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I run a Longrifle forum and one of our members is Bill Knight (AKA Mad Monk). Bill has posted much information on substitute black powders and you may be interested in what he has say about using it in lieu of real black powder. I searched for a thread that gave good information by Bill and also some of our regular members. I AM NOT trying to convince anyone to use or not use a particular type of powder in our old Colts (and others) but just want to make you aware of concerns many have.

Here is the link, there are three pages of discussion and several in there by "Mad Monk" and as I mentioned he is the most knowledgeable person I know on the subject. No membership is needed to read the posts, only to reply.
Click here: Sub Powders & Corrosion

tdennis
 

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I don't want to have to go read 3 pages on an outside forum I'm not a member of. What, if anything, is the consensus, there, since you read it?
 

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Thanks for the link. Yes this comes up once in awhile. I gave up on 'real' black powder (in quotes because from what I have read todays hard fouling BP is a far cry from the softer fouling BP of the 1800s) a couple of decades ago due to terrible accuracy after a few shots. Have been shooting pyrodex or, now, 777 ever since. As long as I clean promptly I have had ZERO issues. Rebuilt an 1892 Winchester with a brand new barrel in 44-40 back in the late 80s. Pyrodex nonstop since maybe the mid 90s. Bore is still like a mirror after thousands of rounds. Same with all my old guns... a trapdoor bought in 1998, etc....zero issues. Just like BP, if you clean with water, then promptly oil, no issues. Delay it a day...issues. And I live in HUMID Ohio, where EVERYTHING rusts.
I looked over the link and will certainly read it in depth tomorrow...but when you see statements made by others like "We can all hope their bores dissolve rapidly" (second post in your link) it kind of makes me wonder about bias (besides that...why the venom from a fellow shooter???).
I have bias too and will admit it up front: I WANT to use BP! Unfortunately extensive accuracy testing (that would satisfy any statistician) of BP vs Pyrodex in probably over 30 guns in the last 30 years had made Pyrodex (or 777) the clear winner in my personal guns.
 

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I have been shooting BP for around thirty years. I have used a lot of the real stuff and a lot of Pyrodex and, like Dan says, if you clean and oil your guns after a day at the range you'll never have a problem. That's the way I was taught by my dad, I think some of these issues arise when you have guys who think BP guns are cool but don't want to take the time to do the cleaning they require so the guns wind up sitting for awhile before getting cleaned.
 

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The simple elegant solution to all the sad and sorry Black Powder woes, is this -

Melt some Bees Wax in a clean empty Tuna Can or low Cat Food Can or the likes, and have it in a Cake Pan or Skillet of Water so it is like a sort of 'double boiler' only open...small Frying Pan is fine.

Tear 1 inch wide strips of ordinary Paper Towels, and run them through the molten Bees Wax, like a "U" one holds both ends of.

Lay them out to cool and dry on some aluminum Foil.

Take a Gasket Hole Punch which will cut Discs out of the Wax impregnated Paper Towel strips, and use it over smooth end grain Pine or smooth end grain scrap 2x4 or whatever, always cut Discs over end grain wood, never long grain...use a Punch which will cut out discs which will be a little larger in diameter, than whatever Caliber one is going to be shooting....whether for Cap & Ball or Metallic Cartridge.

The Disc goes between the Black Powder, and whatever Ball or Bullet.

This simple method stops all fouling, ends all Revolver 'binding', hard fouling, mess, smudges, crud build up, smudges on face, etc.

It Lubes the Bullet or Ball's passage down the Barrel, and later on, all one finds if one finds anything at all, is a few traces of super thin whispy light grey film, which one can wipe off with a Thumb or Kleenex.

I fired over quite a few hundred rounds over a most of a year ( no cleaning during any of it ) using Goex, with my "as new" Blue Uberti "Walker" who's Cylinder to Forcing cone gap is about .003, looked just as clean and nice after all those rounds as it had before I had started, no fouling whatever, no 'binding'...no rust blooming either ( but this was Las Vegas, so a more humid clime, who knows?)

Hot Soapy Water Cleaning once the Day is Done for clean-up, and Oil / Lube the Revolver for storage or put-away, as usual.

Try it...

You'll see..!
 

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I have used old felt hats and beeswax to make wads before but never thought about using paper towels.
Black Powder Hand Gun or Rifle ( use two I'd guess for Rifle! ), the Bee's Wax impregnated Paper Towel 'Disc' is only about .020 odd thousandths thick...takes up no room, and vaporizes entirely, which it is meant do to, for the Bee's Wax Lube to work properly in both Lubing the Bullet-Bore and neutralizing fouling.

It's perfect..!
 

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Back in my NSSA (North South Skirmish Association) days we used a 50/50 combination of bees wax and Crisco to lubricate 58 cal minie balls. This stuff kept fowling soft, often while hundreds of rounds were rapidly fired during competitive events. No cleaning was done during those events as I recall, I know I never did it. At the end of the day most of us just poured hot water (often boiling hot) down the barrels, mopped the bore with hot water patches until they came out clean. Barrels dried out pretty quick after a few dry patches since they were pretty hot after being heated by boiling/near boiling water. Barrels, cones, and locks, was then oiled and the guns put away until the next shoot.

Minie balls have a lot of surfaces in addition to several groves to hold lubricant, but I wonder if dipping round ball or conical bullet in similar lubricant would work just as well.

Can't understand why modern black power should be any different from what was made 150 or more years ago. It's pretty simple stuff. Modern equivalents may be cleaner to use but they sure takes away from the good ole' fashion way these guns were designed to work.
 

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I've shot and been pretty involved in black powder since the 1970s. In the 1990s I shot BPCR matches. We ALL used real blackpowder, after finding out the substitutes offered sub-standard accuracy. I remember being at the Whittington Center before a National match, sitting in the competitor's housing pulling ALL my bullets and dumping the Pyrodex before the next day's match. I'd spent the day getting sight settings, and having what I thought was good accuracy in my Shiloh Sharps. My spotter said "what the heck are your loads, this is terrible?!" I told him Pyrodex and all up and down the line it was like someone yelled "bomb!" in an airport. I was given a can of Goex (you couldn't buy real black powder in my town then), and reloaded EVERY round that night with BP for the next day. Did pretty good too!

The ASSRA (American Single Shot Rifle Asso), all the BPCR guys, schuetzen, and many other serious accuracy hounds have proven again and again only real black powder will give the best accuracy in the average Sharps, Ballard, Hepburn, Stevens, or any long range target rifle. I'm talking minimum 200 yards, and 500 and 1000 yards here, not 25 yds pistol.

Both real and replica powders foul and corrode. You have to learn how to use them to reduce both. I'll always shoot black, would never mess with replica again.
 

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I've shot and been pretty involved in black powder since the 1970s. In the 1990s I shot BPCR matches. We ALL used real blackpowder, after finding out the substitutes offered sub-standard accuracy.......

The ASSRA (American Single Shot Rifle Asso), all the BPCR guys, schuetzen, and many other serious accuracy hounds have proven again and again only real black powder will give the best accuracy in the average Sharps, Ballard, Hepburn, Stevens, or any long range target rifle. I'm talking minimum 200 yards, and 500 and 1000 yards here, not 25 yds pistol.

Both real and replica powders foul and corrode. You have to learn how to use them to reduce both. I'll always shoot black, would never mess with replica again.
I hear this a lot from BPCR shooters, which is what my brother does, and he uses black powder too. I'm a diehard Pyrodex only user, but I would tell you I too would use only black powder if I shot competitively. But this is apples and oranges.
Drag racers use different gas than 'normal' drivers use.
When I shoot my antiques I want to SHOOT. I took the 1892 mentioned above to Wyomings red desert with 400 rounds of ammo, all Pyrodex. I didnt want to blow down the barrel after every shot, or run a moistened patch through after every shot, or clean every 5 or 10 shots like they do in BPCR competition. I picked out a rock on a canyon wall 400 yards out and fired away. A few years later I took out a trapdoor springfield and 200 rounds of Pyrodex loaded ammo. Same scenario...shoot as long as I could...I had a blast. I KNOW, after the testing I did, that after 8 or 9 rounds WITHOUT cleaning, through my trapdoor with black powder my groups opened up from about 2 1/2" at 100 yards to 12" or larger groups. With pyrodex after 3 dozen rounds I still had 2 1/2" to 3" groups. The trapdoor I actually did a lot of 1000 yard shooting out onto the desert floor...it was amazing how with a little practice, I was able to get decent hits. So Im not talking 25 yards either. There was no blowing or putting the bore to my mouth to blow into it or any of that stuff I just dont want to deal with. Again, if I was competing I would do ALL I COULD to win, including wiping and cleaning often. But i wasn't competing...I was out to have a lot of low key fun. So the "competitors dont use it" argument isnt really relevant for most of us shooting replica or historical arms .
Other guns taken out west were an 1876 replica in 45-75 (I'll never forget cleaning up on the chickens with that gun and Pyrodex loads, much to the chagrin of the 'black powder only' people at a range where I was invited to shoot at...admittedly I did terrible on the turkey and pig silhouettes ) , Also a real 1876 in 45-60, my Hawken 50 cal, and probably a few more I cant remember.
So..... different strokes for different folks! I can say the last dozen or so antique or replica 'black powder' guns I have bought I haven't even bothered testing them with black. So we are both happy azshot! You'll never use replica and I'll always shoot Pyrodex or 777, wont mess with 'real' black powder anymore unless I get into flintlocks. I still have several pounds of the stuff too.
 

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I guess all those mountain men going over the Cumberland gap in the 1790s, through the trappers in the Rockies in the 1830s, through the Western expansion in the 1870s were shooting Pyrodex then? The Civil war soldiers must have used Pyrodex too? It was just the target schuetzen shooters in the midwest in the 1880s that shot Black Powder? Because we all know you have to wipe and clean every shot in target BP competition (except no one did when I shot it).

I'd say Black Powder is for people that wanted to shoot. It's great that you have shot replica for all your adventures. But hundreds of thousands of Americans used real Black Powder with no problems for many generations.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it is my belief.
 

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Well, they didnt shoot 100 rounds at a time did they? I know the buffalo hunters did, and they used a blow tube every few rounds, at least that is what I read (I wasnt around then). I watched a Quigley match several years ago...lots of people sure were blow tubing. My brother who scored fairly high there one year, blow tubes all the time. Hey, if it works for you I am ALL FOR IT. It just doesnt work for me AT ALL. And the article linked by the OP, where the second person posting in that link HOPES my bore gets ruined kind of says a lot to me. I just dont get the venom. I certainly dont wish that on BP users.
Had a buddy really bummed out his lever action 38-55 didnt shoot bp well, keyholes after a few shots, gummed up action. He tried wiping the bore with moist patches but all that did was push gunk into the action, soot his hands and thus his stock...he threw in the towel but kept the gun because it was so cool (low digit 1894 Win). So one day he comes over and we take out my 1873 Winchester in 38WCF and we probably put 75-80 rounds through it rapidly at a 5" gong at 50 yards. He is having a blast! Misty day so the smoke hung low and we were just having fun. He asks why mine doesnt act up like his. I tell him I had the same issues until I switched to Pyrodex. His answer...are you ready....."I read online Pyrodex was junk". We got his out again and over the course of a few weeks loaded up some Pyrodex rounds. Success. THAT is the reasom I am so vocal FOR whatever works, and if it happens to be Pyrodex I just cant understand the hatred of it.
 

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I didn't read that other article, so don't know about any hatred. I used Pryodex in muzzle loaders the 1970s a few times, and found no advantages over real black powder, so quit using it. Until I tried it again in BPCR in the 1990s, as my story shows, it didn't work. I'd say in a lifetime of shooting "black powder", it's been 99% the real stuff. But I'm just one person. I've seen many more serious shooters that agree with me, than Pyrodex aficionados.

My other post above was basically saying that it seemed to work well in the 18th and 19th centuries too, for thousands of persons. Did they shoot 100 rounds at a time you ask? Um...at Gettysburg, probably. The guns we all shoot were designed for BP. The engineering was fomented for BP. The rounds were developed for BP. Then in relatively recent times someone wanted to reinvent the wheel, because some people thought cleaning a gun was too hard, or smoke was too distracting, or BP was too dangerous to sell in every gun shop. Pyrodex was invented.

What I find is there are usually disciples of any product or process. Tools, cleaning, gun manufacturers, holsters, music, food, - everything. Just as with this post, where the thread starter says, "I'm not trying to convince anyone....but you better read this...." (Prodex bad is what I sense). Then you say you want everyone to use whatever works for them, but "...extensive accuracy testing (that would satisfy any statistician) of BP vs Pyrodex in probably over 30 guns in the last 30 years had made Pyrodex (or 777) the clear winner..." (Pyrodex good). Well, those are just begging for debate. Everyone will weigh in "yes, it's great!" or "no, it's awful" as we have. Like the linked thread was said to go on for pages in the other forum. Now it's brought here to start it up anew.

But it can only be decided in experiments with load testing. Match results. Otherwise, it's all just anecdotal evidence. Just like my experience. We've weighed in enough, each person can learn themselves what the truth is. Or just choose one and decide it works well enough that they don't care.
 
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