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When to Use FFg vs. FFFg

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Alden

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As though there were a serious question no less a controversy, here's what the manufacturers say on their websites...



Goex

FFg (or 2Fg): Muskets, Shotgun, Rifles 50 caliber and up, Cartridge, and large bore Pistols

FFFg (or 3Fg): Rifles 50 caliber and smaller, Pistols and Revolvers


Scheutzen

2Fg .45 caliber rifles and greater

3Fg .45 caliber rifles and smaller, pistols


Swiss

2Fg .45 caliber rifles and greater

3Fg .45 caliber rifles and smaller, pistols



I'm all about improving the knowledge, skill, and attitude of the average, and below-average, shooter.

:thumbsup:
 
Even the MFG.show an over lay in FF&FFF, reads up to 50 cal and up and 50 cal and smaller so FF &/or FFF 50cal is recommended in both or either.I follow the MFG recommendation and reduce the charge by 10% when I use FFF in place of FF.
 
Those are good general guidelines. Thinking and practice has changed in fairly recent years. The answer is to use what works best in yer muzzle gun. My opinion, is 3Fg will work fine in most rifles up to about .54 cal. and maybe even larger. 2Fg is often considered a musket or shotgun powder but there is no fixed rule. As long as charges do not exceed safety limits, just use what works best. Results vary for different folks sometimes in ways that do not seem to make sense. For example, I cannot get decent groups from my .45 cal. Douglas barreled rifles using Swiss 3Fg while others claim it is the best stuff ever. Go figger. No :shocked2: , test for yourself but keep charges in the safe range when doing that.
 
Thompson Center Manual:

FFG (Commonly called Double "F")
This is a very popular powder for .45 caliber to .58 caliber rifles. It is also used for 12, 16, and 20 gauge muzzleloading shotguns. While it is not considered a pistol powder, it is sometimes used in very large caliber single shot pistols. It is recommended for use in most T/C muzzleloaders

FFFG (Commonly called Triple "F")
Due to its wide range of uses, Triple “F” is the black powder that is most commonly found on a dealer’s shelf. It is used in all percussion
revolvers, most single shot pistols, and most of the smaller (under .45 caliber) rifles. In a pinch, it can also be used to prime a flint lock.

Lyman Black Powder User's Guide

FFG/Pyrodex “RS” and “Select”
Commonly called “Double F”, this is a popular powder for rifles over 50 caliber and up to 75 caliber. Also used in the larger caliber single shot pistols and most shotguns.

FFFG/Pyrodex “P”
Commonly called “Triple F”, this powder is used in most single shot pistols and all percussion revolvers. It is also popular for all smaller caliber rifles up to and including 50 caliber. When FFFFG is not available, FFFG may be used to prime a flint lock.

Pedersoli's "cut off" for 3Fg is also at .45 caliber. (Pedersoli Muzzleloading Guns Owner's Manual p.11)

Dixie Gunworks:
Black powder is available in the following granulation:

CARTRIDGE -- used for loading black powder cartridges,
FFFFG -- finest granulation, used for priming flintlocks,
FFFG -- used in black powder pistols, cap and ball revolvers and muzzleloading rifles of 45 caliber and smaller,
FFG -- used in muzzleloading rifles larger than 45 caliber,
FG -- used in large bore shotguns (8 gauge or larger) and cannons.

AND:
What is the maximum load of black powder for my muzzleloader?
The short answer is to adhere to the manufacturer's recommendation for maximum load for your particular muzzleloader. However, this information is not always readily available.... As a general rule, a good target load can be established by starting with a grain weight charge equal to rifle's caliber ( eg 50 grains of FFG for a 50 caliber rifle). To find an efficient hunting charge, increase the charge in 5 grain increments to the point where accuracy is acceptable for your hunting situation. Generally, this should be limited to 30 percent greater than the most efficient target load.

(This worked for my .54 flintlock using 3Fg, though I did not know it was Dixie's recommendation at the time, nor is my rifle a Dixie product)


Navy Arms Brown Bess Manual
LOADING AND FIRING
We can give no hard and fast rule about powder charges to use, but always use black powder of grade FFG or FFFG. A process of trial and error will tell you the correct charge for your purposes, As a rule of thumb guide however, it used to be the practice to lay the ball on the palm of the hand and pour powder on until it was covered.

:shocked2: WAIT...What? :shake:

However, Navy Arms for the 1858 Enfield:
a. Measure a charge of Black Powder-we recommend loads of 50 to 70 grains of FFg or Fg for average conditions.

So the cutoff is between .45 and .50 caliber these days. What I've found interesting is that NONE of the guidelines I found had any cutoff for previous information...so for instance if you got a .45 caliber Hawken manual from the 1970's you would find loads recommended for using "double patched round ball" loads for deer...and more recent TC manuals don't say "this manual supersedes any previous information or loading data", etc.

LD
 
I still don't see any specific reasons or data..
But look at all these operative words. :shocked2:

below-average, shooter.
recommendation
good general guidelines
It is recommended
popular
commonly
Generally
guidelines
general rule


The following is my favorite quote so far... :haha: :thumbsup:

Navy Arms Brown Bess Manual
LOADING AND FIRING
We can give no hard and fast rule about powder charges to use, but always use black powder of grade FFG or FFFG. A process of trial and error will tell you the correct charge for your purposes, As a rule of thumb guide however, it used to be the practice to lay the ball on the palm of the hand and pour powder on until it was covered.

WAIT...What? :shocked2:
 
Loyalist Dave said:
So the cutoff is between .45 and .50 caliber these days. What I've found interesting is that NONE of the guidelines I found had any cutoff for previous information... don't say "this manual supersedes any previous information or loading data", etc.

LD

So, the more things change the more they stay the same? Shocker!

:hatsoff:
 
Alden said:
Loyalist Dave said:
[strike]So the cutoff is between .45 and .50 caliber these days. What I've found interesting is that NONE of the guidelines I found had any cutoff for previous information... don't say "this manual supersedes any previous information or loading data", etc.[/strike]

LD

So, the more things change the more they stay the same? Shocker!

:hatsoff:


Alden you misquoted...I should have read....
However, Navy Arms for the 1858 Enfield:
a. Measure a charge of Black Powder-we recommend loads of 50 to 70 grains of FFg or Fg for average conditions.

So the cutoff is between .45 and .50 caliber these days. What I've found interesting is that NONE of the guidelines I found had any cutoff for previous information...so for instance if you got a .45 caliber Hawken manual from the 1970's you would find loads recommended for using "double patched round ball" loads for deer...and more recent TC manuals don't say "this manual supersedes any previous information or loading data", etc.

LD
 
traditions booklet with gun reads;
.32-3f
.36 thru and including .58 cal., 2f or 3f.

they show a 5 grain difference for 2f and 3f.
 
Ross Seyfried has some interesting things to say about this question, writing some time ago in ML Hunter magazine and currently on Red Snow Clans, The Hunting and Outdoor Blog:

"If we begin with blackpowder as the propellant, I normally use FFFg in all but the largest bores. The 10s and 8s, with long barrels and heavy shot charges at times will perform best with FFg. This fine granulation may seem inappropriate to some, but it is partly due to the slower nature of our modern powder, when compared to vintage propellant. Also, it might interest you to know that some of the finest and most successful shotgun shots ever to pull a trigger used Curtis & Harvey’s No. 2 powder in their game guns. Its granulation and speed correspond very closely to FFFFg, yes 4F! They liked the short barrel time, that is, they wanted the shot out of the gun as quickly as possible, and used fast powder to get it.
One, Earl De Grey, bagged over 300,000 head of game. One finds such a level of experience very difficult to dismiss as folly. Not that I recommend FFFFg, but it certainly lends credence to using FFFg instead of the more commonly accepted slower powders."

The table showing recommended loads for percussion shotguns in Great Britain and the equivalence of British and American powders is at the blog, scroll down:
http://rs-clans.com/?p=17

Notice that they didn't recommend 2F in guns smaller than 10 gauge.

Spence
 
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2FFg is pretty much my default. I had a .45 that preferred it to all others, even as prime when it was new. As it aged it fired pretty much anything.

I will also interchange 3fffg as well if that's what I have open and I have mixed the two topping off a horn.

This reminds me of my deer hunt last year. I took a nice buck with a 20 bore trade gun.

When I found him he looked up at me as if to say
Deer said:
Well, what was it cough, cough, 2F or 3?
I looked down at him sadly, shook my head and said
me said:
Buddy, it was both.
He then rolled his eyes and made a grumbling sigh like Lurch does from the Adams Family and gave up the ghost.
 
A curator for a museum had taken apart many BP cartridges on up to .44 American and found they all had 4F or finer powder.

A paper cartridge from the Civil War made using Hazard's Pistol Powder also used 4F and was found to be as energetic as Swiss after testing.
 
George said:
Ross Seyfried has some interesting things to say about this question, writing some time ago in ML Hunter magazine and currently on Red Snow Clans, The Hunting and Outdoor Blog:

"If we begin with blackpowder as the propellant, I normally use FFFg in all but the largest bores. The 10s and 8s, with long barrels and heavy shot charges at times will perform best with FFg. This fine granulation may seem inappropriate to some, but it is partly due to the slower nature of our modern powder, when compared to vintage propellant. Also, it might interest you to know that some of the finest and most successful shotgun shots ever to pull a trigger used Curtis & Harvey’s No. 2 powder in their game guns. Its granulation and speed correspond very closely to FFFFg, yes 4F! They liked the short barrel time, that is, they wanted the shot out of the gun as quickly as possible, and used fast powder to get it.
One, Earl De Grey, bagged over 300,000 head of game. One finds such a level of experience very difficult to dismiss as folly. Not that I recommend FFFFg, but it certainly lends credence to using FFFg instead of the more commonly accepted slower powders."

The table showing recommended loads for percussion shotguns in Great Britain and the equivalence of British and American powders is at the blog, scroll down:
http://rs-clans.com/?p=17

Notice that they didn't recommend 2F in guns smaller than 10 gauge.

Spence

Ummm thats what like 14 "head of game" a day for 60 years with no time off for church or birthdays? I thinking head of game to be larger than a bunny?

WOW! :shocked2:
 
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colorado clyde said:
I still don't see any specific reasons or data..
But look at all these operative words. :shocked2:

below-average, shooter.
recommendation
good general guidelines
It is recommended
popular
commonly
Generally
guidelines
general rule


The following is my favorite quote so far... :haha: :thumbsup:

Navy Arms Brown Bess Manual
LOADING AND FIRING
We can give no hard and fast rule about powder charges to use, but always use black powder of grade FFG or FFFG. A process of trial and error will tell you the correct charge for your purposes, As a rule of thumb guide however, it used to be the practice to lay the ball on the palm of the hand and pour powder on until it was covered.

WAIT...What? :shocked2:


One "operative" word you forgot: LAWYER !!!
 

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