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Spent a few hours at the range last weekend, to give blackhorn 209 a try.
I was very impressed with the accuracy, and the lack of fouling, made me
smile. TC Encore, 100 gr. (by volume) of 209, Standard 209 primer,
and 295 gr power belt aero's. Three shot group, 2.5 in., that is about as
good as it can get, for my old eyes, with open sights. What was really nice, is heading right back to the lake, to fish, as I did not have to find
a hot soapy bath for my ML. Just wiped it down, and run a few patches down the barrel.
I really do not change much, but I was happy with what I have seen from
my first test with 209 blackhorn. We had 5 guys shooting at the range,
3 tried 209 blackhorn, and the other 2 shot pyrodex. All three of the 209
blackhorn shooters, had about the same results. The 2 pyrodex shooters,
both shot 54. cal, with heavy bullets, and 209 blackhorn is not recommended, for the 54. with heavy bullets. I will continue to shoot
pyrodex in my 54, but plan to switch to 209 blackhorn, for my 50. cal encore. This powder is worth a look, it has many great qualities, very little fouling, the cleaning issue, and shelf life.
I give the powder a thumbs-up
 

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I find this new blackhorn powder interesting. I've been shooting my Omega 50 with 150 gr of T7, get 2160 fps and 1 1/2 to 2" groups at 100 yards which is good hunting load performance.

What matters most to me is the T7 fouling- after 3 or 4 shots, it becomes very difficult to seat a sabot. In theory, this should not be an issue, as we of course strive for a "one shot kill". Such is not allways the case. i recall a couple of years ago having wounded an animal by a poor shot and spending several hours trying to catch up with this buck and finish the job. During the pursuit, several shots we're taken in an attempt to end his suffering, but none seemed to be connecting. As I attempted to seat the 4th round, I was forced to place the ramrod against a tree and hammer the sabot down the barrel to get it fully seated- (not good), but finally managed to connect with a kill shot. Later that day after the buck had been dressed and hung, I took the gun to the range to check it out.

As I prepared to bench test my Omega, I turned the scope up to 9 power, and much to my amazement watched the reticle turn also as I turned the power ring. I fired a shot and it hit about 18" left and almost 1 foot low on a big cardboard box. A broken reticle explained my misses, and a wounded animal.

I find it a great advantatage to be able to take several shots without a cleaning and be able to seat a bullet without resorting to a tree to hammer a round home, very dangerous should you not be able to get one fully seated. Sometimes "one shot kills" just don't occur.

If blackhorn 209 can allow me multiple shots with ease of loading, provides good velocity and great accuracy with very little fouling and ease of cleaning, then I'm all for it.

I'm right in the middle of NH rifle season now, but next year I'm sure gonna give blackhorn a try.
 

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I just got me a batch of BH209 and cant wait to try it with my new T/C Omega. I love to clean my guns so I dont mind the swabbing at the range. It gives the barrel time to cool between shots. What I do like is the idea of its ability to keep dry and fire in the humidity or rain, snow, sleet, horizontal rain and so on. The velocity and consistency are a bonus as well. I will let yall know what I think after I install my peep sight. "I had to call in sick today cuz the voices said to stay home and clean my guns" I just love that Bumper Sticker. It goes along with "Gun control is being able to hit your target"
 

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I too have tried this powder, and of all the things I have tried this stuff is the most accurate powder, I have ever used or seen
I cannot agree about the not having to clean between shots!
My bore is super tight, and I need to run a few clean patches between shot, ALL the time!
but I have shot many groups under an inch, and some at less than 3/4's of an inch with this powder!
I cannot say enought about it!
I didn't read all the post on here,
But something I have not noticed is the fact that this powder doesn't have the traditional big puff of smoke
I can actually se my bullet hit the targets!( holes any ways)
and i get very very little smoke to none at all
I do know that going from 150 grains,777 to 115 grains this stuff, my 50 encore shoots same left to right, but 7 inches higher!, with a noticable more kick!
here are the stats off my crony!
FPS
Muzzle; 2260
100 Yds; 1352
150 Yds; 1040
200 Yds; 813

drop
100 yds 0.0
150 yds -3.6
200 yds -12.75
250 yds -27.25
300 yds -48.50
 

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I COULDNT HAVE WISHED FOR A BETTER DAY AT THE RANGE!

37 degrees, rain and snow mixed, 5000 ft elevation, foggy, low light level. NOBODY at the range. Perfect conditions.
So I wanted to see for myself how many shots I could squeeze off before I had to swab. Every round seated perfectly, right to my rod mark. My result was 12 shots. The 13th shot was a delay. Swabbed the barrel and squeezed off another round and again, delay. Swabbed again, removed breech plug and cleaned completley, hole and all. No problems after that. Then I swabbed after every shot with Windex and followed with a dry patch.
My shoulder is a bit sore. Right now I have my BH209 load worked up to 110 gr. throwing a 250gr Shockwave. 50yds, tac driver. 100yds, average 2" grouping with peep. About 3" high. WOW. I was running out of bullets so I didnt try a further shots. Last round, clean bore, 100yds, slight breeze from right to left and 1 1/4" NW of dead center. I may have flinched cuz, like I said, my shoulder was pretty sore and I knew this one was going to hurt. It did. So at the range, I will swab between shots cuz that will be the condition of my rilfe in the field. In the field, I am not going to need any cleaning supplies. I am very confident that I could squeeze off several shots without swabbing, NO PROBLEM. I am going to work the BH209 all the way up to the max of 120gr. and see what she does.
 

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OK, cleanup at home on the bench was not so bad. But not as easy as I have read. DONT use water or any other BP solvent cuz it doesnt work....well. I had to use Hoppes#9 to clean everything to my specs. I just dont swab the barrel and brush the breech plug. I clean EVERYTHING. I did have to use the Hoppes cuz the BH209 would not come off completely without it. So, on the range, I will swab with Windex between shots but when bench cleaning, Hoppes #9 is the trick for sure. I forgot to mention in my earlier post that without swabbing for my first 12 shot, the accuacy did not change and my Sabot 250gr. Shockwave seated fully every time, even when I had the hang-fires. It was a total breech plug problem. Crud did biuld up in the breech and that was causing my hang-fires. I was sighting in my new peep and every time I adjusted, thats where the bullet went. Very accurate. No flyers. Good grouping @ 50 & 100yds. It also did not get better once I started swabbing after every shot. BH209 is hot, basicly clean and you can shoot multiple shots without swabbing and not lose your accuracy. Is it better that T7 FFg? Couldnt tell ya. I know its better than pellets! I do know that I will have to work up my load more for more velocity at further yardage......150-200yds. I may drop my 250gr. Shockwave down to 200gr. but im not at that point yet. I will keep ya posted.
 

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I couldnt tell you if its too fast because I am not experienced enough to say. I can tell you that I have read not to go over 120 grains of BH209. They also say that if your bullet is over 300gr. to check the BH209 website. Here is what their chart says.

250gr. w/80 grains BH 1723fps, 100 grains-1920fps, 120 grains-2149fps.
300gr. w/80 grains BH 1632fps, 100 grains-1862fps, 120 grains-2070fps.

There is not really that much difference. The owners manulal for my T/C says that with FFg it takes 150 grains of BP to push a 250gr. bullet 1853fps. For a 300gr. bullet, 1758fps w/150gr. of FFg. Everything I have quoted is for the T/C Shockwave.

I guess it depends on what your hunting. Then the debate about bullet size comes into play. Of course all this info is under ideal and totally controled circumstances. They say that after 40 shots without swabbing they can shoot a 3 shot clover at 100yds. I only got 12 shots off before I ran into complications. No loading complications but the breech plug needed cleaning because it was too fouled. Hope this helps.
 

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sorry guys, but I gave you the wrong info, that is the energy info, not the velosity,
I had that info wtitten down, but miss placed the FPS part, I only have the drop, and energy.
as for the bullet, it is a TC shockwave 250 grain, easy load sabot! with 115 grains of BLack horn 209, and a federal standard 209 primer!
 

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jhegg, I have fired the BH209 with some Hornady 300gr FPB's and it worked just fine. I didn't get the accuracy I have with the Shockwaves, but it was pretty good. I didn't work up loads like I should have. I didn't have enough FPB's to give it a fair trial.
 

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After re-reading the BH209 literature they do mention that you will have to clean the breech plug to prevent hangfires. I took my new rifle over to my brother-in-laws yesterday to show off. He had a whole bunch of buddies there. At first they were kinda teasing me about using a ML for deer hunting. Then they saw the 250gr Shockwave and the size of the bullet impressed them. So we went out to the field to do some shooting. My brother in law puts a paint can full of dirt about 40yds out and I told him to put it out further and he thought i was joking. So he puts it out to about 50yds and I told him to go further and he said there was no way I would hit the paint can at 50yds with a peep. So, I loaded my rifle and sent the round dead center and blew the can apart! You should have seen the look on everybodies face. It was the HOLY CRAP look!. So I let everybody have a few shots and get a feel for it and the next thing you know I am getting bombarded with questions about everything from how to buy one to how to get a peep. Then we tested the power by shooting at a kevlar army helmet. Still at about 50yds cuz they wernt too accurate with my Omega. They flinch a lot. So I took the first shot, dead center. The round penetrated the exterior but did not go through. The helmet did stop the bullet in a mannor of speaking. The damage did destroy the integrity. It basicly turned into a kevlar sack with a bunch of broken pieces in it. The bullet was retrieved, errr parts of it was. The helmet stopped the bullet but it still would have caused enough trauma to do serious damage.
 

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mrb said:
sorry guys, but I gave you the wrong info, that is the energy info, not the velosity,
I had that info wtitten down, but miss placed the FPS part, I only have the drop, and energy.
as for the bullet, it is a TC shockwave 250 grain, easy load sabot! with 115 grains of BLack horn 209, and a federal standard 209 primer!
If you are saying that 2260 was the Muzzle Energy in foot-pounds, then for a 250grain bullet the muzzle velocity is

sqrt[2260x2x32.2x7000/250] = 2018fps

That is still fairly hot, and, yes, I would call 250grains a light/middle-weight since a ball for the .50 would weigh 180grains.

BTW, it goes without saying that humidity might have a great effect on ML reloads without wiping between shots as was being discussed above. It sure does with BlackPowder. In my experience it also matters very greatly the condition of the bore. A new gun is usually not very easily reloaded without wiping until it has 50 oro 100 shots burnishing out the bore, again in my experience.

YHS,
rogerw
 

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On this question of breechplug/firechannel fouling......

Of the percussion guns I have, all are sidelocks and all take fire in from a bolster/nipple on the side of the barrel instead of thru the breechplug EXCEPT one....

I learned thru repeated experiences that I could shoot that one ML gun with the direct fire-channel centered in the breechplug 6 or 7 times typically before it would misfire......even though it uses musket caps.

It was about this time that I read somewhere that a cleaning jag (I was wiping between each shot, especially since the gun was new) should be WELL UNDER BORE DIMENSION even with the cleaning patch so that it takes the patch down PAST most of the fouling on the downstroke, and then on the upstroke the skirt of the patch should "bunch" up and scrub the sides of the barrel and into the rifling and lift the fouling out.

Problem was, if the jag/patch combination were TOO TIGHT it would push fouling down to the breech on the downstroke instead of removing it on the upstroke. This was not such a problem for my traditional guns where fire came in from the side, but it was a BIG PROBLEM for the firechannel that was centered in the breechplug!

I put the jag I was using on that gun in a drillchuck and laid a file on it and took it down about 20 or 25thousands, and to shorten the story, my misfire went away.

I have always thought this was a design weakness of firechannels being centered in the breechplug as they are in modern inlines, and not a few late-period "patent breech" MLs, instead of the older sidelock style coming in from the side. It also matters the shape of the breech-face...if it has a recessed "firing chamber" I am convinced that would exacerbate this problem unless the "nipple" or firechannel somehow protrudes up thru the recess...Anyway, the cure as I have found it is to be careful not to push fouling downwards in the first place with a too-tight jag/patch.

My 2 centavos, and btw I only shoot blackpowder so naturally your experience could be different...or it could be the same.

YHS,
rogerw
 

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I dont use a jag anymore at the range. I just use a .45 bore brush (for my .50 cal) with a patch over it. Doesnt get stuck, goes right to the breech plug and removes almost all the fouling from the plug and bore. With the BH209, the only down fall I have found so far is that the breech plug needs to be cleaned after every 10 shots or so but the bore doesnt really need to be swabbed. This prevents hangfires but it is a pain in the butt. I will try to use just a small breech plug brush and push it through the hole to see if that works. If I have to keep taking the breech plug out every 10 or so shots, the BH209 is not all that convienient. I guess everything has its pros and cons.
 

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Powerfisher said:
I dont use a jag anymore at the range. I just use a .45 bore brush (for my .50 cal) with a patch over it. Doesnt get stuck, goes right to the breech plug and removes almost all the fouling from the plug and bore.
It might be that the borebrush with patch is pushing fouling down. You can be fairly certain that excessive fouling does not naturally collect there in the firing cycle....it must be the wiping afterwards. Since BP would do the same thing, I do not think it is a fault of the powder you are using. Basically it is a design susceptability inherent to the inline design, or any design with the firehole centered in the breech.

To elaborate on the reason I would not blame the powder: Modern Smokeless powder consumes itself something like over 98% into hot gas. Blackpowder only consumes itself about 43% into hot gas, the rest remains as solids, either fouling or smoke (which is solid particulates suspended in air). These facts are part and parcel of why Smokeless has inherently more energy density than BP...it makes much more gas to propel the bullet with out of the same mass of powder.

Any BP-substitutsky that emulates BP in anywhere near volume-for-volume substitute levels and safe breech pressure-levels will necessarily have a high solid byproduct for the same reason then as BP....

Ergo, it will foul the breech of an inline or sidelock patent breech unless you are very careful with how you swab between shot.

The only way a smokeless could conceivably be a safe BP substitute would be in roughly 1/3 volume equivalency and it burns slow enough not to detonate and destroy the gun.... So far, this has only been apparently possible in modern-breeches designed for smokeless pressures, and not in BP breeches with nipple-cap ignitions.

So, unless you go to the Savage smokeless as far as I can understand you are stuck with potentially appreciable breech fouling to be dealt with finesse....

YHS,
rogerw
 

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When I was sighting in my Ultimate Slam scope this fall I shot a full package of 16 sabots with the BH209 and swabbed after each. Never had a problem with hang fire. I just used my loading jag and a patch with Hoppe's 9. I am going to agree with rogerw, it had to be the brush/patch combo.
 

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I think I may have been misunderstood. As long as I swab after every shot I do not have a problem with the fouling in the breech plug hole. It doesnt matter if its T7 or BH209. My .45 bore brush with a patch over it does a GREAT job removing any fouling in the barrel and breech plug. No hang fires. So its not a swabbing problem. My problem is with the BH209 only. The BH209 literature states that after 40 shots, no swabbing of the barrel is needed to maintain accuracy or to load the Sabots. I agree with that. My accuracy is consistant without swabbing and my Sabots seat perfectly every time. It also states that breech plug maintainance is necessary to prevent hangfires due to the 209 primer. The primer itself will foul the breech plug hole and create problems with hangfires. This is also true. I have ordered a breech plug hole brush so instead of removing the breech plug every ten shots or so, I can just clean the hole and not have remove the breech plug quite so often. One of the reasons that I tried the BH209 was to prevent swabbing after shots. I will let you know if this solves my problem. If it doesnt solve my problem, then the convienience of the BH209 is not that great due to constant breech plug removal. If I have to swab between shots then I may as well stick with T7 because of the price.
 
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