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black powder shells

1320 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Clayslayer
Can I use a black powder shell in my 870?
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Sure the pressures are way lower than smokeless.However it would be a mess to clean !!!
Not only would it be a mess to clean - IT MUST BE CLEANED !!!
Black powder contains sulphur, among other things; when fired, it leaves sulphur/oxygen compound residue in the barrel. This, combined with humidity, forms sulphuric acid in the barrel. The result, in very short order, is a badly pitted bore.

I'd stick to smokeless powder, unless you're shooting an antique and want the whole black powder experience... and even then, I'd shoot one of the non-corrosive black powder substitutes, like Pyrodex.
I agree with that.You could load using the cowboy action data and duplicate load performance with smokeless powder.
It would be cool to shoot black powder at the range though! The boy's would sure give you some wierd looks! :)
Howdy Clayslayer,

Shooting black powder is a hoot! I've been loading it for my Cowboy Action loads for a number of years now. The myth of black powder being a pain to clean is well, really a myth,

I load 75-80grs of any 2F black powder with a Win. Red wad. Throw in 1oz of reclaim shot and you have a booming, smoking wonder load guarenteed to attract attention at any range.

For very simple cleaning, first, remove your barrel. Spray the inside liberally with Windex, the one with ammonia. I know all the talk about removing the blue with Windex but after six years and weekly cleanings with it, my blueing still looks new. Set the barrel down for about ten minutes. You could wipe out the action while you are waiting. After it has set for the ten, tear a paper towel in half and wad it up to fit the bore tight, I mean tight! Poke it through the barrel, I use a 1/2" dowel, slowly. Be sure the other endof the barrel is not over something you would like to keep. I put the end down in a 5gal bucket. As you push the wad through. the Windex has loosened all the fouling and it will come out like a big, black worm. If you don't get it all with the first pass and 9 out of 10 times you will, do it again. You could then rinse with warm water if you want, but I seldom find it necessary.

I use Ballistol on all my BP guns and keep a aerosol can of it to spray on after cleaning. You could get the liquid Ballistol and mix it 1:10 with water for cleaning, or use straight for lubing. I don't use any other oils or cleaner on my BP guns and there has never been a rust issue. Here in AZ the humidity usually isn't an issue, but I have been able to go a week or more before cleaning, though not by choice.

I run my BP through a Stoeger Uplander as a main match gun. It sees 20-25 rounds or more a week, four to five times a month for the last six years. I shoot Cowboy Skeet and Clays with it too. I also shoot this load out of an original Winchester Mod. '97 and I can't think of a harder gun to clean. Spray it down with the Windex, then Ballistol mix, Blow it out with canned air or compressor, then lube with aerosol Ballistol.

I'd be happy to help anyone with questions about black powder in cartridge or shotshells.

Have fun with it!
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That sounds like a hoot!
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