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Author Topic: FFFg in rifles  (Read 10743 times)
James
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« on: March 12, 2011, 07:53:08 AM »

Hello, I have seen many posts by folks stating loads for their guns where they are using FFFg in rifles and yet I see charts showing FFg is for rifles and FFFg is for pistols. Is this a case of whatever works in your gun or is there a reason like safety that would result in the differing procedure? Thank you, James
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roundball
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2011, 08:12:19 AM »

Hello, I have seen many posts by folks stating loads for their guns where they are using FFFg in rifles and yet I see charts showing FFg is for rifles and FFFg is for pistols. Is this a case of whatever works in your gun or is there a reason like safety that would result in the differing procedure? Thank you, James

A lot of of charts get initiated based on understandings at a given time then unfortunately sometimes don't get udated in spite of changes in thinking, or increased knowledge, etc...don't know if that's the case with the chart you reference of not.

Speaking only for myself, since I know smaller granulations have a faster burn rate which means faster igniton and less barrel time, my go-to powder is always Goex 3F...in .40/.45/.50/.54/.58/.62cals...and it also happens to burn cleaner for me as well.

The only reasons I occasionally use 2F is if a particular load or barrel sems to be more accurate with it, or if the accuracy is as good and it gives milder recoil on a large caliber/heavy hunting load...that happens to be the case with .58 and .62cal PRB hunting loads...accuracy is no worse, recoil is less, and I have a whole case of Goex 2F with nothing else to use it in  Grin.

If I get at or near the top of a load data chart and decide to substitute Goex 3F for a Goex 2F charge, a rule-of-thumb is to reduce the Goex 3F charge by 10-15% to keep the pressures in the same range, for example...if I used 110grns Goex 2F, I'd drop back to 90-95grns Goex 3F.
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alsask
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2011, 10:55:44 AM »

One thing about having 3f it can double as your pan powder in your flintlock if you run out of 4f.  I have probably shot more 3f in my .54's than 2f for the main charge.
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Daryl
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2011, 12:05:07 PM »

Based on accuracy in our guns, Taylor and I have always used .50 cal as the 'changing' calibre from 3F to 2F.  We've found when loaded to the same speed at 3F, 2F gives virtually identical or better accuracy - perhaps due to lower shot to shot velocity variations.

When we were starting out in BP shooting, we quickly found that 2f fouled less for us so we used it in all calibres from .36 on up.  That was with the powders available in the 70's.  Today, we see no difference in fouling between 3f and 2F due to the ball and patch combinations we currently use and have been using now for 40 years Shocked . No powder fouls  just shoot and shoot and shoot - no buildup - ever.

Currently, I am shooting only 3f in my .32, however I do have accuracy loads in both .40 and .45 with 2f powder, so it matters not which I have on hand. I know dang well if I went up 5 to 10gr. in charge weight, I'd have a new accuracy load for 2F in the .32 as well.

That's the way it works for those small calibres.  5 to 10gr. increase for 2F to match the 3F ballistics - speed and accuracy.  Always keep in mind, that 2f produces less pressure than 3F at any given velocity.  The lower the powder's developed pressure, the less 'pressure' on the patch's integrity.  That means for those with what we call loose combinations,  those using patches from .010" to .015", 2F will probalby shoot better as it won't be as prone to burning out your patch, which destroys accuracy. Something to bear in mind.

The Ogre can fill us or you in on the apparent powder mix that was used 'back then'. The granulations used actually being a mix of  what we today call 3f and 2F.  It is quite an interesting ride. Now, if I mistakenly mix a can of powder, I really don't care - reduce the load to the middle of the normal difference between granulations and go shooting.  Come to think on that, if that's all that was available - a mix of 3f and 2F, I know I could make it shoot.

I firmly believe it matters not what you use, either 2F or 3F as long as you find it's most accurate load - use a tight patch, get out and shoot - try to wear that barrel out.
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Kermit
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2011, 12:37:02 PM »

Interesting information, Daryl. Thanks. Fff vs. ff has always been a puzzle to me. And you just introduced a new one for me. I'm no physicist--and not much of a shot anymore--but help me out here. It seems counterintuitive to me that shots out of the same barrel with 2f vs 3f and achieving the same velocity would have to have achieved the same pressures. I don't understand how you get the same velocity with a lower pressure load. I'm missing something here. Am I misreading you?
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Dpeck
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2011, 01:36:21 PM »

The old Lyman black powder catalog listed loads for 3f and 2f.  In their reference they compared the two and one example comes out where 100 grains 3f gave 1740 at 11700 CUP and 140 grains of 2f gave 1779 and 8500  LUP of pressure.  LUP is used at lower pressures than CUP and is a lower pressure load.  While I have not seen quite that difference to get the same velocity, more like 20 grains 2f is credited with lower pressures.  When I chronographed a 54 I found that 2f also gave about half shot to shot variation over 3f.  Another issue that can come into play is what 3f and what 2f Huh  I use Swiss 2f in my hunting rifles and need 10 grains less of it than GOEX.  Grafs 3f fouls less in my 25 than does GOEX but GOEX gives more velocity. 

DP
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Dave F
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2011, 02:16:30 PM »

Kermit.   Peak pressure is only one factor.  Duration is another.  Using more of a slower powder will give you a longer pulse but with a lower peak.  Depends on what a person is trying to optimize for.  Minimal fouling, best accuracy, least powder for a given velocity, lowest pressure for a given velocity, hunting vs target shooting.   Each one of those probably needs a different granulation and amount. 
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D. Buck Stopshere
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011, 09:37:41 PM »

When you are reading charts accompanying factory muzzle loading rifles, T/C for instance, the tendency is to recommend FFG in .45 & .50 caliber rifles simply to protect the manufacturer from possible litigation that could arise from "going overboard" with a load.

We all know that 100 grains of FFG is equal to 100 grains of FFFG in weight.*(In error-see below)
But 100 grains of FFG IS NOT equal to 100 grains of FFFG in velocity and energy.

I recall (correct me if I'm wrong) that 100 grains of FFFG is about equal to 140 grains of FFG in velocity and energy.  Obviously, FFFG burns faster and creates pressure faster; this why manufacturers of muzzle loading rifles are recommending FFG, its "Protection" in court in case of a lawsuit.

I remember when Douglas Barrel Company out of WV quit making muzzle loading barrels because of a lawsuit forcing them to make that decision. There comes a point when its just not worth the expense of another possible lawsuit.

We can recommend FFFG to a new shooter because we DON'T have "deep pockets" like manufacturers. If you're going to sue and collect, you're going to sue the manufacturer. Not us posting on a forum. Wink


* An error on my part- Sentence should read:
           
 "We all know that 100 grains of FFG is equal to 100 grains of FFFG in volume.
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T*O*F
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 10:44:28 AM »

Quote
We all know that 100 grains of FFG is equal to 100 grains of FFFG in weight.
A grain is a unit of weight, not a unit of volumetric measurement.  In the grand universe of collective muzzleloading ignorance, "we" do not know the above fact because "we" load with calibrated powder measures, not a set of scales.  Largely, only a select few looking for extreme accuracy weigh their charges when developing loads.

Joe HornBlower uses his powder measure, usually not even being aware that such measures are calibrated with X granulation of Y branded powder and are inaccurate with other brands and granulations.  In addition, powder densities vary among brands.   One cannot draw any accurate conclusions when loading this way, and extrapolations are largely meaningless.
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D. Buck Stopshere
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 11:44:10 AM »

Thanks, T*O*F

I stand corrected, and made note of it in my entry.

I meant to say volume instead of weight  "...equal to 100 grains of FFFG in volume." Got confused last night.

I was only trying to make the point for Manufacturers choosing FFG as the recommended grade for gun owners in "Litigation-USA".

In the past, we had few choices as to black powder, mostly GOEX. Now, there are about six or seven choices of Domestic & Imported powders, which hopefully will keep muzzle loading alive.

Thanks, again.
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Daryl
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 12:00:34 PM »

Quote
We all know that 100 grains of FFG is equal to 100 grains of FFFG in weight.
A grain is a unit of weight, not a unit of volumetric measurement.  In the grand universe of collective muzzleloading ignorance, "we" do not know the above fact because "we" load with calibrated powder measures, not a set of scales.  Largely, only a select few looking for extreme accuracy weigh their charges when developing loads.

Joe HornBlower uses his powder measure, usually not even being aware that such measures are calibrated with X granulation of Y branded powder and are inaccurate with other brands and granulations.  In addition, powder densities vary among brands.   One cannot draw any accurate conclusions when loading this way, and extrapolations are largely meaningless.


I know of only a very few who use calibrated measures - they are usually very new to the sport & haven't found an accurate load for their rifle yet.

I assume virtually everyone makes their own measures after finding the most accurate load for the gun, or merely purchases a custom made measure that throws the charge they want, then check that against a scale.

Much depends on how accurate ie:anal, they want to be.

Buck- your 'drift' came through loud and clear.
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Dpeck
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 12:39:57 PM »

I use the adjustable measures but have calibrated them against a scale.  Generally a scale that says it drops 70 grains will need to be set at about 72-75 to get 70 grains so that the litigation may be causing them to hedge a bit also.  My pistol measure set for my 20 grains is set at about 23 grains volume.  This is with Grafs 3f or GOEX as they are about the same.  When I tried phoney powders like 777 I calibrated the weight against a calibrated scale set for BP.  I would weight 3 charges of 777 in a measure set at 70 grains and then use that weight on a scale to load BP cartridges.  Amazing how dangerous some thought that by using say 56 grains by weight of Pyrodex in a 45-70 as compared to 70 grains of 2f.  The manuals say use volume only and I was weighing the stuff.  What is more amusing is that most home made powder measures are calibrated agains a commercila powder measure and no against a scale.  I use the scale as you can always duplicate an accurate load if you know the weight.  If you lose the measure the next one may not measure the same.

DP   
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Daryl
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011, 08:58:29 PM »

 
Right on Dave - we've crossed that bridge a number of times, noting that once a good charge is found, weigh it and record that weight in your 'rifle's loading manual (your record of how it shoots with what), so a new measure can be made if necessary.
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James
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2011, 09:13:26 PM »

Thanks for your input. What I learn comes from here as I don't have access to anyone local with experience. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to blow anything up.
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The Boy from old europe
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 07:26:34 AM »

Quote
We all know that 100 grains of FFG is equal to 100 grains of FFFG in weight.
A grain is a unit of weight, not a unit of volumetric measurement. 

Sorry to say that but a grain is a mass unit to have a weight you need the mass and the Earth's gravity
F = m*g 
but thatīs more a technical point of view.
Itīs not easy to explain thing in another language.

For using 3 FFF in rifles, here in Old europe itīs quite normal to shot  Schweizer 2 you know it as swisspowder 3 FFF in rifles, but here we punch holes in paper and accuracy is the only point that counts.
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Don Getz
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2011, 09:39:24 AM »

In all my years of shooting, I have always fooled with my adjustable measure to come up with a good shooting load, and
used that.   I never really weighed it on a powder scale, it didn't matter to me, after I found what worked well, why does
it really matter if it is a few grains off..........it won't blow the gun up.        ..........Don
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Kermit
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2011, 07:48:13 PM »

weigh it and record that weight in your 'rifle's loading manual

They have loading manuals? No wonder I have so much trouble.

Don, it sounds like we had the same teacher. Wink
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Pete G.
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2011, 09:15:14 PM »

I ordered a case of powder and since I figured a 54 takes about half again as much powder as a 45 I asked for 15# of 2F, 8 # of 3F and 2# of 4F. I then discovered that the 45 had become my favorite rifle, and since 3F was starting to run low, began using the 2F. Didn't really seem to make a whole lot of practical difference in day to day shooting. Match shooting , maybe. Along the way I also discovered that 2F works pretty well for  prime also. Now it seems that I have about a 100 year supply of 4F, but that's OK. It will prime the cannon if I ever get brave enough to quit using fuse.
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James
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2011, 07:27:11 AM »

Don, that was my original concern- that there was some reason that FFFg should not be used in rifles, that appears to not be a problem and apparently I am not going to be vaporized while working out a load if I do end up using FFFg.  Grin  Grin
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Glenn
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 09:35:43 PM »

Very good discussion here.  I've always used 3F in the .45 but now I think I'll explore some more variables and see how well 2F works.  Thanks gentlemen for the advice.  Never quite seen it explained that way.   Smiley
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James
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 10:10:11 PM »

And due to a misinformed newbie error mentioned elsewhere I need to order some actual black powder. Any suggestions on what I should get? The current build is a .50. The next builds are 2 .54 pistols for my boys, a .60, a .36 and 2 .54 rifles, etc... Should I get some FFg and FFFg? No shops anywhere near where I can get a can of each to try. Thanks, James
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"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun." P.Henry
The Boy from old europe
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 04:56:40 AM »



cal .54  , 64 gn Schweizer 2 , 50 m standing offhand, 20 shots
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Dpeck
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 09:14:42 AM »

Due to Haz Mat fees I usualy order at least 5lbs of powder at a time and can mix it.  Even in the large bores 3f works good as a lighter "target" load.  Looking at your future builds I would go about half and half.  The 36 would work with 2f but probably like 3f better and I like 3f in pistols.  Again I go back to different powder brands make as much difference as granulation.  2f Swiss would likely work in all applications.  Graf's powder is not all bad and fouls less for me than GOEX but GOEX has more boom.

DP
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Roger Fisher
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2011, 02:33:41 PM »

And due to a misinformed newbie error mentioned elsewhere I need to order some actual black powder. Any suggestions on what I should get? The current build is a .50. The next builds are 2 .54 pistols for my boys, a .60, a .36 and 2 .54 rifles, etc... Should I get some FFg and FFFg? No shops anywhere near where I can get a can of each to try. Thanks, James
Safe bet that your source will gladly mix it as you want it. Smiley
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Centershot
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2011, 08:55:12 PM »

I use Goex 3fg in everything from .32 to .75. For me it burns cleaner and gives better accuracy.

Centershot
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