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Old January 31, 2013, 01:06 PM   #1
copperlake
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Unusual load needed

I am new to this forum. I've started a conversation about my 'destroy some mausers' project. It's not science, though I'd like to design the test so that perhaps it will be useful. I have a design bias; I don't think Swedish mausers are any tougher than Spanish mausers of the same era. I think I've got the mechanics covered pretty well, but what I'm struggling with is the best propellant to use. That's what I need advice on. Without re-posting all the details one can read more here:

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...low-up-project

and here:

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...roject-259589/

I've read Ackley's handbook #2, many times, the part about intentionally destroying various military long arms. He said he would continue the testing with other actions but as far as I know, he never did or at least never published anything if he did.

What I'd really like is some way to calculate theoretical pressures. This is the fourth forum I'm trying. After one day over at GunBoards.com, I was incinerated immediately and my post was deleted with no explanation. Tough crowd.
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Old January 31, 2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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If you want to blow stuff up I doubt you get very much help here.
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Old January 31, 2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Without reading your other posts, I see a problem with any test design that tries to infer the pressure of a load for two different guns based solely on the powder charge (and other cartridge parameters) being identical between the two guns. The problem is that the two barrels are almost certainly different. Unless they were made by the same gunsmith with the same tools, one after the other, and installed on the two actions to identical headspace, you may have substantially different pressures with identical cartridges, especially at the high-end pressures that can destroy mauser actions, where things get pretty non-linear.

So, one aproach is to try for two identical barrels.

Another is to put pressure sensing equipment on both barrels and work to calibrate them to similar accuracy, using a chronograph to measure velocities of normal max loads and QuickLOAD to infer pressures from the measured velocities. Then use the calibrations to determine what pressures destroy each gun.

But, way-above-spec pressures from even single rounds can change the actions/chambers/barrels enough to alter presssures in following rounds, so I wonder if the same can be true of the calibrations for the Pressure Trace equipment. At least, the same pressures should be used in each barrel in the same order to tell what difference there is between actions.

After doing all that, you may still have too much uncertainty to reliably call one action stronger than the other, depending on how different the results may be. And, that would be for only THOSE TWO actions, which are no longer available for use. Since they are not new actions and you do not know their complete histories, it is entirely possible that one or both have had undocumented events which partially compromised their strengths. So, to apply the results to any other actions of the same types, you would need to repeat the same test enough times to show that the difference was statistically significant (or not significantly different, if that is your intent). Depending on how different they are, that could be a lot of tests.

If you have a warehouse full of mauser actions, then doing what you are considering might make some sense. But, if you have only a few mauser actions, it seems like you are wasting them for no real benefit.

Anyway, I hope that Clark may chime-in here. He has spent a lot of time testing various firearms to destruction, and probably has a lot of insights that I have tried to avoid obtaining through my own experience.

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Old January 31, 2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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You need to study under Clark. The most interesting gun buster on the internet.

If it were me, I would load them to a computed pressure at the high side of current practice, like 62,000 psi or 55,000 CUP, say. Then see if repeated firing beat the old 46,000 actions to death
Or higher still, to 62,000 CUP which is 1.33 times stock and a common proof test overload.

Years ago when the antis thought they could justify banning "Saturday Night Specials" on the basis of quality and safety shortcomings, they had White Laboratories test a number of handguns to the breaking point.
NOTHING would stand up to a steady diet of proof loads, although all of them had been proof fired once at the factory or European proof house.

I think that would be more informative than just stuffing them full of fast powder for a showy kaBoom. Or a progression of gradually increasing loads until something let go, as Ackley did. How much of the failure he went for was due to the last gross overload and how much was due to wear and tear of the progression? As said, it would take a lot of Spanish Mausers to clear that up.

Anecdote: Once upon a time, Kimber bought up a bunch of Swedish Mausers and sporterized them. They made the necessary alterations to get scopes on them, nickel or chrome plated them to look "stainless," and put them in black synthetic stocks. Hundred year old rifles made to look late 20th century.
They sold some still in 6.5x55; presumably the ones with good bores, or at least as many of them as they thought they could sell in a funny furrin caliber. The others were rebarreled to more heavily loaded "modern" rounds like .308, .243, and .22-250. No catastrophic failures reported that I saw.
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Old January 31, 2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Without re-posting everything let's be clear, I fully realize that this is nowhere close to being a 'scientific' endeavor, nor was Ackley's. I guess the best question to ask is there a way to roughly calculate chamber pressures? There is a Powley Computer online but is designed to compute safe loads only, that is, if I'm understanding it correctly. What I want is to have some idea of the pressures being generated. If that's impossible than so be it. I'm not a ballistics person. I don't really want to buy some relatively expensive software that I'll never use again. Thanks again for the replies.

BTW, who is Clark and how do I locate him?
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:01 PM   #6
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When I was in Iraq, and I had to destroy Iraqi weapons, it made me sick to my stomach. To purposly do it for fun, to me just sounds crazy. If you are determined, then please be careful.
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:13 PM   #7
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Excess pressure tests of various actions have been run time and again. What might be interesting is to study the way obstructions cause barrels to bulge or burst and the effect of kinetic energy changing to a massive heat dump that softens the barrel steel.

On those SNS tests, IIRC, the gun ban gang was frustrated when a couple of RG 10's took everything the testers threw at them while a "quality, American-made" pistol, the S&W Escort, came apart.

Jim
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Old January 31, 2013, 10:18 PM   #8
copperlake
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To USMC EOD - I can understand but if you read the links you would see that these four actions really are paperweights; but still useful for my purpose though. I would never think of selling them to anyone to use. And too, if you read through it all, I am being careful.

To James k - show me a test on '93 and '96 mausers that would satisfy my curiosity enough, then maybe I wouldn't do it. Ackley said he was going to continue testing, he didn't, at least not that I'm aware of. Believe me, I searched high and wide for such. I've wanted to this for years. Supposedly, SAMCO had White Labs test Spanish conversions of '93's to 7.82 NATO. That was in the 80's you think you could find a copy of that document - NOT! Only an iteration in Gun's and Ammo. Occasionally I've read posts about firing mausers to destruction but they are so vague how can one believe them? You can find more about efforts to destroy a Carcano than an early mauser. Like I said, it's just a Jones of mine.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
What I'd really like is some way to calculate theoretical pressures.
Get and become proficient with QuickLoad. I know of no other avenue available to the general public outside of that internal ballistics program.

Quote:
...what I'm struggling with is the best propellant to use...
If you are determined to blow something up, QuickLoad will quickly show you how..... (I'd also suggest old old truck tire, a long string, a deserted location and a brick wall to stand behind)

Last edited by mehavey; January 31, 2013 at 11:13 PM.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:49 PM   #10
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mehavey - are you proficient with that software? I will call them tomorrow and see if it will preform as you indicate but at a 150 bucks.......
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:45 AM   #11
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1) I have blown the bolt face of the same CZ527 twice with 30 carbine case heads.
2) I blown the extractor out of a 1903 Turkish Mauser with a Berdan 7.62x51 case head blowing off.
3) I have widened the bolt behind the lugs and narrowed the opening in a C ring in a VZ24 with a 7mmRM case head having the primer fall out.

Other that than, Mausers are tough.

I did buy a 94, 96, and 38 Swede for destructive test because Ackley did not do it, but I have not done any testing yet.
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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I'm usually the guy who sticks up for the person who wants to do something that collectors would abhor to a gun they own. I figure that if it's their gun it's their property to do with as they choose.

That said, don't you think you could spare the 94 from your "testing"? They're pretty uncommon and I'm sure you could find someone who would be very happy to purchase it from you. Besides, I'm not sure why there would be a reason to expect any significant difference between the strength of a 94 and a 96 Swede.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:20 AM   #13
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Ackley's handbook #2

I know this is not on topic, but, where (and how) can I find Ackley's writings??
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:25 AM   #14
copperlake
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JohnKSa - Please take the time to read the original posts. You will see that I'm not preforming sacrilege. There is no 'collector' value here. In the original posts you will find a response from a gentleman that bought 60 Swedish mausers in the 80's to sporterize and sell. Worth the price of admission.

Clark - There you go, Ackley didn't do it and I want to. Care to help out?
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:27 AM   #15
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The main ones are his Handbook For Shooters and Reloaders, Vol 1 and 2.
Darned expensive these days.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...ripbooks%2C320
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Old February 1, 2013, 05:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
That said, don't you think you could spare the 94 from your "testing"? They're pretty uncommon and I'm sure you could find someone who would be very happy to purchase it from you.
You're asking this of someone who blows up old Colt revolvers just for fun?
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
"... are you proficient with [QuickLoad] software? I will call them tomorrow and see
if it will p[er]form as you indicate but at a 150 bucks..."
Many members of this Forum (including myself) have been using this ballistics program
many many years. It is one of the best investments you will ever make -- even after you
wake up from this bad dream you're having lately about your rifle blowing up.
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Old February 1, 2013, 01:14 PM   #18
copperlake
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spacecoast - where did you get the impression I blow up old Colt revolvers?

Marc Califo - eBay is about the best, I got my vol. 2 for 20 bucks paperback.

JohnKSa - I wouldn't sell these to anyone, period. They are paperweights.
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:34 PM   #19
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spacecoast - where did you get the impression I blow up old Colt revolvers?
I believe JohnKsa was speaking to/of Clark, who has been known to test Colts well past their limits.
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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"What I'd really like is some way to calculate theoretical pressures."

Forget such 'calculations', they don't exist for higher than normal levels. Pressure limits to rupture or destruction are not lineier nor are they predictable. Do what Ackley did and keep adding too much fast powder, you'll get there.
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Old February 1, 2013, 07:56 PM   #21
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JohnKSa - Please take the time to read the original posts. You will see that I'm not preforming sacrilege.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was responding to Clark's post immediately above mine where he mentioned he was planning to do destructive testing on 3 Swedish Mausers, a 94, 96 and a 38.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:19 AM   #22
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I can see I still have (3) Swedish Mausers:

1894 Gustafs ask $100 paid $80 about 5 years ago. I have never shot it.
It looks very sporterized.

1896 Gustafs ask $115 paid $100 about 10 years ago. I bent the bolt, drilled and tapped the receiver. I have sighted it in, but I never overloaded it.

1938 Husqvarna ask $150 paid $135 about 5 years ago.
I have never shot it.
The barreled action looks like it may have never been shot. The stock does not look new.

I also have a Husqvarna M1907 9x20 pistol paid $123, that someone bushed to 9x17mm [380]... Oi, I have really overloaded that one plenty.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:34 AM   #23
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Well, if it's sporterized, that does dramatically reduce its value. Might be worth checking the value on the barreled action if those parts are in good shape.

Is that an adjustable sight on your 96? I can see it has the trajectory change sticker for going from the 160gr to the 142gr issue ammo. In original condition, and with the adjustable sight it would probably be worth in the neighborhood of $500--maybe more depending on condition.

Your 38, if it's in nice condition is worth a good deal more than $135 now.
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Old February 2, 2013, 09:39 AM   #24
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There have been several tests of rifles over the years to find out what their "bursting" load (or limit) is. The one that I saw the results of in the late 1960's is overviewed below.

The US Navy Small Arms Match Conditioning Unit used a "low-numbered" M1903 Springfield clamped to a post at their test range in a canyon northeast of San Diego, California. They brought a bunch of Sierra 200-gr. FMJBT match bullets, a variety of powders and lots of primed 30 caliber M72 match cases. Powder measuring and bullet seating tools were also brought to the site as well as tools to use on the rifle, if needed. A string and hook device was put on the trigger and pulled from behind a safety wall as each round was single loaded in the rifle.

Starting with a normal charge of IMR4350 for the bullet, they began shooting them one at a time increasing the charge weight a grain each time until it no longer would fit in the case. Then they moved to IMR4895 with increased charge weights. By now, the bolt was getting stiff to open, but that's all that was noticed. A case full of IMR4895 under that 200 grain bullet required a mallet to smack the bolt handle open easy and fast enough for test speed efficiency. But that load was a testament to that low-numbered M1903's strength that was often stated as very weak.

The crew finally moved to IMR4198 powder and the bolt began to be harder to open. Later with this powder, a pipe wrench had to be used to open the bolt even though it was well greased all over with PlastiLube, a favorite lubricant for the Garands they rebuilt and serviced. And yes, headspace had grown quiet a bit; expected to do so with that low-numbered receiver.

After much ado about powder types and charge weights, that old Springfield finally blew apart with a case fairly full of Bullseye pistol powder. They showed me the box of several of the broken, ragged edged rifle parts in the box they kept them in. The rest of the parts were blown too far from the test stand to be found and are still there to this date; probably.

= = = = = = = =

One could contact SAAMI then ask them about bursting pressure tests on firearms. They may well have excellent information on that.
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Old February 2, 2013, 10:23 AM   #25
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On 9-12-2003, I shot these handloads in a 1938 Turkish Mauser [that I rebarreled to 243]

Not only did I have to pound the bolt open, I had to pound a case out with the cleaning rod.

There was probably some neck pinch. It took about 100 pounds of force at the bolt knob to get the round to chamber.
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.
All three were the same load 40 gr 4895 100 gr 243, LC brass necked down to 243.
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Last edited by Clark; February 2, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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