2400 need magnum sparks?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Col. Harrumph, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Are they the same? One of the things these simple comparisons assume, is that everything is the same. I am going to say that the unknown unknowns are greater than the known unknowns.

    Some known unknowns:

    • What are the steels used?

    • What are heat treatments?

    • What are the forcing cone angles?. I learned this from a S&W customer rep, that the 44 Mag had a different cone angle than the 44 Spl. Somehow that makes a difference, but I don't remember if the cone difference is due to pressure considerations or not.

    • How many over pressure rounds will these take till the cylinder ruptures from metal fatigue?

    This post, on another forum, it is worth looking at the fatigue curve, and the blown up Ruger pistol.

    Fatigue Life of 4140 steel


    What this guy showed in his post that you could expect to blew the cylinder of a Ruger Blackhawk in 650 rounds with overpressure loads. You can look at the curve and decide for yourself if the over pressure loads are all that over pressure.

    More known unknowns:

    • What are the design limits of these pistols, or any pistols for that matter?
    Today with CAD programs engineers could draft up a dimensional model and see the hoop stresses in the cylinders, and the stress concentrations at the cylinder notches, and make good estimates as to the strength and fatigue lifetimes. I would love to see something like that. But, I don't have that and neither does anyone I have ever read advocating hot loads.

    I really think the unknown unknowns out number the known unknowns, but since I don't know what they are, I can't be certain. :confused:

    Now, if someone will take one of these things, load up 250 L bullets with 17.5 grs 2400 and fire 5000 rounds without a failure, I would then have great confidence in the ability of the pistol series to withstand that pressure. Making lifetime endurance conclusions on 500 over pressure rounds is insufficient for me to copy the behavior.

    I remember the in print Gunwriter George Nonte evaluating the first issue of the Charter Arms Bulldog. George measured cylinder thickness, compared against other pistols, made conclusions that the Bulldog would handle Keith loads just fine. His analysis was fallacious and it shows how little he knew about his subject matter. He did not know the materials or heat treatment in the other pistols, he did not know the materials and heat treatment of the Bulldog, and he did not know the design margins of the Bulldog. When I called Charter Arms, they had seen lots of blown cylinders from owners who had copied Keith loads.

    Pushing the boundaries may result in nothing, or it may result in something. Acting out of ignorance and pushing the boundaries is far more risky than being ignorant and not pushing the boundaries.

    And really, does more mean more? What exactly are you getting when you bump up pressures above that of the standard cartridge. Does the wound channel get larger and deeper? By how much?
    TikkaShooter and LaneP like this.
  2. LaneP

    LaneP Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    I had forgotten George Nonte, now there is a blast from the past gun writer. You are absolutely correct in that material dimension of a cylinder for instance, is but one of a myriad of variables that affect reloading safety. I'm surprised Mr. Nonte did not realize that.

    And it's not just examples such as his. On another forum I was on years ago one of the members posted that it's perfectly safe to use .45 Colt +P loads in S&W 25-5 revolvers, because it shares the same frame size as the .44 Magnum model 29. That's just not true.

    S&W applies additional heat treatment processes to the steel of the model 29 to enable it to better withstand the pounding of its .44 Magnum chambering. It is reasonable to expect they would not do this with revolvers that are chambered for factory loadings that produce much lower pressure.
    Slamfire likes this.
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Hopewell Big Woods
    WLP work with harder to light ball powders. Should not be a problem. I use WLPs in 45 acp target loads to full loads of 296 in 44 mag.

    Make sure bullets have enough neck tension to keep the bullets from moving to soon, when the primer fires.

    I control soot left from 2400 by ejecting the fired shells with the muzzle pointing up.

    As many others have said, there are better powders available.
    Obturation and Slamfire like this.
  4. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

    Jun 1, 2011
    2400 is a full power magnum powder, I like Blue Dot for medium magnum loads very clean burning hdbiker
  5. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    .44 special with 12.0g 2400 under a cast 240g bullet is my favorite.
  6. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Freeport, IL
    Do you NEED to use a magnum primer?

    What does the data use?
    Many of the cartridges that are labelled
    "Magnum" like 357 mag,or 300Win Mag are developed using a magnum primer.
    According to Hodgdon they used mag, not because it was needed,
    but because they thought that's what reloaders would use.

    Just stick to the data, it'll tell you if you need a mag primer or not.

    RKRCPA Member

    Sep 5, 2009
    As I recall, there was an article recently discussing the fact that Alliant is reshooting data and recommending standard primers with 2400 instead of magnum.
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    You mean like Elmer said 60 years ago?
  9. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

    Jun 27, 2014
    yeah loaded to it potential not loaded light. hell a full charge of black powder creates 18,000 PSI
  10. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    2400 need magnum sparks?

    I guess it depends on what we read. The Speer Reloading Manual #12 calls for a magnum primer with all 2400 powder loads. However, that same manual calls for a magnum primer anytime a spherical or flake powder is used. Just for an example powders like H110, 296, IMR4227, Blue Dot, AA7, Unique, HS7 and 231. Now if we fast forward to for example The Hornady 9th Edition they simply call for a WLP (Winchester Large Pistol) primer and those boxes are clearly labeled Large Pistol for Standard or Magnum pistol loads.

    In my own experience loading 44 Magnum for a S&W Model 29 and a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a Ruger 44 Carbine tossed in and mostly 240 grain bullets is that with a good roll crimp the WLP primers have worked just fine and been hot enough to give me good results with 2400 powder as well as several others I mentioned. Yes, occasionally with 2400 I would get some flakes of unburned powder but very seldom and my normal go to primer is normally a CCI 350 Large Pistol Magnum. My best conclusion is anytime you load a slow burning powder really good neck tension is an absolute must. My own experiences with unburned powder were likely a result of a poor crimp on my part and not a failure of the primer to afford good ignition.

    Just My Take....
  11. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Alliant 2400 is a double base propellant made with nitro cellulose and nitro glycerin. It lights off easily compared to ball powder and doesn't require a magnum primer. Speer has revised its No. 13 manuals loading data in the .357 mag using standard primers and claim better performance than with magnum primers which can produce erratic pressure spikes. I have experienced this when using mag primers with 2400.

    Like with any of the slower burn rate powders you need a heavy crimp to help with complete burn of the powder. A small amount of remnants or skeletons isn't unusual with 2400 but light crimps and low pressure loads will increase them. It isn't so much unburned powder but residue that's left over from any combustion process.
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