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Old July 13, 2006, 04:19 PM   #1
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Detonation question

Assuming that detonation in a real danger, where should I start worring about it in my light loads? I use Unique in my .357 loads behind a 158gr LRN. I've found that I like 5.0 grains. That seems to fill the case about halfway when it's on it's side and covers about half of the flash hole.

Where might I start treading on thin ice? I think 5.0 is the lightest I'm going to go but just out of curiosity, where do y'all think the danger line is?
.38, .39; whatever it took.
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Old July 13, 2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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Way back in the day when people were blowing up 38's with the dreaded 3 or 3.5 gr of Bullseye, Hercules/now Alliant did some in depth testing of this phenomenon and absolutely could not duplicate any load that caused a KB. Their conclusion was that since people were using such small charges, that they had to be either inadvertantly double or triple charging cases and that was the reason for the KB's.

They wrote an article about it in the NRA Handloading book (Published January 1981) The author is Wm. C. Davis JR., pg 113. Titiled "Reduced Loads"

If you have or can dig up a used copy of that book, it is an invaluable resource with many good articles. I lucked out and found a copy. If you can not locate a copy, PM me and I'd be glad to zerox you a copy of the article and send it out to you.

Awhile back I had the same idea you do about loading reduced loads (for my nephews & such) so they could shoot my small sized but big booming CA Bulldog in 44 special. Against most (but not all!) peoples advice, I loaded some up with 1.5 gr of Bullseye and a 180 gr WC and even went as far to consciously tip the gun down to ensure the powder was against the bullet before firing. Well guess what? No KB's and I actually got very consistent results with about 350 fps and an AVG DEV of 6 fps. No squibs (short barrel!) and less powerful than a 22 LR. (50 ft lbs).

I do not know conscientious of a loader you are so can not recommend that you try this. But if you do bear in mind that I hand weighed each charge, and checked for squibs after each shot. My barrel was 2.5". The longer your barrel, the greater the chance for a squib. So it can be done but you must excercise as much care in loading as you do for max loads.

WHatcha gonna use em for?
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Old July 13, 2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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I havn't heard of it except for using reduced loads with slow burning powders..I have loaded bottle neck cartridges(223) with as much as a few granules of medium burning powder and not had any issues except for having to push the bullet out of my barrel by hand .I tend to like to use powders that fill the case just for accuracy(and im not saying you can't get it from reduced loads) and safety..That double charge with fast burning powders is real and dangerous so I tend to avoid that.Not to say I do everything 100% safe(like not crimping bullets for my long range ar15 ammo for example) ..
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Old July 13, 2006, 07:39 PM   #4
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As far as I know , detonation occurs only with reduced charges of slow burning powder in either rifle or handgun cartridges. If you want reduced loads just use a faster burning powder.
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