Unburned powder and leading w/231


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TEAM101
April 21, 2013, 05:40 PM
Load: 4-4.2 gr. Win 231, 125 gr. lead flat point 14-16 bn, .38 spl 1X mixed brass, Win SP and CCI SP primers.

Fired in a SP101 2.25". Moderate leading and unburned powder remaining in the spent cases.

I'm using a Lyman 49 manual and an older Speer manual and neither have load data for a 125 gr lead bullet. The powder charge I'm using was worked up from 3.8 gr where I didn't experience leading, but did have unburned powder remaining. I have quite a few bullets and several lbs of powder left, so I would like to find the optimal charge to remedy these issues.

Does anyone have a pet load or a link to some load data using 231 and a 125 gr projectile. Most of the load data I found revolves around the 158 gr projectiles. This will be used in firearms with barrel lengths ranging from 2"-5".

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bds
April 21, 2013, 05:51 PM
According to Hodgdon load data (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp), looks like you need to increase the powder charge. How about trying 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 gr and see what it does?
125 gr CAST LRNFP W231/HP-38 Dia .358" OAL 1.445" Start 3.8 gr (876 fps) 10,300 CUP - Max 4.8 gr (1071 fps) 16,900 CUP

1KPerDay
April 21, 2013, 05:54 PM
Have you slugged your bore?

TEAM101
April 21, 2013, 06:22 PM
No, I haven't slugged the bore. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't I experience leading @ 3.8 gr if that were the issue?

bds
April 21, 2013, 06:28 PM
Glen Fryxell has a very good chapter in his free e-book on leading. It covers definition of leading along with location, cause, prevention and removal.

The chapter should just about answer all questions regarding leading - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm

1KPerDay
April 21, 2013, 11:12 PM
No, I haven't slugged the bore. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't I experience leading @ 3.8 gr if that were the issue?
forgive me; I didn't read your post correctly. :)

Jesse Heywood
April 21, 2013, 11:41 PM
but wouldn't I experience leading @ 3.8 gr if that were the issue?

Not necessarily. The lack of leading could be due to a lack of friction from a small, hard bullet being pushed with pressure too low to expand.

I would recommend working at the top end of the load data. If that doesn't give good results, you might want to use those bullets with a different powder or in 357 mag loads.

788Ham
April 22, 2013, 12:44 AM
I use 4.0 gr's of Win 231 and a 158 gr lead bullet, about 775 fps out of my revolvers, S&W 15, SP 101 3", no problems with leading at all. Might get a heavier bullet and try that.

joneb
April 22, 2013, 02:00 AM
For 38spl I load 4.2gr of W-231, this is my target load.
If I were to load for a 125gr cast bullet with a bhn of 14-16 my charge would be more than 4.2gr.
Have you slugged your bore?
This is irrelevant as the cylinder mouth determines the diameter of the bullet that enters the bore.
So what diameter are these bullets ?

ArchAngelCD
April 22, 2013, 02:27 AM
Who's bullets are you using and what lube is on them?

Is the leading back in the barrel or mostly near the end of the barrel? If it's out near the end of the barrel the bullet is running out of lube. More information please...

murf
April 22, 2013, 04:45 AM
jibjab,

if the cylinder throat diameter is smaller than barrel groove diameter, the bullet will lead the barrel regardless. so, the op should slug both the barrel and cylinder throat to make sure this is not the case.

team101,

also, before you crimp the round, try to push the bullet into the case (turn upside down and push on a wood bench, table, etc.). if the bullet pushes in, your case tension is not enough and will need to be increased. the unburned powder indicates low pressure. greater bullet pull could be a remedy.

a light crimp should be appropriate for this load, so increasing it will not help.

measure the bullet diameter while your at it so we can compare it to the groove and throat diameters.

murf

TEAM101
April 22, 2013, 04:53 AM
Thanks for the link BDS. That site is informative.

Archangel: Vances, blue lube, single grease groove, frosted from cone to tip with some leading in the throats.

Jubjab: .358


According to the link, either of these may be my issue:

General haze over the entire bore. If the lead deposits show up as a gray haze over the entire bore it may not be an indication of a leading problem. Sometimes this is just an indication that a barrel still needs to be broken in. The way some barrel steels behave when cut, there can be microscopic surface roughness that accumulates a fine-grained film of lead over the surface for the first few hundred rounds or so From this point(this used to be particularly common with stainless revolvers, especially Rugers, but the situation has improved in recent years). If this haze bothers you and you want it to go away, just go out and shoot then gun, alot! If you're impatient, then fire-lap it.

Or

If the haze is more than just a fine-grained, light gray haze, and amounts to more serious leading over the entire bore, it is most likely due to the cast bullets being undersized relative to groove diameter. Slug the barrel and throats and make sure that the throats are indeed larger than groove diameter, and that the bullets are sized at least as large as groove diameter.

Unless someone recommends a more efficient plan of action, my plan is to 1st slug the cylinder throats and bore. Leading in the throats leads me to believe the problem may lie there. If the throats are not the culprit, I'll work up to some 4.8 gr loads. If leading persists, as a last resort, I'll shoot a few hundred jacketed bullets to burnish the contact surfaces. After that I'm at a loss, so I guess a trip back to Ruger may be in order.

murf
April 22, 2013, 05:13 AM
you are probably not going to get those 14bhn bullets to expand at any 38spl pressure. so, the diameters are going to have to be correct to eliminate the leading in your cylinder throats.

your on the right track according to post #12. don't forget the bullet diameter.

murf

ArchAngelCD
April 22, 2013, 05:47 AM
I agree, you might want to shoot bullets which are no harder than 12 BHN. Since the leading runs the length of the barrel I'm guessing the bullet never does seal the barrel and hot gasses are melting the side of the bullet.

Springfield0612
April 25, 2013, 04:03 PM
You're on the right track, boolit dia. has way more to do with your leading issue than the model of the gun you're shooting it out of. Slug your barrel. If you want to shoot a hard bullet fast, use a gas check!

rcmodel
April 25, 2013, 09:12 PM
If it's a revolver?

Bore diameter is next to the least important thing you can measure.
It simply doesn't matter.

Slug the chamber throats and pick a bullet the same dia. or slightly larger.

The bore leading will fix itself if your bullets fit the chamber throats, and are not too hard to bump up to fit them.

The forcing cone in the barrel is there to make what comes out of the cylinder fit the barrel..

But all that depends on a soft enough bullet, or a hot enough powder charge to make them slug up to fit the cylinder throats.

Your bullets are too hard to bump up at low pressure.
And your powder charge is too low to accomplish that.

SO you will get gas cutting melting the sides of the bullets, and complete bore leading.
As you have discovered already.

rc

GP100man
April 25, 2013, 10:13 PM
First ya mention natta of accuracy , I bet it was barely OK with the 3.8 load, then went south as the bore leaded with the 4.2 loading??

Lead in the throats is a sign of too small a boolit , if they`re not ruff.

The 3.8 loads did`nt lead because the gas was "cooler" & at a slower "leakage" around the boolit.

As pressure/temp went up more leading occured , too small a boolit.

Now , to shoot lite lead boolits fast ya need 2 things ,1 ashort throated gun,2 If a revolver ya need the throats .001-.002" over bore dia.

Think of shooting the boolit thru a slow sloping funnel , it never hits a loose spot !!

I have reamed my cyls. .0015" over bore as best I can mic & even then the speed I can get cleanly from short boolits is limited.

WHY ??

Because if I push em they`re going full tilt (almost)when they hit the cone & lands & the alloy gives (tears) before the boolit starts spinnin & the tearing allows gas cutting GALORE !!

I can make em harder to get to the speed I need ,but alloys are expensive/getting harder to find cheaply & by that time I may as well save time/expense & shoot condomed (jacketed) bullets, no fun in that !!!

Here`s a true KEITH 358429 from NOE Bullet Moulds ,my alloy is a soft 9bhn.
They`re sized to a true(mic`ed) .358" loobed with randy rats TAC1 loobe.Weight avg. 179.5grs.

Load was 7gr. of IMR800X , 80%+ case fill to base of boolit.
I did`nt chrono em but it WAS`NT a mid loading, closer to full power .
NO LEADING!!

WHY???

The front band was in the cone/lands before the base was out of the case!

http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/xx110/GP100man/102_1247-1.jpg (http://s746.photobucket.com/user/GP100man/media/102_1247-1.jpg.html)

I know what ya thinkin , too heavy , more recoil,rite ???

Well ya can always slow em down, heavy boolits work to !!!
& with less blast & wear.tear on you & firearm !!

I`m finished now ;)

Certaindeaf
April 25, 2013, 10:19 PM
Yeabut little stubby 105 grain SWC's are super accurate, in my experience.

GP100man
April 25, 2013, 10:21 PM
NO I`m not !!

WW231 is a good powder!! I`ve shot many loads with it ,but in 357,38 ,with lite boolits NO ,I think & this may be totally wrong ,but I think the burn rate is perfectly timed to peak while the boolit is in the "jump" throat to cone/lands.

A faster powder (Hodgdon`s CLAYS) I feel peaks before the "jump" thus easier on shorter boolits.

GP100man
April 25, 2013, 10:23 PM
Certaindeaf:

They are for me also , but they FIT & have a square shoulder hitting the cone/lands.& I`ve run em 1K or better with CLAYS

The Lee 125 swc has a fair sized bearing surface for a 125 gr. boolit

The OP is useing a trunicated boolit ,I bet with a very short bearing surface.

Certaindeaf
April 25, 2013, 10:24 PM
I hear you.. I generally use fast powders for anything less than "full-pull".

4895
April 25, 2013, 10:30 PM
I would push the bullets as hard as you can with that powder and hope there is enough pressure to stop the leading. Otherwise, I would save them for 357 mag loads and buy some softer lead bullets for the .38 spl.

bds
April 25, 2013, 10:40 PM
Anticipating to hear from the OP ... :)

joneb
April 26, 2013, 12:01 AM
jibjab,

if the cylinder throat diameter is smaller than barrel groove diameter, the bullet will lead the barrel regardless. so, the op should slug both the barrel and cylinder throat to make sure this is not the case.

If this is the case the firearm manufacture screwed up and the throats will need some reaming.

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