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Fast Powders and AutoMags

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Rocketthon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocketthon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Fast Powders and AutoMags
    Posted: 12 Nov 2017 at 1:18pm
Originally posted by desertmoon desertmoon wrote:

Lot's of great info!!!  Thanks, Gang!!!

By the way, one of my thought experiments was the running of lead bullets at lower velocities to keep from "smearing" lead down the barrel.

It was just a thought....but it was intended as increasing the flexibility of the gun...but I don't know that you could run lead slow enough and still cycle the action fast enough to get the right blend of projectile performance AND reliability.

You can get hardened lead bullets or gas checked lead bullets that will not lead foul the barrel at surprisingly high velocities, I use 335 GR gas checked hardened lead bullets for my 460 S&W with 38 GR of 296 under them and no appreciable leading in the barrel.

Leads to ask the question, which is easier to clean out copper fouling or lead fouling?  Both get scrubbed, and both have special cleaners available.  BTW Sweets can be rough on a barrel if not used correctly.
When you are up to your neck in alligators it is hard to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote desertmoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2017 at 3:44am
Lot's of great info!!!  Thanks, Gang!!!

By the way, one of my thought experiments was the running of lead bullets at lower velocities to keep from "smearing" lead down the barrel.

It was just a thought....but it was intended as increasing the flexibility of the gun...but I don't know that you could run lead slow enough and still cycle the action fast enough to get the right blend of projectile performance AND reliability.
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Rocketthon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocketthon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2017 at 3:13am
Originally posted by BEEMER1 BEEMER1 wrote:

Blue dot is very nice powder to work with and I have used a lot of it in the Wildey's and various 10mm's.

It is not what I call a "fast burning" powder though.  It is far too slow for most pistol cartridges except for the magnums and heavy bullet loads in 10mm and such.

Here is Alliant's description:   



Blue Dot®

Smokeless magnum shotshell & handgun

  • Powder of choice for magnum loads
  • Consistent
  • Accurate


http://www.alliantpowder.com/products/shotshell.aspx

BTW Blue Dot originally was a heavy load shotgun powder that just also happens to work well with pistols.  Kind of like 296/110 was the original powder developed for the 30 Carbine M1.
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Rocketthon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocketthon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2017 at 6:52pm
One thing that had puzzled me was that my second set of loads was almost as soft as my first.  It wasn't until last night, going over the data with a fellow AutoMag aficionado that I realized that my loads were run through STARLINE cases as to where the DEVELOPERS AT HORNADY used reformed Speer .308 RIFLE cases which, of course have a much smaller volume and thusly developed higher pressures with less powder.

I would like to address this since I use 7.62 NATO blank brass cut down.  I have not seen that much of this as the web of the brass is quite thick.  If this was true 29 GR of 296 under a 180 GR XTP would be a problem.  Reduce to 28 GR and action cycling goes quite unreliable.  29 goes bang very well, the action cycles perfect (although picking up a round from the mag with seven loaded can be a problem), and the brass is easy to reuse.  Now if you were to load the standard 240 GR bullets I could see this becoming an issue since the bullet seats much deeper into the case than a 180.  This goes to the idea that each gun is a separate beast and has to be loaded for on a very personal basis.  My loads I use will likely not work well in your gun.  When the major bullet makers of the time were coming up with the loading info it would have been good of them to make mention that everything you do and all changes made from their testing components could change things drastically.  Call the Automag the "Snowflake" gun, none of them are exactly the same and all respond slightly different to anything you do with them.  This could be just as easy the personality of your gun as much as the loading info.
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Rocketthon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocketthon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2017 at 6:22pm
A difference between flake and ball powder.  Having used over 50 pounds of 296 and twenty pounds of Blue Dot I have not seen what you are saying as much as you imply.  When we first did loadings for Automags it was 200 grain with 630.  I went to exclusively 296/110 for all my magnum pistol loads and really have not used anything else.  I guess the gas ports on all my Eagles are not as particular as the Wildley.  All my loadings with 296 are over 42,000 so have been getting pretty good burning in the classic magnums and keeping over 50K in the Automags does not leave much in the barrel.  The admonition of heavy crimp for using 296 is really a requirement.  Now when you get over 60K with the 460 S&W i don't see any fouling left at all.

Since I mentioned heavy crimp.  Yes I do crimp all my 296 loads very well.  If using this powder you really need to do this.  With my rimmed stuff it can be a bit hard on the brass but I still get 10-20 loadings in standard 44 Mag and since my Automag is fed from 7.62 NATO blank stock it will likely not wear out.  How to crimp 44 Automag, well, have been using the RCBS taper crimp die forever and with a heavy crimp it still head spaces properly and with 29 GR under a 180 XTP functions well and fairly clean.  Without a heavy crimp you will get a lot of unburned stuff.  The reason for this is you need to get as much of the powder involved in the burn before the burn chamber starts expanding.  When the burn chamber expands the powder will become less likely to start grains that have not already started to burn.  This is not unlike the behavior of powders in higher altitudes (yes they burn different at 10,000 feet than at sea level).

Now about faster powders for Automags.  Yes you can and the reason I mentioned Long Shot was it is supposed to be much cleaner than Blue Dot and fits between Blue Dot and 296 on the speed charts.  As has been mentioned before faster powders can be problematic with something a picky as an Automag.  How do you get the total recoil moment high enough with keeping chamber pressure to standable levels for the gun and brass.  You could end up with a lot of primer pockets blown out so that the primers will now be too loose to use.  You have to have enough recoil moment to operate the action or you loose functional reliability.  Recoil moment is the amount of counter energy developed while the bullet is in the barrel plus the amount of back energy the escaping gasses cause into the equation.  The Automag is operated by this concept.  if you take recoil moment out by any means the equation is going to unbalance.  This will cause the action to not see enough backward force to properly cycle.  You walk a fine line with the Automag, not enough and it will not cycle, too much and damage can happen.  The Automag platform is one of the tightest of machines to load within these limits.  My Eagles are very forgiving in comparison, 357 to 50.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2017 at 3:49pm
In my experience, H110/296 send a lot of unburnt powder down the barrel and out the muzzle.  This causes problems for the Wildey as the gas ports are very tiny holes and plug easily with this.

Blue Dot, for me, has always been a very clean burning powder in relation to the other 'magnum powders'.  It does need to be loaded to fairly high pressures to burn clean though.  The Wildey's and the 10mm's fill the bill.  The 45 ACP and most of the 45 Colt loads are loaded at too low a pressure for Blue Dot to burn clean.

I agree with you that the newer powders that are out now are a lot cleaner burning than what I started out with.  The new Unique is even fairly clean burning.
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Rocketthon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rocketthon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2017 at 1:21pm
Consider Blue Dot a "faster" powder than the normally used and recommended 296/110.  I use a lot on 45's both colt and ACP but after a call to Hodgdon  I am thinking of replacing my much used Blue Dot with Long Shot.  Interesting that someone made the reference that Blue Dot is a cleaner burning powder than 296/110, not my experience as that is the reason I am looking at changing powders for my mid power loadings.  If you want to experiment with a faster powder for the Automag a good candidate should be Long Shot, which was the recommendation of Hodgdon engineering.  BTW after using many pounds of 231 for my lower power choice for 40 years I am also looking at replacing that for a cleaner burning Tightgroup.

Interesting that in the 70's Speer manual the recommended loading for the 357 Automag showed the best velocity in 140 grain bullet was Blue Dot.
When you are up to your neck in alligators it is hard to remember your original intention was to drain the swamp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote desertmoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2017 at 4:57am
Thank you for the info, guys!!!!  I appreciate it.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2017 at 1:07pm
Blue dot is very nice powder to work with and I have used a lot of it in the Wildey's and various 10mm's.

It is not what I call a "fast burning" powder though.  It is far too slow for most pistol cartridges except for the magnums and heavy bullet loads in 10mm and such.

Here is Alliant's description:   



Blue Dot®

Smokeless magnum shotshell & handgun

  • Powder of choice for magnum loads
  • Consistent
  • Accurate


http://www.alliantpowder.com/products/shotshell.aspx
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Luc V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luc V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2017 at 9:15am
Desertmoon, I understand what you want.
I did the same thing for my 44AutoMag and came up with very good results when using Ramshot True Blue powder. That powder has about the same burning rate as Blue dot.
 
Do a search on this forum for True Blue and you will find my test results with pressure, velocity, accuracy etc.
I still use this load and have shot over 1000 rounds with this powder in my pistol. Works well and very clean burning.
 
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