hope someone learns from this mistake...i sure did

ak-fang

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
177
Reaction score
2
wanted to load up a plinking round for one of my revolvers but wasn't able to find any of the powders listed in any reference. i then decided to use some data for an almost identical round (used the same sized bullet in a tad larger case) that used the powder i had on hand. i reduced the powder significantly in hopes of being as safe as possible. fired the first round and saw some dust fly very close to the target so i thought, "hmm, i guess it works." fired second shot, which made a funny sound. it almost sounded like a black powder pistol and there was a puff of something that blew out in front of the cylinder. the funny sound plus not seeing any dust fly got me curious and i noticed the bullet was about 1 inch shy of making down the 5.5 inch barrel. if my attempt at being safe wasn't so dangerous the situation might have been laughable. lesson learned....not gonna ever load anything i don't get from a reputable reloading reference again.
 

mike h

New member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
701
Reaction score
29
Location
Palmer, AK
Good to remind everyone that things can be dangerous when you least expect it.

Glad you've still got your Internet posting fingers.
 

rbuck351

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
145
Location
Eureka MT
Loading really light without data can be really dangerous for more reasons than just a stuck bullet. Some powders go nuts when loaded light and can cause very high pressures. Not sure why but it's fairly well known.
 

AKBEE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,703
Reaction score
156
Location
Anchorage
Long ago I was shooting a model 27 with reloads from my brother. I was shooting as fast as possible DA and all of a sudden there was a catastrophe.
One bullet lodged and the next blew the barrel apart. I was not paying attention to the difference in recoil and was just pulling the trigger. It flayed the top of the barrel apart and even the forcing cone was split. I was very lucky to have not been hurt and since then only shoot what I am sure of!

Glad you did not have a similar experience!
 

.338WM

New member
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
2,021
Reaction score
109
Location
Eagle River
Every reloading manual I have read in the past 30 years warns of this! READ the manual!
 

rbuck351

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
145
Location
Eureka MT
It's OK to load light BUT you better use the right powder and going below book levels even with light loads is not a good idea. There is something called Secondary Explosion Effect (SEE) that is not well documented and not regularly repeatable but apparently does happen. To light of loads sometimes detonate rather than burn for some unknown reason causing very high pressures. Anyway, this is an area best left alone.
 

Smitty of the North

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
9,202
Reaction score
272
Location
SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points
It's OK to load light BUT you better use the right powder and going below book levels even with light loads is not a good idea. There is something called Secondary Explosion Effect (SEE) that is not well documented and not regularly repeatable but apparently does happen. To light of loads sometimes detonate rather than burn for some unknown reason causing very high pressures. Anyway, this is an area best left alone.

I thought that SEE only happened with large capacity rifle cases, and slow rifle powders.

I never heard of it happening in a Revolver cartridge. ????

Too light a load in a handgun cartridge can leave the bullet in the barrel, or in the case of jacketed bullets the core can exit, leaving the jacket in the barrel.

For proper ignition, it's a good idea to not load below the data in any cartridge. Not that you would have a problem in every case, though.

Smitty of the North
 

ADfields

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,416
Reaction score
206
Location
Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
I thought that SEE only happened with large capacity rifle cases, and slow rifle powders.

I never heard of it happening in a Revolver cartridge. ????

Smitty of the North

H110/W296 is well known to have potential to detonate in light charges, so much so it has a light load warning on the can. It happens in anything H110 is used in which is mostly handguns, small rifles and 410. I suspect (by no means do I know this as fact) that detonation would be more likely as the case fill percentage falls off so it would be more likely in a larger capacity case.

Black powder is very bad about detonation. You can’t put enough black powder in a properly made black powder rifle to blow it up. A proof load is three powder charges and 3 balls, that assures the most pressure the powder will make . . . most of the powder is just expelled before it ignites. BUT . . . don’t get the bullet seated well leaving air in there with any size charge and it can blow a rifle to smithereens because of detonate. All the powder is light before the bullet even starts moving and you get an extreme pressure spike.



But some smokeless powders just don’t seem to ever detonate and are great for light loads, Bullseye, Unique, Clays, Green Dot, Red Dot to name a couple.
 

ak-fang

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
177
Reaction score
2
H110/W296 is well known to have potential to detonate in light charges, so much so it has a light load warning on the can. It happens in anything H110 is used in which is mostly handguns, small rifles and 410. I suspect (by no means do I know this as fact) that detonation would be more likely as the case fill percentage falls off so it would be more likely in a larger capacity case.

But some smokeless powders just don’t seem to ever detonate and are great for light loads, Bullseye, Unique, Clays, Green Dot, Red Dot to name a couple.

ding, ding, ding! you're the winner! H110 is very well known for causing squib loads and that's what i used! i knew this was the case, but i've never dealt with a shortage like our current one and didn't know i had to buy everything before someone else did...so i'm tried to make do with what i have. hoped a tight crimp and good primer would make up for the powder choice. should've just shown some constraint, shot something else, and waited to eventually get the right powder for the job (i couldn't even find load data for that bullet and powder combination...and that was the point i wanted to convey, don't try making your own load).
 

rbuck351

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
145
Location
Eureka MT
Years ago when bullseye shooting was popular, there were a few cases where it was suspected to be the cause of blowups in 38spl revolvers using very light loads of Bullseye powder. I have heard that about 1.8grs of BE and the 148gr wad cutter is about as light as you should go. Yep H110/W296 have warnings in most loading manuals not to load below book numbers. Many powders are good with light loads in pistols but I would be careful not to push any of them really light.
 

ADfields

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,416
Reaction score
206
Location
Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
ding, ding, ding! you're the winner! H110 is very well known for causing squib loads and that's what i used! i knew this was the case, but i've never dealt with a shortage like our current one and didn't know i had to buy everything before someone else did...so i'm tried to make do with what i have. hoped a tight crimp and good primer would make up for the powder choice. should've just shown some constraint, shot something else, and waited to eventually get the right powder for the job (i couldn't even find load data for that bullet and powder combination...and that was the point i wanted to convey, don't try making your own load).
Any powder can squib, that is different than a detonation I was talking about. Hard to light powder like H110 would of course be very likely to squib but that is a far better result than a detonation. H110 needs to be loaded hot and is better under heavier bullets, it’s a very good powder but the worst choice I can think of for light loads.
 

ak-fang

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
177
Reaction score
2
Any powder can squib, that is different than a detonation I was talking about. Hard to light powder like H110 would of course be very likely to squib but that is a far better result than a detonation. H110 needs to be loaded hot and is better under heavier bullets, it’s a very good powder but the worst choice I can think of for light loads.

ahh, thanks for the info!
 

Smitty of the North

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
9,202
Reaction score
272
Location
SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points
H110/W296 is well known to have potential to detonate in light charges, so much so it has a light load warning on the can. It happens in anything H110 is used in which is mostly handguns, small rifles and 410. I suspect (by no means do I know this as fact) that detonation would be more likely as the case fill percentage falls off so it would be more likely in a larger capacity case.

Black powder is very bad about detonation. You can’t put enough black powder in a properly made black powder rifle to blow it up. A proof load is three powder charges and 3 balls, that assures the most pressure the powder will make . . . most of the powder is just expelled before it ignites. BUT . . . don’t get the bullet seated well leaving air in there with any size charge and it can blow a rifle to smithereens because of detonate. All the powder is light before the bullet even starts moving and you get an extreme pressure spike.

But some smokeless powders just don’t seem to ever detonate and are great for light loads, Bullseye, Unique, Clays, Green Dot, Red Dot to name a couple.

I didn't know that about H110, however I knew it wasn't good for light loads.

I am unable to find a "light load warning" on the single can I have.

When I finish up the H110 I have, I won't be buying anymore, anyway. The data doesn't seem to give you much leeway for charges.

As to BP, reportedly, it needs to fill the space, and any gap can POSSIBLY act like a barrel obstruction, and damage the barrel. I've never heard of it in terms of detonation.

Smitty of the North
 

stevelyn

New member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
1,316
Reaction score
94
Location
Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell
I didn't know that about H110, however I knew it wasn't good for light loads.

I am unable to find a "light load warning" on the single can I have.

When I finish up the H110 I have, I won't be buying anymore, anyway. The data doesn't seem to give you much leeway for charges.

As to BP, reportedly, it needs to fill the space, and any gap can POSSIBLY act like a barrel obstruction, and damage the barrel. I've never heard of it in terms of detonation.

Smitty of the North

The Hodgdon manual warns against reducing H-110 lower than their listed starting loads. Be aware that W-296 is the exact same powder as H-110.

I've found that Lil Gun is a good alternative to H-110/W-296. It seems easier to light, less cantankerous and can be used for a wide range of bullet weights.

I only use H-110 for my thermo-nuclear .45 Colt business loads.
 

ADfields

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,416
Reaction score
206
Location
Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
I didn't know that about H110, however I knew it wasn't good for light loads.

I am unable to find a "light load warning" on the single can I have.

When I finish up the H110 I have, I won't be buying anymore, anyway. The data doesn't seem to give you much leeway for charges.

As to BP, reportedly, it needs to fill the space, and any gap can POSSIBLY act like a barrel obstruction, and damage the barrel. I've never heard of it in terms of detonation.

Smitty of the North

I don’t have an H110 can here by the computer but what it says on my older 8lb jug is something to the effect of don’t use the usual “reduce by 10%” rule of thumb with it but use 3%. It’s very iritic burning stuff if you don’t get the pressures up around 20Kpsi, extremely likely to squib you which is bad enough but also it can (very unlikely but is possible) detonate. Ether can be the end of a firearm which may do bad things to whoever is holding it.

Same with black powder, it can do some very funny, unexpected, and downright deadly things. Black powder’s nasty unpredictability for blasting where (unlike a firearm) you are always guessing how much pressure it will make and just how fast that fuse will burn led Alfred Nobel to invent dynamite and blasting caps.
 

ADfields

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,416
Reaction score
206
Location
Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
The Hodgdon manual warns against reducing H-110 lower than their listed starting loads. Be aware that W-296 is the exact same powder as H-110.

I've found that Lil Gun is a good alternative to H-110/W-296. It seems easier to light, less cantankerous and can be used for a wide range of bullet weights.

I only use H-110 for my thermo-nuclear .45 Colt business loads.
I too prefer LilGun to H110, both are good powders but for what I do with it (big handguns) LilGun is just better. As in less temperature sensitive, easer to light, not so adverse to anything but a top end loading, and can do the same thermo-nuclear velocity at a tad less pressure.

But LilGun in the smaller rifle cases (its name sake like Hornet) has a reputation of being far more erratic than H110.
 

Smitty of the North

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2006
Messages
9,202
Reaction score
272
Location
SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points
I'm good to go then.

Thanks to Andy, I'm using Lil Gun for my 357. I think I'll stick with 4227 for my 44 Mag.

Lil Gun looks good in the loading tables for 357.

I keep hearin all this bad stuff bout H110, I may just keep it around in case I run out of the good stuff. (Just Kiddin. I know it's a popular powder.)

Smitty of the North
 

rbuck351

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,191
Reaction score
145
Location
Eureka MT
I tried Lil Gun in my 22KH and it gave some spectacular velocities but also gave some quite low velocites in the same batch of loads, varying from about 3000fps to about 3400 with a 40 gr bullet. I quit using it in the Hornet but it works very well in the 454 carbine,
 

Latest posts

Top