Indoor range said "no" to my loads


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Shrinkmd
March 15, 2012, 09:18 AM
I was shooting my 629, nicely keeping them in the black at 15 yards, when I was told by the management that my rounds were too dirty! I am shooting 240gr LSWC over 19gr of 2400. They shoot great, don't lead the barrel, accurate load which I am proud to be able to control fairly well shooting DA.

So, since I still want to shoot indoors in the winter (and the range is closer), what will make the bigger difference, switching to a jacketed or plated bullet, or using a different powder? Is most of the smoke they are seeing from the bullet lube melting off and burning?

I also shot some 38 special wadcutters with Bullseye, and they made clouds of smoke. Of course the airflow and filter swept it all up, but the range is worried about their filter needing changing prematurely if "everybody" started shooting these loads. I understand their point, but there doesn't seem to be any legion of reloading revolver shooters ready to take over their line!

So should I try cleaner powders with my lead bullets, or just shoot jacketed with 2400? Either way it's gonna cost me more, but I want to keep shooting my 44!

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Salmoneye
March 15, 2012, 09:21 AM
I was going to suggest shooting elsewhere, till I noticed you are in Jersey...

Quoheleth
March 15, 2012, 09:22 AM
Switching powder might help, but the problem is more than likely the bullet lube.

For fastest results, try the plated or jacketed bullets - that should clear up the smoke instantly.

For purpose of experimentation, try different powders with the lead bullets, but I think you'll find continued smokiness. I've read that Vihitivouri (sic) with lead bullets is almost as clean as shooting jacketed bullets, but that is something I've not chosen to try. I shoot outside, so it's a non-issue to me.

Good luck.
Q

Muddydogs
March 15, 2012, 09:24 AM
Its the bullet lube, switch to jacketed and you will be good to go.

Jeff H
March 15, 2012, 09:39 AM
For fastest results, try the plated or jacketed bullets - that should clear up the smoke instantly.


He can't use plated at those velocities that would be generated by 19 grains of 2400 but I agree, Jacketed bullets would solve the problem.

GT1
March 15, 2012, 09:44 AM
Yeah, a bulk buy of MG is in order looks like. Plated would have to be backed off, and then it isn't as much fun, right? :)

Too bad their ventilation isn't up to snuff, my pistol range allows BP and it handles it great.

LeonCarr
March 15, 2012, 09:54 AM
Using jacketed bullets with the 2400 will greatly reduce the smoke. Also, in your .38 Wadcutters try using WST for your powder. When I switched from W231 to WST it cut the smoke in half, even when using cast wadcutters.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Shrinkmd
March 15, 2012, 10:05 AM
Which Vihtavouri powder would be the best replacement for 2400? Would it really look that much cleaner or make significantly less smoke? I'll have to run the numbers but the jacketed are $80 or so more, so even if the powder is twice as expensive as 2400, $40 more per case is still $50 less than changing over to jacketed.

RandyP
March 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
FMJ or plated is all my local indoor ranges allow. All I use in Win 231/HP-38 which poses no problems for my low-mid range target reloads.

MANY indoor ranges ban bare lead due to the extra wear and tear on their air filtration systems.

Blue68f100
March 15, 2012, 10:13 AM
I shoot at a indoor range and they have a policy of no exposed lead bases. This is mainly a health reason for their employees that are around it all the time. Their ventilation system is good enough that I never get smoke in my face, which is one reason I keep going back. Changing powders may help but it's probably the lube on the bullets. I have used 2400 at this range with XTP loaded up and I don't recall a lot of smoke.

243winxb
March 15, 2012, 10:34 AM
Load a "target" load, not a maximun load for indoors. 6.0 gr of Bullseye or 7.0gr of Unique. with the 240 gr lead.

4895
March 15, 2012, 11:18 AM
I would forget getting the uber-pricey MG jacketed or pos plated bullets. Bear Creek Valley makes a great moly-coated bullet for about $40/500 or less depending on your source. I have great luck with them and Winchester 231. No leading, very little smoke, you can crank up the loads, and great accuracy. They are definately worth a shot (pun intended).

Walkalong
March 15, 2012, 01:19 PM
Which Vihtavouri powder would be the best replacement for 2400?N-110 is excellent in .44 Mag.

pos plated bulletsPlated bullets are shot by the millions, so they are obviously not "pos", just not your cup of tea, which is perfectly fine.

I have shot Bear Creek and Precision "moly" coated bullets, and they shoot well. They are not nearly as smoke free as plated or jacketed, but much less smoky than lead.

Powder choice can make a difference, but I do not know if another powder will be better than 2400 as far as smoke with lead goes.

gregj
March 15, 2012, 03:30 PM
You might also look at Bayou Bullets. They are coated with some sort of resin. Minimizes/elimates leading, virtually no smoke. They are my fav bullet, and I use a lot of them in USPSA matches.

denton
March 15, 2012, 05:04 PM
Yes, it's probably mostly the bullet lube. Also, powders tend to get more sooty as you decrease pressure. I have no idea whether you're near a max load, but if you can, you might clean up a bit with a slightly heavier load.

Hodgdon Universal seems to be pretty clean burning. It's hard to quantify, but that is my impression.

Tell those lazy slugs that your range fees go to pay for all the maintenance and their salaries and that they shouldn't whine about having to do their job.....well, you may want to hold off until you've found a different place to shoot. :)

joed
March 15, 2012, 05:26 PM
It's lube not the powder. First time I tried cast bulk bullets people at the range were asking me if I was shooting black powder. Totally turned me off and I was never going to shoot cast again. But then I tried some hard cast and noticed the problem was not as bad.

Shrinkmd
March 15, 2012, 05:27 PM
The range is nice and the owner seems like a good guy. I sense that they didn't fully anticipate what handloaders could put together, which could potentially cost them more money on filtration. I'm hoping to work something out, since driving to the outdoor range is considerably further. After accounting for gas and car wear and tear, it's possible that even jacketed bullets with fancier powder may be cheaper than driving further.

Of course, as I said before, there doesn't seem to be a legion of people showing up to shoot smoky 38 special wadcutters over bullseye. I guess it will work out in the end.

cberge8
March 15, 2012, 07:36 PM
You may want to try some of the bullets offered from the site below. Had the same issue with my indoor range when I was shooting cast lead from my .40, loaded some of these up, and was surprised to say the least. Less smoke than most factory FMJ loads, and absolutely no leading after a few hundred rounds.

You can't order online now, this listing is from an old link. Contact Donnie on the contact page and he will get you current prices if you decide to give them a shot.

http://www.bayoubullets.net/products.html

jack44
March 15, 2012, 09:01 PM
The joy of a outdoor shooting range.

Jeff H
March 15, 2012, 09:08 PM
The joy of a outdoor shooting range.

I agree.

to contribute to the OP's question, I always found that indoor ranges were nearly as cold in the winter as the outdoor ones since they have to pump so much fresh air in to keep the air clean. I now belong to an outdoor range and just choose to only go shooting on teh warmer days in the winter and the cooler ones in the summer.

Mr.Revolverguy
March 15, 2012, 09:15 PM
In the spirit of savings and obeying all my range rules because they are nice ranges and I want them to continue to be around. I shoot lead in the summer outdoors then I shoot extreme plated in the winter indoors.

1SOW
March 15, 2012, 09:37 PM
MANY indoor ranges don't allow any lead bullets and some require "complete" jacketing of the bullet---no exposed base. There are 'volumes' of lead hazards at "indoor" ranges due to "airborn lead". Google it.

gamestalker
March 15, 2012, 09:58 PM
Switch to jacketed bullets and the smoke will go away.

Shrinkmd
March 15, 2012, 10:20 PM
Luckily the range is state of the art regarding their filtration. When I lit off a bunch of 158 lswc over 3.5 of Bullseye, some of the smoke swirled around me and then got carried off. The 44 magnum rounds shot plenty of smoke downrange, but nothing in the air near me. They're not worried about the lead being in the air, they are more concerned over the smoke bothering other customers (of course people can shoot rifles indoors, which I think is more bothersome, but whatever) and mucking up their filter on the roof which sucks all the lead and smoke out of the air.

I sent Bayou an email, so I will check on current pricing and get some. I assume that I can use the same load data as my hard cast lead bullets (obviously I will work the loads up again and chrono them. Pain in the butt)

Sounds like I will definitely have my summer outdoor loads and my winter indoor ones. Although I must say I'm looking forward to not having to clean as much, or as aggressively. A 44 after 200 rounds of Unique or 2400 and lead rounds is quite a mess! Although the 38 Special loads with Bullseye make a gun positively filthy!

Remember the children's story "Harry the Dirty Dog"? Bullseye makes a stainless revolver with a few carbon spots into a carbon colored revolver with some stainless spots.

357holden
March 15, 2012, 10:54 PM
im starting to reload 38 and shoot a 357 i going to use 125 grain bullet and im going to use clay powder is that OK

Lost Sheep
March 15, 2012, 11:17 PM
Bring a muzzleloader to the range with you and ask which they would rather you shoot.

Can you move closer to the evacuation fan? (Doesn't solve the filter problem, but helps with the other shooters' being able to see clearly)

Can you switch bullet lubricants?

Lost Sheep

Shrinkmd
March 15, 2012, 11:26 PM
I think it's interesting that a majority of people at the moment would drive further to the outdoor range. Just for comparison, it would be 55 miles round trip to the outdoor vs 10 miles round trip to the indoor range. So figure an extra gallon or so of gas back and forth.

More importantly, I can try to get to the indoor range weekly, whereas the outdoor range used to be more of a monthly trip. And getting to shoot weekly is almost priceless. Even if I had to just shoot 22 all the time it would be worth it.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
March 15, 2012, 11:58 PM
I believe your smoke is from both the lube on the bullets and a low pressure load of 2400 ! I looked in the Alliant powder online manual and they showed a cast lead load of 250 grain bullet with 20 grains of 2400 , so I am thinking 19grains 2400 with a lighter 240 grain bullet might not develop enough pressure for complete combustion ! I would try hodgdon HP-38 or win 231 (same powder ) with a plated or polymer coated bullet ! That should put you in the same range velocity wise as your load ! Kevin

Shrinkmd
March 16, 2012, 02:51 PM
Silly question: Would a longer barrel help with more complete combustion? They make the 7.5" barrel stealth hunter. I know it would sure bump up the speed.

Ret.CWO
March 16, 2012, 03:10 PM
Just change the bullet lube if you cast your own. It's the lube burning not the powder.

Bovice
March 16, 2012, 04:16 PM
You should be happy that they allow you to bring reloads in to begin with! Most indoor ranges I have been to with the exception of one do not allow reloaded ammunition, and some even require that you purchase their ammo! It's Speer Lawman, so not terrible, but it's marked up in price.

Change to a jacketed bullet and find a new load that you like with them. It just adds more data to your logbook.

spclpatrolgroup
March 16, 2012, 04:34 PM
I shoot 22gr of 2400 out of my 44 blackhawk, I havent found it to be overly smokey indoors, but I shoot jacketed bullets, so I am guessing the others are right in suggesting its your lube.

kingmt
March 16, 2012, 05:03 PM
You should be happy that they allow you to bring reloads in to begin with! Most indoor ranges I have been to with the exception of one do not allow reloaded ammunition, and some even require that you purchase their ammo! It's Speer Lawman, so not terrible, but it's marked up in price.

Change to a jacketed bullet and find a new load that you like with them. It just adds more data to your logbook.
Really? I look at it the other way. They should fell lucky that you want to play at there place.

zxcvbob
March 16, 2012, 05:15 PM
If you're casting them yourself or can buy them unlubed, use Rooster Jacket bullet lube. I don't know how well it works for full power "magnum" loads.

NeuseRvrRat
March 16, 2012, 05:17 PM
Most indoor ranges I have been to with the exception of one do not allow reloaded ammunition

seems very difficult to enforce

altitude_19
March 16, 2012, 07:08 PM
seems very difficult to enforce
Especially when you stick your reloads in factory ammo boxes. ;'D

joneb
March 16, 2012, 11:20 PM
Try a jacketed bullet with 2400, if that doesn't fly try AA#9 or VV N110 or N105

Mango88
March 16, 2012, 11:45 PM
If they aren't pumping enough air to through the range to keep the smoke under control I would find a new place to shoot. They seem more concerned with the cost of an air filter than with the well being of their customers. However, if that's not an option, a different lube will help but I've noticed that my handloads that shoot fairly clean in the warmer months will be somewhat sooty/smokey when its cold. I've been thinking that next winter I may try some plated bullets, rather than jacketed, to cut done on the soot and to avoid the cost of jacketed bullets.

Shrinkmd
March 17, 2012, 12:33 AM
To be fair, their system handles the smoke just fine. I think they said it filters all the air every 80 seconds or something. Although the 38 special loads curled some smoke around me which pulled away, the 44 pushed all it's smoke forward, and it cleared quickly enough.

I understand their concern over the filter costing them more if everyone shoots smokier loads. They are in business to make money. I'm hoping they will let me keep shooting my 44 loads, even if they want to charge me more. If it is cheaper than jacketed rounds, extra time/gas/miles, and worn forcing cones, I'm ok with it.

And if not, I might just focus on my 22 bullseye practice and shoot Montana Gold 125 jhp through my old Model 10. My 629 has a wonderfully smooth action, and I don't want to tear up the barrel and forcing cone shooting jacketed rounds through it. Plus, it's the PC V-comp, so I don't know how easily they could just rebarrel it if needed.

Shrinkmd
March 17, 2012, 02:16 PM
I was shooting my loads today, and doing great with 20.2gr of 2400. About 1240 out of a 4" barrel. I liked them better than the 300MP loads, which did a few fps faster with a 24.6gr load.

I'll wake up early and drive more. I will make up some 38 special FMJ loads and some 38+p for indoors, and wear out my Model 10 or the 640.

Problem solved. Time to change the press over...

One78Shovel
March 17, 2012, 02:21 PM
I don't like shooting lead except in wheel guns.. That's for another thread.

Go to jacketed and try Universal Clays.

My 2 cents

-178S

One78Shovel
March 17, 2012, 02:23 PM
I think it's interesting that a majority of people at the moment would drive further to the outdoor range. Just for comparison, it would be 55 miles round trip to the outdoor vs 10 miles round trip to the indoor range. So figure an extra gallon or so of gas back and forth.

More importantly, I can try to get to the indoor range weekly, whereas the outdoor range used to be more of a monthly trip. And getting to shoot weekly is almost priceless. Even if I had to just shoot 22 all the time it would be worth it.
55 miles is a cake walk IMO.

I drive 110 miles R/T for outdoor range.

-178S

Dr_B
March 17, 2012, 03:58 PM
It's lube not the powder. First time I tried cast bulk bullets people at the range were asking me if I was shooting black powder.

I've usually shot my cast bullets outdoors and I've never paid attention to the smoke. But yesterday I shot some of my home cast 9mm's at an indoor range and immediately smoked up the place. Actually it was a lot of fun to blow out a huge cloud of smoke like that, and the filter system cleared it up in seconds. Yes, it seems to mostly be the lube making all that smoke. Smelled like burning crayons.

splattergun
March 18, 2012, 02:01 PM
A buddy of mine that lives 50 miles from me was telling me just 2 days ago of a trip he made to an indoor range in his neighborhood and overheard the 3 counter-bots laughing and joking about having forgotten to turn on the air filtration system 2 days in a row. He turned around and walked out and will never go back.:eek:

I have 2 indoor ranges w/in 5 miles of my home. Nearest outdoor range is 12 miles. My pick-up gets 12 mpg town driving. 2 gallons of gas is just a part of the cost of the hobby, and not too much to pay for healthier conditions.

zxcvbob
March 18, 2012, 03:01 PM
I've usually shot my cast bullets outdoors and I've never paid attention to the smoke. But yesterday I shot some of my home cast 9mm's at an indoor range and immediately smoked up the place. Actually it was a lot of fun to blow out a huge cloud of smoke like that, and the filter system cleared it up in seconds. Yes, it seems to mostly be the lube making all that smoke. Smelled like burning crayons.

It is the lube (mostly) but some powders create more smoke from the lube than others. Titegroup is bad about that; it's OK with copper-plated bullets.

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