Author Topic: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg  (Read 19075 times)

Offline bones92

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Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« on: August 29, 2017, 07:32:24 PM »
Is there a best method for reducing the granule size of FFFg to something a bit faster in the pan?

I would think a smooth-surface stone mortar and pestle would work, but I've heard people using a bottle to roll back and forth to crush the powder a bit.

Or should this be avoided altogether?
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 07:36:27 PM »
Do or the cost of a pound of FFFFg I wouldn't take a chance of something going wrong and blowing up in my face. Happened once and that was enough. IMHO.
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 07:42:48 PM »
Safest, cleanest, and surest method is to buy a can of 4F.   8)

Where are you? I have a can I'll never use--until I get good enough to need better charge powders, which may not happen soon.  1/2 or 1/4 of a pound would go a long long way.  Borrow some, see if it helps.  I'll give you some of mine FTF.
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 07:56:53 PM »
I prime with 4F and have enough to last for years; just a can or two will do that.  It's not worth the trouble, risk or time grinding down 3F.  If it were me and I had no 4F, I'd simply use 3F; you won't be able to tell any difference in speed.
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 08:04:38 PM »
In a pinch once I used the tip of my short starter to grind up some 1&1/2 F for prime. It worked ok but given the choice I would use reg. prime powder.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 08:25:14 PM »
In a pinch once I used the tip of my short starter to grind up some 1&1/2 F for prime. It worked ok but given the choice I would use reg. prime powder.

Use 3fg to load and prime. I did with the 58 caliber flintlock rifle I made
back in 2008 and it was about as fast as a caplock.If the vent is right and
the lock is a fast one it will be fast.

Bob Roller

Offline PPatch

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 08:51:13 PM »
I use 3F for priming most of the time, the can of 4F sets on the shelf in the shop mostly unused. I would not go to the trouble and danger to grind powder.

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Offline bgf

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 09:15:37 PM »
3f primes good until you can get 4f.  Maybe just use the last 1/10 of a can, where the fines seem to accumulate...

Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 09:34:08 PM »
Is there a best method for reducing the granule size of FFFg to something a bit faster in the pan?

I would think a smooth-surface stone mortar and pestle would work, but I've heard people using a bottle to roll back and forth to crush the powder a bit.

Or should this be avoided altogether?
I have 2 cans of FFFFg that are essentially useless to me - I thought I needed it and it turns out I really don't. Just prime with whatever is in your horn. Some people claim they can tell the difference in speed between FFg, FFFg and FFFFg used for priming, but I think it is more wishful thinking than reality  ;).

If you are getting delays or failures in firing, it is unlikely that the granulation of powder is the issue and more likely your lock has issues...
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 09:37:15 PM by Black Hand »

Matt / PA

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2017, 10:08:03 PM »
I have a whole small priming horn full of something that is sub Swiss 4F that I crushed down by hand (As if Swiss 4F wasn't fast enough LOL)

......this was years ago, and when i was done I thought to myself  "Self....that was probably a bad idea"  :o ;D

But I have a horn full of the finest stuff you ever saw and come to think of it I have yet to even try it.   

Offline bones92

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 10:42:04 PM »
My main intent is to speed up ignition on the Cornell Kemper .45 for the upcoming NCSMLRA shoot in September.

I am thinking about having a White Lightning liner installed.  I hate to mess with this rifle, but given that Marvin Kemper offered to install it, I consider it a "factory upgrade".

I sort of envisioned putting just a large pinch in down at a time, rolling it a couple times, dumping into a bowl, and grabbing another pinch.  About one pan's worth in a pinch...

Another idea would be to put some powder on a hard flat surface, spray a very light mist of water, grind it a bit finer, then set it out to dry.  Seems like it would be much safer, and once the powder dries, it performs the same, regardless (or so I've read).

Anyway, the education continues.  I don't ask these questions to challenge tried-and-true methods or change minds. I'm merely seeking a better understanding.
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Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2017, 11:14:46 PM »
My question is:
Why do you feel it necessary to speed ignition?


Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2017, 11:49:37 PM »
It's been proven in timed tests that the null B and 4f are faster than 2 and 3 f for prime. Our own Larry Pletcher (sp) did a lot of testing on this and has the work sheet published on the forum. If the extra ignition speed helps an individual shooter is up to the shooter to determine.

Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2017, 11:52:56 PM »
Speeds measured from video frames and speed that can be perceived by a person are very different. From what I remember, the difference Larry found was 1/10th of a second - hardly/not perceptible in real time.

Offline bones92

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2017, 02:07:47 AM »
To echo smylee grouch, because a faster ignition helps me shoot better.
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2017, 02:22:33 AM »
Hi Bones, so back to your original question, yes you can grind courser powder down to finer powder for the pan but there are alot of people who advise against it. I my self can't detect any difference in speed in my hunting guns but I still use Null B or 4f just because I know its faster and I have a lot of it. There are a lot of competition shooters who feel the same.

Offline little joe

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2017, 12:14:43 PM »
Many years ago a friend used a wooden spoon and wooden bowl to crush powder and in our opinion it was faster. E. Christopher Firearms made a 4 dollar wood powder mill for this. (40 yrs ago)

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2017, 03:41:33 PM »
Is there a best method for reducing the granule size of FFFg to something a bit faster in the pan?

I would think a smooth-surface stone mortar and pestle would work, but I've heard people using a bottle to roll back and forth to crush the powder a bit.

Or should this be avoided altogether?
I have 2 cans of FFFFg that are essentially useless to me - I thought I needed it and it turns out I really don't. Just prime with whatever is in your horn. Some people claim they can tell the difference in speed between FFg, FFFg and FFFFg used for priming, but I think it is more wishful thinking than reality  ;).


If the vent or flash hole isn't right,the finest,fastest lock ever made will be of
no benefit.IF you have a fast lock and the vent is right the gun will fire as
fast with 3fg as it will with 4fg. I think the 4fg is more tradition than benefit.
The late Tom Dawson had a Manton 16 bore rifle that fired so fast it was more
like the gun kicking back under the lock than the lock firing the gun.

Bob Roller
If you are getting delays or failures in firing, it is unlikely that the granulation of powder is the issue and more likely your lock has issues...


Offline mtlonghunter

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2017, 04:01:19 PM »
Is that really why you shoot a muzzleloader? To see if you can make it shoot like a modern rifle? We are missing something!

Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2017, 04:06:58 PM »
Bob,
I agree.

A touch-hole that is too big or too small can cause ignition problems/delays. I'd run a 1/16" bit through the touch-hole and see if that has an effect. A touch-hole coned from the inside also helps - puts the main charge closer to the pan and can improve ignition - can be accomplished with a White Lightning liner (BTW, Chambers has made liners of barrel steel that will brown/blue, in addition to stainless steel).

Even if your powder is smaller and might catch easier (relative term), other issues are far more significant.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 04:43:30 PM by Black Hand »

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2017, 04:27:49 PM »
I have switched back and forth between 3 and 4f for years. If it is really humid I prefer 3fff. If dry I use 4ffff. The fine prime goes to mush in a hurry with humid/wet  conditions. I can't tell the difference in ignition time. Of course my brain is probably too slow to tell the difference.
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Offline bones92

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2017, 05:31:30 PM »
See, this is why I like asking questions like this.

I have suspected that the vent hole is a wee bit too small.  Ignition time may be one thing, but I also wonder if the vent is a bit too small.  I think it gets fouled a bit easily, slowing down ignition or leading to ye olde flash-in-the-pan.

I will compare the vent hole to a 1/16" drill bit.  I think the vent is smaller than 1/16".  Here's an image.




Here's a video of my son firing it.   GOEX 3Fg in the pan and the main charge.  Warm, a bit humid (but not excessively humid)

 


I will admit that I poured 3F out of my priming flask (about 20 grain at a time) onto a sheet of paper yesterday, rolled it with a plastic glue stick, and poured it back in.  Definitely a finer granulation.  Actually, it dispenses through the flask nipple much easier now.

And let me just say... I LOVE THIS RIFLE.  It is a superb shooter.  When I do my part, she puts them into the center of the bull consistently.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 06:05:10 PM by bones92 »
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2017, 05:40:59 PM »
It appears as if the touch-hole is drilled directly into the barrel, though the size is difficult to determine from an image. Can you tell if it is coned on the inside? This was/is done with the breechplug removed.

Black Hand

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2017, 05:43:14 PM »
You may also be using too much prime, leading to a fuse effect. Some people have success banking the prime away from the touch-hole and/or using less prime.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Grinding 3Fg into 4Fg
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2017, 05:52:00 PM »
Build yourself a screen, and screen your other powder granulations, you will get plenty of priming powder if the other powders have been around any time at all.

  Hungry Horse