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Old October 26, 2011, 06:49 PM   #1
rantingredneck
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Data quest: Hodgdon Lil' Gun and 140 gr. XTP in .357 mag.....

I am having trouble locating data for a specific bullet and weight (140 gr. Hornady XTP) in .357 mag for Hodgdon Lil' Gun powder. Hodgdon's site lists a Lil' Gun load for a 158 gr. XTP and I've found data for a 110 gr. JHP. So theoretically it seems as if the powder is appropriate for both light and heavy bullets at least. One would assume that using it with medium weight bullets would be kosher. But in handloading we should never assume............

Thus my questions:

Can anyone point me to data for the 140 gr XTP for Lil' Gun?

If no, would I be safe in using the data for 158 gr. XTP's as a starting point?

Why am I stuck on 140 XTP's and Lil' Gun?

I just got a load of 140 gr. XTP's at a good price and I have a stash of Lil' Gun powder already as I use it for the .45 Colts. I could go buy H110, but I don't use it for anything else at the moment and I like to keep the supply chain streamlined.

I have Titegroup on hand and have data from Hodgdon for the 140XTP but it's a little on the light side and I don't think I'll get the best out of the round from my 1894C and Blackhawk with that powder. This will be a whitetail round............

Thanks in advance for any assistance........
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:35 PM   #2
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...data error...
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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That's for H110. I'm looking for Lil' Gun specifically. Don't want to start buying H110 just yet, but thanks.
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:53 PM   #4
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Ah crap, sorry. I must have switched it when I changed from rifle to pistol.... editing.
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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No worries. I think I'd be OK using the data for 158 XTP's and Lil' Gun as a starting point and working up slowly, but I'd like some confirmation for that from more experienced reloaders. I've only recently started loading toward the top end of the spectra of various cartridges. My loading to date had been plinking loads for economy's sake. I'm now loading hunting rounds.

In looking at Hodgdon's online data I notice that comparing H110 and Lil' Gun for the 158 gr. XTP, you can get similar velocities with markedly less pressure with Lil' Gun (which mirrors my research and experience with .45 Colt and that powder). In .45 Colt I'm currently pushing a 260 gr. WFN hardcast at 1277 FPS out of my Blackhawk and ~1800 fps from the '92 with plenty of safety margin to spare. Hoping to come up with something similar for 140 XTP's and my .357 Blackhawk and 1894c.
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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Unless Lil'Gun is one of those "do not reduce more than 10%" powders, you will be fine using the 158gr data.

If it were me, I'd plot the data for the other bullets in a spreadsheet and see where 140 should be. But that's just me. The true starting load is probably close to the 158 max load than the starting load but (naturally) you're (almost) always safer to start lower and work up.
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Old October 26, 2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Hodgdon lists 18gr as max with a 158. Looks like case capacity is the limiting factor with this combo.

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Old October 26, 2011, 09:51 PM   #8
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I read in a magazine once "if you can't find any load data for a certain bullet/powder combination, often times there's a good reason for it." This might be one of those cases. Lil Gun is better suited for big bore magnums like the 460S&W, 500S&W, and even your hot 45 colt rounds. But it's just a bit too slow for 357, especially with the lighter bullets. I'm sure you will be able to load some up and they will go bang, but I don't think you'll get the full potential of that bullet(velocity and accuracy). H110 or Aliant 2400 would be better choices for what you are doing.
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Old October 26, 2011, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
But it's just a bit too slow for 357, especially with the lighter bullets. I'm sure you will be able to load some up and they will go bang, but I don't think you'll get the full potential of that bullet(velocity and accuracy). H110 or Aliant 2400 would be better choices for what you are doing.
But............Lil' Gun is faster than H110 according to Hodgdon's burn rate chart. Granted they're one spot apart, but still..............

http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html
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Old October 26, 2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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Hmmm, that's interesting. In the Lyman manual, they show it the other way around, H110 being faster than Lil' Gun(by five or six positions I believe). I have read somewhere that the actual burn rates can vary depending on conditions. So I would assume that there is some sort of standard test they do to come up with the burn rates. But perhaps when it comes down to actually propelling a bullet down the barrel, positions on that burn rate chart could change.????
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:11 AM   #11
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no theory here

That 140g XTP is best over 19.0g H110 in new sized cases ignited with a CCI550 and crimped with the Redding Profile Crimp Die.
Best.
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Old October 27, 2011, 07:09 AM   #12
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quote from Gdawgs...
I read in a magazine once "if you can't find any load data for a certain bullet/powder combination, often times there's a good reason for it." This might be one of those cases.

Blue Dot and .357 Magnum 125gr loads comes to mind.
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Old October 27, 2011, 09:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Hmmm, that's interesting. In the Lyman manual, they show it the other way around, H110 being faster than Lil' Gun(by five or six positions I believe). I have read somewhere that the actual burn rates can vary depending on conditions. So I would assume that there is some sort of standard test they do to come up with the burn rates. But perhaps when it comes down to actually propelling a bullet down the barrel, positions on that burn rate chart could change.????
Another possibility is that (from what I've read) Hodgdon may have made some changes to the formulation of Lil' Gun several years ago due to forcing cone erosion issues that people were encountering with it. To the point where Freedom Arms specifically disavows the use of Lil' Gun in their revolvers.

I've not seen official confirmation from Hodgdon that they changed anything, but there's a lot of speculation that they did because folks who've used it lately haven't experienced the same issues (again, from what I've read). Personally, I've used up quite a bit of Lil' Gun so far in my Blackhawk and the forcing cone still looks new so maybe there's something to that. If they changed the formulation it may have changed it's position on the chart and since Hodgdon makes both 'Lil Gun and H110 you'd think their data may be more accurate/current than Lyman???

Anyhow......

I appreciate others experiences with other powders and If I can't make something work here with Lil' Gun (which I have a ready supply of...) then H110 is likely my fallback plan. But, I'm not there yet.......

Thanks....
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Old October 27, 2011, 10:54 AM   #14
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Just out of curiosity, where did you find data for LilGun and 110 gr bullets? Everything I have seen shows it as useful for heavy for caliber bullets. Since a max load with a 158 gr is compressed, I would (warning) ASSUME (caution) that a case full of it with lighter bullets would be safe, even if not ideal. But it would be interesting to see light bullet/LilGun data.
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Old October 27, 2011, 11:04 AM   #15
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Handloads.com had one load listed that was over 20 grains and a 110 gr. bullet.
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Old October 27, 2011, 11:55 AM   #16
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Caution

When Lil'gun first came out, I was attracted by Hodgdon data that showed a surprizingly low pressure for a relatively normal (top) velocity in the .357 Magnum cartridge. Then I started seeing gun magazine articles with the same powder charges and surprizingly high top velocities (but no corresponding pressure measurements for those higher velocities.) This caused me to worry that Lil'gun might have large pressure excursions in the .357 Magnum case and led me to wait and see before buyiing any. And, then the top strap cutting and forcing cone erosion complaints started coming in, so I decided to just pass on this powder for the .357 Magnum. So, I don't have any actual experience to contribute here, just the cautions that it MIGHT not be following the manufacturer's data in EVERYBODY'S guns to a safe-enough degree.

I also want to point out that I tried to match Hodgedon's data in QuickLOAD, and could not get a good match for this powder in the .357 Magnum. The pressures simply did not look anywhere near as low as Hodgdon claimed for identical charges and bullets, and top velocities did not seem particularly special. So, please be careful if you try to use mrawesome22's results from QuickLOAD, because they may or may not be realistic.

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Old October 27, 2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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Old October 28, 2011, 01:05 PM   #18
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Matching Hodgdon data with QuickLOAD?

Mrawesome22,

Have you tried to match Hodgdon's Lil'gun data for the .357 Mag with your QuickLOAD calculations?

I don't have it handy, but when I tried to do that, it didn't work-out very well. By "match" I mean show 1505 fps with 24,100 CUP and 1577 fps with 25,800 CUP when using 16.0 and 18.0 grains respectively behind a 158 grain XTP with a COL of 1.580" out of a 10" unvented barrel? And then similar matches for the data on the Sierra 170 grain JHC and the 180 grain Nosler Partition in the same cartridge with the same fudge factor on case volume?

I just took another look at it for the 158 gr XTP, and I can't get the calculational results to produce anything like the PAIRED velocity/pressure data for these two data points, even when making the case volume much larger. It just seems that QuickLOAD is going to predict that the 2 grain increase in charge weight is going to produce a much larger change in pressure and velocity than indicated by the data.

Perhaps the 18.0 grain load is really a compressed charge, which would PERHAPS reduce the speed of ignition and the peak pressure - a phenomenon the QuickLOAD cannot model. But my telephone conversation with Hodgdon (some time ago) resulted in a warning that I should avoid compressed charges with all their ball powders, including Lil'Gun. (Strange, since Accurate publishes a lot of compressed loads with THEIR ball powders.)

Anyway, when I can't roughly duplicate the published data for pressure and velocity for bullets that the powder is recomended for, I am hesitant to use QuickLOAD to interpolate the data, much less extrpolate it to bullet weights that are NOT recommended by the powder manufacturer.

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Old October 28, 2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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Uhh.... nope.

If it were me I would be using a different powder.

I would also be putting my specific h2o capacity which makes QL predictions much more accurate.
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Old October 30, 2011, 07:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
If it were me I would be using a different powder.
After reading this thread (and digging up some old threads at THR and other places with similar questions) I will be using a different powder too.

Thanks for all the help folks!
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