How Much Powder Is Too Much

Discussion in 'Flintlock Rifles' started by 7shortmag, Jan 8, 2020.

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  1. Jan 10, 2020 #41

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

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    Now wait a minute Zonie you didn't account for the friction of the patched ball in the bore moving the opposite direction counteracting recoil.:p
     
  2. Jan 11, 2020 #42

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    Assuming the friction of the patched ball in the bore would be fairly constant seeing as how the compression on the patch and the lubricating properties of the patch lube were unchanged, the forward forces counteracting recoil would unlikely be unchanged.
    If that were the case, the faster ball or bullet would have less time in the bore to contribute the forward force thus, the rearward force would be changed less.

    At least, that's what my tongue in cheek response would be to your thought. :D:D

    Just funnin' here but there is no doubt that the added weight of the increased powder charge does in fact increase the recoil due to the added weight. :)
     
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  3. Jan 11, 2020 #43

    ugly old guy

    ugly old guy

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    The T/C 'SHOOTING THOMPSON CENTER SIDELOCK BLACK POWDER GUNS' manual' on page 80, gives the following for .54 conical loads using either T/C Maxi-Ball or Maxi-Hunter bullets:
    360-365 Grain Lead Bullet
    90 Grans FFg ….. MV: ... 1390 FPS … ME: 1566 Ft. Lbs.
    100 Grains FFg … MV: … 1483 FPS … ME: 1783 Ft. Lbs.
    110 Grains FFg … MV: … 1551 FPS … ME: 1950 Ft. Lbs.
    120 Grains FFg … MV: … 1607 PFS … ME: 2094 Ft. Lbs.

    430-435 Grain Lead Bullet

    90 Grains FFg … MV: 1263 FPS … ME: 1541 Ft. Lbs.
    100 Grains FFg … MV: 1345 FPS … ME: 1748 Ft. Lbs.
    110 Grains FFg … MV: 1428 FPS … ME: 1970 Ft. Lbs.
    120 Grains FFg … MV: 1499 FPS … ME: 2171 Ft. Lbs.

    530-540 Grain Lead Bullet
    90 Grains FFg … MV: 1218 FPS … ME: 1779 Ft. Lbs.
    100 Grains FFg … MV: 1298 FPS … ME: 2021 Ft. Lbs.
    110 grains FFg … MV: 1339 FPS … ME: 2150 ft. Lbs.
    120 Grains FFg … MV: 1396 FPS … ME: 2337 Ft. Lbs.

    FYI:
    230 grain .530 patched round ball
    60 Grains FFg … MV: 1263 FPS … ME: 815 Ft. Lbs.
    70 Grains FFg … MV: 1469 FPS … ME: 1102 Ft. Lbs.
    80 Grains FFg … MV: 1654 FPS … ME: 1397 Ft. Lbs.
    90 Grains FFg … MV: 1761 FPS … ME: 1584 Ft. Lbs.
    100 Grains FFg … MV: 1855 FPS … ME: 1758 Ft. Lbs.
    110 Grains FFg … MV: 1931 FPS … ME: 1905 Ft. Lbs.
    120 Grains FFg … MV: 1983 FPS … ME: 2009 Ft. Lbs.

    Be Aware that Thompson Center does not recommend using any powder other than FFg (2F) in any of their sidelock guns, regardless of caliber. (RS Grade Pyrodex or equivalent fake black powder is also O.K., according to the manual.)

    As for seeing unburnt powder in the snow forward of the muzzle after firing … I can't say I've ever seen or noticed such. Not even when using 120 grains of Fg (1F) powder in a .45 caliber CVA Kentucky rifle I had or 140 grains Fg (1 F) in the .50 caliber CVA "Frontier" rifle I had. (I only used Dupont powder back then)
    I suppose it's possible for that to happen, if some (but not all) of the powder is moist or something.
    Personally, I would not worry about it. Any unburned powder put on the ground will be a insignificant amount. Probably and most likely under a grain or two … less than is used to prime the pan of a flintlock, at any rate.
    (I'd guess about the same as what is in the bottom of an "empty" can of powder, that won't come out no matter how hard you try.)

    For hunting with your custom 340 grain bullets, I'd suggest the heaviest load up-to 120 grains of FFg (2f) that is accurate in your rifle; regardless of which critters you are targeting,
    (120 grains FFg (2 F) since that is the maximum powder charge T/C gives, regardless of the bullet weight.)

    No doubt you are aware that thanks to physics, the heavier the charge and/or projectile, the heavier the felt recoil is.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2020 #44

    longcruise

    longcruise

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    Reference the velocities TC lists for the 360 to 365 bullets, I extensively chronographed 370 maxi balls from a TC Hawken back in the 90's. Shooting Goex ff and charges up to 100 grains (as much punishment as I was willing to endure :) ), I never reached the velocities TC suggested.

    My notes are mostly gone to the cyber graveyard but my recollection is that the 370 maxi hit around 1250 fps over 100 grains of ff.
     
  5. Jan 11, 2020 #45

    ugly old guy

    ugly old guy

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    Physics tells us "A Body At Rest Tends To Stay At Rest" (also a body in motion tends to stay in motion)
    The heavier a projectile at rest is, the more energy it takes to overcome the "at rest" status of the projectile. That alone increases recoil.

    Physics also tells us "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

    If you increase the energy used to move a projectile, be it by making the projectile heavier (and/or increasing the powder charge) you increase the energy pushing back at you.

    Increased energy increases the recoil, regardless of projectile weight.

    For example: A 175 grain .50 Cal. PRB shot with 50 grains powder, will have less recoil than the same 175 grain PRB when fired with 100 grains of powder.

    Changing powder granulations up or down can also have a noticeable effect on recoil using the same powder charge.
    For example, 75 grains of FFFg (3F) powder has a higher felt recoil than 75 grains of Fg (1F) powder, all else being the same. (At least that has been my experience.)

    Increase both the projectile weight and the powder charge … the recoil energy raises significantly.
    More resistance to over-come the "at rest" status, combined with more energy applied to the task.

    My head hurts now from thinking about physics. :(
     
  6. Jan 11, 2020 #46

    Mad Irish Jack

    Mad Irish Jack

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    All the previous suggestions are the best advice. I'll add mine, it is to find a load that you can handle and that you are able to consistently place the projectile on the target aimed at. Being in the neighborhood isn't good enough; you need to get into the right door, everytime. Powder is one component. All have contribution or detrimental affects on the shot. Same powder charge with different patches or different ball size, will all vary fps and placement downrange. Shooting, shooting and more shooting is the ONLY way to find YOUR grove. Good luck and have fun.
     
  7. Jan 12, 2020 #47

    nhmoose

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    Two things.
    1. ever hear of a chronograph? Use one and find out what really is happening.

    2. How tough do you think a black bear is? truth no harder than a big whitetail. They ain't a griz.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2020 #48

    F.G. Ford

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    There is a fellow on You Tube shooting an unmentionable gun who claims 3800 fps, and shoots a 525 grain bullet through a 1/2" AR steel plate. The gun weighs 32 pounds.
    If that is what you want, you are on the wrong forum.
    Every once in a while we get people here who want to make a " MAGNUM" gun out of their muzzle loader.
    Wrong guns, wrong powder. wrong forum.
    Probably the best bear killer is a 45-70 or a 45-90, that is 70 or 90 grains of black powder.
    What can I say?
    Fred
     
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  9. Jan 12, 2020 #49

    Howard Pippin

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    You are absolutely right, the first chronograph that I had consisted of two little measurement boxes that were placed either 2 foot, 5 foot, or 10 foot apart to read either, up to 1000, 1000 to 2000, 2000 to 4000 ft.per second by taken the time elapsed to a special chart that would give you the reading. Very cumbersome, out of Texas but it was the only one I could afford and it seemed to be as accurate as you could set it up. I even put 12 Volt lights on it so I could shoot it at night when I didn't have sun reflection shining on the little boxes. Now I've got one of those neat little chronographs, it's about 14 or 16 inches long that I mount on a three-legged tripod, and it will read anything from archery to high-speed gunpowder. But I will certainly concur with nhmoose, it is by far the best way to find out what you are doing. I never discovered a factory shell that attained the speed that was advertised. The same applies to my blackpowder shooting.
    Squint
     
  10. Jan 13, 2020 #50

    ugly old guy

    ugly old guy

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    No argument from me.

    I like big bores. I have no intentions or desire of making my .54 a "Magnum" by over-loading it. That said, I like to use a heavy charge and projectile to maximize the effects of hitting whatever game I am after "in the boiler room".
    As the ancient saying goes: "Deader" is better than "dead". :)
     
  11. Jan 13, 2020 #51

    PastorB

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    Thompson Center's published velocities are "extremely optimistic", especially using FFG. I have never got anything close to those velocities, using FFG, FFFG or Pyrodex P, out of much longer barrels than T/C used for their "testing". Get a chrono, find out what you are really getting in your rifle, or just drop 70 grains of powder down the barrel followed by a conical (or better yet a PRB, deadly killer!) and go kill anything within responsible range in North America.
     
  12. Jan 13, 2020 #52

    tenngun

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    Get a 2x6, set it up at a hundred yards. Take a shot, did the shot go through? If so your bear or deer is now dinner.
    Hillbilly chronograph.
     
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  13. Jan 13, 2020 #53

    longcruise

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    The only elk i have taken with a conical was a bull at 130 yards with a 370 gr Maxi over 70 gr ff goex out of a 50 TC Hawken. I thought I'd missed but the elk fell over while I was getting ready to reload. Broke a rib going in, hole through both lungs and stopped under the skin on the far side.
     
  14. Jan 13, 2020 #54

    toot

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    how much powder is too much? when it falls out of the end of the barrel, and no more will go in..
     
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  15. Jan 13, 2020 #55

    freedom475

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    Finally! After 54 post's in 3 pages of reading, someone finally answers the question... But your wooden stock will probably break just before you run out of room for powder. Lol

    I think the question could also be answered,.... When your shoulder-blades slap together so hard that you wet yourself and forget your name for an hour!
     
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  16. Jan 13, 2020 #56

    Pete G

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    BTDT:confused::(
    Never again...
     
  17. Jan 13, 2020 #57

    azmntman

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    Same report here from a cow at 50 yards. she never stopped grazing and as I had reloaded and peeked out from my tree she wobbled and fell over. Didn't feel it? Weird thing is none of the herd ran??

    Good eating no matter the powder charge.
     
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  18. Jan 13, 2020 #58

    hanshi

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    Up to now all the states I've hunted in require a minimum powder charge in the gun, normally it's 50 grains. Accuracy is the important thing, so I'd suggest starting at 50 grains and increasing the charge slightly until you get groups you're satisfied with.
     
  19. Jan 13, 2020 #59

    ugly old guy

    ugly old guy

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    I never said "These figures are accurate" I only said "This is what T/C says..." (In the aforementioned T/C manual.) :)
    It is not surprising they … "padded" … the numbers "a little bit". (note quotes.) Most manufacturers (and not just of guns and ammo) and the government are known to pad the numbers somewhat. (who actually gets the published city/highway fuel mileage the government claims?)
     
  20. Jan 13, 2020 #60

    yellowlab

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    Too much powder is when you no longer have acceptable accuracy for the task, Be it shooting squirrels, punching paper or cape buffalo in Africa(which I have not done or plan to do)But if I did, I don't care what the law of diminishing returns says, I want every ounce of power I can get as long as I can hit where I aim.
     

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