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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made some .38 Special loads using Blackhorn 209. I was able to get a few pounds of Red Dot last year, but I have a limited supply and I wanted to save it for my .45 ACP loads. Other than that, I can't get pistol powder anywhere. Blackhorn 209 is expensive, but it seems to be fairly plentiful just now. Here's my experience:

Blackhorn 209 is purported to be a very clean-burning, non-corrosive BP substitute. There's also a reloading data chart available on the Blackhorn 209 website with pressures, velocities, etc. it's worth noting that they do specify magnum pistol primers for .38 Special.

The only other thing I'd mention about reloading is that The Blackhorn 209 metered extremely well through my Lee Perfect Powder measure. There was a perfect 1:1 relationship between the volume setting in cc's and the charge-weight in grains. I set my measure to 1.17 cc's and it throws a charge weighing 11.7 grains by my Electronic scale. I calculated I can get well over 350 loads from a 10 ounce can of Blackhorn. Your mileage may vary.

The loads I made consisted of 125gr LFP bullets over 11.7 grains of propellant with a CCI small pistol magnum primer in a Remington case. The data calls for LaserCast bullets, but I used a locally produced bullet that are about the same.

They worked.

At 7 yards they were very accurate through a a Taurus Model 82. The recoil was not heavy. While they were not nearly as smokey as black powder, they did make a bit more smoke than regular pistol powder. A bit of flash and spark too. There was also some unburned propellant lying around when all was said and done. I was at an indoor range and the ventilation system cleared away the smoke in a jif. The smell was not unlike regular smokeless powder. Didn't attract any attention from the range officer's either. They do have a no-muzzle-loader rule, so I was O.K.

As far as it being clean burning, well, I can say that it is...relative to Pyrodex or BP. Compared to regular smokeless pistol powder it is absolutely filthy. The good news is that it's basically soot and it come right off with a little M-pro 7. When I was done cleaning I coated the gun with a thin layer LPx oil inside and out. I'll go back in a couple of days, run a patch through the barrel and cylinders and re-oil to get anything I missed.

Get ready to leave the brass in the tumbler for a while. I ran my in Lyman Turbo Tumbler (the Green kind) for about 6 hours before the cases started looking really good. Again, your mileage may vary.

Well, that's all I have to report for now. I plan on making the loads using a 158gr projectile next. They develop higher pressure according to the available load data and I'm hoping to get more complete ignition and a little less crud.

If you've had any experience with Blackhorn 209 in a metallic cartridge or have questions about anything I missed please don't be shy.
 

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Just for S&G, I used some with some 38 cal 200 gn LRN I got from a friend. I won't post a charge weight other than say they were compressed and they would get your attention but they were accurate and clean up wasn't bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just for S&G, I used some with some 38 cal 200 gn LRN I got from a friend. I won't post a charge weight other than say they were compressed and they would get your attention but they were accurate and clean up wasn't bad.
I've made some with a 158gr LRN and a heavier bullet does tend to come out a bit cleaner. I'm guessing it's the higher pressure and the slightly smaller charge. There was a bit of unburned propellant about with the 125gr FP bullet.
 

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Thanks for the report. I would only use Blackhorn 209 in my muzzle loader. But, that's just me.
 
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