Volume Not Weight!

All black or substitute powders are loaded by volume, not by weight. The correct volume is enough powder to fill the case slightly above the base of the bullet thus allowing some compression. This is true for all black powders regardless of brand or granulation. However, some black powder substitute manufacturers will advise the powder should not be compressed, but simply loaded evenly with the base of the bullet. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Today’s replica cartridge firing sixguns are safe to use with smokeless powder, although the originals, such as Colt SAAs manufactured before 1900 and all top-break, big-bore Smith & Wessons are for black powder only. Loading cartridges with black powder or black powder substitutes requires more time and more steps than with smokeless powder.

Cleaning firearms shot with black powder or black powder substitutes not only requires cleaning after each use, but also a more thorough cleaning than those firearms used with smokeless powder — it’s a messy, dirty job and has a unique smell. Firearms, hands and clothes will all be affected by the black powder with foul and residue to some extent; so will the mind, heart, soul and spirit. It is addictive and can cause brain damage, sixgunnin’-style, to the point the user feels smokeless powder is a passing fad. You have been warned.

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