Charge labels for Smokeless Powders

Makers instructed owners as to the best charges.

Read Article v

Gunsmithing & Technical|January 2021

Gun cases normally contain the usual maker's trade label glued inside the lid but it was also common practice for the maker to include a card explaining to the new owner exactly what charges of powder and shot were ideal for the gun, often indicating for what it had been painstakingly regulated to shoot.

This practice became increasingly important when nitro powders began to replace black powder. Some of the new nitro powders were 'bulk' powders, with equal size portions collected in a powder scoop (black or nitro) being of equal power. However, 'dense' powders required less powder for the same pressure and getting it wrong could destroy the gun.

The label below instructs the loader to use either 33 grains of Smokeles Diamond or the same amount of Schulze or E.C Powder and a load of  1 1/16 oz (30 grams) of shot in this 12-bore gun. All these are 'bulk' smokeless powders.

Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on

Gunsmithing & Technical|January 2021

Vintage Gun Journal category advertiser: John Dickson & Son Gunmakers

Vintage Gun Journal category advertiser: Stephen & Son

Vintage Gun Journal category advertiser: Hammer Guns