A too-hot load that Hornady says aint

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by VThillman, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    .357 Magnum 125gr JHP Sierra - 16.0gr N110 (Vihtavuori)

    Shot these first in the Rhino. Severely flattened primers, the firing pin dimple nearly obliterated, and ridged around it.

    The Rhino may be non-typical I figured, so shot a cylinder full in the Ruger Blackhawk. The primers are a little less flattened, but they are distorted. The firing pin in this gun doesn't strike the center of the primer. The primers are backed out above the cartridge surface - on the side away from the primer dimple.

    According to my Hornady manual, this is not a max load. No matter, I am going to pull the bullets from the remaining cartridges and dump the powder back into the bottle. I will reload the cases with an 18.5 grain charge, next time I have N110 in the powder thrower.
     
  2. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    VT,
    I have a real problem with some of the powders today. Many of them, and there are many, are not in the reloading books and some of them you have to call the manufacturer. I just got a book from Alliant and my Lyman's book 3rd edition says max load for a certain powder is 7.2 grns and the Alliant book I got says that you can use up to 8.1grns. That is a big difference!!! I don't know what the answer is and I don't think the powder manufacturers really do either. I would dump those casings and start with lower charge and work my way up until I felt I was getting the best results. You can generally tell by the recoil. Use a couple of factory loads and try to duplicate them in your reloading.
    Tommy
     

  3. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    I've never understood the wide range of differences in loading data.

    I find with some, the starting load listed is above what I determine to be the maximum load.

    With one powder in the 9mm I had to go above the max load listed in order to have enough power to cycle the action.

    I measure the case expansion and observe what I call "case blow-out". I use fired factory loaded ammo brass as a baseline for comparison. (Does my test load expand less, more or about the same as factory? Is the case blow-out less than factory, all the way around the case with heavy chamber wall impressions showing or mostly just in one spot like the factory loads do in most of my guns.)

    I only use once fired or new brass when working up loads. After I'm sure of a load I keep reloading a batch of cases and never look back.

    Primer condition is helpful but is said to be unreliable as a pressure indicator by many.

    The primer condition you describe does indicate an overload. Loose primer pockets could add to this condition if the case has many reloads or is defective.

    Hope I did not bore you with information you already have. Sorry for being so long winded.
     
  4. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    MB, I am not computing some of the quoted paragraph.

    "I measure the case expansion and observe what I call "case blow-out". I use fired factory loaded ammo brass as a baseline for comparison. (Does my test load expand less, more or about the same as factory? Is the case blow-out less than factory, all the way around the case with heavy chamber wall impressions showing or mostly just in one spot like the factory loads do in most of my guns.)"

    Is that 'blowout' measured just in front of the case rim? I have read about that measurement - and forgotten to apply it.

    I don't understand the 'chamber wall impressions' thing, don't know what specifically to look for.

    I have some factory loads in 180gr for my .357 (Federal) and 150gr (Starfire). I even have some Federal 180gr for the .44 Magnum. So, I can run some tests and make some measurements. Thanks to you and Tommy for the needed advice. I wasn't all that smart to start with, and it's going in the wrong direction. Knowledge is hard to get in so it will stay (haven't tried a hammer)

    :hammer:

    - but it leaks out real easy.
     
  5. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    VT, With the .357 and .44 mag the case will usually expand the most just in front of the head/web area. Find the area that is expanded (blown-out) the most and measure there. It is sometimes hard to see it. Slowly spin the case by hand while turning the mic down till you find the spot that is expanded the most.

    Chamber wall impressions on the case is sort of subjective and usually will not show at all when using nickle plated brass.
    It's even hard to see with non-plated brass. Most of the time you won't have much if any unless the load is especially hot.
    You have chamber wall impressions when you can see how the brass "flows" against the chamber wall from extreme pressure. Or look at it like the case was smashed against the chamber wall so hard that it made an imprint onto the case showing any imperfections, specks of powder or debris that was in the chamber. Kind of like a fingerprint.
    With non plated brass you sometimes can see a shiny area on the brass were it worked/smashed/flowed against the chamber wall. Well, I made that clear as muddy water. Sorry for that.
    It is so subjective and hard to describe or even see, maybe mentioning it just creates confusion. Sorry if that's what I did.


    How much the case expands and how it expands is probably the best and most important indicator when working up a new load.
    Different firearms will usually give different results as far as case expansion is concerned.
     
  6. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    VT,
    I understand you are having loading problems with your weapons. When I was shooting 9mm Glocks I had trouble with my reloading too. I was using once fired brass and then range brass. My problem was I was using CCI primers. I was using my Dillon Square D and reloading on a progrossive loader. I had trouble seating the primers. Some would even protrude outside of the casing, just a hair but you could feel it if you run your finger across the casing. I ended up calling CCI and talking to them. I explained how some primers would have the proper depth on the casings and others protruded. They said I was loading wrong. I told them I was not and went into further explanation. The manager got back with me a couple days later. He asked me if I was firing a stryker fired pistol and I said yes. And that some rounds would not go off correctly. I had some that I fired 3 times before the round would go off. I asked him why I had primers protruding. He said it wouldn't hurt anything and that's where the argument started. I stated to him, according to all loading manuals that the primer should seat .003-.005 below the casing and it should ignite. Protruding primers are dangerous! I asked him about the primers that seemed deep in the casing and his explanation was a stryker fired pistol would hit the primer if it were seated at .008 below the casing. I told him it would crush the primer. Finally he said they changed their primers and added another anvil to the primer for more even detonation. I stopped using CCI primers and went back to using Winchester large primers for large pistol and magnum pistols. When you seat your primers, you should feel a slight indentation of where the primer is seated, regardless of the primer used. Run your finger across them. I hand prime all my .45 with a Hornady hand primer and have not had any problems since and I check them all the time. A crushed primer, to me, would indicate that the stryker or firing pin is hitting too hard on the primer. Let us know what primers you are using and how you are seating them and between Magnum, myself, Buster and Jim, we should be able to figure it out.
    Tommy

    I forgot to add: when I am reloading my .45 I am using a Herters hand resizer. I gauge my casings after I resize. I just started to do that as I want to see how much my casings expand when I insert the bullet. With a case gauge, you will instantly pick up a bulge!!! Bulges on .45 are at the head or just below the head of .45. I would THINK that it would be the same with .357 & .44. Check your COAL real close when you reload (over all length) as brass tends to expand and lengthen when fired over a couple of times. I do NOT trust the loading data that is being published so I use the middle of the chart when I start my reloading and then work up to the same recoil (or close to) what factory loads are. Check out the COAL on a new cartridge and then check yours. You are probably using self formed lead rounds but you can still check out the length of the casing. I hope I haven't confused you. I think I helped Magnum on his 9mm but it's a guess as what works for one guy differs from another depending on powder, gun and bullet used.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015