Discussion:
Substitute for black powder?
(too old to reply)
b***@charter.net
2018-03-10 13:21:02 UTC
Permalink
I fully understand the reasons for using only black powder or black powder substitutes in
vintage or muzzle loading guns.

What would be the effect of diluting a smokeless powder with fine charcoal to slow its burning
rate? Could you use a well diluted smokeless powder to deliver the slower burning properties of
black powder and to increase the resulting smoke?

[MODERATOR: Potentially the effect would not be good. Maybe you could get
smoke but it could be coming from more than the muzzle if, as a result of
slowed burn rates, you end up creating far higher pressures and blow up the
firearm. Remember that magnum loads are created with slower-burning powders.
I don't even know whether I'd expect more smoke, since after all, there is
no sense that you're providing an oxidizer for it to combust, no matter what
the rate of the reaction. Whatever is the available energy in your smokeless
powder, you'd be flying blind on pressure curves, so probably safest to not
fly that route at all.]
Frank
2018-03-13 21:33:25 UTC
Permalink
On 3/10/2018 8:21 AM, ***@charter.net wrote:
# I fully understand the reasons for using only black powder or black powder substitutes in
# vintage or muzzle loading guns.
#
# What would be the effect of diluting a smokeless powder with fine charcoal to slow its burning
# rate? Could you use a well diluted smokeless powder to deliver the slower burning properties of
# black powder and to increase the resulting smoke?
#
# [MODERATOR: Potentially the effect would not be good. Maybe you could get
# smoke but it could be coming from more than the muzzle if, as a result of
# slowed burn rates, you end up creating far higher pressures and blow up the
# firearm. Remember that magnum loads are created with slower-burning powders.
# I don't even know whether I'd expect more smoke, since after all, there is
# no sense that you're providing an oxidizer for it to combust, no matter what
# the rate of the reaction. Whatever is the available energy in your smokeless
# powder, you'd be flying blind on pressure curves, so probably safest to not
# fly that route at all.]
#

Seeing no responses I'll put my 2 cents in.
I recall seeing smokeless powder loads suggested for muzzle loaders but
us reloaders know how easy and dangerous it is to overload smokeless
powders. A double load of black powder may be safe in a modern muzzle
loader but a double load of smokeless could blow up a modern firearm.
I'm not sure a charcoal mix with smokeless would slow down the smokeless
much as I recall light loads of smokeless sometimes had inert powders
loaded on top to keep powder near the primer if gun pointed downward and
shot. Have not researched my comments but just based on what I remember.
Ralph Mowery
2018-03-13 23:58:30 UTC
Permalink
In article <p89g35$luk$***@news.albasani.net>, ***@frank.net says...
#
# On 3/10/2018 8:21 AM, ***@charter.net wrote:
# # I fully understand the reasons for using only black powder or black powder substitutes in
# # vintage or muzzle loading guns.
# #
# # What would be the effect of diluting a smokeless powder with fine charcoal to slow its burning
# # rate? Could you use a well diluted smokeless powder to deliver the slower burning properties of
# # black powder and to increase the resulting smoke?
# #
# # [MODERATOR: Potentially the effect would not be good. Maybe you could get
# # smoke but it could be coming from more than the muzzle if, as a result of
# # slowed burn rates, you end up creating far higher pressures and blow up the
# # firearm. Remember that magnum loads are created with slower-burning powders.
# # I don't even know whether I'd expect more smoke, since after all, there is
# # no sense that you're providing an oxidizer for it to combust, no matter what
# # the rate of the reaction. Whatever is the available energy in your smokeless
# # powder, you'd be flying blind on pressure curves, so probably safest to not
# # fly that route at all.]
# #
#
# Seeing no responses I'll put my 2 cents in.
# I recall seeing smokeless powder loads suggested for muzzle loaders but
# us reloaders know how easy and dangerous it is to overload smokeless
# powders. A double load of black powder may be safe in a modern muzzle
# loader but a double load of smokeless could blow up a modern firearm.
# I'm not sure a charcoal mix with smokeless would slow down the smokeless
# much as I recall light loads of smokeless sometimes had inert powders
# loaded on top to keep powder near the primer if gun pointed downward and
# shot. Have not researched my comments but just based on what I remember.

It would not be a good idea to mix anything with the smokeless powder.

At one time some were putting some material like a small ammount of
something like polyester that is used for insulation in coats to hold
the powder near the primer. There can be a big difference in how the
gun reacts if much less than half a case full of powder is used. The
worst seems to be if the powder lays flat in the case and the primer
seems to set it all at once instead of it slowly (relative speaking)
burning. This causes the gun to blow up.
Frank
2018-03-14 19:48:40 UTC
Permalink
On 3/13/2018 7:58 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
# In article <p89g35$luk$***@news.albasani.net>, ***@frank.net says...
# #
# # On 3/10/2018 8:21 AM, ***@charter.net wrote:
# # # I fully understand the reasons for using only black powder or black powder substitutes in
# # # vintage or muzzle loading guns.
# # #
# # # What would be the effect of diluting a smokeless powder with fine charcoal to slow its burning
# # # rate? Could you use a well diluted smokeless powder to deliver the slower burning properties of
# # # black powder and to increase the resulting smoke?
# # #
# # # [MODERATOR: Potentially the effect would not be good. Maybe you could get
# # # smoke but it could be coming from more than the muzzle if, as a result of
# # # slowed burn rates, you end up creating far higher pressures and blow up the
# # # firearm. Remember that magnum loads are created with slower-burning powders.
# # # I don't even know whether I'd expect more smoke, since after all, there is
# # # no sense that you're providing an oxidizer for it to combust, no matter what
# # # the rate of the reaction. Whatever is the available energy in your smokeless
# # # powder, you'd be flying blind on pressure curves, so probably safest to not
# # # fly that route at all.]
# # #
# #
# # Seeing no responses I'll put my 2 cents in.
# # I recall seeing smokeless powder loads suggested for muzzle loaders but
# # us reloaders know how easy and dangerous it is to overload smokeless
# # powders. A double load of black powder may be safe in a modern muzzle
# # loader but a double load of smokeless could blow up a modern firearm.
# # I'm not sure a charcoal mix with smokeless would slow down the smokeless
# # much as I recall light loads of smokeless sometimes had inert powders
# # loaded on top to keep powder near the primer if gun pointed downward and
# # shot. Have not researched my comments but just based on what I remember.
#
# It would not be a good idea to mix anything with the smokeless powder.
#
# At one time some were putting some material like a small ammount of
# something like polyester that is used for insulation in coats to hold
# the powder near the primer. There can be a big difference in how the
# gun reacts if much less than half a case full of powder is used. The
# worst seems to be if the powder lays flat in the case and the primer
# seems to set it all at once instead of it slowly (relative speaking)
# burning. This causes the gun to blow up.
#
#
Very interesting. I googled this up:

http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/08/powder-position-and-pressure/

It may appear powder too close to the bullet can cause highly reduced
pressure.

I've been reloading light plinking loads of .357 mag and .44 mag with
Tite Group which comes no where near filling a case but have never seen
a problem.
Ralph Mowery
2018-03-15 15:17:52 UTC
Permalink
In article <p8buao$hd0$***@news.albasani.net>, "frank "@frank.net says...
# Very interesting. I googled this up:
#
# http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/08/powder-position-and-pressure/
#
# It may appear powder too close to the bullet can cause highly reduced
# pressure.
#
# I've been reloading light plinking loads of .357 mag and .44 mag with
# Tite Group which comes no where near filling a case but have never seen
# a problem.
#
#
#

I have not tried it as I don't use very light loads in any of my guns,
but I did read about some shooters had their ammo disqualified for some
matches. I have never checked it ,but the only light load I use is some
38 special 148 ge wadd cutters with about 2.8 gr of Bullseye. That still
takes up much of the case capacity.

I am not into it,so may be way off on the numbers. One match seems to
have 2 classes. A minor and major power factor. The weight of the
bullet and the velocity has to equal so many foot pounds to make the
major class which should be a more realistic combat load instead of
lighter target loads.

Seems that the load was worked up by a shooter and was fine at his
range. Took the ammo to a competition shoot and he fired a round over
the chronograph. It was too low in velocity to make the major class.
After doing some checking, it was determined if the gun was pointed up
and slowly brought to level to shoot the velocity was much higher than
if the gun was pointed down and then brought level.


Have you ever fired your loads over a chronograph and tried holding the
gun up and then down ? Would be interisting to know if you see the
effect or not.
Frank
2018-03-16 14:13:43 UTC
Permalink
On 3/15/2018 11:17 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
# In article <p8buao$hd0$***@news.albasani.net>, "frank "@frank.net says...
# # Very interesting. I googled this up:
# #
# # http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/08/powder-position-and-pressure/
# #
# # It may appear powder too close to the bullet can cause highly reduced
# # pressure.
# #
# # I've been reloading light plinking loads of .357 mag and .44 mag with
# # Tite Group which comes no where near filling a case but have never seen
# # a problem.
# #
# #
# #
#
# I have not tried it as I don't use very light loads in any of my guns,
# but I did read about some shooters had their ammo disqualified for some
# matches. I have never checked it ,but the only light load I use is some
# 38 special 148 ge wadd cutters with about 2.8 gr of Bullseye. That still
# takes up much of the case capacity.
#
# I am not into it,so may be way off on the numbers. One match seems to
# have 2 classes. A minor and major power factor. The weight of the
# bullet and the velocity has to equal so many foot pounds to make the
# major class which should be a more realistic combat load instead of
# lighter target loads.
#
# Seems that the load was worked up by a shooter and was fine at his
# range. Took the ammo to a competition shoot and he fired a round over
# the chronograph. It was too low in velocity to make the major class.
# After doing some checking, it was determined if the gun was pointed up
# and slowly brought to level to shoot the velocity was much higher than
# if the gun was pointed down and then brought level.
#
#
# Have you ever fired your loads over a chronograph and tried holding the
# gun up and then down ? Would be interisting to know if you see the
# effect or not.
#
#
I don't shoot competitively but would try your chronograph experiment if
I had one. I did have two of them that I shot and ruined. The first
was in my basement with an arrow.

I used to load all near max but was getting terrible leading. My light
loads leave barrels practically lead free.
Ralph Mowery
2018-03-16 15:20:31 UTC
Permalink
In article <p8gjen$r0t$***@news.albasani.net>, "frank "@frank.net says...
#
# I don't shoot competitively but would try your chronograph experiment if
# I had one. I did have two of them that I shot and ruined. The first
# was in my basement with an arrow.
#
# I used to load all near max but was getting terrible leading. My light
# loads leave barrels practically lead free.
#
#
#



I started reloading when I was around 23 when I got my first handgun
that was not a 22 cal. A 357 mag. I was taught by 2 men that had been
reloading for many years. Things went well for a year or so reloading
the 357 to near maximum book loads with jacketed bullets. One of the
men gave me some Hornady lead bullets. I did download it slightly and
thought I never would get the lead out after shooting 50 rounds. Those
Hornadys were very soft lead. Later I started shooting some very hard
cast bullets and downloaded a bit more and have not had any lead
problems. I did get a Lewis Lead remover, but have not needed it.
I think I am getting about 900 fps or so with the 158 gr lead bullets
using somewhere around 6 gr of Unique or Green Dot depending on what I
have around. I have not shot the revolvers much after I got a couple of
40 cal Glocks.
Frank
2018-03-17 21:31:35 UTC
Permalink
On 3/16/2018 11:20 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
# In article <p8gjen$r0t$***@news.albasani.net>, "frank "@frank.net says...
# #
# # I don't shoot competitively but would try your chronograph experiment if
# # I had one. I did have two of them that I shot and ruined. The first
# # was in my basement with an arrow.
# #
# # I used to load all near max but was getting terrible leading. My light
# # loads leave barrels practically lead free.
# #
# #
# #
#
#
#
# I started reloading when I was around 23 when I got my first handgun
# that was not a 22 cal. A 357 mag. I was taught by 2 men that had been
# reloading for many years. Things went well for a year or so reloading
# the 357 to near maximum book loads with jacketed bullets. One of the
# men gave me some Hornady lead bullets. I did download it slightly and
# thought I never would get the lead out after shooting 50 rounds. Those
# Hornadys were very soft lead. Later I started shooting some very hard
# cast bullets and downloaded a bit more and have not had any lead
# problems. I did get a Lewis Lead remover, but have not needed it.
# I think I am getting about 900 fps or so with the 158 gr lead bullets
# using somewhere around 6 gr of Unique or Green Dot depending on what I
# have around. I have not shot the revolvers much after I got a couple of
# 40 cal Glocks.
#
#
I too started pistol reloading with a .357 mag. I quit reloading 38 SPL
for it as chambers in cylinder got lead plus that you had to blast out.
I reload a .40 Glock but am not fond of picking up cases and don't shoot
it much.
Ralph Mowery
2018-03-18 00:09:03 UTC
Permalink
In article <p8k1fn$h4v$***@news.albasani.net>, ***@frank.net says...
#
# I too started pistol reloading with a .357 mag. I quit reloading 38 SPL
# for it as chambers in cylinder got lead plus that you had to blast out.
# I reload a .40 Glock but am not fond of picking up cases and don't shoot
# it much.
#
#
#

I have read abou the lead problem with the 38's in the 357 chamber,
so I just shoot the 357 cases even with small loads. I seldom shoot
anyting under about 3/4 loads in it with the 158 gr lead swc.


I shoot severl simiautos, handguns and rifles. The range is out doors
and mostly gravel shooting lands. I just pick up what I can find and
don't worry about the ones that I can't find. From the looks of the
ranges, some never pick up the empties. However some come to the ranges
and look them over for brass that was left.

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