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Old July 9, 2013, 04:36 PM   #1
BigMike349
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Testing pressure of handloads

Just started researching handloading. Are there any companies you can send your handloaded ammo to for pressure tests (to determine CUP) or any equipment available for the handloader to test it himself? Thanks.
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Old July 9, 2013, 04:56 PM   #2
AllenJ
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I've never used this product nor have I ever read a review about it so I don't know how well it works:

http://www.shootingsoftware.com/pressure.htm
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:09 PM   #3
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I think Oehler still makes his pressure testing equipment but it will be expensive. there is a lab called H.P. White that will do it but that will also be expensive
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:09 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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The RSI system (linked by AlenJ) is nice but has it's quirks. (I have one.) The biggest hurdle is correct and accurate gauge placement.

There are companies that will test your ammo but (as far as I know) they all do it in SAAMI test barrels, which is to say not in your gun, so it really doesn't tell you anything that published data doesn't tell you, if such exists for your particular powder/bullet combination.

The other option is QuickLoad, which is a software simulation of internal ballistics but has proven itself to be remarkably accurate with bottleneck rifle cartridges and when properly "tweaked" to match conditions.
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:14 PM   #5
Bart B.
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You'll have to send in your firearm along with the ammo you want tested if you want to know the pressure it has in your firearm.

I'd call SAAMI at (203) 426-4358 then ask them what company does it.
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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I have that kit that AllenJ referenced. I like it, but I really hate the sacrificial case from a given lot of brass. I mean, I pay like what, a buck ten for a Lapua case only to cut it in half to measure the case wall under the gage?
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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I can't say as the case bothers me one bit... a unit that costs near on $500 and gages that are about $25 each, I don't worry about a $1 case. What bothers me is getting the $25 gage on right and only getting one chance at it.
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Old July 9, 2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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One method is to buy barrels from a company called Bulberry that will work on the Contender frame and allows you to attach a strain gauge. Some of this has past me by, but at one time I contemplated getting into handgun ammo production and I believe this is how some of the smaller ammo-makers pressure test their loads.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:28 AM   #9
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If the SAAMI limits are set to be less than the threshold of short brass life, measuring the pressure would introduce error compared to examining the brass.

What does it all mean?
What were you going to do with the data when you got it.
What good would it do you?

As really good engineers ask over and over to break you down:
"What are you trying to do?"

If you are selling ammo, there may be a point.
Otherwise, it gets pointless in a hurry.
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:57 AM   #10
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The Germans are more organized about this than we are. There is a central club there that tests handloads for shooters. They test first in a copper crusher, because that's harder to damage than a Piezo transducer. If the crusher result is within reason, then they test it in a Piezo transducer to get a number. Given that they use test barrels, obviously the idea is to see how their handloads compare to factory loads. I wouldn't be surprised if some of their clubs disallowed untested loads or loads that exceed CIP standards to be used around other shooters. It would also limit damage to indoor backstops.

Otherwise, the only reason to do that kind of testing, AFAIK, is if you are going to use the same load in multiple weapons. I don't think people there own multiple same-chambering weapons as often as we do, but it may give them a basis for sharing load information with others.
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Old July 12, 2013, 07:20 AM   #11
Bart B.
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Keep in mind that if one uses cartridge case visible and measureable indicators as a sign of pressure, the results across all cases available will be huge for a given set of bullet, powder, primer, assembly criteria and chamber, bore, firing pin & other rifle characteristics. There's a wide range of case metalurgy and I don't know of any standard that all the companies follow.

Therefore, if you want accurate pressure data in your rifle, it's got to be measured. Otherwise, guessing may or may not be just fine. You decide what safety limits you're willing to live with.
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Old July 12, 2013, 02:43 PM   #12
wncchester
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Goggle H.P. White Labratories, they pressure test ammo.
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