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Smith & Wesson Schoofield Model of 2000

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Dave T:
After thinking about it for 20 years or so I ran across one of these for sale and jumped.

Guy who sold it said they were too well made (too tight) to shoot black powder. I had ran across someone over the years who said he successfully shot black in his so so I thought I would risk it and bought the gun. Came with the fancy wood case and all the fooferall that goes with it. It appeared to be in good shape and probably had been handled more than shot.

I started accumulating reloading stuff and when it was all together (Star-Line brass, Big Lube bullets, Olde Eynsford powder, and primers) along with an old set of 45 Colt dies with the seat/crimp die shortened appropriately, I started loading ammo.

The original S&W load was 28g of black powder behind a 230g bullet. Big-Lube doesn't make a 230g so I made do with 200g BL bullets from Mark Whyte. Got 50 rounds put together and headed to the range. Disaster was the word that came to mind. I could not get through a cylinder of 5 rounds. By the 3rd or 4th round the cylinder would no longer turn at all. even after I opened the gun.

Turns out the cylinder bushing on the original, which turned away fouling from the cylinder pin, was left off by S&W's Custom Shop. I'm sure they decided nobody would be shooting these things with that filthy old stuff anyway. Goons.

So there I am. Stuck with a rather expensive gun that won't shoot the ammunition it was designed around. I gritted my teeth, went through a bought of COVID, and decided there had to be a way around this problem. Then setting in my shop, looking at the bottom of the book case that holds smokeless powder I noticed a full can of Black MZ in the corner. I had shot up most of the first can and dumped what little remained into the new can I bought just before it went off the market. It doesn't create fouling like real black so I thought what the heck.

I loaded up some rounds with the volume equivalent of Black MZ to 28g of black powder. Topped them again with the Big Lube 200g as I still don't have any 230g cast bullets. Too bloody hot at the range but I wanted to see if this change in powder would work. For the first 5 rounds the gun functioned just fine. That was already ahead of my trial with black powder a few months ago. Loaded another 5 rounds and these were fired with no problems from fouling. Third cylinder and on the 13th or 14th round the cylinder drag was bad. The 15th round would not cycle into place without using my left hand to turn it. Squirted the cylinder bushing area down with Ballistal and spun it a few times. Finished the 25 rounds I had loaded with only slight cylinder drag after the Ballistal treatment.

The 200g bullets hit 6-8 inches low at 20 yards. I'm hoping the heavier and more appropriate 230g bullets will bring that up to a reasonable proximity of the point of aim. With Black MZ at lest I have a load that functions in the S&W Schofield Model of 2000 and gives off a nice cloud of smoke, even if it doesn't smell right.


St. George:
They actually do shoot the round they were designed for - these were designed for smokeless, and S&W used Black Hills ammunition when they fired them.

Try Trail Boss - that works well.

Scouts Out!

Dave T:
I quote myself:

"Turns out the cylinder bushing on the original, which turned away fouling from the cylinder pin, was left off by S&W's Custom Shop. I'm sure they decided nobody would be shooting these things with that filthy old stuff anyway. Goons."

I try not to shoot smokeless in guns of the black powder era, even reproductions. Black MZ isn't real black powder but it at least has much more of the feel and sound of black than any smokeless. If I'm reduced to only shooting smokeless I'll sell the bloody thing!


Triple 7 has worked well in my Uberti Schofields.  I also like to use the short .45 CS.  I like this bullet  http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=45-230S  over a no more than lightly compressed charge of 3f 777 delivers .45 S&W ballistics.  2f would probably work well in the S&W case.

Dave T:
Thanks Drydock. I'll keep T7 in mind. Supposedly APP is the parent powder for Black MZ so I was going to look for that (hard to find out here in the desert) when my pound of B-MZ runs out. If I haven't located a source of the APP I'll try H-777.




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