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#1 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

I just read an article in The PA Game News October edition written by Dave Ehrig. It is an article on the black powder substitutes that I thought was just plumb full of useful info. When I get a little time I'll post some of what he says.
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#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 07:22 AM

Just a little background on the author. Dave is a dyed in the wool traditionalist. Here in PA we have both an October muzzleloader doe season which any type of muzzleloader and sight system can be legally used and a Flintlock only season after Christmas with limitations on sights.

The article is a report on the replica powders. He starts the article with a few words on real BP stating that it has an ignition temp of 480 degrees (I have seen 460 degrees published) making it usable in all frontloaders regardless of ignition type. He goes on to say that it does leave lots of sulfurous and sooty residue that must be cleaned ASAP after a shooting session.

He then proceeds to an investigation of the replica powders. He states that most all of the replica powders are not designed for flintlock or percussion ignition systems. These powders do replicate black powder but are actually replacement alternatives designed for the new breed of inlines. Hodgdon Powder Co is a leader with its successful lines of Pyrodex and Triple 7 that have been in use for more than a decade so what is really new. More recently there have been more than a few replica powders introduced. Using the 209 primer ignition these replica powders will extend the distance one can shoot to actually duplicate the accuracy and power of a scoped centerfire rifle with little smoke, no gooey fouling and a lot of power.

A hunt in PA's October season confirmed to this traditionalist that a New Hodgdon offering known as White hots pellets does make a muzzleloader a game changer as he settled into a crossing at the edge of a soybean field and killed a doe way out there. He states the game had changed as his old 100 yd limit had just been pushed out to as far as 250 yds.

More later.
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#3 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:33 PM

The article goes on. Triple 7 Black Mag xp and Blackhorn 209 powders are less dense than black powder but at the same time, create higher pressures per weight. They are more bulky and therefore can be loaded with the same volumetric powder measurer than you use for black powder. but at the same time are a bit more sensitive to overages, underage and compression from shaking. Being as they carry as much as 25 to 30 percent more energy this should be a red flag if attempting to use them in older, octagonal iron barrels that were not designed to use them. Accuracy is a result of consistancy, and the lack of weight consistency with these new powders can make your shot go higher or lower.
Shelf life is another consideration for the modern replicas. Black powder is absolutely stable. Open a can after three years and you will observe the same volume in the can and the same result when shooting. Blackhorn 209 is not a smokeless powder but it is a nitrocellulose based propellent. It will not withstand any degree of shaking around.
Triple 7 and Black Mag XP are a carbon based powder and are even more sensitive to rough handling. Cans stored a couple of years can reveal some clumping but they quickly can be separated with just finger pressure.
White hots are a different sort of powder as they come in solid-cylinder pellets and must be kept from abrasion. Little chips of powder will fall from the pellet when rattled around and could result in inconsistent velocities.
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#4 cayugad

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:22 PM

He states that most all of the replica powders are not designed for flintlock or percussion ignition systems. These powders do replicate black powder but are actually replacement alternatives designed for the new breed of inlines. Hodgdon Powder Co is a leader with its successful lines of Pyrodex and Triple 7 that have been in use for more than a decade so what is really new. More recently there have been more than a few replica powders introduced. Using the 209 primer ignition these replica powders will extend the distance one can shoot to actually duplicate the accuracy and power of a scoped centerfire rifle with little smoke, no gooey fouling and a lot of power.


I understand where he is coming from, but have to disagree on a few points with him. While it is true that some of the "replica powders" like BlackHorn 209 and pellets are not really made for the flintlocks or percussion cap rifles, that putting all substitute powders in the same catagory is very wrong. There are flintlocks and percussion cap rifles that can and do shoot pellets. My Black Mountain Magnum can shoot pellets, and I have shot them out of it just fine. The Traditions PA Pellet black powder rifle is another rifle that will shoot pellets. The Thompson Center Firestorm is again, another rifle that will shoot pellets. But the author is correct that pellets are not really a good alternative for flintlocks or percussion rifles. But in the loose powder department, I really do not see where he gets the idea that replica powders can not be used. I cut my teeth on Pyrodex RS and Pyrodex Select in a T/C Renegade. Black Powder was near impossible to find in my area, and Pyrodex was all there was. I hunted for many years and killed many deer with good old Pyrodex RS. Triple Seven 2f and 3f is another powder that can surprise you with traditional type percussion cap rifles. I sold a CVA Mountain Stalker recently and its favorite load was 85 grains of Triple Seven 2f and a patched ball. The first year I owned the rifle I harvested three deer with that load. All of them well placed shots.

Remember Clean Shot and Clear Shot Powders? Clean Shot is now called American Pioneer Powder. They had to change their name because of a trade mark dispute with Hodgens. They made pellets and the pellet design was a violation of copy writes so they had to change their name and make stick pellets in stead. Well Clean Shot was also a loose powder long before it was was pellet or stick. And I had excellent luck shooting that in a number of my traditional and inline rifles that used the #11 cap for an ignition source. So like I said, blocking the replica powders as inline powders, and claiming they are aimed at making an inline a better rifle then a traditional is not true IMO. One of the best powders in my inline or fast twist traditional rifles is Goex. Just good old Goex. Nothing new here.

More recently there have been more than a few replica powders introduced. Using the 209 primer ignition these replica powders will extend the distance one can shoot to actually duplicate the accuracy and power of a scoped centerfire rifle with little smoke, no gooey fouling and a lot of power.


Another thing this author and other traditional die hard people love to state is that with the advancement of the new powders it makes them as accurate as a center fire and as powerful. What center fires are they referring to? Also if a muzzleloader shooter is going to duplicate the accuracy of a scoped center fire rifle, he better be shooting a scoped muzzleloader. So again, it is the scope and the advancement of other things that led to the common muzzleloader shooter able to take longer shots. Lets not just blame the powders here. Lets look at the rifle barrels. Most fast twist rifles are 1-20 to 1-32 in twist rates. This makes them more incline to shoot large conical bullets, like the White Rifle System does, or the smaller faster sabots. But without the introduction of the sabot, we would still be shooting roundball or conical out of all the rifles. And while the sabot is a great advancement in the field of muzzleloader, it is not the holy grail.Sabots can drive you nuts on the rifle range. One day they shoot super accurate and the next day are all over the place. Consistency is the key to shooting muzzleloaders.

When they talk about long distance shooting, the traditional rifle shooters always fail to point out the long distance records set by such rifles and the Gibbs, Whitworth, and Sharps. All with black powder and shooting conical bullets. IMO yes, the inline rifle is a great invention. Yes some of the replica powders do shoot well in them. But if you have eyes like mine, and no scope, your no better off with a fancy inline loaded with BlackHorn 209 and a Barnes Expander, then I am a T/C Renegade loaded with a roundball. The most accurate rifle that is not scoped, that I shoot, is a .58 caliber out of a 1-70 twist rifle. Followed real close by the White Ultra Mag shooting a large heavy conical bullet.

All of this is just my opinion, and means nothing.
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#5 Eric

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:31 PM

All of this is just my opinion, and means nothing.

You are so WRONG right there. LOL
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