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Thread: slower burning powders for pistols rounds in rifle

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    Default slower burning powders for pistols rounds in rifle

    From what I understand rifles are loaded with slower burning powder because of their long barrel, and the pistols are loaded with fast burning powders to increase the speed out of a short barrel (keeping it simple for my simple mind)

    So my thought is, if you had a H&R trapper in 45 colt, for example, and you wanted a max load for hunting pigs or bears or what ever. would you get more velocity if you used a rifle powder that is made for pushing bullets out of a longer barrel instead of a pistol powder made for pushing a bullet out of a short barrel?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    There's more to this than long barrels and slower powder. Usually the powder that gives the best velocity for a given cartridge and bullet will give the best velocity no matter the barrel length. Your best velocities for that round and gun is probably going to be W296, Lil Gun or possibly H4227. Going to a slower burning powder will not produce the pressure needed to get max velocity from the 45 Colt.

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    Ok, I don't have that rifle, or any gun in that cartridge, I was just using it for an example.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    What you say is correct, sort of, but oversimplified and incomplete. A slower burn rate will certainly be better in a longer gun than a faster rate but you canít take a 45 Colt (your example but could be anything) and fill it with a powder thatís not suited to the case volume and pressure range of a 45 Colt.

    To load a 45 Colt you need a powder suited to the 45 Colt and those powders are from the fastest end of the chart like Unique, Bullseye, etc, to those about middle of the chart H110/W296, LilGun, H4227. Right about the 4227 you are getting too slow for the 45 Colt. Those middle range powders are rifle powders, shotgun powders and pistol powders, itís cross over land. That same H110 and LilGun thatís great in a 45 Colt is also used in 22 Hornet, 410 shotguns and so on. They are the fast end of rifle powders best in smaller case rifle calibers but the slow end of pistol powders best used in large case pistol calibers. Note that the size of these things (45 Colt, 22 Hornet) are similar?

    So yes a slower powder will work better in a longer barrel but you canít just go to the other side of the chart because your barrel is long. You canít use say Retumbo or H50BMG efficiently in a 45 Colt no matter how long the barrel you have is, itís too slow and bulky to work. There is a speed range window that you need to stay within and itís largely, not totally but largely, based on case and bore volume.

    Hope that helps.
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    that was very informative, thank you. Its just one of those things that has been in the back of my mind. gotta learn it all when I'm young
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Andy is right...you just can't get there with with slower powders in small capacity cases. It seems LilGun is the answer to a lot of pistol rounds in a rifle....good velocity and lower pressure.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Hey, slow down and be a teenager for a while. You will find out you never stop learning. Hell, when I was your age computers were as big as a whole room. Now a cell phone can do more than it could. At the half century mark (more or less) I still learn stuff today. Just now learning all about eye surgeries. And I will tell you, sometimes the learning curve is painfull... sometimes, it sure is fun. Like learning to kiss with that first sweetheart... like field dressing your first big game... like the first time on your wedding night...........


    My advice, life may be short- But enjoy the ride with out stepping to hard on the accellerator (unless you are a race car driver )

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    that was very informative, thank you. Its just one of those things that has been in the back of my mind. gotta learn it all when I'm young

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post
    Hey, slow down and be a teenager for a while. You will find out you never stop learning. Hell, when I was your age computers were as big as a whole room. Now a cell phone can do more than it could. At the half century mark (more or less) I still learn stuff today. Just now learning all about eye surgeries. And I will tell you, sometimes the learning curve is painfull... sometimes, it sure is fun. Like learning to kiss with that first sweetheart... like field dressing your first big game... like the first time on your wedding night...........


    My advice, life may be short- But enjoy the ride with out stepping to hard on the accellerator (unless you are a race car driver )

    Chris
    Haha, yes, I got the field dressing thing down....no girls though. I reckon they don't like it when a guy is rather working or in the woods all day and does't like being in public....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Hmmm....There is pistol powder for pistol (handgun) cartridges. Then there is rifle powder for rifle cartridges. When using a pistol cartridge such as the 45 Colt, use pistol powder. Within that realm of pistol powders there is fast (Bullseye, W231) and slow H110, H4227). When a pistol cartridge is used in a rifle it is still a pistol cartridge. An odd example is the 30 US Carbine. It was designed for a rifle, but is really a pistol cartridge by design, so it uses pistol Powder (H110). What I have found for the 45 Colt for the 18 to 20 inch barreled rifles is the slowest of the pistol powders (H110, W296, H4227, N110, R123) these will give the highest velocity.

    It has to do with a thing called expansion ratio. Expansion ratio is the volume of the barrel compared to the volume of the barrel plus the chamber volume. Pistol style cartridges have high expansion ratios. Compare a 264 Winchester mag to a 45 Colt. 264 has a very low expansion ratio because barrel volume is low compared to Chamber volume. The 264 has low expansion ratio and needs the slowest burning powder. The 45 Colt expansion ratio is high because the barrel volume is high compared to the chamber volume. And uses the fastest rifle powder ( such as for 22 Hornet), which is fast on the rifle powder burn scale but slow on the pistol powder scale.

    If powders were on a scale from 1 to 100, 1 the very fastest (R-1)and 100 the very slowest (H870), H110 would be about #15.

    There is scale but it's non linear and really only includes about 80 powders but compared to slow rifle powders, H110, H4227 are very fast and would destroy a rifle if you used that in place of normal rifle powder such as RL-22.

    I hope this is confusing enough.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Let me start by saying you are best served by reading a few reloading books so you understand the complex relationships between powder burn rates and cartridge design and what the SAAMI accepted specs are for different cartridges.
    A straight walled pistol cartridge like the 45 Colt with a 250 grain bullet will have a different pressure and use a different powder than bottle neck cartridge like the 357 Sig. Even though they are both pistol cartridges. The same goes for a 458 Winchester Magnum rifle cartridge when compared to a cartridge like the 17 Remington. Just because they are both rifle cartridges the relationship to the case opening vs case diameter goes a long way in dictating the use of a given powder based on the speed of the burn rate. Some powders can be very close to the same burn rate but can vary in pressure if they burn cooler because of their chemical makeup. In a nutshell the closer the case opening size is to the overall case diameter the faster the powder burn rate you can use. If the bullet choice is bigger, use a slower burning powder.
    Take the typical 30 cal bullet. In a fairly straight walled case like the 30-30 you can use a fast powder like say IMR-3031. Step up to a case like the Weatherby 378 and neck it down to 30 caliber (often referred to as overbore) you will have a very fat case with almost 3X's the 30-30 case capacity and if you want to shoot a bullet of the same weight you will need to use a much, much slower powder even though the Weatherby cartridge operates at a much higher SAAMI pressure. There are many things to consider when choosing a powder. Pressure and efficency play a big role.

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    I understand that about as much as I understand my mom.....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    I understand that about as much as I understand my mom.....
    Then you're probably not ready to experiment with reloading equipment.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    PRDTR,

    You make good points. I think it's prudent to consider case capacity vs bore diameter when loading. A straight case, regardless of size, has a need for a much different burn rate than any bottle neck. However, the 357 Sig, a necked case, has a case volume so small in relation to the bore we can load it with the same powders as the other 9mm's. 9x19, 9x21, 9x21.5, 9x23, 9x25 all can use the same range of powder, with adjustments to optimize the performance. Also consider that the bullet weight comes into to consideration when comparing pistol and rifle cases. The 357 Sig, bottle necked case, is the same bullet diameter as the 35 Whelen (+/- a couple .000") but would certainly use different burn rate powders considering the case volume (expansion ratio) and the bullet weight. Heavier bullets will require slightly slower powder as well.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Murphy, and your mom, are usually right.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Then you're probably not ready to experiment with reloading equipment.
    Or get married...Moms are a lot easier to understand than women and then wives are another order of magnatude more difficult than women. Just a little insight....female hormones are very much like gun powder....too much in a small space can be very dangerous!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    So true!!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    What Murphy said is spot on. It's fine to think outside the box, but to put these ideas to effect could get you seriously killed. You need to learn a bunch more physics before you start using loads not in the book. Stick with starting loads from a recent published reloading manual. You're question and statements shows you are at the beginning stages of reloading. At this point doing what you are thinking is very dangerous for reasons you haven't even begun to think about. A given smokless powder burns at different rates ( and generates different pressure ) depending on a bunch of variables from bullet weight, bore size, case size, case shape, primer used, distance to rifling, bullet jacket material, bullet diameter, temperature and other things. Until you learn how these things relate to each other, you need to stick to book loads and low to medium loads at that. DO NOT START with max loads. And until you have some experience judging pressure, don't try to push the upper limits. As a general rule the loads listed in loading manuals are at least close to as good as you are going to get for max velocity and are the result of a lot of smart folks doing a lot of experimenting. Keep up the thinking and questions, just don't try this stuff as bad thing can happen with very small changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    PRDTR,

    You make good points. I think it's prudent to consider case capacity vs bore diameter when loading. A straight case, regardless of size, has a need for a much different burn rate than any bottle neck. However, the 357 Sig, a necked case, has a case volume so small in relation to the bore we can load it with the same powders as the other 9mm's. 9x19, 9x21, 9x21.5, 9x23, 9x25 all can use the same range of powder, with adjustments to optimize the performance. Also consider that the bullet weight comes into to consideration when comparing pistol and rifle cases. The 357 Sig, bottle necked case, is the same bullet diameter as the 35 Whelen (+/- a couple .000") but would certainly use different burn rate powders considering the case volume (expansion ratio) and the bullet weight. Heavier bullets will require slightly slower powder as well.
    Yeah, There is a lot to know and it is best to take baby steps if you don't have someone to show you the ropes. There was no internet when I learned how to reload and learned most of what I knew from reading everything I could get my hands on and talking with others. Mostly I was trying to give him a quick over view using the Sig which uses .3555 - .356 bullets vs the .358, 35 cal bullets as an example. I guess 357 Sig sounds sexier than 9mm Magnum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRDATR View Post
    Yeah, There is a lot to know and it is best to take baby steps if you don't have someone to show you the ropes. There was no internet when I learned how to reload and learned most of what I knew from reading everything I could get my hands on and talking with others. Mostly I was trying to give him a quick over view using the Sig which uses .3555 - .356 bullets vs the .358, 35 cal bullets as an example. I guess 357 Sig sounds sexier than 9mm Magnum.
    Yup, most of us learned things the hard way back before the information age. Murphy and I have discussed guns we killed in the learning presses before, both lucky to have all are parts! Iíd bet you killed some along the way too, lack of information meant we were repeated mistakes of others we didnĎt know about. There is no reason to learn like that now, baby steps, ask questions, learn from what others did wrong . . . the info is out there now, use it.
    Andy
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    Well, I haven't killed one yet, but a did seriously wound three or four.

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