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LOADING BLACK POWDER 45 LONG COLT

trainman115trainman115 Member Posts: 119 ✭✭
Hi I was wondering if anyone can help me out I just boought a uberti 1873 oldwest 45 long colt and I want to reload some bullets using black powder, But I have no clue if I should use FFG or FFFG powder and how much to use, also bullets what grain and what type. Can you buy bullets already made just load them , I read you have lub them put gas checks behind them I do lots of reloading for regular cases but never did any with black powder, some say you cant use a RCBS scale to weigh the powder not sure Y, I tryied to look for a book that would help me cant find any, is there a special bullet for BP?? does Midway sell them?? Any help will be greatly appreciated

Comments

  • ZinderblocZinderbloc Member Posts: 925 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Welcome. Loading black powder .45 Colt is easy.

    First, you can buy .45 Colt cast lead bullets online or in most gun shops. They will come already lubed, and you don't need a gas check. You can use 'em right out of the box. The proper size is .452 diameter, 230 or 250 gr. weight. Lots of folks use the 230 gr. RN lead bullet designed for the .45 ACP.

    You don't need to weigh black powder. This may seem strange to a seasoned reloader, but it's true. If you want a light target/fun load, fill the case 3/5 full of powder and seat the bullet on top.

    Full power? Fill the case nearly full and then seat the bullet. You should compress the powder with this load.

    FFg or FFFg? Does not matter. Use what you've got. FFFg is my choice. Pyrodex-P or 777 works great, too.

    Use a firm crimp, and be sure to wash the cases in hot water before reloading again.

    It's OK to use a RCBS scale if you want, but fill the cases by hand. I'm told black powder can damage powder measures designed for smokeless powder.

    Good luck. [:)]
  • trainman115trainman115 Member Posts: 119 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank You I will give it a world and Thanks very much for your reply ED
  • R D HenryR D Henry Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you're going to use real BP the bullet has to be lubed, with the subs like 777, APP, etc you can use any standard lead bullet.

    Typically it's suggested you use FFg in cartridges, and FFFg in cap and ball guns, but it really doesn't make much difference.

    I load all my 45's on a Dillon 550, using FFg 777 with no problems at all...been doing it for several years. I shoot with quite a few guys that load real BP through a Dillon without any metering problems too.
    If you're going to try 777, I should caution you up front that it's very hot, and you need to pay close attention to the loading specs that Hodgdon shows. You can cut it by 10-15%, but no fillers, and by all means DON'T compress it!

    During a match, I drop all my brass in a bottle with Dawn dish soap and water til I get home. Then just rinse them off, dry them, and into the tumbler.

    Welcome to the Darkside! [:D] [8D]
  • glabrayglabray Member Posts: 679 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The damage that black powder can do to a normal powder measure is then enough static builds up in the plastic to set off the powder. That's damage big time and, yes, it has happened. You may be able to get away with it for some time but you are fishing on thin ice. A safe black powder measure is all metal construction. A couple of other points: You'll most likely find that lead bullets lubed with a lube intended for black powder such as SPG work best especially if you want to shoot a number of rounds between cleanups. Many of us have found that a card or Wonder Wad between the powder and the bullet base reduces fouling and improves uniformity of ignition.
  • mazo kidmazo kid Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I can't remember where I read it right now, but someone did an exhaustive test on static charges and black powder. Bottom line was he could NOT get ignition from static discharge. Still...better safe than sorry. I took the plastic hopper off my Lyman powder dispenser and inserted a length of brass tubing that is a very snug fit in the unit. I could drill and tap for set screws, but so far, the tubing has stayed put. I recently bought the Lyman Black Powder measure that looks just like the standard one, but with a baffle in the aluminum hopper. I think a lot of the hype about not using powder measures to drop black powder is a CYA thing to avoid liability suits. My 2 cents worth. Emery
  • OklahomaboundOklahomabound Member Posts: 829 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    1. Use the 777 and 200 grain LRN to 250 grain LRN.... can use the same bullet with the 777 as you do with the smokeless powders. 30 grains of Ffg 777 will be just fine and will leave room to seat the bullet, using a good crimp.

    2. If you want to shoot Black Powder, then there is some study that needs to be done as well as cleaning those guns of yours to get rid of the smokeless powder residue. If not cleaned thoroughly, you'll have a real job after shooting Black Powder. Use a soft cast bullet, spg lube, same amount of Black Powder, use a lubed wad over the powder, and seat the bullet.
  • Sky SoldierSky Soldier Member Posts: 460 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Oklahomabound, in your post you said:

    "1. Use the 777 and 200 grain LRN to 250 grain LRN.... can use the same bullet with the 777 as you do with the smokeless powders. 30 grains of Ffg 777 will be just fine and will leave room to seat the bullet, using a good crimp."

    Is the charge of 30 gr. of 777 the actual weight of the 777 or the volume equivalent of 30 gr. of BP?
  • R D HenryR D Henry Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If I may, yes you can use the same bullet with 777 as you do with smokeless...convenient, huh! [^] That's one reason I like using the subs.

    30gr of FFg 777 is a handfull, and is probably the volume not the actual weight. According to Hodgdon, you can safely cut the recipe back by 10% and still be safe.
  • ahanksterahankster Member Posts: 253 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Two points.
    First, the "common belief" that static electricity will set off black powder is both correct and incorrect. Will static electricity set off granular black powder, almost certainly never. This has been tested and retested. Actually seen metal plates with FFF on it and a charged rod with a live arc running right through the powder, no ignition. Now, very fine black powder dust, that is a whole different story. This is the cause for BP plants blowing up during and after the civil war. Airborne BP dust is very much ignitable by static electricity. Just like very fine cotton or other mill dust is explosive to static, ever seen a cotton mill or other mill go boom, it happens on occaision. So, as long as you don't have allot of fine airborne BP dust floating around, you are probably ok.
    Second. 777 and fillers. I totally understand that Hodgden clearly and adamently says no fillers. But, in practice they are fine. I load a half and half, bottom half FF 777 and top half grits in a 357 case, and this gives about 650 fps with a 125 grain bullet. I don't think I would try using a soft, fluffy filler, but something fairly noncompressable should be fine. I also personally know lots of people that do the same with 38s, 357s, 44s, and 45s. All have excellent results. Problem with a full case of 777 is that it tends to become a hot load and a full day of shooting it can be a pain. I also load 777 in 38-55 and on a rare occaision 12 gauge. Works very, very well.
    Good luck
    Hank
  • Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 12,893 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by glabray
    The damage that black powder can do to a normal powder measure is then enough static builds up in the plastic to set off the powder. That's damage big time and, yes, it has happened.



    Show me! That's BS! There has never been a documented case of static electricy setting off black powder in a powder measure wheter it's metal or plastic. There have been black powder explosions in factories where there is dust like they have in a grain bin which will also explode but there's never been a case of that happening in someones reloading room at home. If you got dust like what's in a grain bin in your reloading room at home then you definitely need to give up reloading.

    Calamity Jane a well known lady in Cowboy Action Shooting (SASS)that lives in Canada that's a gun smith/jack of all trades, scientist, machinist, you name it, that experimented with the static thing to the point of arcing a blue flame into a pan of black powder with nothing ever happening.

    This subject has started more cyberbrawls than just about any other subject in the SASS wire forum.

    It's an old wives tale and that's all 'cause I'm living proof it just don't happen.

    Smitty
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    You can't get the original 40 grain BP load into today's cases since they have less capacity than the old folded head cases.
    The SAA is quite a kicker with the old full load.
  • rediceredice Member Posts: 1,550 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't believe filling the case with powder then compressing the charge with a bullet would be at all safe, that's got to be at least 75 if not 85+ grains which is a max load for most bp rifles which have a lot more steel around the chamber than any replica or original 45 colt revolver.

    Also depending on the bullet that would be one hell of a compressed charge and since bp last I was told could ignite under compression.... does not sound like to brite of an idea, I could be wrong but personally I like my fingers and arms attached.

    I load from 160-300 grain .45 colt loads with modern bp substitutes NO PYRODEX OR REAL BP, have left several fired guns in a gunsafe for over 4 months with no corrosion with these new powders.

    My current pet load is a .300grain jacketed hp over I think it was 25-35 grains of FFF or FF don't recall doesn't really matter FFF is a little hotter but not enough to matter get around 650fps which is fine for me I like shooting slow loads its also extremely accurate in my marlin lever action.

    Basically I took a spent case that would fit inside my .45 case and marked it where the crimping grove was on the bullet, then filled the case with bp up to a bit past that mark "using the spent case as my guide for seating depth" then went and seated its a very lightly compressed charge just like you would have in a muzzle loader, I was always told you don't want air when using bp can cause lots of bad things including your gun coming apart, dunno if its true but I air on the side of caution. I would never compress a bp load more than what I could do with a ramrod that sounds pretty insane to me, but then again I'm no expert.

    I also just started loading .410 shells using .444 cases works really well but haven't got my loads down yet.
  • Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 12,893 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by redice
    I don't believe filling the case with powder then compressing the charge with a bullet would be at all safe,


    You can't over load a black powder round. That's the way you load black powder is to fill the case up to where the bullet slightly compresses the powder. For lighter loads you use a filler of some sort such as cream wheat etc. Same thing for black powder subs such as American Pioneer Powder (formerly CleanShot) is to fill the cases up to where the bullet will slightly compress the powder. I use foam rubber as a filler for lighter loads when using APP such as backer rod that can be found in a hardware store for caulking joints. You don't want to leave an air space in black powder cartridges or black powder subs.

    Smitty
  • rediceredice Member Posts: 1,550 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Smitty500mag
    quote:Originally posted by redice
    I don't believe filling the case with powder then compressing the charge with a bullet would be at all safe,


    You can't over load a black powder round. That's the way you load black powder is to fill the case up to where the bullet slightly compresses the powder. For lighter loads you use a filler of some sort such as cream wheat etc. Same thing for black powder subs such as American Pioneer Powder (formerly CleanShot) is to fill the cases up to where the bullet will slightly compress the powder. I use foam rubber as a filler for lighter loads when using APP such as backer rod that can be found in a hardware store for caulking joints. You don't want to leave an air space in black powder cartridges or black powder subs.

    Smitty


    See that's how I understand it, however when I read his post I read he filled the case to the BRIM then forced the bullet in there compressing the powder a LOT.

    However now I can't seem to find that post maybe it was deleted, anyhow when I originally read said post that's what it sounded like and sounded very very dangerous.
  • Sky SoldierSky Soldier Member Posts: 460 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I know you think you understand what you thought he said he meant, but what you heard was not what he said.
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