Excessive smoke residue on fired cases?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDBennett, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I think I know the answer already but what do you know?

    I shoot some really light loads of 45 Long Colt. They are down loaded to work in very weak actioned lever guns and my new Taurus ThunderBolt Colt Lightning clone. (16 gr of H4227 with 250 gr Hornady XTP bullets, and 7.1 gr of W231 with 250 gr cast bullets).The cases of both loads come out of both rifles with powder smoke residue about 1/3 of the way down the case from the bullet end. I rarely see any smoke residue on normal load level cartridges used in other guns.

    I assume this is from the case not being swelled out to toally seal the chamber because the load level is not high enough to stretch the brass to seal the end of the chamber. These guns need these reduced load levels as the actions are notoriously weak and I have no intention of hurting them.

    Anyone out there seeing the same thing in down loaded cartridges? How about you cowboy shooters? Is this the norm or is the brass I am using particularly hard or thick or ????

    LDBennett
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    You answered your own question LD. The brass is not fully expanding in the chamber. I understand what you are doing, but I question the concern for a rifle with today's modern steel. You could be doing more harm in the chamber area with the hot gasses bypassing the cartridge mouth and erode the chamber area and throat quickly. JMHO.

    The other thing I worry about is all that air space in that big case!

    IPT
  3. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

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    inplanotx,Is right you may be slowly buggering the chamber.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I understand that the gas blowing by the case is a concern and I had not considered it before. This is one of the reasons I asked the question---to get other perspectives. Thanks for that.

    The W231 load is 0.2 gr below the max load for Cowboy loads while the 4227 load is 10% below the max load according to the Hodgdon reloading manual. So neither is unduly light and in reality at or above starting loads. The Hodgdon load is for IMR4227 and I am using Hodgdon 4227 but they are virtually the same powder and reflect each others loads in most all calibers (H4227 not available anymore, too bad). In either case there is not too much "air" in the case if both loads match recommended starting loads or better. Also both are pistol powders (the W231 is the universal pistol powder while the 4227 is a Magnum pistol powder choosen for the slower burning rate that seems might work better in a rifle barrel). I was surprised the W231 load had the smoking problem because it is a recommended Cowboy load and well above the starting load. In fact it is nearly their max load for Cowboy shoots.

    As for a particular gun being "weak". In the case of the Win '73 it is the toggle link that is the weak point not so much the metal the gun is made of. It uses an overcenter design of a toggle to lock the bolt closed. The ThunderBolt (Colt Lightning clone) uses a single under bolt link as well (different design from the '73 but weak none the less). The Browning designed lever guns ('86, '92, '94, '95 and other later levers) use one or even two solid pieces of vertically mounted bar stock to hold the bolt closed, position just behind the actual bolt---much stronger and can handle modern smokeless powder pressures. My two guns were originally designed for black powder pressures and as such need lighter loads, I think (?).

    Is it possible that the brass has work hardened from too many reloads and that new brass might not do it? I haven't tried this recently and all my brass has been reloaded several times. I recollect that years ago when I developed the '73 load, even new brass did it (??).

    Thanks for the inputs. The above response is not as a defense but to make sure the unknowing get the correct picture when they read this.

    LDBennett
  5. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Hi LD,
    One other thought that passed through my little head is an oversized chamber? Do not really know, but maybe a cerro safe chamber cast and a good measure might help rule it out! Might also want to try H110 or WW296. I prefer the H110 though in my guns. Need a real tight roll crimp in a hand gun and probably your rifle. It will certainly cure the bullet push back in the magazine. Also H110 loves super crimps. Good luck and let us know.

    IPT
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    inplanotx:

    I thought about the oversized chamber but both the Uberti Model 1873 and the Taurus Thunderbolt do it. It has to be ammo related, I think.

    The bullets I used with the W231 had NO crimp groove. The Hornady XTP had a crimp groove and the bullets stayed in place. I need to change to bullets with a crimp grove. I found several Cowboy bullets with nice rounded shape with a flat point (remember these bullets have to go into a loading tube under the barrel). I think the failures to feed from the loading tube to the cartridge carrier is caused by the shape of the bullet. Since this is a Cowboy gun it seems Cowboy bullets ought to work better in it than pistol bullets.

    LDBennett
  7. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I agree with Inplano A chamber cast would be a goo idea
  8. BIGBOOMER

    BIGBOOMER New Member

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    Possibly an insuffient crimp combined with a relatively slow burning or slow to ignite powder could be causing the problem. Maybe something like 8.5gr Unique and a heavy crimp would cure the problem. Just a thought. :)
    Best regards, BIGBOOMER
  9. ziggy222

    ziggy222 New Member

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    usually when pistol cartridges turn black for me,its cause i did'nt crimp heavy enough.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    ziggy 222:

    That's a thought!

    I did have a problem with the crimp being not enough to hold bullets without a canalure in the bullet tube of this pump gun (Taurus Thunderbolt pump 45LC). A couple of bullets actually pushed into the case. I am trying to get some National Bullet Cowboy 45 Cal flat round nose at 250 grains copper plated but they are temporarily out of stock. They promise them to be shipped next week, maybe. They have a real canalure that can be hard crimped into. That should fix the pushed bullet and maybe the smoked cases?????

    LDBennett
  11. ziggy222

    ziggy222 New Member

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    You should'nt need a canelur or a roll crimp.I'm using fmj plated slugs in my 45colt right now.I bought a lee factory crimp die cheap and i could'nt imagine those slugs coming back out unless i fire it.A firm crimp will keep your gun clean.You may have to experiment a bit to get better accuracy but i never had a problem.I would prefer a roll crimp and a jacketed hollow point slug with a crimping caneleur but i have to improvise to afford my hobby.
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    zigggy 222:

    The Factory Crimp Die by Lee does work. I have used it on other calibers with great success. It is one of their products that I do like while most of the others I do not like. But it is hard to beat a crimp goove where the case is pushed into the groove. No loading tube spring will ever overcome the folded in metal in that groove! And no amount of pounding recoil is ever going to straighten out the rolled in case, certainly not any from a 45 Long Colt. This copper plated cast lead bullet shaped for use in Cowboy guns with a deep crimp groove has to be the answer for me.

    LDBennett
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