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Old February 10, 2018, 11:34 AM   #26
stagpanther
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Nick--do you do actual castings to get your chamber measurements--or just extrapolate from fired brass (and does it make that much difference)? I think I will beta test a 6mm creedmoor build I did.

thanks!
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Old February 10, 2018, 01:03 PM   #27
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I've done both. The brass forward of the pressure ring is what expands to fill the chamber and it seems to spring back about 0.001"-0.002"; the larger number when the chamber is generous compared to the size of the case. The error varies with the size of the case, but it's about half a grain of water capacity in a .308 Winchester fired in a chamber 0.002" bigger than the case in length and diameter. In a tight match chamber the diameter will change less and a quarter of a grain becomes more likely.
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Old February 10, 2018, 01:27 PM   #28
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I think I "heard" that in many cases cartridge designs are submitted--and tested--under the unrealistic assumption they need to default towards higher pressures, and therefor the test chamber is likely to be exceedingly tight.
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Old February 11, 2018, 07:42 AM   #29
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Successfully initiated the system, connected it to laptop and did a strain gage test. It's funny --the manual has a picture of the test gage traces with a trace with a curve on it--so I spent 10 minutes flicking the gage trying to get the trace to develop a curve like the one in the manual. lol

Ended up completely disassembling my 6mm creedmoor upper, I figure I might as well clean all the components and get a cast done of the chamber while the gun is apart.

It looks like the only way I can attach a gage is directly in front of the case mouth--I assume that when you enter the measurements for the chamber OD--you use that portion in front of the case mouth? Problem is--isn't that tapered--and therefore does not comply with the .25" consistent thickness to either side of the gage requirement?
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Old February 11, 2018, 11:05 AM   #30
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This is like being a kid and getting that brand new bike for Christmas when there is two feet of snow outside and ice covered roads.

I just dug out an AR 10 takeoff barrel and looking at the barrel, floated handguard and gas tube it would be just about impossible to mount a strain gauge perpendicular to the barrel axis at the mid cartridge point. On the bright side:
Quote:
For this application the ideal placement of a strain
gage is as close to the center of the largest part of the
cartridge body as possible. This is typically an area
without taper so the gage will glue perpendicular to
the bore line and is not affected by metal of different
thickness.
Quote:
Unfortunately, placement in this location is not always possible if the action is equipped with a barrel nut
(Savage or AR with tube) and/or the cartridge is so short it barely
protrudes from the receiver. Satisfactory results can be achieved even if
the gage is glued over the case mouth but it should be at least ¼ inch
(7mm) away from metal of different thickness.
As long as you can find a spot which is not in a transition I would expect reasonable results. I would also have thought you should have seen something with the flick test? While not a pretty pressure curve "flicking" the strain gauge as they suggest should have triggered and yielded some bumps on the trace. You may want to go over that again.

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Old February 11, 2018, 11:17 AM   #31
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The flick test did work and it was gathering bumpy lines at the bottom of the screen--my problem is that I was following the directions from the manual--which for some reason has an actual shot trace superimposed over all the test flicks--so, not being the sharpest pencil in the box, I kept flicking at the sensor thinking I was supposed to get the bell curve. lol

The only question I have about putting the gage at the case mouth is that presumably there will be a step down from the diameter of the neck area to the free-bore area--and the gage will be sitting atop that. I could back the gage over the neck--but then it would be immediately adjacent to the shoulder.

PS--our roads and my driveway are ice-skating rinks after multiple storms--no fun!
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Old February 11, 2018, 12:07 PM   #32
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PS--our roads and my driveway are ice-skating rinks after multiple storms--no fun!
Same here. Somehow a trip to the range is not quite the fun it is when the range is not snow and ice covered. Like the driveway and everything else around here. Yesterday I went out to the garage and started my bike just to hear it run. About this time of the year cabin fever really sets in.

Guessing Unclenick will have some real good thoughts on this.

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Old February 16, 2018, 08:06 PM   #33
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Well--I got impatient and just wanted to see if the thing recorded atrae or not--so I hooked a gage up to my 260 rem AR10 build which had just enough room for a strain gage to be attached over the case mouth. Configured the software and away I went. Although you don't have to have one--it's a big advantage to use a labradar with the Pressure Trace--for reasons I'll mention in a bit.

I did my handloads since I didn't have any reference ammo on hand. Reference ammo being one that is already tested and has a known psi profile which you can use to calibrate Pressure Trace with--or check to see if your readings "are in the ballpark". I only got 6 shots off, 4 of which returned useable traces (a piece of debris had lodged in the chamber neck area and thus skewed a couple of the readings The good traces were off by about 5,000 psi compared to what QL "forecasted" but upon calling Jim at RSI to talk about my first "toe dipping" he said my results were probably pretty close to accurate for the type of charge and load--even though I had done no baseline calibration.

I've cleaned the chamber thoroughly--and in addition a box of factory ammo with a known baseline pressure (yes, I know it's going to vary due to variations in weapon and conditions) has arrived so I'll give that a go next.

Back to labradar--it's obvious that the folks at RSI saw the potential of using the large amount of projectile trajectory it records and have made good use of it in their stand-alone RSI lab software. It's taking me a bit of time figuring out the idiosyncrasies of navigating and in-putting into the program--but it is quite remarkable and I would say it's worth it's price as a stand-alone product even if you don't want to buy pressure trace. The software allows you to really drill down into labradar's information and do some very detailed analysis of each of labradar's shots--including analyzing anomalies and making statistically-based decisions on whether or not to "toss" the shot analysis. You can even do a "real world" ballistic coefficient calculation after normalizing your data and inputting environmental variables.

It's still a bit over my head at this point--but there are advanced features for analyzing the PT traces which give you a better snapshot of "the best harmonics" for your barrel and ammo that goes beyond simply shooting accurate groups and looking for pressure signs.

Tghe only real downside I've experienced so far is the difficulty of setting the system up for recording from AR's--though that's no fault of the unit itself.
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Old November 22, 2018, 06:04 PM   #34
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It is good to see another person using the Pressuretrace program. Below is a chart I made of my results. Please do not use this information as load data because it can be very incorrect.

I am using a custom made shooting platform. Using an MGM 20" barrel that is 1 1/4" in diameter.

unclenick, feel free to chime in any time!!!!!



Here is a link to one of my videos of the platform
https://youtube/6CiUFqhsFcg

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Old November 22, 2018, 08:16 PM   #35
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Can't see your linked graphic for some reason.
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Old November 22, 2018, 08:45 PM   #36
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Quote:
Can't see your linked graphic for some reason.
hmmmmm, not sure why, I can see it.

Try this direct link
https://www.44winchestercenterfireca...essure-testing
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Old November 22, 2018, 09:33 PM   #37
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I want to thank those of you keeping the thread alive and adding some really interesting information. I always wondered just how good of a baseline (calibration) could be had with Pressure Trace.

Thanks
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Old November 22, 2018, 11:45 PM   #38
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Quote:
hmmmmm, not sure why, I can see it.
I'm a bit curious about the these results. I'm not disparaging the author or attacking his results, just have some issues based on my limited experience with the PT.

Even RSI will tell you that it's common to have a "standard deviation" in results of approximately 3000 to 4000 psi +/- due to things like variations in gauge attachment points relative to chamber or expansion characteristics of the particular steel, so within the context of the very narrow range of his pressure readings between "acceptable" and "overpressure" I think it's too small of range to be relied upon (7,000 to 12000 psi). Also, I would use published results from a reloading manual as a "second generation" pressure estimate vs. measurements directly from an ammo manufacturer which has a vested interest in maintaining lot-to-lot consistent results. I can only see two of his actual trace results--the rest are blocked by his "corrected" windows. The two traces shown both show one shot with an erratic pressure return--when I see something like that I usually have a connection or gauge attachment issue.
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Old November 23, 2018, 09:10 AM   #39
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Quote:
I'm a bit curious about the these results.
Stagpanther, I assume you are referring to the direct link I posted?

If so, good questions but my experience is way more limited than yours!!! I am still trying to digest a little of what you are asking.

Quote:
I think it's too small of range to be relied upon (7,000 to 12000 psi).
If you are referring to testing only a few, maybe 5 cartridges at a time, I have to agree at this point. Al though I don't see your exact reference, I usually test ten at a time and even that may be too few but it is a start.

Quote:
I would use published results from a reloading manual
Hmmmm, I will let this digest for a while because I was thinking the opposite...especially after what I see after my results. After talking with Jim for a while, I figured I was on the right track!!

Buffalo Bore was my "control" because of it's consistency. Although I do not know their exact pressures, I used them because they claim to be "below" SAAMI max pressures. There is a total difference in night and day between Buffalo Bore and Winchester's Super-X hunting loads. They are also eager to express concern in not using their ammo in old worn out firearms or in firearms with tight chambers. My test barrel has a tight chamber. If I recall correctly, the highest deviation I got from a 10 shot group was 2,565psi.

As you can see from the handloading manual results, this is where I see my loads as being inconsistent but is expected until I can load them more consistent...which is why I used Buffalo Bore as the control, followed by Winchester's Super-X hunting loads AND (not shown) Magtech's so called Sporting loads....lower than Winchester results at 6,000psi

My MGM "test" barrel is 1 1/4" diameter and is the max allowed by the program. Jim told me this is more than likely the reason for the jagged lines.
Quote:
when I see something like that I usually have a connection or gauge attachment issue
Yes, the line "drops" Jim told me was probably connection interference but we could not find the problem. From photos I sent him, he said I shouldn't have any problems from my set-up. He told me that the drop should not interfere with the initial pressure readings.

There are photos on the webpage that show the strain gauge placement and was "acceptable" by Jim at RSI.

I hope to learn more as I go but I really have no desire to use this program for anything other than initial pressures, load consistency and primer dependability since it is not attached to a particular firearm. I have experienced several WLP delayed primer ignitions.

I would like to see some more folks reply to your post...maybe we can get some good answers...sorry I couldn't help....cause I just don't know. :-)
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Old November 23, 2018, 09:33 AM   #40
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OK that's good information to know. I'm not an expert--don't claim to be--especially with the cartridge you're testing. My point is this--as far as I can tell you are trying to figure out whether the buffalo bore is or is not safe to use in the cartridge that has a very small "pressure tolerance" band between roughly 7,000 and 12,000 psi according to the figures you are using. When you are "correcting" the deviation from what is expected to what is returned by the instrument--it's very important to know what the accuracy of your baseline measurement is. That's why I would call an ammo manufacturer and (being really nice, because they probably have lawyers telling them to be careful for liability reasons) ask them what their pressure baseline is for an off-the-shelf retail cartridge is.

All of the cartridges I have tested for generally are in the range of 17000 to 65000 psi. A deviation of 3 to 4000 psi is not going to be a big deal as long as I know when I'm in the vicinity of the upper end of the safe pressure limits. Your pressure limits I'm guessing are probably dictated by an older cartridge originally made for a black-powder, low pressure tolerance old rifle/revolver. Your weapon's "tolerance" for pressure range is so small that I would be very reluctant to rely on the instrument's output alone unless you had a very high confidence in the pressure rating you use as a baseline for calibration/correction.

Don't tell anyone I said this, but I would be looking at one of the top ammo manufacturers like one that begins with an H and ends with a y to see if they are nice enough to help you with this.

As an aside--it gets really dodgy when using the instrument for testing a new wildcat for obvious reasons.

I also use "predictive" aids like labradar and quick load to see if they get me in ballpark with velocity and pressure ratings reasonably close to what I'm expecting from the pressure trace.

PS--another thing is that the ammo manufacturers can use a powder blend that is made to their specifications so your chances of matching their results for a given velocity and a given pressure with off-the-shelf consumer powders may not be a reasonable expectation. Those clever engineers at Hornady are particular notorious for achieving velocity results at lower pressures that I have been generally been unable to match in my handloads.
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Old November 23, 2018, 10:02 AM   #41
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LOL, I got ya now. Yes, I have been in contact with a guy who's name starts with a T over at Buffalo Bore ;-)

I will try the HY manufacture and see if they will give me a hint as to the pressure of their cowboy loads which I would expect to be in the 5,000psi-7,000psi range. Cowboy loads are lightly loaded and won't even reliably register on the pressuretrace when using a 1 1/4" dia barrel ;-). I may have the barrel turned down later and have it fitted to my Stevens shotgun frame.

The 44-40 is a low pressure cartridge, it has a SAAMI max psi of 11,000 and an equal SAAMI max CUP of 13,000 as well as a C.I.P. max of 15,954psi (French CIP). Many publish loads reference mistakenly lists psi rather than CUP.

What started me with this whole psi mess was the fact that Lyman list high pressure loads to only be used in Group II rifles such as the Marlin 1894 and the Winchester 92 and 94. Lyman lists a heavy load of up to 21,900CUP. I have tested that load and my load result from that 21,900 CUP load is 19,628psi. No load I have ever loaded, before Pressuretrace, has even been higher. All of my Reloder 7 loads are less than 13,500psi and fall well inside Lyman's 21,900 CUP range. Even John Taffin's 2005 Guns Magazine load I tested was 14,000psi

Of course, we all know everyone's mileage may very and these figures are only being used for discussion purposes!!

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Old November 23, 2018, 10:07 AM   #42
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Be careful with that Reloder 7--in my dottering old age I once grabbed my 8 pounder of accurate 7 instead of the RL7--they both have big 7's on their label. Imagine my surprise when I pulled the trigger on my rifle igniting over 300,000 psi and blowing up my rifle!

If you're going to use the BB ammo's baseline for calibration--seems a little counterintuitive since that's the ammo you seem concerned about being "redline" at the top of the pressure range.
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Old November 23, 2018, 10:22 AM   #43
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Quote:
What started me with this whole psi mess was the fact that Lyman list high pressure loads to only be used in Group II rifles such as the Marlin 1894 and the Winchester 92 and 94. Lyman lists a heavy load of up to 21,900CUP. I have tested that load and my load result from that 21,900 CUP load is 19,628psi. No load I have ever loaded, before Pressuretrace, has even been higher. All of my Reloder 7 loads are less than 13,500psi and fall well inside Lyman's 21,900 CUP range. Even John Taffin's 2005 Guns Magazine load I tested was 14,000psi

Of course, we all know everyone's mileage may very and these figures are only being used for discussion purposes!!
Ahhh--you got the actual spreadsheet for the calibrations from Jim? That stuff is above my pay grade--though I believe the RSI software has a facility for making similar adjustments. It's apparent that accounting for things like case expansion in the chamber and metal/steel elasticity/conductivitity come into play. I don't mess with that stuff since I'm more likely to screw things up not knowing what I'm doing.
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Old November 23, 2018, 10:48 AM   #44
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Quote:
If you're going to use the BB ammo's baseline for calibration--seems a little counterintuitive since that's the ammo you seem concerned about being "redline" at the top of the pressure range.
Not at all, that is exactly what I am looking for. Jim said to use a known pressure to calibrate the Pressuretrace II. As you already know. manufactures as well as handloading manuals use a certain safety % and are not a realistic "known pressure" thus only a close estimate. BB is closer to a realistic known pressure. I can't use a load manual because their results are in CUP, not psi. However, if a manual lists a load that produces 13,000CUP, I can sub 11,000psi since SAAMI list it as equal. Thus published 13,000cup loads are actually resulting in lower pressures. If those manual loads, as well as "other" manufactures, are used as a "control", then Buffalo Bore's loads are well over SAAMI max pressures, of which they claim are not.

Quote:
Ahhh--you got the actual spreadsheet for the calibrations from Jim?
Yes, it tells me how much I need to turn down my barrel in order to lower the sensitivity level to accurately read lower pressure results....if I understood him correctly. The "Cowboy" loads are so low..including Hornady's, "interference noise" hinders actual pressure results.
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Old November 23, 2018, 11:20 AM   #45
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Yes, it tells me how much I need to turn down my barrel in order to lower the sensitivity level to accurately read lower pressure results....if I understood him correctly. The "Cowboy" loads are so low..including Hornady's, "interference noise" hinders actual pressure results.
I don't envy you--you are operating in a "tight window" with lots of variables potentially affecting the trace deviation. It might be worth your while to explore just how BB verified their pressure ratings--if they are willing to divulge that information. At the end of the day my guess is that they are pretty careful since they have established a market niche for "hotter than usual" ammo like Underwood has.
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Old November 23, 2018, 11:56 AM   #46
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Quote:
It might be worth your while to explore just how BB verified their pressure ratings
;-)

After I installed my strain gauge, opened up the software and entered my measurement information, I only had to "correct" to -1,300psi to get my base loads.

If I had left it alone with no correction, Lyman's max load for a group I load would have been 11,087psi. So between that load and BB's load, I feel confident.

Attaching the strain gauge was a royal pain in the foot!

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Old November 23, 2018, 12:02 PM   #47
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Quote:
;-)

After I installed my strain gauge, opened up the software and entered my measurement information, I only had to "correct" to -1,300psi to get my base loads.

Attaching the strain gauge was a royal pain in the foot!
Worse than getting it properly aligned under a barrel nut on an AR? That's hard for me to believe.
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:08 PM   #48
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Quote:
Worse than getting it properly aligned under a barrel nut on an AR?


Those things are not cheap!!
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:14 PM   #49
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Just out of curiosity sake I have to wonder if the purpose of this equipment is to test load data why not drop another 500 or so in a test receiver/barrel. Unless your intent is to see what it takes to see how much pressure a particular gun can stand wouldn't one of these be the logical fix


https://www.hsprecision.com/shop2/ba...-test-barrels/
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:55 PM   #50
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Hounddog

I think for most it is used on a particular firearm to test how that firearm reacts to certain loads. A user can check for many things and actually improve accuracy, make the firearm as proficient as possible with the information processed. Especially those that shoot Wildcat loads.

For me, I am just looking for basic chamber pressures. All of my firearms have octagon barrels which can not use the trace program. Plus I only shoot out to 100 yards. So for me, I just purchased a barrel and built my own platform. My barrel was $75. Platform was built from scratch material and the stand is a Hyskore I used with other firearms.

Those guys that shoot competition and out to 300 yards, it could certainly cut costs in looking for that sweet load.

Videos

https://youtu.be/UN6undl4ZgI
https://youtu.be/6CiUFqhsFcg
https://youtu.be/TfH0ETSpnIA


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