This may be a dumb question.. lowest possible velocity loads - how to make them?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by WHSmithIV, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    So, all you re-loading experts out here, I have a question and if any of you can tell me the best way to do it, well, for testing purposes on old weapons this is what I'd like to do:

    I want to make some specific testing cartridges for .32, 38 special and .45 ACP to start with. Basically, I'd like the cartridge to fire normally but have a bullet velocity that won't even penetrate 1/4 inch plywood at 10-15 yards.

    So, I want it to go 'bang' but with really low power.

    Any ideas how to load for this?

    Thanks,
    Will
  2. 1LoneWolf75

    1LoneWolf75 New Member

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    That sounds like a bad idea IMHO. What if yer load didn't burn all the powder and didn't leave the barrel. I don't think there would be much difference in noise if they were loaded down that low. The lowest loads listed in NEW manuals should be safe in the guns IF they are safe to fire. Someone can correct me on this as I am not a gunsmith(yet) and have not loaded any round yet. I just wouldn't feel safe bout doin it
  3. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    I'm dealing with a noise issue here - I just want the lowest velocity possible for testing. This is for old pistols and I want to be able to examine metal stress to verify that standard loads will then work. So, before test firing with a standard load I can use a much reduced power load and examine the workings after doing so.
  4. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Active Member

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    best to take then to a qualified gunsmith for testing. you could make a life ending mistake doing it yourself. if they are that old they may be a Black powder cartarge. as to the 45 apc..it would not even start to cycle the action.

    and as to the 10-15 yds with 1/4 plywood?..you would basically be just using a primer with no guantarees the bullet could exit the barrel everytime...
  5. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Ain't going to happen! If you have a noise problem, that might can be fixed, but loading down a .38, or .45APC to the point it will fire safely, and not penitrate 1/4" plywood just isn't going to happen! Look in the nearest reloading manual, it will give you the lowest safe round you can load in any given caliber.
  6. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    The lowest velocity is the lowest safe listed in your manual.

    With two little powder in the case you end up with too much air in the case and this can cause pressure spikes and also cause the burn rate to change. It could also cause a delayed reaction where the primer doesn't ignite the powder properly. Then the powder might be ignited from he front and burn to the back which is a really bad ting.

    STICK TO THE MANUALS.
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Yeah, as posted above, ain't gunna happen. The round has to produce enough energy to exit the barrel, that is more than enough to penetrate 1/4 inch plywood at 10-15 yards.
  8. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Just curious, if discharging firearms is legal where you plan on doing this testing, I get great noise reduction using plain old "Hearos' brand foam plugs (DB reduction over 30) at indoor ranges I double up with muffs.

    Or is the noise issue worries about neighbors or folks inside the same building?
  9. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    One problem you would have trying to design a load that would not penetrate 1/4" plywood is you would have alot of them bounce back your direction. I rarely load lowest velocity loads out of the reloading manuals because of that. Too low of velocity is a good way to get a bullet back between the eyes or any where. Even worse, an innocent bystander.

    Also, if there is any question on the strength of a firearm that determination is to be done by a qualified gunsmith. Starting low and working up is not a good way to test the strength of a gun. There is nothing better then getting approved by your gunsmith that you can safely shoot a firearm without worry.

    Also, a bullet that would not penetrate a piece of 1/4" plywood just might get stuck in the barrel.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Primer only and a wax bullet..

    The wax slug will come out about 200 fps and splat on the plywood.
  11. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    If a gun is in good shape and made for black powder it will handle full strength bp loads. If it was made for smokeless loads it will handle full strength smokeless loads. If it was made for bp and you load it with smokeless you will reduce it to a few large pieces and a lot of tiny ones. Your testing with weak charges would be a non issue. If you just want to play with low noise, load wax bullets fired by a primer.
  12. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That's a kick in the pants.
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    They are fun to shoot at the cat with.
  14. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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  15. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    ^^^THIS^^^

    I think you could open yourself up to all sorts of potential problems if you go off "manual". Pressure problems, squibs and cycling issues are just a few I can think of.

    You may be able to get by with more experimentation if you're going to be shooting revolvers. But, semi-autos are designed to operate in a very specific way. Mess around with your reloads to much & you will have problems.

    There's a lot of information out there if you look. You can find info on every bullet/powder manufacturers website that I'm aware of.

    The "Lyman Reloading Handbook 49th Edition" also has some good info. You can compare various bullets & powders and performance by looking through all the info provided by these sources.

    Doing this very thing, I found my preferred 40s&w load. (Hornady 155gr XTP using 5.4gr of Titegroup) This gives me a lighter bullet & 1058fps velocity; which I find gives me near perfect performance in my XDM & 24/7 Pro C.

    Using the same chart from Hogden Powder company, I can compare bullets, powder & velocities that range from 714fps from PB powder & 200gr Hornady XTP --- to --- a "smoking!" 1434fps using Longshot powder & a 135gr Nosler JHP.

    I would just try to get my hands on as much info as possible & follow what others have already done.

    -
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  16. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    This just might be the perfect solution.

    By the way, I meant to state that it isn't a noise issue. Also, the only pistols I want to analyze stresses in are revolvers. I wouldn't even bother trying this with a semi-auto. I'll check for stress issues in old semi autos microscopically before test firing them with standard loads. Flintlocks are a different issue entirely.

    Thanks everyone for the input.
  17. The Count

    The Count New Member

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    What you are looking for is hot ice cream...just does not exist. The only way you will get to a noise level where you can shoot in your garage and not have to worry about the neighbors hearing it is if you get the .22 Colibri rounds from Aguila and shoot them through a rifle. As in bolt action rifle because they are way to weak to cycle an auto. Those only have primers but no actual charge. And even those when shot through a .22 revolver are not really quiet, like a very small fire cracker. Save up for a suppressor, but on a .22.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  18. CCHolderinMaine

    CCHolderinMaine Active Member

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    I have a buddy that does this or something close to it. Barely goes pop, don't think that wax would penetrate 2 layers of tissue paper.
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Its not very fast. I popped my wife in the buttcheek with one from a .44 mag revolver. it left a decent whelp. She made me let her shoot me back.. And dumb ass me loaded 6 wax bullets in the cylinder.. I got 5 in the back and but before making it to the bathroom to shut the door. :D
  20. The Count

    The Count New Member

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    Sorry to be a party pooper but what some of you here are recommending is just not a good idea. Wax or no wax, just stick to the official load tables with standard bullets and go to a range. JLA I cant believe you condone shooting each other with a gun no matter what is loaded in it.....!!!! This is exactly how **** happens.
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