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 Post subject: Black Powder question?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Mil-Surp Owner
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I am new to this forum and I have a black powder question. I recently restored a IMA nepalese snider, which is in excellent condition. I am looking to shoot this firearm and visited several sites that had loaded 24 gauge shotgun shells and a .595 lead ball. The powder used was goex black powder. My problem is I live in a rural area and the older type of black powder is not available. Some stores do have 777 and pyrodex but I cant seem to find any info on how to properly load this safely. I did look on line to buy a can of goex or similar black powder but there are usually min. orders and a high hazmat charge which more than doubles the price. The 24 gauge shotshells were loaded by cutting them down to 2", loading 70 grains of black powder, seating the ball on top by slightly compressing the black powder and sealing it all with a lubricant. Everything I have read about 777 is that is doesnt like to be compressed. So I am looking for anyone who has loaded the 24 gauge shotshells with powders that are more readily available, and a step by step on how to do it. I would appreciate any help. I am not new to firearms and I have reloaded my own ammo for quite some time, but I am new to black powder and I would rather be safe than make a critical mistake.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Benefactor
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Location: NE Oklahoma
Age: 53
Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I have will come to your rescue soon.

I read your post and remember when I was shooting black powder the confusion I had between the black powder substitutes like Pyrodex , Triple 7 wasn't around then. I've never heard of 24 gauge, is that an old one that is long gone? I've heard of 28, and the smaller 410, can you enlighten me, while we wait.

There's a smokeless powder called "Trail Boss" that I've used to reload for several different firearms, seems like they had quite a bit of information on what it can be used to for lead bullets low pressure type firearm applications, but don't hold me to that one. Looked like a bunch of little flat gray donuts in the bottle and it supposedly doesn't produce very much pressure. You might look on their web site and see, its made by IMR I believe.

Good luck,
Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:26 pm
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I've never used substitutes with my Snider, although I have used Pyrodex in one of my Martini's. I gave up on substitutes years ago and now order about 10 lbs of the "holy black" a year (I shoot BP more than smokeless these days). If you can find someone to split a case of BP with, that might make the price of mail-order more reasonable.

If you go to Hodgdon's site they have information on 777 and Pyrodex loading. They say that with 777, only use published 777 loads. I don't see any for the 577 Snider so unless you call them up and ask for a load, I think you should stick with Pyrodex.

Pyrodex needs compression for it to work well. When I shoot .600 roundballs out of my Snider, I usually seat them deep enough that half of the ball is below the neck. With the ball in that position, I can usually get 70 grains (by volume) of BP in the case. With Pyrodex, I'd probably go with around 70 grains in a brass case. No matter what load you use, make sure there's no airspace between the bullet and the powder. I don't know if the plastic Cheddite 24ga hulls would work with Pyrodex because the plastic will expand around the ball and you won't get good compression.

This is what my Snider ammo looks like:

Image

I start with the trimmed 24ga case, then put a slight "bell" on the neck so that it won't cut into the ball when I seat it. Prime the case, pour in the powder and seat the ball with your press until about 1/2 is in. At that point, I dip it in some melted BP lube and let it dry. For lube I usually use beeswax cut with Crisco.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Mil-Surp Owner
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:31 pm
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Location: Arkansas
Age: 71
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I had never heard of 24 gauge before I had restored my snider and started nosing around on you tube and various snider sites. It turns out several vendors offer primed 24 gauge plastic shotshells. They are a little long and need to be trimmed to 2" to chamber in a snider, but that is the only draw back. Graf and sons offered them packaged in 100 quantity bags for around $15.00/ 100. I would try brass cases but they are a little on the pricey side, and quite a few folks have shot these through their sniders with no problems. My only issue is the almighty black powder versus the newer versions. I did not want to buy a case lot of anything yet untill I make sure the snider is safe to shoot. The bore on the one I got from IMA is a perfect 3 groove with no rust or pitting inside or outside so I am pretty confidant it will shoot OK after all safety precautions are in place at the range. My only remaining issue is the powder.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Mil-Surp Psychosis
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777 is one of the hotter black powder subs. I've had good results with AA 5744. I heard about the 24 ga hulls but went bonkers & got the expensive dedicated Snider brass cases. Ren

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:45 pm
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If using 777, just reduce the loads by at least 15%.

I am using 777 in my black powder guns simply because it was what was available locally. I use light loads anyway, as I'm just punching holes in pieces of paper - so my loads are beyond 15% less than the generally accepted full black powder load for each of my guns. 777 does the job fine.

Still eying those Sniders. Let us know how you go with it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Mil-Surp Owner
Mil-Surp Owner

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:31 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Arkansas
Age: 71
Thanks for the info on 777. I will take your advice on reducing the load to safe levels. I did find an excellent chart on black powder vs modern powders and load equivilants which do show a reduced load compared to the " black powder" loads. Once I figure out how to post pictures I will show start to finish. I really enjoyed bringing the snider back to life.
Thanks to everyone for helping me get on the right track. I wanted to make sure that when it goes BOOM, it is out the front end and no where else!


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