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Old April 30, 2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Gallery Loads Revisited (Reduced Loads)

A short while back I inquired about reduced loads. I was thinking why not have some really reduced loads for the little guys who come to visit. 22 pistols have a lot of muzzle blast when fired from pistol length barrels, and little guys have short arms so the muzzle blast would be pretty close to the face. I have a CA Bulldog and the nephews always want to shoot it because its small. Can't do it, wah., felt bad.

Well, some board members were nay sayers. Detonation and such, too much airspace. A couple others said 1.5 gr Bullseye, careful of squibs.

I tried it and got a real eye opener. Thought I'd share my results.

Weapon: CA Bulldog 2.5" BBL.
44 Special
10 rounds @ 10 ft.
WW-Super Brass
CCI 300 LP Primers
180gr Lyman WC (WW's) (.429) Seated flush w/case mouth, 1.160 OAL.
1.5gr Bullseye (hand weighed.)
Average Velocity: 352 fps.
Extreme Spread: 35 fps (!)
Average Deviation: 6 fps (!!!)
Energy Range: 50 ft lbs.

Both cylinderfuls began by pointing weapon at ground to put powder against bullet for worst case scenario. If it detonated, I wanted it in MY hand rather than a young nephew etc.. The recoil was what you'd expect, less than standard .22 rounds. The muzzle blast and noise was nil, less than any .22 as was the muzzle rise, ie, nil. It was like shooting a cap gun. No squibs, no detonation, no problems. Yes, the cases came out real smokey from lack of a good seal but so what? I didn't accuracy test, was worried about possible detonation and my new chrony. Next time. Besides, for nephews around 5 yrs old with a target 5 ft away, thats moot.

Now the nephews (and future G-kids) can blow big holes in the target too!! I can't believe how consistent these rounds were.

Of course, I cannot reccomend that anyone use my data. Even if it proved safe in my gun, anything could produce dangerous results, barrel length, crimp, powder lot, bad karma, whatever. So don't do this at home kids. I posted this just for academic purposes and accept no liability for your efforts and reloading practices which are beyond my control.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old April 30, 2006, 02:25 PM   #2
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
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I've never heard of detonation with a fast pistol powder. It is mainly a rifle powder phenomenon, so it probably requires some burning retardant involvement. By definition, detonation would require the detonating portion of the powder mass to be still unburned when the triggering shock wave was initiated. A truly fast powder just won't leave much of anything to detonate by the time that occurs. Also, by deep-seating a wadcutter, you are greatly reducinp the empty case space; a pretty good way to minimize any chance of having the problem. Besides, a lot of people subscribing to the low velocity cast bullet school of firelapping are running loads in the 400 fps range. No problems.

If you know some other reloaders, see if you can borrow a teaspoonfull of Vihtavuori N310 or maybe of Hodgdon Tightwad? Try them at about 1.3 grains. These powders are faster than Bullseye. The idea is that the faster you make the pressure, the less time the powder is burning after the bullet leaves the case mouth, so the case soot might be mitigated. Bullseye is famous for being sooty anyway, unless you load near maximum with it (which burns off the residue better).

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Old April 30, 2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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Thanks nick, I'll try that.

The 38 specials had the rumor to detonate with 3.5gr bullseye. Hercules tried to recreate the incident but could not and concluded that some people were double charging etc.. They had a write up on it in an old handloading book I have. I've also read about a guy who swears it happened to him with his new .500 S&W. All heresay really.
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