Review By Mark Underwood

Having always regarded black powder shooting as a messy and ‘inconsistent’ type of shooting I have generally given it a wide birth but recently, after a discussion about Swiss No.2 Black Powder, I decided to have a look into this dark art and try out this particular powder.

Swiss No.2 is a 3FG powder making it one of the finer and therefore faster burning of the black powders. That is as far as this article will go into the ‘technical’ side of the powder as the intention is to only examine the consistency and performance of the powder compared to other black powders available.

For testing purposes a Rogers and Spencer revolver was used with 22 grains of Swiss number 2 and a lubed wad behind a .454 calibre lead ball. For comparative purposes another widely available black powder was used with a very similar and suitable powder charge weight.

The first thing that I noticed with this powder is how consistent the grain size is and this no doubt contributed to the consistency of charge weights it generated. The next thing that was immediately apparent, when the gun was fired, was the lack of smoke and flash compared to the other powder. Generally, the flash and smoke cloud produced by a black powder pistol fired on an indoor range is a real nuisance to the smokeless powder shooters nearby but with Swiss No.2 it was not an issue at all. Standing alongside someone shooting with No.2 a few sparks and a bit of smoke were visible but nothing significant.

Firing over the chronograph showed some surprisingly consistent results, in fact as a bit if a cynic when it comes to black powder the author was very surprised at how consistent the velocities were. We are not talking about the sort of consistency that is achievable with smokeless powders but, while the other black powder being used generated velocities that varied by as much as 500fps over six shots, the Swiss No.2 produced velocities all within 107 fps over six shots. This result was repeatable and the Swiss powder did not produce a single shot with a wildly different velocity. This is a sure sign that the powder both meters and burns very consistently.

As the Swiss powder is so clean burning it will make cleaning the gun that much easier and your hands are not so ‘sooty’ after shooting. It is also possible to shoot this powder indoors without filling the range with smoke.


Swiss No.2 is a real eye-opener for this non-black powder shooter. The velocities produced shot after shot were a real surprise and this will of course have a very significant effect on accuracy. Although it is a relatively expensive powder the added benefits would seem well worth the extra cost, particularly for competition use where consistent accuracy is needed. Seasoned black powder shooters will no doubt get even better results from this great powder.

Swiss No.2 Powder


Product Name:  Swiss No.2 Black powder

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Swiss Black Powder Range


This is a complete reproduction of the a review by Mark Underwood. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author; Mark Underwood, and do not reflect those of Henry Krank & Co. Ltd and are reproduced here for entertainment purposes only. Henry Krank & Co. Ltd. shall not be held liable for any damage, injury, loss or detriment resulting from following the advice contained herein. Henry Krank & Co. Ltd. do not advocate following any of the advice here reproduced and urge anyone in any doubt to seek a professional opinion.

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