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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) Black powder and the cheap ass (Read 28941 times)
SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #60 - Aug 26th, 2019 at 10:43am
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Nice to see this come alive again .......

I imagine compressing your pulverone (uncompressed powder) will only smash up your soft granules into powder/dust again .... ?
The granules in a compressed powder are quite hard and will take a hammer to smash, so will withstand compressing - to a degree anyway.
In a muzzleloader, standard practice is you merely place the bullet firmly on the powder, and you duplicate that when you're loading a cartridge case. You 'compress' when you want to cram a bit more powder in - or need to seat your bullet a bit deeper, or when your powder performs better because it is compressed.
Not all powders like it - I've heard that Swiss doesn't like compression.

I compress sometimes - but not always.
Another way of getting more powder in your case is to 'drop tube' it.
I've got a 30" tube mounted against a backboard with a little funnel at the top. The outside diameter of the tube fits loosely inside the case and slides up and down in two eyelets that are screwed into the backboard. To stop the tube sliding all the way down into the case I got an 'O' ring on the tube that stops against the eyelet - so I lift the tube, slide the case under, then lower the tube into the neck of the case.
Then I slowly dribble the measured weight of powder into the funnel at the top.
It's surprising how much more powder you can get in a case doing it this way than you can with just a funnel straight into the case.

I see you're using hollow based bullets - what diameter are they ........ for instance, are they a 'slip fit' in the barrel, or are they groove size ?

  
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Micky Duck
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #61 - Aug 26th, 2019 at 5:31pm
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both types are groove size so .458?? reading what wikipedia said about the old cartridge is eye opening...it held the longest confirmed sharpshooter/sniper kill untill recently when it was taken by modern gear and a .50BMG rifle!!!!!
  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #62 - Aug 26th, 2019 at 6:11pm
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Cheers mate, .458" should be okay.

You should look up the "45/70 Sandy Hook test" where an American marksman hit a six foot bullseye at 2,500 yards, then went on to shoot  at a target two miles away  Smiley
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #63 - Aug 27th, 2019 at 1:12pm
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Trying to figure out the value of an old Bolt action black powder rifle. Its a 1885 Remington Lee .43 Spanish in original perhaps unfired condition with broad arrow and NZ marking and 87 for 1887 stamped on receiver.
I`m getting the impression these are pretty rear from what I have read up but no idea of a estimated value. I also doubt the owner would part with it.
  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #64 - Aug 27th, 2019 at 5:14pm
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That's an interesting one, heard of them - but never seen one.
I know NZ bought some for its militia, but that's about all I know - and I just had a look online ..........
They bought 500 in .43 Spanish over in 1887, but the ammo gave trouble and they became unpopular and were replaced quite quickly.

They're a nice looking gun, quite modern - and I'd say there wouldn't be too many around today - and certainly not in unfired condition. Perhaps because of the ammo trouble it was never issued ?

I suspect you'd need to go to a serious collector to get a value on that. Would be a very interesting one to own - especially if you're into Metford's and Enfield's.
Be nice to own even if you're not.

Reminds me of a Colt Hartford side-hammer revolving rifle a bloke had when I was in my early twenties. Can't remember what calibre, maybe a fifty or thereabouts, but I never wanted something so much, and the bloke decided he'd sell - but he wanted a bit and I had to save.
When I finally got the money together I gave him a call, then drove into Wellington to pick it up.
He had it in a canvas bag and pulled it out for one last fondle ......... and decided he couldn't part with it.

I might have cried all the way home .........  Cry

Oh - mate had an old garage that had a dirt floor, and he decided to concrete it.
Digging out the dirt we found a rusted old gun a couple of inches under we had no idea about. The wood had mostly gone, rotted away but all the metal work was still there, so we soaked that thing in diesel and chipped away at that thing for weeks - and finally got the lock working and the bolt out. We'd discovered by then it was a Calisher and Terry and we thought it might shoot, so I made a stock and my mate being an apprentice toolmaker tidied up some bits.
I got the first shot - and I'm bloody glad I was wearing gloves, motorbike helmet and some sort of glasses - because so much shit spat out the back it tattooed my cheeks and a strip across my forehead black for about two months.

Can't do that with a Tikka .............

I have no idea what happened to that thing - mate probably flogged it off or swapped it.

  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #65 - Sep 27th, 2019 at 11:19am
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I'll tell you about a gun I made when I was trapping. I never carried a rifle, it just got in the way - but I was seeing quite a few deer and pigs on the 'block' I had - and at close quarters too.
So I made a short barreled muzzleloading gun using a length of .45 cal barrel I had.
When done that gun weighed around 4 lb and sat in my pikau.

The first time I fired that thing, I was with my mate. I loaded it up with 70grs BP then plonked something like a 400gr bullet on top of it.
I knew that thing would 'boot', so tied it to a tree and attempted to fire it with a string from the trigger.
That didn't work, so losing patience I put on a motorcycle helmet and safety glasses and fired it over the bonnet of my Landrover.

When I touched it off, the barrel went straight up and the gun left my hand. In the process the butt of the grip had slammed the heel of my hand against the bonnet, the trigger guard had ripped open my trigger finger and the hammer had chewed a chunk out the web of my hand between thumb and forefinger.
The pain was immediate and I doubled over clutching my hand .... then that gun came down smack on top of my helmet and flattened me.
When I picked myself up, my mate was in convulsions ....... "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha ... wish you could have seen that, Oh.. Ha, Ha, ha."

Had a really unattractive laugh that bloke, cackled like a crosseyed chook - and still does.

The only opportunity I ever had to use that thing was returning from a cyanide line on the tops of the Rimutaka's when I saw a pig way off in the distance trotting towards me. Pulling the gun out, I capped it and crossed my fingers. It was a good size pig and I could see the muscles playing under its hide as it got closer - it looked magnificent.
When It got to about six feet away I stepped sideways to let it pass, and my movement stopped it in its tracks. After a few moments eyeballing each other, it took off over the side and was gone - and I went home wondering if I should have shot it.

I eventually got a bit nervous owning that thing, so one evening I took it over the Hutt River and biffed it in a deep pool.

  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #66 - Dec 6th, 2019 at 1:46pm
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Am closer to a conclusion with that snider using homemade BP.

Have made a number of moulds but didn't get much satisfaction from them as far as accuracy goes, so I figured a hollow base minie would keep the bullet weight (recoil) within reasonable limits while still giving me a bullet around an inch long.

I couldn't get any accuracy with the shorter bullets in my 1:48 twist barrel.

So - bought a Lee minie mould (500gr) and opened it out in the lathe.
The bullet cast at .602" and by the time it was paper wrapped it measured .612". So I spun up a sizing die that squeezed them back to .600". I need to paper wrap them as the barrel has deep pitting near the chamber and it leads badly with a naked bullet - so much so large chunks of lead flick out with the bronze brush. Paper patching stops this completely.
I don't get this with the ball, but I use a tallow cookie under the ball about 4mm thick - and nothing but a dry milk carton disc wad under the minie.
Between powder and cookie I simply use cigarette papers I dip in beeswax, then iron out with a hot iron - then punch a disc from that. Ordinary greaseproof paper wets out, but those dipped cigarette papers don't. I then seat the ball in the lube and wipe off the small amount that squeezes out the mouth when I seat the ball. I want that cookie to vapourise in the barrel - I don't want it following the ball downrange.
I've had bullets so loaded sit for some months before firing and haven't noted any deteriorating of the powder charge.
Those minies weighed 546gr and I modify each bullet in the lathe by cutting the nose back .100" to give a wide metplat - then I hollow point them 4mm diameter by 7mm deep.
I also fill the base with polyfilla which shrinks as it sets, so that's a bit of a bastard to do - time consuming.
I don't want them expanding further.
All done they weigh 515gr.

With 70grs of homemade 1F powder under that bullet it is shooting 8 inches at 100 yards (always with a flyer). I've tried stiffer loads up to 85grs and lighter ones down to 45gra - but that 70grs gives me the best accuracy.

The .600" round ball (327grs) over 85grs 1F homemade gives no flyers at 100 yards and groups 6/8 inches on a good day

Took two twenty liter plastic oil containers down the range this morning, both filled with water.
Each container is 11" (280mm) square and I placed them back to back and shot one ball and one minie into them - hoping to trap a bullet.
I shot them from 40 meters and both the ball and the minie whistled straight through them and deep enough into the dirt bank in behind - I couldn't find them.
The exit holes from the second container showed no expansion of either bullet, which surprised me a bit - I thought that minie would flatten out and stop in the second container.
(Edit) - had another look at those containers and the minie entrance hole in the second container is noticeably larger than the ball one  Smiley

The barrel on that snider is very well used, even abused and cleaning rod wear is very evident at the muzzle - so the accuracy I'm achieving is probably the best I'll ever get as I have no intention of ever modifying it. I did fit a fibre optic sight up front as my eyes aren't as good as they used to be - but that is easily removed. That fibre optic is easy to see even in dim/heavy bush conditions.

I like that gun a great deal, with the 3 piece cleaning rod in the buttstock it weighs 6 3/4lb, and with that rod out it goes a little under 6 1/2lb which makes it a delightful carry.

Recoil with either ball or minie is there, but not bothersome in the slightest as I've raised the sights to get my cheek of the stock.

With those loads performing as they are, I'm calling it a 70 yard gun, but the likelihood is I'll be shooting half that distance or less.

The tallow cookies behind the ball do seem to vapourise and deposit themselves within the barrel - I can quite easily get a toilet paper square (folded into quarters) down the barrel on a jag - which I can't do if I don't use a cookie.

I've loaded my Bertram cases 25 times now - annealing after each firing with a candle and haven't had any split.

That homemade powder is at least on par with Goex and with a pound of powder around $70+ dollars - I won't be buying any more.

« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2019 at 11:00pm by SF90 »  
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Micky Duck
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #67 - Dec 6th, 2019 at 7:53pm
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sounds like you are making progress...thanks for the update.
  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #68 - Dec 6th, 2019 at 11:12pm
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Yeah, I'm enjoying it.
Would love to get it shooting better out at 100 yds but I'm pretty much at my wits end there.
Option is to cut the barrel back a couple of inches and re-crown it, but I don't wish to do that.
Another option is to screw in another barrel - and I have one here, an unfired Tony Hawkins barrel - but I'm loathe to do that too.
The place where I hunt is tight - thirty yards would be a long shot so I'll take it there.
At the moment one leg's quit working, but I'm due an op on the 11th, in just a few days time - so will see what goes there.
And then it'll be a chore to get back to fitness ....... and then the bush for the Roar - am wetting my pants ...... can taste it  Smiley

  
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #69 - Dec 7th, 2019 at 7:21pm
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SF90, you need what my mate shoots with. He's lovingly turned up a 3rd scale Confederate cannon out of a 40mm Bofors barrel. Throws beautifully large lumps of lead accurate to about 6" groups @100 yards. Ideal for clearing thick vegetation, or tackling that elusive stag standing behind a meter diameter Pine tree.  Does what you do, and makes all his own BP etc.
Took the front end loader down to the range to dig out some of the fired projos. About the size of a cotton reels. Stopped when I had dug into the bank about 2 meters. A dozen rat holes still kept going  deeper into the pumice.
That's what you call penetration Shocked Shocked Shocked
  
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SF90
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Re: Black powder and the cheap ass
Reply #70 - Dec 7th, 2019 at 9:19pm
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I probably shouldn't write, more than a bit pissed.
Wife and I got invited to some peoples place I haven't met before for cocktails and buggered off with two half bottles of wine .........
"You gonna finish those ?"
"Probably not."
"We will." - and we did.

One of the journeymen when I was an apprentice quit his job and made a living out of building scale cannons - Bruce Jermey.
Did very well too - sold to the States, UK .... all over.

When you got a big heavy bullet you have momentum. Doesn't need to be traveling fast, but they take a lot of stopping.

I built a cannon barrel when I was an apprentice, had a 1 1/4" bore from memory and fired big-arse ball bearings. I had a heap of black powder cannon powder I got from the 'blanks' that saluted the Queen's Birthday and whenever the Royal Navy officially visited Wellington - pounds of the stuff I kept under my bed, and I would think about that every now and then.
I built a wooden carriage for that barrel and had a lot of fun with it.

Gave it to my brother in law eventually and he scrapped my old carriage and built a nicer one out of rimu - then he gave it back to me.
So I gave it to another mate who scrapped the rimu carriage and built an even better one out off macrocarpa - then gave it back.

Currently it's with the greediest bugger I know - it ain't coming back.

That cannon reminded me of the guy in the States who gifted a family member a pair of socks.
Those socks got returned to the 'gifter' encased in something they were difficult to retrieve from.
Back and forth went those socks, until last I heard they were placed in the glovebox of a car - that car then being crushed into a cube and delivered to the bloke who had gifted them.
He actually got them out, had them repaired and was wondering how to return them.

Two cannons I remember with affection were beer can firing cannons.
I didn't own them but was up Mountain Road, Mount Ngongotaha one Christmas Eve when the owner of one decided we'd let it go at midnight, so while the ladies supped wine the 'boys' busied themselves.
The projectile was a beer can filled with concrete. In this case the owner had placed a film cylinder filled with black powder centrally in the can with sparklers taped all around the outside and a coiled fuse stuck out the bottom of the can prior to filling with concrete that would ignite upon firing.
As midnight approached a few skyrockets went up including more than a few illegal rescue flares - and we let her go.
'BOOM' ...... and as the echoes died we pulled our fingers out our ears and searched eagerly into the sky .............
'BANG' - and we watched the explosion in the sky and the sparklers dancing as they fell to earth over the houses of Rotorua.
Then we remembered the concrete in that can ...... and I never seen a party break up so quick.

The second time was above Lake Rotomahana on some farmland. A few of the boys had been shooting their BP guns and a bloke had a beer can cannon. He had one concrete filled can left .......... "What'll we shoot boys ?"
Way down below us on the lake a swan floated majestically on the lake.
"There you go mate, see how close you can get to that swan."

Lining her up he touched her off .......

"BOOM" - and we watched in wonder as that swan collapsed into a pile of outspread wings and loose feathers that spread out from it's dead body ............

"ARSEHOLE" someone shouted and we all went home thoroughly disgusted with the prick.

  
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