Author Topic: Curtis and Harvey BP.  (Read 17570 times)

Offline Mike Brooks

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Curtis and Harvey BP.
« on: April 16, 2016, 11:39:44 PM »
When did they quit making this stuff? I opened a can off 3fff and am shooting it in my .36 Deep River gun. Works great. Little fouling and very quick clean up. Accurate too.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 11:49:16 PM »
Mike,
I think they had an explosion in the 30's but I think they were in business until sometime in the 70's. I have a black powder mineing flask made for / by C&H out of cork with a wooden handle.
Mark
Mark

Offline wattlebuster

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 01:04:01 AM »
Back in the early/mid 70s the 2 old men that were responsible for getting me interested in flintlocks had several cans of C&H. They didnt buy but a couple lbs at a time so it had to still be being made up to at least the early 70s or so I would think. They had a couple original southern iron mounted flintlock squirrel rifles. Wish I knew where they were today cause I would try an buy em
Nothing beats the feel of a handmade southern iron mounted flintlock on a cold frosty morning

Offline okawbow

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 01:16:53 AM »
I have most of a can of powder marked Austin Rifle Black Powder, and under that, Curtis & Harvey.

"Used in 1833 & Ever Since"
Manufactured By Austin Powder Company

Looks like 3F, but is not marked. I think I bought it about 1974

photo (3) by okawbow, on Flickr
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 01:23:51 AM by okawbow »
As in life; itís the journey, not the destination. How you get there matters most.

Offline EC121

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 03:39:45 AM »
I bought 25lbs. of C&H 3F over the counter in 1979.  It came in a plastic bag with a twist tie on it in cardboard box.  I had to dip it out with a coffee cup and put it in my old Goex cans to use it.  Shot fine and clean as I remember it.  The store closed up so I don't remember when they quit selling it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 03:40:55 AM by EC121 »
Brice Stultz

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 01:39:22 PM »
My can looks like that one, must be 70's vintage then. I have some really old Dupont and a metal keg of "Somebody?" and Laffin. I ought to get some pics of these cans so you guys can help me figure out what I have. Great thing about BP, never seems to go bad. I shot about 30-40 rnds of the Curtis and Harveys and managed to have the barrel clean with 4 wet patches and 4 dry, really clean stuff. I don't think any of the current powder I have tried burns that clean.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Leatherbark

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 01:46:17 PM »
I remember my first black powder was in an orange can called "Meteor" Sporting Black Powder.  It cost something under $5 back in '77.  Seems like after the internet started I learned that it was re-packaged C&H.  If what you can believe on the internet is true.

The C&H used in the Lyman Black Powder Manual is weaker than the Gearheart-Owens they tested with but of course I'll bet the Curtis and Harvey was a better quality like you noticed.

Bob

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2016, 02:40:06 PM »
I remember my first black powder was in an orange can called "Meteor" Sporting Black Powder.  It cost something under $5 back in '77.  Seems like after the internet started I learned that it was re-packaged C&H.  If what you can believe on the internet is true.

The C&H used in the Lyman Black Powder Manual is weaker than the Gearheart-Owens they tested with but of course I'll bet the Curtis and Harvey was a better quality like you noticed.

Bob
The Curtis&Harvey we had in the 60's and as long as it was available had more punch and shot cleaner than the DuPont of the same time frame. I don't know about  Meteor Powder and have one can. IF it was repackaged C&H then there must have been a good amount left over after the C&H mill burned in 1971 (I think).
DuPont closed their last powder mill in Pennsylvania and whatever was in the "pipeline" was IT,no more would be made. GOEX saved our sport/hobby but had problems with early production. Tom Dawson was an authority on black powder double barreled rifles and he stated unequivocally that the GOEX of that day was plagued with
problems that caused pressure variants to the point where regulating a double rifle was impossible. The trouble was eventually taken care of and we were once again able to buy decent quality powder in the grades we needed. Be glad because our sport was one business decision away from being extinct.

Bob Roller

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 02:42:18 PM »
My can looks like that one, must be 70's vintage then. I have some really old Dupont and a metal keg of "Somebody?" and Laffin. I ought to get some pics of these cans so you guys can help me figure out what I have. Great thing about BP, never seems to go bad. I shot about 30-40 rnds of the Curtis and Harveys and managed to have the barrel clean with 4 wet patches and 4 dry, really clean stuff. I don't think any of the current powder I have tried burns that clean.

Mike,
Maybe Laaffin (Lafflin) and Rand.

Bob Roller

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2016, 02:47:42 PM »
I have most of a can of powder marked Austin Rifle Black Powder, and under that, Curtis & Harvey.

"Used in 1833 & Ever Since"
Manufactured By Austin Powder Company

Looks like 3F, but is not marked. I think I bought it about 1974

photo (3) by okawbow, on Flickr

WHEN did postal ZIP codes come into the picture? This can has one.

Bob Roller

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2016, 02:52:33 PM »
I have most of a can of powder marked Austin Rifle Black Powder, and under that, Curtis & Harvey.

"Used in 1833 & Ever Since"
Manufactured By Austin Powder Company

Looks like 3F, but is not marked. I think I bought it about 1974

photo (3) by okawbow, on Flickr

WHEN did postal ZIP codes come into the picture? This can has one.

Bob Roller

I just looked up the ZIP code date. it was 1 July 1963.

Bob Roller

Offline Shovelbuck

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2016, 03:27:29 PM »
A friend gave me a couple pounds probably 35 or so years ago. I remember it shooting good. Still have one full can.

I don't hunt the hard way, I hunt a simpler way.

Offline wildthing

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2016, 04:15:02 PM »
I have a five pound cardboard round container that an old friend gave me. I haven' t shot any yet cause I have to much other powder on hand. I might try some later this summer just to see how it shoots. John

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2016, 04:54:51 PM »
My can looks like that one, must be 70's vintage then. I have some really old Dupont and a metal keg of "Somebody?" and Laffin. I ought to get some pics of these cans so you guys can help me figure out what I have. Great thing about BP, never seems to go bad. I shot about 30-40 rnds of the Curtis and Harveys and managed to have the barrel clean with 4 wet patches and 4 dry, really clean stuff. I don't think any of the current powder I have tried burns that clean.

Mike,
Maybe Laaffin (Lafflin) and Rand.

Bob Roller
Yes you're right Bob. Laffin and Rand. It's in a metal canister about the size of a coffee can painted red and black. If I recall, the powder is a lighter color (grayish) than GOEX. My C&H is also a lighter color too. Probably the lack of graphite I suppose, maybe that's why it cleans up so fast. My C&H can does not have a zip code on it.

I had a can of C&H that had a plastic flip cap on it. Haven't seen it since I moved from Davenport six years ago. Maybe it will pop up somewhere..... ::)

NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2016, 05:33:26 PM »
I recently received 3 un opened cans of Austin powder. One is marked 12 ounces and 2 are marked 8 ounces. Also have several Meteor cans and sold 6 old Dupont cans.
Mark
Mark

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2016, 12:25:40 AM »
My can looks like that one, must be 70's vintage then. I have some really old Dupont and a metal keg of "Somebody?" and Laffin. I ought to get some pics of these cans so you guys can help me figure out what I have. Great thing about BP, never seems to go bad. I shot about 30-40 rnds of the Curtis and Harveys and managed to have the barrel clean with 4 wet patches and 4 dry, really clean stuff. I don't think any of the current powder I have tried burns that clean.

Mike,
Maybe Laaffin (Lafflin) and Rand.

Bob Roller
Yes you're right Bob. Laffin and Rand. It's in a metal canister about the size of a coffee can painted red and black. If I recall, the powder is a lighter color (grayish) than GOEX. My C&H is also a lighter color too. Probably the lack of graphite I suppose, maybe that's why it cleans up so fast. My C&H can does not have a zip code on it.

I had a can of C&H that had a plastic flip cap on it. Haven't seen it since I moved from Davenport six years ago. Maybe it will pop up somewhere..... ::)



According to a New Zealand customer,they had C&H but made from Chinese pyrotechnic powder of some kind.
It seemed to work with heavy bullets like in the long range muzzle loaders.No report on round ball guns.

Bob Roller

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 12:31:12 AM »
A friend gave me a couple pounds probably 35 or so years ago. I remember it shooting good. Still have one full can.



I think that can was sold from W.C.Porter who owned th shop listed on the can. He and E.M.Farris used to share a space in the corner of the club house at Friendship.

Bob Roller

Offline Daryl

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 09:54:24 PM »
Taylor and I used C&H powder from the late 50's in our model cannons and into the 70's with our first ML's.  Then Meteor (made in Scotland) and some other powder names, GO and including the odd can of Dupont.  We shot what was available. Lyman's first BP handbook had a lot of data for C&H then available and it seemed much slower and lower pressure than G-O powder. Note their  RB data for the .58cal. Zouaves went up to 180gr. C&H 2F,  I think it was.
Daryl

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Offline mark brier

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2016, 05:48:56 PM »
Old ensyford powder is as close to the old c&H that you can get today. Bob Woodfill and I have shot it thru several of our double rifles and kept meticulous chronograph records and it comes as close to obtaining all the velocities and pressures that the guns were originally regulated for using kynoch ammunition.

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2016, 06:39:57 PM »
I have a full can marked with a typewritten label:
   "D A N G E R" (underlined)
"BLACK POWDER"
      "FFFFg"
under that is hand written in very fine long hand with a pencil "Curtiss & Harvey"
It looks more like FFFg compared to the Goex I have on hand.
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

Offline Daryl

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 07:16:41 PM »
Old ensyford powder is as close to the old c&H that you can get today. Bob Woodfill and I have shot it thru several of our double rifles and kept meticulous chronograph records and it comes as close to obtaining all the velocities and pressures that the guns were originally regulated for using kynoch ammunition.

Mark- the Curtis and Harvey powder referred to in this thread, bears NO resemblance whatsoever to the C&H powder of the 1800's you are comparing Old Enysford to, I am certain.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline mark brier

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2016, 08:02:48 PM »
It does. Curtis & Harvey Bp is Curtis & Harvey Bp. It was the same powder from the muzzleloading to the cartridge days, wether it was c&H number 6 or whatever granulation size. What I am saying is no you can not go and order some today and that the brand old enysford  goex came out with a few years back is the closest powder resembling the old c&H receipe, in regards to burn rate, velocity per grain,and pressures and cleanliness of  the burn

Offline heelerau

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2016, 01:18:38 PM »
Curtis and Harvey were one of the companies that merged after the First World War to form Explosives Trades Limited.  This new company then changed its name to Nobel Industries; as Nobel's Explosives was the largest of the constituent companies.  Following other mergers to form Imperial Chemical Industries Nobel Industries became the ICI Nobel division of the new company.

ICI Nobel concentrated explosives manufacturing, including black powder, at the old Nobel site at Ardeer in Scotland.  Black powder production here ended in 1976, although the site continued to manufacture other explosives.  ICI Nobel still sold black powder, but it was manufactured in Germany.

There was a major fire at Ardeer in 2007, when a large store of nitrocellulose went up, but there were no serious injuries.  It was nothing to do with the IRA and it was 30 years after they'd closed down black powder production.

Many of us mourn the passing of Curtis and Harvey's TS6, although I still have a small amount of TS2.

That's a brief over-view.  With luck Bill Curtis will be along to fill in the gaps.
Gentlemen I asked this question on another forum, because I to used Curtis's and Harveys Black powder as  kid in the 1970s when it suddenly disappeared from down under.

Cheers

Heelerau
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline David R. Pennington

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2016, 04:25:10 AM »
Here is the old can I have, I have no idea who wrote Curtiss and Harvey on it or why? I poured some out beside some fresh Goex 3f and they look about the same grain size.
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

Offline Daryl

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Re: Curtis and Harvey BP.
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2016, 05:42:00 AM »
Curtis and Harvey were one of the companies that merged after the First World War to form Explosives Trades Limited.  This new company then changed its name to Nobel Industries; as Nobel's Explosives was the largest of the constituent companies.  Following other mergers to form Imperial Chemical Industries Nobel Industries became the ICI Nobel division of the new company.

ICI Nobel concentrated explosives manufacturing, including black powder, at the old Nobel site at Ardeer in Scotland.  Black powder production here ended in 1976, although the site continued to manufacture other explosives.  ICI Nobel still sold black powder, but it was manufactured in Germany.

There was a major fire at Ardeer in 2007, when a large store of nitrocellulose went up, but there were no serious injuries.  It was nothing to do with the IRA and it was 30 years after they'd closed down black powder production.

Many of us mourn the passing of Curtis and Harvey's TS6, although I still have a small amount of TS2.

That's a brief over-view.  With luck Bill Curtis will be along to fill in the gaps.
Gentlemen I asked this question on another forum, because I to used Curtis's and Harveys Black powder as  kid in the 1970s when it suddenly disappeared from down under.

Cheers

Heelerau

Thanks for the history lesson, Heelerau.  The Curtis and Harvey powder Taylor and I used in our cannon in the late 60's at $0.95cents per pound was in the same cans we bought in the 70's for our rifles.
At that time, Lyman came out with it's first Black Powder Handbook, wherein it described the Curtis and Harvey powder as developing less pressure and velocity than-did Dupont or GOX they used in their book.

We have been told for decades that the Curtis and Harvey #6 was the very best powder made back in the late 1800's for BP ctg. guns & that THAT powder was the one most BP ctg. guns were regulated for.

If one reads testing by modern people, they will find that until Old Enysford and Swiss powders became available, BP Ctg guns would not regulate with any of the other powders available, including GOEX, which is more powerful than the Curtis and Harvey powder we had in the 70's.

In my recent testing against what Lyman chronographed data back in that first book, my .58 rifle with 24" barrel delivers, & 75gr. of 2f, slightly more velocity than Lyman's identical bl. length .58 with the same patch and ball, but with 110gr. 2f GOX. In other data, their GOX was far and above faster than the C&H they also tested.
D/phar has noted here, time and again, that the 1970's era C&H 3F was of slightly less power than GOEX 2F and their C&H 2F was closer to low grade musket powder in power.

On the other hand, I found that C&H to be quite accurate in my .58 S. Hawken Taylor built for me, however it would not shoot well at 100 or 150yards with less than 140gr., 22 thou patch and .575" ball.  "Quite accurate" is roughly 2" groups off bags.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V