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Thread: Questionable reduced loads with slow rifle powder. Should I be concerned?

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  1. #31
    Senior Member bombdoc's Avatar
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    Another factor that I have heard discussed in the "low density - slow powder" argument is the physical shape of the propellent grains, and the potential for detonation to take place. Examination of some damaged weapons have, as I understood, shown evidence of metal flow as a result of detonation.

    One theory is that a compacted mass of propellent, loose in the case is able to impact the base of the round with sufficient force to intiate a detonation. The argument is that this is possible with the greater cross section of the slower powder.

    ...another argument is that the grain structure is broken up by the impact, dramatically increasing the available burning surface.. this is similar to the "do not tumble live rounds in a cement mixer" story..

    As you say - until we find a way of reproducing the effect in a lab, we are all speculating.. however I am quite clear that dragons lurk in that particular corner of the tables..

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    Lyman reloading manuals of which I have #45,#48 and #49 as well as the Lyman Cast Bullet Manual list quiet a few loads for the 54r as far as reduced cast bullet loads go. I prefer the fast to med fast burning pistol and SG powders

    My M44 gets a pretty steady diet of the Lee 165 gr. tumble lube GC RN bullet using the Universal Load of Alliant 2400 and The Load of Alliant Red Dot in military style cartridge cases like .30-40 Kragicon, .303 Britishicon, 7.65 Argentineicon, .308 Win., 7.62x54R Russianicon, .30-06, 8x57 and .45-70.

    I shoot both loads in my M44 with great success but I prefer the 2400 because I can use it with cast loads in my 7.62 x 54r,7.62 x 39,300 Sav. and my 30-30. MV runs anywhere between 1400 fps. on the low end with 170 gr. cast bullets up to 2K fps. depending on which cartridge I loading. I throw all the charges for these cartridges basically with my Lil Dandy powder measure and 3 rotors,you can't get any simpler than that.

    Alliant 2400 according to Mr. Harris who wrote the NRA Cast Bullet Manuals and supplements stated that 2400 or Red Dot is neither case capacity or position sensitive when used with the prescribed load data,meters great,burns cleaner in the longer rifle barrels and has a good bit of latitude especially the 2400 to allow you to work up an accurate load.

    The Load
    http://members.shaw.ca/cronhelm/TheLoad.html

    Cast bullets in military rifles.
    Cast Bullet Loads for Military Rifles - Article - Cast Boolits

    My first 5 shot cast bullet group at 50 yds.

    Last edited by SKS50; 09-05-2012 at 03:56 PM.

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  5. #33
    Really Senior Member AKA Hugh Uno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarmann View Post
    dear sirs ,
    redused loads are always made with fast burning powders (H4198 ,unique, 5744 n110 n340 2400)(pistol powders/ m1 powders ) this you find all over the differend forums and magazines ,
    allways use a keeper over the powder (dacron fluf 2/3 gn ,toilet paper kitchenroll in small amounts ,carton disk on straight walled cases ) I even use them with fmj bullets in springfield 1903a3 and the m17 mostly with N110 vitha
    this is not new, it has been done for years ,the only DANGER in this matter is DOUBLE CHARGE , and the flash over ,but that we all new allready a long time !!!!!!AND WE ALL NOW HOW TO AVOID THIS PROBLEM (weight every charge and compleet your rounds piece by piece )no TV no radio ,complete consentration on the matter, like a monk in is cell
    What we do ourselfs we mostly do better
    greetings from over the pond
    jarmann
    I;m not sure where you get the idea that reduced loads are "only" used with faster powders when this is absolutely not correct. Many loading manuals have reduced loads of medium and slow powders to make reduced recoil, etc. loads.

    As for detonation, this (elusive) phenomenon is most closely associated with GALLERY loads (small charges of fast burning pistol powders) in which the internal case (may) result in a flash-over detonation etc. As was alluded to above, NOBODY has been able to reproduce this. What is a ALSO wrong with Gallery loads, especially with fillers/wadding is BARREL "RINGING." Not that I don't occasionally use poly-wadding loads in straight walled rifle cases (45-70/38-55), but I know what the risks are.

    4895 and Varget are both DANDY options for reduced loads but make sure you don't stray below manual limits. Likewise, I am a BIG fan of BOTH Trail Boss and Red Dot for rifle loads with JACKETED or LEAD bullets in bottleneck and straight-walled cases..

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    Really Senior Member pocketshaver's Avatar
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    The things that are always forgotten with low "powder quantity, economical loads" is that ;


    1. The nature of small charges of extremely fast burning powder, take 2400 or Bulls Eye, can do extremely good things in a rifle. Its fun when 8 grains of a pistol powder can toss a 214 grain bullet down range in your 8x57 or 7.62x51 when the same bullet would require max pressure and about 30 grains of a designated smokeless rifle powder.

    2. the danger of an accidental overload can and will result in a chamber pressure that can easily be 150 to 200% of the listed SAAMI or CIP standard. Have seen loads online in mauser 98 actions that survived estimated chamber pressure of 100,000 psi.



    3. Have seen many inferences and pure statements that "detonation" incidents, have almost ALWAYS been involved with loads made with filler like kapok, Dacron, etc.. the hypothesis has always been " the filler material moved off the powder, created an air pocket in the chamber. ignition of cartridge primer created a pipe bomb"

    4. Successful use of small charges of fast powder like 2400 and Bulls Eye in your rifle is best done with LEAD bullets. less pressure needed to blow them out.

  7. #35
    Senior Member bombdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKA Hugh Uno View Post
    I;m not sure where you get the idea that reduced loads are "only" used with faster powders when this is absolutely not correct. Many loading manuals have reduced loads of medium and slow powders to make reduced recoil, etc. loads.

    As for detonation, this (elusive) phenomenon is most closely associated with GALLERY loads (small charges of fast burning pistol powders) in which the internal case (may) result in a flash-over detonation etc. As was alluded to above, NOBODY has been able to reproduce this.
    Not strictly true.. the issue of reduced charge detonation is understood in the artillery world and has been published. The phenomenon has only been reported with reduced loadings of slow powder, not with fast powder. Fast powder does not have the density to reach the required energy levels.

    The use of gallery loadings for military calibres used to be fairly common in Europe in the early 20th C, with most countries producing gallery loads for training purposes. These were invariably loaded with fine flake pistol powder, or famously in the case of the Frenchicon Lebel gallery round, with flash paper.

    It is possible to get Bulleye to detonate! I have done this myself, but only using methods that would produce conditions that you would not get in a gun chamber!

  8. #36
    Really Senior Member pocketshaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bombdoc View Post
    Not strictly true.. the issue of reduced charge detonation is understood in the artillery world and has been published. The phenomenon has only been reported with reduced loadings of slow powder, not with fast powder. Fast powder does not have the density to reach the required energy levels.

    The use of gallery loadings for military calibres used to be fairly common in Europe in the early 20th C, with most countries producing gallery loads for training purposes. These were invariably loaded with fine flake pistol powder, or famously in the case of the Frenchicon Lebel gallery round, with flash paper.

    It is possible to get Bulleye to detonate! I have done this myself, but only using methods that would produce conditions that you would not get in a gun chamber!
    America still made the guard/practice load for th e30-06 into 1950 at least. good fun. was apparently used by boy scouts in the day as well.

    yes timmy, as long as the scouts give you a bolt ction 30-06 and 150 grain fmj at 1500 fps no one will grab your winky....

    but once you get a bb or pellet rifle, cover up

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