Likin' ffg, should I try fffg?

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bigbadben

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I have two muzzleloaders at this point, a GPR flinter and a TVM Late Lancaster percussion, both 54 cals.

I've always just used ffg in the flinter, so that's what I've been using in the TVM percussion. And in truth it's shooting fine. I'm pretty happy with the loads in fact.

But I've never tried fffg, which I'm coming to understand a lot of guys shoot in their rifles. So I'm thinking I may try it. But I'm also looking for someone to stop me if I'm just wasting money.

In particular I'm wondering if the fffg would enhance ignition reliability over the coarser ffg. I've been getting some misfires from the TVM that I assume are due to gunk or moisture sneaking into the vent. I'm wondering if the higher volatility of fffg might decrease the misfires?

Am I thinking right or just out to lunch? For those who prefer fffg what do you think its benefits are over ffg?

Ben
 

rabjr

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I'm a believer, have switched from FF to FFF. So far for me it has proved to shoot tighter groups at 50 yards with my .54s and 90 grs of FFF in my new .58 will shoot into one hole at 50 when I do my part.
 

MikeC

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When you made the switch what was the percentage in volume you cut back? I've heard 15% to 18%.
 

david50

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my .50 shoots about the same with both,just a little less fouling with fff. if the humidity there is anything like it is here i'd say you're right about your misfires.
 

rabjr

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The .54s I just started at 80 and ended up at 90 where the original FF load was. Same for the .58, started at 80 grs and backed up to 50 yards. Once I saw what what 90 grs does, made no sense to tinker with it anymore. Roy was the only one to use FF in this .58.
http://nimrodsplace.com/nerifle21.html
 
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roundball

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For me in all calibers, including shot patterns out of smoothbores, Goex 3F has always proven to be more accurate, faster, and cleaner burning.

I still have a few cans of 2F left over from a case years ago so I use that only for deer hunting loads with the heavier balls in the .58 & .62 cals to make the recoil a little softer...but barring that, 3F is my go-to powder for everything
 

bigbadben

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Good deal. I'll pick some up. Where are you guys getting it these days? Is Graf and Sons still the best bet? I know they charge the $20 hazmat fee, but they don't require that I buy 25lbs, which I can't really use.

Ben
 

rabjr

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Well thats where I get mine and I've been very happy with Graff brand powder so far. :thumbsup:
 

BrownBear

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I'm not acquainted with the Lancaster, but does it happen to have a drum bolster? One of my 58's has the drum, and though it never failed to fire with FF, I did start to get some slight delays in ignition after a few shots. I tried 3F Goex, and never looked back. Ignition is always instantanious, no matter how many prior shots or whether or not I swab. Sounds kinda funny to base a rule on experience with a single gun, but my rule for drum bolsters is now "nothing but 3f," no matter what caliber.
 

bigbadben

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Hey Brown Bear,

Is the drum bolster that cylindrical thing that sticks off the side of the barrel and holds the nipple? If so then yes, that's what mine has.

It does kind of seem like the flash would shoot straight down and then have to jog left to get to the powder. It makes sense that there would be potential for crud to get in the way. But there's a screw on the end of the drum. I've learned to open that and stick a pipe cleaner in after every few shots. That seems to help.

Ben
 

roundball

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BigBadBen said:
But there's a screw on the end of the drum. I've learned to open that and stick a pipe cleaner in after every few shots.
Serious suggestion...if you're going to do that often...get yourself another screw or two right now.

Either while you still have the original screw to take to a hardware store and match up to new ones...or call the manufacturer and get a couple on their way in the mail...odds are stacked that sooner or later you'll drop it and it'll disappear never to be found again and that's the end of the range trip. :wink:
 

bigbadben

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Yeah, end of the range trip, or end of the hunt. I can just see myself out on one of those days where the moose/deer/whatever seem to be all over the place. I'm down on all fours trying to figure out just where I dropped that screw. :cursing: :cursing: :cursing:

That sounds like something I would do. I think I will order a couple extras.

Ben
 

paulvallandigham

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YOu might want to contact the Maine Powder House, and see what kind of price they can make you on the powder. Its a lot closer to you than Graf& sons, and the shipping charge should be less.
 

rabjr

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Not sure just where he is in Vermont but a trip to Kittery Trading post (Maine) might be an option too. Lots to see and great place to spend the day and pick up a few lbs of powder.
 

bigbadben

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Yeah, the only problem there is that they seem to want minimum 10lb orders. I don't really want that much powder sitting around my house.

It looks like 3 cans of 3f from Grafs is $60 with the hazmat. I can live with that.

Ben

Unless, of course, anyone here lives in the central Vermont region and wants to go in on an order. Let me know.
 

BrownBear

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BigBadBen said:
Hey Brown Bear,

Is the drum bolster that cylindrical thing that sticks off the side of the barrel and holds the nipple? If so then yes, that's what mine has.

It does kind of seem like the flash would shoot straight down and then have to jog left to get to the powder. It makes sense that there would be potential for crud to get in the way. But there's a screw on the end of the drum. I've learned to open that and stick a pipe cleaner in after every few shots. That seems to help.

Ben

Bullseye! You got it, alright.

The good new is that with 3f I've never had to remove the screw and clean the drum on a range trip. And we're talking anywhere from 20-40 shots without cleaning the bolster. Sure I swab the bore when I think of it, but never ever mess with the boster.

But the advice to get spare screws is good even if you don't pull it at the range. Mine "lived" in a corner behind my workbench for a couple of days before I found it one day. Then there was the time I went through a whole bag of garbage to find it wrapped in a dirty cleaning patch I had tossed. Extras are good!!! (And cheap).
 

bigbadben

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Yeah, I just got off the phone with Toni at TVM. She's sending me three extras and three extra nipples. I know my tendency to loose little stuff.

After I clean it I tend to leave the screw out to make sure everything in there gets a chance to dry.

I got $50 that says sometime in the next month I show up at the range having forgotten to put it back. Having a few extras in my range box will guard against that issue.

To say that I'm absent minded doesn't quite capture the severity of my condition . . .

Ben
 

BrownBear

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It occurs to me that the patch box on my rifle is a dandy place for an extra screw and nipple. Along with the foam ear plugs already there. The plugs may be spares, but they seem to get lots more use that the full-size head phones I usually forget to bring to the range.
 

bigbadben

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That's a good idea. I've been wondering what I would actually use the patch box for.

Maybe it's official use will be holding all those things I would otherwise probably forget (extra nipple, nipple wrench, drum and screw, a few extra caps, etc.).

I like that idea.
 

roundball

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Next time you buy some little something that comes in a tiny zip-loc parts bag, save it to put those loose things in then put the bag in the patchbox...keeps them quiet, clean, dry, etc.
 
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