Some basic questions


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DonV
November 28, 2006, 07:30 AM
I know very little about reloading. A friend of a friend inherited a shed with a lot ot reloading stuff, A LOT!. Thousands of rounds carefully labled, dated with all info.

First, I can shoot .44 special in a .44 mag right? (44 special rounds are labeled on the bottom as 44 S+W SPL W-W)

How long is smokeless powder good for? I suspect this stuff is 10-15 years old, and there is a LOT.

On lots of the packages along with primer data, bullet info, date there is:
VOL 1300, or VOL 1200, is this the amount of powder? What is the max for 44 special and 44 mag so I know the loads are ok? I got hundreds of 44 special and 44 mag rounds.

Can 45 long colt (45 LC) be shot in any other gun?

How long are primers good for?

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Grumulkin
November 28, 2006, 07:56 AM
Q: First, I can shoot .44 special in a .44 mag right? (44 special rounds are labeled on the bottom as 44 S+W SPL W-W)

A: Yes.

Q: How long is smokeless powder good for? I suspect this stuff is 10-15 years old, and there is a LOT.

A: If it has been store properly, 10 to 15 years isn't too long. Smell it and look at it. If it smells and looks right, I would try it.

Q: On lots of the packages along with primer data, bullet info, date there is:
VOL 1300, or VOL 1200, is this the amount of powder? What is the max for 44 special and 44 mag so I know the loads are ok? I got hundreds of 44 special and 44 mag rounds.

A: I don't know but I suspect VOL would stand for volume (not the way most people measure powder). I presume the powder type is labeled. You could pull a bullet or two and weigh the powder and then compare it to reloading manual recommendations.

Q: Can 45 long colt (45 LC) be shot in any other gun?

A: I believe the 45 Long Colt is the same as what is usually called the 45 Colt. Maybe someone else could confirm this. A 45 Colt cartridge can be fire in weapons chambered for the 454 Casull and 460 S&W cartridges.

Q: How long are primers good for?

A: For at least as long as powder. If stored properly (cool and dry) they should be good for 15 to 20 years anyway.

The Bushmaster
November 28, 2006, 09:29 AM
Find someone in your area that has been reloading for years and have them help you. Unless the type of powder and amount is on the package you may have a problem. Any information that you give here and the answers you get may not be the right ones for your particular situation. You need someone right there to have a look. Most reloaders would be glad to help.

Sorry guys, but this is one time where someone should be phyically there to have a look...:scrutiny:

MaterDei
November 28, 2006, 09:48 AM
I agree with Bushmaster. Don, where are you located?

DonV
November 28, 2006, 11:13 AM
I live in Ohio between Akron and Cleveland. I do agree, good idea to have someone take a look at it to be sure, before I blow my gun up and possibly hurt myself!

One comforting thing is that by the looks of this guys shop he is very organized and carefull, which is a good sign.

On one package, where he normally says Vol, he listed fps, so maybe the Vol is really vel (for velocity) is 1200-1300 typical for 240 grain 44 mag loads?

PS if anyone lives nearby and would come over to check it out I have some 45 long colt and 22 mag ammo they can have for free for the help.

Thanks for the help

DonV

The Bushmaster
November 28, 2006, 12:54 PM
Oh darned...And I'm down here in Southwest Missouri.:banghead:

I bet that is "Velocity" (Vol). Just a bad speller, but maybe a good reloader. Someone has got be in your area and can help you. And you are very correct to want to protect your gun and your hands and your eyes and....................:D

MNgoldenbear
November 29, 2006, 12:14 AM
Normal advice would be NOT to shoot the existing reloads. If you didn't load them yourself, it had better have been loaded by someone you trust with your firearms and body parts. (I'm pretty careful and do fairly detailed labeling too. I've also run a batch of ammo out of which I had five rounds without powder. Squibbed two in a match before realizing what I'd done, then found the other three.)

The components should be fine, but as mentioned already, direct inspection would be necessary. Hope you find someone to help out. Good luck.

uk roe hunter
November 29, 2006, 01:06 AM
i once got a batch of 40 odd .30-06 reloads, all nicely labelled and packed. there must have been 5-7 with no powder in them at all. imagine what would have happenned if i had pulled the trigger, the bullet had not cleared the muzzle, and i had put another one up into it!!!!

dangerous stuff

steve:uhoh:

qajaq59
November 30, 2006, 08:45 AM
Keep in mind that the other guy loaded those for HIS guns and they may be way too hot for yours. Or he could have made a mistake somewhere. I'd pull them, get rid of the powder, and save the brass. Otherwise you are risking your fingers and eyes on his reloading skills.

highlander 5
November 30, 2006, 09:02 AM
45 Long Colt and 45 Colt are the same cartridge. As far as powder and primers stored under IDEAL conditions shelf life is a long,long time almost indefinite. I remember 30+ years ago an
ad in the Shogun News for 9mm ammo that was found at the bottom of a fiord in a sunken German ship was there since 1940
the ammo was green from the saltwater but it was still serviceable. I think it was there for 35 YEARS.Used to buy surplus 30'06 ammo in the 70's from 1939 or 1940 headstamps in garrand clips

dfaugh
November 30, 2006, 10:48 AM
Sad as it may seem...

I wouldn't THINK of shooting any of these. You simply don't know how safe they are. I know its a bummer, but you may be able to salvage the component, using a bullet puller. Then see what you actually have to work with.

DonV
November 30, 2006, 03:22 PM
Just curious, can loads be ok for one gun but to hot for another? I would think not, I am shooting a S&W 629 classic 44mag in excellent shape. My thought is simply is it really possible to reload a bullet with to much powder? I always figured you fill a shell with powder and then put bullet in, obviously there is a lot more to it, but where does the room for to much powder come from? What is inside that sheel (casing) in the original bullets?

I know this sounds dumb, I really want to shoot these loads and by how organzied this guy was think everything will be ok but I am beginning to wonder.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
November 30, 2006, 04:00 PM
You bet! Loads for one caliber can be too hot for a given pistol. I certainly woudn't shoot my hot 300gn 44mag loads developed for my Ruger Super Blackhawk in a lesser strength frame of a Ruger Vasquaro or several other brands of 44mag hand guns. Years ago I was developing a load for a .357mag. Ruger Blackhawk. I shot the same loads in a Taurus 66. Broke the frame lock.

Don't run 38spl +p's through an early Colt Cobra LW. It may not break it right off, but it's surely not a safe thing to do.

Powder charges are measured in grains.. A double charge of some powders won't fill the case. Yet that will be enough to create extreme pressures when fired. =Shrapnal. In some cases, less than a full charge of a given powder will create the same situation. Compressed charges can 'go boom', in more ways than one.

You're asking questions. That's good. Personally, I've inherited reloads from a very experienced reloader. I've reloaded with him, and I've shot all of it up. No issues. If the loads were just lead plinkers, you might get away with shooting them through the 629. While I'm not a Smith fan, it is a strong frame. If the boxes are marked hunting loads or are all JHP/JSP's they would more than likely be loaded a bit warmer than just SWC's. The hotter the charge, the more chance for detremental error. Since you don't know this guy's practices, ... Well, It's probably not a good idea.

"VOL 1300, or VOL 1200" I'm taking this to be 'Velocity'. Not Volume. For 44spl/mag, lead bullets of 180gn with what I'll call a plinking charge could be right around 1200 feet per second out the muzzle. (although that sounds a little warm for spl, I'd have to look at one of my manuals to be sure- I'm at work right now.)

One thing to look for in this shed is the guy's reloading manuals or a log book of his reloads. Most everyone keeps notes in the manual or a log. This might tell you a lot about the boxed ammunition you have there.

-Steve

VHinch
November 30, 2006, 04:08 PM
There is a LOT of room for error, particularly in handgun rounds. In a rifle round, many times the powder will actually fill the case, or close to it. In handgun round, there is room in the case to easily double (and some caes TRIPLE) charge a round, which leads to a very bad day.

As far as some loads being to hot for some guns, that is certainly true as well. Some reloading manuals will have loads that are tagged "Ruger Only" due to how hot the load is.

V

DonV
December 1, 2006, 08:17 AM
Excellent info guys THANKS!

I am going back to find his manual, I am sure he has one. There is one marked hunting.

Also, .44 special is a "lighter" .44 load then mag, so would it be an educated guess that it is ok so shoot those? At least even if they are hotter gun is made for 44 mag?

I am going to do a lot more research and be very carefull, thanks a lot guys.

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