4F Black Powder Question

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Carbon 6

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I disagree.
You implied it is dangerous.
You or anyone without a shred of evidence do not have the right to play God in directing, encouraging or deterring anyone from doing anything you can not prove to be dangerous.
You are inducing fear for some kind of self induced nobel agenda that is not your privilege or right.
Well Brit, I tried to explain.
Go have a nice porter on me, and wash away those nasty thoughts. 1591479486896.png
 

TNGhost

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My supply of 3F powder was getting pretty low. I have been able to get my hands on 2 lbs of it for shooting. I certainly didn't want to start any confrontation regarding use of 4F as a main charge. I did do a search on the forum but couldn't find much info. I will certainly check out Britsmoothy's posts.
Since weight and volume are irrelevant, would it be more exacting to work up loads with a chronograph?
Weight and volume are not irrelevant but they are relative. They make useful guidelines for starting and should not be totally disregarded out of hand.

A chronograph will tell you a lot(and give you some surprises), is a great aid in working up a load and will make you a better shooter by having more information on what is going on inside and outside of your rifle, but it is not a be all end all. Group size (accuracy), recoil and efficiency all play into your goal of the best load for you rifle and intended purpose..

That said, as there are very capable chronos out there for under a hundred bucks, given what we tend to spend on our hobby, that is not a lot for the information they provide to make you a better rifleman.
 

SDSmlf

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Boy, does this topic not cause some people to spontaneously combust. In my younger days there was never any concern about using different granulation of blackpowder. You used what you had. Finer grain powder typically required less powder for your accuracy load vs a not so fine powder. Different manufacture’s powder many times required different weight charges for your accuracy load. Guns weren’t blowing up, they just shot and fouled differently with different granulation and powder manufactures. Here are photographs of both sides of the same can of DuPont ffff powder (pre dates G-O purchase, which pre dates.... cost $2.10 back in the day). Notice the yellow underlined ‘fine print’. ‘SUITABLE FOR MUSKETS, PISTOLS & SHOTGUNS’. Interesting.

1591483375449.jpeg
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Below are photographs of pages 76 and 77 from the first edition (1975) Lyman Black Powder Handbook’ showing 44 caliber handgun loads. Note powder granulation underlined in red with round balls and Lyman hollow base conical.
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Below is a photograph of my original 1858 that has used pounds of ffff powder. Still have powder in the horn, and yep, it was ffff. It is the granulation that came with the gun when my old man gave it to me.
1591485050005.jpeg

If the Lyman data is to be believe (some will argue it isn’t), it would seem very safe to start around 40 grains of ffff in a rifle and work up from there for accuracy. I would not hesitate for a minute to shoot ffff in any muzzleloader in sound mechanical condition. Would just need to work up a load like any other granulation.

Just my opinion. With published load data and actual experience with actual period guns.
 

Britsmoothy

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Boy, does this topic not cause some people to spontaneously combust. In my younger days there was never any concern about using different granulation of blackpowder. You used what you had. Finer grain powder typically required less powder for your accuracy load vs a not so fine powder. Different manufacture’s powder many times required different weight charges for your accuracy load. Guns weren’t blowing up, they just shot and fouled differently with different granulation and powder manufactures. Here are photographs of both sides of the same can of DuPont ffff powder (pre dates G-O purchase, which pre dates.... cost $2.10 back in the day). Notice the yellow underlined ‘fine print’. ‘SUITABLE FOR MUSKETS, PISTOLS & SHOTGUNS’. Interesting.

View attachment 33343
View attachment 33344
Below are photographs of pages 76 and 77 from the first edition (1975) Lyman Black Powder Handbook’ showing 44 caliber handgun loads. Note powder granulation underlined in red with round balls and Lyman hollow base conical.
View attachment 33345
View attachment 33346
Below is a photograph of my original 1858 that has used pounds of ffff powder. Still have powder in the horn, and yep, it was ffff. It is the granulation that came with the gun when my old man gave it to me.
View attachment 33347

If the Lyman data is to be believe (some will argue it isn’t), it would seem very safe to start around 40 grains of ffff in a rifle and work up from there for accuracy. I would not hesitate for a minute to shoot ffff in any muzzleloader in sound mechanical condition. Would just need to work up a load like any other granulation.

Just my opinion. With published load data and actual experience with actual period guns.
Thank you.

B.
 

Brokennock

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I've seen this "safety" subject come up before, with this 4f issue as well as with powder horn construction, and a few other things. I am all about safety, I spent almost 2 decades as an advanced skills pistol instructor and a range safety officer. However I do note that in this and several other examples of people decrying how unsafe something is, we rarely get good 1st hand account examples of that safety concern being manifested in reality. And on the rare occasion someone provides any examples, 1st hand or not, often (if not always) there is some other factor or action that lead to the event. (A horn with a glued base plug won't explode if one doesn't do something to ignite the powder inside it, 4f won't blow up a gun if one follows basic reloading principles of working up a load)
 

Eterry

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I was young, dumb, and unafraid. I simply poured the ffffg into my CVA powder horn and started shooting! I used the same brass powder measure i got in 1979, and i didn't change the load. I don't recall it kicking more, or shooting to a different point of impact. I also used it in my 45 Kentucky pistol, my 31 baby dragoon, and my 1860 Army.
Im still here and have all my fingers and toes.

I personally don't think any amount of ffffg could damage a muzzleloader, if loaded properly, ie, no gap between powder and ball.
I'm basing that on actual world experience, something hard to find on most forums.
 

Russ T Frizzen

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For some reason it seems that I have 3 pounds of 4F powder that I have accumulated over the years. I have a ,45 caliber flintlock which I always use 3F for my main charge. I'm aware that 4F is indicated for a priming powder.
It will take me forever to go through 3 lbs of 4F if I use it only for priming.
Can 4F be used as a main charge powder? I have a digital scale and I was going to weigh out 70 grains of 3F and 4F to see what the volume difference would be. Thoughts?
I found myself in this situation about 50 years ago. Back then, the common wisdom was to never use 4fg as a main charge, so I mixed it with some 2fg and reduced my load maybe 10%. I found no difference in accuracy and fouling. Or you could by yourself one of those little North American Arms percussion .22s. They require you to use 4fg.
 

carl lafong

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carl lafong here............... would one want to soak the 4F in a salt water .... let dry ..... slowly crumble with gloved fingers to a larger grain >>>
 

SDSmlf

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But do you use this process for this and other granulations of commercial blackpowder for use in muzzleloaders? Why shouldn’t the OP just shoot the ffff as is? Any ‘customization’ of the blackpowder will also require load development. And I have seen the Skylighter page.
 
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