Anyone Know a safe ,Light load for Black powder,I picked up a Rem 1890 SXS
damascus. and would like to shoot it. I now load AA hulls can I use them ?
It's a tight old gun and I don't want to hurt the old girl. Any ideas?
Be certain you don't use plastic wads. They will really foul the barrels. I did it once and it took hours to clean a beautiful Remington with mint bores. Use only fiber and cardboard wads. The plastic wads will actually melt onto the barrels. The barrels get red hot with black powder if you shoot a lot. Let the gun cool a little between shots or wipe it with a water soaked patch. 2 3/4 drams of FFg and an ounce of shot will work fine. As much fun as it is you can't use it in any ATA events.
Check out back issues of the Double Gun Journal for aticles on Damascus barrels by Sherman Bell. The conclusion from his studies is, have the barrels checked by a competent gun smith. If there is any question about their condition, don't shoot the gun with any powder. If the barrels are in good shape, you can shoot low pressure smokeless loads safely and effectively. I use AA hulls-23.7 gr. of SR7625-CB1100-12 wads, and 7/8 oz of #8 shot. This gives 1150 ft/sec and peak pressure of 3500 psi. It's fun, low recoil, doesn't annoy your fellow shooters, and doesn't require much gun cleaning. Enjoy the old gun and don't make a chore out of it. Tom S. (welderman)
One serious problem with blackpowder is that you do not want to leave any air space in the pwder area of the shell. Blackpowder can have a secondary explosion effect, and this has been known to ring chambers, even on heavy barreled target rifles with premium steel barrels. Make sure that all the air space is eliminated, especially if you are trying to underload with light loads. This is why the plethora in the old days of so many different lengths of what appear to be basically the same rifle cartridge - it was more efficient to adjust the powder load by the length of the cartridge. With shotshells, though, you use different thicknesses of wads to do that, and you have to find a load for what you are doing, as the wad itself contributes to the weight of the ejecta.
If you would like detailed info on loading BP rounds, contact me at my email address. You need almost no tools for this other than a way to decap and recap and a crimping device. BP is not pressure sensitive so no wad pressure is needed. You will need two types of wads, an over powder wad and a lubed cushin wad. The lubed part is key. No lube and four or five rounds and you've fouled the barrel enough to make cleaning a chore. If you are interested, like I said, drop me a line. I've got wads for 12 GA and a number of loads I've used. All should be safe in your gun provided the welds are without voids. Have you had a gunsmith check it out or have you yourself "rung" the barrels? If they ring true and if a GS says all seems well, you should be OK. BP rounds will rarely generate more than 9K CUP unless you really laod up the shot and use 3F. I shoot lots of BP shells in a wide variety of guns all without problem. Clean up is a little soap and warm H2O followed by RemOil. No biggie. [email protected]
When I was a kid, long ago, I loaded BP in a Savage M-24 20 ga under 22LR. I used 3" Federal yellow paper hulls, (there were no plastic hulls or wads in those days). I used a 1 oz Lee shot dipper with equal measures of powder and shot. I cannot remember the thickness of wads. Smoked like crazy, but it was real FUN to hunt with these loads. A load of 5's would quickly harvest a rabbit or squirrel!
Make SURE you clean the arm promptly, or you will wish you had! LOL
Having done this for 50 years, and being a former gunsmith, I personally NEVER recommend shooting a Damascus barreled shotgun.
Briley tubes will make the old gent fun and safe to shoot. The aluminum tubes will outperform most any steel barrel. Briley will inspect and fit your tubes.