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Thanks to several of you on this forum, I am seriously considering a blackpowder or BP substitute load for this year's deer season in PA. I have posted about blackpowder vs stainless steel revolvers (single action area). I'd hate to permanently stain my pretty new Blackhawk Hunter revolver and considering picking up a used carbon steel Blackhawk in 45Colt for the BP loads. What is everyone's opinion on minimum barrel length? 5-1/2"? 7-1/2"? The areas I hunt will provide about a 60-75 yard maximum shot. I figured this will be more than capable for a revolver with a 250-255 gr SWC on top of a BP load. Do I need the additional evlocity of a 7-1/2" barrel or will 5-1/2" give me enough penetration energy out to 75 yards?

Thanks
 

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jakes10mm - hmmmm, those are good questions. Do you have experience with BP? Did you get any feedback from the Single Action Forum about loads, bullets, lube with BP, fouling, etc when you use BP or substitutes in a smokeless cartridge firearm???

Down in the forum on The World of Blackpowder Shooting there is a thread on BP loadings for the 44 mag where they talk about lubes, wads and the like, and I don't know if that would help or be of interest to you.

From what I have read lately, a good BP load should be able to do the job at the ranges you indicated but I wonder how much power your loads would have. Articles on the use of the Pyrodex pre-formed pellets indicate that the 30 grain pellets give excellent consistency and accuracy out to 25 yds but it didn't sound like they had a whole bunch of whoppin' big power or eye catching velocities.

You will be shooting a Blackhawk which should have all the strength you need for a hefty BP load. The original loading for the 45 Colt was 40 gns of BP in the old balloon head cases - I don't know if you could stuff 40 gns into a modern case, maybe 38 grains and I don't know what ballistics that load would provide with, let's say a 250-255 gn bullet - hopefully close to 900'/sec, but from a longer barrel - 7.5" - I believe. I would think that you would need the extra barrel and velocity to get that bullet out there to do enough damage to take the animal at that range.

I believe one original capabilities of the 45 Colt cartridge for the Cavalry (7.5" bbl) was the requirement that 'it faults a horse at 100 (?) yds', meaning that it would cause the horse to stumble and fall when hit by that original BP load at that distance. Even if it was only 50 yds, a horse is so much bigger than a whitetail that I think you should be able to do what you want with a BP load and whitetail at the ranges you mentioned. HTH. Mikey.
 

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Thank You

The Pyrodex pellets were there and I was just testing the whole BP/Sub concept. I would either go with "real" BP or a granular sub for my hunting loads. Since the initial post, I picked up some 777 FFg powder and loaded a few test rounds to the factory load manual. I have not had the opportunity to fire them yet. I went with 777 based on its "15% hotter" claim. That remains to be proven for me. I also have some Goex FFFg, but haven't loaded and cartridges with it as I have not worked up a lube wad/patch for real BP.

I will post my results when I get the opportunity to hit the range. Sadly, I also have a new 308 rifle that has sat in the safe a couple weeks now without a round fired.
 

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jakes10mm: hey, the 308 can sit in the safe (lol) until you whop something with bp.

Down in one of the black powder forums I am certain you will find all the information you need to get yourself some decent loads from that 44, but in the interim I know the pyrodex shoots cleaner and more consistently unless you meter your charges well. The pellets were well written up though. Possibly some of the folk on one of those BP sites can give you some pertinent info on what charges to use or how to charge those cases rpoperly for the best results. HTH and good luck. Mikey.
 
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