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Posted: 11/2/2003 11:58:17 PM EDT
Alright, I know this is odd, but I want to extend my love for the AR into a different segment of shooting. I want to load .223 with blackpowder charge and fire in an Ar 15. I need some advice on the load. I also need to know about how to possibly make the weapon function without invlovingthis gas tube system. I obviously don't want to gunk up the gas system with BP residue; and it wouldn't work )I don't think( with BP anyway. Any thoughts or ideas would be SO GREATLY appreciated. Alan
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 5:52:07 AM EDT
Good luck and have fun!
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 5:59:21 AM EDT
you can get a CA legal single shot AR
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 6:15:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AWB317: Any thoughts or ideas would be SO GREATLY appreciated. Alan
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My only thought is be carefull! Black powder doesn't burn the same as smokeless powders and I am not sure it is worth the risks. Blcak powder is dirty, corrosive, and quite explosive. Not a good combo to play with in a 223 case if you ask me? Now, if you went with something like an inline muzzle loader as an upper, that might be kind of neat!
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 6:49:23 AM EDT
You're gonna screw up your AR and possibly hurt yourself. Buy a muzzleloader. That's what they are made for.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 7:16:12 AM EDT
why do that when you can shoot your ar fine the way it is .... i oppose of it.....[brick]
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 7:26:50 AM EDT
that dosen't sound like a good idea. The AR platform was never designed to shoot a BP round. it will prob damage the weapon or even you. dont take the chance, just buy a BP rifle and be happy with it.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 7:41:04 AM EDT
i have shot BP in my 1991 and a few other rifles w/o adverse affects. it's low pressure and will not blow the guns. assuming you can reload smokeless powder and from your statements you load BP. few things about BP. "it likes to be chummy". IE. slightly compressed to compressed loads are the only way to go. don't try to play it safe and use a small charge and work up. use a full charge of powder. if the charge is too small the bullet will jump into the lands and as it moves down the barrel it will slow down and the pressure curve will spike and blow the barrel. with a full charge the bullet will continuously accelerate down the barrel. use a copper drop tube and "F" BP. it may even cycle for a mag or two until it jams from fouling. post pics! clean the hell out of the gun when you are finished. bath tub soapy water. blow out the gas tube with soapy water and air. and scrub every metal part and oil them.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 9:53:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/3/2003 9:56:56 AM EDT by AWB317]
Guys, Thanks for the warnings. I will be careful. BUt we shoot all kinds of other rifles and pistols during blackpowder metallic cartridge shoots with no fear of blowups. I have muzzleloaders - I am not wanting a ML; but a metallic cartridge full of BP coming out of the plastic gun (a quantum leap kinda thing). One of the key things is to fill the cartridge with powder to the point that the projo just slightly compresses the powder charge. I want to know if the consensus of educated shooters is whether or not the action will function with the gas from the BP or not, and if it is worth only being able to shoot a few rounds before it clogs up. Also, Are there barrels that come without the gas port and tube; or how do I plug the ports? Another reason to plug the port or have the gas system cut off is to keep from having all that corrossive BP gas from hitting my internals and bolt and bolt carrier, etc. It will make cleanup less of a concern. Also , will the bolt and carrier function adequately without the gas pressure (probably not); so how about changing recoil springs, etc? THis is definately the time to be shooting a chrome bore. Any technical advice based on sound experience or principles is welcomed. THANKS!
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 10:31:45 AM EDT
Already been done! Talk with Tommy at [url]www.Tromix.com[/url] he can either give you tips, or build it for you. He's got a photo on his site of the one he built for himself.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 10:37:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By stingerjg: that dosen't sound like a good idea. The AR platform was never designed to shoot a BP round. it will prob damage the weapon or even you. dont take the chance, just buy a BP rifle and be happy with it.
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Well it wasn't intended for the military ball powder we use today either!!! I want to see what happens! In Before The Kaboom!!!! [BD]
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 8:26:35 PM EDT
visited Tromix site, but that rifle is a muzzleloader. I have emailed him but haven't heard anything yet; but still would love to hear some more from the guys here. Thanks
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 8:40:19 PM EDT
you can buy a muzzle loader for like $150 and up. it's going to cost way more to convert an AR and not be as reliable..possibly dangerous. your choice.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 9:05:38 PM EDT
Guys, I don't want an AR muzzle loader. I know that this will cost around $700. I know that my gun will get dirty. I know that the AR is perfectly fine as it is in modern configuration; this is for fun and for a blend between modern and ancient. Black powder will not blow up my rifle; look what you put through the chamber in terms of smokeless powder and pressures. As long as the cartridge is full with the bullet slightly compressing the mix - it'll be okay. I just need some advice about where to find barrels/ uppers/ reduced springs/ how to make it cycle without gas/ or is that the only way/ where to find simgle shot ARs, etc. Thanks for your concerns, but they truly are unfounded. I have an EOD Captain that is a black powder and smokeless expert that has done similar stuff with pistol and rifle and shotgun loads - it will be safe. I just need the technical advice that many of you have. Thanks for you r help. I hope this doesn't sound hateful; my intent is to allay your fears for my life and safety and let you know what I need from you guys in the way of expertise, advice , and experience.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 9:51:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AWB317: Guys, I know that the AR is perfectly fine as it is in modern configuration; this is for fun and for a blend between modern and ancient.
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If you want a blend between modern and ancient why dont you make a cool hardwood stock for your AR or something like that. maybee wrap the forearm in beaver pelt too. [:)]
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 10:03:06 PM EDT
I like that Idea! Did you say to do something with 'beaver'? Yeah, but can you imagine the look on the guy's faces at the black powder shoot when I approach the line and pull out a black rifle at the last minute and they see a big cloud of smoke roll out the muzzle? I can't wait! Know of any wooden furniture sources?
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 10:06:17 PM EDT
That sounds kind of like trying to build a steam powered space shuttle.. A bad idea.. May I suggest an AR that gets it's power from a magnetic field..?? C.g.
Link Posted: 11/3/2003 10:42:21 PM EDT
particle accelerator magnetron based rifle next, but first blackpowder cartridge. Surely somebody has tried this or thought about it. I'm really surprised though to hear all the naysayers naysaying for no real reason except to say that the design is fine now - don't mess with it or go buy a muzzleloader. The point is the building of somethng practical and different that is very safe. I apologize to those whose civil sensibilities have been disturbed by my wanting "go retro" with the AR fodder, but I think it will be fun. I just need some sage advice from those that know....
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 12:27:46 AM EDT
Sounds doable, though a lot of trouble. Black powder pressures are much lower than smokeless pressures – it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever be able to get the thing to function as a semi-auto. If you weaken the buffer spring in an attempt to let the action open, then the spring might not be strong enough to then push the carrier forward, pick up a round from the magazine, and lock up the action. You could, of course, use the AR as a straight pull bolt action. Unless you plan on using a lubricated bullet, I’d think barrel fouling would be severe and almost immediate. If you leave the gas system intact, I could see the tube, bolt and bolt carrier and such quickly becoming badly fouled. I can think of a bunch of ways to block off the gas system. Probably the easiest (though maybe not 100% effective) would be to simply put a crimp in the gas tube somewhere underneath the handguard. Velocity should be a lot less – I expect you’ll really have to crank up the rear sight! Good luck!! If you give this a try – whether successful or not – let us know!
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 2:27:43 AM EDT
AWB317 .....One of the key things is to fill the cartridge with powder to the point that the projo just slightly compresses the powder charge.
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at this point, you are really asking for trouble.
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 2:54:08 AM EDT
Go ahead, glad your feeling good lets see how it works out for you!
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 5:12:06 AM EDT
199, your post started me thinking that because of the small bore diameter, the gunk of BP fouling may cause the bore to get excessively tight after several rounds without cleaning, causing elevated pressure requirments to push the projo down the barrell. But hen again, the bullet will probably keep the fouling down enough every time it travels down the barrell to minimize that problem. But cleaning every 10-20 rounds may be a necessity. Thanks for stimulating that thougt - any suggestions or comments on that thought? COLT CARBINE, Please explain what trouble you foresee with me adequately compressing a packed powder charge? BP works best that way. Refer to 309WOOD's earlier comment about BP burns and pressures. Clumping is the problem; a nice tight packing, like a handrolled cigar, is the key to a proper ignition and burn. Do yo know something I don't?
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 7:02:00 AM EDT
Ok now I see what you want. You don't want a blackpowder AR - you want to reload 5.56 with blackpowder. It might work for a couple shots then you'll have to scrub the bore. Blackpowder fouls alot. Ever hear of the .32 Winchester Special? Its relatad to this idea. Back when the .30-30 first came out it was the first smokeless rifle cartridge. However there were people out west who didn't have access to smokeless powder so they reloaded using blackpowder. They found with the 'small' .30 caliber bore the rife would quickly foul. Winchester found by increasing the bore slightly (to .32 cal) you could fire alot more rounds using blackpowder reloads. Hence the .32 Winchester Special was born - a smokeless round that was designed to be reloaded with blackpowder. What does this mean to you? If the .30 caliber was so small it fouled easily - what do you think is going to happen with a .22 caliber rifle?
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 8:13:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AWB317: ... any suggestions or comments on that thought? ...
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Actually, I suspect you may need to clean it after every shot. Otherwise the fouling will probably really degrade your accuracy, to say nothing of sending your pressures all over the place (which will further degrade accuracy). I’m also wondering how quickly the chamber will foul and prevent a round from being chambered. I suspect your velocities will be so low that a regular .223 barrel will over stabilize the bullet. Seems to me that something like a .50 Beowolf would be much more suitable for what you are trying. And, of course, you’re going to have to wash your AR in a bathtub!! [:D]
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 8:56:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/4/2003 9:11:33 AM EDT by Big-Bore]
Personally, I think your little project is just screaming for a J-P Enterprises adjustable gas block. You can turn that thing completely off and there you have it, all the fun without the fuss. Of course, you will have to cycle it single shot style but it will keep the crap out of the gas tube and action. All you will need to do when done is remove the gas block and clean it (of course the barrel too) and you should be good to go. With the gas tube shut down, you can experiment with cast bullets too, what's wrong with that? As with any BPCR loading, just make sure (as you already said) to compress the charge a bit. A full case of BP may well work the action, but I think it would clog up pretty quick and not worth the headache to me. The gas block would solve the biggest down side. Like every other BPCR shooter, you will need to swab the bore for each shot to maintain best accuracy, but that's nothing new. I would start with FFG first and if nothing seems amiss, you might get higher vels with FFFG, but tread lightly. BP can give you very high pressures the same as smokeless if conditions are right, or should I say, wrong. By the way, you MUST compress BP when loading BPCR loads. Any air space left in the case acts as a bore obstruction and KB will result. They even make special dies for loading and compressing BP, but I doubt you will find one in .223. Some people will use the neck expanding M die to act as a powder compressor. If shooting lead bullets you do NOT want to use the bullet for the job. Compress the powder first, then seat the bullet. If you use the bullet (lead) to compress the load, the bullet will be severely deformed and accuracy goes down the toilet. The procedure is size, prime, neck expand, charge, adjust the neck expander die out to slightly compress so the powder will be compressed to the bottom of the bullet, then if you can find a .22 cal fiber wad, or you can make your own with a sharpened case mouth, that should go between the powder and bullet base to reduce gas cutting, then seat the bullet, lastly in a separate step, crimping if choose to do so. Generally BP likes a good crimp also.
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 8:58:36 AM EDT
199 You have been very helpful THANK YOU! You've got me thinking about this excessive fouling problem that may be a physical limitation on this being a fun project. I'm still gonna work on it some more. Anybody know about barrels without gas ports and straight blow back bolts for the AR?
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 9:01:21 AM EDT
Why didn't I think of emailing Gary Still at J&T right from the beginning. They have the best deal on AR uppers and making special stuff around. Silly me! I'm gonna send this thread to Gary and see what his suggestions are.
Link Posted: 11/4/2003 11:49:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AWB317: Anybody know about barrels without gas ports and straight blow back bolts for the AR?
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They make them for the Pistol Caliber uppers. It might be fun to do in .45 ACP.
Link Posted: 11/5/2003 6:19:27 AM EDT
AWB317....You wouldn't happen to be a survivalist looking to the day when society has collapsed and the only option is to make your own powder would you? Just thought I'd ask. Years ago there was a short lived magazine called...Survive! I remember one article about making expedient reloaded rifle ammo from match heads. This just seems in the same vein. If not I humbly apologise....If so......good luck dude! Any other scenario just seems like waaaaay too much cleaning.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 8:27:29 AM EDT
I'll be sure not to be the one that suggesta to our club's contingent of blackpowder (muzzle loader and metallic cartidge) shooters that spend a Saturday every month in gentlemanly competition and have spent lots of money pursuing their hobby, that they should experiment with the "strike anywhere match head load". Even though I advocate self-reliance, I do not align myself exactly with the type of "end of the world as we now know it" types you refer to. But luck does favor the prepared, you know. When electricity and running water fail, my family has the knowledge, skills, attitude and equipment to survive quite nicely, but that is another sermon. I'm surprised at the negativism and close-minded attitudes of some of my ARFCOM brothers. The attitude of some citizens and even other shooters that look at our affinity to and attraction with the black rifle and say "what do you need that for, nocivilian needs one of those, they must be a terrorist type or criminal" is the same non tolerant attitude I've gotten from some here about wantingto adapt the systemn to BP cartridge. Hell, I'm wanting to go back in time, not modify it for ray gun technology, haha> Even though I advocate weapons skills for self survival and defense, I like to have FUN with with my guns , too. I think it would be FUN to whip out an AR, bring it to the line and make it go KABOOM with a lot of dark grey smoke rolling out. It is no different from my love of having one trigger pull expel 30 rounds or feeling the concussion of my BArrett 82A1 push a 651 grain projo out of the barrell, or watching the orange targets break as I trap shoot, or any of the other varied "games" we play with guns. I just want to se if I can get the old girl running on a different kind of fuel - not a big deal, crazy idea, or survivalist experiment. Hell, before I resort to matchheads and making my own powder, I'll sharpen a broadhead and put a nice edge on my axe. Keep the faith....
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 9:46:50 AM EDT
It just flat won't work. Forest hit most of the points in his reply. Also, black powder will not work with a jacketed bullet. You need lube to keep the fouling soft and jacketed bullets don't have any lube. As Forest also stated, black powder won't work in a .30cal, what makes you think it'll work in a .223 cal.? If you want to mess up your gun then go for it but you've been warned. Personally, I think you're just pullin' our chain and having a good laugh, I'm sure you know better then to think black powder would work in an AR.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 9:49:07 AM EDT
AWB317, I think we all understand the idea of making a semi auto blackpowder gun, however I think its just the thought of abusing and screwing up a perfectly good rifle that people have a problem with. Perhaps you should just focus on making a semi auto blackpowder gun and then focus on the simplest platform out there to do it; I would start off with a 10/22 if possible. Iv'e never heard of the matchhead bullet idea, that could turn out very bad. Iv'e heard of them being used to make pipebombs though, just make sure you have a plastic liner [:)] Oh by the way, do you shoot blackpowder loads out of your .50 Barret?
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 10:28:20 AM EDT
I can afford to buy a new barrell for my AR after the corrosion has pitted it, I can' afford $1400 for a new .50BMG barrell, haha. I have a friend though that wants to try it and has been playing around with some of my spent cases. I never said I was a BP purist, just wantingto try something diferent with the AR. From what you guys are saying, though, looks like the .22 idea may not work very well.Maybe I'll switch to a BP AK concept.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 11:02:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AWB317: .Maybe I'll switch to a BP AK concept.
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The .311 bore of the AK [i]might[/i] work, but I wouldn't bet on it. I think your best chance at success would be to try to reload .45ACP with black powder and get an Olympic Arms .45 ACP upper.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 11:32:02 AM EDT
Forest, Don't guys use .32 BP muzzleloading suirrel rifles all the time? Is it just because of the repetitive shot without cleaning that you think it will be a major conecern? How often between shots would you recommend cleaning? I like the 45ACP idea - a lot. Does it supply and uppwer bolt and mag and the other fire control components are the same as the regular AR? Thanks Alan
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