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Old October 12, 1999, 04:46 AM   #1
Hal
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It looks like velocity was the key. I assembled a small batch(5) using new unfired Rem brass, 19.8 gr of Alliant 2400, and a 240 gr Lead HP. All 5 shots hit the target straight on, no tumbleing. Accuracy was fair, but acceptable, but I wasn't trying for group size, I was more interested in how the slugs would hit the paper. The load is below the published max, but seemed pretty mild leading me to believe I am still not getting a good tite crimp. I also loaded up 30 FMJ 240 gr over 9.8 gr of Unique. These continued to group very well when I did my part at 25 yards. As far as the Winchester's accuracy is concerned, it isn't a match rifle by any stretch, but I did get a nice tite (a little under 1 7/8 inch) 5 shot group(the other 4 shots opened up the group to just under 4 inches)at 50 yards, using some Cowboy loads I had purchased. Considering the intended use( a plinker, and possible hog killer) of the Trapper, this is, IMHO, very acceptable performance. I think the potential is there, but the short light action and relatively heavy trigger don't help matters any. Unfortunatly the range I shoot at limits shooting to paper targets. I think the 2400 and 240 gr LHP would be a great can getter. I did manage to throw a good scare into a stick of wood laying on the hill behind the target holder though. It looks like I am on the right track as far as putting together a cost effective informal training load. I would have preferred a milder load, but the 2400 and 240 seem to be pleasant to shoot, so I can't complain too much. Thanks for the help on this one guys, looks like it paid off.

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Old October 12, 1999, 10:48 AM   #2
Mal H
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Yep, it looks like you're definitely on the right track now. Your groupings are pretty much typical of what you can expect. As you indicated you won't win any 500 yd competitions with a Trapper but it sure is a heck of a fun gun. You can still experiment around to find the right load that is in tune with your barrel.

I'm glad you posted this because I forgot to tell you the results of my experiment. I loaded some light loads (6.0 Bullseye, 250 RNFP) and shot them at 30 yds. out of my 94 with a 20" bbl (same 1:38 twist as the trapper). Each hole was a nice ellipse of about .45 X .55. The bullets were obvious wobbling. So this settles it for good - no wimpy loads allowed. An interesting phenomenon was that the majority of the ellipses were all aligned in the same direction, approx. NW to SE on the target. I guess this means they at least wobbled uniformly.
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Old October 12, 1999, 12:23 PM   #3
Rod WMG
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Hal,

Thanks for the update. Very interesting.

I do have one comment about the 19.8 gr. of 2400 being "below published max." The last freebie reloading guide I have from Alliant is from 1995, but it lists 20.6 gr. for a 240 lead gas checked bullet and 18.7 gr. for a 240 JSP. In my experience (from several handguns only, no rifles) the 20.7 gr. is excessive and gives me hard stuck cases in everything from my Smiths to my Super Blackhawk. In very hot weather, even 19.0 gr. was too much with lead bullets (plain based). Every load/gun combo is a law unto itself.

Best wishes on your continued success.
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Old October 12, 1999, 03:33 PM   #4
Paul B.
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I don't know. Maybe this should be another thread, but years ago, I had a load in the 30-06 with 4895 powder and 150 gr. bullets. I later went to heavier bullets and slower powders.
Recently, I was offered a killer deal on an 8 pound can of IMR 4895. Not having a chrongraph at the time I was using that early load, I loaded some up. Pressures were excessive. Nothing serious, but definitely much higher than my original loads. I have run into this with 2400 also. I had always used Keith's load with 240 gr. cast lead, but with the last can I bought, I had to cut the load by two grains.
Remember when DuPont brought back IMR 4831? It was closer to IMR 4350 than Hodgdens H4831. I wonder if this phenomenon is related to the powders giving higher pressures being fresher, as IMR's 4831 was, compared to surplus H4831?
Any comments?
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Old October 12, 1999, 04:27 PM   #5
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Hello Paul, I would have to say that you were just dealing with lot to lot variations in the same powder designations. Especially when a number of years pass between lots.

I would also have to say that Surplus powders are probably not as consistent lot to lot as regular "canister" type powder available to the public. I wouldn't even depend on consistancy between a surplus and commercial grade of the same powder designation.

I guess the soundest advice was always to reduce a load when changing any components and especially when using a different lot of the same powder. You never know.(only the toes,knows)

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Old October 14, 1999, 04:23 AM   #6
Hal
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Rod WMG,
My source for the load is www.alliant.com. They list the max load of 2400 at 20.? gr,(can't remember exactly). My other loading references list the Hercules 2400 (let's you know how out of date they are) between 1 and 4 grains higher. I'm happy with the results I have so far. I looked very closely at the barrel, and saw no signs of leading or unburned powder, so I believe I may have hit the right combo.

Mal H,
Interesting. I came to the same conclusion about wimpy loads. I had considered using Bullseye instead of 2400, thinking I needed a quicker *punch* to upset the base of the slug so that it would fill the barrel. Another option I had considered was the use of a round ball in .430 dia. I don't want to go there though because I doubt it would cycle through the action. The 233 grain slugs I tried were a bit short(?) and hung up going into the chamber.

Next up is going to be loading a .44 Special version for the Trapper. Should prove interesting.

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Old October 14, 1999, 12:19 PM   #7
Mal H
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Hal,
I have the same problem with short rounds. I loaded some Nat. Bullet 200 gr. SWC and had about a 50% failure rate. Several ended up below the carrier which is a lot of fun to get out. I only use them for the Vaquero now.
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Old October 15, 1999, 01:29 PM   #8
Walt Welch
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Gentlemen; you have brought into focus the reasons why old loading data should never be used.

Elmer Keith, bless his soul, was a true pioneer, but some of his data yield dangerous overpressure. Piezoelectric pressure measurement was unknown in his day, and the bulk of data to be found in printed reloading manuals has yet to be tested in this manner. It was only a few years ago that Olin (formerly Winchester) retested their data and markedly reduced their recommended loads in several calibers.

The above link to Alliant is incorrect. The correct link, and all other links as well, are most conveniently found at this site: www.shooterslinks.com/

Click on 'categories', then 'manufacturers, non firearm' and you will find all the loading data sites at your fingertips.

Alliant's URL is: www.alliantpowder.com/

At this site, they list a maximum of 20.6 gr. of 2400 for a GC 240 LSWC. However, there are problems with this datum.

The exact bullet type is not specified. Thus, while an OAL is given, the critical measurement, how much bullet is seated into the case, is not possible to determine. Further, the case type is not given, although the primer type is. Even if all these data were supplied, you would need to use the actual case lot, bullet lot, primer lot, and powder lot to make sure you duplicated the load exactly.

Thus, the charge weight given is the MAXIMUM. You must begin at a lower charge and carefully work up your load, watching for signs of excessive pressure. To say that you are under the maximum for a given load can be true only if you have matched every component in the tested load precisely.

Each load you work up is a composite of many variables due to the differing nature of the components used. Further variables, of course, are introduced by the particular firearm in which the loads are used. Start low, and be safe.

Walt Welch, NRA Life 1972, reloader over 40 years.

[This message has been edited by Walt Welch (edited October 15, 1999).]
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