Author Topic: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?  (Read 52856 times)

sirdutch

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Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« on: October 09, 2011, 09:42:16 PM »
Hello,

Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder for my contemporary flintlock? I just happen to have this on hand.

 Do I need a different powder for the flash pan or will fffg work?

The label says 100 gr. vol. for a .45 bullet. Does that sound about right? I would prefer black powder but it is hard to come by locally. I could order it on line but generally there is a minimum order, hazmat fee and shipping which makes it a little too expensive, especially for the first time out.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Have a great day!

Meindert

Offline alyce-james

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 09:59:37 PM »
I'm at a disadvantage here because I don't know what (HODGDON 777)  is, however I would like to say use (BLACK POWDER ONLY). Caution. FFFG size black powder is to coarse for effective ignition in a  flint pan primer. Turkeyfooter.
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BrownBear

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 10:09:23 PM »
We have serious problems getting next to black powder up here, but no problem getting the subs.  So a hunting but worked with 777 quite a bit to see what it would take to make it work.  He was able to get good performance only one way- He dropped a 10 grain charge of Goex 3f down the bore before adding the 777, then used the same Goex 3f for prime.  While I have Goex 4f on hand and he tried it, he disliked it in the bore under the 777 for the main charge due to it's tendency to blow out the vent while seating a ball, occasionally resulting in slow ignition or failure to ignite the main charge, IIRC.  In our wet climate 3f has actually proven to be a more reliable and trouble free primer than 3f, so that kept him from having to use three powders.

I haven't tried it myself, but since he just moved and left me with six jugs of 777 3f, I will probably get around to it someday.

Is it worth all the trouble if you have ready access to black powder?  Not on your life.  Is it something to keep in mind against a day when you can't get the black?  Absolutely.  I'll switch to subs and keep shooting, rather than giving up in a pout when I can't get black.  I could stretch a remnant pound of precious black a long ways that way.

BTW- He also tried using 777 3f for prime and main charge too, with no black whatsoever.  In an hour of trying I think he got one bang.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 10:10:29 PM »
Quote
Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder for my contemporary flintlock?
NO, it is designed for inline muzzleloaders using magnum caps or shotgun primers.  It may or may not ignite using 3f as a primer.

Quote
The label says 100 gr. vol. for a .45 bullet. Does that sound about right?
Again, those are published load for inlines.  Triple7 is a magnum load in your flintlock, as its pressures border on those of smokeless powder.

Quote
FFFG size black powder is to coarse for effective ignition in a  flint pan primer
I beg to differ as will many others.  You can prime with what you shoot.  I commonly even use 2f as prime when I am shooting it.  Many of us experienced shooters carry only one horn and use it both to load and prime without delays, hangfires, or misfires and have done so for decades.
Dave Kanger

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Online smylee grouch

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 11:04:36 PM »
Dont know much about 777 but TOF is spot on about priming with 3f and 2f. I have used it and it works just fine, especialy in the wind as 4f will blow out of your pan faster than 2f.   Smylee

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 11:40:00 PM »
From the Hodgdon website:

"To insure proper ignition in flintlock systems, 5 grains of FFFFG priming powder should be placed into the bore prior to loading the main charge of Triple Seven or Pyrodex. "

Doesn't sound like you can get away from using some traditional black powder both in the pan and down the bore to make the 777 go off (777 must have a higher ignition temperature than traditional bp).  And, I'd guess you want to avoid 777 pellets and stick with the granular form.   It could be an interesting experiment, and  if it did work you  could stretch a pound of Goex out to 1000-1200 shots.

SCL

« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 11:47:53 PM by SCLoyalist »

Daryl

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 12:51:52 AM »
These are 3 .577/450 cases that were fired with T-7 alone - no other powder used. Each time they were fired, they were cleaned, dried and tumbled.  They were fired, cleaned in water with a brush, dried then tumbled in media until they shined like new. Their owner then deployed to Iraq. Upon returning, this is what he found.


We've been told on this forum by people who are qualified, that the trichlorates in the phoney powders like Black Mag 3, Clear shot, Pyrodex and Triple 7 will rot your bore.  

That's good enough for me. I had a number of pounds of the stuff from Pyrodex & T-7 to Black Mag 3.  I threw it away years ago after learning how bad it was and that it's fumes and fouling has an affinity to iron molecules, actually disolving them from the steel. I'm a fim believer that it's good for ferilizer only.

When the mfg'r says it is not as 'corrosive' as BP - I stop listening to about anything (not proved) that the mfg'r says in the future.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 12:53:10 AM by Daryl »

Offline kutter

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 01:33:26 AM »
I got fair results with Clean Shot/American Pioneer FFG in my 50cal F/L.
By fair I mean about 60 to 70% of the shots fired on first try by my rough estimate. Using 4F in the pan and just granulated sub in the bore,,no extra primer load of BP in the bore.
I just tried it to see for myself.  Lots of back and forth about it. I've never tried any of the other subs.
I never got the sub to ignite in the pan if I used it for the primer too.

I have an idea that a slightly larger vent hole would aid ignition with the stuff, but never got around to trying it out. Just a theory for now and will probably remain so!
No problems with cleaning or corrosion with CleanShot/American Pioneer.

I've used the CleanShot for probably 10years or more in cartridge firearms of all sorts. Never a problem with the bore rusting or the brass corroding like the pics.
Clean bore with just a wet with water patch, dry and oil. Soak brass in soapy water, rinse & dry. Been using the same 44wcf brass in my Win73 for 10years. Never lost one to corrosion. Split a few necks though,,they only last so long. Same with 32wcf , 455Webley and others.

Straight BP in a F/Lock is best. What ever granulation I'm using at the time works fine in the pan it seems though I do have one of those small brass pan primer thingys for 4f that works nice.


sirdutch

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 02:15:44 AM »
Thanks to all for your responses to my post. Looks like I will be ordering some BP on line or driving to where ever I can pick some up. Any additional posts will also be welcomed.

Thank you!

Meindert

Daryl

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 02:52:30 AM »
If you live in the States, Graff's etc, ship to your door.

Offline Don Getz

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 03:42:43 AM »
Am not familiar with 777, probably can be used in an in-line. but I don't think you can fire it in a flintlock.    Another thing
he mentioned was shooting 100 grains of this stuff in a 45, holy cats, that would be a super hot load.  I would recommend
you find some Goex, FFF would be fine in  a 45, 50 to 70 grains should work OK.  FFF will also work fine for priming..........
Don

Offline Herb

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 06:11:09 AM »
Sirdutch:  Triple 7 will work perfectly in flintlocks if you follow the instructions on the package, which say to use a booster charge of five grains of 4Fg black powder before the main charge.  Then you have to prime the pan with real black powder, but I use 2Fg.  See http://www.hodgdon.com/loading.html.  I began testing this in April 2002 and have learned that it is entirely reliable in flintlocks, but that you do need real black powder as an ignition booster.  What I do is measure out the charge of Triple 7, then tap the measure to settle that powder about 5 grains (marked inside the barrel of the powder measure) and top that off with Goex 2F black.  Pour that down the bore and bump the butt on the ground to settle the powder down into the powder chamber.  Load the patched ball.  I prime the pan with Goex 2F, but 3F or 4F work as well.  I use the 2F because I prefer the coarser powder for more bulk under the flash hole.  Also saves on the 4F powder.  100 grains of T7 3F is probably equal to 115 grains of Goex 3F.  That is a hot load.  You would be better off with maybe 45 to 60 grains of it.  Here is a .58 fullstock flint Hawken I built, the targets are 90 grains of Swiss 1 1/2 at 1507 fps, 90 gr of T7 2F at 1727 fps, 100 Goex 2F at 1525 fps and 100 T7 2F at 1801 fps.  You need a strong patch, such as OxYoke .020, and or an OverPowderWad with a .015 patch.  Clean as you do with black powder.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 10:17:47 PM by Herb »
Herb

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 07:44:17 AM »
Powders containing Potassium Perchlorate are significantly more corrosive than BP.
The fouling is actually more difficult the adequately remove (so as to not produce pitting) from the bore than BP fouling is.

Before someone jumps in to tell me I am wrong  please don't bother. It has an ingredient, potassium perchlorate that produces fouling that is virulently aggressive against metals as Daryl's post illustrates. I have heard all the "its not that bad I have shot it for years and my gun is still perfect" stories. Yeah the guns are "perfect"  until I point out the pits. I used to work for a place that made BPCRs. We had problems with people using chlorate powder, pitting the barrels in a week or two then wanting the "defective" barrel replaced... But its easy to tell what was used just by the look of the bore. Usually all the blue is gone from the bore and often from the muzzle and other parts the fouling contacts. This problem was so bad that the company recommended not using the stuff in their guns.
The fouling will produce heavy rust at humidity levels where BP will only stain bare steel black or grey in actual testing.
Finally there is no really good replacement for BP in ML arms. BP is more accurate, produces far fewer ignition problems  and is less corrosive than the corrosive substitutes. The non-corrosive stuff has problems with humidity unless they have found a way to keep the powder from sucking water from the air.
All this stuff was tried in one form or another in the 19th century and was found wanting as a replacement for BP.

Dan
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Harnic

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 07:56:43 PM »
I've used H777 extensively in my Ruger stainless Old Army revolver for a couple years now, & I like it!  It is dramatically more energetic than bp & in the stainless revolver is super simple to clean up. I just remove the grips & dump the gun in the kitchen sink with a bit of detergent (to remove the lube) & hot water.  A few minutes of scrubbing with an old toothbrush & a cotton bore mop & I'm done... the stuff cleans up in half the time it takes to clean real bp out.  Using it with my flintlock sounds too complicated, needing to put a pre-charge of bp in first gets to be a pain.  If real bp gets too difficult to acquire locally, I'll just make my own.  As far as the corrosive issues, I'm sure careful cleaning & a good water displacing oil like WD-40 will protect the bore fine, at least here in our dry climate.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 07:59:08 PM by Harnic »

BrownBear

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 08:09:08 PM »
As far as the corrosive issues, I'm sure careful cleaning & a good water displacing oil like WD-40 will protect the bore fine, at least here in our dry climate.

Yes and no. I used Pyrodex and cappers for years out of local necessity, only switching to black in recent years when I finally managed a source.  But Pyrodex taught me important lessons.

Bores have to be "cleaner than clean," and even with the oil, rust can often start to develop a couple of days after cleaning, especially in the juncture where the grooves meet the lands. I was able to avoid pitting in my bores, but only with a careful swab at the range, followed by an immediate thorough cleaning back home, then a second thorough cleaning a day later. Most important of all, I checked the bore with a clean patch every day or so for a couple of weeks after that, prior to really oiling the bore for storage.  It's almost as though fouling "oozes out of the pores" following the single thorough cleaning.  Lotta trouble, but it can be done when there's no alternatives.

I have to add that when I finally managed some real black, I was flabbergasted at the ease of cleaning, and the cessation of the need for a second cleaning a day later to avoid rust.  I never did "get" the claims of easier cleaning with subs, because in my experience the opposite is true.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 08:10:14 PM by BrownBear »

Offline frenchman

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 01:25:57 AM »
Dam if you do and dam if you dont. Real BP is getting more difficult to find i will have to do a 10 hr drive  in and 10 hrs out to get some. So i will buy the most that i can. But we must adapt to changes or the sport will slowly die off. I will also do some test with these powders for just in case. Maybe, just maybe trying putting some pressure on these guy's that make the stuff, just maybe somebody will listen and create the powder that we need . There is a market out there for flint shooters. So i figure if many thousand of shooters would complane about the situation maybe they would listen more. If just a few complane they wont give d&&?* about you. But if thousands did, north America is a big market. I would be amaze to know how many flint or just black powders shooters out there. For now in-line are the cats meow but there is still a place for the rest of us and always will be so maybe it's time to bitch a bit, we hold a small part of history in our hands each time we shoot or carry one of these guns.
Denis

Harnic

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 02:08:49 AM »
Well, this thread got me thinking, so I packed my flintlock as well as my flask full of H777 to the club after lunch today to try it out.  I've always relied on the "experts" who claim vehemently that the subs won't work in a flint.  I fired a few shots with my normal load of 70 gr of 3f GOEX in my fullstock flint Hawken, then I loaded the same volume of H777 under the prb, primed with GOEX 4f & let rip.  After 5 shots with H777, the only difference I could see was an almost imperceptible lag (& I mean very slight).  Point of impact was too close to be called.  I can't see any problem using H777 in my flintlock from the performance perspective & as far as cleaning, I always use a cotton mop to wash & rinse my bore, so I'm willing to bet the cost of another barrel it will clean fine.  I have heard a lot of nasty stuff about Pyrodex as BB suggests & am unlikely to try it, it is well documented to be super corrosive.  Too bad, it's MUCH cheaper than GOEX in these parts!  Good thread, thanks for posting Meindert!

Daryl

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2011, 02:42:33 AM »
We're told Pyrodex and T7 are both comprised of 17% trichlorates by volume. Have fun.

Offline bgf

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2011, 04:02:31 AM »
Pyrodex and 777 are completely different powders; pyrodex does have potassium perchlorate, but T7 maybe not so much, if any at all.  This post by Mad Monk sums up the subs pretty well:
  http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=8283.msg78615#msg78615

Daryl

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2011, 04:21:26 AM »
So- the MSDS shows perchlorates but in Monk's tests, T-7 didn't pit his plates.

I have no reason to doubt any one's words on this stuff, Bills or the US solider whose brass rotted over a year's period of sitting  (the ctg. brass picture). Consider the brass cases also contain tin and zinc in their composition.  I had some cases do the same that had been fired with Pyrodex, so I saw the results being similar if not the same - with the brass cases.

The corrosive primers of the current pre, non-corrosive primer era had chlorates in their composition.  Over a peirod of time, they rotted the bores of countless rifles.

I will continue to not use any of the phoney powders.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 06:06:57 PM by Daryl »

Harnic

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2011, 04:23:43 AM »
Thanks for that interesting link bfg, there are lots of "experts" in this hobby.  I'm going to play with H777 for a while & form my own opinion.   It works absolutely fantastic in my Ruger Old Army revolver & I'm not disappointed with my initial trial in the flint rifle today.  Much more experimenting is in order for sure. Experience is the best proof.  If H777 does corrode my bore, no great loss as I have a Rice 58 cal barrel I plan to replace the current 50 cal GM barrel with anyway.  I am encouraged by my initial results.

sirdutch

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2011, 05:46:09 AM »
Once again. Thanks for all the posts.

I seem to have stirred up a hornets nest. The suggestion that we need to experiment with alternatives in the event BP disappears and and the suggestion that we give voice to the manufacturers to produce  viable non-corrosive alternatives that we can depend on stand out.

Meindert


Offline Dphariss

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2011, 05:03:28 PM »
Pyrodex and 777 are completely different powders; pyrodex does have potassium perchlorate, but T7 maybe not so much, if any at all.  This post by Mad Monk sums up the subs pretty well:
  http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=8283.msg78615#msg78615

I believe that later research by MM has changed this finding.
Flash some on a cleaned and polished steel plate using a hot wire for ignition.
Then expose it to the air for a day or so.
Try the same test at the same time with BP fouling. Just be sure not the cross contaminate the samples

sirdutch
A lot of people spent a lot of time trying to find "viable alternatives" back in the 19th century, the only one is Smokeless and like all the subs its also useless in a flintlock. The current substitutes are all remakes of failed projects of the past. But idiotic Federal Explosives laws have made them popular since they have made the sale of BP difficult for the seller.
For no good reason I might add. But they can so they do. Gasoline is far more dangerous and powerful than BP.

Dan
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Harnic

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2011, 02:10:56 AM »
idiotic Federal Explosives laws have made them popular since they have made the sale of BP difficult for the seller.
For no good reason I might add. But they can so they do. Gasoline is far more dangerous and powerful than BP.

Dan


Dan, your government doesn't have the market cornered on "idiotic".  Our supreme dictators in Canada with their infinite wisdom have created laws that require no license or registration at all for a flintlock rifle but create such a miserable bureaucracy for powder dealers & suppliers that few will carry black powder anymore.  The cost of powder has gone through the roof & many areas pay well over $30/pound for plain old GOEX!  That's why I decided to use H777 in my ROA pistol & why I tried it in my flintlock rifle yesterday.  I suspect that short of making my own black powder, the subs will be all we can get in the near future!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 02:12:07 AM by Harnic »

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Is Hodgdon 777 in FFFG a good alternative for black powder?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2011, 02:43:55 AM »
idiotic Federal Explosives laws have made them popular since they have made the sale of BP difficult for the seller.
For no good reason I might add. But they can so they do. Gasoline is far more dangerous and powerful than BP.

Dan


Dan, your government doesn't have the market cornered on "idiotic".  Our supreme dictators in Canada with their infinite wisdom have created laws that require no license or registration at all for a flintlock rifle but create such a miserable bureaucracy for powder dealers & suppliers that few will carry black powder anymore.  The cost of powder has gone through the roof & many areas pay well over $30/pound for plain old GOEX!  That's why I decided to use H777 in my ROA pistol & why I tried it in my flintlock rifle yesterday.  I suspect that short of making my own black powder, the subs will be all we can get in the near future!

Yeah we have only one dealer in Billings that I know of, city of 80K plus. Used to be able to buy it almost anywhere. There were no accidents. Have been none in shipping.  But its an "explosive"...
Dan 
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