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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: Smokeless in a Big Bore, what do you prefer? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Smokeless in a Big Bore, what do you prefer?  (Read 5574 times)
Ol Gabe
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« on: December 27, 2005, 05:46:00 pm »


OK, no rotten Tomatoes, please!
After all, it is Winter and we tend to think of reloading a lot, soooo...
With the advent of Smokeless Powder in the waning years of the 1800's, there were no doubt a few Old Timers that tried it in certain Big Bore Rifles. Anyone ever read about them or know of a source? Hope to get a good discussion going on this as I'm sure there are some 'recipes' out there somewhere. I know that some of the English Shooters of that era used Smokeless in those whopping big Elephant Guns towards the turn of the century, perhaps that is all the usage there was, but I tend to think it crossed the Pond as well and was used here sparingly but effectively.
I'm also interested in anyones experiences with Smokeless in various modern Big Bores such as the Pedersoli Sharps, Rollers, Kodiaks, Double Rifles, etc., and which powder and bullet combo did a better job. Give us details, please, for I think there might be some interest in an '1899 Vintage Firearms' type of event with full-size Big Game targets, as in Elephant, Tiger, Cape Buffalo, etc., with the Shooter dressed in period-correct costumes, complete with Gunbearers and all!
Best regards and good thinking!
'Ol Gabe
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Hell-Er High Water
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2005, 08:07:19 pm »

Since you asked about "Smokless in a Big Bore", I'll not limit my answer to just single shots but include repeating rifle results as well.

1.  My original, smokeless proofed, 45-70, M'86 Winchester does it's best with a 385 grain lead, gas checked bullet cast from Lyman No. 2 alloy, 36.5 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder in Winchester cases with a Winchester WLR large rifle primer.  This load in this rifle will shoot 3", 100 yard, 5 shot groups, from a rest with iron sights.  The barrel on this rifle has some minor pitting and is a bit rough in places.

2.  My Large Frame Colt Lightning, rebarelled to 45-70, does it's best with a 385 grain lead gas checked bullet cast from Lyman No. 2 alloy, 30.5 grains of IMR 4198 powder in Remington Nickel Plated cases with a Winchester WLR large rifle primer.  This load in this rifle will shoot 2-1/4", 100 yard, 5 shot groups from a rest with iron sights.

3.  My 40-70 Sharps Straight, built on an original Remington Rolling Block action, does it's best with a 410 grain plain based lead bullet cast from 20:1 alloy, 23.5 grains of Accurate XMP 5744 powder, in cases formed from Norma 9.3 x 74R brass with a Winchester WLR large rifle primer.  This load in this rifle will shoot 2", 100 yard, 5 shot groups from a rest with iron sights.

As you can see, individual guns are individuals and it takes a bit of experimenting to see what works best for your particular firearm.  There are a good variety of powders, primers, cases and bullets out there and after a lot of testing these are what worked best for me in these rifles.

I don't shoot smokeless powder in my 45-70, single shot match rifle so I can't comment on it.  It is strictly used with Black Powder.

I hope this gives some guidance as to where to start experimenting.

HHW
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Horace Patootie
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 09:21:45 pm »

I have a Pedersoli rolling block in 50-140 that I have really just got started playing with. I am starting with a beginning load of 40 grains of AA5744 and Federal 215 primers. Needed a long bullet to get up close to the rifling. Montana Precision bullets weigh in at 720 grains.  Recoil is not as bad as some have described, and after about 15 rounds, no bruising.  I will, however, have to work on a higher level of concentration when shooting this thing.  The facial tic went away after a few days. Shocked

regards,
Horace
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Comanche Valley Vigilantes
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 09:54:49 pm »

Not to throw a wet soaking blanket on the flames of enthusiasim but ........

Read the article by Dan Phariss on rung chambers in the Winter 2004 Edition of "The Black Powder Cartridge News"
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Horace Patootie
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 11:45:14 pm »

I for one, have read it and I take the BPCR News.  The article has merit, depending on powders used.  AA5744, for instance, is described as particularly useful in the large case cartridges.  In fact, AA5744 is reputed in print to be the only smokeless powder to have considerable testing in this application.  My discussion by email with a ballistician persuant to my query to Accurate Arms, also lists one or two other powders for this application.  This highlights the necessity for reloaders to do a lot of investigation on their own, to obtain information concerning the powders and applications they are considering. In the next day or two, I will look up my information and re-post here.  I also emailed Mr. Phariss to elicit some other specific information and opinion from him. An article worth reading is here:

    http://www.bpcr.net/index-a.htm       then select Technical Information, then Black Powder reloading guide by Dick Trenk.  Also here:

    http://www.accuratepowder.com/data/5744.htm

Pedersoli rifles are stated to be proofed at least 30% above their stated pressure limit, which is stated at 29,007 psi/cup.  Mr. Trenk is a Pedersoli rep in the U.S. and has numerous articles on the www.bpcr.net site.

Another factor discussed in relation to ringed chambers using smokeless powder is the use of fillers.  It seems that, increasingly, the use of fillers is warned against, in conjunction with smokeless powder.  It seems that the thought is they act as a barrel obstruction would in some cases. I have also heard of some using smokeless in antique rifles not intended for smokeless.  I have a Remington 1879 Argentine r/b which I use only BP or a substitite in. The #5 Remington rolling block action is said to be the only original Remington rolling block action for use with smokeless powder.  In an article by Dick Trenk in 2003, he discusses smokeless powder loads for the 45-120.  He states "Only one modern smokeless powder has been tested in full depth and detail for use in all the current 45-120 cartridges.  This is Accurate Arms Co. number 5744 powder."  Starting load with a 405 grain lead bullet is listed at 42.3 grains.  For the 50-140 using a 550 grain bullet, starting load is 40 grains. In a communication with a ballistician with Western/Accurate concerning the 50-140, a guideline is given using a 600 grain Barnes solid bullet with AA5744. Starting load is 50 grains of this powder with a maximum load of 56 grains. I have started with a 720 grain lead bullet and 40 grains of 5744.  In this communication, another powder listed as perhaps more appropriate for optimum performance is AA4350. Bullets from 600 to 750 grains are listed with various loads. Even these guidelines from ballisticians, load data etc. do not relieve us from the responsibility to do a lot of research and to use all available caution.  Mr. Trenk states in his article that you must see load and pressure data in print or not use it.  Having said all of that, I am certainly no expert on this subject as many are, and I intend to watch for any signs of excessive pressure.  I also intend to stay at minimum loadings if it will suffice.

regards,
Horace



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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2007, 11:13:39 am »

I realize this is a month old topic but I am making up for lost time.
For smokeless loads in my Pedersoli i have been shooting a 405 grain Gas check bullet over 50 grains of Hodgdon H-335.
This gives 2000 FPS at 29000 CUP's and is as close to a 458 mag as I care to shoot out of my sharps.
I have also tried 63 grains of H-335 behinnd a 305 grain bullet but for reasons known only to the ballistic gods I can olnly get about 1790 FPS out of that load.
Still a smoker though.
 Coming face to face with a Grizzly on my porch last year convinced me to load a little hotter than normal for hiking around my woods
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Four-Eyed Buck
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 12:06:59 pm »

Have only two large bores in our gener, a 38-55 and a 45-70. Both are using XMP-5744. In 38-55, I use a 265 MPS RNFP with 18.5g of XMP, a CCI BR-2 primer, in Win cases. In 45-70, I'm using a 405 three groove RNFP with 25.4g of XMP, a CCI BR-2 primer, with either Win. or Rem. cases....................Buck Cool Wink
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I might be slow, but I'm mostly accurate.....
Kayleen
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2007, 08:06:19 pm »

Gabe,
 I can't believe my eyes!!! SMOKLESS?HuhHuh Just doesn't have the same smell and what about the smoke? Pictures won't be as cool either, no smoke.
 I think if we work real hard we can recruit a few black powder guys together for a support group down at convention.
 Joking aside, I used smokless when I first started shooting buffalo, but not for competition. Just to use up the ammo and practice. I personally felt that I was more accurate but what does one know about the stuff when I was just starting out.
Kayleen
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Ol Gabe
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 11:24:53 am »

Pards & Pardettes,
Thanks for all the comments and the offer of starting a 'support group' as Kayleen suggests, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!!! Actually, I was asking for a fellow Shooter that doesn't frequent the forums and since I first posted this question in Dec. of '05, he has been counciled by many fine Shooters in-person and he has now developed a workable load.
Again, many thanks and hope to see you all at the Convention or on the Firing Line this summer!
'Ol Gabe
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Bristow Kid
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007, 07:12:52 pm »

Gabe as you know I started with smokeless this year when I bought your Rollng Block.  Yes it was more accurate but it just aint the same as the BP loads that I made in the fall.  In time I will find a load to feed that Roller so I'll see ya on the firing line this year in Ackley.

Bristow Kid
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Harve Curry
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2007, 08:39:27 pm »

You asked about loading smokeless so I'll do my best to answer that:
I have good luck using Hercules 2400 powder with a tuft of poly fiber fill to keep the powder in place in the 56-50 Spencer and 45-70. I load for black powder velocities and accuracy. Works for me going on 15 years now.
( I'm Not responsible for others reloading efforts.)
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ggeilman
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 09:16:11 pm »

I am still at the lookin' stage when it comes to CAS so my big bore is a Marlin 1895CB 45/70. All I do is smokeless at this point.
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