I posted this to another thread, this is how it is done in Fast Draw for popping balloons at 18-20 feet should work for CMS
The Ammunition - There are two types of ammunition used in Fast Draw: blanks and wax bullets. The blanks are generally a mixture of black powders and pistol powders. Often (especially in competitions) the blanks will have a layer at the bottom of the shell that is made up of a combination of 4F black powder and bullseye smokeless powder. This is the kicker. The rest of the shell is often filled with a combination of grainier powders that will break the balloon. Usually this is 1F black powder and a grainy pistol powder like 4831.
What type of blanks are used in Fast Draw?
For practise I generally use a very easy to load blank. This consists of filling the .45 Long Colt shell all the way to the top with 1F black powder (very grainy). I then push a half inch circular stationary sticker just far enough into the shell so that the edges curl up and stick to the shell (you can find these at almost any stationary store). Many shooters use thin cardboard or styrofoam as the wad and keep it in place with a thin layer of nail polish. You don't want to fill the shell so that it's overflowing because you will then crush the powder when you push in the wad. That would turn your 1F powder into finer grains that wouldn't be as effective at breaking the balloon. Conversely, you want to fill up the shell as much as possible to get as much powder as you can. That way you'll have more powder flying out to break the balloon.
For competition I want a load that has slightly more kick to it, and possibly better pattern. I put about a quarter or a third of an inch of a mixture of 4F black powder and Bullseye powder in the bottom of the shell as a kicker. I tend to use slightly more Bullseye than 4F. I then fill the rest of the shell with a 50/50 mixture of 1F and 4831. The 4831 is a very grainy, slow burning powder that will not burn up before getting to the balloon. I then place the wad sticker on top. Every shooter has their own competition load recipe. This just happens to be the one I use.
By the way, most shooters in the sport use standard primers in blank loads, but most people drill out the flash hole in the shell case primer pocket. This tends to reduce the occurrences of primer back-out (which often happens with a blank), and helps speed up the ignition of the powder. You want to make sure that you don't drill out the flash hole enough that the anvil in the primer (the three pointed metal star inside the primer) can go through the hole. I've found that a 1/8 drill bit does a good job.
Hud, I guess I should clear things up here. Seem to be some misconceptions. Use what ever you want at home. At a competetion you will be supplied blanks as part of your entry fee. They allow only 45 colt. Again, if not competing use whatever you want. You will be given 100% BP blanks. Nothing else is allowed as it is a spectator sport with no requirements for the spectators. At some point the guns will be aimed at someone outside the arenea. BP is good to break balloons out to maybe 25' and the targets are set far enough inside the arena so no one will get splattered. If you want to simulate what you will given at a match, drill the hole as mentioned or buy blank brass, use BP and crimp the ends.
I'm not really planning on doing any CAS competition. I just wants some loads to train new horses and mules to gunfire. In the past I always use birdshot loads, but they are kind of spendy. I have made some shot loads using gas checks, but would rather just use a blank load.
Getting the horses used to the ballons popping just make them that much steadier.
I don't want to sound like a weenie, but I really don't want to shoot any blackpowder through my guns. I'm thinking that just some Bullseye and corn meal would do it. What do you guys think?
No, you need BP for blanks. I think you'll just get a sound similar to gas passing if you use smokeless with no projectile. I've heard that anyway. If using them for training, don't do the crimping of the cases. You can't use the cases over then. I hear styrofoam from egg cartons seal up the end well. You might try the mounted wire over at the sass site and ask the mounted shooters. I see a lot of blank questions (I only have blank stares) asked over there from time to time.
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