Powder loads

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I'd think that accuracy wouldn't be the best but then again, it might put them through the same hole at 100 so you never know

I wouldn't do it, not only for the increased pressure curve but I wouldn't see an advantage vs 3f unless you just have nothing else available
 
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Have sent a message encouraging the op to try it.
There is no evidence it is a risk, never has been and never will be. In fact, there is more evidence of catastrophic failure while using other grain grades via other loading mistakes, in other words, powder grain size alone is of no concern period.

Please report back with your results to help educate the worrying folks here..
 

dave951

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Simple answer- yes, but cut the charge levels down. You may not see the accuracy you're used to.
 

freedom475

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There is no evidence it is a risk, never has been and never will be. In fact, there is more evidence of catastrophic failure while using other grain grades via other loading mistakes, in other words, powder grain size alone is of no concern period.

Please report back with your results to help educate the worrying folks here..
Actually there has been tests. Western Powder was hired by CVA to burst some barrels.

What was discovered?...when the powder column of 4ffffg reaches 3.5 inches bad things happened. Unpredictable pressure swings began to happen. Pressure jumped from 20k to over 120kpsi then back to 15k.

So in any given caliber, never exceed a 3 inch powder column of 4ffffg...should not be a problem...lol

For anyone curious...Western was not able to rupture a CVA barrel with "any" black powder. They had to use smokeless to accomplish a rupture.
 
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Actually there has been tests. Western Powder was hired by CVA to burst some barrels.

What was discovered?...when the powder column of 4ffffg reaches 3.5 inches bad things happened. Unpredictable pressure swings began to happen. Pressure jumped from 20k to over 120kpsi then back to 15k.

So in any given caliber, never exceed a 3 inch powder column of 4ffffg...should not be a problem...lol

For anyone curious...Western was not able to rupture a CVA barrel with "any" black powder. They had to use smokeless to accomplish a rupture.
I would like to see that data.

120kpsi would cause damage I think.
 

freedom475

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The testing information that the ballistics tech shared with me was in regards to me asking him if I was going to "blow up" by using 4ffff in my cap&ball revolver.(?) We were sharing a bench at the range
He just laughed and said not a chance! And shared with me some of the information.
I may not be recollecting the pressure data exactly, but I do remember that the data showed a powder column length over 3 inches was where things became scary... it wasn't caliber specific either.
And someone "was" able to break a 45x 3.25" Sharps with 4ffff and a paper patch conical, so that's where his testing agreed.
 
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I have used 25 grs. of 5FA with a round ball in a colt .44 Army replica with fair results. I would expect that a RB light load in a .50 would work but I wouldn't expect high accuracy.
 
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I wonder, why consider loading with 4 F? Maybe the rifle is not grouping as well as it could be? Here is a "rule of thumb", and there are always exceptions. 2F for hunting loads, and 3 F for very light target loads. My 3 round ball rifles will group in one hole, at 50 yds, with no wind, and no human error. .530 and .490 rb's with 75 or 80 gns 2F. Cleaning exactly the same way between shots, and using a tight fitting "dry lubed" patch, as taught to me by Dutch Schoultz. If you are not getting the groups you want, look to the patch! also, even a light wind will blow accuracy all to hell!
 
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Have sent a message encouraging the op to try it.
There is no evidence it is a risk, never has been and never will be. In fact, there is more evidence of catastrophic failure while using other grain grades via other loading mistakes, in other words, powder grain size alone is of no concern period.

Please report back with your results to help educate the worrying folks here..
Yes…

It’s interesting to me that people will suggest reducing powder charges and then increasing them carefully “just to be safe”… ok. I’ll bite. What exactly are you looking for that would indicate a dangerous load or anything approaching it? There’s no real way to know except that people have regularly overloaded these rifles and guns ever since they were invented and a properly constructed gun in good repair will not “blow up” shooting black powder, unless there’s a short started load or other bore obstruction.

(Just don’t use 5F powder ooohhh! That’s dangerous!)
 
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A reduced load? That's how you start off with smokeless powder. Start low and work up watching for pressure signs but mostly accuracy changes. When you get 5 shots going in the same hole, you've found the sweet spot.
Thinking watching for an accuracy node would be the same with BP. (?)
 
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