In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Cap-n-Ball revolver Blackpowder loads revisited

powdersmokepowdersmoke Member Posts: 3,241
I have seen the subject of BP loads come up here several times, for revolvers and rifles. I have also seen reccommended loads listed that were way above my experience for an efficient load. I often wonder if we think more powder, bigger bang, more manly.

The 'listed' BP loads, for revolvers, in most manuals are;

31 cal. 15 grains 3F

36 cal. 15-25 grains 3F

44 cal. 20-30 grains 3F

For modern repro' 36 cal. revolvers an average is 22 grains

For modern repro 44 cal. revolvers ( with the exception of Walkers and Dragoons ) the average is 28 grains

My 31 cal. would do quite nicely with 10gr.

For Walkers and Dragoons the charge is about 40 grains and up, with 50 being the median.

Can these take a larger load? Yes quite often they can. Is that an efficient load? Probably not.

An old rule of thumb hunters would use for their rifles was to fire a test round with a specific measured charge over a white surface (snow). They would increase the charge until when they fired they saw black specs of powder on the white surface. They would then back the load down 5-10 grains to have the most efficient load.

I would hunt with 90gr of powder in my 50 cal. Hawken. Some would hunt with 150gr of powder for the same cal. and model. For the most part it was powder wasted and inefficient. With the ignition characteristics of BP you may not burn all your powder. Today that is not a large worry but to a subsistance hunter it would be. He needed to get as much out of his powder and RB as possible.

The reccomended load for my Hawken is 125 gr 2F and 105gr 3F. I feel 90gr 3F works best for me.


Sign In or Register to comment.