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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  1860 Henry (Moderators: Flint, Major 2)  |  Topic: Chasing the 300 Meter Pig 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Chasing the 300 Meter Pig  (Read 959 times)
Yeso Bill
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« on: December 05, 2017, 10:19:14 pm »


When w44wcf posted his My Black Powder Journey here in early 2015……that got my attention.  I was impressed.  I have an 1860 Uberti Henry in 44-40 with a Marbles peep tang sight on it and after reading John’s “article” I emailed him and he replied with some really good advice.  I ordered an Accurate 215c mold and a good supply of Swiss II gunpowder.  After several months of blasting away at paper targets and silhouettes from 25 to 200 yards, I finally decided that the sights I was using just weren’t up to the job and it was time to ship the calves so the rifle went back up on the wall.  Like most projects that get interrupted, there it stayed.  I was left with a nagging feeling that the Uberti wouldn’t shoot alongside his Marlin due to the small bolt and lock up.  

Late last spring I purchased a Uberti 66 sporting rifle in 44-40 and not liking to leave a project unfinished, I ordered a set of sights from Lee Shaver, installed them on the 66 and went to work determining what was the best load.    

The wind blew ALL summer.  I started at 25 yards shooting off the porch (to stay out of the wind) with the wood pile as a back stop.  Then 50 yards and then 75 and then 100 until I finally decided that it was just too windy to shoot at 100 so back to 50.  There I stayed at 50 and 75 until the wind (sort of) laid in the middle of August.

I said, “It is now or never”, bought steel for the 300 meter pigs and went to nailing up 8 ½” paper plates for a target at 300 meters.

The wind went back to blowing, so not to be whipped, I decided I needed a heavier bullet and ordered Accurate Molds’ 43 – 230E and the 43-245C.  These with a 1:30 alloy will throw 238 & 251 gr. bullets.  Of course I found in shooting them that my velocity was lower so I ordered Swiss III and Olde Enysford III.  

In my rifle, (which has a 1:24 twist), for some reason (and so far), the 230 E bullet is more accurate.  I have hopes of getting the heavier bullet in play.  

90% of all of my shooting has been done over a chronograph.  In kicking out the few loads that shot over a 10 SD, Swiss’s SDs  averaged a 6.87 while O.E. averaged 9.3.  However, the Swiss II and III shot pig sized groups  (like 9” x 10” or so)  and I haven’t managed to get five of them on a pig.  Although, it seems to be no problem to knock a steel pig over with the fouling shot.   Undecided

Olde Eynsford showed more promise, shooting as low as 2.5” – 6” verticals so late yesterday I had a slight 3 mph breeze and the sun at my back and shot the two groups in the picture with 36.5 gr. of O.E.  The velocity of # A was 1251.7 fps. with an SD of 11.7 which tells me that is a little too much powder.
     It was too late in the day for the chronograph to capture "B" but it was the same load.  I just turned the rear sight down a notch.  

I was earlier shooting an older lot of O.E. in which 36 gr. was shooting about 1285 – 1290 fps. but ran out.   Embarrassed    

In any case, I found out that wax paper over the primer (inside the case) lowered my SDs and Walters .030 vegetable wads dramatically tightened up groups.

I am relatively a new comer to BP cartridge and when I started I had read about how clean Swiss shot and I also read of people stating how many shots they had made on a target without cleaning the barrel.   If you are one of those, count yourself very fortunate.  Our average daily afternoon humidity here is around 15 and I noticed my 50 yard strings after 5 shots going south.  I have an aversion to running a wet patch down the barrel (might as well be shooting a muzzle loader) and I’ve read that many don’t think blow tubing makes a difference but it certainly did in my case.   So, after I finally saw the light, every shot was followed by 5 good puffs down the barrel.   Maybe that isn’t enough but I'd just as soon not compete with the wind.  

Here is my recipe:

Uberti 66 44-40 with 24” barrel and 1:24 twist.  My bore measures .4305”.  
Lee Shaver’s best Soule rear sight with Winchester mount and his 17A front sight with level.
Stock springs, lightened trigger.  (I shimmed the spring)    

Starline weighed cases with primer pockets uniformed.  Only neck sized with Lyman 310 tool die in a Dillon 550.
Inside neck sized to .429 (NOE)  
Federal LMPM primer
Wax paper in case over primer
36 – 36+ gr. of O.E. III tube dropped 34”
Walters .030 veg. wad
Compressed with BACO powder die
Bullet seated with Redding Competition Die – No crimp.  The die will take out the bell.

43-230 E Accurate Mold.
Bullets in 1:20 will weigh 235 – 236 gr and 1:30 run from 236.8 – 238.2 gr. I have shot several hundred in 1:25 and hardness didn’t seem to matter.  1:20 would leave a few minute lead slivers on the patch.  1:30 weighs a little more.
Sized .430 - .431  Again, sizing didn’t seem to matter
Lubricated with SPG

The fouling shots land within reason within 100 yards but after that, they are off to parts unknown.   Cheesy

And yes, these were shot off of my bench.

Billy


 


* Pig at Wirelake 3.jpg (391.69 KB, 1225x980 - viewed 61 times.)
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 10:40:52 pm »

That is an excellent report.  Thanks for taking the time to type out your test results so that we can all benefit.

CC Griff
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dusty texian
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 01:06:52 am »

Thank you for your report  very clear you enjoy your adventure also. Good Shooting ! ,,,DT
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 12:12:10 pm »

Very impressive process and even more impressive results!

I'm happy to hit the 24" 200m gong off hand at our range with my 44-40 Henry using my standard load: 6 grs Red Dot and 200 gr hard cast RNFP.
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 01:10:55 pm »

Thanks guys.  I appreciate the compliments.  This has been a lot of fun and has been quite a learning experience for me.  

We all know that the 44-40 isn't a long range silhouette gun but I think this proves (anyway to me) that the Uberti 66 is probably as accurate as any tube fed lever action that was designed to shoot pre 1900 ammo.

I'll add that of all of the hundreds of shots I've made at the pig, not one bullet has gone through a target sideways.  So, is it still stable out there at 385 meters where the buzzards live?    

I would like to put a set of good sights on the Henry and see if it will outshoot the 66.  It should.  But I'm not sure I have the ability to shoot it any better than the 66.  We'll see.....   Smiley

PJ:  I have never been a very good off hand shooter but I am fixing to remedy that.  I just purchased a Uberti 66 rifle in 22 cal. and a winters supply of ammo.  I am going to shoot that off my porch all winter long and next spring I am going to hunt the 200 meter chickies with the 44-40.

Billy
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 03:36:50 pm »

The only other position I use more than off hand for rifle shooting is prone, which I do with my Sharps rifles, Garand, AR 15s, Tavor, etc. Got into the habit of shooting off hand from my ML rifle days and prone is a carry over from my Army days.

This fall I took 11 grouse with my '92 44-40 SRC, all head shots. The first few I took while sitting, but when I realized what an accurate gun the '92 was, I started taking them off hand.

My wife finally said - "Enough with the grouse already! No more!", so I quit shooting them.
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matt45
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 06:21:35 pm »

Makes Theodore Upson's shot (s?) all that more impressive at Bentonville.  I've found that fouling will be reduced somewhat (no cure) if the flash hole is bored out. 
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 07:21:59 pm »

Matt, what size did you go to?  I drilled the cases I'm using to (I believe) .081 just to make them even.

I haven't read Upson's book.  Is that where his shots are recorded?

Billy 
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matt45
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 04:51:54 pm »

I use a #41 drill bit (0.096)- a 3/32's will do.  The info in J.S & Pat Wolf's book (mostly dealing w/ the trapdoor) works for me, regardless of what B.P. I'm loading.  I'll caution you, however- I'm not an expert.

And yes, the Upson book has the story re: a fantastic shot @ Bentonville.  Good luck on finding a copy.
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 06:08:16 pm »

Good luck indeed.   Smiley  I'm another Civil War nut and currently Amazon is listing several seller's of the book and I just ordered one in "good" condition.  Which means, "readable but better baby it".

Are you shooting these .096"s in a Henry?

I understand that the more the flash hole is drilled, the more pressure is put on the bolt. ?  To say my powder is compressed "a good bit" would be a gross understatement.  The wind laid yesterday and I shot two more groups but the second group wasn't very good (abt. 7 x 7) and even though I ran a wet patch down the barrel after the 1st group, I felt that the gun fouled out.  I have plenty of cases so I'll do some experimenting.

The only problem is, shooting season is just about over here.   Cry 

Billy
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 10:32:28 am »

i started w drilling on the 45-70 w/ an 1884 trapdoor, went to all the B.P. rounds I shoot- 45-70, 45-60, 56-50 (starline) and 45 L.C.  In all cases, the change in accuracy and fouling was quite noticeable.  As far as increasing pressure on the bolt, I am not an expert.
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 11:41:48 am »

Great report!
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 11:58:27 am »

  I have a '90's-made 1866 Sporting Rifle in 44-40 and love it. After I found a load running a cast 220 gr. RNFP around 1300 fps, which wasn't at all difficult, I set about "regulating" the sights. I had to work the front sight down a little to get POA to equal POI at 100 yds. with the sight folded down. Flipped up and at its lowest setting, I had to remove a little from the top of the rear sight to get it on at 200 yds. Considering the crude sights and my AARP eligible eyes, I didn't think the accuracy was too bad:

 

 I moved out to 300 yds. I don't have a bench for my 300 yd. range so these targets were shot with the forend supported and the rear unsupported. I found the rear sight had to be moved a little over the "3" or 300 yd. setting. to put the bullets on at 300.

 

 The BP load actually shot better, but a 90° wind got up and began blowing the bullets to the right.

 

  Some friends and I shot the rifle with the BP load at a torso sized rock across a dry river bed with the BP load. The rock was lasered at 326 yds. and was really fairly easy to hit when the wind speed was low, BUT a variable crosswind blew the bullets all over hells half acre. These stubby little bullets don't do well in much wind at all.

  CHT
 
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 03:04:30 pm »

I think that is good shooting Cholla.  Your 1300 fps. load is BP?  If not, I want the recipe.  

Last year I read one of Brian Litz's "long range books" and he stated that the minimum standard deviation needed to shoot "long range" was a 10.  Makes sense to me.  IMO, anything past 150 yards is long range for a 44-40.   Grin

Setting a ceiling at 1320 fps., I went to testing powders and the over all winners were Tightgroup (very accurate but has a ceiling of 1100+ fps.) and Accurate 5744.  (good numbers but shot 2" groups at 25 yards  Sad  )

My old standby, Unique did poorly and I fail to see how others shoot 2400 without blowing up their guns.   Grin

I felt that most of the powders I tested would have shot A Lot Better if I could have increased the charge.  Black Powder was the hands down winner.   So...the Marlin and 92 owners probably have an advantage over us but we are shooting "cooler" guns.   Smiley



I'm shooting across a playa lake.  The elevation here is right at 5000 ft. and 90% of the time the wind is over 10 mph.  On the other side of the target is a long limestone ridge that always has air flowing off of it toward the target.  In the center of the lake (200 meter chickies) the wind is 90 degrees, either N. or S. and that flag is always waving, whether the one at the bench is or not.  If the wind is from the North I'll nail the target on the very left side of the 4 x 8 sheet.  A couple of weeks ago I completely misjudged the wind and I never put a hole in the board.   Huh

So, I'm not completely convinced that the 250 gr. bullet is any better than the 220 gr. one.

Billy

Why can't I insert the picture like you did?
See my fancy chronograph stand?  The 1st target is 50 yards so the picture is a shade big. 





* The Wirelake NM Shooting Range 2.jpg (377.71 KB, 1000x1333 - viewed 43 times.)
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 09:35:15 am »

I think that is good shooting Cholla.  Your 1300 fps. load is BP?  If not, I want the recipe.  

Last year I read one of Brian Litz's "long range books" and he stated that the minimum standard deviation needed to shoot "long range" was a 10.  Makes sense to me.  IMO, anything past 150 yards is long range for a 44-40.   Grin

Setting a ceiling at 1320 fps., I went to testing powders and the over all winners were Tightgroup (very accurate but has a ceiling of 1100+ fps.) and Accurate 5744.  (good numbers but shot 2" groups at 25 yards  Sad  )

My old standby, Unique did poorly and I fail to see how others shoot 2400 without blowing up their guns.   Grin

I felt that most of the powders I tested would have shot A Lot Better if I could have increased the charge.  Black Powder was the hands down winner.   So...the Marlin and 92 owners probably have an advantage over us but we are shooting "cooler" guns.   Smiley



I'm shooting across a playa lake.  The elevation here is right at 5000 ft. and 90% of the time the wind is over 10 mph.  On the other side of the target is a long limestone ridge that always has air flowing off of it toward the target.  In the center of the lake (200 meter chickies) the wind is 90 degrees, either N. or S. and that flag is always waving, whether the one at the bench is or not.  If the wind is from the North I'll nail the target on the very left side of the 4 x 8 sheet.  A couple of weeks ago I completely misjudged the wind and I never put a hole in the board.   Huh

So, I'm not completely convinced that the 250 gr. bullet is any better than the 220 gr. one.

Billy

Why can't I insert the picture like you did?
See my fancy chronograph stand?  The 1st target is 50 yards so the picture is a shade big. 



 Thank you.

 Regarding the loads, 2.2cc of Swiss 3Fg averaged 1331 (e.s.-43).  2.5cc of the same powder netted 1399 fps, (e.s.-30) but it was a chore getting all that powder compressed and I don't think the extra fps was worth the trouble. The Unique load was 9.5 and averaged 1317 fps (e.s.-50). This load is .5 to 1.0 gr. under max depending on whose data you choose, but I was plenty happy with the velocity so didn't go any higher. This is the bullet I'm casting:
 
 
 The mould is made by NOE. The only reason I didn't buy a mould designed by Mr. Kort (aka W44WCF) is the NOE moulds were in stock and helped feed my desire for immediate gratification.  Grin

  There for awhile I was shooting this 44-40 and my two old '73 Winchester 38-40's quite alot. I found Unique, Power Pistol and Herco to all work equally well in these two calibers. Funny thing is, some of the loads between the three powders actually give velocities that overlap. For example, in my 44-40 9.0 gr. of Herco netted 1279 fps and 9.5 gr. 1319 fps, very similar to Unique. 'Splain that one!

  Maybe I should, but I didn't worry much about s.d.'s or e.s.'s, because I figure between the aerodynamically challenged bullets, the crude sights and my 54 year old eyes, a little variation in velocities wasn't much too worry about.

 Another powder I tried, at the suggestion of Mr. Kort is Re-7. Relative to this cartridge, it's a slow burning powder and provided for some pretty high velocities. 23.0 gr. = 1254 fps, 23.5 = 1338 fps and 24.0 = 1404 fps. I didn't fire any groups.

  90% of my shooting is done at 200 yds. simply because I have a steel target there and prefer painting over bullet splatters to stapling up targets. My 200 yd. range runs roughly SW to NE and lies in a sort of draw. Our prevailing winds are S/SW so the wind rarely affects my shooting.

  My pictures were posted from Photobucket.

 Keep those reports coming. I enjoy reading them!

 CHT
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 08:59:33 pm »

Cholla,
     Thank you for the information.

I "figured" that since my goal was 300 meters, I had better go with a load that shot low SDs.  Depending on the time of day and position of the moon Grin, SDs for Unique were very inconsistent and ran from 6.4 to 24.4 with loads from 8 - 9 grains.  If I recall correctly, the worst SDs occurred on the day that I held the gun straight up and tapped on the barrel so that all the powder would be over the primer.   Sad  (Unique is my # 1 knock around powder) 
     8.5 gr. of Universal shot 17 - 25.6 SDs.  13.6 - 14.75 gr. of 2400 shot 35.5 - 55.3 SDs.  H 4227 shot 24.2 & 31.36.  Accurate 5744 shot 7 - 11 SDs but 2" groups at 25 yards and 4" at 50.  Lil Gun was a real disaster with SDs from 31 - 45 and extreme spreads in the low hundreds.  Reloder 7 was very accurate.  24 gr. ran 1284fps with an SD of 20.3 and ES of 49.6.   24.5 gr. pushed the average up to 1347 fps. with an 18.9 SD and still a 49 fps ES.  This was with 1.592” COL.
 
Like I said in the 1st post, I feel like that if one was shooting a 92 or a Marlin, most of the above powders would work a lot better.
 
My best load for my 45 Colt Rossi 92 is 17.5 Gr. of Lil Gun under a fairly hard cast 315 gr. gas checked FN.  It consistently shoots low SDs and will literally shoot plumb through a bull.  I wasn’t surprised that Lil Gun wouldn’t work in the 44-40 but was disappointed because I have lots of that powder.   Smiley
 
With the BP loads consistently under a 10 and finally admitting that the toggle actioned Uberti / Winchesters are Black Powder guns , I gave up working on the smokeless loads.

But,…I do have Herco and will try it.
 
The main bullet I have been shooting is Accurate’s 43-230E and the 43-245 C.  They are John’s 43-215C that have the bases extended.  By who, I don’t know.
 
“Keep those reports coming. I enjoy reading them!” 

I will.  If I can ever figure out where dead center is @ 300 meters, I am going to write it down and move back to the chickies at 200.  As it is, the wind blows this way and I click over and then it blows the other way harder and I click back.  I keep saying….”any day now”….and just keep burning gun powder.

Billy
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wildman1
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 09:17:29 pm »

Good luck indeed.   Smiley  I'm another Civil War nut and currently Amazon is listing several seller's of the book and I just ordered one in "good" condition.  Which means, "readable but better baby it".

Are you shooting these .096"s in a Henry?

I understand that the more the flash hole is drilled, the more pressure is put on the bolt. ?  To say my powder is compressed "a good bit" would be a gross understatement.  The wind laid yesterday and I shot two more groups but the second group wasn't very good (abt. 7 x 7) and even though I ran a wet patch down the barrel after the 1st group, I felt that the gun fouled out.  I have plenty of cases so I'll do some experimenting.

The only problem is, shooting season is just about over here.   Cry 

Billy
I reached a point with Swiss powder in 44/40 that I actually lost velocity with added compression. Not so with OE.
wM1
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 09:18:29 pm »

  Your wide velocity variations are interesting. I never tip the rifle or anything like that, just shoot.  

 I may have to invest in a tang sight for mine. The difference in my shooting between open and aperture sights is significant.  

Your thread inspired me to take my Sporting Rifle to the deer stand with me this evening. As luck would have it, a little scrub buck I've been planning to shoot, as soon as the weather cooled down, ambled out a mere 50 yds. distance. WHACK and he literally dropped in his tracks. He'll hang until next weekend then be butchered. YUM!!

 CHT
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 10:53:40 pm »

It is said that Unique is position sensitive.  I believe it.

I've worn glasses for 50 some odd years and my eyes aren't getting any better either.  I first tried the Marbles Tang sights on both the Henry and the 66 and found them both lacking.  The "Marbles Improved" I put on the 66 and it had .030" horizonal play in it.  At the time I was shooting 50, 75 and 100 yards and would simply put thumb pressure on it to hold it over to the left but I knew I had to do better than that to do 300 meters so I looked around on the Internet and traded with Lee Shaver.  I highly recommend his sights.

Congratulations on the hunt.  Let me know when your cooking and I'll fire up the old T Model and come over.   Cheesy

Billy
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 11:01:23 pm »

It is said that Unique is position sensitive.  I believe it.

I've worn glasses for 50 some odd years and my eyes aren't getting any better either.  I first tried the Marbles Tang sights on both the Henry and the 66 and found them both lacking.  The "Marbles Improved" I put on the 66 and it had .030" horizonal play in it.  At the time I was shooting 50, 75 and 100 yards and would simply put thumb pressure on it to hold it over to the left but I knew I had to do better than that to do 300 meters so I looked around on the Internet and traded with Lee Shaver.  I highly recommend his sights.

Congratulations on the hunt.  Let me know when your cooking and I'll fire up the old T Model and come over.   Cheesy

Billy

  We had venison stew week before last and the wife cooked a pot of venison chili tonight, most of which is already gone! So you might want to find a faster car!

 CHT
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Yeso Bill
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2017, 12:04:17 am »

I reached a point with Swiss powder in 44/40 that I actually lost velocity with added compression. Not so with OE.
wM1

Howdy Wildman,
     Now that I find interesting.  I am a brand new "new comer" to Olde Eynsford having always shot Swiss.  I was bound and determined to make Swiss work and so shot 3 Swiss loads to 1 OE.  Finally, I had enough O.E. data that I couldn't ignore the fact that it was handily beating Swiss in the group department while being just right behind Swiss in the SD dept.  So, I was just about out of OE and ordered more.  Smiley

Here are a couple of questions. 
The 1st lot of O.E.......I was shooting 36 gr. that was averaging 1284 fps. after the fouler. 
The 2nd lot of OE has averaged 1254 fps after the fouler.  (same load) 

So, that is 30 fps. difference between lots.  Is that normal?

Luckily, I was able to find ten pounds of the 1st lot the other day. 

But, the really good groups in the picture were shot with the second lot.

So....Is this a peek into the "true black powder world", always chasing an elusive lot number?   Cry

Billy   
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2017, 06:44:20 am »

I too use a chrony.
Having said that I will say it is to get me in a ballpark where I want my velocity.
Something I don't understand is some of my best groups were NOT the closest in SD.
OE has a softer fouling residue than Swiss, here in the desert that is important.
I have one rifle that doesn't shoot as well with OE as it does with Swiss.
When I start with a new batch of BP I will do a couple of loads and get my average where I want my velocity to be.
OE is lighter comparing volume to volume than Swiss, it is also a little hotter.
If I remember correctly max compression for Swiss is about 1/8", OE  about 1/4" seems to work the best.
wM1
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