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Thread: High-volume v. Low-Volume v. high capacity revolver rounds?

  1. #1
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    Default High-volume v. Low-Volume v. high capacity revolver rounds?

    In talking to someone who loaded some 500 S&W rounds with a higher burn rate powder in small volumes, he noted that sometimes he'd get a heckuva recoil out of the gun. From my recent reading up on reloading (I'm a newb), this makes sense because of the inconsistent ignition and possibility of the whole volume of powder igniting at once and causing a high pressure spike.

    I'd like to discover or develop some low-power loads for the 500 so I can get in lots of range practice prior to working my way up to being able to shoot hot loads with a high-degree of control and quicker second shots. In the 2007 Hodgdon Reloading 'Annual Manual', there's an article on Trail Boss powder (low density/high volume flake powder either for BP replacement in classic cartridges or for plinking loads in new but high-volume cases.) I thought, "Perfect! Light loads that solve the volume issue!" In this article, Charles Petty gives 2 loads for a 500 S&W using lead bullets:

    325-gr LFP, 18.0 gn Trail Boss, 1157 fps
    370-gr LFPGC, 16.0 gn Trail Boss, 1061 fps

    I got a good deal on some 335-gn FMJ-FP Rainier Bullets 'LeadSafe' bullets that are primarily a lead bullet with a (who knows how heavy) copper jacket. Got them for less than half price. I expect that the copper jackets, having higher friction, will likely develop higher chamber pressures ...I can reduce the Trail Boss loads above by 10% and go for it, but on the other hand, these are light loads and the risk of exceeding chamber pressure limits is probably near nil. Another approach is to load exactly as described above, say use the 370-gr load for the 335-gr Rainier Bullets bullets and shoot them through a chrony and see what I get ...then adjust up or down to get between 1000 and 1150 fps. I think at these light loads, which also take up a lot of the case capacity and therefore should have a consistent burn, that there isn't much danger in this approach ...no?

    ...OR, I could just go find a lighter load that uses Titegroup and call it good. Hmmmm..... I wonder as I wander ...

    Comments? Ideas? Concerns?

    Thanks,
    Brian

  2. #2
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    I would say your on the right track. Substituting the jacketed (those are actually plated) bullet for the cast with the moderate load would be no problem. The load is likely half the rated pressure of the gun.

    No. I would say your friend with the extra recoil load likely had a double charge of fast powder in the case. This is precisely the reason for the Trail Boss. Cowboy shooters shoot those very light loads with small quantities of fast burning powder and there is plenty of room in the large cases for a double or even a triple charge. With the bulkier Trail Boss, it helps to cut down on that problem.

    There is no substitute for good safe reloading practices and no component or equipment is safe without the constant vigil of an active mind. You must think about everything you do and double check every setting and every number. Never sole source your loading data. You can always call and talk to the engineers at Hodgdons to validate any loading data. Keep us informed about the Trail Boss here. I'm curious about the 500 S&W with reduced loads also.
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  3. #3
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    The guy that sold me the bullets (from www.thefiringline.com forums) gave me the following light loads that he used (with his comments):

    335 Grain Rainier Ballistics FP
    Using Starline brass

    Lighter loads
    10.0 gr Trail Boss(IMR) VERY LIGHT load This will give you approx. 800 fps and recoil approx. like a 38 SPECIAL in the 8 3/8" barrel.
    37.0 gr Lil Gun
    21.5 gr Blue DOT
    22.0 gr Blue DOT

    Medium Loads
    39.5 gr Lil Gun
    41.0 gr Lil Gun
    41.3 gr H110

    That's all I know. Someone else that I emailed used 10 grains of Trail Boss under a hand-cast 440 grain bullet (pure wheel weights, no gas-check) and got 840 fps out of a 4" barrel. I'll use either Trail Boss or Titegroup ...haven't quite decided.

    Brian

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