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Unique Overload ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Walkalong, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    A friend from the range gave me some reloaded .357 cartridges. He said he was shooting them in his Model 19, had problems getting the casings out, and it messed up his gun. He sent it to S&W who charged him $250 to fix it and told him someone was shooting some high pressure loads in it.

    He said he thought it was about 6.0 Grs of Unique, which is mostly what he has used in his limited reloading.

    I cut open two and found them charged with a light grey flake powder. 6.6 Grs in one and 6.7 Grs in the other. The bullets were plain jane looking 158 Gr JHP's. Yep, weighed it to make sure. Loaded to 1.565ish and crimped into the cannelure.

    He said he was going to toss them unless I wanted them for the components. I do not have a tool for that, but I am a curious sort.

    Speer # 13 gives a start load of 6.9 and a Max load of 7.7 with Unique and 158 Gr bullets.

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  2. Chief-7700

    Chief-7700 Member

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    Kinda looks like Unique, however the pictures are not that great. When in question pull them apart and reuse the primed brass and the bullets with A KNOWN AMOUNT AND TYPE OF POWDER.
    Chief
     
  3. 308sc

    308sc Member

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    take them and buy a $20 dollar bullet puller...it will come in handy later.....6.7 should not have caused problems...did he buy the gun used?
     
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I shoot 7.2 outta my 686 under 158 JHPs and it's like shootin' .38s.


    It's also would be very difficult to double charge this load as it fills more than half the casing.
     
  5. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    Good advice! Pull the bullets and toss the powder. Not safe to use a "maybe it's this" powder.

    NCsmitty
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  7. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Looks more like WW231 to me from the pics considering white balance.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It does, doesn't it. I took another couple of pics. Hopefully better ones. I put some W-231 from a 3Lb steel can I have next to the powder from the loaded rounds. I don't have any Unique to look at.

    Speer #13 does not show W-231 with 158 Gr bullets. My old Winchester data shows 6.2 to 6.9 with a Hornady 158 Gr XTP. Anybody have more some load data for W-231 and 158 Gr bullets?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  9. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Picture of Unique from Gunblast.com:

    [​IMG]

    Hodgdon is showing 6.9 grains 231/HP38 w/158 XTP as max... Curious how sticky extraction led to a repair? Was there actual over pressure damage, cracked forcing cone, split chamber? What exactly did S&W repair? Was it sent back to extract the cartridge cases?
     
  10. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Here is a pic of the New Unique,
    reloading 003.jpg
     
  11. Wildfire

    Wildfire Member

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    Powder????????

    Hey There ;
    I must agree , it looks more like 231. That might just explain the PSI issue.
    Pull em . Primer ?
    A mag primer with that powder and you would have a problem.
     
  12. ants

    ants Member

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    It could be any one of a dozen powders

    The occasional light colored semi-flattened granules with the little dot in the center is also indicative of Clays. A charge of 6.6 to 6.7 grains of Clays behind a 158g bullet would certainly make you send your revolver back to S&W to pay $250 for repair.

    It doesn't really matter what powder it is. If it was enough to sieze up a well made revolver, it was way overloaded. Someone screwed up those reloads.

    Not to be too critical, but why was your friend shooting unknown reloads from some anonymous loader who clearly doesn't know his craft very well? If you screw up your reloads and ruin your own revolver, that's your business. Shooting some unknown reloads and ruining your revolver is not very smart.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    He loaded them, and he shot more even after he had trouble extracting. :eek:

    I did not ask about the repairs.

    He said he was going to toss them if I did not want them for the components. I do not have a puller, I was just curious to see what was inside. I agree that one can not visually identify powders accurately.
     
  14. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Agree that it is difficult to ID propellants by looks, and obviously never to confirm what you have. Just the same, from the low resolution pictures the propellant still looks like WW231 to me.

    Here is a close-up of "Clays", and it has large fairly uniform discs shaped like "Pringles".

    [​IMG]


    The propellant from the initial post is flat, irregular, oblong, and gray green, looking a lot like WW231 to me:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Smith & Wesson Model 19

    The M19 was known not to hold up well with a diet of magnum loads. Midrange loadings are a better choice. The M28 & M27 were built on the N frame and are stronger then the M19 K frame. Therefore i would think its not a powder problem at all. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Perhaps I will shoot one in my M28 and see what velocity it gives. Curiousity killed the cat you know. ;)

    This is when I wish I still had my GP-100. :cool:

    I can not visually tell the difference between the powder in question and my old W-231. Yes, it could be something else. It is not Bullseye, and I dought it is Unique. All the Unique I have seen is darker.
     
  17. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Looks like W-231 or WSF. Both are hard to tell apart. In recent days I have learned that WSF is a lot more powerfull then W-231. But neither one would be and over charge for .357 magnum until you exceed 8.0 grains.
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Oh come on!

    My 19 & 66 have handled 7.0 grains Unique, or 14.5 grains of 2400 with 158 grain bullets since 1970 something, with no stiff extraction, and certainly no gun damage.

    Either the powder in question is not Unique, or some of his loads had way more then 6.6 - 6.7 grains in them.

    One, or the other!



    I wouldn't do that!

    If some of his loads killed a M19 that dead, they very likely might wound a M28 also!

    rcmodel
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2008
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am absolutey sure that is good advise, but like I said earlier, curiousity killed the cat. ;)

    I agree that it is probably some of his reloads that are the problem, not all of them. :)

    It's not WSF
     
  20. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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    Dont Do It! Pull Them Or Throw Them In The Pond, It Just Aint Worth It, I Use 6.0 Gr Of Unique With A 158 Cast Swc, That Load Would Not Mess Up A Mod 19, Around 1000 Fps Nice Plinking Load, O Yea Dont Shoot Those Bullets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:d Csa
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Well, if I quit posting, you'll know why. :rolleyes:
     
  22. Bozo

    Bozo Member

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    Now this is getting interesting, some of the more respected posters on reloading dickering on shoot them or not? I hope for the best.
     
  23. Der Verge

    Der Verge Member

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    I cannot believe that anyone here would even think about shooting these rounds. Is loosing life and or limb worth a couple of bucks in powder? I would say "no", but apparently we all don't feel this way.........do what you want, I won't feel a thing.
     
  24. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    Probably not risking life or limb. More like eyesight or fingers. Most likely just risking the money it would take to fix or replace a revolver S&W doesn't make any more.

    (I wouldn't do it in any case.)
     
  25. ants

    ants Member

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    Walkalong, do us a favor! Get a video camera and record those last minutes.
    Let me wake up my friend Leroy. He ain't never seen a kaboom like that before...
     
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