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Hank45
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black powder screening
Nov 28th, 2011 at 1:22pm
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I need to know the size screen to sieve the fine , medium and large( F, FF ,FFF ,FFFF) powder grains, I think I saw it on this forum? Thanks , Hank Smiley
  
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MartiniBelgian
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #1 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 1:41pm
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If you have to sieve, you're not using a quality powder - I use Swiss, and find there is absolutely no need for it.  It does keep you busy, but with most powders it really isn't all that useful an activity - time I would prefer to spend in  another way, like trigger time:  that will REALLY help in getting an accurate load.
  
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #2 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 1:42pm
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People do it and will argue the point however. It's a dangerous practice.  Dust raised by the screening is extremely explosive.  Best use Black Powder as supplied by the manufacturer.

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #3 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 1:59pm
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Boats,I'll second that one- Fritz
  
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #4 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 2:46pm
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I've screen both BP and bulk shot gun smokeless. I too, consider it dangerous to to in the house or indoors most anywhere. But, if done outdoors it's safer. Just handling and shooting BP could be considered dangerous. I've seen accidents in muzzle loading.

I've not used any of the newer BPers. I still live in the olden days, I guess and I still have GOEX that I bought at $5 a pound.

If GOEX is what you had in mind regarding screening for use in cartridges. Use FG and don't sieve. If you only have FFG, your accuracy will improve if you sieve and I wouldn't use (GOEX) FFFG for cartridges.

It's the "fines" that make them less accurate and that's what the sieving gets rid of. The newer use of thin paper over the flash hole might offset what you get from sieving but, I haven't tried that.

Frank
  

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Hank45
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #5 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 2:54pm
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It was just a passing thought, thanks to everyone, Hank Smiley
  
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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #6 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 5:05pm
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I think its a valid question.  "fines" can occur in any of the older physically softer powders from abrasion between powder granules as the cans are handled or thorough age deterioration.   If you think of the "fines" as unknown and variable quantity of  highly explosive XXXXXXX grade BP randomly mixed in with your normal  X, XX, OR XXX powder you can see the problem that might occur in a cartridge; particularly if they are shaken or vibrated down to the flash hole either in the loading process on in handling.
Even a small amount potentially could cause variations in the internal ballistics.  It might not be enough to have a big effect on a 45-70 or a large bore ML.   But on  the smaller BP cartridge cartridge rifles especially the sub-38 cal rounds, even the slightest variables really stack up. 
  I have several decanted-from-bulk can  of old c. 1980 dupont & goex FF and FFF.   If I were to take up the BP 22 rf tinkering  I'd NEVER use it unless I screened it-----VERY CAREFULLY.

I have seen BP screen sets listed on the trading blanket on the American Longrifle Association forums where there are frequently indepth discussions of Black Powder issues
  

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #7 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 5:44pm
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It's something shooters do.  I don't argue the point with anybody but suggest you get in touch with a professional, fireman etc who's opinion you trust & has seen explosions from dust & fumes, get his opinion.

Have seen and was involved in investigating several large dust & fume explosions while in the Coast Guard Loaded a lot of explosives and flammables on ships taking appropriate precautions too. Was called as  a arbitration witness  on a small explosion at a indoor shooting range recently.  It was from unburned powder dust in the air ignited by unknown source. Two people burned, one severely. Quanity of unburned powder was very small however it was suspended in the air, fans were not working.

Thing that makes the difference risk wise is quantity. Loading BP cartridges 50- 60 grains at a time risk is minimal. Start pouring a pound of powder through a sieve the risk increases substantially.

Looking for the most accurate load it's not worth it to me. That's all I have to say about it

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #8 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 7:34pm
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Boats,
Regarding your indoor range investigation........... A friend I knew from Hi School was killed in a indoor range explosion and fire. He had become a gun dealer and had his own basement range. He became fond of the MAC 10's and was turning one loose in full auto when things exploded and caught fire.

The fire Dept. determined that the powder residues had built up on the walls of the large tunnel type range and that the flame from the MAC 10 caused them to ignite. That happened some 40 years ago.

Frank
  

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #9 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 7:41pm
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Anytime you are handling bp. it goes without question that you don't want a heater, open flame or other ignition source in the same room. As far as ignition from static electricity, that has pretty much been proven to be an old wives tail. So what is the problem with sreening powder?
  
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #10 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 7:49pm
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Regarding the dangers of loading BP at the bench......... before you put the wad over the powder, you have 30 - 70+ gr of exposed BP within a foot or less of about a 1/2 lb of powder in your powder measure. Then, what would the fire dept. say if you told them that within about 2 feet of your 1/2 lb of BP,  you had a visible fire (muzzle). And then tell them that there is a row of about 15 people doing the same thing  Shocked

Kind makes sieving sound safe.

Frank
  

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #11 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 8:25pm
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I find it interesting to note that in the manufacture of blackpowder, the civil war era plants (Augusta, GA for example) were a series of buildings with GREAT distances between them covering several MILES.

I also live near (20 miles) the Radford Army Ammunition Plant - there have been some noteable explosions over the years.

The worst 'what if' does occur.  Plan for it.

  

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frnkeore
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #12 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 8:38pm
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When I was in Viet Nam, Our Battalion was right across Hwy 2 in Long Bien from the largest ammo dump in Viet Nam. It only blew up 3 times in 7 or 8 months. But, it got your attention each time. You always knew that what ever went UP had to come DOWN.

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Re: black powder screening
Reply #13 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 9:43pm
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zrifleman wrote on Nov 28th, 2011 at 7:41pm:
Anytime you are handling bp. it goes without question that you don't want a heater, open flame or other ignition source in the same room. As far as ignition from static electricity, that has pretty much been proven to be an old wives tail. So what is the problem with screening powder?


So who proved static electricity won't cause an explosion ? Suggest you read the Coast Guards report on the Bow Mariner explosion.  1000 foot parcel tanker blown in half while cleaning empty tanks that had been filled with ethanol. One of the possible causes cited. Static Electricity.  No one left alive to tell what actually happened.

Does a full government investigation take 2nd place to some pilgrim on the Internet "proving" static electricity won't cause explosions. It can and does ignite flammables and has many times been the source of explosions

Sorry guys broke my rule, nothing more from Boats on this one

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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: black powder screening
Reply #14 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 10:34pm
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static, OR ANY SOURCE OF A SPARK can cause huge flash-over explosions in a dust or fume saturated environment,  coal mines, grain elevators, bulk cargo handlers.  "empty" flammable liquid vessels, whether a 1 gal lawnmower gas gan or a petroleum tanker, are far more likely to explode than a full one.   Just ask anyone with level level 1 firefighter training.   Boats is abso-damn-lutely correct about that

air suspended BP "fines" in your or my  reloading corner of the basement could be a potential hazard.  and believe me I wouldn't do any sifting there.  Outdoors in the open (and not smoking my pipe) would be a safer setting, especially if there was some air flow.

If you are referring to the issue of detonating powder measures and the way you get "static cling" with the plastic hoppers I'm respectfully skeptical.  you can obviate the static cling quite easily.  And I'm not sure how likely is is to create a spark manipulating the cast  iron and brass body of the common Lyman measures---but maybe thats another topic for discussion,  or check it out on the BP oriented forums.
  

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