Blackhorn 209 Black Powder Substitute
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Designed for in-line muzzleloaders with a 209 primer ignition system. This powder creates high velocities and unbeatable accuracy. Blackburn 209 is the only non-corrosive muzzleloading powder. It’s non-hygroscopic, meaning changes in the temperature or humidity will not affect its performance (reduces misfires), it can be cleaned with regular oil-based solvents and does not require any special primer. Blackburn 209 powder uses standard 209 shotshell primers. Because it’s non-corrosive, the need to swab between shots has been eliminated, increasing the amount of time in the field.
Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most popular brands of black powder and black powder substitutes.
If you’re just getting started on learning how to hunt with a muzzleloader, the staggering number of propellants choices can be overwhelming. The muzzleloader industry has come a long way and there are many more powder choices out there than there were just a few years ago. Here is a brief overview of some of the best brands of black powder and black powder substitutes currently available on the market today to help you get started in picking the best powder for your muzzleloader before hitting the woods.
Before I get started I want to make two disclaimers.
First, not every muzzleloader can safely shoot every type of black powder substitute out there. So, before using any of these propellants in your muzzleloader, make sure you read the manual to see what type of propellant, in what granulation, and in what volume the manufacturer recommends. Using the correct propellant will both help you stay safe as well as maximize the accuracy and reliability of your muzzleloader.
Second, the links below to Muzzle-Loaders.com are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
This commission comes at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.
True Black Powder
For many hunters, especially the traditionalists, true black powder is really the only thing they’ll consider using in a muzzleloader. Produced by blending sulfur, potassium nitrate, and charcoal, shooters and hunters have successfully used black powder for centuries. Of all the propellants safe to use in muzzleloaders, black powder is also the easiest to ignite, which makes it the most popular propellant used in flintlock and caplock muzzleloaders.
Unfortunately, black powder is dirty, inefficient, and corrosive. Ever wonder why black powder produces so much smoke when ignited? It’s because only approximately 50% of the black powder you load actually burns, the rest gets blown out the muzzle as smoke or left in the barrel as residue. Since so little of the powder actually burns, it does not produce nearly as much energy for a given amount of propellant as smokeless powder or some of the more modern black powder substitutes.
Black powder is also classified as an explosive and can be incredibly dangerous when handled improperly. For this reason, the government imposes strict regulations on the transportation and storage of black powder. This can make it difficult to find commercially because few retailers are willing to deal with the safety requirements associated with stocking it.
Goex and Swiss Black Powder are the two most popular brands of black powder currently available on the market. Both brands have very good reputations in the muzzleloading community. Of the two, Goex is typically easier to find in the United States, but Swiss Black Power is commonly regarded as a slightly better propellant and is also easier to find overseas.
Black powder is produced in several different grades of increasing grain size (coarseness): FFFFg, FFFg FFg, and Fg. Smaller grain size powder is easier to ignite and burns faster. FFFg and FFg are the two most common grades in use today.
Generally speaking, FFFg powder is best suited for muzzleloading rifles and pistols smaller than .45 caliber. FFg powder generally works best in muzzleloading rifles and shotguns .45 caliber and larger. FFFFg is most commonly used to prime flintlocks. Fg powder is typically used in muzzleloaders larger than .62 caliber.
Black Powder Substitutes
Due to the previously described disadvantages of black powder, many hunters prefer to use some sort of black powder substitute instead.
Since black powder substitutes are typically classified as smokeless propellents (instead of explosives), they are not subject to the same stringent rules and regulations regarding their transportation or storage as black powder. For this reason, they are also easier to find commercially than true black powder.
Do not exceed the loads displayed in the reloaders guide.
Never mix any two powders regardless of type, brand, or source.
Never substitute any smokeless powder for Black Powder or any Black Powder substitute.
￼ WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm – www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
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