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FFFF POWDER

minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
Does anyone know why I can't find ffff powder. I used the last of what I had and can't find anyone that sells 1# cans anymore. The best I could find online was 20# lots. A pound lasts me about 5 years. Evidently I slept through a ban or something. What is now used for priming pan powder? I'm a little leery of trying to crush ff down.



Allen

Comments

  • westernMDhunterwesternMDhunter Member Posts: 2,936 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    "Shipments are available in 5, 10, or 25 lb. case lots"


    5# is better than 20#. But it took me 4+ years to use one lb.


    The only thing available locally is 777 ff at wal-mart.

    Maybe I'll try to trade for a caplock. [V]


    Thanks



    Allen
  • slumlord44slumlord44 Member Posts: 3,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Try to find a black powder club or other individuals in your area and split an order or somone may sell you a small quanity. I got a small quanatity for my flintlock that I shoot only occasionaly from a friend for free.
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,020 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Try this link.http://www.grafs.com/powders/3522 . But I've got to warn you - the HazMat fees are killers!
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've got about 2 lbs that I need to give away one of these days. I sold my last flintlock 5 or 6 years ago.

    Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by firstharmonic
    Try this link.http://www.grafs.com/powders/3522 . But I've got to warn you - the HazMat fees are killers!



    I see what you mean about hazmat fees! Whoa! [:0]

    A store about 30 miles away advertises as a muzzleloader shop but only had 5 inlines in stock and solid pellets when I went there. My best guess as to why is,the biggest game in this area is Boar,and the locals may be leery of relying on roundball to stop one. I bounced a .45 Colt off a one in WV once,and needed a quick follow up! Them boogers are armor plated around the chest!
    I'm going to expand my area of search out a couple hundred miles and figure on picking it up. There's gotta be at least one supplier instate. With gas @ $1.49 it'd be about the same as paying those fees, plus I get to browse another gunstore [;)]
    I'm guessing that there's not enough call for priming powder for most places to stock it. [V]



    Thanks for all your help.


    Allen
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bounced a .45 Colt off a one in WV once,and needed a quick follow up! Them boogers are armor plated around the chest!

    I killed one with a .45 acp with military ball ammo. Lung shot.
    Also I have killed 6 wild hogs with a .490 round ball. Shot right behind the shoulder, he won't get 50 yards. Complete pass through every time, kind of disapponted me, I wanted to look at the recovered ball.
    Should have lined up two hogs and I could have gotten the ball from the second one.

    I don't see why you couldn't grind up a little black powder using brass implements.
    Also, you could get a wooden or plastic, or ceramic bowl, and grind the powder with one of those big wooden soup spoons. I can't see that causing a spark.
    Just do a tablespoon at a time, wouldn't be too dangerous.
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Umm....

    Might help to know that 4f isn't necessary for priming. I prime with whatever I'm loading as my main charge, from the same horn. This is up to and including 1f, though I will concede 1f gives slightly but still noticeably slower ignition.

    There has been a trend going on for some time, among many flintlock shooters, toward using the same powder for both main charge and priming. Historical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that this was the practice back in the day. Note I don't say "proves" -- I said the evidence indicates that this was the case. It certainly was when it came to military practice, where a soldier bit off the end of a paper cartridge, primed his musket with a dab of the main charge contained therein, then poured the remainder down the barrel and rammed wadded paper and ball together down after it. If reliability were an issue, using a coarser granulation of powder for the priming, I suspect that in the roughly 200 years the flintlock was the primary infantry weapon of the world's armies someone would have suggested a change be made.

    Try priming with your 2f or 3f and see what the results are.

    FWIW, the coarser granulations are less prone to absorb moisture from humid air, than is the case with 4f. If humidity levels are high where you live this factor will definitely work in your favor.
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    "I killed one with a .45 acp with military ball ammo. Lung shot.
    Also I have killed 6 wild hogs with a .490 round ball. Shot right behind the shoulder,"

    There's a layer of cartilage through the chest and frontal area on older boars that can cause a frontal shot to the chest to glance. The old SAA had taken a couple out with one shot behind the shoulder before. But this was a head on. I'm glad I wasn't carrying a single shot. To say that porker was startled is understatement! And his quickest way out of there was right over top of me! He was within 15 feet and growing bigger and uglier by the second before I got a second shot off! Lucked out and got him in an eye! Never was so happy in my life to see him veer off and crash into a tree! I was tempted to take up fanning for a second or two! lol
    Not a bit ashamed to admit that I shook for a minute or two afterward.

    Course a ball peen hammer between the eyes ud work as backup in an emergency. (whur's me tommyhawk?)[:)]


    mongrol. Thanks, That makes sense. I've got some Goex ff and will try that this weekend.
    (Its just that I've made this neat little priming horn that I wanted to try out. [:I])
    Oh well I can always use as a salt box.

    As an aside to your comments on paper cartridges. I read somewhere that pulling out a couple of front teeth with a wire was a popular 'ticket home' (if you didn't get shot for it) during the (un)civil war. (sounds easier on the body than shooting off a big toe). [:0]

    Allen
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by minitruck83
    mongrol. Thanks, That makes sense. I've got some Goex ff and will try that this weekend.
    (Its just that I've made this neat little priming horn that I wanted to try out. [:I])
    Oh well I can always use as a salt box.

    As an aside to your comments on paper cartridges. I read somewhere that pulling out a couple of front teeth with a wire was a popular 'ticket home' (if you didn't get shot for it) during the (un)civil war. (sounds easier on the body than shooting off a big toe). [:0]

    Allen








    You're welcome. And, no reason you can't still use your priming horn. If it's got one of those little plungers in the tip it might not let the coarser powder trickle through as well -- that could be a problem. But, if it's just a small horn, it might be easier to work with around the pan/frizzen/cock of the rifle than a large horn.

    My own horns are what were called "day horns" back in the day -- about ten to twelve inches long, measured on the outside curve, and fairly slender. Great for modern use, when three months' worth of powder doesn't necessarily have to be carried into the field (they were called "day horns" because they were intended for hunts measured in days, not weeks or months....). Even they can be a little awkward, especially on a cold dark morning -- a larger horn could be a pain in the butt. So your priming horn might not be a bad idea to keep.

    You might notice things being just a hair slower to light with 2f -- depends on the lock, mainly, in terms of how much spark it throws. My locks are pretty good-sized. If you can live with it, though, being able to use the same powder for main charge and priming is really an advantage.

    Do remember reading the same about the front teeth. Apparently a lot of people around where I live think they might still get drafted for the Civil War....[:p]
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,339 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    mongrel: Glad to see an expert weighed in on this subject.

    Given that FF will work, what do you think about my idea of crushing black powder with a wooden spoon? Would that be safe?
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by allen griggs
    mongrel: Glad to see an expert weighed in on this subject.

    Given that FF will work, what do you think about my idea of crushing black powder with a wooden spoon? Would that be safe?


    Sure. Black powder doesn't ignite by percussion (which can be either pressure or actual striking). I myself would be more inclined to dump whatever amount trial and error decreed into a good gallon-sized ziploc baggy, squeeze all the air out and seal the bag, then go at it with a heavy rolling pin or similar object with the bag flat on a cutting board or other hard surface. "Trial and error" would probably be the operative term -- whatever someone were to try, to start with, experimentation would probably suggest improvements to be made in the process.
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    mongrel. It doesn't have any type of tip on it as of yet,just a whittled out plug. I could always drill it out a tad if it don't pour easy. Its only about 5 1/2" with a slight curve in it. It was off a cow horn that split from the base when boiled and I hate to throw anything away.



    Allen
  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    3f works for me
  • mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by minitruck83
    mongrel. It doesn't have any type of tip on it as of yet,just a whittled out plug. I could always drill it out a tad if it don't pour easy. Its only about 5 1/2" with a slight curve in it. It was off a cow horn that split from the base when boiled and I hate to throw anything away.



    Allen


    I'd go ahead and use it. Time will tell whether or not you prefer the use of two horns to the use of a single one. Like I said, if your main horn is on the large side it might turn out to be too much of a hassle to prime with.

    I started doing without the priming horn mainly because the historical evidence is that priming horns, and by extension separate priming powder, weren't used in the original flint era. Thought I'd give it a try and see how it went. Turned out to work pretty well, and it's one less item I'm carrying into the field or fooling with in the process of loading.

    What works for me might not work as well for someone else, and what the individual shooter prefers makes all the difference. We do have priming horns and 4f powder, today, and those who prefer one or the other, or both, should absolutely use them.
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey guys, great discussion.

    Allen, as Mike says you can absolutely use your shooting powder. As he points out and it's my experience as well, it will require you hold on target longer because it burns considerably slower. And it is how it was done by the common man and professional soldier alike.

    Seems like I remember reading many years ago that primer powders came about primarily for use with dueling pistols and fowling guns for aristocrats. Two cases where quick ignition would be a BIG advantage.

    I use a small cylinder type pistol flask with a cut down powder charger on it to prime my flint lock. Works great. Just kept cutting down a 20 grain screw in measure until it held exactly the right amount.

    I also have two stainless steel tablespoons that I've used for 30+ years just to grind my own primer powder and the like. It's safe to grind with anything that won't spark. Stainless won't make sparks and it's hard so it crushes BP pretty easy. Just set around watching TV...rubbin' two spoons together. ;~) By the time you've watched a few epesodes of Survivor Man you can make enough to fill your small flask.

    But you can do it a lot faster with a mortar and pestal from walmart or somewhere.
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    I've got a 2 cup mortar somewhere that I picked up with the idea of powdering yellowroot. Decided that those little roots were better ground with a small coffee grinder. lol
    I think I'm going to just try using the FF first though. The less I got hanging off of me the better. When I first got into this after grampa gave me his old shotgun, I bought into the whole schimel and thought I was going to play at being a hivernaught or something. I'm talking about 'brain tanning' deerhides and making my own leathers and that kind of stuff. (ever step on a stob in moccasins? Or get wet while wearing deerskins @ 35 degrees? [B)]) I've since gotten rid of a bunch of useless (to me) paraphernalia and just enjoy shooting when I get a chance. Heck I even picked up a inline awhile back! [:0] ($30 at a yard sale, I just couldn't resist)
    Every once in a while I'll come across some scrap leather or a antler drop and (try to) make a belt or knife handle or buttons for someone as a gift,but that's about it.
    Guess I'm getting old and lazy. (naw just old, the lazy was always there)[:)]


    Thanks again for the info guys.

    Allen
  • chigerchiger Member Posts: 40 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yep Allen, know exactly what that stob on a moccasin clad foot feels like! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...OUCH!!!! ;~0

    I also know what it feels like to bust my big rear on a steep wet slope. But it's all the sliding and bouncing afterward that bugs me about that! ;~)

    I'm like you Allen. Like to travel light. I only carry 3 preloaded tubes when I'm hunting large game. Just load um like normal for a percussion and carry a fourth with some 4F for primer charging. Clip um in a pocket and away I go.

    Tell you one thing I've found. If I practice with 2FF in the primer pan and then hunt with 4F...I don't have time to screw up the shot before it goes off. ;~)

    Guess I shouldn't admit that I have to trick myself into making a good shot. Oh, well. There it is.

    chiger,
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    I ground about 5 grains at a time between wood screwdriver handle and cutting board away from anything that could ignite.
    This finely ground powder was as fine as flour.
    Ignition was much faster than 4FG.
    I dropped a 38 Specials' worth down my 75 cal Tanner Jaeger and shook it so it filled the touch hole with a little in the closed pan.
    After loading, the frizzen was open and the pan filled and leveled.
    Filling the touch hole was important in speeding up ignition.
    As a kid I produced an explosion, grinding some home made powder in a porcelain mortar and pestle.
    I would use wood or plastic and do small batches at a time. Wear glasses.
    There were explosions in recent times in factories and they really know the stuff.
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