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The devil's advocate

Old 11-03-2011, 08:05 AM
  #1  
Dominant Buck
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Default The devil's advocate

The topic I want to discuss is Blackhorn 209 powder. In a brief summery, I have went through three pounds of the 10 oz bottles of BlackHorn 209. I found the powder;

1. easy to ignite with the correct primer and breech plug
2. really enjoyed the no swabbing while shooting
3. very accurate with most of the bullets I tried it with.
4. did not find any storage problems (although it did not last long)
5. very powerful it seemed

I also found;

A. after shooting I hated the fact I could not give the rifle a water bath. Instead I cleaned with solvents and alcohol and finally with some commercial cleaners to insure the rifle was perfect before being stored.
B. ruined two breech plugs (blew the face off my knight disc breech plugs, chipping them so bad I was worried about using them any more.
C. never knew you had to drill the carbon out of the breech plugs
D. 10 oz of powder to me is a long afternoon
E. The cost of the powder. One store was $28.00 and the other was $32.00. Gander Mountain (where I looked last week) was $34.00
F. What extra power the powder had could easily be matched with other powder like Triple Seven and even Black Powder.

Last week I was at Gander Mountain buying out the muzzleloader section of the store. And there on the shelf was Black Horn 209. I grabbed up two bottles and set them in my cart. Then I realized those two bottle were going to cost me $68.00 plus tax. The cheap side of me suddenly surfaced, and told me.. you don't need this powder. All it is to you is something to play with and you have lots of powder at the house. So I put the powder back (even though I was wearing my Blackhorn 209 hat at the time).

So my question is. many have had a chance to try the powder. What makes this powder any better then say Triple Seven at $21.00 a pound, or Pyrodex RS at $15.00 a pound, or black powder at $13.00 a pound? Is the swabbing that important to you? Is the extra power that big of a factor? Is this powder more accurate then any other powder you have tried in the past? Do you have to scrape carbon out of your breech plugs? Use solvent to clean the rifle? I want to know... what makes this powder so special or not so special to you.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:34 AM
  #2  
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I use it for these reasons. Keep in mind i'm a hunter, and don't spend much time at the range. Once I have a load worked out. I don't change it.

No crud ring. That's a huge advantage to me for hunting.

No lube needed on BP threads.

More accurate than T7

Doesn't attract any moisture. Which makes the powder good to the last load in the bottle. No worries hunting in the rain either.

The most consistent powder I can use in a ML.

Recoil seems less that T7.

For me, the price is cheaper than T7. $27 delivered from Carlos. It cost me $24.95 plus tax for T7 and $12 for gas to drive to the gun shop.

For me, It beats T7 in every way. All the other subs and BP aren't even in the running.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:36 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by cayugad View Post
The topic I want to discuss is Blackhorn 209 powder.
I will start this off by saying - I think BH-209 is the best ML substitute powder available on the market! Do I use it? on occasion while testing only. I have 22 bottles of it but still resist shooting it because of price and I got these on sale at Cabelas for $20. I do not shoot it that much because I know I will not use it for hunting

So my question is. many have had a chance to try the powder. What makes this powder any better then say Triple Seven at $21.00 a pound,
It appears to have more convience - it is easier to use and less corrosive than T7

or Pyrodex RS at $15.00 a pound, or black powder at $13.00 a pound?
Again convienence and a lot less corrosive


Is the swabbing that important to you?
For some it really is - for me it is not a factor. I do not need to run a patch while hunting - I can easily get off 3-4 shots before I feel the adverse effects of the 'crud ring'. While at the range i do patch because that keeps the bore in the same condition it will be in while hunting - semi-fouled.

Is the extra power that big of a factor?
It really is not that much more powerful grain for grain than T7 or Swiss until you get to the heavier bullets them you may gain up to 150 fps more with BH. So again for power is not a factor.

Is this powder more accurate then any other powder you have tried in the past?
For me it is very accurate is it that much more accurate than T7 - I do not see it. BUT... if I were shooting paper for money it is my feeling right now I would use BH - the granuales are much more consistent in size and weight.

Do you have to scrape carbon out of your breech plugs?
At some point, even with a 5/32" flame channel you will need to clean the channel.

[quote] Use solvent to clean the rifle?[quote]

I believe that using BH necessitates the use of a solvent of some type - for me Hoppes is not the one. I have gone to using a gun scrubber type solution.

I want to know... what makes this powder so special or not so special to you.
Just my thoughts. It is not a special powder to me because I can use T7 and get everything I need at much less expense, even when you add in the cost of using patches...

But I do like the powder.

Last edited by sabotloader; 11-03-2011 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:52 AM
  #4  
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To me as a hunting powder, shot from an inline muzzleloader, it is excellent. Easy reloading, very consistent, no need to clean immediately after shooting (usually hunt on fouled barrel for the week). Great if your traveling to hunt, because even cleaning with solvent is easier on the road, than with water.

But, I also shoot Goex in my inline, because its is cheaper and just as accurate.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:56 AM
  #5  
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I can see the advantages, but I don't use it. Only one of my muzzy's will shoot it consistently without getting a modified breech plug. Swabbing is not a big deal for me- like sabotloader I can get off 2 or 3 shots in the field without noticing problems with the crud ring. In all of the testing I've seen, BH is not more powerful than T7 except with heavy bullets or at very stout powder charges (130 grains and up). I have not noticed corrosion issues with T7 - I have left muzzy's uncleaned after shooting T7 for 24-36 hours with no rust issues. I have not noticed storage issues either (and I live in a relatively damp climate) - after opening a jar, I just throw a packet of silica gel in and make sure the lid is closed tight. I just shot out of a jar of T7 that had been opened 4 years ago and it shot just fine and was still very accurate.

As far as price, I've never seen BH in my area for anything less than $32 for 10 oz. T7 is around $24 regular price, sometimes I can get it on sale for $18 - $20. Granted I haven't been shooting a whole bunch the last 3 years or so, mostly just for hunting, so price isn't a huge issue for me.

I think BH is a great powder that has both advantages and disadvantages - it is up to the individual to decide what is most important for them.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:02 AM
  #6  
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Like you Cayugad, I could easily shoot enough shots in an afternoon's shooting session to use up most of a canister of Blackhorn. So price is my main and only real issue with the stuff.

In my Omega X7 with 250 grain Deep Curls I get about the same velocity and accuracy with charges of 80 grains Blackhorn or 95 grains GOEX FFFg. With those loads I get about the same number of shots from ten ounces of BH as I get from a pound of GOEX. Yet the BH costs over twice as much.

So the only issue I've ever had with BH is cost. I firmly believe that it's a rip off - even at $27 a canister. My favorite comparison is that IMR came out with Trail Boss powder for cowboy action shooters a year or two before Hodgdon came out with Blackhorn. A canister of Trail Boss runs about $12. I wonder what the real mark up is on Blackhorn?

As for other factors, no swabbing with BH is nice. But swabbing has never been a big issue for me. Barrel clean up with either powder is about the same using pure alcohol for BH and water for GOEX, but breech plug clean up with GOEX is a little easier. Not enough to get excited about though.

All in all, I don't shoot my inlines nearly as much as my sidelocks. So using BH in the X7 and Mustang isn't going to break me. But DANG IT, I still feel like I'm being ripped off every time I pull the trigger with it. But then, I feel like I'm being ripped off every time I pay my cable bill also.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:02 AM
  #7  
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Let me add this for those who don't know about it.


Ed's Gun Shop
5560 US 1 HWY
Vass, NC 28394
(910) 692-7936
(910) 692-4867 fax

[i]Hours:
M - F - 9am - 6pm
Sat - 9am - 5pm
Sun - Closed
PLEASE WHEN YOU CALL ASK FOR CARLOS. I HANDLE ALL THE MUZZLE LOADING ACCESSORIES AND GUNS.
I'M USUALLY THERE EVERYDAY EXCEPT ON WEDS. WHICH IS MY DAY OFF. SO IF YOU NEED ANYTHING AT ALL CALL EITHER AT THE NUMBER LISTED ABOVE OR MY CELL 910-995-2660.


Ed's Gun Shop will now be a supplier for the highly in demand Blackhorn209 Powder made by Western Powders. They will be offering it at a price of $27 SHIPPED to your door! You'll never find it this cheap and if you do, you most likely had to make quite a drive to your nearest Cabelas sporting goods store. And hope that they still have a can or two in stock. No more having to worry! At $27 Shipped, this is a steal for this powder. How can they sell is so cheap while others are charging $30 a can + a $20 hazmat fee? Who knows! But it will now be available at an amazing price from a great business that can sell you everything from Powder, Primers, Bullets, Scopes, Scope Mounts, What ever you need, they may just have it in stock.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:16 AM
  #8  
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Consistency, accuracy, no swabbing between shots, no crud ring, bullets load easily, either measure by volume or weight because the powder itself is the same consistant size, clean up time is at a minimal when using Hoppe's #9.
There's 7 reasons

Reasons stolen from another but, all the same reasons, i use it!! I never have had an issue with my breach plug, either. i let it soak in T17 while i clean the gun and then just a little cleaning with a brush and she is good. the ONLY negative i can come up with is price and even that is reasonable to me for what i get.

Last edited by EndeavorShooter; 11-03-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:34 AM
  #9  
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I don't use it, but I think I'd like it if I was to try it. For me the main reason I don't use it is the gun I use can't fire it. The gun I previously used could and I kept saying I was going to try it in it, but then I'd talk my self out of it. It's not so much the cost, but trying something new I think. I know I'm the opposite of most guys on here, but I really like pellets better in the field that loose powder. I like to shoot loose powder at the range though to save money. This is one of the reasons I haven't tried it, and the other one being that the Pyrodex just shoots soo well for me, I've not had a big reason to change.

I don't mind swabbing between shots, so that part doesn't bother me. The thing I think is so much better about BH209 is that it's not as corrosive so if I don't get it cleaned right away after shooting it's not a big deal.

I think once I tried BH209, I'd probably be addicted, but I've just kept talking myself out of trying it so far, and now that I'm using a gun that can't shoot it, I really have no reason to try it. If I get another muzzle loader in the future, which I'm sure I will, I may try it out.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:42 AM
  #10  
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I still have some left of a 10 oz. container I purchased a couple years ago.
I admit I am a cheapskate and that is probably the main reason I didn't shoot it more. The rifle I shot it out of was my disc elite. I was using the red jackets at the time and I spend a lot of time trying to get the breech area of that rifle spotless after shooting. I know the Lehigh breech plug solves that issue.
The powder was consistent, I had no problems with ignition and accuracy was great. As far as swabbing goes, I wait a while between shots when target shooting so I might as well be swabbing as standing there with my finger up my rear.
I sold my disc elite so all I have left are my Whites and my mk-85's and I prefer not to use it in them.
Overall, its a good powder for those who are set up to use it but it is just not for me.
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