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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: Powders for 56-50? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Powders for 56-50?  (Read 761 times)
PJ Hardtack
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« on: January 11, 2019, 01:41:26 pm »


I'm getting closer to having a Spencer carbine ..... my dealer has tracked one down for me. Two actually, one direct from Chiappa and one "Taylor Tuned" at considerably more money.

I have on hand 5744, Trail Boss and Varget as well as Red Dot, Unique and 700X, which may not be suitable.

Oh, and of course BP - Goex FFg and Swiss 1-1/2. I have a Rapine 350 gr mould.

Thoughts, recommendations -  Huh
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mgmradio
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 02:58:11 pm »

I shoot 8.7- 9gr of Unique in my Spencer's. That keeps them between 950-1050 fps. I have shot a 1000+ rounds and no signs of overpresure or any other danger signs.
 
 As with any smokeless load in a black powder arm, use at your own risk. Weapon should be checked by a knowledgeable gunsmith and in excellent condition.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 03:34:27 pm »

I'll bear that in mind. I do want a load that I can hunt deer and bear with, so that will likely be BP.

Trump's gov't shut down will delay delivery of my carbine as the agents who approve export permits are booking off sick.

Can't say that I blame them. I can wait ..... Roll Eyes
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 03:36:14 pm »

I use 8.0 grains of Unique with my 350 grain Accurate Molds bullet. That gives me 950 ft per second muzzle velocity from my Armi Sport carbine.

As noted previously, all of the standard cautions apply.

CC Griff
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 01:07:32 pm »


First, a tiny little CAVEAT:  I don't own a Spencer.  I have never own'd a Spencer.  I have never shot a Spencer.  I have no desire own, shoot, nor load for a Spencer.  In fact, I have never, in person, held nor fondled a 56-50 cartridge.  SO:

Obviously, I have absolutely no pearls of wisdom to add to this thread.  Nothing.  Nada.  So ... if all desire to ignore it, I Shant feel at all slighted.  Nor offended.  HOWEVER:

The 56-50 and the Spencer were designed and developed way back inna wabac (Sherman and the Professor here) when Chinese powder was king (Black Powder) and they were intended for Chinese Powder.  Ergo, my load recommendation would be just enough of your favorite Chinese powder to provide about 1/16th inch compression.  Or a similar amount of either APP or Black MZ to just kiss the base of your favorite loaded projectile.  Those suggestions will do really nasty things to whatever it is you shoot your Knew Two Ewe Carbine at.
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Cannonman1
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 06:21:27 am »

Harder to overload a Spencer case with Black Powder or Black Powder Substitute. It saves you from that awkward moment trying to explain to your friend why you have a hammer imbedded in your head.. Saying that, I understand the desire to shoot smokeless to avoid the cleanup but isn't that part of the fun of the gun? If I don't have a little black powder under my fingernails I feel naked. Bottom line is BE SAFE!!
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 09:48:04 am »

I'm not advocating anything reckless here, but the Spencer is NOT a weak design, especially by 19th century standards, and the Starline brass is stout stuff.  Just sayin' ...
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 12:07:05 pm »

Perhaps not by 19th century standards, but ......

Metallurgy has improved, but the laws of physics haven't changed.

Star Line brass is pretty stiff and I find I must anneal my 45-70 brass moreso than Winchester or Remington. I've been present when a a balloon head Dominion .45 Colt case came apart in the chamber of a Ped Lightning. The shooter got a face full of gas and he was not wearing safety glasses.

Old designs need extra caution. If prudence requires that I shoot only BP, so be it.
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Trailrider
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 11:41:08 am »

I use 8.0 grains of Unique with my 350 grain Accurate Molds bullet. That gives me 950 ft per second muzzle velocity from my Armi Sport carbine.

As noted previously, all of the standard cautions apply.

CC Griff
You will note the similarity of this load to a fairly "standard" smokeless load for .45LC.  The Relative Sectional Density of a 350 gr. .515" dia. bullet is approx. .188= (350/7000)x.515x.515 .  This compares to a .45LC 270 gr. bullet's RSD.  The available case capacity with the bullet seated is similar, depending on the make of brass.  I have not actually done the calculations for .56-50, but did for my original .56-56 Spencer, using cut down DGW .50-70 brass.  My bullets were somewhat heavier, in the 385 - 410gr range, but my loads came out similar to .45LC.  NOT a recommendation, just sayin'...
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Jack Wagon
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 04:18:45 pm »

 Another + for Alliant Black MZ. I have four antique Spencers and shoot Black Mz in them. Just bought 4 more lbs. today at the local Sportsman's Warehouse at 9.99 per pound. It works, it's cheap, needs no goopy BP lube and cleans up with just plain water. Rinse your cases in water just after shooting and they will not stain like they do with BP. If you have a hard time getting real BP, give Black MZ a try. JW


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Jack Wagon
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2019, 10:24:27 am »

Jack, what bullet are you using and what velocities is Black MZ giving you?
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 05:52:57 pm »

I have a 2004 issue of "Shoot!" magazine that reviews the 56-50 Spencer (Tyalor's/ArmiSport) and the Cimarron '59 Sharps 45-70 conversion.

Ammo used to test the Spencer was Ten-X, a smokeless 350 gr load at 1230 fps and a 350 gr BP load at 840 fps.

I wonder what smokeless  powder they used to achieve that velocity?
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Jack Wagon
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2019, 08:59:01 pm »

Bill, I'm using a Rapine 520375 for the 1865 56-50 carbine and new model rifle. For the factory56-46 sporting rifle I'm using the Accurate 47265S and a custom Accurate mold for a gunsmith converted sporting rifle. I don't own a chronograph, so velocities are not know. Felt recoil and point of aim are the same as with Schuetzen 3F BP and APP. Things I like about MZ, I can buy it off the shelf for $10, it's way cleaner that black  and doesn't have the dust of APP that makes your powder throw sticky. Plus no BP lube or wads recommended.  JW
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Jack Wagon
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 11:03:20 am »

Jack, I'll have to try some. My only experience with subs is Pyrodex and Triple 7.
PJ, Brian Pearce wrote an article on loads for the Taylor's Spencer in 2007, but it is on Loaddata.com, which I have not subscribed to. I'd like to have a 1200 fps load as well.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2019, 12:10:54 pm »

PJ, Brian Pearce wrote an article on loads for the Taylor's Spencer in 2007, but it is on Loaddata.com, which I have not subscribed to. I'd like to have a 1200 fps load as well.

Thanks! I'll see if I can find it on the net.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2019, 12:29:49 pm »

https://loaddata.com/Article/LoadDevelopment/Handloads-for-the-56-50-Spencer-Centerfire/74

Of course you have to be a subscriber to read the full article.  I am not.

CC Griff
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2019, 12:37:33 pm »

Yeah, I found the same thing .....

Don't know if i want to invest $34.95 USD to subscribe. SOMEBODY has to be a subscriber who can tell us the data .....  Wink
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matt45
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2019, 03:07:40 pm »

11 grains of Universal Clays with the 300 gr. bullet gave best accuracy.  Pressure was kept between 14,000 and 16,000. Velocity listed was 1204 f.p.s.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2019, 03:15:25 pm »

Interesting. Are you able to mention what other powders he tested? Since I've been using Unique for a few years, I'm curious if he tried it and what results he might have found.

That Clays load certainly has higher velocity than I would have expected.

CC Griff
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2019, 04:30:59 pm »

Hmmm. My bullets from the Lodgewood mold weigh about 352 grains. ...
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El Supremo
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2019, 04:43:24 pm »

Hello:

Just to clarify, please:

There is no parameter shown for the ... 12,000 to 14,000... figure.

Is that CUP's for copper units, LUP's for lead units, both in a crusher rig or piezo units
These are not interchangable. 

Respectfully,
El Supremo/Kevin Tinny
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2019, 04:47:43 pm »

Good point, Kevin. Here's a quote from the public portion of the article:

"It is suggested to keep pressures within 14,000 to 16,000 psi, with 18,000 psi being considered maximum."

It sounds like he's using PSI.  He does point out that determining pressure levels is tough for the average handloader.

CC Griff
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2019, 04:59:45 pm »

11 grains of Universal Clays with the 300 gr. bullet gave best accuracy.  Pressure was kept between 14,000 and 16,000. Velocity listed was 1204 f.p.s.

Matt45 - If this data is from Pearce's article, thanks! But like griff askes - what other powders did he test?

I just finished casting up a batch of Rapine 350 RNFP's. Haven't miked any yet, but if memory serves, they should be .515 out of the mould. I size these down to .510 for use in my Shiloh 50-70 SRC. Sounds like a lot of reduction, but my 50-70s love them. Hopefully they'll work in my Spencer, whenever it arrives.

I'm holding off buying dies and brass as the last Italian guns I bought (Cimarron .44 Spl. Open Tops) were so bad, they went right back in the boxes to the dealer.
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I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
matt45
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2019, 02:04:39 pm »

AAC 5744; starting @ 19 grs., ending @ 24.  Solo 1250, starting 8, ending at 11 (listed as accurate.  Unique; starting @ 8, ending @ 11 (so you know, I have not had good results w/ unique and this cartridge).  Trail Boss; starting 5.5, ending 8, listed as accurate.  These are in addition to the Universal Clays load.  I have had good luck w/ 21.2 Grs of H4227- 1.5" @ 50 yds.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2019, 04:13:37 pm »

Thanks, Matt. I appreciate it.

CC Griff
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