pressure in barrel


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Old 04-15-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default pressure in barrel

Can black powder and muskets generally handle more pressure in the barrel than normal guns, I hear of regular guns exploding sometimes upon firing so I wonder if this makes black powder more dangerous to shoot or if they are stronger?



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Old 04-16-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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Regular smokless powder burns at faster rates and pressures can peak very quickly. CUP pressure in smokless rounds is many times higher than pressures found in blackpowder. It would be hard to cover everything in a sigle post but I think I can give you an idea how blackpowder works. If you was to load a blackpowder rifle with 70 grains of powder, set up a target stand with a target at approximately 5 feet in front of your barrel. Fire your 70 grain load. You will see a single hole from your bullet. Reload again increasing your load by 10 grains. Continue doing this with 10 grain increments. I know, some of you are probably thinking this guy is crazy. Bare with me. At some point, depending on your barrel length you are going to see something real strange happen. No your barrel is not going to blow up. But you will see little specks of powder imbeaded in the paper. Back off 10 grains. You have just reached your max load for that rifle. Something else you should have noticed as well. Your gun will sound a little different. So with that said, is that the best load for your gun. Not always but at range it usually is. Lets say you arrive at 110 grains as a max load. That is your max load with that powder,that bullet and patch if you are using a round ball and that primer. Things could change some if you change to a different bullet or primer. changing from 2f to 3f will change your max load as well. I have seen a couple blown barrels but is was not from the powder charge. Best way to ruin a nice barrel is to not seat the ball on the powder completly. I mark my ramrods to insure my projectile is all the way down the barrel and seated on the powder. Hope this helps.



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Old 04-17-2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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Default not seated?

OK so the bullet must be seated against the powder. About 1987 we went to the gun club on a quit afternoon. An older looking guy was there shooting a muzzle loader. Must not have cleaned between loads. He had the ball about half way down. It wasn't moving. Next thing we knew he open his car door and had the ram rod against the door frame. He said well if I have too ill just shoot it out. Say what??
Bob

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Old 04-19-2008, 01:32 AM   #4
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Well I have seen that done but the ball was completly seated. It is amazing the messes shooters get themselves into when it comes to blackpowder. I have been shooting longer than most folks are old and after awhile you find better ways to not put yourself in that situation. If a lot of folks would just slow down a little their would be less mistakes. I remember the time I was at a blanket shoot. The competition was pretty tight and we were kinda ribbing each other and having a little fun. Next thing you know I loaded my rifle without powder. Hey it will happen if you shoot enough. Anyway I pulled the nipple, put a little powder in the barrel from the breach end and shoot out the roundball. A lot easier than using a ball puller, at least for me it was. So you see their are ways around most things if you just think through it. Follow the basic priciples, if new get a seasoned shooter to help you and you will be fine.

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Old 04-20-2008, 04:28 AM   #5
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FWIW, once read where researcher TRIED to blow up a muzzleloader under controlled conditions (do not try this at home) With the bullet FULLY SEATED against the charge, they increased and increased and increased BLACK POWDER loads- never reached that point of destruction. What FINALLY blew out the nipple was a triple charge of FFg, THREE bullets, one on top of other, and 10 grains of Bullseye Smokeless added to the black powder. It has been my experience that unless you have an obstructed bore (mud, snow, etc) if you are shooting black powder (or BP subsitute) AND the bullet is fully down on top of powder, you cannot blow up a BP rifle by overloading it. But you CAN waste powder that does not get burned, and blown out of the barrel.

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Old 05-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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Hasn`t anyone ever told you nipples belong on squaws and frizzens on a mans rifle? Just try shuving that much powder through a touch hole.

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Old 05-03-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr44 View Post
Can black powder and muskets generally handle more pressure in the barrel than normal guns, I hear of regular guns exploding sometimes upon firing so I wonder if this makes black powder more dangerous to shoot or if they are stronger?

Black powder develops FAR LESS pressure than smokeless powder, partly because it's burn rate is much slower, and mainly because it is not nitro cellulose based. Generally speaking muzzleloaders (sidelocks) are made of steel which is far weaker than modern chrome molly or stainless steel. Newer muzzleloaders are stronger than their older bretheren, but before you blew up the barrel of a muzzleloader you would probably blow your face off with the breech plug when the pressure causes the threads to strip and the breech plug to shoot out. In a modern cartridge firearm, the pressure/time curve is incredibly steep as opposed to that of a relatively loosely- packed, uncased black powder charge. This is why chambers can blow up and bolt lugs sheared off in a gun using smokeless powder enclosed in a brass case. Although this is almost always caused by incorrect headspacing or idiots thinking they can ignore load data. Smokeless powder pressure build-up is fast and violent. This is why smokeless powder should NEVER be used in a muzzleloader.
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCline View Post
Well I have seen that done but the ball was completly seated. It is amazing the messes shooters get themselves into when it comes to blackpowder. I have been shooting longer than most folks are old and after awhile you find better ways to not put yourself in that situation. If a lot of folks would just slow down a little their would be less mistakes. I remember the time I was at a blanket shoot. The competition was pretty tight and we were kinda ribbing each other and having a little fun. Anyway I pulled the nipple, put a little powder in the barrel from the breach end and shoot out the roundball. A lot easier than using a ball puller, at least for me it was. So you see their are ways around most things if you just think through it. Follow the basic priciples, if new get a seasoned shooter to help you and you will be fine.
I've had to do that a few times because of damp powder. I learned not to take my loaded muzzleloader into the house the night before a hunt...I leave it in the garage because the condensation which forms as soon as you take it outside in the morning after it's been nice and warm all night will almost always dampen the powder.

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Next thing you know I loaded my rifle without powder. Hey it will happen if you shoot enough.
I did you one better! I loaded a .40 S&W case with no powder and it jammed in my barrel a few days later when I went to shoot. I didn't realize it happened until I shot 3 more rounds and noticed no target hits - upon closer inspection I noticed a bullet sticking halfway out the muzzle! I tried pulling it out and only succeeded in pulling the bullet from the jacket. I then tried drilling out the jacket in the hopes of using an easy-out to remove the jacket - the drill bit broke, indicating more than one bullet stuck in the barrel - to make a long story short, I ended up sending the gun back to the factory with a note detailing what I did. They rebarreled it for free even though it was my own stupid negligence that cause it! They also gave me a new magazine, sling and swivels, scope mount, stock, and "buffed" the trigger! They sent the gun back to me within 1 week, and THEY paid the return postage since I forgot to pre-pay it. Oh, and they didn't charge me return postage either! The gun? A .40 cal HiPoint Carbine. It shoots sub 2" groups at 50yds. all day long with cheap Win. White Box ammo. HiPoint (Beemiller Inc.) in my opinion is one of the nicest manufacturers I have ever dealt with. I wrote them a "Thank you" letter stating as much.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:43 AM   #9
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Black powder substitutes like Pyrodex and Triple Seven can generate in excess of 20,000 psi with the 150 grain loading. Swiss brand black powder can generate nearly 20,000 psi. Black Mag 3 can generate in excess of 25,000 psi.



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