Appalling chrono results from my 44 mag loads! Disgusting!


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IMtheNRA
July 5, 2013, 08:46 PM
My SD and Extreme Spread numbers are bad and I'm wondering where to start looking for ways to get these numbers lower. The purpose of this load is revolver target shooting and plinking at ranges of up to 350 yards. At 25 yards, I get outstanding groups, but today's chrono numbers make me wonder how much of the 350-yard performance is me and how much is the difference between individual cartridgers in the cylinder. Here are the technical details:

Equipment: Hornady LNL-AP; large powder measure rotor.

Bullet: Speer Gold Dot 240-grain bullet
Brass: Remington nickel plated brass, brand new, never fired
Primer: CCI - LP - Magnum
OAL range: 1.606-1.615
Charge: Hodgdon H110 powder = 23.6 grains (+/- 0.1 grain)
Crimp: Very strong crimp - any more and I'd buckle the cases



I tested this load with two revolvers:


Colt Anaconda 6-inch results:

Average Vel 1300
SD = 23
ES = 68



Smith & Wesson 29-3 (Silhouette model) with a 10.5-inch barrel:

Average Vel = 1410
SD = 47
ES = 128


This load was worked up from lower charges until 25-yard accuracy was satisfactory, but now I shoot at much longer distances and I'm worried about inconsistencies that may have been negligible at only 25 yards.

What's a good place to start if I want to reduce the SD and ES numbers to a more respectable range?

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steve4102
July 5, 2013, 08:51 PM
How far was the Chrony from the muzzle?

snakeman
July 5, 2013, 08:53 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you have unreal expectations. Handguns have short sight radiuses. Instead of trying to turn it into a precision rifle, maybe you should allow handguns to be handguns and limit your expectations to outstanding groups at 150 yards.

IMtheNRA
July 5, 2013, 08:56 PM
The muzzle was about 10 yards from the screens.

Walkalong
July 5, 2013, 08:58 PM
My AA #9 Load with a 240 Gr JHP from a 5.5" Redhawk

HI=1334
LO=1305
AVG=1323
ES=26
SD=9


My N110 Load with a 240 Gr JHP from a 5.5" Redhawk

HI=1403
LO=1366
AVG=1383
ES=37
SD=13


Your Anaconda numbers are not so bad, but the M-29 numbers are definitely disappointing. I shoot pistols on our 300 yard range sometimes and you definitely need good ES numbers for that. It's hard enough as it is.

readyeddy
July 5, 2013, 09:00 PM
What he said. Explosions and the resulting velocities tend to vary quite a bit at times.

IMtheNRA
July 5, 2013, 09:06 PM
Yes, the results from the 29 were so bad, that I'm beginning to suspect some manufacturing variation among the six chambers.

Nonetheless, where is a good place to start improving at least the Anaconda numbers?

Captaingyro
July 5, 2013, 09:41 PM
The first things I would try would be regular (non-magnum) primers and less crimp.
If the bullets are not being nudged forward out of the cases under recoil, you've got enough crimp. Anything more than that is accomplishing...what?

SlamFire1
July 5, 2013, 09:47 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you have unreal expectations. Handguns have short sight radiuses. Instead of trying to turn it into a precision rifle, maybe you should allow handguns to be handguns and limit your expectations to outstanding groups at 150 yards.

+1

The more you chronograph pistol ammunition the more you will see this.

1SOW
July 5, 2013, 09:55 PM
The OP wasn't questioning accuracy at long range. He was questioning the CHRONO variations.

Crimp: Very strong crimp - any more and I'd buckle the cases
Just a thought:
Chrono numbers reflect consistency. The above quote led me to say this.
It's easier to have bigger extremes when you 'force' maximums at any reloading stage.
"Enough" consistently is better than "Maximum" most of the time.
Case, sizing, powder drop, seating depth and crimp. Longer bbl amplifies differences in whatever variations there are in the loads..

moxie
July 5, 2013, 11:13 PM
Two observations:

1. You say the chrono screens are 10 YARDS (30 ft.) from the muzzle. They should be about 10 FEET away.

2. Try a lighter crimp, what I call a "firm" crimp. Remember that the purpose of the crimp is primarily to help case neck tension prevent "bullet jump." Secondarily, crimp helps (sometimes!) with ignition. Only a bit of crimp is need to accomplish both purposes. Cranking down until just before the case buckles is not necessary and could be deforming your expensive bullets, accounting for loss in accuracy.

zxcvbob
July 5, 2013, 11:28 PM
Try lead bullets. Less friction and a better gas seal.

You should be able to get those velocities and tighter SD's while using a lot less powder with something like Blue Dot or Herco.

gamestalker
July 6, 2013, 12:11 AM
I don't know how much effect it might have, but I always run new brass through the resize die, trim, and ream / chamfer before I load them. I'm especially picky about revolver brass being the same length, other wise my crimps are not going to be consistent. I also think that where you crimp, and especially when running full tilt with slow powders like H110 is very important. Slower powders can have a profound effect on bullet jump with rounds that are approaching battery. OAL can significantly change when under such high pressures and recoil, which is something I have personally experienced, which in turn can produce inconsistency effects regarding velocities. So I always place my crimp just over the bottom edge of the canelure to keep that projectile held securely at the original OAL throughout the cycling of the cylinder during live fire. And just to let you know I'm on the same page as you reloading wise, I run full tilt jacketed 44 mag. H110 / 296 loads pretty much exclusively.

Sooty cases or soot being heavy on one side of the brass can be evidence of an inefficient powder burn, also unburned particle, and also unusual velocity variations can also be the result of not enough powder. I'm not suggesting that anyone just start their loads at max or near max, but doing full works ups will help to determine what charge produces the most consistent performance.

GS
GS

murf
July 6, 2013, 12:13 AM
are the cases all the same length? won't get consistent crimp if not.

are the cases all from the same lot? hope not range pick-up. all should have been reloaded the same number of times.

seat and crimp in separate steps?

seating stem correct shape for bullet? don't want to seat them crooked.

bullets pulling out of the case from recoil? fire five, pull sixth and measure cartridge length. shouldn't move much, if at all.

not sure h110 gives good numbers. holes close together is what counts (you say that and then worry about large numbers - don't worry!).

switch primers. keep it magnum.

shooting at 100 yards will give you a better idea if your load will be accurate at 350. wadcutters are most accurate at 25 and 50 yards, at 100 they are all over the place. the gold dot should be ok at 350.

murf

p.s. use starline cases. they are, by far, the best pistol cases on the market. if you want to shoot 350 yards, use them. use the others for shooting at 25 and 50 yards.

edfardos
July 6, 2013, 12:21 AM
23.5 h110 in my ruger super Redhawk 9.5" gets the same chrony readings. 50 feet off bags with a red dot scope can hit a quarter every time. Standing with iron sights... not so much.

Edfardos

steve4102
July 6, 2013, 12:42 AM
The muzzle was about 10 yards from the screens.

Really, 30 feet? Or typo?

IMtheNRA
July 6, 2013, 01:26 AM
Based on a few posts here, I began to question the wisdom of my muzzle distance from the screens. Here is the relevant information from CED's FAQ area:


Q
Will my CED Millennium Chronograph register shots if I put it down range further than the specified 7 to 10 feet?

A
Yes, the CED Millennium & M2 Chronographs will register velocities at any distance from which you can shoot through them! Many customers put the chronograph 100 - 200 yards down range.



Regarding max crimp: the reason I do that is to reduce bullet creep as much as possible. Even at maximum crimp, after five shots, my test rounds experience creep which is stopped only when the bottom end of the bullet's cannelure reaches the crimped edge of the case mouth.



During the same chrono sessions, I got very satisfactory results with my 9mm and .357 Magnum loads, so I don't think my testing methodology is at fault. Could be, of course, but I can't think of anything I did wrong during my chrono tests.

41 Mag
July 6, 2013, 05:07 AM
Regarding max crimp: the reason I do that is to reduce bullet creep as much as possible. Even at maximum crimp, after five shots, my test rounds experience creep which is stopped only when the bottom end of the bullet's cannelure reaches the crimped edge of the case mouth.

As mentioned for the accuracy your looking for trimming the cases to the same lenght will help squeeze out a touch more consistency. It doesn't take much, and more often than not your simply squaring the mouth on most.

Give this a try on your next outing with everything the same but the crimp, and your seating depth. If you have a small press you could take to the range mounted to a piece of plywood and C-clamp to the bench you could really make some good progress. You can load everything up at the house and only do the crimps at the range.

Seat your bullets to where the bottom edge of the cannalure is just enough into the case, to alloy you to crimp right at the rim.

Back your crimp off a touch, and start with it just bent over the edge of the cannalure and load up 6 rounds, then load another 6 with it turned in only a hair more. As has already been mentioned, the crimp is only there to aid in reduced movement of the bullet, case tension should be doing 95% of the holding it in place.

Shoot and measure the last round after each shot. IF it moves after any of the preceding 4-5 shots, move to the next ones with a touch more crimp on them.

Once you find the proper amount, the bullets will hold fast through the whole 5 preceding rounds, shoot 5 more measuring the last again. If it holds through 10, your good to go.

The thing about using too much is that you reach a point where your actually bulging the case out around the bullet, effectively removing the case tension. Once this happens all that is really holding the bullet is the crimp. If this is the case, your never going to see any respectable numbers and your accuracy, while up close might be pretty decent, the further you go the less impressive it will be.

I have played with a LOT of different things over the years trying to improve both my accuracy and the accuracy of my loads. I hunt with my revolvers, and feel the better they shoot the better I will be with them. In all of my testing of loads and bullets through the years the most profound influence has always been in the crimp. Too much groups spread and velocities are erratic, too loose gets bullet creep and similar results with velocities. There is a fine line where it all comes together, and I worked on it for quite a while before putting the pieces together. Once there however you will most likely find as I did that, like dark and light, it offers a whole new meaning to how good your loads really can be.

It wasn't until recently, that I found the following to have already beeb put into print, and I cannot argue one bit with it. Had I found it years ago, it would have saved a lot of bullets and powder being shot up trying to find "THE" load.
Elmer_Keith_Part_1_Sixgun_Reloading January 1982 (http://www.elmerkeithshoot.org/GA/1982_01_Part_1_Sixgun_Reloading.pdf)

If you read through the first part of this you will find it is exactly what I, and others are saying. While I don't agree with everything Mr Keith put into words, I have to respect his writings on most things relating to revolvers, and this is one I have tested and found to be absolute in the search for the most accurate revolver loads.

I hope this helps. As mentioned I hunt with my revolvers and my ranges vary with where I am hunting and with what I am carrying at the time. With calibers from 41mag up I have no issues reaching out on a hog or coyote to well past 100yds. It has never been the fault of the load however when the dirt flies on the back side of a critter, while they trot off laughing. What you will find, more than likely, as I did, once you get things dialed in, your hold over isn't going to be NEARLY what you would expect. Most if not all of the critters I have missed were due to me thinking about the shot too long, and holding for drop that simply wasn't there. Not to say there isn't drop associated with reaching out, just not quite as much as what your brain wants to accept.

Good Luck

huntershooter
July 6, 2013, 06:02 AM
I've had similar results with Dillon equipment (550B) and H-110, AA9.
The problem was those two powders are so fine the powder dispenser would not throw consistent charges.
I installed the new charge bar that is held to tighter tolerances with the same results.
The fix I have resorted to is using an RCBS "Uniflow" for those two powders.
Granted I have turned my progressive into a glorified single station, the results in acceptable ES and accuracy have been worth it.

rfwobbly
July 6, 2013, 07:42 AM
Equipment: Hornady LNL-AP; large powder measure rotor.

SD to me at least is a measure of round-to-round consistency. In my experience, lower SD came from using all the same brass, and being very fussy about the powder measurements. Since you're already using new brass, I'm focusing on the powder and how it gets measured. Some ideas....

► I'm not a LNL user, but if you can use it, it seems that a small bore rotor would do a better job for you that the large bore. That is, be more consistent drop-to-drop.

► Drop 50 loads through the measure and weigh each one. See if you are getting variations of more than 1gr. Try different powders just to see if they are more consistent drop-to-drop.

► If H110 can't be dumped from the powder measure with consistently, then remove the PM and add a funnel. Start weighing each load.

► Then there are all the tricks you can do with a powder measure, like: never use the first 10 drops, add a powder baffle, add consistent vibration, wipe the unit with anti-static cloths, etc, etc.


Hope this helps! ;)

Anmut
July 6, 2013, 09:47 AM
I've got a 629 that I load 44 for and I NEVER crimp with my middle of the road loads, I get great accuracy too...

jerkface11
July 6, 2013, 09:51 AM
► If H110 can't be dumped from the powder measure with consistently, then remove the PM and add a funnel. Start weighing each load.

If a powder measure won't do H110 throw it away because it sure won't do anything else.

GJgo
July 6, 2013, 10:02 AM
My thoughts:
- AA9 is better for accuracy than H110/W296 IMO.
- I'd try different primer brands to see what brings the SD down.
- Speer bullets are plated & not very accurate. Switch to Hornady XTPs.
- Try Starline cases. In my book "Remington" & "Precision" are oxymorons.
- For precision you need to trickle-weight every charge, not use a progressive powder drop.
- That said, as someone who loads for 44 revolvers & carbines, you're asking a bit much for the 44.

RealGun
July 6, 2013, 10:08 AM
Do another chrono batch and weigh every charge to remove or expose that variable.

Fire the rounds with only one live cartridge in the cylinder. That will make the rounds equal in how much punishment they took before their turn to fire.

edfardos
July 6, 2013, 10:17 AM
With no crimp, Unfired rounds become longer, possibly binding the cyl. Mag powders also need a lot of pressure early, and a full crimp helps with that.

Edfardos

gamestalker
July 6, 2013, 03:18 PM
In post #17 you said even with a firm crimp your bullets will creep up until they reach the bottom edge of the canelure. This is why I said to crimp at the bottom edge of the canelure, it will stop them from moving. This is an especially important crimping step for full tilt magnum cartridges.

GS

RealGun
July 6, 2013, 04:54 PM
How does a bullet get subjected to enough inertia to make it start to come out of the case? It is easier for me to visualize the possibility of it sinking deeper, when preceding rounds are fired.

Walkalong
July 6, 2013, 05:18 PM
During the recoil, while the case moves rearward with the gun, the heavy bullet wants to stay still. It's the old an object at rest thing.

jack44
July 6, 2013, 06:06 PM
My hunting load is 18gr. of 2400 and a BTB300gr. Good shooter.

RealGun
July 6, 2013, 06:33 PM
Walkalong - During the recoil, while the case moves rearward with the gun, the heavy bullet wants to stay still. It's the old an object at rest thing.

Got it. I was stuck on the "object in motion" part. But there must be some of that too, considering how one's hand and wrist can feel.

It sounds like, if there is any bullet creep, the crimp isn't right. Declaring the obvious, I guess.

jmr40
July 6, 2013, 06:45 PM
Did you use the same chamber for every shot? 6 different chambers will give 6 different readings.

Walkalong
July 6, 2013, 07:55 PM
I was stuck on the "object in motion" part.Once it gets moving, yes, but it has to get started first.

if there is any bullet creep, the crimp isn't right. Declaring the obvious, I guess.For most applications neck tension does the work, but in heavy recoiling calibers, especially with heavy for the caliber bullets, a quality crimp into a proper cannelure (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=104246&stc=1&d=1251398613) or a good crimp groove on a lead bullet (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=104541&stc=1&d=1251758452) is a must to help the neck tension. Over crimping hurts neck tension and can make bullet creep worse, but together, good neck tension and a quality crimp do the job.

murf
July 6, 2013, 08:52 PM
remember the tablecloth trick? pulling the cloth out from under the dishes on the table and the dishes don't move? well, in your scenario, the bullet would be the dishes and the case would be the tablecloth and the gun (with the quick and heavy recoil) would be the person yanking the cloth.

murf

rondog
July 6, 2013, 09:22 PM
Ever use a "hammer type" inertia bullet puller? Kinda the same principle. Heavy recoil and heavy, uncrimped bullets, they can get "knocked out" of the cases a little bit, enough to bind up the cylinder and make you talk ugly.

zxcvbob
July 6, 2013, 09:52 PM
How does a bullet get subjected to enough inertia to make it start to come out of the case? It is easier for me to visualize the possibility of it sinking deeper, when preceding rounds are fired.


You're forgetting about the rims on the cartridges still in the cylinder. When you fire the gun, the recoil causes the cylinder to whack the other 5 cases -- hard -- by the rims.

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