black powder substitutes

Discussion in 'Muzzle Loading' started by cooker300, Nov 8, 2018.

which one do you use

  1. blackhorn 209

    2 vote(s)
  2. alliant black MZ

    2 vote(s)
  3. pyrodex

    7 vote(s)
  4. 777

    7 vote(s)
  5. goex pinnacle

    1 vote(s)
  1. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    NW PA
    for all you black powder guys
    do any of you use any of the substitutes?

    if so which ones

    loose powder or the pellets .
    I'm looking to change my in line over to loose powder and not sure which one is better if there is one.

    been thinking about black horn 209.

    trying to do this with out buying 5 different powders if at all possible
    austinjoe13 likes this.
  2. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Pyrodex is a good ole standard.

    I’ve been playing with American pioneer.
    M14man likes this.

  3. jwrauch

    jwrauch G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Had good luck with 777 a while back !!
    jerry likes this.
  4. I've tried the Shockey's Gold / Pioneer Powder (they are the same thing) and couldn't hold the tight groups as I can with 777. The Shockey's Gold sticks or pellets didn't seem to be formed very consistent and my Knight Bighorn was shooting a pattern like a shotgun.
    I've dialed in the sweet spot for my muzzle loader at 100 - 120 grains of the 777 and have a slightly better group with loose powder over the pellets. I think it's because the loose powder ignites more consistent than the pellets.
    Anything above 120 gr and I start losing accuracy.

    I also think that using the made for muzzleloader 209 primers has helped with my accuracy. From what I've read, the hotter shotgun 209's can unseat the bullet from the powder before it all ignites causing accuracy issues. The made for muzzleloader 209's aren't quite as hot and have less chance to push the bullet off the powder before it lights.
    I've been shooting the 777 with 250 gr Hornady SST bullets for several years with very good results.
    I haven't shot the Blackhorn 209 in my Knight, but my dad has been using it in his Thompson and seems to be pleased with the performance. I do remember that he had to drill the breech plug flash hole to a larger diameter to help ensure a good ignition with it. He also has to use the Shotgun 209's to make sure the Blackhorn will ignite. His muzzleloader likes the 250 gr Powerbelt bullets.
    jerry likes this.
  5. Stickman

    Stickman Less well known member Forum Contributor

    My main blackpowder shooter is a flintlock so I use genuine blackpowder for it. The substitutes don't light off well enough for the flint action.

    I do use substitute for the revolvers and the one cap lock pistol I have. I haven't found a lot of difference between the different powders I've tried.
    jerry and Jaison like this.
  6. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Dang it. This thread really piqued my interest. Got a flintlock, too, but no more black powder. Can’t justify the expense to pay for a minimum order that would last 20 years.

    Was hoping there was finally a substitute for us flintlock guys.
  7. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I use Black MZ, 777, and pyrodex in loose powder form. They all work well.
    I think Black MZ may be cleaner with my powdercoared lead (no lube).
    I got great results with Pyrodex and 250 grain 50 cal Lee REAL bullets lubed with Bore Butter.
    777 works well, it just wasn't as accurate as Pyrodex in my rifle when I was chasing groups with the black powder stuff.

    Edit to add: My anecdotal results were from shooting inlines and traditional Hawkens 50 cal rifles. Lee REAL and standard patched ball bullets, no sabot's or jacketed bullets.
    jerry likes this.
  8. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I’ve used pyrodex since I’ve had my muzzle loader. Initially it was 130 grains of pellets ( two 50s and a 30,) That was very accurate with 295 gr Hornady JSP in a sabot.
    But the 30 grain pellets are too scarce around here so I now use 125 gr of loose pyrodex and get the same results.
    Dutch and jerry like this.
  9. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    I like the Blackhorn 209. its more expensive but I think its worth it. I get good groups, very little fouling, no need to clean between shots and cleans like smokless powder. I use regular shotgun primers too.
    jwrauch, cooker300 and Dutch like this.
  10. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    Nothing I use is on your list except Blackhorn, and I rarely use it.

    For inlines I like White Hots, and in my traditional guns I use American Pioneer.
  11. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    Pyrodex is nasty stuff. It's super corrosive and smells like crap. Triple 7 is way better for the gun.

    Blackhorn 209 is looked at as the best propellant available. It is not recommended for cap ignited rifles, otherwise I would use it.
    rando, blaster, jwrauch and 1 other person like this.
  12. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor


    True enough. Pyrodex (and black powder) smells like rotten eggs from the sulfur in it. Burnt powder residue has sulfur dioxide in it which is hygroscopic. The water mixes with sulfur dioxide to form sulfuric acid - which is very corrosive.

    My muzzleloader is one gun that I do not leave to clean at my convenience. When I get home, I boil a gallon of water, squirt in some dish detergent into the about a half gallon, and use the patch attachment on the ramrod with a tight fitting patch to pump the hot water in and out of the breech. (Have to use welding gloves to handle the barrel). Then a clean hot water rinse. Then I run a dry patch through and let the barrel stand vertically for a few minutes to evaporate any water left in the bore (being too hot to hold with bare hands, it doesn't take long) Follow that with a patch smeared with bore butter.
    That has worked well for me so far - but it's a big reason I don't shoot that as often as I ought to.
    austinjoe13 likes this.
  13. SafetyFirst

    SafetyFirst G&G Evangelist

    I have had excellect results with Hogdon Pyrodex Select and Alliant Black MZ. Both used in CVA Accura with TC 240 grain Cheap Shots. The Black MZ seems to leave less residue between shots but both are good regarding consistancy/accuracy.
  14. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    NW PA
    This was recommended by a local gun shop, to use.
    They also said to start my loads at 55to60gr and work up from that.
    To find the happy spot kinda like doing load development for center fires they said that most of the time out to 100yd you dont need a 100gr charge to maintain accuracy and killing power.

    Just asking do you guys do this or do you just stick with 100gr or 150gr?

    They claimed that with less powder there would be less leftover unburnt powder in the barrel resulting in less fouling

    Attached Files:

  15. In the 50 calibers I have found that about 80 grains of loose pyrodex seems to be the most aaccurate when shooting T\C maxi hunters.

    In my 54 caliber I found having the measure locked in between 70 and 75 grains using loose pyrodex and Lee REAL bullets
    Dutch likes this.
  16. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I hunt with 90 grains. My accuracy loads are 70 and 90, depending on the bullet weight.
    rando likes this.
  17. I started with 90 grains and bounced up and down. My Knight seems content from 90-120, any more or less I start losing accuracy. It absolutely hates 150 grains and I can’t hold much group at all with it using multiple types of bullets. It makes it easy to stay at 100 grains or 120 because I get just a slight difference in elevation at 100 yards between the two.
  18. Goex.JPG 777 sm.png
    Goex FFFg & 777
    209 systems get the Triple 7
    #11's deserve the Black Nasty
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  19. Cattman

    Cattman G&G Evangelist

    i use blackhorn 209 powder only.
  20. quavodus

    quavodus G&G Enthusiast

    I started out using Pyrodex RS because the "experts" said it was best. I had several hangfires and started using Goex 2F. I used Goex for a long time but, a few years ago started using Tripple 7.