powder charge for musket?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by pepperbelly, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. Jan 22, 2020 #21

    6elegere

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    what is the regulation load for the M1777 Charleville. As a US reenactor and French Napoleonic reenactor, I normally use what I have heard as the most historically accurate of 120 grains for a musket. Is that past that certain limit?
     
  2. Jan 24, 2020 #22

    tenngun

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    Just a bit of food for thought. I have a FDC, .62. The maker recommended 80 grains 2f with a max of 100. I sighted it I and then tried different loads. I went to 75 grains with out a change then tried 85 agin no change. So I stayed at 80
    Years later in this forum lots of folk talked about 60 and 65 grain loads, I thought ‘can’t hurt to give it a try and my groups shrunk.
    Dualist 54 runs a you tube channel where he started getting best groups over hundred grain charges. If things work small for you don’t be afraid to try big.
     
  3. Jan 24, 2020 #23

    dandan noodles

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    In the 18th century, the rule of thumb was about 1/2 the ball weight in powder; the British reduced this to 1/3rd when they developed cylinder powder with better charcoal. Modern powders are actually weaker, since they need to be able to function in a wide variety of guns, and a combination of different grain sizes actually increases muzzle velocities. If you want to match historical performance, 1800 fps is your target.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2020 #24

    tenngun

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    I don’t think you can get 1800 fps in a charley unless you do some very punishing loads. That’s near five hundred grains of lead your pushing. WTBS rifles operated closer to a 1000 fps. I would be surprised if you could practically get much more then 1200 fps, and your most workable load might be in the 1000 fps range.
     
  5. Jan 24, 2020 #25

    Stantheman86

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    I have used Shotgun Slugs to good effect out of my smoothbore. 69's but that's a whole different topic.

    .69's like stout loads, I use 100 grains of 2f or 3f , whichever , and a .648 round ball and have had excellent accuracy. 3f seems a little better if I had to pick but we're kinda splitting hairs.

    100 grains isn't anywhere near any kind of Max load and is a comfortable load to shoot. I've fired a full cartridge box of 38 or so in a row , no problems.

    110 grains is the Flintlock "service load", 100 grains is the percussion load, obviously the 10 grains is for priming. I just tried that my first time out with my first .69 smoothbore , and stayed with it.

    60 grains in a .69 is a mouse fart load. Shoot these things the way they were designed and they won't let you down.
     
  6. Jan 24, 2020 #26

    Zonie

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    I agree. 1800 fps is a unrealistic figure to work towards.

    It's kinda apples and oranges but, the Lyman Black Powder Handbook shows velocities for a patched roundball in a 12 guage.
    Using 100 grains of GOEX 2Fg powder loaded under a .690 diameter 494 grain roundball the barrel got a muzzle velocity of 1043 fps.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2020 #27

    dandan noodles

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    From what I've read, the service ball was about 378 gr with 188 gr of powder, which matches that 2:1 ratio I was talking about. 1000 fps is massively underperforming, and it's bad for accuracy, since the BC of the ball starts to rapidly fluctuate when you're in that transsonic zone.
     
  8. Jan 24, 2020 #28

    Stantheman86

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    Using actual period loads won't work today, since powder quality is different.
     
  9. Jan 24, 2020 #29

    dandan noodles

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    Yeah, it's weaker, so if anything you should be using more of it.
     
  10. Jan 24, 2020 #30

    tenngun

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    You do run in to diminishing returns Lyman list a .75 bess loaded with 50 grains gets a velocity of 662 fps, by adding 50 grains you increase velocity to 1006 fps, almost 400 fps, adding another 50 grains increases to 1213, just over 200 fps.
    In a .54 going from a charge of 50 grains to 100 grains adds about 500 fps in a 43” barrel. And increased charge after that increases velocity to 140 grains, at that point going from 140 to 160 adds about 40 fps.
    Just increased powder charge does not always lead to increased velocity.
    When I talked about a 65 grain charge earlier I was talking about a .62, and that’s only about 75% of a charley. I was only pointing out that both light and heavy charges might work out for a charley, be prepared to experiment ( oh the horror! more time on the range) I think 65 would be too light for a charley.
     
  11. Jan 24, 2020 #31

    tenngun

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    I would add a theory I’ve heard but not seen it confirmed, that an increased charge in a smooth bore creates a blow by around the ball preventing a ball from chattering in the smoothbore. Making a ‘gas patch’ around the ball, improving accuracy. I think I heard it first from Mike Bellamy, dualist 54.
     
  12. Jan 25, 2020 #32

    spudnut

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    I shoot 60 to 70 3f in my 20 smoothebore
     
  13. Jan 25, 2020 #33

    Stantheman86

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    A faster moving ball will fly straighter through sheer brute force against the Laws of Physics, or something like that. The ball will hit what you're aiming at before it has a chance to slice, curve, hook or drop .
     
  14. Jan 25, 2020 #34

    William Sublette

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    I thought it said powder charge for muskrat.
     
  15. Jan 25, 2020 #35

    gemmer

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    I use 80 gr of 2F GOEX and a patched .662 ball in my original flint 1816, relined , with a .687 bore. It will keep them all in a 6x6 square at 50 yards. Service loads were meant for bare ball paper cartridge loads that foul the bore quickly.
     
  16. Jan 25, 2020 #36

    gemmer

    gemmer

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    You must spend a lot of time cleaning that fouled barrel when shooting those big blank loads.
     
  17. Jan 25, 2020 #37

    ugly old guy

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    The service load for .58 and .577 muskets was 60 grains FFg or possibly Fg powder.
    1 grain per caliber. Not 2 grains per caliber.
    "1 grain per caliber minimum. and 2 grins per caliber maximum." was the "rule of thumb" back in the day.

    Yes, a heavier charge may have been more accurate.
    However, they were still using Napolianic Tacticts up to the end of the Civil War, and fired unaimed vollies at the enwmy troops.
    They were not shooting at individuals, excluding officers. They did aim at the officers.
    I don't know if the Revolutionary muskets (Brown Bess, etc) used 60 grains or 1 grain per caliber. (rounded to nearest caliber that ended with a "0" or a "5".)
     
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  18. Jan 25, 2020 #38

    okawbow

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    No picture...
     
  19. Jan 25, 2020 #39

    okawbow

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    My French infantry 31F07B46-BE52-4F80-88A6-A5F7D3DB0D95.jpeg musket has. .690 bore. I’ve taken deer with it and shoot 75 grains 1 1/2F with a .662 ball. Loads easily without cleaning between shots.
    Here is a 50 yard group from kneeling position with that load.
     
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  20. Jan 25, 2020 #40

    Rudyard

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    The faster you can drive a smooth bore ball the better accuracy you can expect .The 75 & 16 cals will only let you achive the velocity to a point where it is unwise and bruising but the smaller bore such as 40 cal will get you the velocity with out the negative recoiling .So for MLAIC internationals 'Miguelet' the 16 bores are your best bet & in Matchlock 'Tanagashima' the 40 cal or under is the best choice .'Miguelet' dosnt allow cleaning so that's a factor to consider . Some original powders where much better and the 1,500 fps was attained or exceeded . If no modern powders could match the original in tests made using an East India Company Lawrence's pattern Replica. 39" brl much like the what some call the third model or India Pat musket.
    Rudyard
     

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