Swiss vs. Goex

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bigbadben

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I'm sure this has been covered. But (surprizingly) I couldn't find anything when I did a search, so I figured I'd ask it here.

Am I likely to see any improvement in accuracy, velocity or anything else if I switch from Goex to Swiss? (I'm shooting 80g of fffg with a 54-cal PRB.) I'm about to place a powder order and am wondering if the Swiss is worth the extra ~$7 per pound.

I don't mind paying the extra if there's a reason to do so. But if there isn't I'd just as soon keep the extra cash and, I don't know, go buy a sandwich or something.

Thanks,

Ben
 

paulvallandigham

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If you are a target shooter, needing the utmost in accuracy to even have a chance to place in a shooting match, then use the Swiss powder. Other than that, the difference between the two powders does not justify the extra cost for the Swiss powders.

My brother and I spent some time a year ago trying to resolve this very question with his .40 caliber Chunk Gun Rifle. We found that if we screened the Goex 3Fg powder, to remove the fines, as well as screening the Swiss powder to keep the two even for the test, that the difference in velocity was reduced. When he used an OP wad with both powder charges, the velocity difference closed much more, and there was NO apparent difference in the kind or amount of powder residue in his barrel. Finally, he found that he could add a few more grains of Goex FFFg to his load and equal the velocity he was getting from the Swiss powder.

For that reason, we decided that the 1/3 more cost of Swiss powder is just not worth the money. That does not mean that we won't continue to test and experiment with a can or two of Swiss powder, but for general shooting, and all off-hand or cross stick matches, we do just fine with Goex powder. ( or Wano, Schuetzen, Kik, Graf, etc.) The secret is to screen the powders to remove the "fines", as that seems to give the most consistent velocities( lowest SDV) with any given powder.

You can buy screening from McMasters.com in the correct mesh sizes for this purpose.

Fg powder must not pass through a screen with 14 x 14 mesh( 14 wires per inch)

FFg powder must not pass through a screen with 24 x 24 mesh.

FFFg powder must not pass through a screen with 40 x 40 mesh.

FFFFg powder( if you actually want to bother) must not pass through a screen with 50 x 50 mesh.

I priced the 40 x 40 mesh a couple of years ago at less than $10.00( $7.33 to be exact) for a square foot of screen. If you buy one of those needle point hoops at a hobby store, or craft store, you can glue, or staple the wire screen to the hoop and make your own screen for your powders. Otherwise, you can build a frame from wood for next to nothing, and a few screws or nails.

My brother bought the Graf & Sons powder screening drum, with screen for FFg and FFFg powders. He does not shoot anything that uses Fg powder. He found the "fines" that pass through his FFFg screen make terrific flash powder for his flintlocks. Not much of it, but its great flash powder.
 
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Dphar

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The thing about GOEX is the change from lot to lot will be more pronounced than with Swiss.
So the next batch may not do as well.
All the serious shooters I know shoot Swiss.
Some use 1.5F even in 45 calibers.
I shoot 90 gr of FFF Swiss in a 54 it produces more velocity than 100 gr of FFFG Goex and fouls much less. Swiss is not graphited powder and this alone reduces fouling.
If heavy charges are used in some calibers Swiss may cause fouling problems due to the fact it is a hotter powder and this can effect fouling when the charge weight/temp/pressure/bore size get to a certain point. My 54 will produce 1900 fps with no fouling trouble at all.
A friends 58 fouls at 110 grains of Swiss???? Very clean at 90 gr of FFF.
My sons 45 will not foul with 60-70 grains????
I can shoot 140 gr FF Swiss in a .67 rifle and have no visible fouling in the bore at the muzzle. Some older Goex "CTG"(FFG with a different label) I have fouls horribly at the same charge weight.

Dan
 

paulvallandigham

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I clean between every shot, so fouling is never a huge issue to me. Serious target shooting bores me. I much rather be doing those same kind of accuracy shots at trick targets. I require very accurate powder and loads to do those trick shots, but cleaning between shots is more important than the actual velocity achieved. The targets are small, but have to be a lot closer to me, so that the audience behind me can see what I am shooting at, and whether I hit it or not.

I do serious target shooting off a bench rest. That is the only time the powder choice becomes most important. However, I don't hesitate to test a new lot or can of powder before entering any match contest, and make adjustments according to what the chronograph tells me about the charge. I can't imagine any serious target shooter NOT testing a new can or lot of powder, whether its BP or smokeless. There are plenty of variables that change POI each day, based on temperature, relative humidity, elevation, and wind conditions.

This is why I spent the time here talking about screening powder. I approached the whole subject being my usual cynical self. My brother was more upbeat about what we might learn. He was right. I gained a new respect for my chronograph, and realized that Goex powder could be improved a lot for consistency by screening it. My chronograph proved that. When I can buy Goex for between 12 and 14 dollars, while Swiss powder cost 20-25 dollars a pound, there simply is no contest. I will stick with Goex. My eyes, and my back, have taken me out of any serious thought of competing with the younger shooters in national shooting matches. Its a young man's game. I am past all that in age.

I have no problem with people choosing to use Swiss powder. However, I don't personally think its worth the additional cost in the small reduction in group size you get, compared to the groups you can shoot with Goex, using a few tricks I have mentioned. :thumbsup:
 

rabjr

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BigBadBen said:
I'm sure this has been covered. But (surprizingly) I couldn't find anything when I did a search, so I figured I'd ask it here.

Am I likely to see any improvement in accuracy, velocity or anything else if I switch from Goex to Swiss? (I'm shooting 80g of fffg with a 54-cal PRB.) I'm about to place a powder order and am wondering if the Swiss is worth the extra ~$7 per pound.

I don't mind paying the extra if there's a reason to do so. But if there isn't I'd just as soon keep the extra cash and, I don't know, go buy a sandwich or something.

Thanks,

Ben
Swiss is wondeful powder, still have can or two but I found Graff and Sons brand to be just as accurate, not bad to clean and it kills deer just as dead at a much cheaper price.
 

bigbadben

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Thanks Swampy,

I thought about trying the Graf. But they seem to be out of the 3f.

Oh well. I just orderd 5lbs of the Swiss. Figured I'd give it a try. The sad fact is that I don't get out to shoot as often as I'd like. So five pounds will easily last me a year. At that rate I guess the extra $7 a pound doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Ben
 

doulos

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Id like to try some Swiss. I think I'll get some on my next order but am not real sure what to try FFG or FFFG. I shoot .54's and .58's most of the time.
 

Herb

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Go to the "Shooting Accessories" forum, where you have posted, and look at all the entries. Scroll down about 14 entries to "Swiss Powder" by DTCoffin, last post 9/30/09. 34 posts on the subject. You should learn something there.
 
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