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| | |-+  2F or 3F Black Powder for .54?
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Author Topic: 2F or 3F Black Powder for .54?  (Read 5560 times)
Mattole
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« on: November 01, 2010, 10:02:51 PM »

I see mention of 2F and 3F for use in a .54 smokepole. Which do you prefer and why?

Many thanks.
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wattlebuster
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 10:12:01 PM »

I shoot 2f in my .54s an have great groups an very little fowling so im happy with an have never tried 3f but if it is all i had i would shoot it just lower the charge cause it will build more pressure than 2f. good luck to you  Smiley
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Bill of the 45th
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 10:43:29 PM »

It's a matter of personal choice, plus what your gun likes.  While most guns will prime with FFG, I like FFFG because it both as charge, and prime, as I don't have to deal with two powders.  For FFFG you would reduce you load by about ten percent over FFG powder.  I buy by the case, so one order is 25 lbs of FFG, and the next is half and half FFG, and FFG, plus maybe a pound of FFFFG, as I use it in my small bores for prime.  Like Teddy Roosevelt, I may not shoot that well, but I shoot often.  I use the FFG in my big bores .60 and up, and in my BP cartridges.  Did you get the PM I sent you.

Bill
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Mattole
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 12:07:37 AM »

Bill I just noticed I had a new message and I have replied via PM. Many thanks.
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BrownBear
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 01:35:37 AM »

I don't know why this embarrasses me, but it does: Between flinters and cappers I've got five 54 caliber rifles of various descriptions. As a matter of course I worked out "best loads" with 2f and 3f for each of them.  If I was a match shooter, I might care a little more, but if there's a difference between the powders in any of the rifles, it doesn't translate into groups as much as an inch larger at 50 yards.  All of them give the nod to 3f, and four of them prefer 80 grains while the last likes 90 grains.

Some folks claim less recoil from 2f, but I just can't see the difference.  With a reasonably tight patch, I don't really see any difference in fouling, either.  Since I've got a lot of other guns that also like 3f and I like to prime with it in the flinters, that's what I use mostly.  Last powder shipment was 20 cans of 3f and 5 of 2f, and I'm going to run out of 3f before 2f.

The very next gun I buy could prefer 2f by a large margin.  So be it.
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Dpeck
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 09:20:29 AM »

When I started shooting, the better shots preferred 3f up to their 54's and used less of it.  The old Lyman BP catalog lists pressures and loads comparing 3f to 2f in a 54 and while pressures are greater with 3f they claimed nothing to worry about.  To me the 54 is kind of a cut off in that you can go either way.  I use 2f Swiss in my larger bores, the 54 on up.  I chronographed with both 2f and 3f in the 54 and the velocity variation was about half with 2f.  Also I use a .070 vent size in my 54 and a .073 (a 49 drill bit) in my 58.  3F starts to self prime at those sizes.  I will point out again that I use Swiss in my hunting rifles.  The Swiss burns way cleaner than GOEX or Graf's and gives a little more thump.  I am finding powder choice to be more important than granulation.

DP
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Daryl
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 11:52:20 AM »

Most everyone up here uses 2F in rifles of .50 and larger.  LB uses only 2F in his .40.  I think Crispy might use 3F in his .54's, both smooth and rifled, due to being able to use less.  Normally, it tkes 10 to 20gr. more 2F to match velocity of 3F, however the pressure will be lower with 2f and I've always found, the accuracy is better as well.

Personally, I like to have an accuracy load for both 3f and 2F for all my rifles, including the .40.  I use only 3f in the .32.  I prime with 4F. Having to carry a priming horn is not an inconvenience for me.

Chronograph testing has shown closer shot to shot velocities with 2f than with 3F.   That means the loads are more consistant, which 'usually' means better accuracy - but not always, just as consistancy in velocities does not always mean better accuracy in modern guns.

We find no difference in fouling between 2F and 3F - neither require wiping the bore at any time during a day's shooting.
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Mike R
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 02:17:10 PM »

I use ffg in .54 and over calibers, fffg in .50 and under calibers.  I tried fffg in one of my two .54s but it seemed to open the groups a bit. I am still experimenting with that rifle. I also have seen no difference in fouling between ffg and fffg.  I generally prime with fffg when shooting fffg as a main load, but am using up a little ffffg I have left to prime the ffg charges...I don't notice any difference in ignition speed with fffg...
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Mike Roberts, Louisiana Territory
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 03:22:44 PM »

Subjectively, I prefer the perceived recoil from using 2F, but I don't believe there's any improvement in group size or accuracy in using one or the other.  3F no doubt generates more pressure, but I never load more than 90 grains, so I feel I'm well within safe limits shooting either granulation in my barrel.  If I shot 150 grain loads, maybe I'd feel differently.

Loading with 3F means I only have to keep one granulation on hand for both my 54 and my 36 squirrel guns.  And, if one likes to prime the pan from the same horn as the main charge, 3F is probably a better priming powder than 2F.

As far as numbers go, I measured 1250 fps of muzzle velocity from a 60 gr charge of 2F,  and around 1420 fps MV from a 60 gr (by volume) charge of 3F.    50 gr 3F yielded an average MV just under 1300 fps. 



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rsells
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 04:49:18 PM »

I would work up a load with each and see what works best.  I had a .54 Hawken that would shoot a 1 1/2 inch group at 100 yards  using FFFg.  However, I had another that liked FFg.  As a whole over the years, FFFg has worked best for me in the .54, but not always.  Part of the fun is working up a load and seeing where it shoots at different yardages.
                                                        Roger Sells
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Swampwalker
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2010, 05:30:39 PM »

I prefer 2F period.  I prefer it in my .54s, I prefer it in my .50s, I even prefer it in my .32!  Some of the responces above hint at why - better velocity consistency with 2F.  This translates to better consistency on the target. 
My favorite load for the .54 - 90 gr. 2F, thick ticking patch, oil lube, .530 ball.  Very consistent performer.
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Pete G.
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 07:25:38 PM »

I use 2F in almost everything because I've got more of it. Seems that 2F gives a little less recoil to me, but I also believe that it gives less velocity, therefor the recoil would be less. Once you load up to get the same velocity I doubt you could tell any difference. Theoretically the 2F should recoil more at the same velocity due to having a higher weight of powder. I don't see any discernable difference in the two in a rifle. I save the 3F for the six shooter because you can only pack just so much powder into a cylinder.
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Standing Bear
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2010, 10:07:06 PM »

Another vote (election day pun intended) for 2F in everything but the priming pan and 4F there.  Smaller shot to shot MV variation.
TC
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Leatherbelly
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 12:16:43 AM »

 I shoot 2f in 62,50,and a 40. If you experiment enough with either, you'll find your pet loads. 2f works for me.
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wmrike
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 03:27:34 PM »

My experiences pretty much track everyone else's.  I've used both powders, and much prefer 3f because of reduced fouling.  My most accurate loads are around 80 grs with 2F, and about 75 grs. with 3F, but the finer powder seems to give more latitude.  No doubt in my mind that, volume for volume, the 3F has a bit sharper recoil.
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