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  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Default Black Powder 45-90 loads: powder selection??

    I'm new to loading for my C. Sharps 1874. I read Mike Venturino's book and tried some of his loads but so far I've been limited to Goex Cartridge. Using a 530gr Postell bullet I can only get 83 gr of "Cartridge" powder into the shell, and that's with about 0.20" compression under a Walters 0.30" wad. Of course the older thinner walled cartridges allowed 100gr of black powder, but not the new ones. Problem is, even using CCI 250 large rifle magnum primers, I'm only seeing about 1150 - 1170 fps, which is way less than Mike V.'s and others' observed 1250 - 1300 fps. My lower observed velocities seem to be more in line with 45-70 black powder speeds. I know I have to put ideas of higher velocities behind me with these types of rifle, but still, an extra 200 fps might help a bit with bullet drop at extreme ranges, cross-wind issues, and downrange impact energy.

    Anyone got any ideas? Would a change to, say, Fg or FFg or ??? make a significant diff in velocity given the same powder weight? Are there significant differences in the density of powders as the "F" count goes up? That might well bump up the "V" number, right?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by rifledon; 10-02-2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: typos, clarity
    Long Live the Avro ARROW!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Kuhansuo
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    Default

    I'm in the same 45-90 boat but I'm going to use GOEX FFg and a newspaper wad over the primer (WLR). They've sold me on that idea. I'm going for more compression though about .30 or so and seat the lead into the rifleing slightly, minimal neck tension.
    "It's all gone to hell now, the wimps have gangs, pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos"--DKM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Switzerland
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    940

    Default

    Can you fellas get your hands on "Swiss" BP? It is expensive, but very high quality and is more powerful than standard BP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    1,473

    Default

    I use Goex FFFg in my blackpowder rifles instead of FFg and get maybe 150-200fps more velocity, per chronograph. Makes a difference, with better accuracy for me. Paul Walters discusses using 3Fg in his book "Loading the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle". As usual, ymmv.
    Sam Cummings laughs at us from the grave!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Kuhansuo
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    Default

    GOEX just went up in price, maybe I'll try some Swiss or at least FFFg GOEX next time up at Track of the Wolf. Some people think Mosin's breed fast, but BPCR's are like a rabbit farm and flintlocks are 'the odd cousin'......
    "It's all gone to hell now, the wimps have gangs, pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos"--DKM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Washington St.
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    Default Three-Effs to the Rescue!

    A musket muzzle loader friend of mine just dropped off some Goex FFFg. Free. Gotta remember him on my Christmas Card List!

    I assume that the higher the "F" count, the finer the powder? Is that, essentially, correct, and that's pretty much all there is to it? No danger in going to FFF versus 1.5F or 2F? So I assume that it probably burns faster (explodes, actually) and the pressure versus time curve is "peakier". So, more pressure at the starting point of the whole episode, the faster that 530 gr Postell will get goin". Yes?

    I also noted this morning, re-reading Mike Venturino's book, and other sources, that a 45-100, or indeed even a 45-110, produces scant velocity increases for another 10 or even 20gr of black powder. Hmmm. 45-70: 73gr FF, 530gr bullet = 1120fps; 45-90: 80gr FF, 533 gr bullet = 1170 fps; 45-100: 90gr FF, 535 gr bullet = 1210 fps; 45-110: 95 - 100gr FF, 560gr bullet = 1230fps. Why bother?

    I think I'm also going to fully investigate using smokeless (i.e.: 3031 or 5744) to get to the same place. Apparently I just have to make sure that air gap is filled with poly-fluff to prevent chamber ringing. By the way, I called the Trail-Boss powder people. Their recommended load for a 45-90 was so small a charge that it filled, at best, 1/3 of the available "boiler room" in the case after the big tall bullet was in place. Seems v. dangerous to me, and it produced spectacularly low velocities even with a 405 gr lead bullet (≈ 870 fps). No noise, no recoil. I wondered, after my first shot, if the bullet was possibly still in my 32" bbl. Not the case but again, sorta scary!

    Anyone else have any Trail Boss experiences?
    Last edited by rifledon; 10-07-2008 at 02:30 PM. Reason: typos
    Long Live the Avro ARROW!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Kuhansuo
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    Default

    I've seen FFFg as a recommended pistol powder mentioned somewhere. I'm trying FFg Express, cant get more than 83 grns in and still seat a 545 Creedmore bullet usin a .030 wad. That'll be my heaviest load and I'm goin a grain at a time down to 77 grns.
    We'll see how they fly!
    Last edited by zampilot; 11-28-2008 at 04:29 PM. Reason: left out an 'F' in FFFg
    "It's all gone to hell now, the wimps have gangs, pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos"--DKM

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    New Hampshire"Live Free or Die"
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I shoot the 45-90 using a Browning Creedmore. The learning curve is not that steep. Mikes book is pretty good and there are alot of other good books out there.
    You can read all you want and gain a alot of imformatoin. And that's good. The Lyman 535 postell is an excellent bullet.
    You need to use a soft alloy. 20-1 is a good starting point. 2F powder is the right granulation to start with. 1 1/2 Swiss is even better.
    Velocity is not a concern. SD is. You want to try to keep your rounds under the speed of sound as wierd things happen to the bullet when it goes through the sound barrier twice. Once on the way up, and once on the way down. The bullet will de-stabilize as it approches about 1180 fps.
    Do you have a compression die? Black powder needs to be compressed. It's not how many grains you can fit in the case, the more the better. "load data" dosen't apply to black powder.
    Here's how I load the 45-90.
    OAL cartrige length is important. Keep the bullet .020 off the lands. Don't full lenght re-size, just neck size for your rifle.
    A powder compression die is important. Drop your powder through a long drop tube.
    A toilet supply line from home depot works great. It will fit right on the neck of your Lyman 55 powder measure. If you look at the bottom of the big slide on the 55, you'll see makings. These are for black powder. Most guys are supprised to know they're there.
    Fill your cases to the top and then weigh how much is in there. That will give you a starting point. Find out how much powder you can fit in you cases. Compress that powder any where from .010 to .25. Start slowly with the compression. What your looking for is sound.
    Un-compressed black powder will go " Ka booff" Flame smoke and stink Woo Hoo! It won't be accurate. As you compress the powder more in your cases you'll hear a different sound. It wil go from a Boom to a Crack. And you'll notice less residue in your barrel. BPCR rifles are a Blast to shoot.
    You load them different and shoot them different. Are thay accurate? Hell yes!
    Are they hard to clean? Nope. Water and windex. 3 wet patches and 3 dry ones.
    You will need to learn how to use a blow tube. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow or Sunday

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