The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 27, 2013, 11:13 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Sticky extraction...again. Does this qualify?

A while back I asked what exactly qualified as sticky extraction. This related to shooting hottish loads from a Ruger Redhawk in .44Mag.

One very useful answer came from a member who said something along the lines of "if you need a hammer to extract the cases, that is sticky extraction." Turns out he was not kidding: others concurred that this was what qualified as sticky extraction as a warning sign of over-pressure in .44Mag; a cartridge with lots of oomph and PSI.

Today, I shot 50 .38Spl from my new to me Astra 2" snub.
Using both LEE die and Lapua reloading data for 125gr plated bullets, I loaded used .38 cases with Fiocchi SP primers, a H&N 125gr plated truncated cone bullet and about 6.2gr of N350 (+/- 0.1gr using a dipper).
The crimp was a little over half a turn on a Lee FCD. OAL was 36.5mm as per the Lapua data.

There were a few granules of unburnt powder. This may because of barrel length and that N350 is relatively slow burning.

Min/max charges for the listed Rainier FN bullet is 5.9gr-6.9gr.

FPS showed about 600.

So by no means a powerful round.
I tried it out of my older Astra (with the bulged barrel: hence a good guinea pig) and then my newer one.
In the older the cases slipped out with little assistance. In the newer one however, there was some stiction. Not masses, but I had to press more than to just compress the ejector rod return spring. I've not needed to do that before even on 158gr FMJ factory loads.

Is there anything to worry about there?
I only ask because it breaks with the norm, not because the round felt particularly powerful.
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 27, 2013, 11:45 AM   #2
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 837
Quote:
FPS showed about 600.
If measured, very low velocity for a 2" barrel. I would clean & dry the cylinder & load some 5.9 gr to see it they produce sticky extraction. N350 looks like a slow burn rate powder to produce maximum +P velocitys.
243winxb is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 04:42 PM   #3
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
N350 looks like a slow burn rate powder to produce maximum +P velocitys.
It is, relatively.

I'd initially bought that as a powder to serve both my .44 Mag and .38Spl needs.

It actually makes quite a good .44 Mag powder. Not quite the punch of N110, but certainly gets the job done. I may keep it for my .44Spls, when they turn up!

Quote:
I would clean & dry the cylinder & load some 5.9 gr to see it they produce sticky extraction.
I may well give this a go, but some aspects worry me: if I drop the charge, the pressure drops and I get even more unburnt powder. This locks up my action as bits get stuck between the cylinder crane hinge and frame.

I suppose I could reduce the charge but increase the crimp a bit. If I up the crimp on my existing charge, I may burn more powder but I risk a greater pressure spike, especially if I have experienced the beginnings of proper sticky extraction.

I am actually thinking about a powder change, especially if I'm getting a pressure sign for such poor velocities. Perhaps N350 makes for great .38Spls in a 4" and over .357 revolver, but is just too slow for a 2". Perhaps I need to look at the likes of N320, N330 or N340...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 27, 2013, 04:51 PM   #4
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 2,967
Are you getting other signs of high pressure-flattened primers, e.g. ? I would try some known low pressure rounds, see if the case are bulging-oversized chambers-or show scratches, i.e. rough chambers.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 05:19 PM   #5
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
I have shot S&B 147gr WCs (approx 600fps 6" barrel) and 158gr FMJs (approx 800fps 6" barrel) from it, as well as Geco 158gr FMJs (approx 890fps barrel length unknown).

None of those showed any such symptoms. Thing is that the resistance as I ejected the cases was really very small, but it was simply not as normal. The cases would not have dropped out by gravity, although only a bit of pressure on the ejector rod got them moving. After that they fell out as normal, even if I slid them back into the cylinder.

This is where I wish I had experienced reloaders here who could, at a feel, have interpreted this as significant or benign. Describing it via words is not easy...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 27, 2013, 06:13 PM   #6
PA-Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 712
Dirty chambers of dirty brass can do that.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old June 28, 2013, 02:27 AM   #7
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
Dirty chambers of dirty brass can do that.
That could be a cause.
Given that there is a fair amount of unburnt powder floating about, the back pressure could shove some down the sides of the cases. After all those granules were getting everywhere: between crane and frame, under the ejctor star, down the barrel....

On top of that, it didn't happen on every cylinder full, and a granule stuffed down the side of one case, could make it feel like all the cases were sticking...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 28, 2013, 07:41 AM   #8
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 837
Quote:
I am actually thinking about a powder change
Very good idea.
243winxb is offline  
Old June 28, 2013, 03:37 PM   #9
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
Very good idea.
Which one?

I'm going faster burning and I think the logical choices for me are VihtaVuori's top fastest powders (ignoring N32C): N310, N320 or N330 (listed from fastest to slowest)
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 28, 2013, 05:08 PM   #10
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 837
N320

Bullseye & Unique for 38 special & cast 158 gr swc. Use N320

Last edited by 243winxb; June 29, 2013 at 08:25 AM. Reason: N320
243winxb is offline  
Old June 29, 2013, 04:18 AM   #11
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,291
What does the brass look like?
As I'm unfamiliar with Vihtavuori powders, I can only go with all that's been said in this thread -- and that it's a slow burning powder.

If you are loading .38 Special with a "slow burning powder", and you are getting 600 fps AND you are getting unburnt powder to boot, it sure sounds to me like you've got a WAY too light load going on and your brass isn't even obturating and filling out the chamber. What typically happens is the brass looks blackened and even scorched on the outside of the brass as the propellant gases are finding many directions of escape RATHER than where you WANT them to escape, which is immediately behind the bullet. And when that happens and you have gases and scuzz filling every orifice from a lousy burn...you may notice extraction or ejection anomalies.

Find a faster burning powder and develop a load that runs closer to published maximum.

"Maximum" loads do not have to mean "horrendous, fire breathing, gun beating, life-shortening and all-things-evil" loads. Maximum loads can simply mean efficient loads that burn all the propellent, offer a solid, proper pressure curve and sends the bullet out in a manner that was expected and even asked for. Do most handloaders recognize the fact that the lion's share of factory ammo on the market (especially ammo intended for semi-automatic pistols) is typically going to be a max load?

Last week, I was attempting to run a light bullet load in 9mm with a fast burning powder, but I was on the low, low, WAY low end of it. I was attempting to see how light a load I could make -- that would still function a 9mm pistol with reliability, using a 95 grain slug designed for use in the .380.

I found that my loads would mostly run in my pistol (Tanfoglio Elite Match) but when I attempted to run them in my friends Glock 19 gen4, they did NOT run, and in fact...they did NOT want to eject. And every piece of brass of the 50 I brought out for testing was BLACKENED and though most ran in my gun, I gave up after 8 shots in the Glock 19, while having to REALLY tug on the slide to eject 3 of them.

It seems to me that you are far, FAR from signs of high pressure. It sound like you have concocted a poor load with a powder that is far out of it's best working range.

This isn't specifically "dangerous", unless (until?) you make a load so light that you stick a bullet in the bore. Then it can get REALLY dangerous.

Some folks may say or think "you can never be too cautious." Well, I don't agree. In handloading, you can be too cautious.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old June 29, 2013, 04:46 AM   #12
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
What typically happens is the brass looks blackened and even scorched on the outside of the brass as the propellant gases are finding many directions of escape RATHER than where you WANT them to escape, which is immediately behind the bullet. And when that happens and you have gases and scuzz filling every orifice from a lousy burn...you may notice extraction or ejection anomalies.
Well, I've looked at the cases.
Some look clean (for a fired case) whilst others have a ring of bluing from heat. No scorch marks though. In fact most of my .44 Mag brass (20.5ish gr N110, 200 plated FN, std LP primer) have got a scorch mark, but only down one side. They too sometimes had unburnt powder, but not as much as the .38s. I doubt the .44 Mag is running near low, though. The rounds were still leaving the barrel at about 1100fps. I plan to up their charge to 21gr: I've tried that before and it worked nicely. Different dipper.

Going back to the .38s, I think you are on the right track with your deduction. It makes a lot of sense. It only happened on some cases, not all, so perhaps I am on the border-line of low charges.

Either-way, N350 is too slow a powder for such a light bullet and short barrel. As this is my only .38, I may as well get a powder that works well for it and I think N320 is that powder, especially as there is data for N320 in .44Spl too and I've ordered some such brass recently.

Quote:
This isn't specifically "dangerous", unless (until?) you make a load so light that you stick a bullet in the bore. Then it can get REALLY dangerous.
Been there, done that. That is what resulted in a bulged barrel for my first little Astra... (sniff...), although it was even lighter than the charge I used this time. That lesson has made me just as wary of light loads as of heavy ones. Luckily I learnt it with only damage to my little gun, and no one else, not that it deserved it...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 30, 2013, 07:48 AM   #13
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 13,913
I love N350.

First, accurately measure the chambers.
Difficult extraction can be from something as simple as tight (or loose) chambers.


Easier first step:
Try your N350 loads in a different gun to confirm if it's ammo- or gun-related.
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 01:50 PM   #14
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
Easier first step:
Try your N350 loads in a different gun to confirm if it's ammo- or gun-related.
Well, as it happens I presently have two Astra 680s. One is a bit more beaten up and has the bulged barrel from my unfortunate squib incident a few months back. There was no extraction resistance in that Astra, but then there wasn't always that slight resistance in the tidier Astra.

On top of that, most I shot through the newer one, so it makes that test a bit inconclusive...

I will measure them both, though.
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old June 30, 2013, 09:48 PM   #15
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 13,913
Dirty gun?
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old June 30, 2013, 10:22 PM   #16
jepp2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 1,276
Quote:
but I had to press more than to just compress the ejector rod return spring.
There are many degrees of extraction effort between "had to press more than to just compress the ejector rod" and "if you need a hammer to extract the cases, that is sticky extraction".

I have encountered degrees of increased effort to extract fired cases, but the effort was always between those two extremes. Needing to use a hammer is far beyond what you should be shooting in most handguns.

The S&W K frame 22 caliber revolvers are know for difficult extraction after firing multiple cylinders of 22 ammo. This is not a function of overpressure which causes the cylinder wall to grip the brass spent cartridge as a result of the cylinder expanding during firing. It is simply a function of the accumulation of unburned powder, carbon from firing, and wax and lead from the bullets.

As others have mentioned, you seem to be experiencing low pressure rounds that leave residue in the cylinders. But it is much better to ask, than to just blindly proceed. Make sure you start next time with cylinders that are thoroughly cleaned of carbon rings, lead, and all powder residue.
__________________
NRA Benefactor member
jepp2 is offline  
Old July 1, 2013, 12:07 AM   #17
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,418
Quote:
Dirty gun?
No!! How could you suggest such a thing?!

Actually I clean my gun after every range trip, regardless of the round count achieved and so it would have been clean initially. Of course after the first cylinder, less so.

Quote:
As others have mentioned, you seem to be experiencing low pressure rounds that leave residue in the cylinders.
Yes. I do feel it is more and more likely to be the low pressure symptom, rather than high. The unburnt powder, the burn marks on the cases, the fact it is a charge only a quarter of the way from the min load to the max, with a slow burning powder in a short barrel, light bullet and middling crimp.

Today, I buy N320 and start from scratch!
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Doubt: ...it's the only thing I'm sure of...
-Marsupials: Nature's idea of Concealed-Carry-
Pond, James Pond is online now  
Old July 1, 2013, 03:01 AM   #18
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,291
Quote:
The S&W K frame 22 caliber revolvers are know for difficult extraction after firing multiple cylinders of 22 ammo. This is not a function of overpressure which causes the cylinder wall to grip the brass spent cartridge as a result of the cylinder expanding during firing. It is simply a function of the accumulation of unburned powder, carbon from firing, and wax and lead from the bullets.
With countless thousands of rounds through my Model 17-6, I can fully attest to the well-known extraction issues, but I can't agree that it's any of the unburnt powder, carbon, or wax & lead.

In my experience (and my driven desire to figure out -WHY- my beloved revolver does this...!), it's been absolutely my findings that it's 100% heat related. As in... first few cylinderfuls is fine, then it gets sticky, then it gets damn difficult, then it gets nearly impossible.

Then I sit the revolver down, shoot something else, come back to it in 25-30 minutes and it's like a reset button was hit. I'm good to go. Extraction isn't noticeably difficult in any way you could measure. Until... it heats up again.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14501 seconds with 7 queries