Black powder drop tube questions

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J Miller
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Black powder drop tube questions

#1 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:18 pm

I've just read Mike Venturino's article BLACK MAJIC in the current AMERICAN HANDGUNNER magazine.

On page 72, at the left side are two pics of the drop tube he uses. I can't tell how tall it is, or see the bottom of it. Mike does not state which brand it is, nor where to get them.

Can somebody here tell me how long these drop tubes are, and maybe link me to some better pictures and / or someplace that sells them?

I can do the SPC or Lyman Black Powder Gold lube, and the CCI 350 primers. But there is NO PLACE locally that I know of that would stock such a drop tube.

TIA

Joe

PS; I've always been interested in black powder, just disliked it because I've never been able to get decent loads. With what I've learned here, and Mikes article I'm thinking of giving it another try.

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#2 Post by PPpastordon » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:32 pm

Drop tubes are of various lengths. however, I believe the longest I have seen was, IIRC, around 24". It was homemade out of a piece of copper tubing, about 3/8" diameter and flared on each end. The "bottom" end was flared to go over a .45-70 case and the top end about the same amount. A funnel was held against the top to pour the powder into.

The man who had this tube said he found the 24" to be best for his loads. They did shoot well, but I had little to compare them to back then - over 30 years ago (early 70's).

PPpastordon

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#3 Post by Paul LC » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:45 pm

Here's a place that sells them: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templ ... 00003&rid= They're pricey but pretty.

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#4 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:06 pm

I can't tell about the one in Mikes article, but the one from Cabelas looks like it slides up and down so you can use different length cartridges.

Am I seeing right?

Joe

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#5 Post by Paul LC » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:28 pm

You are seeing right.

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#6 Post by 2row » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:52 pm

why not make your own useing an arrow shafe the lingth you want. 24in is what I'm useing now for 444 :lol: :lol:

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#7 Post by jd45 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:59 pm

Joe, those pics seem mighty handy for someone who might like to try to build one themselves, IMO. jd45

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#8 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:27 pm

2row, jd45,

Indeed they do. And I've been thinking of doing exactly that. I don't know about an arrow shaft, but copper tubing can be had fairly cheep. Then a small metal funnel and some wood and ...... a drop tube.

But before I build one, I just want to get more information.

Joe

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#9 Post by Chuck 100 yd » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:01 pm

I made nine of brass tubing available from the local hardware. It is found also in hobby shops and one size fits exactly inside of the next size, Used for model railroad,airplanes and other things.
I made mine 24" long and made an oak stand to hold it. One of the members had a thread just about a month ago with a pic of the one he made.
I ran some tests with mine and the 40-65 cartridge and Goex 2FF. Using the drop tube you can fit 14% more powder into the case. I wrote this up and it was published in the Black Powder Cartridge News about 5 years ago. :D

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#10 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:07 pm

Chuck 100yds,

I have to admit I do not regularly shoot black powder. But on the occasion that I do I'd like to be able to make good ammo.

Do you have any pics of your home made drop tube?

Links to your article?
To the one mentioned last month?

Yeah, I mooching...... :roll:

Joe

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#11 Post by perry owens » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:16 pm

I buy brass tubing from the local Ace Hardware, also the spring clips that allow the tube to slide up and down the wooden support. For the funnel I use a Lee powder funnel with a few turns of tape if necessary to make it a snug fit.
Perry Owens

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#12 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:23 pm

Perry Owens,

Do you have a pic of these spring clips you mentioned, and what diameter of tube did you buy?

Joe

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Drop Tube

#13 Post by Wayne Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:44 pm

Cousin Joe,

A drop tube need not be a real complicated item. in my case, it is an aluminum arrow shaft to which I have wedded an old RCBS powder funnel. It is clamped in the vice at the end of my bench. No fancy stand. No clips needed. When I am done with it, I take it out of my vice, and it takes up no more room than a cleaning rod.
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#14 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:55 pm

Hey cousin Wayne, how ya doin?

Just for the curiosity, what ID shaft did you use? Just curious.

I'm already planning ( in my head for now) building one of these things.

Although I honestly don't know why.

Maybe I'll "accidentally" acquire a black powder cartridge something.

Joe

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#15 Post by Chuck 100 yd » Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:43 pm

Friend J Miller, Just saw your post, was out buying a new 22" monitor. Man it is nice!!
Here are a couple of pics of my drop tube for the 40 cal. My 32 cal one is just the same but stained darker.
Image

Image

Image

As others say, Keep it simple. Its the drop that does the trick.
Note that I used a machinery locking collar as a stop to hold the tube just inside of the case mouth.
I also used an "O" ring as a seal at the sase mouth but found it not needed. Have fun! :wink:

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#16 Post by Chuck 100 yd » Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:48 pm

I forgot, my funnel is from a cheep Chinese made Christmas orniment. :lol:

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#17 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:22 pm

Chuck,

Now I'm sure I can build one. I'll just file your pics for reference.

I used to use a battery tester like that when I worked at the parts store in Phoenix. Neat tools. I salvaged more "dead" batteries by testing them with that then putting them on the charger than I can count. My boss would sell them for a BIG discount and still make more than the battery warehouse would give us in core charges. Loved it.

Joe

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#18 Post by cas » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:29 pm

I just posted my crummy picture in the MLV thread, but it really should have been over here.
Slow is just slow.

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#19 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:31 pm

cas,

You can move it :wink:

Joe

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#20 Post by Ysabel Kid » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:53 pm

cas wrote:I just posted my crummy picture in the MLV thread, but it really should have been over here.
Me too - but here is mine:

Image
Image

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#21 Post by J Miller » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:30 pm

Thanks for the pics of your drop tubes. I'm filing them for reference when I build one.


Joe

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#22 Post by mad mucus » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:51 am

G'day Joe,

The one I made resemblances the Cabela...

http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c110/ ... p07023.jpg

Scrap 1.25" ply, 36" of 3/8" copper tube, 2x eye screws, 2x thick O-rings, and a shell holder.

Mucus :wink:
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#23 Post by perry owens » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:49 am

J Miller wrote
Do you have a pic of these spring clips you mentioned, and what diameter of tube did you buy?
In England we call them Terry clips but here I think they are tool clips. The picture here shows the style I use:. I just take an empty case along to find a tube that fits inside - I think for 45-70 I used 3/8 or 7/16
http://www.springmasters.com/sp/spring- ... losed.html

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#24 Post by J Miller » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:13 am

mucus,
Thanks for the picture.

perry,
Thanks for the pic of the tool clip. I've seen those things all over the place, but didn't really know what they were called. One of their uses is hanging brooms and mops in cupboards.

Joe

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#25 Post by Cimarron Red » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:38 pm

Joe,

Here's my drop tube. It's 5/16" brass tubing 36" long:

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j88/c ... 010012.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j88/c ... 010011.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j88/c ... 010013.jpg

And I attach my BP measure to the drop tube stand.

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#26 Post by J Miller » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:59 pm

Cimarron Red,

That's pretty neat. Most every body else is using 24" drop tubes, do you find your 36" one works better?

Joe

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#27 Post by Cimarron Red » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:02 pm

Joe,

I think that a 24" tube will do the job, but the truth is that I began with the 36 incher and I've used it for 8 years. Because I'm happy with the results, I'm loathe to make any changes. In use a 36" tube is not difficult to deal with, and it does allow the fines to 'float' longer so more of them end up at the top of the powder column. Also, the diameter of the tube does make a difference. The drop tube supplied with the Lyman BP measure, for example, is far too large. My tube is 5/16" OD, and it results in greater settling of the powder (FFg Swiss, in my case.)

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#28 Post by J Miller » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:34 pm

Cimarron Red,

What caliber are you using it for? I'd be using one for .45 Colt.

Joe

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#29 Post by Cimarron Red » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:04 pm

Joe,

Almost exclusively .45-70 silhouette loads, though I sometimes load .38-55's also. I shoot some CAS .45 Colt BP loads, but I drop them through the earlier-mentioned Lyman BP measure drop tube. I think that the length and diameter of the drop tube for pistol cartridges is somewhat less critical than for rifle cartridges, at least for my purposes.

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