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I'm seriously considering picking up either a 44-40 or a 45-70 in the next 6 months or so.
Because of recent(and I might add draconian) restrictions implemented at our range by state government authorities we're limited to rimfire, rifles chambered to pistol cartridges and blackpowder rifles on the premise that the lower velocity will limit the possibilities for ricochet.
After enjoyed many years of high-powered rifle shooting there all the members of our club are very unhappy.
What the authorities haven't twigged to is that BP is purely a propellant and opens up all sorts of avenues including loads for .303 Brit and 8x57 Mauser(as both were invented prior to smokeless powder). :wink:
Anyhow, I'd be using said rifle for target shooting as well as hunting and wonder how much trouble is involved in changing between BP loads and smokeless loads on a reasonably regular basis.
I realise there are new solvents for cleaning barrels after shooting BP.
Are these also suitable for cleaning out the copper fouling left by jacketted bullets?
Are there other precautions to be taken as well? :|
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

hi kombi from west oz.i shoot black powder in my 45/70 if you want to shoot black powder in the .303 and 8by 57 i would youse cast bullets with gas checks,as your velocity will be quite low compared to smokeless powder.i have shot a 303 with black powder and cast bullets it was very accurate,when you youse black you must fill the case until you have to compress the powder to seat your bullet properly. you would have to experiment till you hit the right combo.
bernie :)
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

Welp, first of all black powder isn't a propellant, it's an explosive. When it is ignited it all goes off all at once. It's by no means a controlled burning rate, solid propellant such as smokeless powders are. Smokeless and black are completely different beasts.

As far as changing between black and smokeless loads you shouldn't have any problems at all if you clean the barrel between the change. Problems with accuracy may, and I emphasize may, crop up when changing between cast bullets and jacketed bullets unless you clean the bore very good when changing from cast to jacketed bullets. In fact a good way to clean your bore after shooting black is to fire 3-4 rounds of smokeless. Cleans it up slick as a whistle.

I'm not aware of any cleaning solvent that cleans both black powder fouling and copper fouling. They're vastly different animals. Fouling from black is easily cleaned with only hot soapy water or one of a thousand different home and commercial recipes. Most smokeless powder cleaning solutions have some percentage of ammonia to attack the copper fouling left in the bore. Obviously ammonia is totally unnecessary for black powder fouling.

Other safety precautions......well, common sense says don't smoke while shooting black, if you smoke. Evidently you've been shooting quite a while and I'd say use the same common sense safety precautions you've always used and you'll be fine.

Vic
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

LEt me get this straight...they think that low velocity solid bullets are LESS likely to bounce? or are they thinking they won't bounce as far?
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

ribbonstone said:
LEt me get this straight...they think that low velocity solid bullets are LESS likely to bounce? or are they thinking they won't bounce as far?
I think it's the latter rather than the former.
Let's face it, if it doesn't travel as fast in the first place it isn't likely to bounce as far.
I'm willing to admit that heavier bullets have more momentum but that I would think creates more penetration than bounce.
Plus most if not all black powder uses cast bullets which are more likely to deform than copper.....I think.
It's certainly softer.
The real stupidity, however, begins when you start to look at the pistol cartridges allowed.
Who's to stop people using premium jacketed hunting bullets in their lever guns?
Things will certainly change then.
Further, and I may be wrong here, the original .303 load packed a 215gn bullet and it was a FMJ....
Consider the bounce possibilities for that.
Anyway there you go.
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

Thinking about it...but not seeing their logic. Varmint hunters depend on bullet blow up to keepm them from dribbling bullets all over the landscape...high velcity tends to just shread the bullet on hard contact. IF they were truely concerned about this, they'd promote light-fast-fragile bullets.

The big lead black powder bullets are pretty good bouncers...handgun or rifle.

Understand the intent of the law...pistol caliber rifles...and in a way they will help: will get more bullets bouncing, but they wont go as far.
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

dodd3 said:
hi kombi from west oz.i shoot black powder in my 45/70 if you want to shoot black powder in the .303 and 8by 57 i would youse cast bullets with gas checks,as your velocity will be quite low compared to smokeless powder.i have shot a 303 with black powder and cast bullets it was very accurate,when you youse black you must fill the case until you have to compress the powder to seat your bullet properly. you would have to experiment till you hit the right combo.
bernie :)
Bernie, which brand of BP are you using.....Triple 7? Pyrodex? Other stuff?
And what sort of case life can you expect from cases used for BP?
Longer or shorter than those used with smokeless loads?
Do you use normal primers?
What about projectiles?
Can you use jacketed or is this a bad move?
I'm going to be completely honest......I've had no experience loading BP at all so I'm starting from scratch.
The only thing I did know was that BP has to be tightly compressed.
It can't shake around in the case like alot of smokeless loads.
Any other hints would be great.
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

hey kombi i youse wot ever i ca get hold of, as fore case life shot one set of 20 15 time so far only hade to trim cases once
bernie :)
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

dodd3 said:
hey kombi i youse wot ever i ca get hold of, as fore case life shot one set of 20 15 time so far only hade to trim cases once
bernie :)
Sounds great.
So can I use jacketed projectiles?
Oh, also do I just use standard Large Rifle primers?
What sort of luck have you had using BP for hunting or do you only use smokeless for hunting?
 

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Switching between black & smokeless pow

i always try to use black for hunting ,and yes you can use jacketed projectiles
and std primers.just remember to give the powder no space between the bullet.
bernie :)
 
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