Weight or volume - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Weight or volume

This is tricky. When you measure a load for an inline or traditional muzzleloader do you use the weight of the charge or volume? Reason I ask is I noticed a difference today.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:30 PM
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When you're using BP or substitutes like Pyrodex or Triple7, you measure by volume. (Or volume equivalent if pellets)
Pretty sure there's load data for Blackhorn 209 for both weight and volume... I haven't played with it yet, so I'm not certain...

The few rifles out there that can handle smokeless (I refuse to jump in that game) are by weight only.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:34 PM
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With what powder????? Black powder has a certain density which tends to be fairly uniform from maker to maker and grade to grade. So you measure by volume the equivalent of 60 grains of black powder. You actually get about 60 grains by weight of black powder. Fake black powders are made to be measured by the same volume equivalent as black powder, but some are substantially less in density. So a 60 grain black powder volume of Pyrodex might only actually weigh 35 grains. What ever black powder or black substitute you use (except for pellets) use the black powder volume measure, even if the fake powder weighs less. A few of the fake powders are significantly more powerful than black powder and sometimes folks use 15% less VOLUME of Pyrodex to equal the same oomph as black powder.

How close you measure is to actual weight of real black powder can also vary a lot from one pour of powder to the next. Always tap the side of the measure and get the powder to settle to get the most consistent measuring from shot to shot.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zimmerstutzen View Post
With what powder????? Black powder has a certain density which tends to be fairly uniform from maker to maker and grade to grade. So you measure by volume the equivalent of 60 grains of black powder. You actually get about 60 grains by weight of black powder. Fake black powders are made to be measured by the same volume equivalent as black powder, but some are substantially less in density. So a 60 grain black powder volume of Pyrodex might only actually weigh 35 grains. What ever black powder or black substitute you use (except for pellets) use the black powder volume measure, even if the fake powder weighs less. A few of the fake powders are significantly more powerful than black powder and sometimes folks use 15% less VOLUME of Pyrodex to equal the same oomph as black powder.

How close you measure is to actual weight of real black powder can also vary a lot from one pour of powder to the next. Always tap the side of the measure and get the powder to settle to get the most consistent measuring from shot to shot.
zimmer- I'm on the edge of getting started if I can get this barrel clear of fouling and minor rust (lots to learn). What do you mean by "fake powder"?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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The old TC books always said measure by volume... Supposedly if you measure the new substitute powders by weight you get a 20-30% increase over a volume measure...
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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I measured 80 grains by volume of American Pioneer powder and it blew the bolt back on my Knight rifle to the cocked position. It's a plunger type bolt. I went home a weighted the 80 grains by volume on my powder scale it it was showing 62 grains weight. I called Knight and asked what was the recommended load for this rifle. They said 110 grains weight. NO WAY am I going to try that one. Guy said the rifle was designed for triple 7 powder. Does Triple 7 not burn as hot? I guess I better try some different powders.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:40 AM
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I measured 80 grains by volume of American Pioneer powder and it blew the bolt back on my Knight rifle to the cocked position. It's a plunger type bolt. I went home a weighted the 80 grains by volume on my powder scale it it was showing 62 grains weight. I called Knight and asked what was the recommended load for this rifle. They said 110 grains weight. NO WAY am I going to try that one. Guy said the rifle was designed for triple 7 powder. Does Triple 7 not burn as hot? I guess I better try some different powders.

If the person you talked to said 110 grains weight, they didn't know what they were talking about. BP and all BP substitutes are ALWAYS measured by volume, not weight. Below is straight out of a Knight manual (bold mine):

Never exceed the recommended maximum powder charge for your Knight muzzle-loader Please see individual models for recommended load limits of Black Powder FFg, or industry approved black powder substitute by volume or its equivalent for Knight RiflesSee your specific rifle’s page for maximum powder charges
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 09:50 AM
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 10:00 AM
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If the person you talked to said 110 grains weight, they didn't know what they were talking about. BP and all BP substitutes are ALWAYS measured by volume, not weight. Below is straight out of a Knight manual (bold mine):

Yup.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 03:26 PM
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I switched over to Blackhorn 209 from T7 pellets and I find that weighing produces the best shot after shot accuracy. When I first started working up a load, I verified by volume to be safe. The max charge for Blackhorn is 84 grains by weight which should be 120 grains by volume depending on which volumetric tube you use, which is one of the problems with volume measurements. My current charge is 77 grains (weighed in grams out to 3 decimals = 4.990) with a 250 grain Hornady SST and Harvester short sabot. I'll weigh out the charges in small glass vials before going to the range or out in the field.

The main thing about measuring by volume is to be consistent. If you tap the volumetric tube to allow the powder to settle before loading (especially blackhorn because of the cylindrical shape of the granules), you should repeat this procedure for each load to be consistent.
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Last edited by JM59; 08-30-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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