Author Topic: black powder in modern firearms  (Read 4304 times)

Offline product85

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black powder in modern firearms
« on: June 04, 2009, 07:18:45 PM »
I know it can be done but what are the basics and important points on loading centerfire handgun cartridges (for example 44sp/mag)?

Can one use jacketed or plated bullets or are they limited to cast bullets?

I am a regular reloader of smokeless powder cartridges but know nothing about black powder.

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 07:32:25 PM »
I only know that you will get less power per volume unit and that it will foul your weapon much more quickly.  I would say offhand that it could be done in revolvers and non-semi auto long arms.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 10:09:27 PM »
I have fired 7.62 x 54R loaded with black powder. Definately less power, but still wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of it.
I know some guys that do run their 1911s with black powder (us cowboy shooters do weird things, I know). They seem to work just fine, considering.

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Offline product85

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2009, 02:38:49 PM »
the reason i ask, is from the standpoint in a SHTF scenario or any other event that would cause powder to become unavailable it would be good to know how to load revolvers a non semi auto rifles to shoot it.

Pretty cool that guys are running 1911's on the stuff, I guess that helps with its acceptance in the cowboy crowd.... I would be interested in hearing the success stories in other semi autos and the various calibers

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 01:15:21 PM »
I have fired 7.62 x 54R loaded with black powder. Definately less power, but still wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of it.
I know some guys that do run their 1911s with black powder (us cowboy shooters do weird things, I know). They seem to work just fine, considering.
RipT

Sorry, bringing an old thread back to life here...

Rip  you were joking about 1911's running on Black Powder, right?  I'm sure you weren't, but that just blows my mind.  I used a lot of BP when I was a kid making fun things with fuses attached to them, and the power is there, not the same as a smokeless powder, but plenty of power nonetheless so I could see it working in a 1911.  I bet it feels like when you switch over to a digital camera and have to get used to/adjust for the delay though.

I'd like to see a comparative chronny between two rounds.  The.45 is already known as "The Flying Trashcan", and if you slowed it down much more it'd be like getting hit with the trashcan, the ally, the house and the park at the end of the ally.  Wonder how .45 hollow points do as you slow them down to what I am guessing BP speeds would be (500-700fps) and what you cold do to improve their "functionality" at those speeds.

Great Post Rip!

Tim.

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Offline painless

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 05:15:14 PM »
Sorry, bringing an old thread back to life here...

Rip  you were joking about 1911's running on Black Powder, right?  I'm sure you weren't, but that just blows my mind.  I used a lot of BP when I was a kid making fun things with fuses attached to them, and the power is there, not the same as a smokeless powder, but plenty of power nonetheless so I could see it working in a 1911.  I bet it feels like when you switch over to a digital camera and have to get used to/adjust for the delay though.

I'd like to see a comparative chronny between two rounds.  The.45 is already known as "The Flying Trashcan", and if you slowed it down much more it'd be like getting hit with the trashcan, the ally, the house and the park at the end of the ally.  Wonder how .45 hollow points do as you slow them down to what I am guessing BP speeds would be (500-700fps) and what you cold do to improve their "functionality" at those speeds.

Great Post Rip!

Tim.




I personally would hesitate to use BP in any gas operated weapon.  Those gas channels can clog pretty easily, and without specialized tools would seem difficult to clean.

That being said:

The 30.06 was designed for black powder, as well as a host of other rounds that are still common today.  .303? .38 long?  I'd look it up, but I'm at work, and their internet filter is WAY paranoid.

But what about a muzzle loader?  Remember, some day those cases will be unusable, and finding / manufacturing percussion caps may be impossible, as well.  (They're still making flint, I hear)  ;-)

I was thinking a .32, and a .56 for general use, and look into how percussion caps, and bird shot were manufactured in the early 1800s.  I would thing that the ability to perform gunsmithing, and having a percussion cap / black powder / shot manufacturing capability would make you a popular fellow in the neighborhood.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 07:49:04 PM »

I personally would hesitate to use BP in any gas operated weapon.  Those gas channels can clog pretty easily, and without specialized tools would seem difficult to clean.

That being said:

The 30.06 was designed for black powder, as well as a host of other rounds that are still common today.  .303? .38 long?  I'd look it up, but I'm at work, and their internet filter is WAY paranoid.

But what about a muzzle loader?  Remember, some day those cases will be unusable, and finding / manufacturing percussion caps may be impossible, as well.  (They're still making flint, I hear)  ;-)

I was thinking a .32, and a .56 for general use, and look into how percussion caps, and bird shot were manufactured in the early 1800s.  I would thing that the ability to perform gunsmithing, and having a percussion cap / black powder / shot manufacturing capability would make you a popular fellow in the neighborhood.

Hi Painless, and WELCOME to the Funny Farm!  The same things happens with me personally if I "load" bad ammo, my gas system gets clogged!  Oh, that was bad.  Muzzle loaders make a lot of sense for "us's", but that probably belongs in another thread entirely (if there isn't one already...).

Tim.

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Offline phuttan

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 08:15:58 PM »
It would definitely cause problems with gas operated systems. Make sure that your detail stripping and cleaning skills are perfect first. If you don't, your firearms will rust up pretty fast.

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Offline RipTombstone

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 10:43:05 PM »
Tim,
Nope. Wasnt joking about running it in 1911s. Some of them put in a lighter recoil spring, but thats the only changes they make. I wont be running it in mine tho, as its a Rem. Rand, and I dont want to risk any troubles.

I am not sure what the velocity would be, but black powder is still very formidable.
The Colt Walker was running around 1000-1200 fps, but it was basically a mini rifle powder charge wise. I have fired 60gr of powder out of mine, but wont anymore. I normally run 45gr of powder, and its still quite a wallop. I would not hesitate to shoot a deer with it, were it legal here.
I load some of my 45Colts with a 150 gr bullet, and a full case of 3F, and they will go over 1000fps. I would guess the 45acp would still be doing 700-800 fps with the right bullet. One of these days I need to break out the chrony and get "official" speeds out of my other black powder cartridges, ie. 357, 38Spec, 30-30.

Painless, 30-06 designed for black powder?? The 30-30 was designed for smokeless powder 11-12 years earlier, in 1894-1895. Smokeless powder was abundant. I dont think the military was looking to go back to blackpowder in the 30-06. Most of the other countries around the world were also in the smokeless arms race, trying to get away from blackpowder. I wouldnt think we were looking to stick with black.

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Offline TimSuggs

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 02:47:50 PM »
Tim,
Nope. Wasnt joking about running it in 1911s. Some of them put in a lighter recoil spring, but thats the only changes they make. I wont be running it in mine tho, as its a Rem. Rand, and I dont want to risk any troubles.

I am not sure what the velocity would be, but black powder is still very formidable.
The Colt Walker was running around 1000-1200 fps, but it was basically a mini rifle powder charge wise. I have fired 60gr of powder out of mine, but wont anymore. I normally run 45gr of powder, and its still quite a wallop. I would not hesitate to shoot a deer with it, were it legal here.
I load some of my 45Colts with a 150 gr bullet, and a full case of 3F, and they will go over 1000fps. I would guess the 45acp would still be doing 700-800 fps with the right bullet. One of these days I need to break out the chrony and get "official" speeds out of my other black powder cartridges, ie. 357, 38Spec, 30-30.

RipT

Thanks RipT!  I only shoot Federal 230gr HydraShoks at the moment, but they are plentiful today.  If push came to shove, I'd shoot anything I could load, with anything that would burn.  I would be real interested to see the chrony data from both the .45 and .38's if you ever get around to it.

Tim.

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Offline RipTombstone

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 04:16:07 PM »
Hopefully after deer season is over I can get some time in weather permitting. The "good" range is about 30 minutes away, so it takes an act of mercy for me to be able to go, what with work and the new kid.

I may load up some 45Acp just to see as well, but wont be making it a habit.
Heck, I should load up some 30-06 and 7.62x54 and chrony those too, just to get a comparison. I have shot 7.62x54 with black before, but it was years before I even thought about having a chrony.
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Offline CaptainRW

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 11:03:11 AM »
I would think, with some math skills you could work pout a reload for most modern guns that would be safe. Look up .45-70 for example, used 70 grains of 3F, match that up on the reloading charts with varied smokeless powders. That should give you good idea of loads.
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Offline RipTombstone

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 02:20:01 PM »
Well, you cant go off of smokeless loads with blackpowder, as compression is a requirement with black powder. Most smokeless powders dont fill a case.
The basic rule of thumb is 1/8" compression of powder under your bullet.
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Offline bladesmith

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Re: black powder in modern firearms
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 04:26:35 PM »
just make sure you don't leave a air gap between the base of the bullet and the powder and it will work............at least once. ;D   I do know from experience that 9mm's loaded with black and used in a glock it will only function for 8 rounds before it is so fouled up it won't cycle.
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