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Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

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Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

Old 06-07-2006, 08:25 AM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

Are they??

Virginia DF&G Regulation: G. A muzzleloading gun, for the purpose of this section, means a single shot flintlock or percussion weapon, excluding muzzleloading pistols, .45 caliber or larger, firing a single projectile or sabot (with a .38 caliber or larger projectile) of the same caliber loaded from
the muzzle of the weapon and propelled by at least 50 grains of black powder (or black powder equivalent or smokeless powder).

From Tahquamenon:Nitrocellulose or Smokeless Powder
Smokeless powder is actually nitrocellulose-based powder, the material developed by Paul Vieille in 1884. Nitrocellulose required much more processing than simply dipping cotton in acid and wood pulp soon became the preferred source of raw cellulose. The two sources of raw cellulose have different properties so they are used and blended based upon the intended purpose of the finished product. To make nitrocellulose powder, the nitrocellulose is dissolved in a mixture of ether and alcohol and it becomes a gelatinous mass. When the solvents evaporate, it leaves a hard plastic material. The gelatinous blob is usually rolled into a sheet before it hardens and after it hardens it is cut up into various sized flakes. The cutting is done on machines because the particles are tiny and it takes a great deal of cutting. Furthermore, it just wouldn’t have been the Industrial Revolution if they had cut it by hand. Nitrocellulose was the first reliable and stable gunpowder. It is the principle type of propellant today.

If I lived in VA, I would request a further clarification and definition of this regulation.
Question(s): What is defined as smokeless powder? Are they including nitrocellulose (smokeless) powder? And, if they are truly meaning a 50 grain Minimum, that could be excessive for ML's rated for nitro-powder depending on the Nitro-powder type. Particularily if one measures by volume which the measuring device and method could add 5gr or more variance from charge to charge. You should never use a BP measuring device for smokeless powder, you should use a scale to measure the charge and if you use Lee Dipper measuring devices, you should still verify the load on a scale.

The 50Grain Minimum load in the regulation is over the recommended loads for the Savage 10MLII using smokeless, so I have a hunch that the Virgina DF&G is not intending Nitrocellulose smokeless powder as a BP equivelant. Savage specifies a 2-Grain maximum variance with Nitro-Powder. So the VA DF&G reg would mandate that you overload your 10MLII in every instance if using Nitrocellulose power.


Now for BP or BP Substitues (777, Pyrodex, BM3, etc,) a 50gr minimum load by volume would ensure a reasonable baseline for game harvesting lethality. I don't know anyone that deer hunt's with a .45 and less than 50 gr charge and a PRB nor anyone that would hunt with less than 50gr in anything .45 or larger.

I would say the Virgina as some further definition and clarification required - to say the least.

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Old 06-07-2006, 02:39 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 473
Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

I have a Savage as well as an Omega.Renegade and now an Ultra-mag.
The Savage shoots the same bullets as the other Three. The White does shoot conical's a lot better. The nicest thing about the Savage is you don't have to clean it every time you shoot it. As Cayagad said here in Wi. we can only use 1x scopes so its not much if any advantage. Throw a little larger scope and it is a better performer. The sabot is still the element that holds back better performance. It is a muzzleloader and not a single shot rifle it is no means a 270 ot 7mm. I use the Savage in Wi. and the Omega and White in Co. for elk. They are far better than the Savage for conicals and BP. So each is better in there arena.
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

I like the good tradition of a traditional muzzleloader, PRB, and REAL black powder. Inlines are OK but they are too much like a modern rifle to me. I dont think I would ever shoot a smokeless muzzleloader but it is just personal preference.
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

In VA we CAN use telescopic sights. There is definitely a big difference in using a repeating centerfire cartridge versus any muzzleloading gun. But, there is also a big difference in accuracy in blackpowder versus smokeless. I know that it all depends on the shooter, but all things being equal the smokeless should be more accurate.

The VDGIF is looking for more money, but they are doing it by making everything under the sun legal (smokeless &crossbows)instead of addressing the real issues they face. Being the lack of or high prices involved with hunting land/rights, and the issue of less younger people entering the hunting scene. I spoke to a biologist recently, and asked him about what the DGIF planned to do about these two issues, and he said "I don't know"!
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:22 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

Craiggster - It's unfortunate but the all mighty dollar is a great motivation tool. States will do some of the most unreasonable things to make extra revenue for themselves and their favorite programs. Unfortunately there are times the what they allow to get the bigger sports dollar is not agreeable to everyone.

You hit upon a very critical point and that is the lack of young people being brought into the outdoor sports. This will be a more serious problem in the future. When people no longer hunt and fish, they do not purchase the license and permits. When that happens they cut programs and people. Then to raise revenue they raise current license fees, and sell off some programs that make an important impact on the benifits we see today. It is a shame that more young people are not exposed to the things the outdoors has to offer. Talking to them they seem more interested in computer games, chat rooms, and more electronic pursuits.

I guess that's why I am more then willing to welcome anything that will bring more people into the outdoors. I also commend all those that bring their children and young people out, to shooting ranges, fishing, hiking, camping, anything. Foryoung people will be the future of our outdoors as we know it.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

The license increase is already on the horizon, and will probably take effect the end of this month. I'm all for the increase; because they haven't increased the fee for a very long time. But, they should address the roots of the problem. Another point is that they are going with the 50 grain min., but that is a max. load for smokeless powder. Did they do any research???????????
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:43 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Virginia's goin' Smokeless...

I read some of the other posts from Savage users about loads, and since I have never owned or shot one I have no knowledge of what a "safe load" of smokeless would be.. You have a valid point.
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