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Thread: New brass ,44 test at 50 yd's

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    Default New brass ,44 test at 50 yd's

    I found a bunch of new, unfired .44 brass in my box so decided to do a test and sort brass. I shot 50 yd's and any that went high or low were put in different piles. I didn't realize the high hits were making two separate groups and put them in the same lot. Anyway I had four separate groups. A nice group high, one a little lower, one centered and another just a little low right.
    I used my 330 gr WLNGC boolit with 21 gr's of 296, Fed. 150 primer.
    The first five were in way less then 1/2" and the center group just got larger until 30 rounds were in 1-1/4".
    The low right group was three touching to start and went to 7/8".
    Now I have to cast more boolits and see if the brass that hit high, etc, continues to hit the same place.
    The gun is a SBH with almost 58,000 rounds through it.
    I will also reload the 30 rounds to see if they stay centered.
    But 30 rounds through 1-1/4" at 50 yd's is super any way you look at it.
    I will post after more work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    I found a bunch of new, unfired .44 brass in my box so decided to do a test and sort brass. I shot 50 yd's and any that went high or low were put in different piles. I didn't realize the high hits were making two separate groups and put them in the same lot. Anyway I had four separate groups. A nice group high, one a little lower, one centered and another just a little low right.
    I used my 330 gr WLNGC boolit with 21 gr's of 296, Fed. 150 primer.
    The first five were in way less then 1/2" and the center group just got larger until 30 rounds were in 1-1/4".
    The low right group was three touching to start and went to 7/8".
    Now I have to cast more boolits and see if the brass that hit high, etc, continues to hit the same place.
    The gun is a SBH with almost 58,000 rounds through it.
    I will also reload the 30 rounds to see if they stay centered.
    But 30 rounds through 1-1/4" at 50 yd's is super any way you look at it.
    I will post after more work.
    I'm not following this. Are you saying your brass is causing the two different groups that vary as much as 1 inch at fifty yards!? I don't think so. Your velocity varies as much as fifty fps don't you think that is a factor? And how are you able to keep shots in 1/2" at fifty with a SBH, do you think the gun is that good? Are you that good? Maybe some shots went here and some shot went there, it is all still a small group. Nice shooting with iron sights.
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    Yes the gun is that good! Brass neck tension differences will cause most fliers. That is what causes velocity variations.
    I have a scope on for testing but use a red dot for hunting.
    I found out the neck tension problems long ago when shooting IHMSA and cured a lot of it but never tested new brass to see if all is the same. I always said it doesn't matter if brass is new or reloaded many times as long as the boolit hold is the same for every case.
    Some use new brass for every IHMSA shoot, very expensive but it will not be the answer for even neck tension. New brass can vary as much as old brass. That is what my test is about.
    I will know more after casting and loading them again.
    I have a method to measure boolit seating pressure and the difference between tight and loose fitting boolits can equal as much as 10" at 50 yd's. Most of you don't consider brass and I like to prove that it is important too. It is all to help all of you for better accuracy.
    Have you ever noticed that BR shooters keep shooting and loading the same cases over and over? They dare not mix another piece of brass in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    I always said it doesn't matter if brass is new or reloaded many times as long as the boolit hold is the same for every case.
    If brass is "reloaded many times", doesn't it get harder?

    If that is the case, how can this fail to effect "boolit hold"?

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    In BR shooting I have always annealed necks ever 5-6 shots. Not because the brass last longer (primer pockets always go first anyway) It is only due to neck tension.

    One batch of brass from the same maker, and you can achieve perfect neck tension from shot to shot within that lot of brass. I know it can be done, to get the equipment, the price to do this is about 400.00 not counting gas and supplies.

    I would re-anneal from the first load and every fifth or sixth shot there after.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    Yes the gun is that good! Brass neck tension differences will cause most fliers. That is what causes velocity variations.
    I have a scope on for testing but use a red dot for hunting.
    I found out the neck tension problems long ago when shooting IHMSA and cured a lot of it but never tested new brass to see if all is the same. I always said it doesn't matter if brass is new or reloaded many times as long as the boolit hold is the same for every case.
    Some use new brass for every IHMSA shoot, very expensive but it will not be the answer for even neck tension. New brass can vary as much as old brass. That is what my test is about.
    I will know more after casting and loading them again.
    I have a method to measure boolit seating pressure and the difference between tight and loose fitting boolits can equal as much as 10" at 50 yd's. Most of you don't consider brass and I like to prove that it is important too. It is all to help all of you for better accuracy.
    Have you ever noticed that BR shooters keep shooting and loading the same cases over and over? They dare not mix another piece of brass in.

    OK, starting to make sense but tell me about crimp. Isn't it necessry with a revolver and isn't consistant crimp more of a factor with heavy bullet, full loads. Also why can't you just measure the case thickness at the mouth like all the iron chicken shooters I've ever known would do. This and anneal tension are important. BTW I've shot a few fortys without all that fuss. You are considering brass and rightfully so, but you use the sleeziest powder available, no disrespect meant. But when did 296/H110 ever yield consistant velocities?

    You do about have me convinced the BFR's are good guns. I might try this 475 in one. Do they have a six barrel available?
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    Now that I think about this, sorting brass by point of impact is probably the most accurate way to do this, I think neck tension changes from shot to shot though. You would still be ahead of the game with all the other variables involved. You can control the mechanics of the load such as crimp, seating depth, etc but shooting would be a more accurate way to sort brass. Clever thinkin'.
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    Yes, 296 has always been the best for accuracy with the heavy loads I used for IHMSA and now use just for hunting. I never had H110 work in the SBH or SRH but it would be the only powder that a standard Redhawk could use. Now I don't know since Hodgden has both. There used to be a slight burn rate difference.
    I make sure all brass is the same length so crimp is the same. I experimented for many years with all kinds of crimp to none at all, shooting one shot at a time and found it had no real effect on accuracy or velocity.
    However, case tension does in a big way. It is not how tight the tension is but how even it is, so if brass is work hardened the groups will change position but group size won't change AS LONG AS EVERY CASE HOLDS THE BULLET WITH THE SAME TENSION.
    When I first worked out a method to measure bullet seating pressure I would sort into piles on the bench and use the most in a pile for silhouette. The measurements were not super accurate but I could tell a difference. If I took the loosest ones and shot a 50 meter group, I would keep them in 1/2". The tightest ones would also shoot a 1/2" group but would be as much as 10" from the first group. Even though group size would not change, powder burn would and if the burn was kept even with the same tension, accuracy was great. Mix these loads and I could not hit anything.
    Since it just doesn't work to anneal revolver brass, there is nothing to do but try and sort them out. This is the first time I am trying to do it by shooting new brass. I never wanted to shoot so much powder and lead to sort 100 or 200 cases. This batch is only 50 cases. I didn't believe that 20 out of 50 would shoot to different places. I am going to work with those 20 only and keep the 30 good ones for boolit testing and long range. Even those 30 have enough difference to go from 1/2" to 1-1/4" but I am not going to get too critical or I will only have 5 or 10 perfect cases.
    Many of you have shot a super tight group but can't duplicate it. You will blame the powder or the bullet or your shooting. I recently shot a 200 yd group with my .44 that measures 1-5/16" because all the brass just happened to match. I will never do it again! It was just luck.
    Every one of you have noticed a difference in the pressure it takes to slowly seat a boolit! That difference will blow groups. It is also why a revolver is so hard to shoot tight groups with. You can't seat a bullet to touch rifling so bullets can move out of the brass, changing case capacity before the powder is fully lit. It is the reason I will not use a magnum primer in the .44, too much early pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    OK, starting to make sense but tell me about crimp. Isn't it necessry with a revolver and isn't consistant crimp more of a factor with heavy bullet, full loads. Also why can't you just measure the case thickness at the mouth like all the iron chicken shooters I've ever known would do. This and anneal tension are important. BTW I've shot a few fortys without all that fuss. You are considering brass and rightfully so, but you use the sleeziest powder available, no disrespect meant. But when did 296/H110 ever yield consistant velocities?

    You do about have me convinced the BFR's are good guns. I might try this 475 in one. Do they have a six barrel available?

    Never found any powder better for full power heavy bullets from the 44 Mag on up to the 500 JRH

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    Very true JWP. It makes the .475 shine.
    However any slow powder is more dependant on even neck tension in revolvers. If you shoot lighter loads of fast powder, tension problems don't show up as much and is the big reason some don't like 296. It is not the powder, it is the brass.
    One thing I have noticed is the larger cases seem to have less trouble. My .475 does not exhibit such wide swings that the .44 does.
    The .45 Colt can also be a pain with slow powder.
    Real heavy boolits help too.
    I wish we could come up with a seating die that will read the actual force needed to put a boolit in. Maybe a strain gage of some kind. It doesn't take much to seat a boolit and an ounce difference can be missed.
    Maybe a strain gage under the case head in a special shell holder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    Never found any powder better for full power heavy bullets from the 44 Mag on up to the 500 JRH

    I would say you didn't try them all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    Yes, 296 has always been the best for accuracy with the heavy loads I used for IHMSA and now use just for hunting. I never had H110 work in the SBH or SRH but it would be the only powder that a standard Redhawk could use. Now I don't know since Hodgden has both. There used to be a slight burn rate difference.
    I make sure all brass is the same length so crimp is the same. I experimented for many years with all kinds of crimp to none at all, shooting one shot at a time and found it had no real effect on accuracy or velocity.
    However, case tension does in a big way. It is not how tight the tension is but how even it is, so if brass is work hardened the groups will change position but group size won't change AS LONG AS EVERY CASE HOLDS THE BULLET WITH THE SAME TENSION.
    When I first worked out a method to measure bullet seating pressure I would sort into piles on the bench and use the most in a pile for silhouette. The measurements were not super accurate but I could tell a difference. If I took the loosest ones and shot a 50 meter group, I would keep them in 1/2". The tightest ones would also shoot a 1/2" group but would be as much as 10" from the first group. Even though group size would not change, powder burn would and if the burn was kept even with the same tension, accuracy was great. Mix these loads and I could not hit anything.
    Since it just doesn't work to anneal revolver brass, there is nothing to do but try and sort them out. This is the first time I am trying to do it by shooting new brass. I never wanted to shoot so much powder and lead to sort 100 or 200 cases. This batch is only 50 cases. I didn't believe that 20 out of 50 would shoot to different places. I am going to work with those 20 only and keep the 30 good ones for boolit testing and long range. Even those 30 have enough difference to go from 1/2" to 1-1/4" but I am not going to get too critical or I will only have 5 or 10 perfect cases.
    Many of you have shot a super tight group but can't duplicate it. You will blame the powder or the bullet or your shooting. I recently shot a 200 yd group with my .44 that measures 1-5/16" because all the brass just happened to match. I will never do it again! It was just luck.
    Every one of you have noticed a difference in the pressure it takes to slowly seat a boolit! That difference will blow groups. It is also why a revolver is so hard to shoot tight groups with. You can't seat a bullet to touch rifling so bullets can move out of the brass, changing case capacity before the powder is fully lit. It is the reason I will not use a magnum primer in the .44, too much early pressure.
    OK, I guess I'm out of this one. My forty years of handgunning has led my down a different path and it was a pretty good road.
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    So what about using a magnum primer in a 41mag?

    I'm using Lil Gun powder with a 265 LNGC Cast performance bullet for my hunting gun. Its a 6.5" barrel S&W with a fixed 4x scope.


    I've never heard of using less primer before.

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    Bighorse, only one way to know is to shoot groups with each primer.
    The mag primer works in the .357 and the larger cases, in fact it is needed in the .475 and up.
    What you want is heat without pressure in some cases, light the powder without having the primer move the boolit out of the brass.
    I have found that the worst is when you have a compressed load of slow powder. The plug of powder will push out the boolit before a good burn is initiated.
    Did I tell you I hate Lil'gun! Super hot and heats a gun so you can solder with the barrel. I had a Freedom .357 so hot with 12 rounds I could not touch any part of the gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    So what about using a magnum primer in a 41mag?

    I'm using Lil Gun powder with a 265 LNGC Cast performance bullet for my hunting gun. Its a 6.5" barrel S&W with a fixed 4x scope.


    I've never heard of using less primer before.
    Magnum primers are needed with some powders...period. Just because it says magnum on the head stamp doesn't mean it needs a magnum primer.

    With Lil'Gun and a heavy bullet I would say definately yes. Lil'Gun is very similar to H110 which is the same as 296 and it is difficult to ignite without a good spark. I doubt very seriously if a primer can push a wad of powder and a bullet loose of its crimp but in any case we need a magnum primer with ball powders. Also this Lil'Gun is only slightly easier to ignite than H110/296 and it is a little less temperature sensitive. The other two won't ignite well below -20F, if that is a concern. When using these slow ball powders it is best to stay with max or near max loads and use heavy bullets with a good crimp. This increases the rate of confinement and betters ignition and makes a more complete burn. If you want to try a new powder the Vihta N110 and N105 work very well in the 41 mag and produce a very clean burn and more consistant velocities than the ball powders do. N105 is the best powder across the board for the 357 with bullets of 150 grains and up.

    I use that CP 265 LFNGC and a BT 250 WFNGC for my 41's and they make very good loads in my 6 and 6 1/2 inch guns. I use 18.0 and 18.5 grains of N110.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I would say you didn't try them all.


    I'd say why don't you enlighten the masses to this mystical powder that's better.

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    Murphy, the "N" powders are good. Just hard to find here.
    However if you don't believe a primer can push out a boolit, try it. Load a .44 or .41 with a mag primer and no powder. If you think crimp or case tension will hold the boolit, you will be in for a surprise!
    My friend blew his .41 Ruger by forgetting powder in a case. The boolit went far enough into the barrel that he cocked the gun and shot a full house load behind it. Expanded the cylinder, bent the top strap up and the pin down but the metal never cracked.
    Ruger sold him a new one at their cost. Great people!
    The Lil'gun I have left will go in my .410!
    If it was super cold here I would use a mag primer in the .44 but ONLY when it was cold. 296 does NOT need a mag primer under normal conditions.
    I have shot a lot of standard primers in my .475 while testing and never had a problem with ignition. But the LP mag primer is more accurate. Go to a LR primer and accuracy gets bad. A lot depends on case capacity, not the powder used.
    Don't believe the books, test for yourself.

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    Your comment about the primer was about it moving the powder column before igniting it. Should that be the case, the powder would have to be considered hard to ignite. I have seen the force of a primer only and know it can move the bullet. Try it with just a primer and saw dust or one of our favorite fire forming medias, corn meal.

    I do my own testing. Last July I shot 2800 rounds of 44 mag in three different Ruger redhawks with thirty different boxes of cast bullets from four different manufacturers. I chronographed every round from these loads with four different primers and six different powders. I shot eleven hundred rounds this past January from the same guns and some of the same loads to determine the difference in velocity and accuracy at 100 degrees spread in temperature.

    The powders used were; W296, H110, Lil'Gun, H4227, N110 and Norma R-123. Primers were CCI-350, CCI-300, Win Large Pistol Magnums and Federal LP.

    I will grant that the highest velocity with the large case revolver calibers will be obtained with the 296/H110 powder but there is more to it than that. Also the Vihta N110 is the most consitant powder over a spread of temperatures from +77F to -28 F with ony 14 fps variation on average across a range of loads.

    It is true that 296 needs a case full and a heavy bullet and a heavy crimp to ignite consistantly and burn well. If we load this way, and shoot at room temperature it is very good propellant, change these things and see a different performance all together.

    H4227 will never reach the highest velocity but I used to routinely shoot 4" groups it in my 10" MOA pistol or the FA revolver, 44 mag at the 200 meter ram. I could neveer achieve that level of accuracy with any 296 or H110 load. It is also much more versatile than the ball powder and can be loaded with lesser charges safely.

    Your test with the brass grip is a good one but you must look at the other variables.

    What is causing those two different points of impact? Is the case grip varying the ignition and thus varying velocity? Maybe it is just the normal varying velocity of the load that causes the difference. What change of impact does 50 fps give you at fifty yards with that load?

    I doubt that you will find anyone who does more testing than I do and I shoot many different calibers, rifle and handgun, and burn many pounds of powder each year. So many shooters find a load that works and stop there I find many that work and find how well they work. I have a 45 caliber project going on now. 45 GAP, 45 ACP, 45 Win mag. From different pistols and different barrel length. This will involve at least a half dozen pistols and a box car load of components. Hey it's a hobby.
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    Murphy, yes it is the case tension that causes a difference in velocity and elevation. Long ago when I sorted loads by seating pressure there was quite a difference between lightly held boolits and tight ones. I no longer have the figures because of a puter crash.
    Strange that you like 4227 in the .44! That was the worst powder I ever tried. As the gun heated, velocity climbed drastically and primers would flatten more and more. POI would get lower and lower until I was 16 clicks more then normal at 200 meters and still hit the dirt 50-60 yd's short. It was so bad I thought the gun broke. Shot slow and keeping the gun cool, it shot super groups but not once heat started to build.
    Hits would walk down the steel into the dirt at every range.
    I shot many 40's with the .44, XP100 7BR, MOA 7BR, Ruger .357 max and the Witchita 7R.
    I won the Ohio state international class trophy, 79 out of 80, .44 SBH and 296 powder. Yes, even case tension.
    With 4227, 24 hits were a miracle. It will never cross a .44 case mouth again. Works fine in the .357 max.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    Murphy, yes it is the case tension that causes a difference in velocity and elevation. Long ago when I sorted loads by seating pressure there was quite a difference between lightly held boolits and tight ones. I no longer have the figures because of a puter crash.
    Strange that you like 4227 in the .44! That was the worst powder I ever tried. As the gun heated, velocity climbed drastically and primers would flatten more and more. POI would get lower and lower until I was 16 clicks more then normal at 200 meters and still hit the dirt 50-60 yd's short. It was so bad I thought the gun broke. Shot slow and keeping the gun cool, it shot super groups but not once heat started to build.
    Hits would walk down the steel into the dirt at every range.
    I shot many 40's with the .44, XP100 7BR, MOA 7BR, Ruger .357 max and the Witchita 7R.
    I won the Ohio state international class trophy, 79 out of 80, .44 SBH and 296 powder. Yes, even case tension.
    With 4227, 24 hits were a miracle. It will never cross a .44 case mouth again. Works fine in the .357 max.

    A lot of what you're saying fits in with my own thinking and experience just not all of it, I guess that's how it goes. I have also sorted loaded rounds by the way the seating pressure feels, with no gauge to measure but it doesn't sound too difficult to make. I don't recall any noteworth results of this sorting but often wonder about it. I assumed it was from varying neck tension (brass temper) as I've often sorted new brass by wall thickness. I've actually heard that about 4227 being hot but I think it was about IMR-4227 but also H4227 has made a big change in composition since the eighties. It is bulky and you really can't get a max load in a 44 mag case, except with the LFN bullets, but it makes a very good 45 Colt powder and I've found in my 475 short, 1.2" case. (pre 480 Ruger days)

    I did not find the Lil'Gun powder to be a barrel burner in my 44's and it does quite a bit better at -20F than H110/296, maybe becasue it is so hot burning. I did not try it in the 357 I only had two pounds of it and that went for some 44 test. I do like N110 in the 44 and N105 in the 357.
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