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How much powder in period cartridges

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  • Larry Lozon
    ... From: Revlist@onelist.com Subject: [Revlist] How much powder in period cartridges ... List: I found this quite intersting, what size load do you use? Larry
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 1999
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Revlist@onelist.com

      Subject: [Revlist] How much powder in period cartridges


      >Shortly before the beginning of the Rev war, orders were given for the
      >British Army in America that cartridges should be made using less powder
      >than previously:

      >"General after orders 21st Novr. [1774]
      > The Regiments will observe in firing at marks that the quantity of
      >powder necessary for each cartridge (as it has been found upon many
      >trials) that forty or forty- two Cartridges to a pound of powder will carry a
      >ball truer than thirty two Cartridges, which is the number usually made up
      >with a pound of powder."

      List: I found this quite intersting, what size load do you use?
      Larry
    • Bateman, Andrew
      ... a ... List: I found this quite interesting, what size load do you use? Larry Andrew writes: I generally use 100 grains for everything in my Bess - live
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 1999
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        >"General after orders 21st Novr. [1774]
        > The Regiments will observe in firing at marks that the quantity of
        >powder necessary for each cartridge (as it has been found upon many
        >trials) that forty or forty- two Cartridges to a pound of powder will carry
        a
        >ball truer than thirty two Cartridges, which is the number usually made up
        >with a pound of powder."

        List: I found this quite interesting, what size load do you use?
        Larry

        Andrew writes: I generally use 100 grains for everything in my Bess - live
        firing and blanks. I realize that the issue load for the 1812 period was
        164 grains (i.e. 6 drams or 42.666 cartridges to the pound), but my 70
        cartridges to the pound is easier on the pocket book (for blanks) and the
        shoulder (for live firing) than the period load. Besides, the quality of
        the powder we use is undoubtedly better than what the British army issued to
        common soldiers, and we can match the period ballistics with less powder.
        The 1774 load mentioned above, 32 cartridges to the pound is 1/2 an ounce of
        powder, or 219 grains! Yikes! It's interesting to see documentation that
        such high charges were used, and the fact that they felt the need to keep
        reducing it is a testimony to how much powder had improved during that time.


        Powder quality is an interesting topic. From what I have gathered, the
        quality of our modern sporting powder is better than the common run of
        musket powder from the past, depending on the time and place, but modern
        black powder cartridge shooters tell us that it is undoubtedly not as good
        as the best black powder from the late 19th century, the "golden age" of the
        black powder rifle.

        For those unfamiliar with the units: 1 pound = 7000 grains = 16 ounces; 16
        drams = 1 ounce
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