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Old January 6, 2013, 04:37 PM   #1
Ike666
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Join Date: October 10, 2009
Location: SW VA
Posts: 423
Working up a load for my Bulldog today

I had a chance to do some load development for my Charter Arms Bulldog today.

Weapon: Charter Arms Bulldog (Tiger – cool stripes) 2 ½ inch barrel.

Manual: Speer #14

Bullet: Speer 200 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point

Powder: Power Pistol

Modified OCW ladder:

Load 1: 7.6 grains, Mean MV=711.8, SD=11.0
Load 2: 7.7 grains, Mean MV=724.0, SD=16.9
Load 3: 7.8 grains, Mean MV=737.6, SD=2.0
Load 4: 7.9 grains, Mean MV=740.1, SD=6.0
Load 5: 8.0 grains, Mean MV=758.6, SD=6.0
Load 6: 8.1 grains, Mean MV=764.6, SD=11.2
Load 7: 8.2 grains, Mean MV=775.4, SD=5.0
Load 8: 8.3 grains, Mean MV=789.2, SD=7.0
Load 9: 8.4 grains, Mean MV=797.0, SD=5.0
Load 10: 8.5 grains, Mean MV=809.3, SD=9.0

The chrono was set up 10 feet from the muzzle and the ambient temperature was between 45 and 48 degrees F. The altitude was about 975 feet above MSL. The target was set up at 7 yards. Each load consisted of 5 rounds (one cylinder-full). I also shot a five-round group of factory Speer 200 GDHPs and a five-round group for Hornady 180 XTPs.

The factory Gold Dots had a Mean MV=705.2, SD=21.3 based on four rounds (one error read). The Hornadys did a bit better at Mean MV=738.8, SD=7. That means the factory GDHP is only delivering 220.89 ft-lbs of energy, and the Hornady is delivering 218.19. That seems pretty pathetic to me.

Loads 1-4 hit consistently low and left, 4 o’clock and 1.5 to 2.5 inches. However, beginning with load 5 they began to center up and little low, 6 o’clock and 1 inch. Loads 8 to 10 were dead on center with groups sizing about 1.5 inches at 7 yards.

Starting with Load 6 (8.1 gns of PP) the recoil began to stiffen up noticeably and by the last two loads (9 & 10, 8.4 and 8.5 gns respectively) the recoil was bordering on punishing. Load 10, the hottest one I tried today, delivered right at 290.9 ft-lbs of energy.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I find the delivered energy to be a bit grim. Ideally, my goal was to find a practice load to match the ballistics of the factory load. Now I’m wondering if I might not be better off loading my own SD rounds with the Speer bullet. The factory load seems a bit anemic to me.

If anyone has access to Quickload out there and wouldn't mind, I’d love to get an estimate of what kind of pressures these loads were generating. I’m guessing not too much (< 22,000).

All in all a fun day of shooting and learning.
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