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Old February 19, 2019, 09:59 PM   #1
mjs66
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.44 Magnum high pressure

I’m looking for advice on what appears to be a high pressure issue on .44 Magnum reloads. I’m not new to reloading, but it has been a long time since getting back into it.

I loaded up a few rounds at the starting loads in the manual using the specified primer and 22.4 grains of H110. Charges confirmed using two different scales.

After firing, the primers look very flattened. I thought I might have over crimped so I loaded up a few more with a little less less crimp, but with the same results. I recall many years back that I used this same starting load and they wouldn’t cycle my Desert Eagle. These new loads will. I also tried a starting load using Blue Dot, also resulting in the same flattened primers.

Any suggestions?
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:12 PM   #2
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What bullet, weight, and brass?

That will help.

Assuming a 240 Jacketed: your load should be fine. My Speer manual shows a start load of 22g with a magnum primer which is recommended with that particular powder.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:24 PM   #3
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Speer 240 gr jacketed hollow point. Remington brass, once fired. CCI 350 primers. I’ll post pics of the fired brass tomorrow.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:33 PM   #4
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Here's one other thing: My two S&W Revolvers, a 29 Classic and a 629 Classic, give a slight flattening look to the primers even with VERY light loads. The bushing that guides the firing pin is slightly rounded on the face and so it imprints that onto the primers whatever the load.

Not saying that's it, but it could be. I don't have a DE. (Yet)
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:40 PM   #5
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Mine is a 629 classic, it shows zero sign of primer flattening with factory ammo. It’s hard to find the brass after fired from the DE.

The only other factor I can think of is the age of the powder(s), both dating back to when I stopped reloading some 15 years ago. They both however have been kept cool, dry and sealed and show no signs of degradation as far as I can tell.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:42 PM   #6
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...also these starting loads startled the other patrons of the indoor range with the fireball and blast, to where they stopped and had to take a look at was going on.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
The only other factor I can think of is the age of the powder(s), both dating back to when I stopped reloading some 15 years ago. They both however have been kept cool, dry and sealed and show no signs of degradation as far as I can tell.
That would be an easy thing to check.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:46 PM   #8
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Yeah but the blue dot is just as old.
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Old February 19, 2019, 10:57 PM   #9
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Forgot to mention that I tried a starting load of 12.4 gr. of AA No5 which did not significantly flatten, but seemed VERY weak.
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Old February 19, 2019, 11:46 PM   #10
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What brand of primers?


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Old February 20, 2019, 12:09 AM   #11
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CCI 350
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Old February 20, 2019, 12:52 AM   #12
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As this is a Speer bullet,did the data come from a Speer manual?I ask because not all 240 gr bullets are the same.Bullet base to crimp groove can vary,changing case volume. Cast vs jacketed?Etc.

Rim thickness could be an issue. I don't want to use the "H" word because I'm tired of the discussion of the "H" word.
The front face of the rimanvils up on the cylinder for the primer to get set off.
Especially with a good crimp,the case obturates and grabs the cylinder walls.

The building pressure can back the primer back to the breech face.Thens more pressure builds,the case head gets blown back to the breech face,re-seating the primer.The primer can look quite flattened.

I'm NOT saying ignore what may be a sign of high pressure.I'm saying there is another explaination for flat primers.


H-110 is my full powr 44 Magnum powder of choice.Its not flexible. Start load to max load is only a few grains.You don't load below start.

If you are not substituting components,if your bore is not leaded up,if you aren't trying to run .431 bullets through a 429 bore,I'd check one more thing


How easy does the brass fall out of the wheel?If you need much pressure on the ejector,I'd stay concerned.If a nudge makes the brass fall,I'd rest easier.


If you want,with a powder like 2400 you can throttle back a touch.I never owned a 29,but I heard they last longer if you don't feed them steady diet full power44 magnum loads.


And that's what H-110 does best.
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Old February 20, 2019, 01:04 AM   #13
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Different lot#s of H110 have had different burn rates over the years, to the point where starting data with one lot can be max level with another.

I run 2400 in my .44 Mag revolvers for full house loads, and AA#9 in my Desert Eagle.

629 Classic? is it one of the new guns with a frame mounted firing pin? Don't know if that will make a difference in primer appearance, or not, sorry.

My 29 is a 29-2, and I also have a Desert Eagle , Super Blackhawk and T/C Contender. Flattened primers is my "good place to stop" signal, no matter what the load level is, compared to the books. Every gun is different.

Sticky extraction is my "back off a bit" signal, no matter what the primer looks like.
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Old February 20, 2019, 01:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Sticky extraction is my "back off a bit" signal, no matter what the primer looks like.
Bingo.

Flattened primers will vary between guns and I have never found it to be really indicative of high pressure.
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rural12
Flattened primers will vary between guns and I have never found it to be really indicative of high pressure.
This/\/\/\

When you first ignite the primer it backs out of the case, and the pressure of burning propellant then expands the case holding it to the walls of the chamber...As the pressure starts to fall, the case releases from the chamber wall, moves rearward thus reseating the primer...

Flattened primers are not the best way to determine over-pressure loads...

Sticky extraction is far better (IMNSHO) as an indicator that you should back off the charge...

At least that has been my understanding and experience for decades...
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:42 AM   #16
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Agree with the top 3 responses. Flattened primers is not necessarily an indication of over pressure in your loads. Simply sometimes chambers are longer than other in different firearms allowing for more room for rounds to recoil back into breech.
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Old February 20, 2019, 07:45 AM   #17
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I experienced hard extraction in a Marlin 44 Mag with an H110 load below published maximum. Ended up using 22.3gr. (240gr. bullet). Don't know if that was a faster than normal batch of H110 or if the chamber was a bit tight.

Speer's latest manual lists 44 Mag. 240gr. H110 loads from 22.0gr. (start) to 24.0gr. (max).

I agree with others who have basically said reading primers is not an easy way to determine pressure. And that hard (or even sticky) extraction is a sure sign of excessive pressure (assuming the chamber is clean/smooth and other ammo extracts easily).
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Old February 20, 2019, 11:27 AM   #18
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Salmoneye's post is right on, especially the first paragraph which is good to know when troubleshooting handloads. I only add when I try upper loads, I'll measure case heads...
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Old February 20, 2019, 12:32 PM   #19
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What is your OAL?
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Old February 20, 2019, 01:00 PM   #20
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QL/H-110 says barely 22ksi (and 40% being dumped out the muzzle unburned)
Even increasing burn rate 10% produces only 27ksi

I agree with the primer-backing-out/case-moving-back-slamming-it-in-again theory of under pressured revolver.
Go for a faster powder for mid-range loads, or up the slow powdersto mid charge span
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Old February 20, 2019, 01:55 PM   #21
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pardon my ignorance, what is "ksi"??
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:22 PM   #22
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CCI 350 primers are magnum primers. That alone can cause a slight increase in pressure. H110 does not require magnum primers though. Mind you, 22.4 isn't the current Start load for a jacketed 240 either. 23.0 is. Close enough that it doesn't matter.
"...data come from a Speer manual?..." Irrelevant. Only the bullet weight matters, not who made the thing or what or how it was tested.
'KSI' is kilopound per square inch. Nothing to do with reloading as it equals 1,000 PSI. KSI isn't used for gases either.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:31 PM   #23
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ksi = thousands of psi
(it's a sad day w/o something new)

Quote:
KSI' is kilopound per square inch. Nothing to do with reloading as it equals 1,000 PSI
27ksi = 27*1,000psi = 27,000psi
(So easy, even a caveman can do it.)
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:58 PM   #24
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Measure your chamber throats. I have had several new Smith 44's in the last several years with chamber throats in the .424-.427 range.
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Old February 20, 2019, 06:54 PM   #25
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The reloading manual I'm using is Speer #10. It calls for magnum primers and the starting load is 22.4 for H110.

Extracting the shells is easy, they don't stick.

Whats the "H" word"?

Here is a picture of the fired brass. From left to right, AA no5, BlueDot, H110.
The picture doesn't do it justice. For some reason they look much flatter with the naked eye.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg DSC_0002.jpeg (19.2 KB, 65 views)
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