Unique Overload ?


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Walkalong
September 22, 2008, 07:34 PM
A friend from the range gave me some reloaded .357 cartridges. He said he was shooting them in his Model 19, had problems getting the casings out, and it messed up his gun. He sent it to S&W who charged him $250 to fix it and told him someone was shooting some high pressure loads in it.

He said he thought it was about 6.0 Grs of Unique, which is mostly what he has used in his limited reloading.

I cut open two and found them charged with a light grey flake powder. 6.6 Grs in one and 6.7 Grs in the other. The bullets were plain jane looking 158 Gr JHP's. Yep, weighed it to make sure. Loaded to 1.565ish and crimped into the cannelure.

He said he was going to toss them unless I wanted them for the components. I do not have a tool for that, but I am a curious sort.

Speer # 13 gives a start load of 6.9 and a Max load of 7.7 with Unique and 158 Gr bullets.

Any thoughts?

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Chief-7700
September 22, 2008, 07:40 PM
Kinda looks like Unique, however the pictures are not that great. When in question pull them apart and reuse the primed brass and the bullets with A KNOWN AMOUNT AND TYPE OF POWDER.
Chief

308sc
September 22, 2008, 07:41 PM
take them and buy a $20 dollar bullet puller...it will come in handy later.....6.7 should not have caused problems...did he buy the gun used?

buck460XVR
September 22, 2008, 07:48 PM
I shoot 7.2 outta my 686 under 158 JHPs and it's like shootin' .38s.


It's also would be very difficult to double charge this load as it fills more than half the casing.

NCsmitty
September 22, 2008, 07:54 PM
Good advice! Pull the bullets and toss the powder. Not safe to use a "maybe it's this" powder.

NCsmitty

243winxb
September 22, 2008, 07:58 PM
http://www.alliantpowder.com/ There is a recall on Unique posted on there website

Galil5.56
September 22, 2008, 08:35 PM
Looks more like WW231 to me from the pics considering white balance.

Walkalong
September 22, 2008, 08:50 PM
Looks more like WW231 to me from the pics considering white balance.It does, doesn't it. I took another couple of pics. Hopefully better ones. I put some W-231 from a 3Lb steel can I have next to the powder from the loaded rounds. I don't have any Unique to look at.

Speer #13 does not show W-231 with 158 Gr bullets. My old Winchester data shows 6.2 to 6.9 with a Hornady 158 Gr XTP. Anybody have more some load data for W-231 and 158 Gr bullets?

Galil5.56
September 22, 2008, 09:07 PM
Picture of Unique from Gunblast.com:

http://www.gunblast.com/images/Unique/Mvc-012f.jpg

Hodgdon is showing 6.9 grains 231/HP38 w/158 XTP as max... Curious how sticky extraction led to a repair? Was there actual over pressure damage, cracked forcing cone, split chamber? What exactly did S&W repair? Was it sent back to extract the cartridge cases?

joneb
September 22, 2008, 10:48 PM
Here is a pic of the New Unique,
85131

Wildfire
September 22, 2008, 11:30 PM
Hey There ;
I must agree , it looks more like 231. That might just explain the PSI issue.
Pull em . Primer ?
A mag primer with that powder and you would have a problem.

ants
September 22, 2008, 11:37 PM
The occasional light colored semi-flattened granules with the little dot in the center is also indicative of Clays. A charge of 6.6 to 6.7 grains of Clays behind a 158g bullet would certainly make you send your revolver back to S&W to pay $250 for repair.

It doesn't really matter what powder it is. If it was enough to sieze up a well made revolver, it was way overloaded. Someone screwed up those reloads.

Not to be too critical, but why was your friend shooting unknown reloads from some anonymous loader who clearly doesn't know his craft very well? If you screw up your reloads and ruin your own revolver, that's your business. Shooting some unknown reloads and ruining your revolver is not very smart.

Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 07:59 AM
He loaded them, and he shot more even after he had trouble extracting. :eek:

I did not ask about the repairs.

He said he was going to toss them if I did not want them for the components. I do not have a puller, I was just curious to see what was inside. I agree that one can not visually identify powders accurately.

Galil5.56
September 23, 2008, 08:30 AM
Agree that it is difficult to ID propellants by looks, and obviously never to confirm what you have. Just the same, from the low resolution pictures the propellant still looks like WW231 to me.

Here is a close-up of "Clays", and it has large fairly uniform discs shaped like "Pringles".

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/IMG_8158.jpg


The propellant from the initial post is flat, irregular, oblong, and gray green, looking a lot like WW231 to me:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/IMG_8164.jpg

243winxb
September 23, 2008, 09:00 AM
The M19 was known not to hold up well with a diet of magnum loads. Midrange loadings are a better choice. The M28 & M27 were built on the N frame and are stronger then the M19 K frame. Therefore i would think its not a powder problem at all. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Bullseye_20080923_001.jpg http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/BullseyeUnique_20080923_001.jpg

Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 09:18 AM
Perhaps I will shoot one in my M28 and see what velocity it gives. Curiousity killed the cat you know. ;)

This is when I wish I still had my GP-100. :cool:

I can not visually tell the difference between the powder in question and my old W-231. Yes, it could be something else. It is not Bullseye, and I dought it is Unique. All the Unique I have seen is darker.

The Bushmaster
September 23, 2008, 10:46 AM
Looks like W-231 or WSF. Both are hard to tell apart. In recent days I have learned that WSF is a lot more powerfull then W-231. But neither one would be and over charge for .357 magnum until you exceed 8.0 grains.

rcmodel
September 23, 2008, 12:57 PM
The M19 was known not to hold up well with a diet of magnum loads.Oh come on!

My 19 & 66 have handled 7.0 grains Unique, or 14.5 grains of 2400 with 158 grain bullets since 1970 something, with no stiff extraction, and certainly no gun damage.

Either the powder in question is not Unique, or some of his loads had way more then 6.6 - 6.7 grains in them.

One, or the other!



Perhaps I will shoot one in my M28 and see what velocity it gives. Curiousity killed the cat you know.I wouldn't do that!

If some of his loads killed a M19 that dead, they very likely might wound a M28 also!

rcmodel

Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 05:28 PM
I wouldn't do that! I am absolutey sure that is good advise, but like I said earlier, curiousity killed the cat. ;)

I agree that it is probably some of his reloads that are the problem, not all of them. :)

Looks like W-231 or WSFIt's not WSF

CSA 357
September 23, 2008, 07:55 PM
Dont Do It! Pull Them Or Throw Them In The Pond, It Just Aint Worth It, I Use 6.0 Gr Of Unique With A 158 Cast Swc, That Load Would Not Mess Up A Mod 19, Around 1000 Fps Nice Plinking Load, O Yea Dont Shoot Those Bullets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:d Csa

Walkalong
September 23, 2008, 09:17 PM
Well, if I quit posting, you'll know why. :rolleyes:

Bozo
September 23, 2008, 09:31 PM
Now this is getting interesting, some of the more respected posters on reloading dickering on shoot them or not? I hope for the best.

Der Verge
September 23, 2008, 10:11 PM
I cannot believe that anyone here would even think about shooting these rounds. Is loosing life and or limb worth a couple of bucks in powder? I would say "no", but apparently we all don't feel this way.........do what you want, I won't feel a thing.

Sport45
September 23, 2008, 10:58 PM
Probably not risking life or limb. More like eyesight or fingers. Most likely just risking the money it would take to fix or replace a revolver S&W doesn't make any more.

(I wouldn't do it in any case.)

ants
September 23, 2008, 11:52 PM
Walkalong, do us a favor! Get a video camera and record those last minutes.
Let me wake up my friend Leroy. He ain't never seen a kaboom like that before...

Walkalong
September 24, 2008, 08:14 AM
I cannot believe that anyone here would even think about shooting these rounds. Is loosing life and or limb worth a couple of bucks in powder? I would say "no", I am not talking about shooting them all, even if one goes OK. If one shoots OK, I have to believe he overcharged some of them. My curiousity is wether or not they are all over charged with some unknown powder.

I guess I am talking about doing something a little risky and perhaps even stupid. Please understand I don't recommend doing this kind of thing. I post against taking chances all the time. I have always done things I would never let someone else do. I have scars to prove it. :eek:

Forget I mentioned it. Be safe, have fun. :)

dwave
September 24, 2008, 10:27 AM
I guess I am talking about doing something a little risky and perhaps even stupid. Please understand I don't recommend doing this kind of thing. I post against taking chances all the time. I have always done things I would never let someone else do. I have scars to prove it.

So have I. I have done MANY dangerous things that I would never recommend others to do, but hey, it's my life and I will live it as I see fit. I don't live by someone elses permition or approval. If I die or get hurt, then I die or get hurt.

loneviking
September 24, 2008, 10:46 AM
Ditto on 'this shouldn't be an overcharge with Unique'. I'd second pulling the bullets, dumping the powder and starting over. A target/defensive load I love is 8 grains of Unique pushing a Sierra 125 JHP. I use it out of a Colt Peacekeeper and have never had a problem. For 158's, I run between 6.7 and 6.9 gr. of Unique. So, I'd guess that the powder isn't Unique and I don't play around with an unknown powder....

Walkalong
September 24, 2008, 11:32 AM
If I had a bullet puller I would pull them all, deprime them, and reuse the bullets and brass, but not the powder or primers. I can pull the bullets, although I'll ruin them, but at least I'll get the brass from it. :)

NCsmitty
September 24, 2008, 05:24 PM
The primers should be fine to use. They are not an issue with the correct powder charges. How many rounds are you talking about?

NCsmitty

Walkalong
September 24, 2008, 08:02 PM
Around 100. I won't use the primers for the same reason I won't use the powder - unknown.

Sport45
September 24, 2008, 09:45 PM
Like NCsmitty said there's really no reason to pull the primers unless you are putting maximum powder charges in. No primer that would fit in the brass would cause overpressure if you were at least a half-grain under max. A rifle primer may cause some misfires due to its harder cup, but that doesn't seem to be the problem here.

I'd stick them in a baggy with a note not to shoot them because of the unknown powder charge and store them until you get a puller. Every reloader will eventually need that type of eraser anyway.

Walkalong
September 25, 2008, 11:47 AM
I have been loading over 20 years without a puller. I won't be getting one now.

I will satisfy my curiousity and dispose of the rounds. I am not going to buy a puller to get some used .357 brass and a few bullets. :)

The Bushmaster
September 25, 2008, 01:27 PM
Wanna borrow mine?

Ease up fellas...Walkalong knows what he's doin' (I hope)...

GaryL
September 25, 2008, 04:54 PM
Walkalong, do us a favor! Get a video camera and record those last minutes.
Let me wake up my friend Leroy. He ain't never seen a kaboom like that before...Leroy? Who the hell is Leroy?! (sorry, I had to - that made me laugh)

Losing the top strap on a revolver is no fun, even if you don't get hurt, or so I've been told by someone who knows about these things, and I don't feel he was lying about it. A 100 rnds isn't much trouble to break down with a pullet puller.

BTW, I don't see how any reloader can go about this craft without a bullet puller. I've had to use one to remove bullets from a few 45acp cases that weren't holding the bullets very tight (caught that right away and had to do some additional brass sorting), and I've had instances were changing to a different bullet manufacturer changed the OAL just enough to require a reset of the seating die, and a couple bullets needed to be pulled just enough to reseat to the proper OAL. I also have had the occasional missing primer (probably operator error) and if I think any powder leaked out, I just reprocess them to avoid the possibility of a lightly loaded round. I just think there are too many occasions that warrant the use of a puller, but as always YMMV.

Walkalong
November 24, 2008, 09:16 PM
Decided to just pull the bullets with dykes and salvage the cases and primers. :)

Thanks to all those who tried to keep me out of trouble.

Today at work John today asked me if I wanted to turn off the power to a light I was helping him with.

"Nah, don't worry about it" I said........a 600 volt blast from the ballast later, I said "Yea, go ahead and turn it off" :p

tasco 74
November 24, 2008, 09:38 PM
i got a hammer type bullet puller a long time ago... not much after i started reloading... i have used it several times or my own screwups and to reclaim components... every reloader should own a bullet puller of some sort... as for shooting an unknown load DON'T DO IT! i have bought reloads from friends who know what they are doing and shot them tho........ there are only a couple of guys i know who i would shoot loads from....... i had a guy ask me a couple of weeks ago if i would load some 9mms for him... i suppose a guy should have some kind of lable on the box that would imply NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISHAP..............................

LIFE IS SHORT.....

joneb
November 24, 2008, 10:19 PM
I have been loading over 20 years without a puller. I won't be getting one now.
Me to but........ a .375" hole drilled in a stick works :)
88228

Wedge
November 24, 2008, 10:19 PM
This looks like a perfect excuse to get a Ruger Redhawk in .357 Mag or a T/C in .357 Mag :-)

In all seriousness...I would pull it for components and either a) use it as plant food or b) pile it all up and set it on fire.

Plant food being the much safer option.

KegCommando
November 24, 2008, 10:33 PM
The ammo scarcity with the Obama ban talks must be getting pretty bad if we are discussing shooting questionable rounds.

Maybe the rounds were made by an anti-gunner hoping to trick people into blowing their own guns up.

1858rem
November 24, 2008, 10:47 PM
He loaded them, and he shot more even after he had trouble extracting.
:D:scrutiny::cool::rolleyes:

Walkalong
November 25, 2008, 08:52 AM
I like your bullet puller jibjab.

joneb
November 25, 2008, 12:25 PM
I like your bullet puller jibjab.
Thanks, having the right size drill bit helps, but if the cartridge is a little loose I use masking tape over the shell base to hold it in place, for rimless cartridges I use the shell holder and tape. If I over seat a bullet I use my stick puller to back it out a bit.

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