Dillon press but I can save some time by still doing the other functions on the progressive.

So, the point of all this is to ask how do you BP cowboy shooters dispense your BP when you reload? It seems my best option for dispensing BP safely while keeping a decent loading momentum would be to use one of the new Hornady BP measures.

Is that my only option or is their any other options you guys can think of?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and for any help you can provide.

[Edited by Intel6 on 02-08-2001 at 05:21 PM]
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Old February 8, 2001, 05:01 PM   #2
Bill Mitchell
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Join Date: October 15, 1998
Location: Roswell,GA
Posts: 433

Your choices pretty much narrow down to dipping it like the guy before was doing, getting a BP flask with the appropriate sized spout, or using a measure made just for BP, like the Lyman or Hornady. Besides cork, you could also consider using florist's foam (the green stuff used in flower arrangements). Florist's foam will pretty much be consumed or be turned into a harmless dust when the blank goes off.

Bellicose Bill
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Old February 8, 2001, 05:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 13, 2000
Posts: 425

Thanks for the response. I kind of figured those were my options but wondered if I was missing something. I like the idea of the foam. They buy cork sheets that are about 1/8" thick and cut out a 0.5" wad. I use a Lyman M die (.44 Cal) to push it in just to the top of the powder. It fits good and tight and works well. As I said, above, my only problem was the powder dispensing.

I have talked tot he commander and it looks like they may buy one of the BP measures from a saftey standpoint. Having that will keep any future people, who are reloading for them, from making mistakes with the BP. I can mount that in the tool head and dispense it on the upstroke so it should work out well.

Thanks again for the sanity check

p.s. I added a link to the B Troop website in my first message incase anyone was interested.
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