POWDER

Q1. What does the "ffg" classification mean, are they just a matter of personal choice, or are they specific to caliber?

A1. Black Powder comes in four granulations: The finer the granulation (Fg is most course and FFFFg is finest) the faster the burn rate and the higher the pressure BUT, a charge of finer powder will produce greater pressures than an identical volume of coarser, so you may have to reduce the volume measure somewhat.

Fg - For small cannons and very large bore guns like big shotguns, smoothbore muskets, etc.

FFg - For Rifles - A general rule of thumb is FFg in .50 cal. and larger. Most larger bore firearms work best with it: it is usually all I use in everything from .36 squirrel rifle up to .75 Brown Bess, and in my revolvers.

FFFg - for pistols in smaller calibers and pistols. Supposedly burns a little cleaner. (I am using 3F in my cap and ball and cartridge revolvers, now.) Rifles .50 cal and under.

FFFFg is priming powder for flintlocks, and should never be used as the main powder charge.

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Q2. What is the correct powder charge?

A2. Black Powder or replica black powder only (pyrodex et al) measure by volume. Round ball 30 - 40 grain FFF granulation. I suggest closer to 30 as 40 grains gets up toward 1000 fps. Conical 25-34 grain FFF granulation. This range is in the 650-900 fps range

A2. It will be different with each gun. For a .45 I'd start with 30 grains of FFg or FFFg or Pyrodex Pistol. Pyrodex will be a little more expensive, but easier to find.

A2. Whatever works! Not as facetious as it sounds. Most BP guns seem to vary a bit in what they like even if seemingly identical. I use 20 - 35 gr. FF Goex in my New Model Blackhawk, at the lighter end for target work. WORD OF CAUTION, however: make sure your seated ball slightly compresses whatever charge you use. Never leave any airspace behind the projectile with BP! If necessary, top off a light charge with cornmeal or some such.

A2. Correct charge- the firearm should come w/ loading data

A2. The recommended charge, 30 grains for an 1860 Army, 35 for a 58 Remington, 20 for a 36 Navy.

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Q3. What type/brand of powder works best?

***NOTE: Pyrodex is made by Hodgdon, the company of our good friend Birdshot. Both he and Hodgdon contribute a great deal to our cause.***

A3. Black powder has a great deal of fouling, I like pyrodex.

A3. I haven't tried Black Mag yet, so I can't comment on that. Pyrodex works well as does any brand of Black Powder. In order to use Black Canyon, I had to sift it and use the fine stuff in pistols and the coarse stuff in rifles or cartridges. Even then it was inconsistent.

A3. I switched from Pyrodex P because the Goex was cheaper , may have to go back because the Goex plant is gone.

A3. All we can get here lately seems to be Goex (if that lasts, with their accident), which works well. Others may have more to offer.

A3. Powder - the best I've found is Black Mag 3 if you can find it (its currently in short supply-- made by Arco)-- no soot and no corrosion after 3 days uncleaned. Otherwise I use Pyrodex P .Black canyon is difficult to measure and inconsistent in charge.

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Q4. Does C & H cause less rusting than Pyrodex, and if so why?

A4. No, neither is more corrosive than the other. Black Canyon is less corrosive and does not need to be cleaned at the end of the day. (No sulfur.)

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