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rgbwmb's picture
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Joined: 02/19/2011
Posts: 26
What black powder to use

New to the muzzleloader scene, I got a good deal on a Traditions Vortek 50 caliber. I had handled the T/C omega, CVA accura and others but chose the Vortek for the way it felt in my hands. Further research on what powder to use lead me to Blackhorn 209. Trouble is...can't get blackhorn so I ended up with triple seven pellets. Shot the gun today and here is what I can say about it. The gun is awesome. I did not try to group, just to rough sight in. Used 2 pellets at 50gr each, federal fusion primers, dead center 40 caliber 200gr sabots. After initial bore cleaning and 2 shots fired, I could not get the 3rd bullet to go all the way down to the pellets lacking about 2 inches. So with the 777 pellets I have to clean the barrel after 2 shots. When I do this...the 2nd shot is not tight with the first shot. So my conclusion is I must clean after each shot to achieve consitant accuracy. I read that users of Blackhorn 209 are shooting 50 times and more without cleaning and with no problems with misfires or tight bores. Can't wait to get some Blackhorn 209.....

Umpqua Hunter's picture
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Joined: 05/26/2011
Posts: 64
Get Some Blackhorn 209!

Yeah, definitely order some Blackhorn 209, great stuff.  If you can't get it locally, order it online.  One thing I have run into is that you can have ignition problems with the wrong 209 primers when shooting BH209.  The 209 primers designed for special blackpowders should also not be used with BH209.  Also there is an issue in some guns with even standard 209 primers.  Apparently there is so much "oomph" in the standard primers is that is shoves the load forward before it ignites, so you get no ignition.  After a lot of research I learned that the Fiocchi primers were one of the most reliable primers with BH209.

RevHoover's picture
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Joined: 06/16/2010
Posts: 45
777

Hello Rgbwmb

I use 777 in loose powder and have never had that problem. I personally HATE pellets. Yes they can obtain hunting accuracy, but loose powder ALWAYS shoots and ignites more consistantly. If your gun shoot bh209... use it, its good stuff, but it can be finickey. But 777 powder is easy to clean and reliable even with #11 caps (inline) 

Also I can prepare a speedloader with loose powder in 15 seconds. With a speedloader I can load a smokepole just as fast as anyone that uses pellets.

Bottom line... Use what YOU feel comfortable with. 

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Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 383
Skip the Pellets/Save Some Money

Gotta agree with Rev about using pellets.  The minimal ease of loading and handling isn't worth the extra cost.  I've always been a black powder fan - just started using the substitutes fairly recently and can't understand the attraction to pellets.  I'm currently loading 110 gr 777 in my inline & getting great performance, both accuracy and ease of loading & cleaning.  With my gun that extra 10 grains of 777 definitely makes a difference in accuracy.  Pellets don't have the flexibility to custom load for the gun.

Blackhorn worked great in my inline - until my State (Nevada) decided to prohibit it's use during the muzzleloader season.  Check your State to make sure it's legal before you by a can (oh yeah - it's also kinda spendy).

Being new to muzzleloading you should also try using the real thing.  Blackpowder just isn't that hard to clean, especially with an inline with a removable breach plug.  I won't use anything else in my sidelock rifles.

Your conclusions on accuracy based on a few rounds downrange might be a bit premature also.  It very well could be your choice of bullet/sabot.  A 200 grain 40 cal bullet seems a little light - don't suggest using it for anything larger that medium sized deer especially when there are so many other options out there.

Being new to the muzzleloader scene, don't shy away from experimenting with old materials and methods.  There's a good reason why they've been around for so long - they usually work pretty well.

COMeatHunter's picture
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I'd recommend Blackhorn209

I'd recommend Blackhorn209 too.  I use it pretty much exclusively in my Traditions muzzleloader.  It's a Pursuit inline with breech plug.  I use CCI primers and have never had any ignition issues, even after 15 shots.  I don't even pick the flash hole in the breech plug between shots.  

One other comment about Blackhorn209.  It's has a bit more punch than other blackpowder substitutes.  I would recommend starting with 80-85 grains and test out groupings with your gun at 5 grain intervals.  Maybe try all the way up to 120 grains or so.  If your gun patterns like mine, there will be an obvious "sweet spot" with the amount of powder and your accuracy.  Of course, every time a different bullet is used, you'll need to go through the test loads again to find what works best.  In my gun, 90 grains of BH209 with a Powerbelt 295 gr. bullet grouped at 1.5" at 80 yards with open sights.  That was the best group size by about 1/2".

Good luck and have fun with your new smoke pole.

JodyStomper's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2011
Posts: 10
Blackhorn!

I could write a book on my experiments and supporting experience, but the short version is...

Blackhorn 209!!!  It's as close as you're going to get to smokeless powder convenience, consistency, accuracy, ahygroscopicity, and ease of cleaning.  It also doesn't smell like pickled egg farts when you shoot it.

And I suggest you try either CCI 209M, Fiocchi, or Cheddite primers first.  Avoid the "muzzleloader specific" primers, which are mostly weakened to avoid pushing pellets down the bore faster than they can ignite.  Blackhorn needs more flame to get going than the other BP substitutes.

Sorry you're having a hard time finding it, but give Western another year & you'll see it everywhere inline muzzleloaders are sold.  Give it 2-3 more years and you may have a hard time finding anything else!

rgbwmb's picture
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Joined: 02/19/2011
Posts: 26
blackhorn 209

I have 5lb of BH on its way. I have will not try to group the loads till I get the BH, sabots are not cheap. I plan on finding a bullet that shoots best for my gun and sticking with it. I do the same thing with my 300 wby loads. I plan on a hog hunt with my ML soon. I already purchased CCI209m primers and ordered the blackhorn plastic powder tubes for pre measured volume loads. I always research what i'm going to do and stick to it. That is how I came across BH. Im not big on cleaning after 2 shots.....and the Dead Center Sabots are just a starting point, could end up with Shockwaves or something else....

RevHoover's picture
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Joined: 06/16/2010
Posts: 45
two shots

I am just curious... why would you want to clean your gun after two shots? The most I ever do (with 777 ffg)  is run a patch down the barrel after 5 or six shots. That takes about 15 seconds... tops.  When I am done I just three or four swabs with tap water and it is clean. Total cleaning job is 5 minutes with removable breech plug.

Anyway good luck with the BH209. If your gun fires it, you will never want to use anything else. I am still hoping that they will be able to make it into a powder that can be used in any ML. 

 

FrontierGander's picture
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Location: Boncarbo,CO
Joined: 12/01/2008
Posts: 87
Because with triple 7 -

Because with triple 7 - Pyrodex, these powders can create a crud ring at the base of the bullet when fired due to hot primers. This crud ring can cause the shooter to accidentally leave his bullet unseated off the charge because it is caught up on the crud ring  rather than pressed against the powder.

RevHoover's picture
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Joined: 06/16/2010
Posts: 45
777

I understand that this can happen... but it does not happen after two shots... I have used 777 for years and have never had this happen. Is this just a pellet issue? 

 

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4020
I have heard of the ring

I have heard of the ring happening with pellets but not with loose powder.  As far as what powder to use that is up in the air.  You need to shoot them all out of your rifle with the bullets that you plan on using to find what works best for you. 

One thing to keep in mind it that a number of states are looking at Buckhorn 209 and the formulation that they use to make it.  Since it is Nitrocellulose base which is a base for smokeless powder. 

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