primers and pockets

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Ross Smith posted this 11 May 2018

Ok. I just got done reading about primer pocket size and wether to use mag primers in BP cartridges, in my case, 32-40 and 45-70. In my 45-70 I seem to get "even" ignition. In my 32-40 with 30 gr. of fffg I notice the ignition seems different. I'm breach seating the bullet and putting a wad in the case mouth. Accuracy seems ok, no fliers, but the report and kick seem to vary. The 30 gr. charge does not fill up the case. Should I be putting a wad down on the powder? Use foam that is long enough to hold the powder back? Don't worry about it? 30 gr. fffg is more accurate than 40. How about magnum primers, would they even out ignition?

 

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BigMan54 posted this 11 May 2018

Back in my BP COWBOY SHOOTING days, I loaded .44-40 with a dry felt wad on top of 25grs(volume) of 3F then a Lubed Wad with Bullets seated hard and crimped well. I got erratic ignition until one of the more Experienced BP Cartridge shooters advised me to switch to MAGNUM PRIMERS.

Made the same switch to .45-70 & .38-55 BP loads. Made a BIG DIFFERENCE.  

YOU HAVE TO COMPRESS BLACK POWDER FOR CONSISTENT EFFICIENT IGNITION AND A CLEANER BURN.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Dale53 posted this 11 May 2018

I shot Black Powder Cartridge Silhouette for fifteen years. When I got a new lot of black powder, I would go to the range with a complete reloading outfit. I would start with a case full and no compression. Then, I would load, increasing the load by two grains at a time (40/65 and 45/70) until my accuracy load appeared. Typically, as compression increased, the groups would tighten, then would start to open back up. When the "sweet spot" appeared, I would fine tune by one grain at a time. I used a compression die for consistent compression. Swiss black powder was my favored for best consistency and best accuracy. I have shot groups at 500 yards (ten shots) that were under eight inches with most shots in six inches in "conditions" off a bench.

I also competed successfully with black powder cartridge revolver side matches. Those I loaded by simply compressing the powder 1/16" when seating the bullet. Again, Swiss was my favored powder.

In both cases, I used modified Emmert's lube (my formula was 50% pure natural beeswax, 40% Crisco, and 10% Anhydrous Lanolin).

FWIW

Dale53

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Ross Smith posted this 11 May 2018

 Thanks both, but with breach seating there is no way to compress the powder, but I will give the magnum primers a try

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fa38 posted this 11 May 2018


When I shot black powder I sometimes got erratic ignition. Someone told me to put a newspaper or thin paper wad over the flash hole and then load the powder.  This cured the erratic ignition. 


Another way is to put the paper wad into your primer tool over the primer and then prime the case.  The primer pocket cuts the paper. The wad used in this way will not move when you add powder to the case.

 

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Old Coot posted this 11 May 2018

Ross said:  Thanks both, but with breach seating there is no way to compress the powder, but I will give the magnum primers a try

Ross, You could seat a tight fitting wad  over the powder to keep it compressed while loading

B.E.Brickey

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Ross Smith posted this 12 May 2018

Old coot: Would a 1/2" long wad be problematic? I'm planing on doing that but with floral foam.

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BigMan54 posted this 13 May 2018

Is the floral foam completely consumed ? I've heard it can sometimes leave a nasty film in your bore. 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Old Coot posted this 13 May 2018


Ross,  I don't know if the foam is consumed completely.  When I wrote the post I was thinking about a case full of powder.  I don't know if a 1/2" of foam would fill the space sufficiently to prevent the BP from detonating (as in a partial case fill with a lot of air space can cause pressure problems).  Maybe someone here who shoots a lot of Black Powder cartridge can give you a better answer than I can.

As to the floral foam:  Onondaga uses a building insulation product to fill his 4570 cases when he uses light charges of fast powders, and claims complete immolation of the filler without problems.  I know a number of people use the foam with good results.

B.E.Brickey

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Ross Smith posted this 13 May 2018

All: Once again lots of info. I use the wet foam but normally with modern powders. Just to keep the powder in the case while breach seating bullets. I shake the powder to the base of the case after inserting the cartridge case and that cures the erratic ignition. But with BP that didn't work, hence my question about mag primers which do work in my 45-70. The idea of air space with BP has always been considered taboo, but I've read a couple articles now that dispute that, at least modest space in cartridges. I think I will try the mag primers and enough foam to hold the BP back against the base of the case.

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rfd123 posted this 4 weeks ago

i've never owned a bpcr with a smaller cartridge than a .40-65 and thus have never had an urge to breech seat.  but it seems like fun and has had a target history of excellent accuracy, at least for short range.  and all ya need is one brass case.   

there have been far too many reported instances where air in a bp cartridge case will, if not sooner than later, ring the chamber at the least.  i'll err on the side of caution and at the least use light compression.

as with most gun stuff, the primers to use for bpcr cartridges, and the process for their installation, will be what the gun and load likes best.  yep, more careful testing and more bp offered up in sacrifice. 

 

http://www.BuffaloRifles.org

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Tom Acheson posted this 4 weeks ago

In my .40-70 2 1/2 I started out with Fed. Mag. Match. Then had some success with FC 150 lg. pistol primers. But have now settled on CCI BR-2. 

When using the FC-150's I punched in wax paper, newsprint or coffee filter into the primer pocket while seating the primer, before drop tubing and compressing the black powder. At least one 0.060" thick wad, veggie or poly, is always used. Having read that the use of pistol primers in some situations caused erosion of the breech block, I switched to the CCI primers. The thickness of the large pistol primer is slightly less than a large rifle primer, so the "punched-in" material helps bring the face of the pistol primer out a bit.  The powder (in my experience) must be compressed to get decent accuracy.

Tom

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Ross Smith posted this 4 weeks ago

OK Tom, when breach seating bullets, how do I compress the powder?

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Tom Acheson posted this 4 weeks ago

Ross,

 

I don't know how this would work in your situation, but....

I use a drop tube to transfer the powder (either weighed or from a powder measure) into the case. (A drop tube seems to be something that is used only by people loading black powder.) Then I insert the veggie or poly wad into the case and use a compression die to compress the powder by using the loading press to push the wad down onto the top of the powder and then continuing until the ram of the press is at the end of its downward travel. When you remove the case from the shell holder, you can turn it upside down, etc. and the powder stays put. The base of the bullet comes to rest on the top of the wad. Then a very light crimp is applied to keep the bullet in the case. Once crimped the bullet can be rotated but not pulled out of the case.

Seem like it would work for what you are doing. We have a Regional match this weekend and one of our shooters does the breach seating thing. He is using the flower pot green foam stuff to keep the powder in place as he handles the charged case, moving it to the rifles chamber after inserting the bullet. I'll ask him if the foam is forced into the case and rests on top of the powder column.

Tom

 

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R. Dupraz posted this 4 weeks ago

I have breach seated with black and smokeless in a HW 32-40, a CPA 32-55 and a sort of in a 45x2.4 Shiloh Sharps in which the construction of the loaded case is similar when using bore size paper patch bullets.

First, when loading BP, I never use less that a compressed full case of black, including the appropriate wads. Never a loose charge. With smokeless, I do.

Breach seating with black.

Fill the case with BP, dropped through a 20'' tube.  

Compress the charge with a compression die that I made According to what I want

Then fill the resulting case space with loose BP and press a 3/32" paper gasket wad on top so that it is level with the mouth of the case. No crimp. The cases are mouth sized so the wad is friction tight. I punch those wads out of paper gasket material that is used when overhauling engines. Can buy it by the sheet at any auto parts store. A poly wad in the Shiloh. 

Then when loading, use a breach seater to seat the bullet so that the base is about 1/16" ahead of the mouth of the loaded case

With smokeless, Pretty much the same except I use whatever charge I want to try, not being concerned about airspace and then press a 1/4'' green floral foam wad in the mouth of the case to prevent the charge from spilling out.

In the Shiloh 45x2.4 with paper patch and black, the loaded case prep is almost the same except that I add a grease wad to the wad column. And about 1/4'' of the bullet is then thumb seated in the case after it is patched to bore size.

 

This target was prone over cross sticks. ten shots at 185 yds. with the Sharps 45x2.4 and a 540 grain PP bore size bullet ahead of a full case of compressed Goex  BP using the method described above. Vernier aperture sights.

 

 

R.   

 

 

 

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frnkeore posted this 4 weeks ago

In cases (no pun intended) like yours, many people use a wad column. Much like you do with old shot gun loadings, to fill the space between the bullet and powder. That column, just adds to the projectile weight, when used like that. I don't think that I would use floral foam because I'm not sure how well it would keep it's compression, unless, lightly compressed.

If the rules allow it, I would top the wad column off with a 1/16, LDPE wad. They made a huge difference in removing fliers, when I first started using them in the 80's, with breech seated, BP. The top wad or LDPE, needs to be large enough, to hold at the case mouth. Mine were .005 larger that the mouth, for 32 cal.

BS your bullet, to start with, with 1/2 the base band, left unengraved, to minimize the air gap, if your worried about that but, I shot mine with only .030, unengraved.

Also, I used Rem 2 1/2 primers, w/o a primer wad. That hadn't been invented, in the 80's but, it could be worth a try now. The 2 1/2's were more accurate than my go to, Fed 150's, that I used with smokeless.

My lube was even amounts of BW, Paraffin, Crisco and Vaseline.

My match winning, 200 yard targets, are pictured.

Frank

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R. Dupraz posted this 4 weeks ago

I only use the floral foam when breach seating with smokeless. It's sole purpose is to keep the powder from spilling out of the case and then is totally consumed upon fireing. It  has proven to work for my purposes in the 38-55 and 32-40. I don't shoot smokeless in the 45x2.4 Sharps. And write from actual experiences with the above.

 

Floral foam

This is the green stuff that is used in flower arranging and when burned, the residue is just a very fine ash. Unlike other types that will leave a gooey mess in the bore. 

To check, just touch a match to a small piece, if there is nothing left but fine ash, it's the "right stuff".

 

R.  

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Ross Smith posted this 3 weeks ago

Thanks all. I'm going to try the compression route Like RD suggested. I've already had success with foam and modern powder, or not even foam. I just like shooting BP, and I wasn't getting the accuracy that many have.

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R. Dupraz posted this 3 weeks ago

Good luck.

Would be interested to know  how you get on with that 32-40 and the  holy black. Might have to find the fixins and try mine again. 

 

R. 

 

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