When did using 3fg become so popular?

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Sidney Smith, Jun 18, 2019.

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  1. Jun 18, 2019 #1

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

    Sidney Smith

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    Back when I started shooting muzzle loaders the accepted practice was to use 3fg in guns under .50 cal and anything over .50 to use 2fg. I've always used 2fg and have never had issues. When did the change in attitudes toward 3fg in larger calibers take place? Am I the only person still using 2fg.?
     
  2. Jun 18, 2019 #2

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    It became popular when it was realized that you can get a few more shots from a can of 3fg than using 2fg loaded to the same velocity. There is also a bit less fouling.

    You are not the only one using 2fg. 2fg will have a bit less recoil and may be a bit more accurate in the larger calibers.

    Load development is the key factor in choosing 3fg over 2fg in rifles over 50 caliber.
     
  3. Jun 18, 2019 #3

    Brokennock

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    I think economy, shots per pound is part of it. Also, and this is just a theory on my part, I think more people are likely to have more than one muzzleloader in more than one caliber than when the "2f for .50 or larger, 3f for smaller than .50," standard became the norm. If that is true, the economy of using 1 powder for all of one's guns comes into play.


    I don't think the popularity of 3f for larger calibers has much if anything to do with having "issues" with 2f. I do notice less fouling, especially with shot loads in my smoothbore. But mostly 3f allows me to use one powder for all my muzzleloaders, including priming my pan.
     
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  4. Jun 18, 2019 #4

    rich pierce

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    It’s convenient to have one granulation. I think that’s a lot of it.
     
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  5. Jun 18, 2019 #5

    Boomerang

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    Well there are a few reasons. Some guns are more accurate with it. It flows better out of a smaller spout. You get more shots per pound and you can prime the pan with the same powder on a flintlock.
     
  6. Jun 18, 2019 #6

    Col. Batguano

    Col. Batguano

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    So where was the "crossover" to 1Fg? It's pretty common in fowling pieces. Is it a caliber thing or more a function of the weight of the shot load?
     
  7. Jun 18, 2019 #7

    leverfred

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    I have been using it for years and use it in my black powder long range cartridge guns as well as in my front stuffers.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2019 #8

    Elkeater

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    1994 the tenth printing of the Lyman Black Powder Handbook.
    " Nearly equal velocities are obtained through the use of a notably lighter charge of 3f powder.
    We then decided to use 3f in all but .58 and .75 in our testing. 2f in .58 , .75, 12 and 20 gauge."
     
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  9. Jun 18, 2019 #9

    Loyalist Dave

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    For me, it started when I read four different manuals with different "cut off" points for 2F. One said larger than .54, one said larger than 50, one said larger than .45, and one said 3Fg should only be used in rifles and pistols smaller than .45...,

    So since I was using 3Fg for blanks, and since I wanted to use the same powder for prime as for the main in my .54 flintlock, I decided to use 3Fg. I use a very moderate load, so pressure problems aren't a worry for me.

    Now for live fire of .62 .65 and .75 caliber, I use 2Fg, though 2Fg doesn't make for good musket blanks. No "pop" on the blanks, just a Fooompf.

    LD
     
  10. Jun 18, 2019 #10

    cullen1780

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    I use 2F without issues for everything from .36 to .78 and priming. It seems less susceptible to humidity than the finer granulations. YMMV
     
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  11. Jun 18, 2019 #11

    Britsmoothy

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    Simple.
    When they ran out of 4f.
     
  12. Jun 18, 2019 #12

    Eterry

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    I started this game in 1979, before the "net", and i knew no-one who shot black powder, aside from the shop teacher who helped us 5 assemble kits in class. He recommended ffg, who knows why.
    When my dad and I drove 100 miles round trip for a pound of powder i took what they had. Sometimes its was ffg, other times fffg. I noticed the fffg kicked a lil more than ffg, but didnt notice much other change on small game.

    Years later I got a Lyman Black Powder Handbook and their tests show you could use around 40% less fffg then ffg...that sounded great to me.

    In 2010 when I bought a P61 Musketoon I met a skirmisher who suggested using fffg, saying I could get about 30-40% more shots to the lb. That sold me.

    I still have some ffg, won two lbs at a trap shoot, so I'll use it in my 10 and 12 bore.

    I'd say economy of powder usage was the deciding factor for me.
     
  13. Jun 18, 2019 #13

    Stantheman86

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    I have been using 2f in my .69 musket and I use it in my .54 and .58 rifles.

    My two Pedersoli .45 Kentucky pistols need 3f to shoot their best and I have a .451 Volunteer that does a little better with 3f. Also a .45 Tryon rifle. I can't just "standardize" on 2f for these rifles, they are specifically used for target shooting.

    I am about to load up some .69 round ball cartridges with 1.5f, because I have 2 pounds of it and I'll give it a shot. 2f is still my go to for this musket.
     
  14. Jun 18, 2019 #14

    SDSmlf

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    Not sure using finer powder is a recent thing. Took apart a Civil War era Smith cartridge and found a powder finer than ffff. Some argue the powder was crushed in the case, but the ‘case’ was made out of some kind of rubber. Powder was loose and not clumped - sorry no photo of the powder, lost with Photobucket. Still have some ‘cartridges’, but not breaking any more down. They don’t make them anymore. upload_2019-6-18_15-55-40.jpeg
     
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  15. Jun 18, 2019 #15

    hanshi

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    I started with BP in the mid 1960s and bought whatever the LGS had in stock (2F & 3F). Never noticed much difference behind the gun but got great accuracy with both. Still I preferred 3F for my (only) two .45s. When I acquired larger bores I continues to use 3F, both for convenience and great accuracy. Some guns may prefer one over the other but I can no longer shoot well enough to make a determination.
     
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  16. Jun 18, 2019 #16

    Einsiedler

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    Several of the old timers I knew who were shooting back in the 30’s stated that FFFG was all the powder they could get at their relative location. One of them went as far to say that even some of the “old timers” in the 30’s he knew who were raised shooting ML’s stated when he asked, told him same thing. Was all they could get at the time.

    I’m simply passing on what I was told 40-50 years ago, when I asked. You are welcome to your own interpretations. Several of the old timers were convinced that FFFG was the go to powder back in "the day”.

    Mileage may vary..........
     
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  17. Jun 18, 2019 #17

    Heelerau

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    I use FFFg in my Enfield paper cartridges, I find the finer powder will make the pritchett bullet take up the windage properly, (.554). Conversely I have a custom .36 half stocked leman rifle that seems to like FFg. I have been shooting black powder since 1973, and like others, typically only used 3f in .50 and under, FFg in the rifled muskets, and Fg in anything over .58, both smooth and rifled.
    I have started using FFg in my .72 bore rifle. As a kid oft times could only get FFFg Curtis's and Harvey, even got a can of FFFFg once to use in a cap and ball.
     
  18. Jun 18, 2019 #18

    BullRunBear

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    In my area in the late 70s, 3F Goex was the powder most often available. No idea why. Since I only had 50 and 45 caliber guns it worked out fine and still does for up to 50 caliber. 3F did a better job in 45 caliber cartridges. Later on I tried 2F in load development for the 50 calibers but it either wasn't as good or made no difference. But I keep a few pounds of 2F available these days because I get better patterns with it in a 12 gauge SxS and with patched round ball in a 62 smoothbore. So I suspect any preference for 3F was availablity and economy.

    Jeff
     
  19. Jun 18, 2019 #19

    Ames

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    I use both 3 and 2, depending how I feel that day.
    Life is short. I buy many pounds of powder and cast round balls. Pretty much do what I want to every day. That was the idea of life when I started one, anyway. Not sure of how mine will end, but it wont be while worrying 3f or 2f.
    Just go shoot. It beats workin'!
     
  20. Jun 18, 2019 #20

    shane a gress

    shane a gress

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    I use 2f in my 62. Always have, but May try 3f someday. But I tell my wife all the time I don't like change.:)
     

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