by Timothy P. Banse
Pyrodex burns cleaner and produces less fouling than old school blackpowder. In pellet form it's available in four varieties: Namely, 50-caliber/30 grain, 50-caliber/50 grain and 54-caliber/60 grain for in-line muzzleloading rifles and 44/45-caliber/30 grain for cap and ball revolvers.
By now you already know Pyrodex is a direct replacement for conventional black powder and that because it weighs less than blackpowder (roughly about 70% as much as blackpowder, it effectively yields more energy per pound than blackpowder. In other words, the exact same volume of Pyrodex lends performance similar to charge of blackpowder.
Pyrodex pellets are pressed into shape from black powder and Pyrodex RS. Each pellet has a black ignitor on one end. When loading the Pellet, for best ignition, place the black ignitor end of the Pellet into the barrel first. Don't touch a pellet with your bare hands. Instead use the included pipe cleaner, jabbing it into the hole in the center of the pellet and using it to dunk the pellet down the bore.
Besides outright eliminating a powder flask, one of the things I like about pellets is the way it allows stacking, picking a combination of different grain weight pellets to dial in the best load. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
.50 Caliber: 30- and 50-Grain Pellets
The original Pyrodex Pellet were designed for 50-caliber in-line rifles. So naturally it follows, a single 50/50 pellet may be used for a light target or small game load while two 50/50 pellets stacked in tandem combine to provide a potent 100-grain load eminently suitable for big game. Or a 50- and 30-grain combination yields an 80-grain charge.Packed 100 pellets to the box and 24 pellets to the card. Light the fire with standard #10 or #11 percussion caps, musket caps or 209 ignition systems.
.54 Caliber: 60-Grain Pellets
Pyrodex Pellets are also available for 54-caliber in-line rifles. Coupled with a 54-caliber sabot and a 50-caliber bullet or with Power Belt bullets creates a powerful combination for really big game. Caveat: Pyrodex 54-caliber pellets are not recommended for use with conical bullets with or without wads. They're packed 100 pellets to the box.
.44-45 Caliber: 30-Grain Pistol or Rifle Pellets
These 30-grain volume Pellets are intended for use in 44- or 45-caliber cap and ball revolvers and are packed 100 pellets to the jar. The maximum load per each revolver chamber should never exceed one (1) revolver Pellet. Exceeding maximum load may cause damage to the firearm and cause personal injury or death to the shooter or bystanders.
Besides pistols, these .44/.44-caliber pellets may also be used in 45-caliber in-line muzzleloading rifles in conjunction with 50-grain pellets so long as the combination does not exceed 100-grains.