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A question about pyrodex

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Joined
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Englishman, living in France.
Currently BP is difficult to get in France. I still have plenty, but I like to have several pounds at my disposal. To this effect. I have bought myself 2 canisters of Pyrodex. I have heard that this propellant is slightly more difficult to ignite than normal BP. So, my question is: would it be alright to 'prime' my pyrodex load with a pinch of BP? is this neccessary? Or, is it somehow dangerous or just plain ineffective?
 
I'm confused about what the OP means by "priming" his Pyrodex load "with a pinch of BP". Does he mean using Pyrodex as the main charge and BP in the flash pan of a flintlock? No problem. Does he mean mixing in a little "pinch" of BP into his Pyrodex load? I don't think that's supposed to be done, but don't recall exactly what the consequences could be.
 
It's called a "duplex load" for a flint lock. About 5 or 10 grains of BP followed by a measured amount of Pyrodex.(like R Ellis stated above) Always use BP in the pan. For cap lock straight Pyrodex works fine. Be sure to clean soon as possible and very good, I find Pyrodex to be a tad more corrosive than BP.
 
Hmmmm .... seems to me that's still mixing two different explosives, unless he's carding in between his pinch and his charge.
You put a card over black powder and then put another charge on top of that is doing nothing but asking for trouble!!
There's all kinds of people that put 10 greens of black powder down the barrel and then put Pyrodex on top of it.
I'll posted it a video here several times of a friend of mine who was shooting Triple 7 on his lineman rifle crime in the pan with 4f. His gun went off pretty fast
 
When I first started in BP shooting, I experienced trouble with Pyrodex when I used regular #11 primers. After doing some research and a talk with John at October Country, I came across information on combustion temperatures and how Pyrodex needs more heat and that regular caps aren't consistently hot enough. After that, I went to using RWS 1075 plus caps and never had issues with Pyrodex after that. I have since moved on to actual black powder, but have maintained the use of the the RWS caps. I have been told that musket caps burn hotter as well, but I've never used them.

If we are strictly talking percussion rifles, they make nipple primers for a reason so I don't see why priming with regular BP under Pyrodex would be an issue. I personally don't view it any differently than priming a flintlock.
 
Not to beat a dead horse, but the answer may depend on what type of gun you are using... flintlock, sidelock percussion, or cap & ball revolver (which is essentially an inline). Generally speaking, inlines and revolvers don't have an issue with Pyrodex. If you are getting hangfires or poor ignition with a sidelock percussion, just using hotter caps may help. If it doesn't or you aren't satisfied with the result, a duplex load of a small amount of black powder down the barrel followed by a main charge of Pyrodex may improve ignition. Some people call that little bit of black powder a "kicker." You do not want to mix the BP and Pyrodex, just drop the BP in first. The kicker charge should be measured, and that amount should be deducted from your main charge exactly as @R Ellis described in post #9. I have not tried Pyrodex in a flintlock, but the late John Bivins recommended a duplex load as described, with black powder in the pan.

This topic got a lot of discussion during the blackpowder shortage that occurred after the Goex plant closed, just before the pandemic.

I had a Zouave rifle come into my shop last year, or maybe the year before, with a charge in the barrel that would not "go off." I found it was loaded with a sort of "trashcan Minie" bullet, which was easy to pull with an ordinary ball screw, and with two 50gr Pyrodex pellets under it. I had to use the ball puller to get those out, too. The Italian rifle muskets are generally breeched with a sort of chamber in the breechplug. Flash from the nipple would have had a loooong way to go to reach those pellets, and I'm guessing the flame from the cap just fizzled out before it reached the Pyrodex pellet. Which may be a good thing... The bullet was quite heavy, and over a 100gr charge, launching that thing would have probably given the shooter a pretty good thump on the shoulder. Anyway, if you are shooting a gun with a chambered breech, Pyrodex pellets may be hard to light up without some sort of BP kick-starter.

I'm not a Pyrodex fan, and have no use at all for the pellets.

Notchy Bob
 
I had a few misfires and hangfires with pyrodex but I found that being extra careful about wiping pretty much solved the problem. I think about 10 grains of BP under a pyrodex charge would assure ignition In A capper or a flintlock as long as the flintlock pan was primed with BP.

Pyrodex select was not worth the extra cost.

Pyrodex is corrosive but not in the same way as BP. Pyrodex has a perchlorate component that will attack the bore on a near microscopic level. It is soluble in water so a good practice is to fill the barrel with water immediately after the shooting session and dump it after a few minutes then do the normal cleaning regimen as soon as possible.
 
Hmmmm .... seems to me that's still mixing two different explosives, unless he's carding in between his pinch and his charge.
No problem at all as long as your chosen projectile is seated nicely on top. Mixing would not help, BP must go in first then Pdex.
 
I'm confused about what the OP means by "priming" his Pyrodex load "with a pinch of BP". Does he mean using Pyrodex as the main charge and BP in the flash pan of a flintlock? No problem. Does he mean mixing in a little "pinch" of BP into his Pyrodex load? I don't think that's supposed to be done, but don't recall exactly what the consequences could be.
@French Colonial: 'I think he is talking about putting a pinch of BP down the bore first and then some Pyrodex on top of that just to get the Pyrodex to ignite reliably.' Yes, exactly. Or conversely, making up a cartridge of similar proportions. My BP guns are all percussion (apart from my Snider - Enfield breech loader. But we don't talk about those!)
 
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I've had to do both.

Work and not work and then work. probably the cap or me or something. I used up 2 cans so far.

I don't know. It not working is just user. It works.

I think it's fine..
pyrodex P might be better but I havnt tried it.
 
I have dumped a half charge of it..

If it sits in the pre-loaded tubes a while.. it's tends to all pack together.. then when you dump it is only half came out..

I had it poof at a birds and was like huh... light.. Anyway when home I found the empty tube with half charge stuck in there..
 
I only shoot black but as you pointed out it's become difficult to obtain in France. Since you said you only have percussion firearms I wouldn't worry about it much and just shoot the Pyrodex. I don't suppose mixing them together would be something I think I would like to do. I could be wrong but I wouldn't trust all the possible dangerous variables. Save your black until over time you can stock up a bit more on it.
 
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