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Author Topic: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!  (Read 15132 times)

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Offline Omnivore

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Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« on: April 23, 2015, 02:04:26 AM »
Since I've read here and elsewhere that this powder or that powder (maybe each one of them ever made) is the worst for fouling, I want to see if I can get a consensus.  Which one really, really is the worst?

Black powder or black powder substitutes only, please. We're talking percussion revolvers.  Current, commercial offerings only, too.  Nothing your cousin made up using sow piss, and nothing that's been discontinued.

I intend to show off like crazy and demonstrate that I get at least 100 shots with the scummiest, nastiest, dirtiest, stickiest, worst powder ever, so you'll quit focusing on the powder as the problem and start focusing on how to keep the gun properly lubed.  AND....to show just how easy it is!

If I end up being embarrassed and humbled, and made out to be a big-mouthed, blustering fool, well, that should be entertaining anyway, right?  All you have to do is NAME THAT POWDER.

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 06:01:37 AM »
Hi Omnivore, that sounds like an excellent experiment.

My experience has the dirtiest BP powder I have ever used is Graf and Sons, see:
http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/5405

Heavy fouling, but it had the smallest standard deviation of any powder I chronographed, strange.

Almost as dirty and definitely quick fouling is the sub, Pryodex.

I will be surprised if you can get 10-20rds before cleaning is needed using those propellents.

BTW, this was my meager evaluation on fouling, see:
http://1858remington.com/discuss/index.php?topic=6410.msg101750#msg101750

Regards,
Richard
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Offline mike116

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 06:51:30 AM »
Pyrodex and fffg Goex are the dirtiest I have used.   I still prefer to shoot real BP so Goex is my preferred powder even though it's dirty.   Pyrodex is awful,  (sorry Johnnie)   I would say worse than Goex.

Offline mazo kid

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 10:04:43 AM »
Elephant powder used to have the reputation of being the dirtiest. I have shot some, but didn't do any comparison checks. Muzzle loading shooters were the ones complaining the most. Black cartridge shooters didn't complain as much, probably due to their fouling control.....blow tubes, wiping after a couple of shots, etc. The long range silhouette shooters were also getting smaller  standard deviation from it.

Offline Gunslinger9378

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 12:35:19 PM »
Dear Friends, (And especially Ominivore!)
            I feel that Omnivore has put his finger on the Central Theme behind this continueing controversy! Each of you has their own pet theory about the, "Beastliness," of this particular powder!  I question why, if you hate cleaning a gun THAT MUCH, why you all don't take up Needlepoint instead???  I have been shooting Black Powder revolvers for MANY YEARS and NO MATTER WHAT propellant you utilize to push the ball down the barrel, you are still going to have to clean the gun, as Sure As God Made Little Green Apples!  There is no getting away from this, "Simple Basic Fact!"
            In England I used to use Curtis & Harvet's Black Powder.  None of the many substitute propellants had been invented then, and pure black Powder I soon discovered, leaves behind it a fowling that is HARD! When using Holy Black in England, after a few shots, say abut two cylinders, it WAS necessary to pass a brush down the barrel of the revolver in order to maintain any semblance of accuracy!  Using my (So Called?) Duplex load of a ten grain of Holy Black, followed by a heftier charge of Pyrodex P, I CAN SHOOT ALL BLOODY AFTERNOON, AND NEVER HAVE TO PASS A BRUSH DOWN THE BARREL TO MAINTAIN AS MUCH ACCURACY, AS MY ALMOST 79 YEAR OLD HANDS CAN ACCOMPLISH!   
            Now a month or so ago, I mentioned Curtis and Harvey's Powder on the Forum, and another member, (I beleive it may have been G-Dog?) had used the stuff some years previously, and he said it was dirty stuff to use!  So powders DO vary.
            Now when Omnivore made his very telling comment, suggesting that instead of Bitching about the powder, you all should focus on ways to clean, oil, and otherwise care for the welfare of your guns, I slapped my knee, and said YES! So LOUDLY, I frightened my cats!
            Now when I go for a shooting session, I do not ever intend to reload any cylinders out there!   I DO have 16 of them, after all! I always take at least a dozen with me, and three extra one for the Girls to have inserted in them for the Drive Home!  After all, as the Scriptures tell us, "In the Midst of Life We are in Death." and as I have often remarked here in the past, I have great admiration for the Boy Scout Motto! "BE PREPARED!"  So in my case, the only thing that I SOMETIMES have to do a little cleanup & Lube job on, is the base pin!  I NEVER load my cylinders ON the gun.  My hand would not stand
the punishment of forcing .457 balls into the chambers with the loading lever on the gun. I'd need at the very least, a Catcher's Mitt to get it done, and anyway, it is far more comfortable for me to sit at the table, with however many cylinders I fired that afternoon, having boiled them all clean, (SURGICALLY CLEAN!!!) and having allowed them to air dry, so that every atom of moisture has evaporated from them!
            The fowling that Pyrodex P leaves in the wake of it's burning, is SOFT Fowling! so it has always been very much easier for me to brush a barrel clean, than the ardurous scrubbing I used to be faced with, when I cleaned that Thrice Accursed 1860 Army Monstrosity in Merrie England!!!  I can shoot all three of my Triplest out in the desert, and I NEVER have
to pass a brush down any of their barrels, because the fowling left behind by Pyrodex IS SOFT, and is wiped out by the passage of the next ball.  Cleaning my barrels is by far the easiest chore I have when I return home!  I remove the cylinder, then poise the revolver at an angle under the fawcett, and run hot water down the barrel. After a couple of seconds, the water comes out clean, and a cleaning rod with a jag and some old T-Shirt, restores a mirror like finish to the bores!  I suspect that some members are just repeating what they have read other members say about Pyrodex, and have not bothered to really try and experiment with it themselves!  Sort of, "Monkey read, then Monkey Write!"  I have been USING
Pyrodex P, for a great many years, and have NO COMPLAINTS WHATSOEVER!  I find it to be a very satisfactory propellant,
and have found it no more difficult to clean up, EXCEPT for Black Powder!  Which I have explained PAINSTAKINGLY, MANY TIMES, leaves behind it a fowling that is HARD!
            My barrels often come, "Squeaky Clean," with just hot water from the fawcett being poured down them! The patches often come out from the first pass, with no powder smudges on them at all. The only reason I use a Priming Charge of Holy Black at all, is that I have found in the past, that SOME GUNS, are inclined to give slight Hang-Fires when loaded with ONLY Pyrodex. Now some people are fortunate in having guns that never exhibit this trait.  However BOTH my old Eight Inch Remingtons DID Hang Fire from time to time, so I developed the system of putting ten grains of Holy Black at the bottom of each chamber!  Never had a Hang Fire Since!!!
            So I respectfully suggest, that instead of spouting forth like a flock of Polly Parrots about the Evils of Pyrodex, you learn to keep your revolvers spotlessly clean, and to lube them properly as well, and you will find that if you just use a pinch of Holy Black at the bottom of each chamber,(In case your revolver is one of those that will occasionally give inexplicable hang fires!) you will find that PyrodexP will give you performance very near to Swiss Powder, and you'll not have to ever bother about finding a store within reach of you that sells Holy Black, and having to spend a small fortune on Hazmat fees if you order from a supplier miles from your home! For a pound of Holy Black is 7,000 grains! and if you just use ten grans as a primer in each chamber, one pound will last you 700 shots!
            Pyrodex is reasonably priced, gives very good results if you do your part, is readily available in most locations, and at the present time is not unduly fettered with Government Red Tape!  Be thankful that this excellent product is readily available, and try and find the REAL reasons you are unhappy with it!  To once more quote the Scriptures, First cast the Mote from thine own eye!"
                                                                                     Johnnie Roper,Alias:Gunslnger9378!
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Because it may be your very last mistake!

Offline Omnivore

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 01:03:29 PM »
OK, that's one "vote" each for Graf and Sons, Pyro P, Goex 3F, and Elephant.  What do I do with that?  I planned on using one powder.  I already have the Pyro and the Goex.  Do I need to buy a pound each of Elephant and G & F too?  That'd be 400 shots total (100 each powder).  That's a bit more than I'd anticipated.

Which powder is most likely to cause Omnivore's demonstration to fail?

I can start with one powder, and if that gets through 100 shots, with the cylinder still turning reasonably well and the rifling still visible without wiping the bore, I suppose I could try another powder on another outing.  We can knock these dominoes down one at a time.  So where do I start?

Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 02:19:35 PM »
I like T7 the best. Very easy to clean.
The worse is Pyro, really dirty.
Just my 2 cents.  ;)
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 02:37:51 PM »
Hi Johnnie, there's no mote in my eyes. See this thread from this post on, see

http://1858remington.com/discuss/index.php?topic=6410.msg143212#msg143212

Maybe even an old fart like you may learn something? I'm also an old fart, but not so old that I can't learn something new. I love you Johnnie, but IMO you are stuck in the mud.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 02:45:53 PM »
Hi Omnivore, IMO any BP that is available to you would be a good place to start. I look forward to learning your results.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline mike116

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 03:13:40 PM »
I say  use the the Goex as a place to start.   You could end it there too if you feel so inclined.   Goex is the cheap and dirty stuff most of us will use if shooting Holy Black.   It's the most available and least expensive black powder I know of.

Offline G Dog

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 04:01:02 PM »
Speaking just for my area Mike116 is correct, Goex is the most readily available black but Pyro is the easiest to get around here.  I use Pyrodex P at a frequency of about ten to one to my use of black powder.  It is very available and black powder is much less so. 

I have had good results with Pyro P, much better than some here.  As has been noted ... lube is the key. I use a variation of Gatafeo No. 1 Lube over .454 balls and lithium grease on the arbor/pin.  The combination works very well.

Have gone sixty (maybe seventy) shots without a wipe down.  I will try to find out what is the maximum I can go without binding up. Never tried.

This is a really good topic and thread and I appreciate the contributions. I am following this with much interest.

Yea, Johnnie could be less reactionary and should show a little more patience and respect for people who's methods and gear differ from his own. 

Good thread, thanks guys.

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Offline Omnivore

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 04:34:41 PM »
OK, so here's the deal.  I've already done 100 shots with Pyro pellets, which is what Johnnies is using, though I didn't crush them - just seated them down with the bullet, as you'll see in my thread about compressed powder cartridges.  If the idea is that loose Pyro is dirtier than the pellets, I can certainly try that also, but I think I'll go ahead and try the regular Goex next.

Keep in mind that there are two requirements for my experiment to be successful.  The cylinder must be reasonably free to rotate AND the rifling must be readily visible.  I've been able to keep the cylinder running without attention, while the bore fouls up hard and destroys accuracy, so both criteria must be present or you're just making noise and smoke.

Also; I not only won't be wiping the cylinder pin; I won't even be pulling it, such as to swap cylinders.  I.e. NO attention given to it all.  Everything stays together and no lube is added beyond what's in the loads.

I repeat; I have already done the 100 shots with the Pyro pellets, and that worked well.  I commented at the time, IIRC, that I thought there would be no limit to the number of shots using that particular load, which, if you want it repeated here, was a Pyro pellet glued to the base of a Lee 200, the bullet then dipped in GF1 such that it was completely covered in a thick layer of lube, some of it in the grease grooves and a bunch more over the bullet.  That load also, I might add, has been the easiest to load on the gun in the field so far.  Really slick.  Its problems are that it sometimes comes apart in handling, it's not well suited to use in a cartridge belt box (at least not my box design), and it exhibits the occasional slight hangfire (no booster charge).  The pellets, as has been cited, are also more expensive.

Offline mike116

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2015, 04:41:56 PM »
Pyrodex is the most available substitute here too.   I don't anyone who uses it when something else is available.   

Offline BartSr

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2015, 06:02:31 PM »
I use 777-FFFg clean stuff.
I have been using Goex Clear Shot, not too bad, comes in a white metal can.
I have used Pyro but it is dirty and I have 4 bottles to use up.  (u^
Also have some Goex FFFg but it just sits.

Paul

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Offline Boondock

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Re: Tell me; what is the dirtiest, nastiest, foulingest powder?!
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2015, 06:42:14 PM »
I don't have ready access to the Holy Black at the several LGS around me, so I have been shooting T7 FFFg, which is easily found at the local hardware store and elsewhere.  Fouling is indeed rather soft, and most rinses away with hot water, leaving the remainder of cleanup a cinch.  I do have a pound of Pyrodex P that I planned on taking with me for my next range trip, and am interested to see how it compares.  I figure I will shoot T7 in my 8" Pietta, and Pyrodex in the Sheriff, loading equally, and see which one gives up the ghost before fouling seizes the gun.  Accuracy won't be a primary focus of the experiment, as mine could use a great deal of improvement that only additional range time will provide.

Either way, Johnnie is indeed correct that if any of us want to keep our delicate hands clean, this is not the hobby to pursue.
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