BP Substitute Questions

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by Eddie2002, Mar 29, 2019.

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  1. Mar 30, 2019 #21

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    There's nothing wrong with Pyrodex, it wins championships as well as Black.
    Just a few things to remember when using it.
    1. It is more corrosive than real black powder so be extra diligent with your cleaning and follow-up.
    2. It is more hygroscopic than real black, so keep the lids on the containers.
    3. P grade tends to out perform RS grade. At least it has for me.
    4. Pyrodex is harder to ignite, I recommend a hot-shot nipple for better consistency.
     
  2. Mar 30, 2019 #22

    russellshaffer

    russellshaffer

    russellshaffer

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    I have some 20 year old Pyrodex that was stored in the original cardboard container. It still works fine. If you get some clumps in it just break them up and go shooting. The subs go bang and make smoke and don't foul as bad so enjoy your free powder.
     
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  3. Mar 31, 2019 #23

    Eddie2002

    Eddie2002

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    Thanks, the guy who gave me the Pyrodex said he tossed three more jugs which had clumps :(. Hope he at least used it on his lawn. I'll move some over to a smaller container for shooting and keep the open jug sealed to keep it from picking up moisture. My local range is only 15 minutes away so I'll can clean when I get home. Probably going to shoot some holes in the ground first (hunting moles) just to get the feel of it.
     
  4. Mar 31, 2019 #24

    bang

    bang

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    Been using Pyrodex for years upon years. RS gave periodic hesitation ignition in 45 and 50 rifles. Switched to P in everything. No hesitation since. Measure same volume. I have a 46 years old roger and spencer 44 and it still shoots as good as when I got it.
    As with any powder the main thing is clean, clean clean. Immediately after not later. Light oil and store.
    Everyone has their preferences. All will get the projectile down range. Use what works for you.
     
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  5. Apr 4, 2019 #25

    Richard Konish

    Richard Konish

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    I have used both in several percussion rifles, along with several other substitutes whose names I forget. Pyro RS is used with the same loads as BP, to me it seemed a bit more like 3f as opposed to 2f. Yes, it is more corrosive than BP but the same cleaning routine you use for BP works fine, but definitely don't delay cleaning.
     
  6. Apr 4, 2019 #26

    jpm1963

    jpm1963

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    Pyrodex always worked just fine for me. Start with the same load as BP, and experiment.
    Clean right after shooting with lots of water or moose milk . . then thorough cleaning at home.
    WD40 after cleaning.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2019 #27

    bprflmkr

    bprflmkr

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    One thing you can do to keep up the potency, put silica gel packs in with it after you open up a jug. I keep about 10 in mine. It will get weak if it sits too long before you use it all up. Personal experience. If used with a good lube it will shoot all day without totally swabbing the bore out all the time. Contrary to what some have said, it likes a little compression. P a little less, RS a little more. I’ve used both in my 50’s and 45’s. Use about 20 grain less P to start with in comparison to RS, then go up from there. Each rifle is different, so you’ll have to experiment. When done, clean it right away. It needs to be neutralized, dawn dish soap works really well. Also, little trick when loading. Make sure the hammer is at half-cock. When you push the ball home it will blow any crap out of the nipple, as well as push some powder under the nipple. If there is too much of a gap between the powder and the cap going off it could hang-fire or not go off.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2019 #28

    WRustyLane

    WRustyLane

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    I have a bottle of pyrodex P that is nearly full given to me well over 40 years ago. I take it out occasionally and give a good shake. I think I have some silica gel in it (I'll have to check it again). Can I burn this stuff in my flintlock? I know that P stands for pistol and I could use it in my Pietta cap 'n ball 1860 Army. I just wonder how weak it has become over these 40 some odd years? Guess I'm gonna have to get it out and shoot it in my pistol this summer.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2019 #29

    Eddie2002

    Eddie2002

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    I've been told that Pyrodex doesn't work with a flintlock unless you load about 5 grains of black powder first under the pyrodex load and reduce the pyrodex load by that amount. Haven't tried it so take what I say with a grain of salt.
     
  10. Apr 6, 2019 #30

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Well, WRustyLane, Pyrodex requires a hotter ignition temperature than can be provided by a pan of powder. By the way, Pyrodex is next to impossible to ignite in the pan. A duplex load of 5 to 10 grains of black powder under the Pyrodex charge (reduce the Pyrodex as you have been told) will work. Pyrodex is not noted for a long shelf life unless the can is sealed and you have some form of desiccant in the can. All you can do is try. The good news is that 10 grains of black powder will push it all out even if the Pyrodex doesn't go off.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2019 #31

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    That is correct, and you also have to use real BP in the pan a flintlock spark will not reliably ignite pyrodex or any substitute.
     
  12. Apr 6, 2019 #32

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

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    I've shot many pounds of Pyrodex in side lock rifles and cap and ball revolvers.

    If it were free I'd just burn it up, that's some free shooting :)

    I have a few pounds of P and RS , plus 777 and that Jim Shockey crap, some day I'll take my beater Renegade out with the 209 primer adapter and burn it all up.

    I exclusively shoot real Black in my "serious target guns" because I can easily get it, and I find Pyrodex messier to clean up but its cheap, you can get it at any sporting goods store and it does the job.

    I honestly just don't use it in my high end rifles like my Parker Hale Volunteer because I just feel real Black is more consistent and traditional. With my range banger stuff like T/C's I use whatever. I found Pyrodex to be accurate in my T/C New Englander
     
  13. Apr 6, 2019 #33

    WRustyLane

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    I was just wondering if primed with 4fg it would set off the pyrodex. Thanks for all your answers and if I end up using the pyrodex in my flintlock I will make up a duplex charge for the main charge. I think I will try it in my Pietta cap 'n ball pistol to see if the pyrodex is any good since it is soooo old.
     
  14. Apr 7, 2019 #34

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    No, you really need the 5 to 10 grains of black powder in the powder chamber to set the Pyrodex off reliably.
     
  15. Apr 7, 2019 #35

    Zonie

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    Pyrodex in my flintlock rifles often needs at least 3 pan flashes before it finally fires when I am priming the pan with 4f powder.
    Sometimes it will fire on the first pan flash but usually it doesn't.
     
  16. Apr 7, 2019 #36

    missionary5155

    missionary5155

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    Good afternoon
    I use what we have in our 1.1 inch cannon. I seriously doubt we will ever buy anymore. What we have is nearing 20 years old. Only cost us one barrel (a .58) and one revolver cylinder.
    There is no one who sells BP nearby but I do not find it hard to rassle up 2-3 other shooters who want to get into a 25 pound buy of real black.
     
  17. Apr 7, 2019 #37

    Rat

    Rat

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    I often hear people say they use substitutes because they are easier to get, or black is "hard" to get. I would crawl two miles over broken beer bottles if that was what I had to do to get real black. ;)
     
  18. Apr 7, 2019 #38

    Kansas Jake

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    I accidentally loaded my 36 caliber fainter with Pyrodex last Fall while target shooting. I had a good flash in the pan, but no bang. When I finally realized what I had done, I forced as much BP in through the touch hole with a vent pick and then tried to set it off. It took two or three pan flashes and forcing more BP into the touch hole to finally get it to go bang and even then it wasn't a very energetic bang.
     
  19. Apr 8, 2019 #39

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Can't shoot a flintlock without it, and flintlocks are so much fun.
     
  20. Apr 8, 2019 #40

    Eddie2002

    Eddie2002

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    Finally got the time to burn some pyrodex in a .50 caliber Kentucky cap lock pistol this afternoon. I grabbed a jug of RS and loaded up 25 grains under a PRB. Also loaded up 25 grains of 2F holy black for comparison. First thing I noticed is that it sounds different, more like a crack not a boom and it also smells different and produces less smoke. Didn't notice much fouling but kept the patches wet for both types of powder. The pyrodex didn't seem as energetic as the BP but I was only shooting about 10 yds and couldn't plot bullet drop over distance. Well the stuff works and the price was right, going to have some fun shooting it up. Need to cast a bunch of round balls next.:)
     

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