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Old August 3, 2011, 01:21 PM   #1
UtopiaTexasG19
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Are Hard To Eject Casings A Sign Of Too High Pressures?

Today I loaded up some new to me .357Mag. bullets in 5 powder stages from lowest grain recommended to highest grain recommended. About 2 minutes cooling between shooting sessions. There were 6 bullets in each batch and when I finally shot the last 6 at the highest grain recommended the fired casings were stuck in the cylinder and almost impossible to get out. Once they cooled they did finally manually eject but were still a bit stubborn. All loads slipped into the cylinder very easily before being ignited. Is the extreme expansion of the brass an indication of too high pressures and should I not use this amount in the future? The formula for the over expanded casings was.....
Dan Wesson .357 Magnum (1974)
Winchester .357 Casings (New)
Winchester WSPM Primers
H-110 at 16.7 grains
Missouri Bullet Company .38 Match/.358 Diameter/158 Grain/LSWC/Brinell 12

I am still waiting on the replacement chronograph I accidentally shot last week so I do not know the fps though the Hodgdon chart shows 1591fps.
I would like to experiment with this higher load unless someone indicates the over expanded casings are a no go.

I cleaned the pistol afterwards and there was abosolutely no leading in the barrel.
Thanks...
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Old August 3, 2011, 01:53 PM   #2
overkill0084
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Quote:
Are Hard To Eject Casings A Sign Of Too High Pressures?
It certainly sounds like it. If it were me, I'd back it down a notch.
How'd the primers look?
Does your Dan Wesson have a history of this behavior? Mine has fairly loose chambers and will bulge the brass more than the Colt or the S&W. But I've never had ejection issues.
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Old August 3, 2011, 02:09 PM   #3
dahermit
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Quote:
... 5 powder stages from lowest grain recommended to highest grain recommended...
You have misunderstood the use of the data. You are supposed to start at the lowest grain weight listed for that bullet, and test in increments until you either get signs of high pressure or, until you reach the highest grain weight listed. In your case, you did not stop at beginning pressure signs (or your increments were too large...for a pistol use .2 (that is two tenths of a grain)), until you find your accurate load, or high pressure signs begin to appear.

So, of course it is an indication of high pressure.
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Old August 3, 2011, 02:09 PM   #4
UtopiaTexasG19
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No, Up until this load I have never had ejection issues with this pistol. The primers and casings look fine, nothing unusual.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:04 PM   #5
Sport45
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Is the extreme expansion of the brass an indication of too high pressures and should I not use this amount in the future?
The brass always expands as much as the chamber will let it. What happened here is the chamber expanded as well and then relaxed back onto the expanded brass resulting in an interference fit. The chamber always expands and relaxes a bit, but usually less than the brass.

I'd back off on that load a bit unless you find the problem was actually rough or dirty chambers.

You might also consider saving the soft bullets for .38 special and getting harder cast bullets for mag velocities. I don't know if this is possible, but the soft bullet may be deforming too much and acting like a partial bore obstruction as the base tries to pass the nose after you touch off the charge of H-110.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:19 PM   #6
oneounceload
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Hodgdon doesn't list a load for H110 with a 158 LSWC

They do have a load with their XTP bullet, but that is not the same.

Where did the data come from?
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Old August 3, 2011, 09:16 PM   #7
mehavey
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Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook lists 15.6gr W296 (aka H110)/39,700CUP as its recommended load for the 155gr #358156 LSWC cast in linotype.

Right next to that is an 18 grain/W296/41,400CUP load for 160gr #358311 (semi pointed/roundnose).** Both are listed at the same 1.590" OAL.

The charge/pressures difference are in all liklihood due to case volume effects of the different bullet shapes (among other things). Beyond that, Quickload tells me that your 16.7gr/LWSC trial produces pressures fully 30% higher than the Lyman-recommended 15.6gr

Drop to 15.6gr H110 and be happy.






** The later Lyman49th drops the H110/W296 charge for their 160gr #358311 (semi pointed/roundnose) to 16.5gr. Their 155gr #358156/LSWC/H110 charge remains topped out at 15.7gr. Read & Heed.

Last edited by mehavey; August 3, 2011 at 09:25 PM.
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Old August 3, 2011, 09:40 PM   #8
Sport45
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Missouri Bullet has a Brinell 18 bullet for .357 loadings. They say the Brinell 12 bullet is for "target velocities". I wouldn't be surprised to hear you have leading as well. That also contributes to increased pressure.
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:24 AM   #9
UtopiaTexasG19
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I was loading .38 Specials at the same time as loading the .357's and might have mixed up my figures for HP-38 and the H110. I'll have to look back at some hand written notes and what I transferred to my computer. From now on I'll just re-load one type of bullet at a time. Thanks...
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Old August 4, 2011, 07:43 AM   #10
Sport45
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Mixing up those two bullets isn't nearly as risky as mixing up those two powders.

16.7 gr of HP-38 would surely put you into a high pressure area. As you've indicated, it's always best to only have one set of components out at a time.

on edit: I'm not suggesting the OP loaded the round with HP-38. Just reminding that it's good practice to only have one powder and bullet weight out at a time.
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Last edited by Sport45; August 4, 2011 at 08:08 AM.
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Old August 4, 2011, 10:24 AM   #11
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Yep, you saw the classic signs of high pressure no doubt. Wow, 16.7 gr with a cast bullet of 12 hardness. That is over pressure no doubt and the bullet is too soft for those velocities, resulting in barrel leading problems. If you want to try some more manly type .357 loads, try the Missouri Bullet .357 in 180 gr. They call it the Striker. Try starting out at about 13.0 gr of H110/W296. Max is about 13.5 gr of that powder. The bullet is very hard, so it shouldn't lead your barrel. You will feel a lot more satisfying recoil than you do with the little 158 bullets. Penetration is extremely good too.
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Old August 4, 2011, 11:57 AM   #12
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UtopiaTexasG19,

Yes, sticky extraction is a classic pressure sign, and was used by Elmer Keith has his chief indicator of when a load had got past its safe limit. The general rule of thumb is, when you get sticky extraction, back the charge down 5%.

What happens is steel is more elastic than brass. Pressure expands the two together during firing, but the steel can expand beyond the elastic limit of the brass and still return to shape. When the pressure is high enough, the steel does expand that far, then returns to shape over top of the now permanently stretched brass. That causes it to clamp down over the brass and even partly resize it. So, it becomes akin to having a case stuck in a sizing die with no lube.

It is not at all uncommon in revolvers for the primer and brass to show no other pressure sign. This is because the outside of the chamber wall in a revolver cylinder is so thin it will stretch excessively before the other brass pressure signs show up. In a bolt rifle, on the other hand, when sticky extraction begins the other brass pressure signs are already present.

One last thing: It was reported by Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton and others that they often got higher pressure from lead bullets than from jacketed bullets when working up maximum loads in revolvers. Even though the harder jacketed bullets produce higher pressure in lower loads by increasing start pressure, lead bullets in a revolvers can be upset into the forcing cone, making them temporarily far oversize and acting as an expanding seal. Until pressure builds high enough to swage them the rest of the way in, they aren't picking up much added velocity. Than causes a higher portion of the powder to burn earlier in the bore so the peak pressure is reached before the bullet has gone as far down the barrel; before there has been as much burning space expansion. That means the peak happens in a smaller volume, raising its pressure value.

You don't have to use hard bullets with H110/296, but you will hit higher pressures sooner if you don't. If you read Richard Lee's book, you'll note the 5 step rule assumes a 10% load span, so the steps are 2% of maximum charge at most. That's not a bad limit for pressure testing, as it will raise pressure somewhere around 5% per step which should is acceptable for pressure testing. If you get load data where the starting load is less than 10% smaller than the maximum load, then switch to 2% steps.
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