Schuetzen 3f velocities

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DixieTexian

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So this past weekend I got out to check the velocity of my Pedersoli Scout .50 (28 inch barrel) using 70 grains by volume of Traveler's Schuetzen 3f with some linen shirting material lubed with T17 as patching and Hornady .490 balls. The patching could use some experimenting, but it was what I had on hand and I wanted to try to get a feel for what kind of velocity I was looking at.

A four shot string, not including the one error reading I got or the dry ball that had just a few grains of powder pushed through the touch hole was thus:

1287
1311
1318
1309

The first shot was with a clean barrel, and the subsequent shots were after a damp patch had been run through it. There was still enough fouling in the subsequent shots to noticeably increase the loading resistance, which leads me to believe that a tighter patch might increase the pressure enough to allow a slightly better velocity in a clean barrel like would be used in a hunting situation, especially given the shorter barrel.
However these velocities seem significantly slower than I've seen reported elsewhere for 70 grains of 3f using a .490 ball with similar barrel lengths. Does anybody have any experience with Schuetzen being that much slower than other powders? I'd like to increase my velocity with a higher charge powder, and will run more tests in the future when I have more time to devote to it, but I thought somebody here who has chrono'd some of the different powders may have some input as well. I'd like to develop a load for hunting deer sized game. I'm relatively new to flintlocks, but have shot percussion guns for several years, so I am familiar enough with everything that goes into it.

Being as I have nearly 10 pounds of Schuetzen 3f, I really don't have any plans on experimenting with other powders at the moment, but would appreciate any input anybody who has can give.
 
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I can't answer you question exactly as you pose it. But just last weekend I did some shooting with a TC New Englander and a TC Hawken, both 50cal.

Both rifles were loaded with a 320gr TC Maxi-Ball pushed by 80gr of Scheutzen 2f. I ran 6 shots from each rifle over my chronograph and got velocities very similar to yours, which is why I'm adding this comment. I would expect a fair bit more speed with your significantly lighter PRB, not to mention the likelihood that you are getting a better seal with your PRB as opposed to my solid flat based Maxi-Balls.

With each rifle I fired 4 consecutive shots and then ran a spit patch in and out one time. Loading was getting fairly tight on that fourth shot. Generally, velocity increased with each consecutive shot and did drop back off a bit after the spit patch but not as low as the first shot. The Hawken did show a bit of irregularity to that pattern, but it grouped the tightest of the two that day.

I have some Scheutzen 3f on the way and I will be doing some testing with that as well. I'm interested to see how it shakes out

Here is a pic of my notes.
 

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hanshi

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I don't think the lower velocities are necessarily due to just the Schuetzen. Heavier patches increase prb resistance and normally give higher velocities. For instance: In my .40 60 grns of 3F and a pillow ticking patch gave about 1848 average fps. I then switched to mattress ticking which is (at least my bundle of it was) .018" compared with barely .015" for pillow ticking. 60 grains of 3F then gave a sizzling 2150 fps. Since then I've moved on to heavy canvas (.024") and need to finally chronograph a couple of calibers with the canvas patches. The canvas is used in all my flint rifles now. I use pillow ticking in just three others.
 
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It is fascinating how you can definitely see how increased fouling increases muzzle velocities.

I definitely found Schuetzen powder to be dirtier than Goex. The the point that I nearly gave up on shooting the Moose Wilkinson bullet in my P1853 Enfield in N-SSA competition. It got too crunchy to load after just a few shots with Schuetzen. Then I went back to Goex and I can shoot that bullet pretty much indefinitely.

On the N-SSA forum I have had numerous people corroborate this experience and say that in muzzleloaders Shuetzen seems dirtier but not in cartridges. It may be that the cartridge lends itself to higher pressures and cleaner burning, or it may simply be that cartridge guns are just less sensitive to fouling, or at least you don't notice it like you do when loading a muzzleloader.

I personally won't go back to Sheutzen powder unless I had no other choice. I have about 10 pounds of Goex left and if Goex is not back in production by the time I burn through it I will go with Swiss.
 
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I still have 3-4 pounds of Goex left & quit using it.
I shoot Schüetzen & Swiss often & stopped using Goex because of the cleaning afterwards.
When I clean using Schuetzen, about 10-12 wet swabs, 3-4 dry patch runs, oiled patch down the barrel & I'm done.
I could never do that using Goex.
It often took 25-30 minutes to get the gun clean.
Of course, everyone else's mileage may vary.
 

DixieTexian

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So, thinking back a bit, I think there may be a couple of issues leading to the poor velocities.
1. Patch thickness may have been too thin. The first shot with a clean bore, I was able to seat the bullet at the muzzle with finger pressure. It could be that gas was blowing by the ball and leading to the resultant reduction in velocity.
2. Lube. I was worried about putting too much lube on my patching material and gunning up the powder in my load, so I may have put too little. This of course could lead to the patches burning through and the same effects as the above.

When I get a proper chance, I need to experiment with both and see how it effects the velocity.
 
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I still have 3-4 pounds of Goex left & quit using it.
I shoot Schüetzen & Swiss often & stopped using Goex because of the cleaning afterwards.
When I clean using Schuetzen, about 10-12 wet swabs, 3-4 dry patch runs, oiled patch down the barrel & I'm done.
I could never do that using Goex.
It often took 25-30 minutes to get the gun clean.
Of course, everyone else's mileage may vary.
mark you could clean it 5 min. using goex with my patch lube. 30% dawn dish soap and 70% water. soak patch and load, you can shoot indefinitely without swabbing. after shooting all day the gun will clean up in 5-10 minutes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
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Both rifles were loaded with a 320gr TC Maxi-Ball pushed by 80gr of Scheutzen 2f. I ran 6 shots from each rifle over my chronograph and got velocities very similar to yours, which is why I'm adding this comment. I would expect a fair bit more speed with your significantly lighter PRB, not to mention the likelihood that you are getting a better seal with your PRB as opposed to my solid flat based Maxi-Balls.

This is the result of the increased inertia of the heavier projectile. It increases the burn efficiency of the powder and therefore the velocity to projectile weight ratio. The same thing is observed with ever tighter patch fit with a ball or ever more or slipprier lube. Increased inertia = higher velocity. And then there's the anomaly in the OP's string. First shot, clean bore less velocity. Following shots with some fouling increased velocities.

. This of course could lead to the patches burning through and the same effects as the above.

Here's the thing about "patches burning through". 🔥 As hot as the burning powder environment in the bore is, it is so brief that there is little chance of it happening unless the patch is so loose that there is no seal at all or the crown or bore is so rough that the patch is damaged in the loading or shooting process. Ive shot spit patches and picked them up immediately after the shot and found them to be cold and damp.
 

hanshi

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I use well lubed patches and they are tight enough to have a minimum of .002" to .006" of compressed patch in the grooves. This prevents the patches from burning and they are usually unmarked and white after firing. I've even used fired patches again with the prb.
 
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This is the result of the increased inertia of the heavier projectile. It increases the burn efficiency of the powder and therefore the velocity to projectile weight ratio. The same thing is observed with ever tighter patch fit with a ball or ever more or slipprier lube. Increased inertia = higher velocity. And then there's the anomaly in the OP's string. First shot, clean bore less velocity. Following shots with some fouling increased velocities.
That's a valid and interesting point. Just like loading smokeless cartridges, a heavier projectile pushed by the same charge of powder will generate higher pressure than a lighter projectile. Hence why we reduce max charge as bullet weight goes up. Thank you for pointing that out 🍻
 
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mark you could clean it 5 min. using goex with my patch lube. 30% dawn dish soap and 70% water. soak patch and load, you can shoot indefinitely without swabbing. after shooting all day the gun will clean up in 5-10 minutes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I can do that with Schuetzen. In fact, I loaded the GPR rifle for others to shoot at the Pioneer Flats Shootout in PA at least 75-80 times on Saturday & about 50 times on Sunday. Never swabbed one time. I use roughly the same formula you do...I could never clean the Goex out that fast.
6-7 minutes the gun was cleaned & put away both days using Schuetzen.
I may try Goex again someday...or...better yet, I'd trade it pound for pound for Schuetzen or Swiss in a heartbeat.
 
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I still have 3-4 pounds of Goex left & quit using it.
I shoot Schüetzen & Swiss often & stopped using Goex because of the cleaning afterwards.
When I clean using Schuetzen, about 10-12 wet swabs, 3-4 dry patch runs, oiled patch down the barrel & I'm done.
I could never do that using Goex.
It often took 25-30 minutes to get the gun clean.
Of course, everyone else's mileage may vary.
Send me your GO😊
I love to clean.
 

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