Percusion Black Powder Weapon Questions

Discussion in 'Blackpowder & Musket' started by Sniper03, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    I am looking for one of our members that is pretty much a garue in the field since one of the questions below will require some knowledge about Black Powder.

    I have a reproduction of the 44 Cal Army Model Percussion Revolver that was give to me several years ago for my Birthday. I am wanting to shoot it in the near future. It has been years since I have shot black powder revolvers.
    My question is I watched a black powder Youtube video by Beliveau which was good. I noticed he used some white looked like fabric round wafer looking gas checks or whatever he used after putting the powder in the cylinder. He loaded the ball and compressed it on top of the white wafer type material. What did he use and where do you get them. I think he stated he made them. My question do these keep the cylinders from cross firing as I have had that experience years ago. I also had used grease on the front of my cylinders back then but still had crossfires on occasion. In the video he used NO Grease just those wafers.

    Then for the question I am concerned about. I have an antique metal DuPont Supreme Red Black Powder Can full of fff Black Powder. I have had this metal can for over 30 years. It has a metal screw off lid on it. I have been thinking about emptying the can for several years since it sets on a shelf in the living room. My question is! Is there any danger that unscrewing the cap could be a danger. Obviously concerned about any spark or friction. I want to keep the can and possibly use the fff powder if it adaptable to the Cap and Ball Pistol or my Thompson 50 Cal Hawken rifle. The label is paper so I can not soak the can.

    Also I am planning on shooting the 50 Cal. Thompson Hawken for the first time and would appreciate any loading information or hints for it including round ball other bullets, caps and propellant recomendations.

    Thanks 03
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Yep- greased felt wads.

    No problem unscrewing cap. Sniff powder, if it smells like cat pee, sprinkle it on the lawn, water it in. Good for grass.

    On the T/C Hawken, it may prefer Maxi balls to round balls. read the directions. Snap a cap on the EMPTY rifle before starting loading (clear any oil from nipple) Powder, THEN ball! I use fffG black or Pyrodex R, there are other good substitutes.
     
  4. BVAL

    BVAL New Member

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    Yes, by all means read the owners manuals on what is safe to shoot.

    I also have quite of few BP firearms. With my T/C Hawkin, 80g of FFgwith a .490 round ball/patched. In my T/C Firehawk, 90g of FFg with a .490 round ball/patched.These loads have taken many a deer and hogs for me. Here is something to remember, black powder is measured by volume not by weight, you need to get a brass powder measure to work with this stuff.
    Watch the loads that are in the manual and don't go over them, but here is another little trick that I have used in the past to find a load that the rifle likes to eat.
    Start with a powder charge the same calib. of the rifle. When the rifle fires, there is a boom, now bring the load up another 5g, another boom is heard, keep doing this 5g increase until (or are at max. in the manual) that when the rifle report sound becomes a CRACK,,,,,,,, that becomes the load that the rifle likes to eat!
    On my handguns, I don't use the wads, T/C bore butter between powder and ball,,,,,,,bore butter or vasaline over ball at cylinder mouth.
    Last tip but very, very important,,,,,, do not use a powder flask directly to load handgun or rifle, always use a separate measure device. If by chance there is still a hot spark in the bore or cylinder,,,,,,,, you have about 1/2 pounds of powder in your hand,,,,,,,,don't think the out come would be called a happy day!
    With regular black powder here are the basic gradings
    Fg ,,,,,,, very course, mostly used in large bore rifles .69 and above, also in cannons
    FFg ,,,,,, rifle
    FFFg,,,,,,,, pistol,,,,,.45 calib. or smaller rifles
    FFFFg,,,,,,,, very fine, used only as a priming powder for the flash pans on flintlock firearms
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  5. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the very valuable and worthwhile information. It has been years since I shot any black powder and I have the two guns that need to be shot. And I have forgotten how much fun and enjoyment I got out of shooting the black powder guns. I use to go to Friendship IN. to the big black powder shoots there. Never competed but loved to go see the vendor displays and watch the competition. The 44 Army that I was given as the Birthday present is in a wooden presentation box with bullet mold, flask. wrench and an extra cylinder. Anyway I took your advice and ordered some of the patches today and butter for my 44 Army. I also have some Maxi-balls for the 50 Hawken. Is there any recommendation on the size of the balls for the 44 or are they all the same? Getting excited about getting them out and smoking up the air~! :D Thanks Again great info!

    03
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    For a ball and cap revolver, the balls should be slightly larger than the charge hole in the cylinder. When you ram them home, it trims off a thin ring of lead, and sizes them to the charge hole. Also reduces chance of chain fire.
     
  7. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    .454 balls and do not put lube between the powder and ball. If you use wads you don't need to use over ball lube. Loads should run between 25-35 grains for a steel frame, no more than 20 for brass but you can use less as long as the ball is seated firmly on the powder. Cleanup is with hot soapy water and use no petroleum based lubes in the bore and chambers.
     
  8. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    You may have to try a couple different sizes of caps to find the ones that stay put on the nipples. I have to squeeze one size I have a bit to make them stay put.

    I use "wonder wads" that come with a bit of lube in them between the powder and ball in my revolver (different model replica). I use lubed patches on my Traditions Hawken Rifle and similar single-shot pistol. I don't do the overball grease. I don't do the cream of wheat thing either.

    It should be a fun time! As always, if the opportunity presents itself, stuff one up a bear's nose. ;)
     
  9. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    .50 cal rifle...........490 round ball patched with .010 thick patch over 110 grains of fffg or rifle pyrodex

    or 240gr. jhp .44 mag saboted projo over 110 gr. of fffg or rifle pyrodex

    can use 2-50gr. pyrodex pellets in place of loose powder on either
     
  10. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

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    IMO that's a bit high for a starting load. I'd probably begin as low as 50 grains and work my way up from there. Most BP guns have a powder load that will give you the most accuracy and its seldom the same as the maximum load.
     
  11. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    50 grains is a civil war (conservative) load.........just enough to make it a lethal manstopper. I posted recommended hunting loads.....some even use 150 grains

    I was getting nearly 1600fps with that sabotted load which proved devastating on deer out to 200 yds in my scoped Remington 700ml.
     
  12. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    You've obviously never seen the damage a .58 minie can do with a 60 grain service load. My P53 Enfield is five gallon bucket accurate at least to 300 yards and will leave a hole nine inches deep and four inches across in a pond bank at that range. It will go through several inches of pine lumber and will actually blow completely through a small frame house and keep going.
     
  13. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    but its doesn't expand.............hydrostatic shock (caused by rapidly expanding high velocity projectiles) damages central nervous system and immediately immobilizes

    sure heavy/slow prrojectiles kill but deer may run several hundred yards before falling (hard to find)
     
  14. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Expansion from 300 yards into soft ground with a 60 grain charge.

    [​IMG]

    I agree with the hydrostatic shock but almost all of my kills with 50's and '54's have been dead right there including patched round balls. I've never had one go anywhere near 100 yards. Most just fall over and maybe struggle to get up a time or two before expiring.
     
  15. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    Unless that slug hits a vital area (heart, both lungs, spine or brain), immediate knockdown will not occur
     
  16. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Not gonna argue with that. I almost always make heart/lung shots. They almost always fall on the spot but then I've had a doe walk a little ways with just a double lung shot with a 30-06. So hydrostatic shock isn't always a deer dropper either.
     
  17. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    true dat............I call that running dead
     
  18. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

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    Maybe, but that certain isn't a load I would start off with in a new gun. Starting at 50gr you can shot
    groups and bump your load up 5gr at a time to figure out your most accurate load. I admit I'm hardly an expert but AFAIK most traditional 50cal muzzle loaders with lead ball or Minié bullets optimize around 80 gr or so. Modern inline guns shooting sabot round may be different but I've never had any interest in those.

    The problem is even the 1600FPS you mentioned above is unlikely to produce real hydrostatic shock. According to everything I've read a bullet has to be pushing 2800-3000FPS before hydrostatic shock becomes a significant factor.
     
  19. jniedbalski

    jniedbalski New Member

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    I like the 50 grain load in my 50. You can shoot this load all day long without beating up your shoulder with the heaver bullets. my boys also like the 50 grain load. any higher on charge they complain it kicks to hard. the 50 grain up to 90 grains seem to be the most accurate in my gun. I have in the past loaded my riffle down to see if it would still go through a old thick metal round door refrigerator. I stopped. At 10 grains of powder . It went through the front door and made a huge dent in the back at only 10 grains. I could not believe at only 10 grins it still had this kind of power .