27 September 2023
I wish I had the pressure trace to test some of those loads in the 44-40. Larry might can try some out in some other cartridge on his equipment and see if there are pressure issues that could lead us in one direction or the other.
Also, thanks for the 44-40 pellet load from Pyrodex. 943fps is good!
That would be very interesting to see the pressure curve and the Pmax with the use of the pellets in both the 44-40 and the 45 Colt. While I have not put these over the chrono yet, I can state with certainty they are "crisper" than the BP loads. I have been loading these pellets in both calibers for over a year now and can say with certainty it is a lot easier than with black. I just drop a pellet into the case and seat the bullet.
That Pyrodex data is on the Hodgdon site, but man I had to dig for it. They have a lot of good information there worthy of the archives but it is, as I said, buried and well hidden. I believe their reference to Pyrodex and airspace is for the powder form, not the pellet form. Unless they would be willing to talk about it with a lay person, we may never know. Industry secrets are tough to crack and get a reason why something does what it does - or not.
I have had no issues whatsoever with the Pyrodex pellets in pistol cases, specifically the 44-40 and the 45 Colt. No misfires, no hang-fires, no squibs, nothing bad at all. Am using standard primers to light them off. Have fired both the 44-40 and the 45 Colt in rifles as well. No issues. I am deathly afraid to try a single pellet in the 45-70 however. There is no feedback from the BP community about this and I do not wish to be the first to report any possible problems with it even though intellectually, I know it should work since Hodgdon has published data stating so.
The cost of the pellets may be a drawback for a lot of folks, but having boxes of pellets on-hand, I decided to give it a try. They sure make the C&B revolvers easier to load. After just looking online to see the costs, my first observation was that BP prices have just gone up SIGNIFICANTLY since I last purchased some. Previously it was $19/lb, it is now $25/lb. So....it is $0.11 a shot with BP and $0.26 a shot with Pyrodex pellets. A little over double the cost. Truthfully, I don't know if the convenience of the pellets is worth twice the price. Perhaps if you load 50 cartridges a year and use the rest in C&B revolvers, it may make sense. When we are cranking off several hundred for a shooting match, it makes no economical or practical sense to me.
With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.