compressing black powder

Discussion of BPCR loading techniques, SAFETY, Case Cleaning and Prep, Indexing, BP Choice, Primers, Wads, Compression, Drop Tubes, Vibration, Load Testing, etc.
jdavis
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compressing black powder

Post by jdavis » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:00 pm

I recently began reloading black powder 45 70 cartriges for my pedersoli creedmore matchking. My first loads consisted of 56g, .030 wad and 535g postell bullets. This load only required a light compression after being dumped down a drop tube. I would say that the powder and wad required about .100 inch. depth of mechancial pressing into the cartridge. My COAL IS 2.900 inch after bullet and cartridge assymbly. The cartridge performed ok at 300 yards. NOW, I want to move up to a 68g load. This is a little scary to me considering the force needed to compress the powder and wad ( .300 inch) into the case so as to acomidate the .618inch of bullet required to meet my COAL of 2.907. As before powder was dumped threw drop tube prior to compression. I am using a steal gage that I turned on my lathe and arbor press to compress the load. The gage diamater meets that of the case and the ledge of the gage stops downward movement at .618 inch of depth. All seems ok, but I am new to BPCR. To be honest the pressure required to move the powder down .300 inch kind of freaks me out! Am I doing this correctly and safely. I could use a little guidance.
Thanks

Brent
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by Brent » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:50 pm

0.3" is doable, but I'm not sure it is necessary. What powder are you using and what granulation?

Are you using a drop tube to get it into the case? A drop tube greatly settles the powder into considerably less volume.

Brent
I'm not from here, I just live here.

jdavis
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by jdavis » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:05 pm

Using goex ll. Also using a drop tube.

Old Soldier
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by Old Soldier » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:11 pm

As you have found out 68 grains of any granulation almost fills the case. That 535 grain bullet takes up a lot of case room requiring lots of compression. Trying a similar load, I have bulged thin walled Winchester cases until they would not chamber. When one could get 70 grains in a 45-70, they had balloon head cases that would hold more powder, and a 500 grain bullet that took up less case space than yours does. First safety. When Mr. Wolf ( Loading Cartridges for the 45-70 Springfield Rifle and Carbine) tore apart original 45 Government loads he found the powder compressed into a solid block. It is safe enough. I've done it. Didn't get my best accuracy out of it. Possible fixes: Use less powder or, get a 500 grain bullet. Or, get a bullet with less of it in the case. I have a RCBS 500 grain bullet that has 1 more grease groove in the case than does my SACO 500 grain bullet. Same weight, same length, different nose design. I use 60 grains for powder with the RCBS. With the SACO, I can get in 65 grains with the same amount of compression. Have not shot the SACO yet, so that is all I know so far. My experience has been that powder compression is THE critical factor. Powder further compressed 1/16 to 1/8" works best for me. Further compressed means after you get it into the case, however you get it into the case. You will of course get more into the case with a drop tube.Before you go too far, ask yourself " why do I need more powder?" Flatter trajectory of course. Ya right. How much can you flatten out a 535 grain bullet using BP in a 45-70 case? Not much really. Better wind deflection? Same answer. I hope this helps some. happy new year.
"I wish it to be remembered that I was the last of my tribe to surrender my rifle" Geronimo

gunlaker
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by gunlaker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:29 am

I've compressed powder that much before, but it's not what I usually do. It can be done as long as you don't bulge the case which will prevent the round from chambering.

To be honest I'm surprised that you need any compression at all with your current load. Is your bullet seated out all the way. i.e. does it just barely touch the rifling?

Chris.

horseman308
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by horseman308 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:43 am

Following with interest. I've been loading 65g of GOEX 3f into Starline brass for my .45-70 Pedersoli. I currently use a Lee 459-300r bullet that us around 480g from my mold and seats at OAL of 2.85". I'm compressing about .25" to get there. I got decent results at 300 yards but things kind of fall apart after that. No real difference using 2f powder. I may dial back to the OP's 55-60 grain charge range and see. I'll probably want a different bullet, too and the Postell is a possibility.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

gunlaker
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by gunlaker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:03 pm

horseman308 wroteCOLON
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:43 am
Following with interest. I've been loading 65g of GOEX 3f into Starline brass for my .45-70 Pedersoli. I currently use a Lee 459-300r bullet that us around 480g from my mold and seats at OAL of 2.85". I'm compressing about .25" to get there. I got decent results at 300 yards but things kind of fall apart after that. No real difference using 2f powder. I may dial back to the OP's 55-60 grain charge range and see. I'll probably want a different bullet, too and the Postell is a possibility.
300 yards and further is where you will start to notice excess vertical if you have too much velocity variation. Have you done any ten shot groups over a chronograph?

Chris.

Brent
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by Brent » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:15 pm

Note the dates of some of these posts.
I'm not from here, I just live here.

gunlaker
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by gunlaker » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:51 pm

Ha! Thanks Brent. Every now and then I get caught by that :-)

Chris.

horseman308
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by horseman308 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:18 pm

gunlaker wroteCOLON
Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:03 pm

300 yards and further is where you will start to notice excess vertical if you have too much velocity variation. Have you done any ten shot groups over a chronograph?

Chris.
No, I don't have access to one. I'm still pretty new to BPCR and to reloading - despite of interest, I only get to shoot a few times a year - so it's a long process for me.

Some of these threads may be old but they're still valuable to guys like me.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

gunlaker
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by gunlaker » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:48 am

I suspect that dropping your powder charge won't be the answer. If you can find a pound of Swiss 1.5 or maybe Goex Old Eynsford I'd give that a try. Primers can sometimes help quite a bit.

Chris.

horseman308
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by horseman308 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:17 am

Thanks Chris. Unfortunately, I live in a state where there's a 5 lb limit on unloaded/loose gunpowder - black or smokeless - so ordering in bulk isn't really feasible. Thus I'm left with what's available locally, which is pretty much Goex standard.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

Brent
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by Brent » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:33 pm

Until you give up on Goex, you have no chance of reaching the top of the hill.

You can mail order 5# lost of Swiss if you want.
I'm not from here, I just live here.

horseman308
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by horseman308 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:09 pm

Oh, I know I can order it in that size lot. But with hazmat charges, it comes out really pricey.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

Brent
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Re: compressing black powder

Post by Brent » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:39 pm

horseman308 wroteCOLON
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:09 pm
Oh, I know I can order it in that size lot. But with hazmat charges, it comes out really pricey.
Perhaps, but if you want to make a major step up in accuracy, that's the way to do it.
I'm not from here, I just live here.

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