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Old April 27, 2013, 08:04 PM   #1
histed
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H110 Max

I'm working on a .357 load using 158 XTP hollow points, CCI mag primers, Remington nickel plated cases and H-110. I'm shooting a Model 19 S&W with a 4" barrel. Hornady shows a max of about 15 grains, but Hodgdon shows a max of 16.5. Question is this - I worked up slowly to 15.6 and I'm getting sandbagged 25 yd groups around 1" BUT I have flattened primers and, occasionally, marks from the firing pin face on the brass BUT no stick extraction. I read somewhere that flattened primer are not something to be terribly concerned with using H-110. Any comments are welcome, since I value my remaining digits and eyesight, not to mention the revolver.
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Old April 27, 2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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I run 15.0 grains of H110 behind a 158gr XTP with zero trouble. In my 327 TRR8 it is very controllable and quite accurate. No pressure issues either.

Personally, I'd rather back my loads off a half grain or so and be sure it's safe (and the extra velocity one might get isn't all that big a deal to me) than potentially push the envelope and have a problem.
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Old April 27, 2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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My .357 rounds with the same exact bullet, powder and primer flatten the primers pretty well - I usually load in the 16gr range without extraction problems and it's within safe data by my three manuals, so I'm comfortable with it. Fired primers with .41 mag and .44 mag with H110 look very similar.
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Old April 27, 2013, 10:41 PM   #4
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My guage is case life. If I cannot load a case at least five times without signs of faqtigue, I consider the load too hot.
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Old April 27, 2013, 11:25 PM   #5
buck460XVR
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You should be well within safe pressures even with 15.6 gr. My question is what are you trying to do? I too run 15 gr under a 158 XTP or other JHP for general target shooting with my .357s. Accurate in my guns and pleasant enough to shoot all day. For hunting I will run half a grain or so more till I get to 1250 fps and use a JSP or the XTP-FP. While I enjoy me Magnum Revolvers, I see no need to beat them or me up for no good reason.
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Old April 28, 2013, 12:23 AM   #6
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Each gun is an individual...

The reloading manuals are guidelines (arrr, pirate voice..), not laws. They show data that was tested and safe in the guns used, and with the components used. Nothing more. What is a max load in one gun might not be in another, even the next ser# off the production line. That's why we are always told to start low and work up.

Now, that being said, most guns, as a group will behave about the same. About the same, NOT identicaly. Many will be identical (as far as we can tell) but some will not be. Some will show higher velocities and some lower with the same ammo. And the same goes for pressure signs.

Also be aware that as far back as the 1970s, there were 3 different identifited burning rates found in H110 powder. So, max loads had to be worked up to and adjusted as needed.

Hopefully today H110 is more uniform, but it still comes down to the individual gun used, the specific batch of powder, the brass, primer, and specific bullet combination determining what is the max safe working load.

Sticky extraction is the "don't go further" sign that is most important. Primers showing slightly flattened faces are a good place to stop. So is slight cratering of the firing pin indent. Primers flattened to the point of flowing out to the edge of the primer cup in the case, and/or flatteneing out the firing pin strike are a serious "back off" sign.

Sometimes these things show up in combination, sometimes only one shows up, first.

Each brand, and lot of components has an effect, and its own tolerances. Some primers are "softer" than others and will show signs of excess pressure when the load is still within "regular" limits. Some bullets have much greater "drag" in the bore than others, raising the pressure of a "regular" load up to the higher end, etc. And the gun itself plays a big part. A tight chamber or bore, vs a "looser" one makes a huge difference.

I've seen guns that showed pressure signs with factory ammo. Seen ones that showed hi pressure signs well before book max, and ones that never did, even with loads well over book max. Been reloading about 40 years, currently for over 30 different cartridges, rifle and handgun.

Each combination of gun and ammo components is an individual, particularly in regard to what is the max load. However, some general things do apply to all, and one of them is, when things start looking odd, its time to use caution.
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Old April 28, 2013, 06:50 AM   #7
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FWIW

Hodgdon's own data from the mid 90's (right on the can) states that MAX for your combo is 14.5gr...

Take it for what it is worth...

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Old April 28, 2013, 07:27 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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Hodgdon's max is 16.7gr and H110 has a "do not reduce more than 3%" warning. Your starting load should be 15.5gr
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:10 AM   #9
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Some may not agree with me, but the Model 19 is my favorite revolver. I like my model 19 so much I rarely shoot full power loads thru mine.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:30 AM   #10
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Pfleuger:
Hodgdon's max is 16.7gr and H110 has a "do not reduce more than 3%" warning. Your starting load should be 15.5gr

But that is only one source. Lyman lists a starting load of 16.3 with the 158 gr XTP, with a max of 17.0. Hornady shows a start of 12.4 to a max of 16 with H110/W296 and it's 158 gr XTP. Speer shows a start of 13.2 to a max of 15.5 using H110/W296 with a 158 gr Jacketed. These are all recent, reliable and respected published manuals. One would assume all are reasonably safe loads in most modern firearms. Common sense rules out the excessively high and low charge rates unless one has a chrono to check velocity outta their firearm. Not just by coincidence, a load of 15-15.5 gr is right in the middle. This assures me that this range is safe. This is a reason most folks do not rely on one source for all their reloading needs. IMHO, When it comes to firearms and things that go "BANG" one can never have TMI. Others are free to disagree. There is a reason I refuse to shoot other folk's reloads in my firearms.

Again, for the average range day, and the average shooter, one does not need the hottest load in the books to have a accurate, enjoyable round. Even for hunting, I've found that the most accurate loads are generally under published max. Accuracy, to me, for hunting purposes, is much more important than muzzle velocity. A few FPS less matters little to an animal hit where it counts. The danger with H110/W296 from a undercharge is not detonation, but a stuck bullet. This is a reason to avoid excessively low starting loads, even in published recipes. Again, a good reason to have more than one source for comparison. From my experience, I doubt one could get enough H110/W296 under a 158 gr bullet in .357 to Ka-Boom any modern firearm with just one shot. Along with the proper charge, a heavy crimp contributes to proper ignition and burn when it comes to H110/W296, along with the appropriate primers.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:49 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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H110 Max

H110 is a special case. It is a "do not reduce" powder. The manufacturer aught to know how to handle it.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:23 AM   #12
histed
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Thanks to all who replied. Buck460 - what I'm trying to do is get a accurate load I'd feel comfortable shooting whitetails at @ 50 yards. The hunting story is a long one - maybe zi'll post it one day. For now, let's just say that I'll never be without a good magnum back-up for deer again. And, yes, a steady diet of hot mag loads likely isn't the best for any revolver. I've seen the "DNR" warnings and read leaters in [I]Handloader[I] stating guys have stuck bullets in barrels, so that was a concern also. [B]WHICH[B] [B]load should I not reduce Brian points out that one manuel starts at 15.5, then others quote other starting loads. Any wonder I'm a bit confused/concerned. SOOO, if I'm hearing corectly, flattened primers aren't necessarily uncommon with this powder, but watch for sticky cases, cratered or flowing primers, and keep the heavy stuff for "work
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Old April 28, 2013, 12:08 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Lyman 49th lists the closest match I can find to your components, CCI mag primers and the XTP bullet. Their max is 17.0gr, staring at 16.3gr.

QuickLoad comes closest to agreeing with Hodgdon, saying 16.7gr would be slightly over max pressure but within 30fps of their predicted velocity. A slight case capacity change to bring the pressure down to SAAMI max, which is probably a truer to real life capacity, puts the velocity within 10fps of Hodgdon's data.
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:57 PM   #14
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Pfleuger:

H110 is a special case. It is a "do not reduce" powder. The manufacturer aught to know how to handle it.

Yes they should. If you go to their reloading data on their website you'll see they show a starting powder charge of 15 gr of H110/W296 using the 158gr XTP bullets and SPM primers. This is more like the standard 10% reduction from the max load.....and according to them, a safe load combo. They also claim to get an impressive 1418 FPS from a 10'' test barrel from this starting load. Again I need more than half a grain more just to reach 1250 outta my 6'' 686. This velocity gives me some of the best and most consistent accuracy outta it. 15.0 gr gives me just under 1200 fps, close to most factory offerings.
Last deer I shot with it was 15.7 gr under a XTP-FP and there was a hole on both sides.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
H110 is a special case. It is a "do not reduce" powder. The manufacturer aught to know how to handle it.
And clearly their views have changed over the years as to what their lawyers are comfortable with, as evidenced by their label on the can I showed...

Trust me...I am not arguing...Simply pointing out the facts...

Here is a repeat of a post of mine from almost a year ago:

The 'old' Hodgdon published data listed 14.5gr H110 as Max load for 158gr JSP (right on the front of the can, and I will gladly supply a pic if anyone wants it)...Millions of rounds went downrange with that and/or 3% 'lighter' loads (as per their dire warnings)...

Current Minimum on the Hodgdon website for that bullet is 15gr H110, with a Maximum of 16.7gr...(ADDING: Which is already more than 10% difference)

The current Hornady 8th Edition lists 12.7gr Min with a Max of 15.6gr, for a spread of 4 full grains from Hornady Minimum to Hodgdon Maximum...

I hear people all the time on the net saying "Stick to published' recipes"...Ok, then...Whose recipes do we stick to, or does our education, experience, and rational thought come into play at some point?


I have never found a 'published' load that performed the same in my guns, even when I had the 'same' gun used in the published testing...

We need to use our heads, and stay safe...

Last edited by Salmoneye; April 28, 2013 at 07:29 PM.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:01 PM   #16
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The varying information from different load manuals really messed with my head when I first started reloading. With 5 different load manuals you will get at least 3 different (and sometimes all 5 different) load information.

What I do now is to list all the info from my manuals and average it to get a starting load then work up for each and every different component combination that I want to use. That way I have a tailor made recipe for each of my guns.

Mac
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:38 AM   #17
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I used to only shoot red dot and 2400 through my Model 19 but H110 came highly recommended so one day I bought some. I found after a couple hundred rounds I was seening gas cutting on the top of the frame just forward of the cylinder. pulled down the rest of my loaded rounds and gave away the rest of the can... I've avoided it ever since.

Tony
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:42 AM   #18
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Why I own a 357 Redhawk along with the pair of GPs

I like the OPs load; powerful, accurate, and seemingly safe in his gun, ay?
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:47 AM   #19
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My Hornaday 7th edition shows starting H110 charges of 12.7 grains and max of 15.6 grains. More than 3 % but Hornaday mush not have had any problems with the lower charge or they wouldn't have listed it. Their test gun was a Colt Python with 8 inch barrel.

I personally have not loaded H110 lower than 15 grains or max at 17 grains using 158 grain HP/XTP bullets. 17 grains H110 did flatten the primers some but no extraction or other problems. What I am trying to get too is 15 grains H110 just feels and shoots right in my Ruger Blackhawk with 6 inch barrel.

I don't own a Smith Model 19 but if I did I probably wouldn't shoot max loads of H110 but it is your gun and your decision.

If I was looking for a load with a 4 inch barrel I would be looking at a faster powder such as Unique, Power Pistol or other powders made for barrels in the 4 inch range.

Have a great day!
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:52 AM   #20
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hmmm....

The barrel length vs powder is a common misconception: use the appropriate powder for the bullet and performance parameters.
One does not automatically switch to a 'faster' powder for shorter barrels. One tests so one actually knows.

The fastest loads from short(er) barrels will use the slowest appropriate powders; tested. By everyone.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:45 AM   #21
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+1 to what Brian said about not going under 15 grains, and be sure to use magnum primers. I use 16.0 grains under a 158 gr. JHP and it shoots great in my 6" 686. Max load is 16.7 grains.

The 19 is a K frame, be sure to avoid 110 and 125 gr. hot loads and be cautious about shooting too many of the 158 gr. hot loads.

I don't think you will get max performance from H110 from a 4" barrel, but you should get a heckuva flamethrower effect, very popular at the indoor ranges.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:34 AM   #22
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The combnation of H-110 (same as Winchester 296) and the .357 magnum has led to some very inconsistent load data for a couple of reasons.

The powder was found to be relatively hard to ignite, especially in very cold weather, and that led to some squib loads. Winchester's original load for a 158 grain jacketed (Winchester) bullet was 16.6 grains with a Winchester magnum primer and NO load reduction for work-up. A case full of W-296 was expected to produce about 39,000 CUP, which was well below the THEN current SAAMI pressure limit of 36,000 CUP.

However, when SAAMI introduced the transducer pressure measurement standards, they also reduced the pressure limits for the .357 and .44 Magnum cartridges by a lot. The current transducer limit is only 35,000 psi. There are a lot of arguments about not being able to compute one limit from the other, which mainly serve to obscure the fact that the actual peak pressure has been reduced.

What that meant for H-110/W-296 is that the old "Do Not Reduce" loads, or even some of the slightly less old "Do Not Reduce by More Than 3%" loads, would produce more peak pressure than the new limit. Interestingly, the new manuals simply showed new loads that were in violation of the recomendations in previous manuals, rather than deciding that the new standard made these powders unsuitable for the .357 Magnum cartridge.

To make matters worse, there was always a wide range of max loads for H-110 and W-296 from manual to manual back in the CUP days. And, before those two powders were proclaimed to be the same, there were substantially different loads for H-110 and W-296 in the SAME manual with the same bullet in many manuals.

So, my take on this is as follows:

If you have a gun that was designed to handle 46,000 CUP loads, you can probably fill the case with H-110 or W-296 and not lose any fingers or eyes. But, you may very well get erosion of the forcing cone and gas cutting of your top strap, along with the usual "loosening" wear of loads that produce a lot of recoil. BUT, Hodgdon has always cautioned against compressing H-110, so if the load does NOT fit, then don't force it into your case.

If you need or want to use the newer, reduced loads that don't meet the old advice about charge reductions, then you really need to pay attention to the potential for squibs. That means be sure to use magnum primers, and be sure to TEST your loads in the temperatures where you may need to count on them. It would be a real problem if your bear protection loads, which worked well during the summer development process, produced a squib while needed to defend against a bear in the dead of winter.

And, getting a good idea of the RANGE of load data, including the differences between H-110 and W-296 in the older manuals, can give you some idea of how much these propellants seem to vary from lot to lot. That is important, because there seems to be a large amount of variation.

Working-up in an individual gun from reduced levels seems to be OK, so long as you are watching for squibs and don't settle for a load that is too mild. And, of course, if you get sticky extraction, it is time to REDUCE that load.

I have shot a lot of W-296 under 158 grain bullets from Speer and Hornady. Due to seating depth differences between these two bullets, I find that equivalent performance differs, even with the same lot of powder, primer and case.

In a Ruger Security Six and a GP-100, the old 16.6 grains of W-296 in Winchester cases with Winchester primers seems to work fine for me. But, they seem substantially hotter than current factory ammo, except Buffalo Bore.
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:56 PM   #23
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Per Lyman's 49th

158g Hornady jhp #35750
H-110 starting load 16.3g 1178 fps 31,700 C.U.P.
Max load. 17.0g 1309 fps 38,400 C.U.P.

Case= federal
Primer= cci 550 small pistol magnum

Test was done with a universal receiver.
4" barrel.
1-18 3/4 twist rifling
.356 groove dia.

Every gun is different. When in doubt... back off a little.

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Old April 30, 2013, 05:24 AM   #24
histed
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jt - don't shoot 110 or 125 hot loads in a K frame? Enlighten me. I've seen similar warnings on the scandium snubbys but don't understand why.
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Old April 30, 2013, 06:25 AM   #25
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histed, I think it was actually Spacegoast that warned about 125 grain bullets in 357 Mag. I have also seen this posted on this forum but I don't have any actual experience.

My only actual experience hand loading 357 Mag is for a Ruger Blackhawk I own, a much heavier firearm than a K frame.

My only actual experience with a K frame is one owned by a family member. Gun was left to her by her late husband. I cleaned, inspected it and wiped it down with Rust Proof. It was a service revolver before that so lots of holster wear and real character. She wasn't interested in shooting it. Going to go to her Grandson when she goes.

My impression of it was a very fine, well built firearm for it's intended purpose.

I have also seen on this forum posters claim that a K frame Smith can handle anything any other gun can. Others claim that full poweer loads such as been discussed here will shake one loose. As I said before your gun your desicion.

If I got the chance to pick up one at a reasonable price and I had the funds I would like to own one but it won't see the loads I put through my Blackhawk.

Have a great day!
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