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HandLoadHandLoad Member Posts: 15,998
I was Cleaning and caressing my .50 BP the other day, and came to the conclusion that I don't understand all I know about it.

Thought I might bring my queries to the Forum.

#1: I was told that if a Boolit wasn't tight against the powder, the projectile would function as an "Obstruction to the Bore" and blow up or Bulge the barrel. BuuT, in examining the Saboted and PowerBelt projectiles I have on hand, they all have a hollow in the base that is about 1/4 to 1/3 cubic inch in volume. Now I understand that the "Skirt" is supposed to provide a good seal to the gases of combustion, but isn't it also effectively keeping the pressures lower by providing some "unfilled case"? Why is that not sufficient to cause the dread Bulged barrel? I checked (by loading normally, then disassembling the barrel/breech plug) to confirm that no matter how hard I compressed the bullet/charge within the barrel, there is always a space open at the base of those style sabots. The pellets do not crush into powder and fill the space, and the size of the hollows are designed NOT to allow a pellet to rest inside of them.

#2: The Owner's Manual for my CVA Electra tells me that I can use "Magnum" loads of three 50-grain equivalent pellets, but if I use same-chemistry loose powder, 120 grain equivalent is all I am allowed. Is that because the pellets have a central channel, and light off more material and burn faster? Or, is the Loose Powder pressure curve "Faster" and more powder will blow up the Gun? I don't want to become a "Test Pilot", but I do want to understand what is going on inside my Shootin' Iron.

#3: related to #2, How do I determine what is wasted/excess loose powder - do I look for a muzzle flash? Do I need a Chrono to tell when more does nothing?

#4: I am now casting 320-grain pure Lead R.E.A.L. conicals that are flat based. Surely, with a "Magnum" load of three 50-grain Equivalent pellets and no space between bullet and pellet, the pressures are more???

#5: Do you lube your R.E.A.L bullets?

#6: Do I need an over-powder Wad, using pellets and R.E.A.L. conicals? (That would effectively offer a little space, lowering pressures?)

I would like to entertain your thoughts.


  • HandLoadHandLoad Member Posts: 15,998
    edited November -1
    Oh yeah - I noticed that TWO .490 round balls are lighter than the R.E.A.L. conical - anybody launch two balls with one charge?
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,151 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    With the same powder charge, the bigger the bullet, the higher the pressure.
    Also, the bigger the bullet, the greater foot pounds of energy, with the same powder charge.
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,096 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by HandLoad
    Oh yeah - I noticed that TWO .490 round balls are lighter than the R.E.A.L. conical - anybody launch two balls with one charge?

    I used to hunt with a guy who would load 2 maxi ball on top of each other, one was on target the other would be about 1 and half to two inches lower. this was out of a renegade, never swelled his barrell.

    as per the other question, how can I tell if I have used to much powder? next time out shooting put a white sheet out in front of the shooting bench, if you see loose powder after shooting you are using to much, usually anything over 100 grains is to much, but each gun will vary.
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