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Unique powder and .45-70G and .44 Mag?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 3Crows, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    ...Universal. :thumbup:
     
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  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Well, and as I mentioned in my comments, there was a number of us there... all experienced reloaders and shooters... and we were never able to put a definitive finger on the cause, and, for that matter, it could have been a combination of factors. I'm not ruling out a detonation event, but I'm also not actively trying to duplicate it, either... just to prove my point... ;) I am earnest, and sincere, but I know I don't have, never will have, all the facts surrounding that particular event.

    Given the current powder situation... where I was completely out of IMR4198, and have about 10# of Unique, I was faced with the reality of using Unique in the .45-70 for an upcoming shoot. I would have done it... confidently... but with Dacron filler. As it turned out, PV got a little H4198 in, and I was at the Right Place at the Right Time.
     
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  3. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Yes sir, again, I do not doubt you. But you were not at the table when the gentleman loaded the cartridge nor the other fellers and nobody, possibly even the owner unless the rifle was purchased new, the history of the rifle that failed. What I am saying is that the most plausible cause is that the round was overcharged. The gent believes he did not overcharge it, he thinks he did not overcharge it, with all his heart he could pass any litmus test for truth that he did not overcharge the case but likely he did. And no matter how many people saw it detonate, that is all after the fact, the reality is the case was double charged. Without a scientific/engineering explanation to how such might happen otherwise, I am going to fall back on my professional experience and to quote Sgt. Friday, "just the facts" and the only fact discernible by witnessing the explosion is that the rifle exploded. Whether due to a cartridge of unknown quality (overcharged, wrong powder, some other defect) or possibly the rifle had been damaged prior and finally failed. In the lab we could determine which it was. Anything else in conjecture.

    But I will heed your knowledge and not use the Unique in the .45-70, at least until I have more understanding of this powder. Just in case ;) .
     
  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    So knowledge learned by observation is one of the oldest forms of learning... to dismiss the lesson is juvenile. There was testing done with low volume rifle powders to prove detonation and it could never be replicated in a lab. Strange that case fill is even mentioned in a manual as there is no proven data to support detonation. Accept a persons observation and take what you can from it or move on.
     
  5. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    Yes, mistyped the first time. AA 5744. Used to be made in the Czech Republic by Lovex, but then AA switched manufacturers. I use it as a 1:1 substitute and it behaves identically. The pressure curve on it is a straight line, so you can download safely - I shoot 55gr 223 using gas checked cast bullets at 1,100 fps using it.
     
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  6. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    Yes, I drop the powder, give the cartridge a light tap on the bench to settle it, and then fill it *almost* to the rim with Cream of Wheat. I've never had an issue with them getting mixed, I think because I'm adding enough to lightly compress. If you didn't fill enough and there was loose space for mixing I imagine that squibs or potentially hangfires would be in order. When using a filler, I always ensure that I am compressing.
     
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  7. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    Nobody is dismissing anything nor am I juvenile but the name calling and insinuation is not called for. I am an engineer who was trained in part in accident investigations and material science and while witness observations and anecdotal data are important and taken into account, they are often, frequently found to not be true. I appreciate what was observed but there is too much that was unobserved and anecdotal. Witness accounts are known to be believed completely truthful and yet completely erroneous, it is the least reliable data.

    If you can supply the documented "testing" that could not be replicated (in a lab) yet was proven, I would love to see it. Otherwise let's just drop it. Or just drop it entirely, as I am not interested in going down a rabbit hole. Do so without me, I will not check in to this thread further.

    Truly all, thank you for the information, it is all useful and has guided me forward in a good direction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I never said the rifle exploded... I said the case head blew out, that's why I don't know if detonation was the only event that occurred, or even if it occurred.
     
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  9. Jack63

    Jack63 Member

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    RL7 is also a good powder in 45/70

    The powders I use in my Marlin
    Varget
    RL7
    Imr 3031
    Unique
     
  10. jonas66
    • Contributing Member

    jonas66 Contributing Member

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    ahutch71- thanks. Next time I load some of those up I'm gonna give that a try.
     
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  11. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I've never tried Unique but it's one of those powders which everyone seems to have a good load for. Usually for several different cartridges too.
     
  12. Herman B

    Herman B Member

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    My Loadbooks USA shows data from Unique manufacturer Alliant for the 44M as 10.3 gr max charge of Unique under a 240 Speer Gold Dot HP. Alliant lists only the max charge so your 10.0 gr under an XTP should be just fine. I surmise you could start even a little lower if desirous.

    From the same book, Hornady shows a range of 9.5 - 10.7 gr for the 240 XTP.
     
  13. ahutch71

    ahutch71 Member

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    One word of “caution” (not really caution...more amusement). When you shoot the rounds at a range, people will say “what the hell is that smell!?!” My typical answer is something along the lines of “sorry, my rifle has Cream of Wheat for breakfast and now it’s belching a bit.”
     
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