Author Topic: Drop Tube  (Read 918 times)

Offline Niederlander

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Drop Tube
« on: August 14, 2023, 07:10:40 AM »
Gentlemen, For those of you who use a drop tube, how long of one do you use?  I'm fixing to build one 36" long.  Is that overkill?
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Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2023, 08:29:06 AM »

In my opinion the tube should reach almost to the breach with just enough room left for your charge. The idea is to keep any powder grains from touching the rifling on the way down. This keeps the grains from being crushed and the fall helps them to settle together. The settling makes for the charge occupying a smaller area and a more even burn of the powder.
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Offline Drydock

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2023, 08:45:03 AM »
Most guys I talk to use 24". That's also the length of the one Shiloh sells. Mine is 24" FWIW.
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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #3 on: Today at 04:22:49 PM »

Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2023, 09:04:44 AM »
Mine too is 24".   

Offline ira scott

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2023, 03:10:39 PM »
The drop tube that came with my Lyman B.P. measure is 24" also, I believe Lyman has some credentials when it comes to loading Black.

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Offline Niederlander

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2023, 07:26:56 AM »
Sounds good!  Think I'll probably go with 24'.
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Online Hair Trigger Jim

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2023, 08:19:22 AM »

In my opinion the tube should reach almost to the breach with just enough room left for your charge. The idea is to keep any powder grains from touching the rifling on the way down. This keeps the grains from being crushed and the fall helps them to settle together. The settling makes for the charge occupying a smaller area and a more even burn of the powder.
Lucky  ;D


Are we talking about a drop tube for loading metallic cartridges, or is this for loading a muzzleloading rifle?  I've never seen a drop tube for a front-stuffer, although if precision is paramount, it may be a good idea for the reasons mentioned here.  Whether it would be practical in the field is another question.

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2023, 06:59:29 PM »
The one I usually use is about 27" long (it used to be an aluminum arrow shaft). 

When I was trying to maximize the amount of powder I could get into a 45 Colt case, I experimented some with a 36" tube.  It didn't seem to give much improvement in compacting the powder grains, and velocities were no more consistent. 
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Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2023, 08:43:26 AM »
Are we talking about a drop tube for loading metallic cartridges, or is this for loading a muzzleloading rifle?  I've never seen a drop tube for a front-stuffer, although if precision is paramount, it may be a good idea for the reasons mentioned here.  Whether it would be practical in the field is another question.

I was talking about use for long range muzzleloading rifles as I have used in international competition with the U.S.I.M.L.T. I have also used them with cartridges used in long range competition with a Browning Creedmoor rifle chambered in 45-90. Powder grains poured slowly through a drop tube will settle them, allowing more powder in the case than just dumping it in with a charger. I got too old and fat to compete, but I still know how to do it. If you haven't done it, don't knock it.
Lucky  ;D
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Online Hair Trigger Jim

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Re: Drop Tube
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2023, 10:03:45 AM »
I certainly didn't mean to knock it;  :)I'd just never heard of it.  My dad never carried a drop tube when muzzleloader hunting, so I haven't either.  Nor have I ever used one for target shooting, but then I've never been to a muzzleloader competition.  For precision shooting, it seems like it would have all the advantages of a drop tube for cartridges, with the additional benefits you mentioned about keeping the powder off the rifling.  As they say, you learn something old every day!

 

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