The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 12, 2020, 07:23 PM   #1
Stats Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 1,621
H110, Hornady xtp 158 gr and H110

First time loading .357 mag

I have settled on on H110 since i use it for 44 mag, 158 grain hornady xtp's, and cci spm primers.

All the load data uses long barrels, and i use velocities from a labradar as a proxy for excessive pressure. The problem is that the hornady manual has 15.6 gr as the max load, and hodgdon starts at 15 gr H110 and lists 16.7 gr as max.

My barrel is 6" from a Dan Wesson (Monson Mass circa late 70's early 80's with the removable barrel)

So I guess does anyone have any experience with this combo? What is the "true" near max as 1 grain discrepancy seems like a lot.....like 7% which seems excessive
Stats Shooter is offline  
Old February 12, 2020, 08:24 PM   #2
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,859
Quote:
The problem is that the hornady manual has 15.6 gr as the max load, and hodgdon starts at 15 gr H110 and lists 16.7 gr as max.
So, how is this a problem???

Reloading data are GUIDELINES, not had and fast rules. Virtual certainty Hornday and Hodgon did NOT test their data in the SAME GUN.

And absolute certainty that YOUR gun is not the gun(s) used in their testing.

EVERY gun and ammo combination can be different. Most are similar but all are different in small or large degree. Reloading data "max" loads may or may not be "max" in the maximum pressure sense of the word. They may be, for the test gun used, or they may just be where the testers decided to stop.

YOUR gun can be significantly different from their test gun, your ammo components also will be different, to some degree.

What this means is that YOUR gun and ammo combination MIGHT reach its maximum safe working pressure BEFORE you reach other people's listed max data, OR it might not reach its max until you are past their listed max.

The ONLY way to know this is testing, working up your loads carefully (and not just starting where they ended) and the reality is that you won't actually know WHAT the actual pressure in your gun is, only how it behaves.

ALso velocity alone is not a fully accurate measure of pressure, either. It's an indicator obviously, but its not an exact measure of what is going on in your gun.

For example I once tested the same .357 ammo through 3 different 6" barrel guns and since it was the same ammo, the pressure should have all been the same, right? However, there was a 100fps difference between the velocity of the "slowest" gun and the "fastest".

Quote:
What is the "true" near max as 1 grain discrepancy seems like a lot.....like 7% which seems excessive
The "true' max for YOUR gun and YOUR ammo can only be found by firing them and seeing where you get "pressure signs". Now people will tell you that "pressure signs" are notoriously unreliable indicators of pressure, and this is both true and untrue. They will NOT tell you that that pressure is "38,500psi or any other number, in that, they are unreliable. But what they do tell you is that something is going on, and for that they are the ultimate in reliability.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 12, 2020, 09:15 PM   #3
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,938
H-110 is the Hodgdon labeled Winchester 296. I have lots of experience with W296 pushing 158's - including XTP's. I too use CCI 550 (magnum) primers with the combo.

W296/H-110 is a rather peculiar propellant. It doesn't burn well at all at modest pressures. But when you boost up the charge weights, it gets really consistent with high velocities - especially with longer barrels.

The Hornady manual shows 15.6gn as the max charge for H-110. W296/H-110 is a strange propellant. It's really slow, doesn't like to ignite, and is actually rather low energy. So it doesn't surprise me that the load data is all over the place. Sierra's published max is 17.4gn. My only recommendation is since you are using XTP's, use Hornady's load data - start low and work up. Ignore the rest.

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assumes any liability for any damage or injury resulting from the use of this information.

Furthermore, the following information is my experience only and is not intended to be load advice of any kind. Always do your own load work ups and never rely on other people's load data - including mine.

It has been my experience and is my opinion that these maximum charge weights are just touching the levels where W296 starts to run consistent. My "set" charge weight well exceeds these published maximums and also exceeds Hodgdon's 16.7 max. My set charge weight round is very impressive without showing any signs of high pressure. It is also good to note that during my load work up I went well beyond my "set" loading and still saw no signs of pressure. I chose to halt the work up only because I was more than satisfied with the performance, not because of pressure concerns. I have loaded and shot hundreds of these. This is just my experience. I also feel compelled to mention here that I'm not in the habit of building "hot rod" ammo. I have no desire to tear up my guns these days. Almost all of my set load recipes are well below published max - save for the subject at hand and a few 38 Special +P's.


However, after extensive chronographing and range shooting, I have determined that W296/158 is not really a practical combination for my 3" and 4" bbl 357's. I get just as much velocity (sometimes more) with a lot less boom and recoil using the slightly faster Alliant 2400. 2400 behaves much better with the shorter barrels. I reserve my W296 loadings for my 8-3/8" bbl 357 (rarely) and especially my 16.5" Henry carbine - where they really shine. I suspect W296/158 will behave more "balanced" in your 6" gun. But 4" is just not enough barrel. Two inches in that range is a big difference.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 09:08 AM   #4
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 4,131
Hornady manufacturers quality bullets and wants one to experience accuracy. Hodgdon distributes powder and wants folks to be impressed by their powder's velocity.

Nosler also produces quality bullets and shows a max of 15.9 for H110 and 14.8 for W296.


Just sayin'........
buck460XVR is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 09:37 AM   #5
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,451
Don't get hung up on just velocity. I've probably shot at least fifty pounds of WW296/H110 over the years in various .357mag/max revolvers and rifles. Read the various manuals and see what is suggested and start at the bottom and work up. Your end goal should be accuracy, not the absolute most velocity. As others have stated, it's a good powder in some barrel lengths but not always the best choice. I use a lot of 2400 myself. My deer hunting load in my revolvers is WW296 and I've shot a lot of deer using Hornday 158g XTP's and this powder. I can tell you for a FACT that a difference of even 100fps in any load isn't a deterrent or an enhancement in lethality hunting with a handgun. It's all about bullet placement, so concentrate on that ahead of how fast you can get the bullet to go.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 03:53 PM   #6
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
Nosler also produces quality bullets and shows a max of 15.9 for H110 and 14.8 for W296.
Just means they got different lots when the bought the samples. The advantage of the powder company data is it is run with special lots of data powder that are in the middle of the burn rate and other specifications they order the powder by, while the bullet companies buy it off the shelf and have no idea exactly how representative their sample is of a lot. Additionally, there are other variables like, did the same ballistic technician test both maximum loads and was the exact temperature the same that day or was the pressure and velocity test barrel changed out between them. Pressure and velocity testing is never truly exact.

I've got a Dan Wesson like Statsshooter's. My 6" barrel's forcing cone had all the toolmarks eroded out of it long ago from shooting this same powder. The first can I had (still have the can somewhere) was Winchester 296 and at the time Winchester had no load range at all. They gave one load for each bullet, and for the 158-grain JHP it was 16.6 grains. The lack of a range was due to the ignition issues with low charges of this powder and they just flat said, "use this and no other quantity". This powder is not at all peaky and stays below the SAAMI MAX without any problem at that load level. I don't know why or how Hodgdon decided they could give this powder a 10% load range, as they do now. We had a fellow on another board report a squib this week loading a 44 Mag with a 180-grain bullet with 22 grains instead of the 29-grain minimum. Bullet stuck in bore and a pile of unburned powder everywhere, so I know it is still true you can't load this stuff down a lot.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 04:49 PM   #7
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,451
Quote:
We had a fellow on another board report a squib this week loading a 44 Mag with a 180-grain bullet with 22 grains instead of the 29-grain minimum. Bullet stuck in bore and a pile of unburned powder everywhere, so I know it is still true you can't load this stuff down a lot.
I followed that thread and it turns out the fellow didn't even use H110 or WW296. IIRC, he used N110. I agree with what you're saying though about the powder in general.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 07:28 PM   #8
Stats Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 1,621
Thanks for all the comments. I knew H110 is not a downloadable powder, and that it operates best nearer to max. Nicks point on powder company info is well taken. I have seen other stuff on the net who mentioned 17 grains with the 158gr xtp being "the load". But i imagine the 16.6 is pretty consistent and safe based on all this.

It is interesting though that with the 44 mag, the speer gold dot 240 gr w/H110 is the same on the hodgdon website as it is in the speer manual.
Stats Shooter is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 08:11 PM   #9
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,938
Quote:
But I imagine the 16.6 is pretty consistent and safe based on all this.
Here's my chronograph results at 16.6 grains (10 round samples):

3" bbl = 1153 f/s
4" bbl = 1242 f/s
8-3/8" bbl - 1278 f/s

In my work up, it seemed this is the charge weight where W296 was starting to come into its own. Standard Deviations were in the high 20's to mid 30's. I got lower SD's (in the 'teens) with higher charge weights.

It should also be noted that with my 4" bbl gun I have gotten better performance using Alliant 2400. I have arrived at a place where I basically consider W296 to be a carbine rifle propellant (where velocities are quite impressive).
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old February 13, 2020, 08:41 PM   #10
Stats Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 1,621
Quote:
I have arrived at a place where I basically consider W296 to be a carbine rifle propellant (where velocities are quite impressive).
Actually, i think it initially was a carbine rifle propellant....the .30 carbine
Stats Shooter is offline  
Old February 14, 2020, 08:48 AM   #11
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 4,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
Just means they got different lots when the bought the samples.
....or that there were different atmospheric and ambient temperature differences during the testing. Pretty common knowledge. My point wasn't about the differences between H110 and W296(which we all know id the same powder) but that the max powder charges were so much lower than Hodgdon's.

Truth be told, even with all the hype about H110/W296 being so dangerous, odds are, one could not get enough of either under a 158gr bullet, in a .357 case, to significantly damage a modern revolver designed for .357. Constant use would be hard on the gun, and your wrist, but you ain;t gonna blow the gun up. From my experience, some of the published max loads are already at or very close to, maximum case capacity without compressing. One reason H10/W296 is so safe to work with, impossible to get a double charge with it.

The wide discrepancy of published data for H110/W296 is probably one of the mosy widely discussed topics on internet gun forums, simply because of the wide differences. I've seen some published max loads that were less than min start loads in other books. Comes down to, they are all safe in a modern firearm if used with similar components.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old February 14, 2020, 12:58 PM   #12
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,859
Back in the 70s and 80s it was known that there were (at least) 3 DIFFERENT burn rates identified in H110 canister powder. I understand H110 is much more consistent these days, but EVERY powder has an allowable variation in burn rate from lot to lot.

I only see a problem if you consider someone else's data to be absolutes. I don't, simply because there are too many different factors at work between what they tested and what I have.

Guidelines, not absolutes...
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 14, 2020, 02:10 PM   #13
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 11,861
H110 does not require magnum primers. Won't matter if you do though.
You'll note that Hodgdon's site says use magnum primers for magnum named cartridges but not for other non-mangum cartridges using the same powders. The .30 Carbine being one of those. Magnum primers have nothing to do with the cartridge name. They're about the powder used.
You'll also note that Hodgdon's site tested .357 mag with a 10" barrel. That affects velocities. Accuracy is far more important than velocity. The Hodgdon site Max load is over SAAMI Max pressure too.
"...the Hornady manual has..." That'd be perfectly normal. All manuals will be slightly different as they reflect averages of the loads tested using the exact components, firearm(if there was one) and environmental conditions on the day of the test.
That does not mean that any of 'em are unsafe. It just means they're different.
"...labradar as a proxy for excessive pressure...." Velocity has nothing to do with measuring or estimating pressure. Your Labradar isn't telling you anything.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old February 14, 2020, 02:21 PM   #14
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSecondBest
I followed that thread and it turns out the fellow didn't even use H110 or WW296. IIRC, he used N110.
No. He used 296. He had transposed an N110 recipe as being for H110 and therefore also for 296, and in that way arrived at the wrong charge weight. But the squib was with 296 and not N110, still demonstrating what can happen if one makes the mistake of loading H110/296 powder down too far.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old February 14, 2020, 07:53 PM   #15
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,938
Quote:
Actually, i think it (W296) initially was a carbine rifle propellant....the .30 carbine
I don't know the history of Winchester 296, but it wouldn't surprise me.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old February 15, 2020, 11:06 AM   #16
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 4,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
H110 does not require magnum primers. Won't matter if you do though.
I've yet to ever see a published .357 recipe using H110/W296, that does not specify the use of Magnum Primers tho. That tells me something.

IME, H110/W296 likes threes things to be consistent in .357. A stout crimp, a full full case and a magnum primer. What makes H110/W296 such a good magnum primer, also make it hard to ignite. This is why the three above things tend to be important. Now, use max charges, and a heavy crimp and you may not need a magnum primer in .357. But start at minimum and use a light crimp with a plated bullet and your odds of producing a squib or sticking a bullet, have just escalated. Why not use a magnum primer and be safe, especially when the magnum primer, making ignition more consistent, will probably give you better groups?

I've found that in larger cases like my .44s and my .460, with much more powder volume, that magnum primers do not make the difference they do in .357. Yet, in .44 they tend to give me more consistent velocities. I still use them in my .460 loads since I hunt in below zero temps sometimes and H110/W296 tends to be temperature sensitive.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I've yet to ever see a published .357 recipe using H110/W296 that does not include the use of Magnum Primers. For the OP, I suggest he stick with the load that gives him the best accuracy, while still staying within the parameters of published recipes. A few more FPS is not a even trade off for a few less MOAs.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old February 15, 2020, 11:46 AM   #17
Stats Shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 1,621
Quote:
IME, H110/W296 likes threes things to be consistent in .357. A stout crimp, a full full case and a magnum primer. What makes H110/W296 such a good magnum primer, also make it hard to ignite. This is why the three above things tend to be important.
First, I always use a stout crimp on pistol cartridges. More stout on .44 magnum and .357 than say .45 ACP or 9mm, but I definitely crimp the semi-autos too to avoid setback when feeding. I also put a firm crimp on .45-70 government using H335 and magnum primers, or any other recoiling tube fed rifle. ( I also crimp semi-auto rifles like .556 and .308 as well due to setback concerns).

As for the primers, I see no reason NOT to use magnum primers when the load calls for it. They are basically the same price as standard primers, so there is no cost advantage, they do produce a bit more initial pressure, but consistent ignition of harder to ignite powders is certainly worth it.

Quote:
H110 does not require magnum primers. Won't matter if you do though.
You'll note that Hodgdon's site says use magnum primers for magnum named cartridges but not for other non-mangum cartridges using the same powders. The .30 Carbine being one of those. Magnum primers have nothing to do with the cartridge name. They're about the powder used.
You'll also note that Hodgdon's site tested .357 mag with a 10" barrel. That affects velocities. Accuracy is far more important than velocity. The Hodgdon site Max load is over SAAMI Max pressure too.
This post by T O'heir is garbage. SAAMI for the .357 mag is 45,000 CUP, 35,000 psi. Hodgdon's max load is said to be 40,700 CUP. Obviously 4,300 CUP below SAAMI max average pressure. Also, I started the post BECAUSE they use a 10" barrel on the hodgdon website and an 8+" barrel in the Hornady book. Additionally:
Quote:
..labradar as a proxy for excessive pressure...." Velocity has nothing to do with measuring or estimating pressure. Your Labradar isn't telling you anything.
Yesterday 11:58 AM
More garbage. Velocity is a proxy for pressure. Holding all else equal, you cannot get something for nothing. Some firearms may tolerate higher pressures better than others, i.e. in 10mm, with a fully supported chamber, you can push them harder than those without. But you ARE operating at higher pressures when you do that. If you are able to achieve the same velocity with less powder than published with the same barrel length, and components, you probably have a hotter lot of powder OR a tighter throat/chamber or something causing changes to the pressure curve when compared to other firearms.

As I said above, hodgdons max load is 40,700 CUP and 4,300 CUP below SAAMI max. So, folks with stout built .357 mags can exceed Hodgdons max powder charge with H110 getting higher velocities safely (again depending upon the firearm) without issue.

The old adage of "start at the bottom and work your way up to max" is because there are so many variables such as powder lot, firearm chamber/barrel, primer brand, brass dimensions, seating depth etc. that the same combination may behave differently in individual firearms reaching SAAMI max sooner or later (in the powder ladder) than that of the experience of others. This would be revealed before signs of high pressure in the brass or primer pocket expansion by velocities above what is published or seen with experience by the hand loader letting them know they are approaching max with less powder.
Stats Shooter is offline  
Old February 15, 2020, 11:48 AM   #18
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
The Hodgdon site Max load is over SAAMI Max pressure too.
No. The Hodgdon load is 40,700 CUP. The SAAMI MAP is 45,000 CUP, or 35,000 psi (see pages 11 and 19 of the SAAMI standard). Copper crushers register higher pressure numbers than the conformal transducers do in 357 Magnum when shooting the same load. I got this information in a phone conversation with Ken Green about fifteen years ago when he was still SAAMI's Technical Director. To set the standard for the conformal transducer, the member labs were asked to use the same lot of reference ammunition to run pressures in the original copper crusher and in the (then) newer conformal pressure transducer, and the transducer gave 22.2% lower magnitude readings than the copper crusher. In most rifle cartridges it is the other way around, and the conformal transducer reads higher than the copper crusher. But at lower pressure, they can read the same (45-70, for example) or the transducer can read lower (44 Rem. Mag is another example). That difference is an instrumentation artifact. It gives you some sense of how hard it is to get an accurate absolute measurement of cartridge peak pressures, so the SAAMI standard relies on relative measurements (relative to a common reference load) to enable an ammunition manufacturer to stay withing the pressure limits others load the same cartridge to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
Velocity has nothing to do with measuring or estimating pressure.
It is correct to say you cannot use velocity alone to estimate peak pressures when powders are different. However, it is going too far to say it has nothing to do with it. Indeed, while you cannot measure peak pressure directly by velocity, you can get a darn close measurement of average pressure from the kinetic energy of the bullet from the bullet weight and its measured velocity. Kinetic energy equals the work done to accelerate the bullet and even has the same units of ft-lbs. So, divide the KE by the number of feet the bullet traveled in the barrel (starting from where its base is in the cartridge going forward to the muzzle) and you have the average force in pounds that were applied to its base. Divide that average force in pounds by the cross-sectional area of the bore and you will have the average pressure that was applied to the base of the bullet while it was in the bore.

There are a couple of refining steps needed to subtract the effects of muzzle blast and bore friction on the results, but they come surprisingly close to canceling out (typically within 2%).

So, what can you do with average velocity? Calculate the average pressure, as described above, for an example of commercial load data like Hodgdon's. Look at the ratio of the peak pressure measured to that calculated average pressure and save that number.

Next, use an interior ballistics program like QuickLOAD or Gordon's Reloading Tool (if you are using one of its available powders) and the published data's barrel length to produce a peak pressure and kinetic energy. Calculate the average pressure from the KE, as described above, and note the ratio of that average pressure to the peak pressure calculated. Save that number.

Next, change the program's barrel length to match yours (don't forget to add cylinder length to barrel length for a revolver). The peak pressure will stay the same, but the average pressure you calculate from the kinetic energy will change. Look at the ratio of the calculated average pressure to the programs calculated peak pressure to see how much it changed using your barrel length.

Finally, take the average pressure you calculated for your chronograph results and adjust it in proportion to the effect changing barrel lengths had in the ballistics program and then multiply it by that same average pressure you calculated from your chronograph results to get your estimated peak pressure value. I won't be far off. It's just a lot of steps to go through and to avoid errors it is best to make an Excel worksheet that keeps all the steps in order.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10869 seconds with 10 queries