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Old August 14, 2002, 09:48 PM   #1
Blue Duck357
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296 use and starting load confusion.

Haven't even gotten my press unpacked or bench built and already confused, this may not be pretty

Ended up with some Win 296 from a friend for my 357 reloading. Problem is I've read this load is very sensitive to having it's maximum charge reduced at all and Winchester's website gives one charge for 296 for 158 grain lead bullets, 14.5 grains as maximum and only amount to be used. I thought you never ever ever started at the maximum load

Another question is as a new reloader and really a guy who just wanted to build a low level 357 plinking load (sort of a 158 grain 38 +P++) for my K-frame Smiths, should I just stick this powder on the back shelf and buy something else for my first several runs?
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Old August 14, 2002, 10:14 PM   #2
Mal H
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To answer your last question - yes. Save it for awhile until you get some experience with other more forgiving powders like W231, Unique,etc. There are many powders you can use for your plinking purposes. But, don't forget the W296 you put away. It makes some great loads for the Magnum calibers (along with it's brother powder Hodgdon 110).

W296 and H110 have a reputation for being a little harder to ignite in less than max loads. This can lead to squibb loads. These are rare, but it can happen - it did to me with H110. You need a good crimp for those powders also, so practicing that procedure will help also when you decide to give it a try. Don't worry, if you do decide to go ahead with the W296, the world won't come to an end and you will most likely get some good loads for it. But, just remember that it has a narrow range of load weights.
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Old August 14, 2002, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Mal,

It was 2# of freebie so I don't mind putting it on the back shelf for awhile anyway. Squib loads actually worry me about as much as over loads do.

I once ended up with a bullet stuck in my barrel from some bad reloads. I was shooting fast and just barely got my finger stopped before discharging the next round After I try this out awhile I'd like to be confident enough in my loads to practice double taps without worry.
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Old August 14, 2002, 10:41 PM   #4
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I had a friend who just didn't believe that he couldn't reduce a 296 load safely...
Wound up with a bullet stuck in the barrel, and a bore full of half burned 296 behind it. He said it hardly flashed at all when he melted the stuck bullet out with a propane torch...
Did I say EX-friend? Decided I didn't want to be anywhere near this guy and any sort of firearm.

Use other powders until you get experience, the 296 is good, but you'll know when you're ready to use it. Get some confidence first with more forgiving propellants.

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Old August 14, 2002, 10:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
melted the stuck bullet out with a propane torch...
I'll see your and raise you two 's. I hate to think what he did to the temper of the barrel steel.
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Old August 14, 2002, 11:11 PM   #6
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I've been using the Hornady book, 4th edition, for loading .357 Mag. with 296 for years now.

Hornady shows a range of about 2 grains.

I've yet to have any problems with 296 using Hornady's loading information.

Use magnum primers and a good solid crimp and you won't have problems.

But, I agree with Mal. Get some experience with other powders before you tackle 296.
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Old August 14, 2002, 11:20 PM   #7
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Take nuther look at the Winchester data....
Note how low the pressure is in relation to the bullet performance when using 296.

296 is handy for giving an example of how a +P or +P+ load can have lousy bullet performance while operating at high peak pressures.

125gr Win 296 .357 Mag load nearly 10,000 psi LOWER than the alternate powder yet the velocity is MUCH higher.

But......there will be no room in the case for flash supressants such as often found in "defensive" loads.

Sam
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Old August 15, 2002, 05:34 AM   #8
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I have loaded a number of rounds of 357 with H-110 and W-296, never a problem. I would refer you to the Lyman manual for loads with H-110/W-296.
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Old August 15, 2002, 06:55 AM   #9
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MalH, heating a barrel to melt lead shouldn't get it hot enough to affect the temper. Lots of barrels have sight bases mounted with solder, some even use silver solder which is pretty high temp.

Still, it would be a lot easier to bang the squib out with a wood dowel or a brass rod. It seems like melting a bullet would leave hard-to-clean deposits in the grooves.

Back to powder ... Win231 is the only pistol powder I have and it seems to work well for quite a few things. I load 9x18, 9x19, .45acp. I also use it for reduced loads for cast bullets in 6.5x55Swede, and I expect to use it for light .30-06 if my CMP 1903A3 EVER shows up. It meters accurately.

Regards.
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Old August 15, 2002, 11:50 AM   #10
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I like it with 125 grain JHPs... You may need a long funnel or a long drop tube tho... It likes to be semi-compressed.

Big fireball from my 16" Winchester.
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Old August 15, 2002, 02:05 PM   #11
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One good thing about 296: it's difficult to overload a .357 with it. The very slowness of the powder makes it difficult to cram enough in to blow up a really solid revolver-as opposed to a powder such as Bullseye, that is. Still, I think Universal Clays or Unique should be the powder of choice for newbies to reloading.
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Old August 15, 2002, 04:13 PM   #12
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sleeping dog - You're making a big assumption and that is that he knew what he was doing. Based on the fact that he took a propane torch to his barrel I didn't come to that conclusion. Obviously, without more facts neither of us can make a valid conclusion about the incident. Let's assume he didn't make the barrel cherry red, he still runs the risk of leaving solid lead in the grooves for a good length of the barrel.

A gunsmith, OTOH, does know what he is doing and won't ruin a barrel by soldering on it. Big difference.
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Old August 15, 2002, 05:43 PM   #13
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BLue Duck 357---In the winchester manual --Twelfth Edition-- in the middle of page 45 under notes it says "Do not reduce powder charges with 296 powder"
I use 296 in my 357mag&max and also in my 30 Carbine MI
I shoot my TC 357 !4in in Hunter silhouette
--max is not allowed--Max is carried for hunting back up some--
Load for mag is 16.0 with 158 semi jacket Max is 24.5 with same bullet--Heavy crimp on both loads
I have shot groups Bench rest at 100 yds less than I moa several times with that load in the mag -- the max won't do that good
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Old August 15, 2002, 08:28 PM   #14
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No, MalH, I didn't assume he knew what he was doing. If he knew, he probably wouldn't have gotten the squib in the first place.

And, yeah, he probably left some lead in the grooves, unless he was sharp enough to run a bronze brush through while the barrel was hot.

I was just thinking that you would have to run that propane torch way beyond the melting point of lead before the temper of the barrel would be ruined. If I want to get a big chunk of metal red hot (hopefully not a gun part), then I just put it in a charcoal fire, way quicker than a propane torch. Anyway, I hope I don't buy any used guns from swifter's ex-buddy.

This whole thread has made me put Win296 on my list of things to avoid. I'll stick with the Win231, it seems a lot more forgiving. No squibs. Yet


Regards.
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Old August 15, 2002, 09:22 PM   #15
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Duck,

The heat treating can be seriously affected LONG before the barrel beings to glow.
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Old August 15, 2002, 09:33 PM   #16
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Mike , Duck may not know much about 296, but does not heat up his barrels with propane torches at all Thats somebody else's plan they are talking about. I used a wooden dowel when mine got stuck. Think I'll just stick with that route if it ever happens again
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Old August 15, 2002, 10:08 PM   #17
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Mick, I think you meant dog not Duck.
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Old August 15, 2002, 10:21 PM   #18
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I like to use my Plasma cutter to get stuck bullets out of my barrels. Either that or I just shoot another round behind it to get it out. (This is a joke and please do not follow this advice)


The properties of the metal in the barrel were surely weakened when a torch was appied unless the guy was an expert.


296(H110 is the exact same powder) is a great powder. Just always use magnum primers when loading it. I have never had a problem with it and I used it when I shot sihlouette for years. If you want plinking loads then dont use it. Use something simpler like Universal clays or 231 or Unique.
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Old August 15, 2002, 10:29 PM   #19
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My apologies, Gentlemen. The percocet is messing with my head this evening. Everything is soft and floaty...

Duck, dog, some kind of animal....

Mal?

My name's Mike.
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Old August 15, 2002, 10:36 PM   #20
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Oops!

Remind me to never go fowling with you anywhere around my house.
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Old August 16, 2002, 06:00 AM   #21
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And this dog is gonna duck if somebody's on a squib hunt around me!

I'm convinced the only safe way to heat a barrel is by shooting good ammo through it. No propane, butane, or acetylene. I'm not even going to release any methane near the guns anymore

But, there's something funny about the image of a guy with a gun in one hand, a torch in the other, lead dripping onto the driveway, and a big grin under the welder's goggles and leather head cover. Gunsmithin's finest moments!

Regards.
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Old August 16, 2002, 07:55 AM   #22
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Ain't that the truth!

I can see it now, swifter's ex-friend sends his gun back to S&W/Ruger/whoever with this note: "I demand that you replace the barrel of my gun, it was obviously bad from the beginning. I shot one round through it [well it almost made it through it - Ed.], but the second round blew out the hole you see in the barrel. There had to be a soft spot there from your unsatisfactory manufacturing processes." Hey, he only left out one small bit of info, didn't he?

I'll bet such things actually do happen and such letters actually do get sent to the gun manufacturers. I imagine they've seen it all.
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Old August 16, 2002, 08:42 AM   #23
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Shooot, Ifn I gets a boolet stuck in tha bharrel, I jez throw tha gun away and git anuther un.
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Old August 16, 2002, 10:52 PM   #24
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stuck bullet

I have had one stuck bullet in a 45 it is a lot safer to use a wooden dowel and easer than heat.
I work for a gunsmith and you would not believe what things I have seen in a barrel, mud, spider nest, hay, you get the idea there has been a lot of dog knots in them also. and several high priced guns turned into paperweights.
What I am saying is look into the barrel (unloaded ) before you start shooting. You will live longer!!!!
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Old August 16, 2002, 11:51 PM   #25
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Mal H.,

What you didn't address was the litany of: " I'll never buy one of your rotten cheap trash etcetcetc &@!&$!! guns again and I'll tell everyone I know not to buy anymore!"

Twasn't just my worry about the air filling up with gunparts at speed... Some folks that are OK to work with are not OK to play with, and some are damn well dangerous.
This guy's cylinder didn't go all the way 'round...

Tom
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