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2400 16 grains in .44 Mag. Too LITTLE?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ShunZu, Nov 9, 2007.

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  1. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    I had a friend tell me that 2400 runs "inverse" pressures and that the loads I'd worked up for my 629 S&W using 16 grains of 2400 with 240 JHP bullets were too low and that pressures would be through the roof.

    Is this correct? Intention was to load some down to .44 special range but he said I should just pull the bullets and reload'em (all 400??!). No simple task for that many.

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, it's not correct.

    A light load of 2400 will not burn completely or cleanly.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

    16 grains 2400 and a 240 grain bullet is slightly below a recommended starting load, and will leave a lot of unburned powder in the gun, but it certainly will not cause high pressure of any sort.

    Your "friend" is full of it!
    No powder runs inverse pressure with lighter loads. There is only so much energy in a grain of powder, and it can't produce any more energy then that, period.
    Less powder always = less energy.

    There are instances of pressure excursions with over-bore magnum caliber rifles and reduced loads, but it has nothing at all to do with an inverse burning powder.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  3. Asherdan

    Asherdan Member

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    Interesting.

    I went and looked at my manufacturer data and got the following:

    Hornady 240g XTP
    MIN 17.3
    MAX 21.5

    Lyman 48th Speer 240g JHP
    MIN 18.4
    MAX 20.5

    Alliant '05 reload guide 240g JSP
    MAX 18.7 no minimum given.

    I'd be curious to know if anyone has any better experience, the Alliant load is the only one I would reduce (-10% max) close to the 16g area as I worked up towards max. Certainly, a dirty poor burn and low pressure is what I'd expect.
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've heard if you have a really big case like the .45-70 and a wee little dose of Unique it can cause weird pressure spikes because the powder is just laying in a thin line across the bottom of the shell.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I don't buy it.
    There is only so much energy available in a "wee little dose of Unique".

    A "wee little dose of Unique" in a 45-70 case couldn't possibly cause excess pressure unless the bullet was soldered to the case and couldn't move.

    Those folks that think they blew up a 45-70 with a light load of Unique probably loaded a double or triple charge, or stuck a bullet in the barrel and fired another one, or used the wrong powder.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  6. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    For light loads in the 44 magnum, equivalent to 44spl, say 700 - 1000FPS, it is better use a powder like Unique.
    Using slow burning powders for light loads won't work well and can get you in trouble with a bullet stuck in the barrel.
     
  7. Barr

    Barr Member

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    I have used 16 grains of Alliant 2400 behind a 240 grain LSWC bullet just fine. You can encounter situations where if the shell is not well filled with powder that it can cause erratic pressures and resulting velocities. Most manuals recommend 80-95% fill capacity of cases notably in rifles.
     
  8. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    My Hornady manual lists 16.9gr 2400 start load for 240gr JHP. 16gr is low, but not that low. What are you using for primers?
     
  9. lmccrock

    lmccrock Member

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    Some powders, notably Win 296, have warnings about not going below a minimum. Not sure about 2400.

    That is called "detonation". Rather than the powder burn in a column, the increased surface area basically detonates all at once. Some say it is gospel, some say it a myth. Usually in relation to reduced loads of fast powders in long cases (38, 357, 44, etc.).

    I have personally experienced position sensitivity with reduced loads (this was Win 231 in 38 special, but you get the idea). First case: Tip muzzle down, raise gradually to firing position, and shoot (powder is mostly by the bullet). Second case: Tip barrel up, lower gradually to firing position and shoot (powder is mostly by primer). I saw a big difference; powder by the bullet was very inconsistent and acted more like a squib. Increasing about a half grain was a big improvement. So while there may not be detonation, there may be a big difference in performance with a small change in powder, even in the downward direction.

    Lee
     
  10. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    Winchester large pistol.

    Thanks for the advice, folks. I can relax a bit now. :)
     
  11. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    I think you'll be fine with the WLP primers.

    I've gone a little below Hodgdon's min load for H110 with WLP primers in 44mag, and had no issues with ignition.
     
  12. Clark

    Clark Member

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    "Speer 3" 1959 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
    "Speer 6" 1964 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
    "Speer 7" 1966 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1564 fps
    "Speer 8" 1970 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........23.0 gr. 2400 1521 fps
    "Speer 9" 1974 44 mag 240 gr. JSP..........19.5 gr. 2400 1344 fps
    "Speer 10" 1979 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 22.2 gr. 2400 1392 fps.
    "Speer 11" 1987 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 22.2 gr. 2400 1452 fps
    "Speer 12" 1994 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 17.7 gr. 2400 1271 fps
    "Speer 13" 1998 44 mag 240 gr. JSP&MSP 21.0 gr. 2400 1434 fps

    16 gr would have been a starting load in 1994:)
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That is a myth!

    No powder manufacture, or ballistics lab, has ever been able to scientifically cause a small charge of smokeless powder to detonate.

    There simply is not enough surface area for a detonation wave to form and progress across the powder before it is all consumed.

    The only recorded true detonations of smokeless powder have been in powder factory explosions, and involved mass quantities, 40,000 pounds or more, for a detonation wave to propagate.

    Those folks who blame "detonation" of a small charge of pistol powder for a blown-up gun did the deed themselves with a double charge or more of very fast powder like Bullseye or something.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  14. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    I have never heard of "detonation" with smokeless powder in a pistol case. But, it has been documented by the NRA and by many gun writters that you can get a "Kaboom" with lite/small charges of SLOW rifle powder (IMR4831, 4350) in large capacity shell casings. Detonation in RIFLE cases DOES happen! Follow your loading manual!!
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    What is believed to happen is not detonation.

    What is generally agreed on now is that a light charge of slow powder in an over-bore rifle case may result in a bore obstruction, which results in a blown-up rifle.

    Here is what happens:
    The primer lights the powder, and moves the bullet into the rifling, where it stops due to lack of sufficient pressure to keep it moving.

    Then, the remaining powder does burn, but there is already a bullet & unburned powder stuck tightly in the bore right in front of the chamber.

    So, pressure raises very rapidly, before the stuck bullet has a chance to become unstuck and get out of the way.

    The result is an explosion all right, but it is not due to detonation of the powder.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Back in my IPSC daze, I'd leave the powder measure set for 5.8 grains of 231 and load that into .44 Maggie with 250-grain bullets.

    Very pleasant plinking load.

    Art
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    It may well be a myth. I've also heard that the blast from the primer literally tosses all the powder up and around in the ignition process on a light load, so there's no chance it will stay in a thin line along the bottom. It would be interesting to know what factors go into setting the MINIMUM load specs for handloads, though.
     
  18. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    I still have some 231 left over from 20 years ago:what: I am thinking of using it in some 45 auto about 6 grains, old load that did well.

    :uhoh:
     
  19. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I wish I had been smart enough to figure that out.
    I had to read it in "Handloader Magazine".
    But since I read that, years ago, I have noticed that no one can produce a procedure to get detonation.

    I do know that if one puts oil in a spring pellet gun, he can get diesel effect.
     
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