Author Topic: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.  (Read 3509 times)

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Online mechanic

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Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« on: October 25, 2009, 07:07:29 am »
I have several jugs of Blackhorn that I bought last season at a great discount.  I have shot quited a bit, and loaded cartridges as well.  Went out to check zero the other weekend, and the first shot went pfffft! and the bullet fell just out the muzzle on the ground.  Very convenient for a reload but not going to kill much but time.  The powder poured out when I tipped the barrel. 

I poured some powder on a rock and lit it with a burning stick.  A few grains fizzled, most did not.

Thinking the jug had absorbed water, I broke open an unsealed one.  Same scenario.  I've got four jugs of unusable Blackhorn!!!!   I was sold on this stuff till now.

Finished my sight in with Pyrodex, from a jug that is 4-5 yrs. old. 

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Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« on: October 25, 2009, 07:07:29 am »

Offline TRM-1

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 08:03:27 am »
I went to the range a week or more ago and had hangfire problems with blackhorn 209 powder in my G2 muzzleloader. Last year the gun performed flawless. The first two times I shot it it went off normal and nothing wrong then every shot it hangfired. I was shooting some powder left from last year and tried some new and same thing with both. I figured it was the primers had gone bad so I bought some new primers and headed back to the range. I tried the new primers and the first shot went off good, But then the next 4 or 5 hangfired. I decided to try my prohunter and see if it had the same problem with the powder (didn't have the prohunter with me the first trip) and had no problems. The gun went boom each time and was still dead on accurate. I tried shooting it many times and was getting confused about the G2. So I tried it one more time and same thing. I got home that night and noticed when cleaning the firing pin area on the G2 that it had a lot of blowback and as I was trying to wipe and clean that the firing pin holder was loose and moving around as I wiped. So I took a screwdriver and went ahead and removed the firing pins and cleaned them and reinstalled the holder. I am hoping that with the firing pins moving around and the primer maybe moving and allowing the blowback that the powder wasn't getting enough fire to ignite the powder correctly. I haven't gotten to try it out yet to see if that corrected the problem. I am really hoping this was the problem as blackhorn has spoiled me and I won't go back to tripple seven. In my guns I had terrible crud rings. If I had to give up blackhorn I would go smokless.
 

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2009, 08:43:17 am »
This is a very helpful post.  I am wondering if others have had similar experience.  Although a little dirty, I have always used RS.  No problems, ev en with older stuff.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2009, 09:03:41 am »
mechanic & TRM-1,

What rifle/breech plug are you shooting it out of? What primers are you using? You need a breech plug with a sealed primer pocket, they have a picture with the type that works and don't work. You also want to use the hottest 209 primers, Federal 209A and CCI 209M are the best IMO. The biggest problem while shooting Blackhorn is keeping the flame channel clear down to the flash hole. If I had to bet, I would bet your flame channel is full of carbon from previous range sessions. It is very hard to detect, because there is ususally still a small hole all the way down to the flash hole, and this give people the false sense of security that everything is clear when it is not.

For the T/C and Knights a 1/8" drill bit is perfect for cleaning out this area, just turn it in by HAND and you won't believe how much carbon can build up in there. You may want to start with smaller diameter bits and work your way up. This carbon build-up not only prevents alot of your flame from reaching the flash hole, it also robs much of the heat and pressure, since the gasses are pushed back around and through the primer.

On the CVA and probably Traditions too, you have a metric hole, but I think I have read where a 7/64" drill will work on those.

If your saboted bullet is a loose fit, it only compounds the problem when your flame channel is full of carbon. Blackhorn 209 needs the bullet to be seated firmly on the charge, and needs to remain that way long enough for the heat and pressure of the flame to ignite it.

The first time you remove this carbon, you will swear you are removing metal, it is that hard, but once clean you will see the difference. Here is the set I keep in my range box, they allow me to even clean out the Knight bolt actions plugs with the quick connect handle. DO NOT chuck up these drill bits in an electric drill, just turn them by hand and you will know when you reach the bottom of the flame channel where the flash hole starts. For best results you can do this every group, every other group, or you can go a dozen shots or so. If you have never done this, I would bet my best rifle that this is your problem.

I did some extensive experimenting starting back in April 2008 with several different rifles/breech plugs/ignition sources, Blackhorn 209 NEEDS three things to go bang, Heat/Pressure/Time. If one of these is not up to par, you will not like the results.





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Offline Varmint Hunter

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2009, 10:00:57 am »
I was unable to locate any Blackhorn 209 this year without placing a mail order which I didn't want to do for a pound or two of powder.

I had many pre-weighed charges in the little plastic vials which were left over from last year. I took a handful of the vials with the old powder to the range and shot it through my 209x50. Every shot went off reliably and the accuracy was rather good @ 200yds.

Blackhorn 209 is said to be a powder that does not attract/absorb moisture from the air like so many other BP substitutes. Not sure why you are having the problem but I doubt that it solely caused by the powder's age.

Offline burntmuch

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2009, 10:28:27 am »
Ive had BH209 do the same thing with sabot- bullet combos that were a bit loose. My X7 likes BH209 & 200 grain shockwave/SST & the blue MMP 50/40 sabot. 
 
Busta Im sighting in my X7 this week, switched out scopes. You got me thinking I may have to pull my plug & twist a drill bit thru it just in case
I dont care what gun Im using as long as Im hunting

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 11:30:42 am »
From what I have been experiencing and hearing, if you use a bullet under 260 gr. you may not be getting a good  back pressure and igniting the powder. What happens is, the primer will push the bullet and powder out of the barrel without setting off the powder.

I have had the same experience with my Savage using lighters bullets, it happened to me 2 times in the last week. I spoke with Cecil Epp of Precision Rifle and he told me that same thing as what I was experiencing with my Savage. So I am adding the MMP MSB* (Magnum Sub Base*).

My Encore will be going to the 260 gr. Dead Centers when I get them to use with my Blackhorn powder.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 12:41:43 pm »
I'm using the same bullet and combo I was using last year.  I have a CVA Wolf, and last year I shot up a jug and half of BH.  Same breech plug, clean as can be.  I always clean with a acetlene tip cleaner, have for years.  IMO I have a moisture problem with the BH or it has just degraded.  I just loaded up 10 rounds of 45-70 with it, I will try that to satisfy my mind.  If it won't fire with a magnum primer in this it's just bad....
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 05:46:50 pm »
I have tested powder that is 1.5 years old, don't have any ignition problems. I guess I'll ask again, what primer are you using? Use Fed 209A or CCI 209M.

I am not talking about just cleaning the flash hole, I am talking about cleaning the flame channel that runs from the 209 primer pocket down to the small flash hole.

Hope this helps someone.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 06:47:46 pm »
I have tested powder that is 1.5 years old, don't have any ignition problems. I guess I'll ask again, what primer are you using? Use Fed 209A or CCI 209M.

I am not talking about just cleaning the flash hole, I am talking about cleaning the flame channel that runs from the 209 primer pocket down to the small flash hole.

Hope this helps someone.

My breech plug is as clean or cleaner than the day it was new.  I use Fed. 209 primers with BH, and with Pyrodex, same as last yr.  I shot perhaps 200 or more loads of this stuff last year, which was the first I had found.  I bought more because I liked it.  Court is still out on the cause, but its not a dirty or fouled breech plug.  I use cast 325gr. bullets, same as last year. 

I will know in a day or two when I have opportunity to go back to the range.  If it fires in my cartridge gun, then it's obviously ok.  If not, something has gone wrong with the powder.

I appreciate all of ya'lls inputs. 
Molon Labe, (King Leonidas of the Spartan Army)

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 06:07:47 am »
mechanic & TRM-1,

What rifle/breech plug are you shooting it out of? What primers are you using? You need a breech plug with a sealed primer pocket, they have a picture with the type that works and don't work.  Blackhorn 209 needs the bullet to be seated firmly on the charge, and needs to remain that way long enough for the heat and pressure of the flame to ignite it.  ]Thanks for mentioning this.  Since I am detail impaired, can you explain in the Kings english which guns or breech plugs are OK & which ones aren't.  I have the CVA Wolf.  Is this OK?

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 07:42:23 am »
I called and asked the people who make blackhorn if the prohunter beach plug was ok and they said that it was fine. The G2 has a breach plug just like the regular encore that should be a good seal. I am using CCI primers with 90 grains of blackhorn in the G2 and 120 grains in the pro hunter. I am shooting 250 grain shockwave bullets and I had no problems last year of any kind in either gun. I had no problems with the prohunter so far this year. The G2 had a mechanical problem with the plug that holds the firing pins in that was loose and I think was causing light primer strikes which wasn't igniting the powder the way it should. I repaired the loose part by tightening the screw holding it in the frame below the hammer. The breach plug is clean in both guns as I thourghly clean the breach plug including the channel from the primer to flash hole. I am very pleased with the blackhorn209 powder and don't think I have a powder problem as the same powder is going boom each and every time in the prohunter. I will try to shoot the G2 since I repaired the loose item and verify if the problem was mechanical or not. I will post the results.

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 08:48:06 am »
mechanic & TRM-1,

What rifle/breech plug are you shooting it out of? What primers are you using? You need a breech plug with a sealed primer pocket, they have a picture with the type that works and don't work.  Blackhorn 209 needs the bullet to be seated firmly on the charge, and needs to remain that way long enough for the heat and pressure of the flame to ignite it. 
Thanks for mentioning this.  Since I am detail impaired, can you explain in the Kings english which guns or breech plugs are OK & which ones aren't.  I have the CVA Wolf.  Is this OK?


rebAL,

The CVA's generally don't have a problem, but mechanic is having problems with his Wolf. Another thing, you want to make sure your bore is oil free before you start shooting, and if you do swab (not necessary) between shots, don't use a water based solvent. Don't use any of the pre-saturated patches that are made for black powder and the other subs, or spit-patches. Water is no friend of BH209! If you guys are swabbing between shots, the excess moisture in your patches will pool down in the breech plugs flash hole and cause problems with ignition.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 09:15:57 am »
It all becomes moot.  Got the same reaction from cartridges loaded with BH for my 45-70.  The ones left loaded from last year shot ok, new ones did not. 

If I dump a pile of this stuff on a rock and light it with a flame, just a few grains will burn.  The rest just lays there.  Something contaminated it.  I even opened my last two sealed jugs.  Same thing.  There goes 4 jugs of powder ruined.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2009, 09:33:02 am »
 I don't know all the specifics of your powder,storage,BP hole & the rest but; When it comes to black powder substitutes I don't try to buy a bunch to stock up. I'd rather pay a little more to get a fresh supply as needed. I did shoot some B209 from last Fall recently, it shot just fine. I just remember all the talk that Pyrodex didn't store well, especially after it was opened. I do have a fair supply of B209 on hand but I'll wait til it gets down to restock.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2009, 02:21:03 pm »
I've got smokeless powders that are over 20 years old.  They shoot just fine.  I also have some Pyrodex that is quite old, (maybe 2 or 3 years), and it's fine.  I can't help but believe it's something other than moisture.  I have had trouble with those 777 pellets in the past, once opened they soak up moisture like a sponge.  I went back to loose because I prefer it, and because it seems to hold up better.

Court is still out on exactly what happened, but I can't help but believe that some chemical change occured.  A shame too, because I had come to like the stuff, especially the clean up afterward.  I didn't clean the bore on my muzzie until the season was over last year, and it still looks pristine.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 05:21:40 pm »
I shot the G2 this evening and it shot great no problems. I shot it ten times and it went boom every time. No hangfiring. I also want to mention I don't swab between shots as it is not necessary.

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 09:22:45 pm »
It all becomes moot.  Got the same reaction from cartridges loaded with BH for my 45-70.  The ones left loaded from last year shot ok, new ones did not. 

If I dump a pile of this stuff on a rock and light it with a flame, just a few grains will burn.  The rest just lays there.  Something contaminated it.  I even opened my last two sealed jugs.  Same thing.  There goes 4 jugs of powder ruined.

mechanic,

Just curious, what is the lot # on your jugs? I have saved two bottles from my first case 4-3-08 and it is approximately 50 to 75 FPS slower than some newer stuff, it still goes bang no problem. I have tested it at the year mark, 1-1/2 year mark, and I will test it at the 2 year mark next April. There is slight variation from one lot to another, but that holds true with any powder. I keep my powder cool and dry for the most part, and never had a problem with ignition, except when I was testing it with #11 caps, small pistol primers in the .25 ACP, and in the Huntsman primer carriers.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2009, 12:11:24 pm »
i'd call western powders and tell them about it and get new ones sent to you

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2009, 12:14:23 am »
That's why I shoot Pyrodex pellets in my Pro Hunter! ;D It may be dirty,but it's not a big deal to swab out the bore,and I've allways got great performance from it. I shot some T7 2F,and it shot well,but the crud ring was horrible! >:( Then I considered going to the small pistol primers) forget that! I still shoot T7 in the gun at the range,and use Windex to swab it out between shots,but when hunting season comes around,it gets 3 pyrodex pellets in it,allways goes boom,and hits right on the money! I carry some dry patches with me,and spit patch it between shots. (I've never had to use a second shot to put a animal down),but I allways reload it anyway. I allways stock up on powder at the end of the season ( it's cheaper) and rotate it so I'm shooting last year's powder this year. Never had a problem. I've never put a gun up (ML or Centerfire) dirty,so cleaning it,after shooting it, is a moot point. Don't get me wrong! I think experimenting is fun.There is about 60 diffrent bottles of smokless powder in my reloading room,and so many diffrent boxes of bullets,that I've lost track,of them.Trying to make a 1/2 inch group,into a 1/4 inch group,at 100yds. ::) I just think that the muzzeloading industry,has went off the deep end,trying to reinvent the wheel! ;D If what you used last year killed your deer,or elk,you can most likley bet it will this year too! ;) I have to admire,the effort some of you put into your shooting,and that helps everyone out,in the long run. The older I get,I the more I find,the accurate loads that shot good last year,still do. Ron
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2009, 03:07:51 pm »
mechanic

I have not read all the posts in this thread, but I would like to mention one thing.  Twice you have referred to the point that you tried to start BH in an open environment.  Since BH is a progressive burning powder I do not think you will ever have much luck getting it to burn in the open without a lot of heat to each grain.

One of BH's strong points is that it is slower buring progressive burning powder able to increase the velocity of heavier bullets becasue of those two facts.

So anyway i will go back to reading now..
Keep shooting muzzleloaders - they are a blast....

Offline burntmuch

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2009, 10:06:41 am »
I went out to shoot my Omega X7 this morning, Same set up as last year, Except scope. Winchester 209s BH209 & 200 grain SST in MMP sabot.  Out of 8 shots I had 2 hang fires & 1 what felt like a reduced load. Just barely made it out of the barrel. This is out of a freshly cleaned gun. Im gonna go back out & try some 777.  Im thinking this BH209 may be breaking down over time, or something to that effect. This is a almost full bottle I had left over from last year. It was stored right next to a bottle of 777. I ll know more later.
I dont care what gun Im using as long as Im hunting

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2009, 11:34:49 am »
LATER ;;  Theres a huge advantage to having a 100 range behind the house. Took a break, had lunch with the wife & went back out to shoot. 777 gave me no problems at all. 2 inch groups at 100 yards. Im not gonna have a bunch of time to play with this gun this year. So Im sticking with this load. 80 grains 777.
I dont care what gun Im using as long as Im hunting

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2009, 07:24:15 am »
OK, just back from the mountains and I am pissed!!!  Lost two nice deer because my gun went pfffft.  I am using a Knight Vision using Winchester primers, 100 grs. of BH209 and Hornaday FPB bullet.  I will be going back to the woods this weekend for gun season, but will be going to the range when I get back.  Hope I can come up with an answer to this problem. 

BH209 did great back in the summer whne I was getting the gun ready for the season.  I was very happy, then this. 
Just another voice in the crowd!!!

 

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2009, 11:42:49 am »
stick with whats been proven and has been reliable. Pyrodex has 30+ years under its belt.

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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2009, 01:47:43 pm »
Lawful Larry

Can I ask which winchester primer were you using?
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2009, 10:12:03 pm »
I've never had pyrodex, or pyrodex pellets fail me.  I keep the pellets or powder in one of those plastic two sided fast loaders (powder on one side, bullet on the other), and it has fired every time.  Frankly, I use plain old 209 primers that I use in my shotgun shells, never really saw the reason for the others (though I don't BP hunt in the rain).

The fancy water resistant primers are cheap enough, so I might get a box just for the heck of it.
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2009, 03:30:13 pm »
Darn it! I just paid $30 for 10 ounces of this BH 209 at Cabela's now I read it's problematic?  Just my luck....  I have too used Pyrodex pretty well trouble free, but was looking for something that was a little easier to clean up and less corrosive...

LM
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Re: Blackhorn goes pffffffft.
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2009, 06:44:15 pm »
Darn it! I just paid $30 for 10 ounces of this BH 209 at Cabela's now I read it's problematic?  Just my luck....  I have too used Pyrodex pretty well trouble free, but was looking for something that was a little easier to clean up and less corrosive...

LM

Meh, I wouldn't sweat it. 

I had an open jug that sat for about a year that I used up earlier this fall.  Every load went bang.  I don't mean to dismiss mechanic's problem but it's the first of it's like that I've heard of.  I think you'll be pretty happy with BH209.  I know I am.

 

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