Pyrodex duplex loads ?

This is the place to discuss your duplex and smokeless loads for your black powder guns. All SAFETY concerns must be addressed, and high pressure loads are NOT to be promoted here.
Mr Humble
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Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by Mr Humble » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Hi, I made the error (on another site) of asking about experience with Pyrodex duplex loads in a 1885 Browning 45-70.
Major flaming as PD ...... IS NOT BLACK POWDER !
I have tried 6gr of 2400 and 40 gr of PD with the Lee plain base 405 gr. This bullet shoots well in this rifle with 4198/cornmeal loads.
The 2400/PD loads shoots well at 50, 5 in 1.5" but falls apart at 100 in 4" groups. (400 gr Lymans do the same)
There is NO leading at all with any load, the bore is like a mirror and fouling after 20 wipes out with 2 patches.
It will also cloverleaf 400 gr jacketed Speers with max loads of 3031, so the problem appears to be in my load.
Suggestions appreciated. :D

white owl
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by white owl » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:06 pm

I don't have an answer for you, but can tell you about my Pyrodex duplex load.

I used a Browning 40/65 for buffalo gong matches. I mostly used black powder in it, but wanted a load for offhand that did not require blow-tubing. I first tried Pyrodex P, and RS, but I could never get them to shoot accurately enough. I decided to test a duplex load.

The load was 4 gr. RL-7 and 42 gr Pyrodex P with a 300 gr RCBS bullet in Starline brass. Pyrodex compresses very easily so I didn't need to use a compression die.

MV is 1480 fps and accuracy is excellent.

George Babits
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by George Babits » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:21 pm

The addition of a bit of smokless powder to a black powder load (duplex load) is just to reduce fouling. Pyrodex doesn't foul near as much as black powder so why do you think you need to make a duplex load using pyrodex?

By the way, I did some tests 20 years ago with pyrodex (Pyrodex Ctg) in a 40-70 BN Shiloh and found that while the pyrodex reduced the bore fouling it also was MORE corossive to the brass than a black powder load, and in some instances it "scorched" the bore. I quit using it and couldn't give the stuff away. Ended up taking it out and burning it. Ain't toutched the stuff since.

George
Salmon, Idaho

white owl
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by white owl » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:09 pm

That was exactly my thinking too, George. I can't remember what prompted me to try duplexing with Pyrodex - but when I did try it, it worked great.

George Babits
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by George Babits » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:51 pm

Well, if you are going to duplex with pyrodex, you might as well just switch to smokeless powder. In other words, why bother? Years ago I used some smokeless loads in an original 1874 Sharps with a new barrel. Came up with a great summer load. At 20 degrees (F), that load gave me a shotgun pattern. To work up a smokeless load when it was cold was really looking for problems if they got mixed up with warm weather loads. Black powder works pretty well at all reasonable temperatures and this was a hunting rifle. Needless to say, I have stayed with black powder and sometimes a duplex load. I value my forehead quite a bit. Bear in mind that, other than a couple of Shilohs, my black powder rifles are all original. In my mind rifles designed for black powder should be used with black powder. There are plenty of rifles available that are designed for smokeless powder. Some of them will beat you to death just like a heavy bullet in a 45-120. If you want the "image" but not the mess, try a Shiloh Sharps in 30-40 Krag or 38-55. Back in the mid-1980's I had a long discussion with Wolf Droege about building a Sharps in 30-40. I have the first, or second, one he built. Great rifle with smokeless powder and certainly maintains the "Sharps Image."

Just my thoughts for whatever they are worth.

George
Salmon, Idaho

white owl
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by white owl » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:44 am

Yep, George, that's exactly what I did!! For offhand I now use 5744 (if allowed in the competition) with my regular 400 gr bullet. I keep the MV around the normal black powder velocities - about 1200 fps, and accuracy is excellent.

Unless you want the boom and smoke, duplexing with Pyrodex is just extra work. But that's what the OP asked for, so I passed on my experience.

Mr Humble
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by Mr Humble » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:37 am

Thanks for your thoughts. Pyrodex does not damage the bore, I have fired 1000s of loads through my TC Contender rifle and the bore is, if anything, better looking and more accurate than when new. As with all things, powders change, I would not bet the farm on a 20 year old example. Ever used HiVel powder or Dupont 80 ?
I see Alliant has a new BP substitute out that works in conventional percussion rifles, unlike most of the others. That will be fun to try in the 45-70 as a duplex load may not be required.
More to follow. Thanks! :D

George Babits
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by George Babits » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:50 am

That was about 25 years ago that I used some Pyrodex Ctg in the 40-70 BN. As I said, I did some experiments, and found that it was more corrosive to brass than black powder. Also, I have seen some older barrels that were "scorched" (grey streaks that wouldn't scrub out) by it. I never used it in muzzle loaders because mine are mostly flintlocks and it doesn't work well (or at all) in them. One of the biggest problems is that, because it doesn't foul much, people think they don't have to clean. I've seen a lot of muzzle loaders ruined that way. Not really the powder's fault, but ruined is ruined. I'll stick with the dirty stuff and really don't want to mess with substitutes. That isn't to say they don't work, just that I prefer the real thing. Eventually I may work up a smokeless load for my rebarreled Sharps 45-70, but it is going to have to work in all temperatures. Working at the low end of the pressure curve with most smokeless powders doesn't do that very well.
Regards,
George
Salmon, Idaho

Mr Humble
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by Mr Humble » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:18 am

George, thanks for your comment. There are many smokeless loads that will work in a 45-70 regardless of the temperture. The key is ensure ignition.
I've had no issues with miss/hangfires with loads of fast burners like 2400 and 4227 topped with enough cornmeal to compress the load, using a strong crimp and magnum primers. Hodgden also makes a number of exterme performance powders designed to operate in cold weather.
Good shooting !

George Babits
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Re: Pyrodex duplex loads ?

Post by George Babits » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:38 am

I'm sure there are powders that work in cold weather, but there is a real pressure issue with them and this is an original 1874 Sharps action that I am using. I've used 4227 on occassion but the risks of half full cases getting a double charge cured me of it. No, fo me, I'll stick to the messy stuff. That way I don't have to worry about accidents. I do use a duplex load for hunting; 8 g 4759 and 56 grains Fg. Nice, very consistant load, at around 1300 fps with the 420 grain FN bullet. Believe it or not I can clang a 40" gong at 1000 yards with that load. Defies all of today's shoulder busting thoughts about long range shooting.

Regards,
George

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