Range Report - First reloads in 7 years
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Range Report - First reloads in 7 years

This is a discussion on Range Report - First reloads in 7 years within the Handgun Ammunition and Reloading forums, part of the Handguns category; I finally got a chance to try some reloads I put together a few weeks ago using the powder I ...

  1. #1
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    Default Range Report - First reloads in 7 years

    I finally got a chance to try some reloads I put together a few weeks ago using the powder I talked about in the "Powder Life Expectancy/Expiration" thread I started a while back. Here are the results:

    .44 Magnum
    Load - 240g Speer JSP/22 grains H110/CCI Magnum primers
    Rounds Loaded/ Shot - 20/20
    Gun - Ruger Vaquero
    Results - All rounds functioned well. The accuracy would have been better but I was trying to determine where this gun shot so I was changing the POA. These were also the first rounds I have shot through this gun in a LONG time. I had a few high primers which made the cylinder not want to turn but caused no other issues. This was probably due to insufficient cleaning of the primer pockets. Issues like this, though, are why it's a good idea IMO to start reloading with revolver or non-semi-auto rifle cartridges and move to semi-auto once you get the basics sorted out.
    Load - 240g Speer JSP/18 grains 2400/CCI Large Pistol Primers
    Rounds Shot - 18/20
    Gun - Ruger Vaquero
    Results - Great grouping. It shoots well and isn't particularly hard-kicking. The gun seems to like it.
    I kept the last two rounds to verify that the powder charge is what it is supposed to be (just in case). I plan to experiment in this charge range.

    Load - 110g Speer JHP/16 grains 2400/Winchester Small Pistol primers
    Rounds Loaded/Shot - 6/20
    Gun - Smith and Wesson 686
    Results - First 5 shot well with low recoil and to point of aim, with very good grouping. Sixth round was a dud. Unloaded gun and found that the bullet was stuck just past the forcing cone. Stopped shooting immediately and returned home after stopping by Home Depot. I got the bullet out with a whittled-down 3/8" dowel and a dead blow hammer (light strikes). Don't see any damage to gun. No barrel bulging on the outside and no apparent damage in the bore. I suspect that there was contamination in this case (case lube perhaps) or that the primers did not set all of the powder off. I won't use these primers again until I know more. In any case I plan to disassemble the rest of these rounds. Perhaps that will yield an answer.

    The last (.357) was a little off-book - the load called for CCI primers (non-magnum) but I used Winchester. BAD Idea.

    For the last two I used my powder measure (RCBS Uniflow) but did it a little diifferently than some probably do. I set it just a little bit low and used a powder trickler to bring the charge up to where I wanted it, and weighed every charge. It worked fairly well and was easier and faster than scooping straight from the canister to the scale. I did have some powder bouncing out of the pan so I have emailed RCBS about a drop tube.

    Now I need some help - can a bad primer cause the bullet to get just beyond the forcing cone, or is that bad powder? I didn't have any issues with the .44 magnum loads I used with the same powder (same canister, everything). Could case lube have gotten into the case and cause this or is it specifically designed not to cause this kind of issues? The lube was RCBS from their case lube kit. Should I not use this on straight-wall pistol cases?

  2. #2
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    As an update - I finally pulled apart the remainder of the .357 rounds (after nearly 7 months) and checked them. In one the powder appeared to be clumped together, which reinforces my theory that the powder was contaminated by the case lube. I put together 25 more rounds with 17 grains of 2400 behind a 110 grain bullet, and this time used CCI primers. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try them out before long. I'm keeping the batches small until I get more confident.

    I did get my powder measure where it will throw an accurage charge of 2400 with each throw. I think a big part of that was that I finally got the tube that screws into the bottom of the meaure from RCBS - I emailed them for a price and they send me one for free. I had it in my hand within a week of contacting them.

  3. #3
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    The only times I have ever had a squib load (maybe 3 in the last 10 years) was when there was no powder in the case. If the powder was contaminated to the point of not burning at all you should have a bunch of unburned powder residue left behind. When I started lubing my 9mm's (one lubed case every 8 or so unlubed cases) I was worried about that too, but I've never had a squib in the couple of years I've been lubing them. I guess it's possible that the primer could go off and the powder not burn but I've just never seen it, not at least in my last 12,000 rounds. Bill

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throttleup View Post
    The only times I have ever had a squib load (maybe 3 in the last 10 years) was when there was no powder in the case. If the powder was contaminated to the point of not burning at all you should have a bunch of unburned powder residue left behind. When I started lubing my 9mm's (one lubed case every 8 or so unlubed cases) I was worried about that too, but I've never had a squib in the couple of years I've been lubing them. I guess it's possible that the primer could go off and the powder not burn but I've just never seen it, not at least in my last 12,000 rounds. Bill
    Actually that is what happened - there was a plug of unburned powder behind the bullet in the forcing cone. We'll see with the next batch, though I will definitely be taking my "stuck bullet removal tool" (a dead-blow hammer and a tight-fitting dowel) to the range this time!

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