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Old June 4, 2013, 07:47 AM   #1
mjes92
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Acceptable Fireball???

I am loading .44 mag - 9.0 gr Universial powder, 180 gr SJWC (rem), magnum pistol primer. I seem to be getting an excessive amount of fireball through the cylinder gap. (Distance between cylinder and forcing cone.) Ruger Super Redhawk 7-1/2" barrel & happy with accuracy.

Should I be expecting this from Universial powder?

I am also reloading 9mm with this powder and seeing no signs of fireball out the end of either gun barrel. The cylinder gap looks nice and tight. I will be measuring it with a feeler gauge tonight. I have read information that .002 - .010 is acceptable. Correct???

Thanks
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Old June 4, 2013, 07:58 AM   #2
Sevens
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I wouldn't say that Universal has any particular "reputation" for fireballs, as much or more as many other powders. I can tell you that you are loading on the light end in .44 Magnum with that load.

An optimum cylinder gap should be somewhere in the neighborhood of .006-.007, I think if you've got something as close as .002, you'll bind up in short order...either from foul or from simple heat expansion, but I'm no gunsmith.

I would ask what the purpose or expectation of this particular load is? It's certainly not an "unsafe" load, and if you are just looking to use the powder you happen to have on hand and your targets are simply paper or plinking, then no problem. But it's far from the potential of the .44 Magnum.
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Old June 4, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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Purpose of load.

At the range plinking only. No intentions of going hunting with this load. Just wanted a comfortable to shoot load. Bowling pins are the most dangerous game I would go after with this load.
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Old June 4, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4
Sevens
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Sounds like a fine load to me. Although, a bit expensive in component bullets. For that purpose, I would consider a nice cast lead bullet.

The place I shoot has a phenomenal array of steel plates, so that's what I shoot most. They do have limits on what we can hit them with however, so I recently built and tested a load for my 7.5" barreled Redhawk .44 Mag-- a 240 grain cast LSWC with 5.7 grains of Titegroup under it. It gave me very consistent results over the chrono at 870 feet per second. There's no doubt that in .44 Magnum, it's a very mild load.

Pure please to shoot, drops steel plates nicely without beating the snot out of them and it's very low in cost, mostly because of the bullet.

I chose Titegroup because in that LARGE .44 Magnum case, a light charge can get erratic with too much empty space, and Titegroup has a well-earned reputation for being very insensitive to powder position in a large case. It seems like a VERY good load for me. Whole lot of fun.
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Old June 4, 2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Your load is very light, so the powder is not burning fully, hence the fireball. Progressive powders (virtually every smokeless powder on the planet) burn faster as the pressure increases. Your load generates very low pressure, so the vaporized propellant is still burning as the bullet and gas exit the chamber and barrel. To get rid of the fireball, try increasing the load. Sort of counterintuitive, I know.
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Old June 4, 2013, 01:29 PM   #6
mjes92
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I agree and understand what "Scorch" has explained. But I thought I would of found evidence of unburnt powder. Nothing, clean as a whistle. I have tryed a few 10 grain charges with the same results. Just a little more fireball. I will step it up to 11 grains/max. charge according to Hodgdon.
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Old June 4, 2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Fireball is a bad thing?

For light-to-midrange loads in rimmed big cartridges, try Red Dot or Promo. It's accurate and dirtcheap. I use 7.5 grains in .45 Colt with cast bullets (not a light load for .45) You might want to use start at 6.5 or 7 in a .44 Mag with 240 grain bullets, or a little more with those 180's you are using now.

If you know anyone who reloads shotgun shells, they will have a keg of Red Dot and might give you a few ounces to try.
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