Hodgdon Lil-Gun range and chrony report (357 magnum carbine) input wanted


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R.W.Dale
January 30, 2010, 06:49 PM
First off I believe it's time for me to eat crow on the 2k fps 158g carbine loads. I've long countered this is not possible but the results below have me convinced this is an entirely achievable goal.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5919704&postcount=14


Here's what I came up with today from my Marlin 1894cs working up a 158grn lilgun load the graph below outlines my results in better detail than I can type.

The fly in the ointment is between the 16.0 grn load and the 17.5 accuracy completely fall to pieces with a propensity to throw wild fliers. Even the relatively good groups at both ends of this load spectrum were so afflicted. This needs to be diagnosed, right now I suspect insufficient crimp.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=114488&d=1264895254

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243winxb
January 31, 2010, 11:52 AM
:scrutiny:You using handgun listed data from Hodgdons site. Shows very low pressure compared to other powders, wonder why? There is no lilgun listed under rifles, wonder why? right now I suspect insufficient crimp. I would guess, crimp will not change accuracy. . Smokeless powder needs pressure to burn correctly. This powder is LOW pressure. I also notice that lilgun is not listed for lead bullets, reason, would not build enought pressure,:confused: a guess.:scrutiny: One cold day day you will not get a good burn on lilgun and lodge a bullet in the barrel. Total guess on my part.:confused: The powder that scares me the most on Hodgdons data is the HS6. Look at the pressure between lead and jacketed 158gr bullets. WOW :uhoh:

Clark
January 31, 2010, 12:08 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I cut an inch off the bottom of the frame of a police surplus revolver, put on a Cobra gripper, and reamed out the chambers from 38 special to 357 mag.

The max 357 mag load for LIL'GUN is 18 gr 158 gr.
But with double compression, I can squeeze 26 gr in there.
26 gr makes much more noise, fireball, and recoil.
But there was a surprise with the chrono:


Colt Police Positive 38 Special 4" barrel:
1) 38 sp ammo I bought 158 gr. JHP, 830 fps
2) 18 gr. LIL'GUN 158 gr. XTP 1.59", WSPM, 1173 fps
3) 23.5 gr. LIL'GUN 158 gr. XTP 1.59", WSPM, 1155 fps

The testing was at 23.5 gr, because it is much easier to get that much to fit.

R.W.Dale
January 31, 2010, 12:08 PM
Well I've read up extensively on this propellant and even found some 3rd party pressure testing. All indications point to hogdons low pressure claims to be in error. My experiance shooting these loads bears this out. Why hodgdon stays with CUP in this century is beyond me.

As to temp sensitivity it sounds counter intuitive But everything I've read points to this and similar .410 shotgun powders to increase pressure as temps decrease and become quite unstable at temps below zero


CLARK! please remove your post from MY thread NOW! it adds nothing to this discussion whatsoever just like all your postings about your wacky overloads

243winxb
January 31, 2010, 12:20 PM
Krochus, glad to see your doing your homework, research makes it a little safer. Clark, slower with a larger charge of compressed powder, interesting . Hodgdon's list 18 grs faster. 158 GR. HDY XTP @ 1577 with a handgun?? Looks like 2 gr. more of powder only gets Hodgdon 73 fps more, both close enough to be listed as a maximum load IMO. http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load_print.asp?printnow=1

R.W.Dale
January 31, 2010, 12:26 PM
http://www.mountainmolds.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=67

take this for what you will as it's only ONE source but it does show some VERY interesting findings.
http://www.mountainmolds.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=67

I tried 15grs of LIL GUN under a 158g cast rnfp and there was absolutely NO accuracy to speak of. At @1800fps +or- I figure I was exceeding the velocity and pressure handling charistics of a non GC'd bullet

EDIT: A goldmine of pressure data with this powder
http://www.mountainmolds.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25

Kernel
January 31, 2010, 01:48 PM
input wanted
Looks like your analysis is based on single 5 shot strings at each charge weight. That’s a good start, and the results are interesting, but I’d like to have more data before I made definitive conclusions regarding performance.

Clark
February 2, 2010, 05:41 PM
243winxb
Member


Join Date: July 8, 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,889

... Clark, slower with a larger charge of compressed powder, interesting . Hodgdon's list 18 grs faster. 158 GR. HDY XTP @ 1577 with a handgun?? Looks like 2 gr. more of powder only gets Hodgdon 73 fps more, both close enough to be listed as a maximum load IMO. http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_lo...asp?printnow=1

The Quickload program is extremely accurate in bottle necked rifle cartridges, with the predicted velocity often in the center of the chronographed string of data.

But as the author of Quickload points out, it has trouble with straight wall cartridges.
Often, my straight wall cartridge loads are predicted by QL to be over 1,000,000 psi and 2,000 fps, and yet do not pierce the primer and they go over the chrono at 1400 fps.

The reason is that it is hard to predict how much powder will be blown out the muzzle before it burns.

http://www.mountainmolds.com/pics/psi_296_LG_trace.gif

I have long felt that is how Hodgdon got the weird LIL'GUN data for 158 gr in 357 mag.

It would seem from reading Hodgdon that LIL'GUN has some advantage over H110 in 357 mag 158 gr.
I do not believe that is the case, and the relative measurements of the two re enforce that.

R.W.Dale
February 13, 2010, 07:57 PM
:scrutiny:You using handgun listed data from Hodgdons site. Shows very low pressure compared to other powders, wonder why? There is no lilgun listed under rifles, wonder why? I would guess, crimp will not change accuracy. . Smokeless powder needs pressure to burn correctly. This powder is LOW pressure. I also notice that lilgun is not listed for lead bullets, reason, would not build enought pressure,:confused: a guess.:scrutiny: One cold day day you will not get a good burn on lilgun and lodge a bullet in the barrel. Total guess on my part.:confused: The powder that scares me the most on Hodgdons data is the HS6. Look at the pressure between lead and jacketed 158gr bullets. WOW :uhoh:

I have some more results to show and I'm now beginning to think some of your concerns are well founded. It's also becoming evident that something is VERY WRONG with hodgdon's pressure data for LIL-GUN in 357 mag. The data may show that LIL Gun operates at close to 20,000cup less from other powders but my case head expansion measurement is .0015" MORE with the lilgun max loads vs max loadings for ww296 with lilgun producing a much more pronounced expansion ring

The velocity difference from a super cold day (green ink) to a day in the low 50's (purple ink) is really scaring me with lilgun as well (alluded to in the link above). Not to mantion that there is NO comparison in terms of accuracy compared to the more mainstream ww296

R.W.Dale
February 14, 2010, 06:58 PM
anyone?

Walkalong
February 14, 2010, 07:18 PM
I tried Lil' Gun in .44 Mag recently compared to my old standby AA #9. I also tried N110 soon after. I'll stick with AA #9 & N110.

I have not done any hot vs cold comparison. I also find it hard to believe it does what other powders can and do it at much less pressure. There is no free lunch.

243winxb
February 14, 2010, 08:47 PM
Not to mantion that there is NO comparison in terms of accuracy compared to the more mainstream ww296 Accuracy is always more desirable then velocity.

ArchAngelCD
February 15, 2010, 02:12 AM
I've tried Lil'Gun with 158gr Hornady XTP bullets and found them to be stout loads. You're right, the middle charges seem to lack accuracy but up nead the top end of 18.0gr the accuracy seemed to pick up. I won't use Lil'Gun for my handguns any more until I'm sure it won't trash the barrels but I am still using it in my Carbine.

As for the fliers, are you sure you're getting consistent powder throws from your powder measure? That's the only thing I can think of right now that would throw off the accuracy of only a few rounds. If you're not sure weigh the charges of 10 or 12 rounds and pass them over the Chrono and see what you get...

R.W.Dale
February 15, 2010, 08:59 PM
The fliers are appearently all lil-gun

using h110 the propensity to throw shots wild was greatly diminished

R.W.Dale
February 17, 2010, 12:00 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20050502124831/http://www.rainierballistics.com/loaddataMW.htm

Hey fellas take a look at this pressure tested data! If correct this flies in the face of what Hodgdon claims for LiL Gun pressures in .357 magnum. The plot thickens

MCgunner
February 18, 2010, 05:07 PM
I get 4" groups from 17 grains and a 165 grain SWC. It's pushing near 1900 fps on a 55 degree day. Now, I've never shot a rifle in 0 degree weather. That COULD be your problem. I would not know. It rarely freezes here, let alone get THAT cold. I'm shooting gas checked bullets and get no leading. I am shooting them out of a 20" Rossi 92.

tango2echo
February 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
Krocus, some of the data in that link looks suspect to me. Their data for H-110 shows about 10,000cup lower than Hodgdon's data with the same charge, as well as data from other manuals. Looks to me like their numbers are low in some areas and high in others.

I will not argue that Hodgdon's numbers for Lil Gun are suspect as well, but I don't think the error is as great as some people believe.

Just my two cents, and I am by no means an expert on the matter.

t2e

R.W.Dale
February 18, 2010, 05:46 PM
Krocus, some of the data in that link looks suspect to me. Their data for H-110 shows about 10,000cup lower than Hodgdon's data with the same charge,

You cannot compare the two sources of data other than as a high low indication of relative max pressure because Hodgdon's data is in CUP and the data from the above link is in PSI

For 158grn bullets HODGDON claims that their max load of LIL GUN 18.0grs develops 36% less pressure than the 16.7g max loading of H-110

The plated data above shows that LilGun at 17.4grs mAX as developing only 11% less pressure than the 16.2grn H110 load shown (max)

Even allowing for the slightly differing max charges that is a BIG disparity

tango2echo
February 18, 2010, 08:10 PM
You cannot compare the two sources of data other than as a high low indication of relative max pressure because Hodgdon's data is in CUP and the data from the above link is in PSI


Open mouth,...insert foot. I completely missed that the above link's data was in PSI and not CUP. My mistake.

t2e

Clark
February 18, 2010, 08:32 PM
I think we got to the bottom, of the Hodgdon's published data showing too low a pressure for 357mag 158 gr LIL'GUN, here on TFL 4 years ago.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=206000&highlight=LIL%27GUN


John Bercovitz got the bottom of 357 mag pressure in 1995:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.guns/browse_frm/thread/68ca10110c80e7aa/f002ce69fa01e631
So, it does not matter for the 357 mag WHAT mistakes Hodgdon makes to an advanced reloader.

John Bercovitz and I teamed up to get to the bottom of the load books being wrong about CZ52s and Tokarevs in 2005.

What does it all mean?
1) LIL'GUN blows out the muzzle before it burns in some loads, reducing pressure, but making a big fire ball.
2) 357 mag gets sticky cases at lower pressures with thin chamber walls.
3) Load book did a copy cat error when they said the CZ52 was strong

USMC DOC
November 6, 2010, 12:12 PM
:eek: Some folks scare me. A certain member that posted on this topic has been removed from other sights I visit, for publishing ridiculous over loads and practices. Including bragging about how many handguns he has blown up in his hands with intentional overloads.:uhoh: Newbies come here looking for advice and giving them bad advice is detrimental to their safety as well as the reputation of the fine group of knowledgeable gun owners here. The last gun owners need is the media to describe how 22 year old man lost his hand and vision in both eyes when his handgun exploded in his hand after following advice from a "professional". Furthermore making gun ownership seem like a bad idea. Lastly, how do you ream a 38 to 357 if the cylinder is shorter. Also it was not designed for that type of pressure. I leave powder experimentation up to the powder companies as they have trained techs and the proper piezoelectric test equipment and barrels... vice risk holding a grenade in your hand. Not bashing...saying don't bring others into insane practices. my .02:)

buck460XVR
November 6, 2010, 01:21 PM
krochus....anymore research on this? I too once used Lil' Gun because of the reduced pressure claims and the claimed velocity increase over H110/W296.(used it in .357, .44 and .460 mags) My shooting experience was not so. Recoil was similar to H110/W296 at similar velocities and accuracy was never as good. It did need a firm crimp for any kind of accuracy consistency. One thing I noticed using it in revolvers and carbines was how hot they got and how much faster they got hot as compared to H110/W296. Seemed I was always waiting for guns to cool down. Finally I gave up on Lil' Gun and just went back to H110/W296. Since then there has been quite a bit of info posted about premature forcing cone erosion using Lil' Gun because of the high heat it produces, especially when using light bullets. Maybe this is why it was never recommended for lead bullets. Even tho I never noticed any forcing cone damage, I have since quit using it alltogether. I may use the last half pound up in the carbines just to get rid of it or maybe just feed the flowers with it.

ReloaderFred
November 6, 2010, 03:26 PM
In using Lil'Gun exclusively in my .357 Magnum Marlin Carbine with 180 grain cast gas check bullets, it gave me an honest 200 fps increase over Winchester 296/H-110 loads for the same bullet. This was across my PACT Professional Chronograph. I don't use it in handguns, but found it very efficient in the Carbine, and very accurate, too.

Hope this helps.

Fred

ArchAngelCD
November 9, 2010, 02:42 AM
In using Lil'Gun exclusively in my .357 Magnum Marlin Carbine with 180 grain cast gas check bullets, it gave me an honest 200 fps increase over Winchester 296/H-110 loads for the same bullet. This was across my PACT Professional Chronograph. I don't use it in handguns, but found it very efficient in the Carbine, and very accurate, too.
Fred,
I've found the same exact thing with my tests. I really like Lil'Gun in my Carbine with heavy bullets. I think that's the best use for Lil'Gun when loading for the .357 Magnum.

Skip_a_roo
November 9, 2010, 05:30 AM
Lil' Gun isn't going to be in any of my revolvers. That being said, it goes in all of my Marlins, 1894 CS with octagon barrels, and one with a round barrel. All have Ballard rifling. Two 44Mag and one 357Mag. The 357Mag is the wife's gun and has a load from an article from Rifle Magazine that runs through it. It uses 19gr under a Hornady 158gr XTP for just over the 2000fps mark. 1" @ 50 yards and just over 2" @ 100 yards. It puts this little carbine right in the lower end of 35Rem ballistics and is accurate enough for hunting out to 150 yards or so. Here in Indiana, that is an incredibly LONG shot.

In the 44Mags, and I know this is quite a thread drift but, I am getting just under 1900fps with a 240gr XTP and that really makes the XTP work. Taken two hogs and 2 rams with it so far, devastating to say the least!

ReloaderFred
November 9, 2010, 12:14 PM
ArchAngelCD and Skip_a_roo,

I consider Lil'Gun as a niche powder in the pistol caliber carbines and rifles. I limit my use to the "heavy for caliber" bullets and it shines in that use. I've found it to be more accurate and produce much more velocity than Winchester 296 and Hodgdon H-110, the previous champs in this catagory. I'm really happy with it in this regard. It's certainly not a "do all" powder, but then I didn't expect it to be, either.

Hope this helps.

Fred

ArchAngelCD
November 10, 2010, 01:01 AM
Fred,
I agree again. That is Lil'Gun for sure...

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