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 Black Powders

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OldMtnMan

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PostSubject: Black Powders   April 3rd 2014, 9:19 am

I just had a long conversation with Goex. I was surprised they spent so much time with me, but they had to go back to all the tests they did on the powders. We were talking at least 20-25 min.

Here's the deal, and now I know why the Old Enysford is smacking me compared to Goex.

70gr with a .495 ball.

Goex.....1550
OE.........1790
Swiss.....1814

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   April 3rd 2014, 9:28 am

Damn ! Nearly as potent as Swiss.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   April 3rd 2014, 9:35 am

The first shot I took I knew it was close. In the tests i've seen Swiss is as strong as T7, and T7 is close to BH 209.

We sure aren't losing anything by shooting black powder anymore. Old Eynsford is only $16 lb too.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   April 3rd 2014, 11:40 am

I mostly use black powder and don't really feel that my loads are under powered compared to the subs.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   April 3rd 2014, 11:47 am

I always did if I wan't using Swiss. Now there's another option.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 7:15 am

Muley wrote:
I always did if I wan't using Swiss. Now there's another option.

Muley how do you like the Swiss brand after shooting for a while. How clean is it when compared to other brands? I have always shot Goex in the shoulder arms and used other powders that showed up at my store for the cannon.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 8:25 am

I shot tons of Swiss when I was heavy into shooting CAS. It was cheaper then, and I bought it by the case to get the best price. It's a very consistent, powerful powder, and I consider it the best BP you can buy.

Is it cleaner burning? Yes, it's cleaner than Goex, and the other BP's. However, it's still black powder, and black powder is dirty compared to the subs. You still need to swab a lot.

One of the big advantages to Swiss was it's power. It still is, but Olde Eynsfod is so close that Swiss has lost it's edge. It would be a no brainer is Swiss and OE were the same price, but OE is way cheaper. If you don't mind spending the extra money buy Swiss. It's the best. If you do mind, it's hard to beat OE.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 11:06 am

Good info Muley but I would like to know if all 3 brands were the same granulation and if so were they all 3F or ????
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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 11:33 am

Muley wrote:
I shot tons of Swiss when I was heavy into shooting CAS. It was cheaper then, and I bought it by the case to get the best price. It's a very consistent, powerful powder, and I consider it the best BP you can buy.

Is it cleaner burning? Yes, it's cleaner than Goex, and the other BP's. However, it's still black powder, and black powder is dirty compared to the subs. You still need to swab a lot.

One of the big advantages to Swiss was it's power. It still is, but Olde Eynsfod is so close that Swiss has lost it's edge. It would be a no brainer is Swiss and OE were the same price, but OE is way cheaper. If you don't mind spending the extra money buy Swiss. It's the best. If you do mind, it's hard to beat OE.

Talk about a dirty powder, bought 500 rounds of once fired cases - 9mm reloaded by Denevr Bullet. Man they were as bad or possibly dirtier than Goex. Like you mentioned I too had a powder magazine on the farm at Masonville the size of a dumpster (belonged to some powder guys working on Big Thompson Canyon project up the canyon just below Estes Park CO. They let the club (Buckhorn Skinners) store our powder in their unit. Coonies would deliver a half dozen cases at a time of different types.

Now I'm going to order some Swiss on what you have said, interesting Muley, thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 11:49 am

You'll feel it's power when you shoot it. It hits sharp like T7. Not the soft push of normal BP's.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 3:55 pm

I use to shoot a custom built Poor-Boy that Doc White of GRRW's built me in .36 cal. As you know in Colorado you have to have at least a .40 cal. to be legal for muzzle loading deer season. I would load that little rifle with 60 grains of 3F Goex, man that little puppy barked like a .223 round. Recoil wasn't bad and it did a number on mulies. Shot many deer and a coyote with that load, just loud. Doc and a few others would stick their fingers in their ears when it went off.  Good times...

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 5:35 pm

The problem with Colorado isn't the caliber restriction, but the weight restriction. They say you can use a .40/.45 cal, but you'd have to use a conical, because the .40/.45 PRB's are too light.

So, if you want to hunt a PRB for deer it has to be at least a .50, and .54 for elk.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 9:24 pm

I have had to get a special permit to shoot small caliber originals over the years and had to prove to the Moose & Goose that a 44/40 would travel faster than they claimed back in 1980, another special permit. Today I don't think you can get those permits.

I understand several councilmen down at 6060 Broadway have been pushing to get rid of the muzzleloading season again. I was president of the CSMLRA and we played that game with them 40 years ago and it hasn't changed. That use to burn me up with those guys at Fish & Game, they gave the bow hunters a season thats on the books, yet the muzzleloaders have to lobby for their season every 3 years. F&G cried they had to add more officers in the field for muzzleloading season and it was costing them money. That's baloney when you look at the cost of lic. fees and the resident takes several years to draw a permit, while the non-resident can get one back to back if lucky. I know a dozen friends that I use to guide for (out-of-staters) that would draw 4 out of 5 times in that number of years. Hell the locals may draw a permit once every 4 years if they are lucky. The dollar figures is over the top for the non-resident fees that these states pull in, its the same game here in Utah. It all about the mighty buck $$$.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 22nd 2015, 9:30 pm

yep, i am lucky to get a doe tag once every 2 to 3 years. Elk, its about the same or sometimes a full 3 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 6:30 am

@FrontierGander wrote:
yep, i am lucky to get a doe tag once every 2 to 3 years. Elk, its about the same or sometimes a full 3 years.

With those periods for drawing, that's better than it use to be. I use to hunt the old area #20 (don't know what they refer to that area now). Took in Roosevelt National Park, Estes Park and several mountain ranges east of Loveland. Seemed that had a boat load of folks wanting that area because of the elk herd in Roosevelt. Only problem was the retirees living in Estes. They liked seeing the elk but didn't want them eating their flowers and did not like hunters that help control the size of the herd. Fish & Game would put a note with your area #20 permit (if lucky enough to draw) "when going through the town of Estes Park, keep your orange clothing out of site". Not a big deal, but would make some mad. Those town folks wanted some of the craziest things. Funny now when not dealing with them.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 11:17 am

all those damn yuppies moving in that part of Colorado and screwing up our state with their liberal ways.

I remember we went to lunch one day in Breckenridge and man the looks you got wearing camo and orange was like you just murdered a human lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 1:03 pm

Page 1

Here's an article published about "Comparisons of Goex, KIK and Elephant Brand Powders". Thought this may be interesting to some of you folks. There were a few mis-spelled words along with ?? marks in the original work, sorry cleaned what I could at the time. The results are what's interesting more than a few errors in the typing.

The "2001 Alaska State Rendezvous"event provided valuable muzzleloader information that only a few have had the chance to study. No matter whether your one that shoots for score in competition or just shooting for "blanket prizes"or just the fun of it this is great information. These folks put a lot of their time and effort in the testing and recording their findings, probably the best results seen in years and produced by a "State Muzzle Loading Association". WOW
___________________________

Comparison of: Goex® - KIK® - Elephant®  Black Powder

Introduction:At the 2001 Alaska State Rendezvous we had samples of Goex® - KIK® - Elephant® brands of black powder available for comparison.?? In order to compare the performance characteristics of all three brands of powder, we asked four shooters to fire a string of five shots from each powder through a chronograph and recorded the results.

Methodology:Our objective was to obtain a practical comparison of the performance of each brand of black powder relative to each other. Because of the limited available supply of Elephant brand black powder for this test, we limited the number of test guns to four. Each of the shooters in this test can be described as an active muzzleloader shooter who routinely uses Goex® brand black powder in their arms and is generally satisfied with its performance.

The four test guns are fairly typical of the historically authentic muzzleloaders used by rendezvous participants and traditional muzzleloader hunters in Alaska. The smallest caliber gun tested was .50 caliber, very popular among competitors, but rarely used for hunting due to regulations requiring a round-ball of .54 caliber or larger when hunting most big-game species in our State. Since most rendezvous competitors use the same guns with which they hunt, the larger caliber guns are more common. Two of the test guns were .62 caliber, one a smoothbore, the other a rifle. The fourth gun was a .54 caliber rifle.

Each shooter fired three strings of five rounds through the chronograph using the same volumetrically measured charge he normally uses in that gun during competition in rendezvous style shooting matches and/or while hunting. Each shooter fired one string of shots charged with Goex®, one of KIK® and one of Elephant® brand black powders. All three brands of black powder tested were in FFg granulation. For the sake of consistency, each shooter used the same type of round ball, patch, lubricant and priming that he normally uses during rendezvous competition. The only variable between strings was the brand of black powder with which the rounds were charged.

Each gun was thoroughly cleaned between each of the three strings, and three of the four shooters swabbed the bores of their guns between each round in the string. The chronograph was placed 20 feet ahead of the firing line so that smoke, muzzleblast or debris would not interfere with the measurement of velocities through the instrument.

For each string of five rounds, the average velocity and extreme spread of velocity was measured by the chronograph. Extreme spread as a percentage of the average velocity was calculated later. Theoretically, the lowest percentage of spread should result in the best potential accuracy for that particular gun, projectile and powder charge.

Data Gathered in the Tests:The table below represents the cumulative averages of all four test guns:

Goex® - KIK® - Elephant®



Average Velocity1324 fps1438 fps1232 fps

Av. Extreme Spread96 fps96 fps132 fps

Spread / Velocity = %7.2 %6.6 %10.7


Data From Individual Test Guns:The tables and text below represent the measurements obtained from each of the guns we tested.

Test Gun #1was a Thompson Center, .50 caliber percussion ‘Hawken’ rifle with a standard length factory installed barrel, firing a .490"cast round ball patched with .015 cotton lubricated with saliva. The powder charge was 70 grains by volume. The gun was primed with Dixie brand percussion caps.

Goex® - KIK® - Elephant®

Average Velocity1292 fps1475 fps1263 fps

High Velocity1342 fps1512 fps1316 fps

Low Velocity1146 fps1389 fps1153 fps

Extreme Spread196 fps123 fps110 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %15 %8.3 %8.7 %
The shooter:Dick Underwood.??

Mr. Underwood started each string with a clean bore, but did not swab the bore between shots.

Shooter’s Observations:Elephant brand produced heavier fouling than the other powders, making it considerably harder to load after the second round was fired.

Test gun #2 was a Burke Custom, .62 caliber flintlock rifle with a 42"barrel, firing a .610"round ball patched with .200"cotton duck lubricated with a three part mixture of Murphy’s Oil Soap, Isopropyl Alcohol and Water. The powder charge was 100 grains measured by volume. The gun was primed with FFg (2Fg) Goex. This is not a misprint.

Goex® - KIK® - Elephant®



Average Velocity1335 fps1431 fps1272 fps

High Velocity1344 fps1453 fps1346 fps

Low Velocity1318 fps1398 fps1224 fps

Extreme Spread26 fps55 fps122 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %1.9 %3.8 %9.5 %


The shooter: Ralph Burke, owner and builder of the test gun. Mr. Burke started each string with a clean bore, and swabbed the bore between each shot.

Shooter’s Comments:"KIK® produced less fouling, and less ‘red’ fouling than Goex®. It also produced noticeably more recoil and the recoil was uncomfortable, more like the hard, sharp recoil produced by modern smokeless cartridge guns than black powder muzzleloaders. Down right uncomfortable to shoot at this charge in this gun."

"Elephant®" produced more fouling than either of the other powders, and the fouling was thicker, more tenacious and more difficult to swab."

Test Gun #3is a 20 gauge (.62 caliber) reproduction flintlock Tulle de Chasse smoothbore built by Pete Rollet of LaFayette IN. Firing a .600"cast round ball patched with .010"linen patches lubricated with deer tallow, and primed with FFFFg (4Fg) Goex®. The powder charge was 70 grains measured by volume. Each string was started with a clean bore and the bore was swabbed between each shot.

Goex® - KIK® - Elephant®


Average Velocity1106 fps1234 fps1008 fps

High Velocity1153 fps1288 fps1039 fps

Low Velocity1048 fps1195 fps944 fps

Extreme Spread105 fps93 fps95 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %9.4 %7.5 %9.4 %

Shooter: Thomas Swan (known to many of us as "Swannie")

Shooter’s Observations:In general, this gun does not shoot FFg black powder well. Although it rarely misfires with FFFg powder, using the FFg powder in this test resulted in numerous hangfires and misfires with all three brands of powder.

Elephant®brand powder resulting in much heavier fouling that was more difficult to swab from the bore than that of the other two brands.

Test Gun #4was a Bayha custom built percussion rifle, .54 caliber 36"barrel, firing a .530 Spear swaged roundball patched with .015 ‘Texas’ teflon lubricated patches. The charge was 85 grains measured by volume, primed with RWS®percussion caps. Each string was started with a clean bore, and the shooter swabbed the bore between each round.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®


Average Velocity1564 fps1614 fps1387 fps

High Velocity1593 fps1679 fps1486 fps

Low Velocity1534 fps1566 fps1205 fps

Extreme Spread59 fps113 fps281 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %3.7 %7 %20 %

Shooter:Keith Bayha

Shooter’s Observations:The second shot in the KIK®string was difficult to load even though the shooter had swabbed the bore following his first. Thus problem did not subsequently repeat. This shooter noted that the Elephant brand powder produced thicker and more tenacious fouling than the other two brands of black powder tested.

Caveats and Conclusions:It should be noted that the data sample on which this paper is based is extremely small. While the charges of Goex®used by each shooter are probably the most accurate for each of these guns, none of the shooters has had an opportunity to discover the most accurate charge of the other two brands of powder. It’s quite likely that adjustments in the powder charges and other components could result in much better performance than the limited data presented here would seem to indicate.

Every muzzleloading firearm responds to different powders, powder charges, projectiles, patches and lubricants in a unique way. While we can make some general observations about the performance of the three black powders in a test of this nature, we can not determine how any brand of black powder, any powder charge, or any combination of components will perform in a particular gun. Each shooter must determine the optimal combination of components for his or her muzzleloader.Perhaps the most important conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that further testing is necessary to draw any sort of firm conclusion. It does show that a shooter may well find it worth the time and effort to experiment with other brands of black powder.

In this test, KIK®?? brand black powder produced higher velocities than the same volume of both Goex®?? and Elephant®?? black powder in all four test guns. The average velocity produced by KIK brand black powder was 12.4% faster than that produced by the same volume of Goex, and 14.3% faster than that produced by the same volume of Elephant brand. Elephant brand black powder produced lower velocities than either of the other two powders in all 4 guns.

One of the shooters noted that KIK®brand black powder produced considerably more recoil and the recoil was more keenly felt as an uncomfortably sharp jolt as opposed to the ‘pushing’ sensation normally associated with the recoil of black powder fired through a muzzleloader. That shooter described the recoil as more consistent with modern, cartridge ammunition than black powder. He noted that if he were to fire KIK®black powder on a regular basis that he would feel compelled to reduce his normal powder charge in order to do so comfortably. None of the other three shooters reported any significant difference in recoil.

In theory, the powder charge that produces the most consistent velocity should provide the greatest potential accuracy in any given firearm. For this paper, I measured consistency as the percentage of the extreme velocity spread to the average velocity of each string. The data gathered in this test would indicate that in half of the guns tested Goex®provided the best potential accuracy, and in the other half of the guns tested, KIK®provided the best potential. In one of the test guns (#3) KIK®provided the highest potential accuracy, but Goex®and Elephant®brand were tied for ‘second place’. In the three remaining guns Elephant®brand black powder was the least consistent of the three powders tested, but this finding might change if the charge were increased sufficiently to produce velocities comparable to the other two brands of black powder.

Black Powder Substitute Powders.

There are black powder substitutes, which are designed to be used in place of real black powder because they are much less smokey, corrosive, and are not classed as an explosive. The 3 common substitutes are Triple 7®?? Pyrodex®and Black Mag®with Pyrodex®and Triple 7®being by far the most popular however Black Mag®is the cleanest.

Note:Charcoal is not the only fuel that can be used in the making of suitable powders for use in black powder guns. Sugar is used in many pyrotechnic applications to reduce smoke and it's water soluble.

Ignition Of Powder Charges.
Granulated black powder is the easiest to ignite of all the powders that are being produced today and will work with all muzzleloader ignition systems. Granulated black powder substitutes such as Pyrodex are a little tougher to ignite and may not reliably perform in flintlock ignition systems.Pelletized black powder substitutes are the toughest to ignite and may not reliably perform with most side lock ignition systems.

Black Mag’3® Black Powder Substitute Powder
Black Mag’3® is impervious to shock and significantly more resistant to friction than black powder or other propellants.Black Mag’3®’s energy content is significantly greater than black powder but barrel pressure testing showed that it produced pressure levels approximately 50% lower than black powder. Measuring charges with Black Mag’3® is volume to volume with black powder. Black Mag’3® is recoverable after exposure to moisture, has a low ignition temperature and it is non-fouling, non-corrosive and nontoxic.

Note:The manufacturing of Black Mag’3® involves a "curing"process that results in the release of a small quantity of harmless gas, which may continue after the product is bottled. This may cause the bottle to swell, but it does not affect the safety, performance or stability of Black Mag’3®. If you notice that the bottle is bulging, simply loosen the lid to allow the harmless gas to escape; then re-seal the lid.

Hodgdon Black Powder Substitute Powders.
Hodgdon Pyrodex® and Triple Seven propellants are designed for use in muzzleloading and black powder cartridge firearms found by a competent gunsmith to be in good shootable condition.Hodgdon Warning: NEVER mix any two powders regardless of type, brand or source.

Flintlock Ignition: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®. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder.

Triple Sevenand Pyrodex Pelletsare designed for use only in newly manufactured muzzleloading, in-line rifles of 50 caliber, 54 caliber, and 45 caliber. Use Triple Seven®only in a 209 primer ignition system. Pyrodex®may be used with standard cap, musket cap or 209 primer ignition systems. Use only the correct caliber Pellet designated for the given caliber rifle. They are designed to be used with saboted bullets or conicals together with a fiber wad.

Hodgdon Pyrodex® 

Hodgdon Pyrodex P- Pistol Powder The principle use for Pyrodex P is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. P is also useful as a priming charge in guns which have a fouled ignition channel or other ignition problems. P compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex RS- Rifle/Shotgun Powder Pyrodex RS can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. Like all grades of Pyrodex, it burns cleaner and produces less fouling than blackpowder. RS compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. Pyrodex® Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.

Hodgdon Triple Seven® 

Hodgdon Triple Seven -is sulfur free and virtually odorless, the residue left in the barrel is water soluable and can be cleaned anywhere with just plain water.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFFG- The principle use for Triple Seven FFFG is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. Triple Seven FFFG is also useful as a priming charge in muzzleloaders that have ignition problems. Triple Seven FFFG compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFG- Rifle/Shotgun Powder can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. It has a wide application of uses, burns cleaner and produces less fouling than Pyrodex RS. Triple Seven FFG compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. 777 Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.

Black Powder Substitute Powders Velocity Comparisons.



PowderGrainsProjectile WeightVelocity
45 Caliber Muzzleloading Rifle.

Pyrodex RS100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1741 fps.

Pyrodex P100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1756 fps.

Pyrodex Pellet2-50 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1795 fps.

Triple Seven FF100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1905 fps.

Triple Seven FFF100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1925 fps.

Black Mag3100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.2096 fps.
50 Caliber Muzzleloading Rifle.

Pyrodex RS100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1509 fps.

Pyrodex P100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1560 fps.

Pyrodex Pellet2-50 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1469 fps.

Triple Seven FF100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1664 fps.

Triple Seven FFF100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1623 fps.

Black Mag3100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1888 fps.

____________________________


A special thank you to those that took part in these tests..

pg 1

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 1:05 pm

Page 2

Weather conditions during the test consisted of temperatures in the mid-50s (F.), calm winds (virtually still) and under overcast skies during a period of high relative humidity.For each string of five rounds, the average velocity and extreme spread of velocity was measured by the chronograph. Extreme spread as a percentage of the average velocity was calculated later. Theoretically, the lowest percentage of spread should result in the best potential accuracy for that particular gun, projectile and powder charge.

Data Gathered in the Tests:The table below represents the cumulative averages of all four test guns:

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??







Average Velocity1324 fps1438 fps1232 fps





Av. Extreme Spread96 fps96 fps132 fps

Spread / Velocity = %7.2 %6.6 %10.7 %

Data From Individual Test Guns:The tables and text below represent the measurements obtained from each of the guns we tested.

Test Gun #1was a Thompson Center, .50 caliber percussion ‘Hawken’ rifle with a standard length factory installed barrel, firing a .490"cast round ball patched with .015 cotton lubricated with saliva. The powder charge was 70 grains by volume. The gun was primed with Dixie brand percussion caps.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??







Average Velocity1292 fps1475 fps1263 fps





High Velocity1342 fps1512 fps1316 fps

Low Velocity1146 fps1389 fps1153 fps

Extreme Spread196 fps123 fps110 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %15 %8.3 %8.7 %

The shooter: Dick Underwood.

4 fps1453 fps1346 fps

Low Velocity1318 fps1398 fps1224 fps

Extreme Spread26 fps55 fps122 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %1.9 %3.8 %9.5 %


The shooter: Ralph Burke, owner and builder of the test gun. Mr. Burke started each string with a clean bore, and swabbed the bore between each shot.

Shooter’s Comments:"KIK® produced less fouling, and less ‘red’ fouling than Goex®. It also produced noticeably more recoil and the recoil was uncomfortable, more like the hard, sharp recoil produced by modern smokeless cartridge guns than black powder muzzleloaders. Down right uncomfortable to shoot at this charge in this gun."

"Elephant®?? produced more fouling than either of the other powders, and the fouling was thicker, more tenacious and more difficult to swab."

Test Gun #3is a 20 gauge (.62 caliber) reproduction flintlock Tulle de Chasse smoothbore built by Pete Rollet of LaFayette IN. Firing a .600"cast round ball patched with .010"linen patches lubricated with deer tallow, and primed with FFFFg (4Fg) Goex®. The powder charge was 70 grains measured by volume. Each string was started with a clean bore and the bore was swabbed between each shot.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??







Average Velocity1106 fps1234 fps1008 fps





High Velocity1153 fps1288 fps1039 fps

Low Velocity1048 fps1195 fps944 fps

Extreme Spread105 fps93 fps95 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %9.4 %7.5 %9.4 %


Shooter: Thomas Swan (known to many of us as "Swannie")

Shooter’s Observations:In general, this gun does not shoot FFg black powder well. Although it rarely misfires with FFFg powder, using the FFg powder in this test resulted in numerous hangfires and misfires with all three brands of powder.

Elephant®brand powder resulting in much heavier fouling that was more difficult to swab from the bore than that of the other two brands.

Test Gun #4was a Bayha custom built percussion rifle, .54 caliber 36"barrel, firing a .530 Spear swaged roundball patched with .015 ‘Texas’ teflon lubricated patches. The charge was 85 grains measured by volume, primed with RWS®percussion caps. Each string was started with a clean bore, and the shooter swabbed the bore between each round.





Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??



Average Velocity1564 fps1614 fps1387 fps





High Velocity1593 fps1679 fps1486 fps

Low Velocity1534 fps1566 fps1205 fps

Extreme Spread59 fps113 fps281 fps

Spread / Av. Vel. = %3.7 %7 %20 %

Shooter:Keith Bayha

Shooter’s Observations:The second shot in the KIK®string was difficult to load even though the shooter had swabbed the bore following his first. Thus problem did not subsequently repeat. This shooter noted that the Elephant brand powder produced thicker and more tenacious fouling than the other two brands of black powder tested.

Caveats and Conclusions:It should be noted that the data sample on which this paper is based is extremely small. While the charges of Goex®used by each shooter are probably the most accurate for each of these guns, none of the shooters has had an opportunity to discover the most accurate charge of the other two brands of powder. It’s quite likely that adjustments in the powder charges and other components could result in much better performance than the limited data presented here would seem to indicate.

Every muzzleloading firearm responds to different powders, powder charges, projectiles, patches and lubricants in a unique way. While we can make some general observations about the performance of the three black powders in a test of this nature, we can not determine how any brand of black powder, any powder charge, or any combination of components will perform in a particular gun. Each shooter must determine the optimal combination of components for his or her muzzleloader.Perhaps the most important conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that further testing is necessary to draw any sort of firm conclusion. It does show that a shooter may well find it worth the time and effort to experiment with other brands of black powder.

In this test, KIK®?? brand black powder produced higher velocities than the same volume of both Goex®?? and Elephant®?? black powder in all four test guns. The average velocity produced by KIK brand black powder was 12.4% faster than that produced by the same volume of Goex, and 14.3% faster than that produced by the same volume of Elephant brand. Elephant brand black powder produced lower velocities than either of the other two powders in all 4 guns.

One of the shooters noted that KIK®brand black powder produced considerably more recoil and the recoil was more keenly felt as an uncomfortably sharp jolt as opposed to the ‘pushing’ sensation normally associated with the recoil of black powder fired through a muzzleloader. That shooter described the recoil as more consistent with modern, cartridge ammunition than black powder. He noted that if he were to fire KIK®black powder on a regular basis that he would feel compelled to reduce his normal powder charge in order to do so comfortably. None of the other three shooters reported any significant difference in recoil.

In theory, the powder charge that produces the most consistent velocity should provide the greatest potential accuracy in any given firearm. For this paper, I measured consistency as the percentage of the extreme velocity spread to the average velocity of each string. The data gathered in this test would indicate that in half of the guns tested Goex®provided the best potential accuracy, and in the other half of the guns tested, KIK®provided the best potential. In one of the test guns (#3) KIK®provided the highest potential accuracy, but Goex®and Elephant®brand were tied for ‘second place’. In the three remaining guns Elephant®brand black powder was the least consistent of the three powders tested, but this finding might change if the charge were increased sufficiently to produce velocities comparable to the other two brands of black powder.

Black Powder Substitute Powders.

There are black powder substitutes, which are designed to be used in place of real black powder because they are much less smokey, corrosive, and are not classed as an explosive. The 3 common substitutes are Triple 7®?? Pyrodex®and Black Mag®with Pyrodex®and Triple 7®being by far the most popular however Black Mag®is the cleanest.

Note:Charcoal is not the only fuel that can be used in the making of suitable powders for use in black powder guns. Sugar is used in many pyrotechnic applications to reduce smoke and it's water soluble.

Ignition Of Powder Charges.
Granulated black powder is the easiest to ignite of all the powders that are being produced today and will work with all muzzleloader ignition systems. Granulated black powder substitutes such as Pyrodex are a little tougher to ignite and may not reliably perform in flintlock ignition systems.Pelletized black powder substitutes are the toughest to ignite and may not reliably perform with most side lock ignition systems.

Black Mag’3® Black Powder Substitute Powder
Black Mag’3® is impervious to shock and significantly more resistant to friction than black powder or other propellants.Black Mag’3®’s energy content is significantly greater than black powder but barrel pressure testing showed that it produced pressure levels approximately 50% lower than black powder. Measuring charges with Black Mag’3® is volume to volume with black powder. Black Mag’3® is recoverable after exposure to moisture, has a low ignition temperature and it is non-fouling, non-corrosive and nontoxic.

Note:The manufacturing of Black Mag’3® involves a "curing"process that results in the release of a small quantity of harmless gas, which may continue after the product is bottled. This may cause the bottle to swell, but it does not affect the safety, performance or stability of Black Mag’3®. If you notice that the bottle is bulging, simply loosen the lid to allow the harmless gas to escape; then re-seal the lid.

Hodgdon Black Powder Substitute Powders.
Hodgdon Pyrodex® and Triple Seven propellants are designed for use in muzzleloading and black powder cartridge firearms found by a competent gunsmith to be in good shootable condition.Hodgdon Warning: NEVER mix any two powders regardless of type, brand or source.

Flintlock Ignition: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®. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder.

Triple Sevenand Pyrodex Pelletsare designed for use only in newly manufactured muzzleloading, in-line rifles of 50 caliber, 54 caliber, and 45 caliber. Use Triple Seven®only in a 209 primer ignition system. Pyrodex®may be used with standard cap, musket cap or 209 primer ignition systems. Use only the correct caliber Pellet designated for the given caliber rifle. They are designed to be used with saboted bullets or conicals together with a fiber wad.

Hodgdon Pyrodex® 

Hodgdon Pyrodex P- Pistol Powder The principle use for Pyrodex P is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. P is also useful as a priming charge in guns which have a fouled ignition channel or other ignition problems. P compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex RS- Rifle/Shotgun Powder Pyrodex RS can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. Like all grades of Pyrodex, it burns cleaner and produces less fouling than blackpowder. RS compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. Pyrodex® Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.

Hodgdon Triple Seven® 

Hodgdon Triple Seven -is sulfur free and virtually odorless, the residue left in the barrel is water soluable and can be cleaned anywhere with just plain water.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFFG- The principle use for Triple Seven FFFG is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. Triple Seven FFFG is also useful as a priming charge in muzzleloaders that have ignition problems. Triple Seven FFFG compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFG- Rifle/Shotgun Powder can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. It has a wide application of uses, burns cleaner and produces less fouling than Pyrodex RS. Triple Seven FFG compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. 777 Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.

Black Powder Substitute Powders Velocity Comparisons.


PowderGrainsProjectile WeightVelocity
45 Caliber Muzzleloading Rifle.


Pyrodex RS100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1741 fps.

Pyrodex P100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1756 fps.

Pyrodex Pellet2-50 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1795 fps.

Triple Seven FF100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1905 fps.

Triple Seven FFF100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.1925 fps.

Black Mag3100 gr.45 cal. / 225 gr.2096 fps.
50 Caliber Muzzleloading Rifle.


Pyrodex RS100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1509 fps.

Pyrodex P100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1560 fps.

Pyrodex Pellet2-50 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1469 fps.

Triple Seven FF100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1664 fps.

Triple Seven FFF100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1623 fps.

Black Mag3100 gr.50 cal. / 348 gr.1888 fps.

____________________________

A special thank you to those that took part in these tests and provided the results done that Dick Underwood, Ralph Burke, Pete Rollet, Thomas Swan, Keith Bayha and the members of the 2001 Alaska State Rendezvous event have completed.


pg 2

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 1:08 pm

Page 3

Mr. Underwood started each string with a clean bore, but did not swab the bore between shots.

Shooter’s Observations:Elephant brand produced heavier fouling than the other powders, making it considerably harder to load after the second round was fired.

Test gun #2was a Burke Custom, .62 caliber flintlock rifle with a 42"barrel, firing a .610"round ball patched with .200"cotton duck lubricated with a three part mixture of Murphy’s Oil Soap, Isopropyl Alcohol and Water. The powder charge was 100 grains measured by volume. The gun was primed with FFg (2Fg) Goex. This is not a misprint.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??






Average Velocity1335 fps1431 fps1272 fps





High Velocity1344 fps1453 fps1346 fps



Low Velocity1318 fps1398 fps1224 fps



Extreme Spread26 fps55 fps122 fps



Spread / Av. Vel. = %1.9 %3.8 %9.5 %



The shooter: Ralph Burke, owner and builder of the test gun. Mr. Burke started each string with a clean bore, and swabbed the bore between each shot.

Shooter’s Comments:"KIK® produced less fouling, and less ‘red’ fouling than Goex®. It also produced noticeably more recoil and the recoil was uncomfortable, more like the hard, sharp recoil produced by modern smokeless cartridge guns than black powder muzzleloaders. Down right uncomfortable to shoot at this charge in this gun."

"Elephant®
?? produced more fouling than either of the other powders, and the fouling was thicker, more tenacious and more difficult to swab."

Test Gun #3is a 20 gauge (.62 caliber) reproduction flintlock Tulle de Chasse smoothbore built by Pete Rollet of LaFayette IN. Firing a .600"cast round ball patched with .010"linen patches lubricated with deer tallow, and primed with FFFFg (4Fg) Goex®. The powder charge was 70 grains measured by volume. Each string was started with a clean bore and the bore was swabbed between each shot.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®??






Average Velocity1106 fps1234 fps1008 fps





High Velocity1153 fps1288 fps1039 fps



Low Velocity1048 fps1195 fps944 fps



Extreme Spread105 fps93 fps95 fps



Spread / Av. Vel. = %9.4 %7.5 %9.4 %



Shooter: Thomas Swan (known to many of us as "Swannie")

Shooter’s Observations:In general, this gun does not shoot FFg black powder well. Although it rarely misfires with FFFg powder, using the FFg powder in this test resulted in numerous hangfires and misfires with all three brands of powder.

Elephant®brand powder resulting in much heavier fouling that was more difficult to swab from the bore than that of the other two brands.

Test Gun #4was a Bayha custom built percussion rifle, .54 caliber 36"barrel, firing a .530 Spear swaged roundball patched with .015 ‘Texas’ teflon lubricated patches. The charge was 85 grains measured by volume, primed with RWS®percussion caps. Each string was started with a clean bore, and the shooter swabbed the bore between each round.

Goex®??KIK®??Elephant®

Average Velocity1564 fps1614 fps1387 fps




High Velocity1593 fps1679 fps1486 fps



Low Velocity1534 fps1566 fps1205 fps



Extreme Spread59 fps113 fps281 fps



Spread / Av. Vel. = %3.7 %7 %20 %



Shooter:Keith Bayha

Shooter’s Observations:The second shot in the KIK®string was difficult to load even though the shooter had swabbed the bore following his first. Thus problem did not subsequently repeat. This shooter noted that the Elephant brand powder produced thicker and more tenacious fouling than the other two brands of black powder tested.

Caveats and Conclusions:It should be noted that the data sample on which this paper is based is extremely small. While the charges of Goex®used by each shooter are probably the most accurate for each of these guns, none of the shooters has had an opportunity to discover the most accurate charge of the other two brands of powder. It’s quite likely that adjustments in the powder charges and other components could result in much better performance than the limited data presented here would seem to indicate.

Every muzzleloading firearm responds to different powders, powder charges, projectiles, patches and lubricants in a unique way. While we can make some general observations about the performance of the three black powders in a test of this nature, we can not determine how any brand of black powder, any powder charge, or any combination of components will perform in a particular gun. Each shooter must determine the optimal combination of components for his or her muzzleloader.Perhaps the most important conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that further testing is necessary to draw any sort of firm conclusion. It does show that a shooter may well find it worth the time and effort to experiment with other brands of black powder.

In this test, KIK®
?? brand black powder produced higher velocities than the same volume of both Goex®?? and Elephant®?? black powder in all four test guns. The average velocity produced by KIK brand black powder was 12.4% faster than that produced by the same volume of Goex, and 14.3% faster than that produced by the same volume of Elephant brand. Elephant brand black powder produced lower velocities than either of the other two powders in all 4 guns.

One of the shooters noted that KIK®brand black powder produced considerably more recoil and the recoil was more keenly felt as an uncomfortably sharp jolt as opposed to the ‘pushing’ sensation normally associated with the recoil of black powder fired through a muzzleloader. That shooter described the recoil as more consistent with modern, cartridge ammunition than black powder. He noted that if he were to fire KIK®black powder on a regular basis that he would feel compelled to reduce his normal powder charge in order to do so comfortably. None of the other three shooters reported any significant difference in recoil.

In theory, the powder charge that produces the most consistent velocity should provide the greatest potential accuracy in any given firearm. For this paper, I measured consistency as the percentage of the extreme velocity spread to the average velocity of each string. The data gathered in this test would indicate that in half of the guns tested Goex®provided the best potential accuracy, and in the other half of the guns tested, KIK®provided the best potential. In one of the test guns (#3) KIK®provided the highest potential accuracy, but Goex®and Elephant®brand were tied for ‘second place’. In the three remaining guns Elephant®brand black powder was the least consistent of the three powders tested, but this finding might change if the charge were increased sufficiently to produce velocities comparable to the other two brands of black powder.

Black Powder Substitute Powders.

There are black powder substitutes, which are designed to be used in place of real black powder because they are much less smokey, corrosive, and are not classed as an explosive. The 3 common substitutes are Triple 7®
?? Pyrodex®and Black Mag®with Pyrodex®and Triple 7®being by far the most popular however Black Mag®is the cleanest.

Note:Charcoal is not the only fuel that can be used in the making of suitable powders for use in black powder guns. Sugar is used in many pyrotechnic applications to reduce smoke and it's water soluble.

Ignition Of Powder Charges.
Granulated black powder is the easiest to ignite of all the powders that are being produced today and will work with all muzzleloader ignition systems. Granulated black powder substitutes such as Pyrodex are a little tougher to ignite and may not reliably perform in flintlock ignition systems.Pelletized black powder substitutes are the toughest to ignite and may not reliably perform with most side lock ignition systems.

Black Mag’3® Black Powder Substitute Powder
Black Mag’3® is impervious to shock and significantly more resistant to friction than black powder or other propellants.Black Mag’3®’s energy content is significantly greater than black powder but barrel pressure testing showed that it produced pressure levels approximately 50% lower than black powder. Measuring charges with Black Mag’3® is volume to volume with black powder. Black Mag’3® is recoverable after exposure to moisture, has a low ignition temperature and it is non-fouling, non-corrosive and nontoxic.

Note:The manufacturing of Black Mag’3® involves a "curing"process that results in the release of a small quantity of harmless gas, which may continue after the product is bottled. This may cause the bottle to swell, but it does not affect the safety, performance or stability of Black Mag’3®. If you notice that the bottle is bulging, simply loosen the lid to allow the harmless gas to escape; then re-seal the lid.



Hodgdon Black Powder Substitute Powders.
Hodgdon Pyrodex® and Triple Seven propellants are designed for use in muzzleloading and black powder cartridge firearms found by a competent gunsmith to be in good shootable condition.Hodgdon Warning: NEVER mix any two powders regardless of type, brand or source.

Flintlock Ignition: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®. The main powder charge should be reduced by 5 grains to compensate for the addition of the priming powder.

Triple Sevenand Pyrodex Pelletsare designed for use only in newly manufactured muzzleloading, in-line rifles of 50 caliber, 54 caliber, and 45 caliber. Use Triple Seven®only in a 209 primer ignition system. Pyrodex®may be used with standard cap, musket cap or 209 primer ignition systems. Use only the correct caliber Pellet designated for the given caliber rifle. They are designed to be used with saboted bullets or conicals together with a fiber wad.

Hodgdon Pyrodex® 

Hodgdon Pyrodex P- Pistol Powder The principle use for Pyrodex P is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. P is also useful as a priming charge in guns which have a fouled ignition channel or other ignition problems. P compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex RS- Rifle/Shotgun Powder Pyrodex RS can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. Like all grades of Pyrodex, it burns cleaner and produces less fouling than blackpowder. RS compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Pyrodex Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. Pyrodex® Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.

Hodgdon Triple Seven® 

Hodgdon Triple Seven -is sulfur free and virtually odorless, the residue left in the barrel is water soluable and can be cleaned anywhere with just plain water.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFFG- The principle use for Triple Seven FFFG is in all pistols and in smaller bore rifles, 45 caliber and down. Triple Seven FFFG is also useful as a priming charge in muzzleloaders that have ignition problems. Triple Seven FFFG compares to 3F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven FFG- Rifle/Shotgun Powder can be used in all calibers of percussion muzzleloading rifles and shotguns. It has a wide application of uses, burns cleaner and produces less fouling than Pyrodex RS. Triple Seven FFG compares to 2F blackpowder on a particle size basis.

Hodgdon Triple Seven Pellets- No measuring. No pouring. 777 Pellets give muzzleloaders greater consistency, performance and faster second shots.



____________________________

A special thank you to those that took part in these tests.




pg 3

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 1:10 pm

@FrontierGander wrote:
all those damn yuppies moving in that part of Colorado and screwing up our state with their liberal ways.

I remember we went to lunch one day in Breckenridge and man the looks you got wearing camo and orange was like you just murdered a human lol.

Isn't that the truth, agree 100% about how the state has changed. bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 1:53 pm

Elephant was a terrible powder. I only used it once, and that was enough.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 2:29 pm

Muley wrote:
Elephant was a terrible powder. I only used it once, and that was enough.

Man, I have to agree with you. Those guys that we have read their aricles much have been paid very well for the way they raved about that crap.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 4:56 pm

I use Graf's powder which is repackaged Schuetzen. I believe it is also called Wano. I use it because it is cheap but it seems to be cleaner than GOEX and the powder grains are a little more uniform.

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PostSubject: Re: Black Powders   October 23rd 2015, 6:47 pm

Thank you for that information Bob, will look into it.

Buck

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