Anyone do long range black powder shooting??

Grizz1219Grizz1219 MemberPosts: 424 Member
Thinking of starting to work on my T/C BP to get it out to 200 yards.... Using Blackhorn 209 so thinking I can measure the charges to fine tune that... anyone have any projectile suggestions?? I might try bringing it to Africa if I go again...

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I haven't used anything other than real BB in a lot of years, but when I was using synthetics it was important to remember that they are lighter, and bulkier than the real stuff. NEVER, EVER, WEIGH SYNTHETIC POWDER TO DUPLICATE A BP CHARGE WEIGHT! For instance, the volume, not the weight of a 100 grain BP charge is used for a weight-equivalent charge of Pyrodex, etc. Once you have a duplicate volume, it's OK to weigh it and use that as an equivalent charge. It will not weigh anywhere close to the same volume of real BP.

    Some of the oldtime BP cartridge rifles like the .45-90, .45-120, etc. were used for long range shooing, so I can't think of a good reason not to use a front-stuffer the same way, but if you're shooting conical bullets you're going to need a faster rifling twist than you'll find on most of the front loaders. A 1:48" will be the absolute minimum twist rate for conicals, and 1:36" or faster will be better. Unless you're willing to custom order a barrel from someone like Rice Barrels or Ed Rayl , long range accuracy might be a hard game to play. Ed makes my target barrels and he usually has a 10-12 month backlog from order to delivery.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Posts: 424 Member
    Blackhorn 209 is OK to weigh the charge... Has it on the canister... No worries there, I never would with any other though...
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,930 Senior Member
    Mine's a front stuffer and all I will use is round balls after what Teach told me about conicals doing strange things with slow twist rates. Now if I can find some of that Pyrodex Select Tenn Mike suggested. 777 doesn't work real well in my rifle for whatever reason.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,394 Senior Member
    You might get away with 200 yards fairly easily with your 1 in 48 twist if that's what your TC has. You didn't mention the model, but your projectiles will have to be fairly blunt for bore size. You can have your barrel relined by Hoyt and it's not that expensive to get a tighter twist, but then you use heavier bullets that are longer and you significantly increase your chamber pressures. Your gun has a breech and nipple thread arrangement built for a certain chamber pressure based on the twist rate and suitable projectiles in that range. Even if you have no worries about losing your patent breech or nipple, you will have significantly increased jet from the nipple, requiring frequent changes or more expensive titaniums designed for the long range game.

    I decided some years back to make a muzzleloader to duplicate the .45-70 since I cast for the .45-70. I took a Lyman GPR and had Hoyt reline the barrel in .458 with the thought that I'd limit my powder charges to 70 to 80 grains of black powder. I wanted to keep my bullet weights right at 350 to reduce the chamber/nipple pressures to a more reasonable and manufacturers design. This caused a little trouble. The original twist Hoyt put in was 1 in 22 and it caused terrible bullet stability with the shorter 350 grain cast bullets. To use it, I would have to reduce my powder charges and slow the darn thing down. I didn't want to go longer bullets as this would significantly increase chamber pressures.

    Back to Hoyt. He changed the twist rate to 1 in 33 and things settled down. Then I lost interest. I suppose I'll have to pull the rifle out of mothballs now and see if it works as intended.

    Dan
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    There is a small group of long range black powder shooters up in Pennsylvania that shoot out to a thousand yards with precision. it's a small club type organization with a website where info is exchanged.....at least there used to be, and I assume still is. My friend who made several classic muzzle loaders for me was a member, and I remember seeing the website. You might try searching this out.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,394 Senior Member
    Rich, these are dedicated guns, and they are special. They have a special breech and are rated for really heavy, 500+ grain conicals. I think the Pedersoli makes one. I've always liked the way they look
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Is there an African equivalent to BH209? If not, do not work up loads and hang your hat on them. You cannot travel with loose powder.

    What TC do you have? If it is the encore, i am having good results so far with Hornady 300 gr FPB and BH209. Still have to try out th 350's and 385 Great Plains. I am under the max charge on the 300's by a good bit, i think wih a scope and a bigger charge 200 yards is attainable. With sabot bullets it would probably be even easier
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,930 Senior Member
    Aren't the inline muzzel loaders better geared for Long Range shooting? I was under the impression most of those had tighter twist rates and were designed to shoot conical bullets at higher pressures.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Aren't the inline muzzel loaders better geared for Long Range shooting? I was under the impression most of those had tighter twist rates and were designed to shoot conical bullets at higher pressures.

    I don't know about higher pressures but generally they do have faster twist rates. Designed for use with sabots.
    I will share my opinion of 200 yard shots on game with BP. Just because you can hit something that far away doesn't mean you can kill something that far away. I have no idea how fast a given projectile would be going by the time it got there. But I know in the early days of sabots and jacketed pistol bullets people had problems because the bullets weren't designed to expand at lower velocities. And when I say people I mean me. This is similar to people shooting deer way out there these days with the lighter carbon arrows. There's just not near the energy left at impact.
    I've killed a lot of deer in my life and unfortunately lost a few, all to a muzzle loader. So I'll still use my scoped inline but with full caliber lead bullets, .54 in my case. If I can find them.
    I consider a BP rifle as having just a little more reach than my bow. Again, just my opinion.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,188 Senior Member
    If it were me, and I was going to put a black powder barrel for long range shooting on my T/C Encore, I'd have one custom made by one of the barrel makers. It would be between 36"-42" long, 1-24 twist, and made from a high pressure modern barrel blank, with a heavy tapered profile.

    The long barrel could properly utilize larger charges of black powder or substitutes and burn that charge more completely in the barrel rather than spewing unburned powder out the muzzle from a short 26" barrel. The faster twist could stabilize longer heavier bullets of full bore size.

    The old long range shooters from the 1800s in to the early 1900s used long barrels and heavy bullets in 1000 yard matches, and did very well with them. That was with both percussion and cartridge rifles.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Posts: 424 Member
    It's my T/C Pro Hunter... 28" barrel... 1 in 28" twist.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,188 Senior Member
    Grizz1219 wrote: »
    It's my T/C Pro Hunter... 28" barrel... 1 in 28" twist.

    Grizz, the heart of the black powder rifle is the barrel and its ability to burn the powder charge almost completely in the barrel. A short barrel can't efficiently burn the powder charge before the bullet leaves the muzzle.

    I shot both my T/C Hawken and T/C White Mountain carbine over a chronograph. The Hawken has a 32" barrel and the carbine a 20 1/2" barrel. With the same powder charge and bullet, the Hawken with the 32" barrel beats the carbine by several hundred feet per second regardless of bullet used. And the muzzle flash from the carbine is huge compared to the rifle because a lot of powder is burning after exiting the muzzle. Shorter barrels just aren't capable of efficiently burning the powder charge needed for that long range velocity.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Grizz1219 wrote: »
    28" barrel... 1 in 28" twist.

    Yep, you need a barrel stretcher- - - - -smokepole barrels start getting interesting at about 40"!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Posts: 424 Member
    Thinking Blackhorn 209 burns at a faster rate than BP, so the shorter barrel is still using a good % of the powder... Anyone have any info on that???
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,031 Senior Member
    Is there an African equivalent to BH209? If not, do not work up loads and hang your hat on them. You cannot travel with loose powder.

    What TC do you have? If it is the encore, i am having good results so far with Hornady 300 gr FPB and BH209. Still have to try out th 350's and 385 Great Plains. I am under the max charge on the 300's by a good bit, i think wih a scope and a bigger charge 200 yards is attainable. With sabot bullets it would probably be even easier

    Where are you finding Black Horn 209 load data for the 385 gr Hornady Great Plains bullet? Also, any load data out there for the .338 gr Power Belt Platinum with Black Hon 209? The BlackHorn website quits at 300 gr bullets. Is there a minimum velocity for the Power belt Platinums to open up properly?


    Edit to add: Duh, opened up the Hornady and Power Belt bullet packaging, still no BH209 load data.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Don't know about the burn rate vs BP, but vs other subs you are using less powder for equal loads....so maybe it does fully burn, or come close to it. Whatever makes it do what it does, i like it. I especially like being able to shoot like a normal gun and not have to clean until i am done shooting
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Where are you finding Black Horn 209 load data for the 385 gr Hornady Great Plains bullet? Also, any load data out there for the .338 gr Power Belt Platinum with Black Hon 209? The BlackHorn website quits at 300 gr bullets. Is there a minimum velocity for the Power belt Platinums to open up properly?


    Edit to add: Duh, opened up the Hornady bullet package.



    The BH209 pdf has Hornady 350's on the very bottom of the Hornady list. For the 300's I used the THOR 300charges at the very bottom of the page. I just went with 85gr on the 385, since its at the lower endof charge weights, and that big bullet does not need to move fast. I had decent results with the great plains, not good with the 350 FPB....at all. Still had the best results with the 300 FPB so I am going to go buy another pack and throw down as many as i canbefore opening day.

    For the powerbelts, i would try to stay under 100 gr, its basically a plated lead bullet, not a jacketed bullet. Seems all the negative reviews I have seen, people push them too fast.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,188 Senior Member
    If you're curious how much BP or substitute is making it past the muzzle, there's an easy test to set up to do it. Get either 4 old bedsheets, or buy cheap new ones, or a roll of white opaque plastic sheeting the same width and spread them lengthwise in front of the shooting bench.

    Fire at least 5 of your favorite charges and then take a look at the sheets/plastic sheeting. It's pretty eye-opening experience for short barrels and big powder charges.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,031 Senior Member
    The BH209 pdf has Hornady 350's on the very bottom of the Hornady list. For the 300's I used the THOR 300charges at the very bottom of the page. I just went with 85gr on the 385, since its at the lower endof charge weights, and that big bullet does not need to move fast. I had decent results with the great plains, not good with the 350 FPB....at all. Still had the best results with the 300 FPB so I am going to go buy another pack and throw down as many as i canbefore opening day.

    For the powerbelts, i would try to stay under 100 gr, its basically a plated lead bullet, not a jacketed bullet. Seems all the negative reviews I have seen, people push them too fast.

    Thanks, PowerBelt and Hornady are getting back to me, I finally had some time during their business hours to fiddle with this.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Posts: 820 Senior Member
    Grizz1219 wrote: »
    It's my T/C Pro Hunter... 28" barrel... 1 in 28" twist.

    Blackhorn 209 burns much faster than regular blackpowder, it also builds more pressure. We use a lot of it in my wife's Winchester bpcr, it takes magnum primers to get the most uniform velocity.
    The biggest problem you'll encounter getting to 200 yds is adequate sights.
  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 460 Member
    I've had no problem at 200 yards with my tc. Using a 250 grain sabot I've shot 5 deer past 200 yards with the longest being 287 and it was a drt. I've just got some 209 myself too try instead of the pellets I've been using. The heaviest I've shot is 290gr power belt with the pellets I can't get them too shoot better than about a 2.5-3in group. I
  • Grizz1219Grizz1219 Member Posts: 424 Member
    It will be a WIP.... I'll keep you posted... Thinking of trying Barnes TMZ slugs 290 grain... Anyone ever use them???
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Sabots are not legal here so I have not toyed with any yet.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,031 Senior Member
    Hornady SST's and PowerBelts are the bullets of choice in my neck of the woods, sorry, can't help.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • pendennispendennis New Member Posts: 8 New Member
    The .45 caliber muzzle loaders work best with a twist rate of 1-18 to 1-20. I own a European Arms .45 caliber Enfield "Volunteer" and I shoot 535 grain lead Postell bullets in it, on top of 90 grains of FFFg. At 200 yards the bullets still haven't gone to sleep. They don't stabilize until past 300 yards. These same originals were used as sniper rifles during the War of Northern Aggression.

    I also own a Pedersoli Tryon Creedmore replica, with a 1-18 twist. It's good with the same cast 535 grain bullets, but I've never shot it farther than 500 yards.

    With a .50 caliber the twist rate runs to about 1-25 for optimal results, and heavier cast bullets.

    I used to own a Pedersoli replica Sharps 1874, chambered in .45-120. I've rung bison silhouettes at 1000 yards, using Soule tang rear and globe front sights. The arc is like a rainbow. The 120 grain loads are really painful to shoot, so I used to download it to 90 grains, which is still plenty to get to 1000 yards.

    In .50 caliber muzzle loaders, such as the T/C Hawken, the 1-48 twist is a compromise. It's a bit too fast for round ball (1-66 is probably "ideal"), and 1-48 is probably a bit slow for conical bullets. However, my T/C Hawken has been loaded with 200 grains of FFg, and a T/C Maxi Bullet. It was very accurate out to 150 yards (5" group), but the recoil was horrendous. The breach in the T/C traditional muzzle loaders is extremely strong.
    Best,Dennis
    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
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