First time out with questions (somewhat long)

Here's the place to share your questions, knowledge, and experience about the shooting techniques that could make us all better shooters. Safety must always be a consideration when using black powder in our rifles.
rogerpjr
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First time out with questions (somewhat long)

Post by rogerpjr » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:37 pm

I took my new C Sharps 1874 Hartford 45-70 out Sunday to see how it shoots. After the initial break-in with jacketed bullets and smokeless powder per Badger's instructions, I started to see what I could do with black powder loads. I was using a Saeco 745 bullet at 525 grains lubed with SPG with one grease groove exposed. I tried some loads with 1 1/2 Swiss and some with Goex Cartridge. Both were weighed at 65 grains after first checking to see how they filled the case (new Starline nickle plated). It was interesting to note that the same grain weight of both powders had a volume measure of approx. 70 grains of Swiss compared to slightly over 75 grains volume of Cartridge. I compressed the powder an arbitrary amount just so the bullet would seat down on top of the card wad. Obviously the Goex had more compression than the Swiss.

Shooting at 100 yards with the jacketed bullets (300 gr Sierra HP over 25 gr IMR 4227) hit pretty much to point of aim with the barrel mounted buckhorn rear sight and a post & ball front sight. With no changes in sights, the BP loads shot about 12" to the left and 18" low. Both powders hit about the same place. Is this normal for that much difference at only 100 yards?

Also, I was wiping the barrel between shots with loose fitting cleaning patches wet with Black Solve solution that I normally use on my regular muzzleloaders. I didn't get much fouling with either brand powder. What I did notice however, was that if I didn't do some extra cleaning of the chamber area, I could not fully seat the next round. It would stop about 1/4" short of chambering and I couldn't push it in without further cleaning of the chamber. Then the round would just drop in. Any ideas on this?

I stopped after 10 BP rounds (after the 20 smokeless) as the recoil was really getting to me. Thought it would be better to return another day than to get a case of flinches. Any suggestions on what I should do next?
Roger Petrella
Franktown, CO

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Post by Ranch 13 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:56 pm

Heavy fouling in the throat generally means you need more powder, to get the pressure up.

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An answer to your question

Post by Sharpshooter » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:52 pm

Rogerpjr;
Perhaps one reason you were unable to fully seat the next round when you did not clean was that you did not use a blow tube. You will need to either wipe or use a blow tube to keep fouling soft or eliminated. When you wipe, you must leave the bore in the same condition shot to shot...IOW not wet one time and dry the next. Use 3 -4 breaths on the tube after each shot. Do not wait too long before you reload and fire after blowing or the effect will be lost and you shot will be spoiled. The difference in impact between the loads....hard to say. Barrel harmonics, velocity or the wet bore w/BP.... I hope this is of some use to you...I am certain others can tell you more than I...
Good luck,
Sharpshooter
Bob McConkey

John Boy

Post by John Boy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:56 pm

Roger, how did the BP cases look? Black and grimy - would indicate blow back. If so, could be a combination of several things, but what comes to mind first is:
* ... Increase your charge up to 68 and then 70grs.
* ... Next time you reload the cases, do not resize them. First time out new cases or ones shot in a different rifle need to be fire formed to that rifle for good seal in the chamber.
* ... Which brass? Winchesters fire form and seal easily due to the thin walls. Starlines - thick walls

And:
* ... How was your neck tension for these reloads? Two thousands?

As for the left POI's ... ??

As for blow tubing - Harry Pope knew a thing or two about shooting BPCR's. His method was:
Hot Weather ... 10 to 12 blows
Cold Weather ... 5 to 6 blows.
I've found Harry's method to work better than just a couple or so

OK esteemed Gentlemen ... Next? :wink:

rogerpjr
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first time out questions

Post by rogerpjr » Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:17 pm

I really don't think I'm getting blowback with the BP loads. Cases still looked pretty clean with the BP (the smokeless loads blackened the cases about 1/2 way back). As I mentioned before, the cases were new Starline nickle plated. The cases were full length sized with RCBS Cowboy dies. They would not fit in the chamber without the full length sizing. I only belled the cases with about 1/8" deep using the supplied expander and seated the bullet. You could see where the bullet was seated in the case neck and I could feel each driving band as it pushed into the case. Unfortunately, every round had a very small sliver of lead shaved off so I know I'm going to either have to expand a bit more or reduce the bullet diameter a bit. I did not bother to add any crimp as the bullets went in tight and the rounds fit into the clean chamber fine. I have not actually measured the expander size though as it was all I had anyway.

As to increasing the powder charge, I have more questions. I don't have the measurement where I'm at right now as to how much I compressed the load, but it was somewhere in the 1/4-3/8" range. I thought this may have been too much already as the powder was packed tight and wouldn't spill out if you turned the case upside down. And that was before I added the .030 veggie card wad. I remember that I needed to get the bullet seated .510, which was the measurement from the base to the bottom of the exposed groove. If I add more powder, there is going to be even more compression. How much is too much?

The bullets I used were made with 20:1 alloy and were purchased from Buffalo Arms. I will eventually be casting my own, but I had to start somewhere. Would I be better off using 30:1 if I buy a mold and cast my own??

My guess is that I have a chamber with some close tolerances. The barrel is a Badger match grade barrel. I do know the bore size is exactly .450 and the groove size is .457". I'll have to get some Cerrosafe and make a chamber casting.
Roger Petrella
Franktown, CO

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Post by Ranch 13 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:27 pm

How much is to much is going to be decided by you and your rifle. I know of a couple folks that jam and pack 80 grs or more into a 45-70 case.
Compression numbers are meaning less, powder is going to be scrunched into the case until the bullet is seated to the proper depth. Going up 3 -5 grs isn't going to make that much difference in that 45-70 case.
Unless you think you just have to know a chamber cast won't likely do much for you. You already know that the chamber won't except cartridges not full length resized, so that's(resizing) got to happen if you're going to shoot it.
Bullet size to .459 will likely be big enough, just flare the case a bit more so the base of the bullet will start into the case, and no more crimp than what is needed to take the flare out, and that should be the end of the shaved lead ring.
You can try 30-1 might help, might not. Same with going to 16-1 might help might not, like most reloading situations each rifle is a problem unto itself. Just have to spend time with various load combinations until you find what you and the rifle can live with.

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Post by oneokie » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:10 pm

A few thoughts on your sizing.
You say that you can see the bullet seated in the case neck-a visible difference in diameter??
If you have the FL sizer die screwed down to where the shell holder bumps the die at the top of the ram stroke, try backing the die out a turn, size a case and see if it will chamber. If the case chambers, back the die out another turn, size another fired case and see if it will chamber. Keep backing the die out until a sized case will not chamber, then screw in in 1/2 turn.
Then bell the case mouth and seat a bullet, paying attention to how much effort is needed to seat. After seating the bullet, apply firm thumb pressure to the bullet to check neck tension on the bullet.
If the bell prevents the round from chambering, remove the decapping stem from the sizer die and run the round into the sizer just enough to remove the flare.
Lee makes crimp dies for some of the straight wall cases that is a taper crimp, do not know if they make one for the 45-70.
As for getting more powder into the case, are you using a drop tube, and how long is it?
Hope this helps.
Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.

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Post by Kelley O. Roos » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:36 pm

Keep it coming, ILMAO with those answers :lol: :lol:

Don't over look the obvious :shock:

Kelley O.

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Long Question

Post by Sharpshooter » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:55 pm

Roger;
The fact that you need to resize your cases in order to chamber them concerns me. While I have experience with only four BPCRifles, I never had to resize my brass. The brass always sprang back enough to hold the bullet well enough for competition. For hunting or other rough work I would have probably resized the neck area only. There are neck dies for that purpose. Perhaos the nickel plated brass is less 'elastic'. As for compression, lube, seating depth, wads, etc........ The combination of all of the variables can be discouraging. As one of the other posters said, you have to start somewhere. Keep good records of what you do and do not make a multitude of changes at one time. You will find a good combination.
Kelley O.;
Please impart your knowledge of the obvious solution so Roger and the rest of us will be enlightened.
Thank you.
Sharpshooter
Bob McConkey

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Post by PowderFlask2 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:19 pm

I didn't read it as he resized but was using new brass

(Both were weighed at 65 grains after first checking to see how they filled the case (new Starline nickle plated).

Also I would suggest
(Also, I was wiping the barrel between shots with loose fitting cleaning patches wet with Black Solve solution that I normally use on my regular muzzleloaders.)
That a tighter cleaning patch and jag combination along with being very careful about how wet the patches are is very important.

Case length and the amount of belling will be very important as oneokie said/implied along with loaded cartridge length etc. etc.

Measure, measure, measure and measure some more and write it all down, since it is a factory gun and you don't own the reamer you will need all those measurements as you change components as time goes by.

Gary

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Post by PowderFlask2 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:20 pm

and I forgot to add, things will change if you are going from new brass to once fired

Gary

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Long Question

Post by Sharpshooter » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:29 pm

PowderFlask2;
You are quite right! After re-reading Rogers post it seems that he had to size in order to chamber in the first place. The chamber may be a "tight" chamber. In NRA Highpower, especially in the days when we shot M-1's and M-14's, "tight" chambers were common in match grade barrels. Whether or not this is the case with Roger's barrel, who knows. Roger may not need to resize after shooting with this being the case.
Thanks for pointing this out,
Sharpshooter
Bob McConkey

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Post by Kelley O. Roos » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:45 pm

Sharpshooter,

We being sarcastic :shock: :?:

Nickel cases :!: well at least those cases are bright & shiny :wink:

Think about the bullet for a second :?: What's being done to that poor bullet :?: The craps being squeezed outta it :cry: when it's being seated, deformed bullet mean anything.

An arbitrary amount of compression :? that's good :lol: :lol:

Point of impact has to do with velocitys & bullet weights :!:

How about figuring a cartridges over all length, in order to figure actual bullet seating depth. Bullet seating depth is important in order for figuring starting powder charge, starting at zero powder compression would be a good start for load development.

Ammo will shoot well with new cases, fire formed, full length sized or just neck sized, all that is a matter of personal preferance.

Chamber area difficulitys :?: The chamber is were all the heat after a B.P. cartridge is fired so that's not such a big surprise for loading difficulitys, (more on that later) good blow tubing or proper wipping solves that issue. Ammo chambering difficulitys can be compounded if you've bumped up the bullets nose during loading & from your discription you may have done just that, then add chamber area fouling, which adds a double wammy.

Kelley O.

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Post by montana_charlie » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:48 am

To see the point of impact change that much, when only switching propellant, is surprising. I have to believe the bullet was not able to fly properly...unless all of your black powder loads grouped at 12 inches left and 18 inches low.

I would be inclined (seeing a sudden change that large) to examine the sights carefully.

I also wonder about the elasticity of nickel-plated cases when loaded with black powder...and how it takes a grip non-jacketed bullets. Is it so unforgiving that it damages the bases?

I've heard they can't be annealed.

Hope you didn't buy many...
CM
Retired...twice. Now, just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

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Answers?

Post by RMulhern » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:22 pm

Who? Me??

I don't know squat! Just shoot an holler SHXT!! It'll all eventually work out!! :roll: :shock: :?

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