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Ignorant question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by svtruth, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. svtruth

    svtruth Well-Known Member

    I do not reload, yet. But I enjoy my .44s so it is inevitable.
    I can understand the warning to not exceed tested loads, but why do they warn against lower than minimum loads?
    Thanks in advance for any and all help.
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The greatest risk of too light a load is sticking a bullet in the barrel.

    There is also a school of thought that says light loads with too much airspace are subject to flashover, pressure waves, and a whole host of phenomena that can cause 2 grains of powder to generate more pressure than 10 grains of powder, leading to gun damage.

    If you want the very lightest laboratory tested loads, get the Lyman manual and use their data for cast bullets.
  3. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    I've seen the phenomenon of overpressure with a lighter load called Secondary Explosion Effect. Ballisticians are not quite sure why it happens. It seems to happen more often with ball powders. I've seen a 270 Winchester where the shooter tried to substitute a mild load of stick powder with a same weight charge of a ball powder that was right next to the stick powder load. If it was the same and he was substituting another stick powder it MIGHT have been okay. The ball powder load blew the primer out of the pocket, totslly mangled the brass, and we had to hammer the bolt open. Fortunately no damage to shooter or gun.

    Using something like Winchester 296 in a 44 could also give disasterous results with too light a load. Winchester always list minimum loads for their ball powders.
  4. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Well-Known Member

    Jim discribed it better then I can.
    I`d go with 44 spcl starting loads for your 44 mag if light loads are needed. The 44spcl will chamber and fire with no problems in your pistol, a rifle might have some feeding trouble though.
  5. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    not exactly pertaining to the original post, but...

    I find (at least with jacketed or plated bullets) that sometimes the Lyman "start' loads don't function some guns properly. FTFs, stovepipes, etc. And last time at the range, my buddy was shooting 38sp out of a 4" M19 and got 2 squibs.

    He said he was using the start load from his Lyman book for 125gr JHPs.

    However, in lyman's defense, after the range trip, he pulled the rest of the 50 bullets, and weighed the powder charges. Many were 1/10 or 2/10 under the Lyman load that he had his measure set on.

    Still, 1 or 2 tenths under the lyman start load resulting in squibs, seems like Lyman's start loads are too small.
  6. obm

    obm Well-Known Member

    irv stone(barsto barrels) explained in this video:


    the light load problem. i forget, he had a term for it, bullseye syndrome or something to that effect. he explained that in the early days the bullseye shooters would try and develop the lightest loads. in doing so, some loads would have so little powder that all the powder in the cartridge falls below the flash hole of the primer. when the primer ignites, the entire flash is exposed to all of the powder at once since it falls below the primer hole and instead of the power "burning", it detonates the entire powder at once...blowing up the chamber of the barrel.

    but i think squib loads are the more common thing to encounter w/light loads.
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    You don't reckon that is why I said to use the Lyman start data for cast bullets, do you?

    Light loads with jacketed bullets is a danger zone. You can stick a bullet much more easily. Worse, you can stick the jacket and the core can strip out and hit the target so you have less warning something is wrong. Saw a S&W barrel bulged that way once.

    And I don't think it reasonable to expect a 600 fps load to function a stock automatic, either.
  8. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    Good post Jim, I would add don't expect a 600 fps loaded jacketed bullet to exit a revolver every time if it has excessive cyl.gap.
  9. svtruth

    svtruth Well-Known Member

    Thanks all

    I sure learned something.
  10. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    BTW, there's never an ignorant question asked when reloading.

    Better safe than sorry.;)

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