how was elephant BP

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olskool

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how was elephant BP? I never shot any. I have a couple of old empty cans for display. I always used goex. I hear that it was fairly dirty. how was it on accuracy? just curious,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

Zonie

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Elephant powder was quite dirty, leaving a lot of fouling in the bore when it was shot. There were some better years and some worse years but generally it was pretty bad.
(Mad Monk wrote about visiting the factory and seeing them using wood with the bark still on it in their charcoal ovens. He pointed out to them that the bark would cause the gunpowder made with it to foul badly. He went on to say they started removing the bark from the wood but whether they continued to do that or not is unknown. It could explain why the powder varied from pretty good to very bad over the years.)

As for power, Elephant powder was usually weak. Examples of this can be seen in the Lyman Black Powder Handbook and Loading Manual (2nd Ed.).

Just picking a few patched roundball loads for examples at random, comparing GOEX 3f against Elephant 3F,:
60 grain, .45 caliber: GOEX = 1719 fps, Elephant = 1609 fps
70 grain, .50 caliber: GOEX = 1657 fps, Elephant = 1569 fps
80 grain, .54 caliber: GOEX = 1622 fps, Elephant = 1491 fps.

It's been a lot of years since I shot any Elephant powder but as I recall, the accuracy was about the same as GOEX if I remembered to wipe the bore after every shot.
 
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spudnut

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It does underperform goex, but I shoot it smoothebores with lubed patches and get through a 15 shot woodswalk ok, I do like goex better
 

tenngun

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I bought a dozen cans or so, I swab often and can’t say I noted it being dirtier. I did note it shot low. I guess a little slower. I mix what I have 1/4 pound to 3/4 pound GO, or while useing up my pryrodex I load 20 grains under my P and then prime with it. Works fine.
 

olskool

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I bought a dozen cans or so, I swab often and can’t say I noted it being dirtier. I did note it shot low. I guess a little slower. I mix what I have 1/4 pound to 3/4 pound GO, or while useing up my pryrodex I load 20 grains under my P and then prime with it. Works fine.
forgive my ignorance. I have been handloading modern rifle and pistol including BP 44/40 since 1967 when I was a boy. you never ever mix any smokeless powder. it is not the same with BP? it is ok to mix different brands? very interesting,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

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It's been a long time since I've even seen Elephant powder. Some years back I often could not get Goex locally so I settled for Elephant. Truthfully, I had no problems using it. It shot well, killed deer well and cleaned up about like any other black powder I've tried. I accepted that it gave lower velocities but that in itself was a non-issue. Powder is now so costly I'd not throw away any brand.
 

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forgive my ignorance. I have been handloading modern rifle and pistol including BP 44/40 since 1967 when I was a boy. you never ever mix any smokeless powder. it is not the same with BP? it is ok to mix different brands? very interesting,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Black Powder is all basically the same chemical composition with similar burn rates. So, you can mix Elephant powder with GOEX. No real loss, no real gain. If one has a limited supply of real black powder and its a flintlock that is to be fired, then a starter charge of 5 to 1o grains of black can be loaded before the remainder of the charge in a BP substitute powder. Of course real black powder in the pan.
 

olskool

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good to know, wish I could find some elephant at a reasonable price. it is probably all gone now,,,,,,,,,,,
 

Grenadier1758

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Don't go looking for Elephant Powder. Its no longer in production. If you want a cheap and dirty powder, then get some Jack's Battle Powder. Its cheap, works okay while mainly used for the blanks that reenactors use we have used it in our Land Pattern Muskets in live fire woods walk competitions.
 

tenngun

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forgive my ignorance. I have been handloading modern rifle and pistol including BP 44/40 since 1967 when I was a boy. you never ever mix any smokeless powder. it is not the same with BP? it is ok to mix different brands? very interesting,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Pyrodex handbook recommended useing a kicker of real black powder
 

dave951

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I have an Elephant can that's almost full. I used some to make some ammo just for grins. Observations here track with what others have posted, dirty and weak.
 

olskool

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no I am just talking, I will stick with goex. actually I like the goex ol eynsford, that stuff makes my 62 jaeger a real tack driver! and it seams to be cleaner than there standard powder. I also have swiss. but if I did run across some cheap it would come home with me,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

Loyalist Dave

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Dirty, dirty, dirty .
OMG was it ever! We tried it for shooting blanks from muskets. NASTY time cleaning up. Diamondback was the resurrected brand from the Elephant powder works, and it was equally as bad.

Some folks have reported that Diamondback was pretty good..., which tells me that it had poor quality control as the batch my group bought of that stuff was the same as the Elephant.

LD
 

wattlebuster

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I shot quite a bit of elephant an guess what? it went bang each an every time. Got good groups out of it. Killed deer an turkeys with it. An had to clean the gun after each shooting session just as I would do with goex or swiss. All black powder is dirty. I could shoot just as many times without swabbing as I could with other brands so maybe im the oddball but I wish I had access to a bunch of it cause I would happily smoke the hillside up with it
 
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