BP Shots per pound

  • Last Post 30 October 2016
onondaga posted this 27 October 2016

The first time I bought Black Powder I was a small boy in 1957 and wanted to know how many shots from 1 pound my 45 Cal flint squirrel rifle would shoot. I remember the gun shop salesman telling me, “You should get 100 Deer loads or 200 squirrel loads because you use less powder for squirrels.”

The powder was 2F and I had a small wooden mortar and pestle for making fine primer powder. Yea, I had a good Elmer and wish he had lived longer.

Modern conclusion: I currently use a 70 gr round ball charge in 45 Cal muzzle loader rifles. That is 100 shots per pound. Beginners in muzzle-loading are often conflicted and asking questions about what the real old charge recommendation was. Today there is all kinds of recommended loads for muzzle loaders in manuals and from powder and bullet makers.

I did use a powder measure as a boy. It was a 45 Colt pistol empty fired cartridge case. That was the only charge I fired and I honestly couldn't couldn't tell you what the weight of that measured load was, but it sure shot well. I didn't start actually weighing charges of BP until I was 16 and had a scale and a Big Game license.


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R. Dupraz posted this 27 October 2016

All the talk of weights of charges of Black Powder is irrelevant because real black is measured by volume not Weight.

Don't know about the fake stuff.

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Dirtybore posted this 30 October 2016

My wife and I have 3, 45 cal rifles. The wife's is a Thompson Center, Hawken rifle with a 1 in 48 twists. It performs best with 55 to 65 gr of 3Fg GOEX black powder behind a .440 round ball.

I have two 45 cal flint long rifles with Getz barrels with 1 in 72 twit grooves. One of them performs best with 70 gr of 3Fg black and 440 round balls wrapped in 0.015” patches.

The second, performs best with 70 gr of 2Fg GOEX black powder and the 440 RB wrapped in a 0.015” patch.

All of my muzzleloaders get saliva for patch lube except that second flint long rifle. For some reason, that rifle only operates with the green solvent by the name of Three Rivers Unlimited. I have to soak the patches in that before using the4m to wrap the balls for a match. When that stuff isn't being used or when 3Fg was used, it would clog the breech so bad that I couldn't push a vent pick into the breech. It was like hitting a brick wall inside.

If you have a 45 caol traditional muzzleloader, try .440 or .445 balls, and start with 45 gr of either 3Fg or 2Fg black powder. Most books suggest 3/fg for calibers smaller than 50 and 2Fg for 50 or larger. That is only a thumb rule and isn't carved is stone and handed to us by a burning bush.

I hope you like shooting and trial by error because that is what muzzleloading is all about. You will just have to try different loads, ball sizes, and patch thicknesses to discover what your RIFLE really likes.

Keep us posted.

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Notlwonk posted this 30 October 2016

There are 7000 grains per pound, so divide 7000 by your charge weight and that gives you shots per pound. 7000/70=100

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