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Old November 3, 2013, 02:26 PM   #1
Nick_C_S
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"Cat Sneeze" round - Just for fun

I loaded these today just for fun. They are 38 Short Colt with a Penn Bullets 100g DEWC, over 2.8g Bullseye. "Cat Sneeze" power novelty rounds.

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Old November 3, 2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Those "pop gun" and "cat sneeze" loads can be a lot of fun.


And...
That 100 gr DEWC looks like it would be fun in my 9mm. (It'll feed anything that fits in the magazine - including empty cases. )
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Old November 3, 2013, 03:17 PM   #3
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LOL yeah, you could almost shoot these in the house. I said almost - wouldn't do it. Penn makes special size bullets. These are .358 - might be a bit large for a 9mm. They might make these in .356 (or .357).

I like nice sharp holes in paper / cardboard.
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Old November 3, 2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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What's the firearm used for these, Nick?
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Old November 3, 2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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I've got some .314" 115gr I want to try out my Mosin .... what charge would you all recomend?
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Old November 3, 2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
spacecoast asked: "What's the firearm used for these, Nick?"
I'll be shooting them in a couple Smith 686's. Talk about overkill lol.

Now that I think of it, they'll probably shoot really nice in my little J-frame Model 60 snubbie too.
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Old November 3, 2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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On a side note: that 2.8g of Bullseye filled the case about half way. The bullet - as small as it is - consumes about another 40%. So there's actually very little air space inside.
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Old November 4, 2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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awful cute..

ever try those 100 grain dewc at 357 loadings?
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Old November 4, 2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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Nick,

2.7 grains of Bullseye is the old standard .38 Special target load for a 148 grain wadcutter seated flush. Bullseye burns fast enough that it's theoretically possible that, at 2.8 grains, you'd get close to the muzzle energy of the .38 Special target load, despite the lighter projectile weight. Your powder space will be smaller, helping the powder start burning faster.

Back in the 1980's I recall reading about a target shooter who accidentally killed himself with one of those light .38 wadcutter loads. He apparently had a live one left in the chamber of a Smith m.52 that he hadn't cleared and the gun went off pointed straight at the center of his chest. The emergency squad found him still seated in front of his gun cleaning gear, ankles still crossed. Instant one shot stop.

My point is, you've potentially got a load more powerful than some 19th century self-defense loads, like the .32 S&W. Not much by modern standards, but calling it "catsneeze" might be underestimating it. 1.5 grains of Bullseye would get you down closer to .22 LR energy levels, but I think you'd need a .38 Short Colt chamber to get enough pressure for that to ignite consistently enough to work out.

The main thing that will mitigate velocity potential in your gun choice is the big jump from the short case to the throat of the .357 chambers. It's over half an inch, and I believe your bullet is probably only around 3/8" long. That means it will briefly be in a wide space that lets gas bypass the bullet before it gets to the throat. This is likely to cause a lot of leading by gas cutting in the chambers, render the bullets inaccurate both by eroding their bases and tilting them a little before they get to the throat, and to cut down on final velocity by bleeding the gas off before full pressure is reached. You'll just have to try it to see. My expectation would be that you'd get better accuracy and a lot less fouling using .357 Mag cases with the short bullets and the same powder charge.

P.S. if you tell me the actual bullet length and COL you are using and tell me the water capacity of your cases (plug primer pocket with clay, weigh, fill with water level at the mouth and weigh again and give me the actual case length and the difference in the two weights) I can give you a better estimate of capacities and pressures and velocities via QuickLOAD.
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Old November 4, 2013, 12:59 PM   #10
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Can you catch those with your teeth?
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Old November 4, 2013, 03:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
It's over half an inch, and I believe your bullet is probably only around 3/8" long. That means it will briefly be in a wide space that lets gas bypass the bullet before it gets to the throat. This is likely to cause a lot of leading by gas cutting in the chambers, render the bullets inaccurate both by eroding their bases and tilting them a little before they get to the throat, and to cut down on final velocity by bleeding the gas off before full pressure is reached. You'll just have to try it to see.
Either that, or use a .38 special to cut that gap by 1/8" or so (as you alluded to with your Model 60, assuming it's a .38). As Unclenick mentioned, it doesn't seem there is a huge advantage to loading them in the short brass. If you had a gun to match then obviously there would be.

With a .38, if the shorter chamber prevented gas cutting, I'd be very tempted to see just how gentle (yet reliable and accurate) a round you could get out of a target revolver like a Model 14.
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Old November 4, 2013, 04:05 PM   #12
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Unclenick: You're right on all accounts. I was going to load them super-duper light, but got to thinking about all that airspace in the long charge holes of the magnum revolver - didn't want a stuck slug. So I decided to actually put a "little pep" in them, so they can actually make that cavernous jump, in spite of all the gas blow-by. I was mostly showing my flair for the dramatic when I referred to them as "cat sneeze" rounds. I wouldn't be surprised if they chrono in excess of 700fps, and their energy probably exceeds that of an actual 19th century 38SC revolver - as you mention.

I rather doubt it's all that practical of a round, except maybe - maybe - in 38 Special guns. It was a "just for fun" novelty loading. But I'll be chronographing them and checking for accuracy, none-the-less.

The bullet is .410" long, and my COL is .830" (seated at the seat groove); and the empty case is .750". I should have included the bullet itself in the photo - monday morning quarterbacking. I probably won't be checking the water volume of the cases, but it could be calculated within reason - given the above info, and the known specs of the case (same I.D. as a 38Sp or 357).

Quote:
Bezoar: "Ever try those 100 grain dewc at 357 loadings?"
Not yet. I just received them. On Penn's site, they say that some load two of them inside a 357 case. I won't be doing that - not a chance.
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Old November 4, 2013, 11:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
I was going to load them super-duper light, but got to thinking about all that airspace in the long charge holes of the magnum revolver - didn't want a stuck slug. So I decided to actually put a "little pep" in them, so they can actually make that cavernous jump, in spite of all the gas blow-by.
I do the same, with .32 S&W in .327 Federal revolvers. That long jump to the throat takes a lot out of potential out of the load.
So, my "pop gun" loads for the .32s are actually loaded in .32 S&W Long cases, to get the bullet a little closer to the throats. As such, my .32 S&W loads are significantly hotter than my .32 S&W Long loads.
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Old November 7, 2013, 12:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S
The bullet is .410" long, and my COL is .830" (seated at the seat groove); and the empty case is .750"

…I probably won't be checking the water volume of the cases, but it could be calculated within reason - given the above info…
Well, QuickLOAD seems to think the Short Colt case has a thicker head than a .38 Special. It may be a data entry error. I find them from time to time. It assumes a case with 11 grains water overflow capacity at the maximum length of 0.755. If that's true and your bullet length is correct, then:

Seating Depth = 0.750 + 0.410 - 0.830 = 0.330".

pi × (0.358/2)² × 0.330" = 0.0332 in³ = 0.544 cm³

0.544 cm³ × 15.43236 = 8.40 grains water capacity.

11.0 - 8.40 = 2.6 grains water capacity under the bullet.

Assuming a bulk density of 0.61, Your 2.8 grain charge of bullseye is:

2.8/0.61 = 4.59 grains water capacity.

4.59/2.6 = 176% compression.

That's not possible to squeeze together, so something is off in the measurements or in the assumptions. If I give the Short Colt the same shape as the .38 Special head defaults, I get 13.2 grains water capacity instead of 11.0 grains. Increase that to 14.2 for a better match to most actual .38 Special cases I've measured. That would eliminate the compression, leaving you at about 78% fill.
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Old November 7, 2013, 01:07 PM   #15
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Heh well okay. Fun with numbers. I'm not really sure what to say, other than the 2.8g of Bullseye filled the case about half way. The bullet took up about 40% of the case volume. This was just by visual observation. I didn't break out the calipers at the time. But I can assure you it's not a compressed load. If it were, I would have applied the breaks and not loaded them as such.
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Old November 7, 2013, 01:25 PM   #16
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Okay, I'll play along

I measured the depth of the inside of the case - it's exactly .600"

And your calculation is correct on the bullet depth. From the base of the bullet, to the crimp groove is .330".

I guess that means that there is .280 of case length space. Maybe the load did compress a little?? Could have been, I suppose.

The ID of the case is .350 (my calipers probably don't measure this with a lot of accuracy. But it should be close enough for a decent calculation.) I got .02694 cubic inches of "free" case volume. (.350/2 = .175; .175 squared = .030625; .030625 x pi = .0962; .0962 x .280 = .02694 cubic inches.)

Because I'm composing this and can't see your calculations, I don't know if this jives with your numbers or not.

Fun with numbers
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Old November 7, 2013, 05:14 PM   #17
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. . . oops, .270 case length space. Drat!
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Old November 7, 2013, 10:07 PM   #18
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I suspect this load will produce pressure too high for an actual .38 Short Colt revolver. I noticed maximum loads at Hodgdon of 2.8 grains of HP38/231 under a lighter 93 grain bullet that's sticking out further (1.005" COL). Usually Bullseye and HP38/231 charge weights are close to the same, with Bullseye slightly smaller when there's a difference. So this is going to be putting up more pressure than you originally expected.

Since case walls get thicker as you near the head, I think I'd do an actual case water capacity measurement. It's too easy to mess with guessing.
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Old November 7, 2013, 10:26 PM   #19
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Yeah, I agree. This may actually a pretty warm round. I might shoot them tomorrow. We'll see. The weather has to cooperate, coupled with a good dose of ambition on my part.

I would definitely not shoot them in an actual 38SC revolver. It's my understanding that most (all?) of them were of the "break top" design - which is an inherently weak design. At least, as I understand it. I'm not much of a "cowboy revolver" historian.

I'm sure my L frame Smiths will digest them just fine. 2.8g of Bullseye - in any configuration - can only generate so much energy.
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Old November 7, 2013, 10:33 PM   #20
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I've done similar stuff with the 45 ACP, a 200 grain LSWC and 4.0 grains of W231. Got 626 fps IIRC, and ginned up an excellent small game/pest load that was a ball to shoot- and still cycled the Auto Ord WWII I was shooting at the time.
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Old November 8, 2013, 08:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
I'm sure my L frame Smiths will digest them just fine. 2.8g of Bullseye - in any configuration - can only generate so much energy.
Nick,

It's actually a lot of energy if you put it in a small enough space. If you compressed the powder down to its solid density and released all the energy instantly it would constitute about half a million psi. It's enough to start cracking steel, after which a dramatically smaller amount of pressure (a few hundred psi) is all that's needed to propagate the cracks. This is how detonation destroys guns with very small charges of powder. The Finish Gunwriters site has a report of 3.1 grains of N320, a pistol powder that runs at near Bullseye speed, destroying a .308 rifle. It's a charge far too small for double, triple, quadruple, or quintuple charging to account for exceeding the gun's pressure limit.

In your case, QuickLOAD is predicting about 165,000 psi, way beyond what an N frame .357 will tolerate. But I doubt it will actually happen because I believe the primer is going to move the bullet first. But there are no guarantees that what I believe will come true. That's why I suggested you work up from about 1.5 grains, just to play safe.
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Old November 9, 2013, 12:06 AM   #22
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Unclenick,

I didn't get out to the range today. Maybe that's a good thing.

I'm not sure what QuickLOAD is. But you have me sufficiently concerned to set them aside and make another batch, using 1.5g B'eye. (Or pull them.)

I paid fairly close attention to the charge levels in the case, and it seemed like they were at about half way. But at the time I didn't realize that the bullet took up more than half (.330) the case length. It is highly probable that I have created a compressed load - of Bullseye.

That, coupled with the info you just gave me, has my attention.
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Old November 9, 2013, 09:39 AM   #23
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Nick,

QuickLOAD is an interior ballistics program. It is the best one available, IMHO, and while it's not exact enough under some circumstances (like the bullet being unseated by a primer), it is an education in interior ballistics just learning to use it and it generally can be tweaked to get a good match. I highly recommend it.
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Old November 9, 2013, 12:59 PM   #24
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QuickLOAD looks like a really useful program. It looks a bit in depth for me. It also appears to be something that rifle shooters would find more practical. That's just an off-hand observation. Given the $150 price tag, I think I'll back burner that purchase for now. Maybe someday. Considering it may have just saved me from destroying my irreplaceable pre-lock 686, it would be silly to say it has little value.

I've also decided to pull these bullets - ugg, I hate pulling bullets - such a pain. One thing about getting older and more mature (two separate things, actually), is that humbling moments like these don't bruise the ego as much as they used to . These days, it means learning and moving on.
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Old November 10, 2013, 06:45 PM   #25
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A very interesting thread.
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