Muzzleloading Era Battle Blog

Back in the "old'n days” of the 18th and early 19th Century, gunpowder was often measured in drams. Today, this measurement has largely fallen out of use, but understanding it can be helpful in deciphering historical documents and when using reproduction measuring equipment. So what is a dram?

The answer is very simple. A standard measure of 1 pound's weight is composed of 16 ounces. Each ounce is composed of 16 equal parts…or drams. And thus because a pound of gunpowder contains 7000 grains (a volumetric measure), each dram is equal to 27.3 grains.

You can practice your knowledge (or showoff a little at your next shooting event) when you use one of Veteran Arms LLC’s reproduction Hawksley Style Powder Flasks. These flasks have a 4 of 4 graduated dispensing spout that adjusts to four settings from 2.5 to 3.25 drams, or approximately 68-89 grains.