The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 17, 2005, 01:20 PM   #1
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Safely Downloading To Extremes...

I'm aware of potential detonation with certain light loads, 45/70 and 38 special immediately come to mind. I'm also awarw of the practice of loading say 1 grain of powder to slug your barrel.

I'm thinking is there a way to safely download big handgun cartridges (44 Special/ Mag) to super low levels in order to allow indoor shooting or even outdoors for youngsters to enjoy dropping the hammer on dads/uncles big guns. Some people will slip in a full house load on a newbie/youngster because they think its funny to watch their reaction. I think this is rude and counterproductive. I'm toying with the idea of going the other way and loading light so these newbies can comfortably get the feel for the handling of big guns. Here's my idea, tell me if I'm wacked out or not, or what experiance you may have in this area.

First off, I think that a fast burning powder would be mandatory, like Bullseye. Perhaps magnum primers to help ensure ignition. Take a starting load and cut it in half? Then (loading one round at a time, and having a dowel rod to push squib loads from the bore if it happens) then point the pistol at the ground to ensure that the charge goes against the bullet (!) and squeeze off the round. Immediately check the bore for stuck bullet. If no bullet in bore, try 10 or 20 more, one at a time, checking in between as outlined. If no squibs occur, cut load in 1/2 again and retest. Keep reducing the load in this manner. When I finally start getting squibs, increase powder back up by 1/2 grain and test again until no squibs occur. Test the loads first with powder charge against bullet and then against primer. Eventually an ultralite load will surface that has no possibility of squibs and is very low noise or recoil, and safe to let the (5 yr old?) pop some caps with. ("I shot a real 44 mag!" etc.)

I haven't done this, its all pure speculation. I think it sounds good on paper but am I missing anything? I realize that each load would have to be 'worked down' to and for each particular weapon and barrel size etc., just like working up a load for each weapon. I could let my little nephews shoot my Bulldog and Redhawk and so forth. Am I playing with dynamite here or does it sound feasable? I'm thinking 2 grains would do it but.................??????? that remains to be seen.

What problems may I encounter? Jacketed slugs would probably take more powder. I'm aware that some powders can not be downloaded, like H-110 for instance, any others that you know of? (I'm thinkg about using Bullseye). I await your comments and critisisims (sp). Flame away!

(Disclaimer: Don't do this, I've never done it. I'm just theorizing at this point, this is potentially dangerous, shooting a bullet behind a bullet stuck in your barrel would be dangerous no matter how low the powder charge.)
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 17, 2005, 04:36 PM   #2
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Very interesting. I just knew this had been done before. I appreciate the PM and much appreciated!

Anyone else?
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 17, 2005, 07:40 PM   #3
drinks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Posts: 405
.44 downloads

There are a number of low recoil target loads for .44 pistols. The cowboy loads are very easy shooting.
Anything for .44-40, .44sp or .44 Russian would do fine, using cast bullets would make a lot of sense, especially from the cost standpoint.
A mold, some free wheel weights and some lube and you can shoot for very little.
Don
drinks is offline  
Old April 17, 2005, 08:51 PM   #4
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Oh I have four moulds already for 44. I've been casting a long time.

I'd undoubtably be using cast bullets. It's not about cost either. I just thought it might be nice to have a few uh, gallery type loads I guess you could call them, around for the young nephews. Sometimes they get to go at the last minute or something and it'd be nice to have something to grab for them besides the Bearcat with 22 shorts.

That little Bulldog I have is kid sized but at only 19 ounces and that 2.5" barrel...even light loads from it is too much to slip into a kids hand.Too much bang too close to the face with the short armspan of youngsters.

With a 180g WC and a couple grains of powder (and a target at about 3 feet) the little guy(s) could take home a seriously good looking target just like the big boys with them big fat holes in it. He'd be the king of his friends when they seen that hanging on his wall!

Gallery loads for the children.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 07:14 AM   #5
capnrik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 474
How about pushing a primed case through a 3/8 inch block of paraffin?
__________________
All rights reserved.
capnrik is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 12:01 PM   #6
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Hey there's an idea. I think I'll try that too.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 12:30 PM   #7
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
I've shot very light cast loads for decades without problems and am inclined to attribute the blowups with very fast powders to double and triple charges. That 180 WC sounds good, but RBs in the .430 to .435 range would be even better. I found a Lyman .433 mould w/handles in a junk store. Haven't done as much with it as I should, but it shoots pretty good to 25 yards from a carbine.

If you can't readily find anything in that range, you can just run .440 or .445 through your sizer. For your purposes, a box of 100 would liklely be all you would ever need.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 01:24 PM   #8
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Ahh, success. First hand experiance response. Thanks.

RB's. Hmmm. I have a .451 RB mould and one other...a .457 iirc. I've never used either one, just stuff picked up and shelved here n there. Do you think the .451 ball would size down that much? Do you send the RB's through the sizer a couple times, after reorienting the ball? I'd think so.

I understand the potential danger of misuse of extra light load data being posted on the forum...but if you'd care to share a few more details via PM for me, I'd appreciate it. If not, I understand, and thanks for the response.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 02:20 PM   #9
Cloudpeak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 25, 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 288
I just found a target from 30 years ago I shot with my 44 Mag. Blackhawk flat top at 25 yards. 250 grain bullet (self cast using wheel weights) using 19 grains of 4227. It was a very gentle, fun to shoot load that didn't lead the barrel and shot pretty accurate groups---a four shot, 1.32" group at 25 yards (there was one flyer).
__________________
Cloudpeak
Cloudpeak is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 04:46 PM   #10
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
The lightest that I've actually ever gone before was 10gr of 2400. Can't recall offhand if it was with a 180 WC or the 245g Keith...In the Redhawk or 29 they didn't even have any muzzle rise. I kept checking the barrel they was so light. None ever squibbed on me though. the RH is a little on the large side for a youngster so in the dimunitive Bulldog they still might be a little flashy is why I'm considering even lighter.

Hup, back to work. Off all morning and now I get busy at quitting time.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 06:31 PM   #11
klw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2005
Posts: 118
Small powder charges

I use to think that downloading a large magnum revolver cartridge was a good idea UNTIL I blew up my 500 S&W Performance Center magnum. Used the lightest recommended load of titegroup behind a 370 grain cast bullet. Exactly as specified on the Hogdgon web page. Destroyed the gun. Cylinder wall moved out and slammed into the frame. Recoil was so severe that it cut the heavy frame on my safety glasses neatly in two. It that recoiling gun had hit me anyway other than it actually did I would have had SERIOUS medical problems.

I always wondered if a gun can detonate with a light charge. Now I know! No light charges for me thanks!
klw is offline  
Old April 18, 2005, 07:54 PM   #12
Ranger61
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2004
Posts: 213
I made some loads to slug the barrel of my Taurus 450 in 45 Colt by taking a 250 grain cast bullet over 0.5 grains of Titegroup using Rem 2 1/2 primers shot into a bucket of water. All bullets left the 2" barrel while when I cut the load to 0.3 grains about half lodged in the barrel. For what its worth!
Ranger61 is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 03:11 PM   #13
Johnny Guest
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,116
Something to consider - -

Edward, I hasten to state that I have NO exerience with such loads, other than with wax bullets.

BUT - - You mention: " . . . then point the pistol at the ground to ensure that the charge goes against the bullet (!)"
Everything I've read about very light loads deals with keeping the powder to the BASE of the case, right back against the primer. Remember all that stuff about using Fiberfil, kapok, and even tissue paper, to keep the charge in place? At the very least, I'd be sure to point the barrel UP to orient the charge.

Understand, I'm not saying this is the ONLY way to do it, but I'd be very nervous about putting the primer's fire through a largely vacant case, with a small charge of powder at the f-a-r end. Again, this is only a "feeling" I have - -

Best,
Johnny
__________________
MOLON LABE!
Amendment II ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Blog: Expert Witness
Johnny Guest is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 03:17 PM   #14
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Whoa, I got quite a few PM's on this and read some of them last night. Today I have a few more and am not sure who all I PM'ed back and who I didn't! So if you didn't get a PM back from me, sorry. I much appreciate all the different views and experiances and will take it all to heart as I chew on this!

klw, you mean 16.0 g Titegroup? Thats what I found on a 370g cast. Wow, sorry to hear that. How many rounds did you get off before she blew? I'm not familier with Titegroup, never used it. Where's it fall out in the burn rate scale? Whats it comparable to IOW? And how tight did you crimp it? That's almost a thread of its own, but I appreciate the input.

Anybody ever hear of a superlite 44 Special KB'ing?

I'm thinking of two gr of Bullseye with a mild crimp. I spect I'll have to shoot at least 50 of them to be sure I'm not handing a little one a bomb. I hesitate to think that 2g would detonate though, but I'm no scientist though so keep them comments coming and thanks for all who responded so far!
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 03:28 PM   #15
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Johnny,

Yeah, I've heard all that stuff, and appreciate your concern! My thought was to do that with a mag primer as sort of a worst case scenario test thing to help ensure the safety of the rounds? I just know its going to be pointed at the ground before being fired so thought how to counter with safety.

Perhaps I should plan on using a square of TP against the charge? and maybe STILL a mag primer.

Again, I've not done this, don't reccommend it, and am only theorizing at this point so don't anyone go trying this stuff! It'd be sooo nice to have a gallery load for the kids though!

Ever hear of it happening with a 44 of any type?
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 03:55 PM   #16
Leftoverdj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
I don't use mag primers nor fillers. I do flush seat WCs and seat RBs so only the top is flush. This reduces air space.

There is only so much energy that can be generated by 2 grains of powder. To my mind, all the "light charge" blowups can be explained by overcharges or using the wrong powder.
Leftoverdj is offline  
Old April 19, 2005, 06:45 PM   #17
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Quote:
There is only so much energy that can be generated by 2 grains of powder. To my mind, all the "light charge" blowups can be explained by overcharges or using the wrong powder.
Thats kind of what I was thinking. How can 2 grains blow up a gun? Squib it in the barrel maybe but a blowup, c'mon.

Now the 500 with 16 grains, yeah I can see that, hell its almost 45/70 sized case, and the 45/70 itself with its light bullet & small charge problems are not people trying to make gallery loads but people looking to reduce recoil or make small game loads. A whole lot more than 2 gr goes into these loads.

I like the idea of flush seating the WC's. Reduces the air space and would make them readily identifiable at a glance.

This talk is leading me to think that instead of halving a starting load and working down may not be the way to go here, but rather starting at slug your barrel weight (1gr) and working up until the slugs do not squib. Because somewhere in the middle of slug your barrel loads and starting loads is a dangerous range of charge. Make sense? The short barreled Bulldog would have almost no chance of squibbing and if it did, a short wooden dowel would pop it out easily I think.

What's your thoughts on crimp? None or mild? At this point I'm inclined to think none, as long as they chamber easily.
Edward429451 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10963 seconds with 7 queries