ok, now I'm concerned ........

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Jay, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    I started setting things up today to reload .45 ACP. Adjusting all the dies went smoothly. Then I set up the powder scale. 230 grain FMJ, and a friend gave me about 1/4 pound of Hodgdon Clays powder. The Hodgdon book says 3.7 to a max of 4.0 grains. Visually, that does not appear to me to be very much powder. :confused:

    My local gurus won't be around until Sunday night, and I'm a bit leery of what appears to be a scant amount of powder. I sure don't want to have to drive a stuck bullet out of an expensive handgun.

    Anyone care to coach a bit? :(
  2. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Jay, I've never used Clays, but I can tell ya one thing...Thats the EXACT same thing I said when I loaded up my first round... I still remember Art getting a chuckle out of it and asked me if I "thought it would be full?" :D

    How many grains are you measuring up?

    Crpdeth
  3. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    ... acording to the load data, max load is 4.0 grains. I'm planning on starting with 3.6 grains and working up.

    Geeze, there's gonna be lots of room in that case..... now planning on shooting the first few rounds out of a less expensive pistol. :p
  4. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Thats why I used to want a .45 GAP. :D

    Crpdeth
  5. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    hey.... yer s'posed to be building my confidence. It's not happening ...... fast enough........
  6. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    heh heh...I think you are doing fine, in fact the more I think about it, anyone who didn't look into that big ol' .45 case for the first time and wonder why there was so much room left over may be the one to worry about. :D

    Crpdeth
  7. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    My Lyman 47th Ed. does not list Clays w/ a 230 gr fmj. Lists a 200 grn 3.9min-4.4 max.

    Remember the depth of the bullet will take up a lot of space.! :) If your load data says 3.7-4.0 , then the space should not be a problem.

    You might check on line. Lots of powder makers put their load data on the 'net.

    Good Luck!
  8. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    When I called locally to ask about the powder, I noticed that it wasn't in my Lyman book either. I got a small Hodgdon load book with the powder, and went online to Hodgdon's web site and both indicated a starting load of 3.7 grains, and a max load of 4.0 grains.

    I loaded up several rounds this morning, but will wait until my guru's return, and review my efforts before subjecting my guns to an unproven ammo source.
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Jay:

    The first thing you do is never take powder from anyone. Always buy it yourself and break the seal yourself. No seal? Take it back and get one that is sealed.

    This is because you want to be sure exactly what is in the powder cannister. There are many stories of blown up guns from gun show powder, even powder in commercial cannister (but not sealed). I know that you know the source of your Clays powder but I watched a good friend accidentally mix up powder containers and pour the wrong powder into a powder measure in the middle of a reloading session. Fortunately I caught his mistake. But what if I didn't and he gave it to me and I used it. I think you get the point.

    The problem is there are a huge variety of smokeless powders on the market place. Some are fast burning and some are slow burning. In general it takes a lot more slow powder to get to the same pressures than it does of fast powder. Mix them up and substitute fast for slow and you have a bomb!

    The rules are:

    1). Only use new powder in sealed containers from reputable manufacture's. Never use unknown or questionable source powders. You must have total control on the powder at all times, for your own safety.

    2). Store your powder away (across the room) from the reloading bench and put only the cannister you are using on the reloading bench. Never put two cannisters of powder on the reloading bench at the same time. Don't put the cannister in use away until the unused powder in the powder measure is poured back into its container.

    3). Never leave powder in the powder measure when you are not reloading. That means emptying it over night for a continuing reloading session. That way you know exactly what is in the powder measure and you don't have to rely on your memory. Never store powder in the measure for more than the day of reloading as the solvents in the powder ruin the plastic powder reservoir that is part of the measure.

    4). Powder type or condition questionable? Then discard it. Spreading it thin and burning it works ..... you'll be surprised at how slowly it burns unlike Black Powder which is an explosive. Smokeless powder is a "propellant" and not an explosive. I spread it out on the dirt in my back yard as it is actually not a bad fertilizer. But I didn't tell you to do that!

    5). Never shoot someone elses reloads. It's that control thing again.Even your best friend can make a powder error.

    Pistol cases are rarely filled to the brim with smokeless powders and that often is a problem. The burn rate of the powder is affected by the position of the small quantity of powder in the case and huge differences in performance can be measured. One gun writer (Ohler of chronograph fame) recently wrote a story of how he used that "feature" to wow students in a class he used to regularly teach. Try to use position unsensitive powders for handgun loads. I like W231 and the Hodgdon exact twin HP38. You can still erroneously double load with either of those powders but it is significantly more powder than say Bullseye or your Clays.

    Black Powder was the powder that filled the case. In fact not only was the case filled but it was suppose to be slightly compressed by the bullet seating. We're a long way from that era.

    Be safe, not sorry. Gun powder can be dangerous OR not worse than any other product in your home or reloading area. It's all dependent on how you handle it.

    LDBennett
  10. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    That being the case, should some type of filler be used to control the position of the powder in the case?
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely NOT. It is highly recommended by reloading companies that you never use fillers! Just use published loads from reloading equipment/powder/bullet manufacturers as written and you should be OK.

    LDBennett
  12. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    I disagree that published loads in pistol cases (even though they may fill less than half the available space) are position sensitive & cause large pressure variations. Pistol powder is very easily ignited & if published loads are followed you should have no problems. Remember to follow the load's overall length recomendation.
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Popgunner:

    On this position sensitivity, didn't we have this discussion before? Did you not read the Oehler article? Here is my response back then:

    "I refer you to the April 2007 edition of "Shooting Times" and the column written by Ken Oehler (page 16), the guy that has sold chronographs and pressure sensing devices for years and years.

    Based on his article he discovered several years ago (with the help of a comment from a factory ammo tester) that Unique is position sensitive. Why does that matter in a 45-70? Because there is a lot of "position" in that huge case for the powder to take.

    The story goes (he did this experiment as a "parlor" trick for students for years and years) that he loads 10 identical rouynds of 38 SPL brass with 110 gr jacketed bullets, and enough Unique powder to get the velocities in the range between 38 SPL and 357 Mag. He loads and fires five in the gun such that the powder is position to the rear of the case and loads and fires five in the gun such that the powder (UNIQUE, the position "insensitive" powder you recommend) to the front of the case.

    The results are the five with the powder in the rear get 1400 fps @ 26,000 psi and the five with the powder in the front get 1100 fps @ 16,000 psi. I think Unique is postion sensitive!"

    If you choose not to believe me or Oehler, I guess that's OK, but others need to know that your position is not backed up by the facts. Are all powder sensitive like Unique? Probably not but the only way to find out is to test them as Oehler did regularly.

    LDBennett
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    jay:
    i have been reloading .45ACP for quite some time now. hodgdon titegroup should cure all of your problems. it isnt position sensitive, it gives low avg. spreads, and it only takes 5 gr. to push a 230gr. bullet to JMB's intended velocities. plus in my neck o' the woods, it only runs about 18 bucks a pound. remember, as far as smokeless powder is concerned, a little bit goes a long way...
  15. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    LD
    you'd have to argue that most all published pistol loads would be position sensitive & show large pressure varriations. You're trying to apply that article you read to many situations that don't apply.


    Published loads are safe, reliable & don't need "sky is falling" explanations.
  16. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Yo Jay....

    It's Sun night....Update please? :D
  17. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    ok, I just got off the phone with my reloading coach. He and I ran some numbers to determine how much volume was left in the case after the bullet was seated. I feel better now. :eek:

    It'll be a few days before I can shoot, but I went ahead and loaded up 5 rounds of 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, and 4.0 grains of powder. I'll post results asap.
  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    popgunner:

    You are right that most published loads are probably perfectly safe. Whether they are position sensitive or not, I don't know. I have never seen data except for Oehlers article and was amazed at his results. Will other loads of published data do the same or is this Unique powder loading he describes a unusually case? I don't know and without testing every load listed I don't think anyone knows. Maybe it explains flyers in groups or differences from shooting session to shooting session.

    But you are right about introducing it as part of an introductory reloading answer to a newby. It probably was a bad idea. Sorry. But I think someone needs to investigate this phenomenon in more detail and since Oehler found it so easily I am amazed others in the industry have not also found the effect. Maybe it is only found in Oehler's one unique load. In the interim using published loads is probably perfectly safe, as you suggested.

    LDBennett
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