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Exposing some Internet Myths

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by USSR, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. USSR

    USSR Member

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    It never ceases to amaze me, the number of times that people pass on information that they have seen somewhere on the net, as established and irrefutable fact. And, one of the most common areas seems to be in the field of reloading and ammunition. So, as one of those guys that wants to constantly “prove it to myself”, here are some of the myths that I have personally debunked.

    MYTH #1 - BUSHING DIES ARE ONLY SUITABLE FOR BRASS WITH TURNED NECKS, AND YOU MUST USE AN EXPANDER BALL. When I decided to get into LR rifle shooting (1,000 yards F Class), I bought the Redding Competition Die Sets for 3 cartridges: .308, .30-06, and 6.5x55. I have tactical/match rifles chambered for these cartridges, as well as a FAL and M1 Garand. The first thing I did was remove the decapping pin and expander ball. Decapping of my brass is done with a Universal Decapping Die. When you have the capability to “tune” your sizing die to give you varying amounts of neck tension by using various size bushings, it simply makes no sense to then drag an expander ball thru your nice straight necks. Using this method, I have developed loads with neck tension ranging from .001” for F Class loads, to .004” for FAL and Garand loads. Inserting a bullet into the neck performs the same function as a mandrel or expander ball; whatever minute internal neck dimension variations there are due to variations in neck wall thickness, are moved to the outside of the neck by the bullet. I have seen many posts stating that you will have varying amounts of neck tension by doing this, but in my shooting at 1,000 yards, I have not seen any of the vertical dispersion that would surely be seen if this was the case.

    MYTH #2 – THE .308 IS INHERENTLY MORE ACCURATE THAN THE .30-06. I am well aware of the article by Bart Bobbit that was posted over 11 years ago, and makes comparisons between the two cartridges that go back 50+ years. In any comparison of the two cartridges as they were loaded in that time period for the M14 and M1, I am in complete agreement that in perhaps 9 times out of 10, in rifles of comparable accuracy, the .308 will exhibit slightly greater accuracy. However, once you remove the criteria that the .30-06 cartridge must be loaded down so as to be suitable for firing in a M1 Garand (bullet less than 180 grains and a powder no slower than 4064), you can essentially remake the .30-06 into a cartridge that is much better suited to it’s case capacity. About 7 years ago, myself and another guy on Sniper’s Hide started doing load development with the 190 grain Sierra MatchKing bullet and 60.0+ grains of RL22 powder. We quickly found that it was possible to develop highly accurate LR loads at slightly above 2900fps, and still remain within the 60k psi limits of the cartridge. Oh, and just so you don’t think I have nothing to compare it to, I have a highly accurate .308 as well. But, thru my personal experience, I have come to believe that a rifle’s accuracy is more a factor of the quality of the barrel and smithing that went into the rifle as well as the quality/suitability of the ammo, and not in any mythical “inherent” accuracy that many posters like to attributed to the cartridge itself.

    MYTH #3 – THE .308 OPERATES AT A MUCH HIGHER PRESSURE THAN 7.62X51, AND THEY ARE DIFFERENT AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERCHANGED.
    While there are some articles that are now debunking this, the fact is that guys still continue to post this erroneous info. Now, understand, I am not talking about using just any old .308 ammo in a rifle with port pressure constraints such as the M1 or M14. What I am talking about is the maximum pressure of the two cartridges as determined by the U.S. government (7.62x51) and SAAMI (.308). And therein lies the problem and confusion. While the government lists the 7.62x51 pressure specs as 50,000 psi, it was actually determined using the copper crusher method, and is in fact 50,000 CUP. The government doesn’t subscribe to SAAMI standards, and obviously feels they can call the unit of pressure psi if they want to. The .30-06 is an example of a military cartridge for which we have pressure specs in both CUP and psi: 50,000 CUP and 60,000 psi. If the 7.62x51 was truly 50,000 psi, it would be a cartridge with power similar to the .30-40 Krag, rather than being nearly the ballistic twin of the .30-06. Sometimes you just have to use logic, instead of just accepting information that is obviously flawed.

    In summary, while the Internet is a great place to obtain information and data, it does not eliminate the need for casting a critical eye on what is being posted as fact, and sometimes having to determine for yourself thru experimentation and load development, if the “Internet fact” is indeed fact, or is just another of those urban legends that gain a life of their own thru repeated references to it. Just MHO.

    Don
     
  2. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Can we add myths to the list???

    Myth #4--I wanted to get rid of some old primers so i soaked them in water (or sprayed them with WD-40) and that makes them totally dead. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. And this has been discussed to death on this and other boards. And tested time and time again. But every few months, somebody comes up with a need to kill some primers, and perpetuates this mythology. There are NO household (read: reasonably safe, and available to ordinary civilians) chemicals that will reliably kill 100% of primers. Primers are killed by 2 things: Percussion (hit 'em with a hammer) or heat (Toss 'em in a fire). Either method should only be done with hand/ear/eye protection, and a careful regard for your surroundings, pets, and children.

    Discarding live primers is irresponsible. There is that outside chance that kids will get hold of them. Someone could get hurt. We shooters don't need the negative publicity. So if you have primers that you can't/shouldn't use, you owe it to yourself, and to society, and to the shooting/reloading community generally, to kill those primers responsibly.

    But, cripes, guys, water won't do it. WD-40 won't do it. Neither will vinegar, nor Clorox, nor hot coffee, nor anti-freeze. Nor rat poison. Fuming nitric acid would probably do a fine job, but I guarantee that you don't want to mess with something like that. Cause more problems than you'd solve.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  3. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    I usually just get rid of my primers by loading them and shooting them;)
     
  4. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    MYTH #5: Tumbling ammunition made with modern smokeless powder breaks down the grains, causing dangerous increases in pressure. In fact, ammo factories tumble finished ammo to clean lube off of the cases. So do reloaders. Experiments done by reloaders have shown that week-long tumbling does not increase velocities measurably, nor cause differences in grain sizes when examined under a microscope.
     
  5. evan price

    evan price Member

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    MYTH #6:

    You can't use lead projectiles in a Glock or H&K or any gun with a polygonal-rifled barrel because the lead will clog up the barrel and cause the gun to explode.

    I personally shot thousands of lead projos reloaded for Glocks with never a problem. I suppose if one loaded them very hot, used soft lead projos, and shot thousands of them without stopping maybe you'd have a problem.

    If you use a hard alloy, load them on the conservative side, and clean the gun after a range session you'll never see a leading problem.
     
  6. moosehunt

    moosehunt Member

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    I have no disagreement here, but have to ask Mr. Smokey, why would you ever want to get rid of good primers? If they weren't good, then there is no concern. But if I did, why not just toss 'em in the fire and close the door? No way they are coming out, lest you have a thin aluminum fire place--then you have worse problems to consider than primers!
     
  7. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Myth #7. Nickel plated cases will scratch steel dies, scratch chambers and barrels, and wear trimming cutters. I've lost count of how many times I've heard those myths repeated. Criminy, they're electroless plated NICKEL, not chrome!
     
  8. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Member

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    ..."You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time"...
    A. Lincoln
     
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Member

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    I do not care what you think I am not going to chance it.

    Plus i think comes from a time before vibratory cleaner when all we had were the roter cleaners that were a little harder on the loaded ammunition.
     
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Rats...I need to read better. Or more closely...Still need a delete button on here...
     
  11. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    Myth # 8 You shouldn't fire .38 Spls in a .357 Magnum chamber, or .44 Spls in a .44 Magnum chamber. Why won't this one die?

    Myth # 9 You shouldn't clean your bore with hot water and soap after firing corrosive ammunition, you have to use windex. As if windex makes a good bore cleaner!

    Windex works, but only because it contains water. Tap water will work just fine, and urine has been used on occasion.
     
  12. K3

    K3 Member

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    No kidding! I have never used Windex to clean corrosive residue. I pour boiling water down the barrel if I am at the house or just a little H2O I have with me at the range. Then I clean as normal. Never a hint of rust.

    The only reason for taking the extra step of boiling water is that it cleans faster and better.
     
  13. Clark

    Clark Member

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    "Sierra 50th Anniversary Edition Handgun Reloading Manual"
    I asked them where they got that information, and the answer I got was, "We just printed what we read."
     
  14. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Now wait just a minute.
    "Windex works, but only because it contains water. Tap water will work just fine, and urine has been used on occasion." I hate to be the one to tell you, but pee is quite corrosive, too. Contains both acid and salt. Found this out first time years ago when a buddy leaned his duck shotgun against something, and somebody's dog peed on it. It was rusty by the time we got home. Human pee is of course much worse, not to mention even less appealing.
     
  15. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    Urine is a field expedient method. It will dissolve the salts left by the corrosive priming. Then you should use a small quantity of that precious drinking water to flush away the urine. Much better than using all of your drinking water to clean your rifle. This is one situation where beer drinkers are ahead of the game.:neener:

    Are you trying to tell me that you would rather have a dog urinate down the barrel of your rifle than to do it yourself, or to have Jennifer Garner do it for you?

    I suppose that there is no accounting for taste in this world.:)
     
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    MYTH 10

    You must use a faster powder in rifles with a shorter bbl. Cause slow powders will still be "burning" when the bullet leaves the bbl.

    The fact of them matter is even comparing TC handguns to rifles in the same chambering 9 times out of 10 the optimum powder for a 24" rifle will still be the optimum for a 14" handgun.

    In a modern rifle cartridge shooting propellants of the correct burn rate all of the powder that is going to be consumed will do so in the first 5 or 6 inches of bullet travel.

    Myth 11

    a magnum chambering with a shorter bbl is no better than a STD cartridge.

    Whilst it is true that a 20" 300mag isn't much faster than a 24" 30-06 it's still a good deal more powerful than an 06 fired from the same length tube; see myth 11
     
  17. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Back to Myth # 4...

    Moosehunt--(1) You don't get rid of "good" primers, you load 'em up and shoot 'em, as Amlevin suggested. (2) Sometimes I've come upon suspect primers, age-wise, or storage-wise, or a primer I put in upside down--yes it's possible, and embarrassing!--and once I inherited a box of reloading "stuff" that contained some unidentified primers. In all three of these instances I had a primer or primers on my hands that I did NOT want to use. Your suggestion of tossing them into a closed fireplace--I'm sure you mean one at a time--is consistent with my own statement that primers are killed by percussion or by heat, and that either method should be done with hand/ear/eye protection, and a careful regard for your surroundings, kids, and pets.
     
  18. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    I would much rather have nobody or no thing pee on my guns. Why would one go afield with corrosive ammunition? I'd dispose of that quicker than those "unknown" primers.
     
  19. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Myth #12
    It's OK to shoot .380 ammo in a 9x18 Makarov handgun.

    Oh it can be done and have the projectile rattle down and out the barrel.
    The .380 is .355 caliber and the 9x18 is .364 caliber.
    Rule #1 in firearms I've always heard is never use ammunition in a firearm other than what it was designed for.
     
  20. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    A return to myth 10...You are absolutely correct that the difference between a 24" and 14" barrel as far as burning the powder is concerned. And you are correct again that the powder is burned in the first 4" to 6 ". But I have found that using a slow burning powder in a 2" and 2 1/2" barrel will have a lot of powder still burning after the bullet has left the barrel. I have found that a very fast burning powder for these shorter barrels tend to give higher velocities and a more complete burn then the slow powders. Myth 10 is a half truth...
     
  21. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    I happen to know for a fact that ammo manufacturers process and store priming compound wet and don't allow it to dry until after it's been processed into primers. So if you get a primer wet, that will only "kill" it until it's dry again.
     
  22. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    GaryL...Not only that, but most primer manufacturers use a sealer over the priming compound in the cups to help protect them from those who insist on trying to "kill" primers...
     
  23. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Bushmaster - that makes sense to me, since they tend to have a color coded film over the compound in the primer cups. I just don't remember anything about that from my various visits to a particular manufacturers plant. But, I'm sure they didn't reveal all their secrets to me. Some of them I figured out on my own just by being there and talking to some of the machine operators. :)
     
  24. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Virginian: Re: Corrosive ammo, and why one might carry it afield:

    Most military surplus ammo from the Korean war era or older was manufactured with corrosive primers as was common back then. They live nearly forever. If you like to shoot old milsurp rifles you probably have old milsurp ammo. Ergo, corrosive primers.

    For example, I have a large batch of 7.92x57 Mauser ammo that is corrosive, made in the WWII era. It's what my Turkish Mauser likes. And it was five cents a round delivered.

    I'll pour Windex in my barrel after a range trip, thankee very much.
     
  25. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    #13
    Load Data is a recipe and should be followed exactly component for component.
     
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