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Using fast rifle powders in pistol calibers?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mwsenoj, Apr 21, 2013.

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  1. mwsenoj

    mwsenoj Member

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    I have some Win 748 and H335 for my 223 loading. I don't have any slow pistol powder currently. Does anyone have any if (and then where) I might start out playing with these in any of my pistol calibers? (40S&W, 38sp/357, 44mag) I am most interested in trying it in my 40 since I have a a ported bbl that does not help much with bullseye loads, but it'd be nice to be able to use it in some slow burning loads for the revolver rounds. I don't really care if it is optimal, just that it won't KB :)
     
  2. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    No, you can't use those two powders for the pistol cartridges you mentioned. In fact most rifle powders will not be used in a straight wall case, they are generally two completely different beasts. Those type of powders are meant to operate at much higher pressures than is feasible achieve in a case designed to operate in the 20K - 30k range such as .40, .357 mag., and 44 mag. are. .223 operates at 50K+, so go find someone that will buy it, or try to trade with some buddies for some pistol powders.

    GS
     
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Sounds like a terrible idea to me.
    Just saying.
     
  4. mwsenoj

    mwsenoj Member

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    Seems a clear answer has been had. Just searched the next question, but found nothing, what's the slowest powder I can use in my 40?
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Look in your manual. The powders are generally listed from fastest to slowest. Look at the bottom one, that's the slowest you need to use.

    It will vary depending on the bullet weight.
     
  6. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Generally speaking, you aren't able to use one powder for both applications, (bottle neck and straight wall). Look through some published data and pick a slow burning powder for the cartridge you want to load.
    Take H110 or 296 for instance, they would be considered a very slow burning powder for .357 mag or 44 mag., but you can't use them in .40 S&W at all, too slow of a powder for that cartridge. You could use something like Longshot or HS6 for both, but it wouldn't be a very slow burning powder for the revolver cartridges, though it would work.
    Do some studying and learn the application properties of reloading in general. You've got some reading to do. You can get hurt in this hobby if you get complacent.

    GS
     
  7. mwsenoj

    mwsenoj Member

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    First, thank you for the replies :)

    I am aware that the slowest powder in my Hornady reloading manual is probably reloader 9. I am an hour from the nearest shop that carries powder and am not going to pay haz for a pound of powder. I also know that the published data is "what works best" or optimal loads. I wouldn't care if it was suboptimal though I just need it to be safe and faster than 700 fps, not necessarily published. (The true story here is I want to load a round that will justify my keeping the ported lone wolf bbl that shows no improvement with my bullseye powder :|
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    While AA#9 is listed as a powder chat can be used in the 40 S&W IMO it's too slow a powder unless it's all you have or can buy. Powders like AA#7, Longshot, AutoComp, HS-6, HS-7 and the like are usually the slower powders suitable for the 40 S&W. You can go faster too and use powders in the W231/HP-38 burn rate range and achieve very good results.
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    You could probably fill the case & stuff a bullet in it. It would probably even get the bullet down range. It is going to leave a mess of unburnt powder tho I'm almost sure.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    There is no rifle powder suitable for .40 S&W. Even the fastest ones are way to slow for .40.
     
  12. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I don't load for the 40 but would 2400 not work?
     
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Instead you're going to experiment with a controlled explosion in your hand. It just doesn't make sense to me. There is no sane reason for trying unpublished and potentially unsafe loads to avoid driving an hour, or to save $25.

    Hell, make a day of it. Take the significant other with you, have lunch and drop by the shop to get the powder.
     
  14. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    WAY too slow.
    Even Blue Dot results in a lot of unburned powder in the .40 and 2400 is quite a bit slower than BD.
     
  15. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Actually, I use Blue Dot in a 40 S&W and it works well with no excessive powder residue.

    I have, in the past, ventured to use rifle powders in handgun cartridges but ONLY in pretty strong guns. I would never do such experimentation in any semiauto out there and would never recommend such experimentation to any but a very experienced handloader.
     
  16. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    There would be less danger in using rifle powder in the 40 then using tight group but I agree handloading needs reloading experience.
     
  17. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Exactly. During this last buying frenzy/shortage, getting powder, any powder has been nearly impossible. This has led to numerous threads of this same nature, asking if one could somehow use an unsuitable powder in a application, just so they can make their gun go boom. Truth is, anything is possible. It's your gun and your safety. If this is a worst case scenario and one needs to take the risk to avoid starving or loss of life, it's one thing. But to waste the time, money and effort to find a suitable load, when it probably isn't possible with the components at hand, is another. Powder is generally the cheapest component in rollin' your own. Why folks insist on savin' a few bucks on a powder, to use relatively expensive primers to throw good bullets downrange
    in a load that performs poorly, has always been a mystery to me.
     
  18. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    ^^^^^


    No kidding.


    But I'm not sure if it's no much saving a buck or two as it is people who decided to start reloading after Sandy Hook and the ammo famine. Might not be the case here. But with bullets being just as hard to find as powder, I have a tough time understanding why someone would waste either just to make a gun go bang.
     
  19. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    Most all things are possible. It becomes a matter of just how useful the results may be.

    I suspect that given enough time (and stupidity) one could load a fire-able casing with methane gas (nice way to say farts) but I don't think it would be very functional in the long run.

    With the fastest burn rate/pressure curved 'rifle' powder, I just don't see a positive function in a 40 S&W. For the listed powders, they too are not likely to do well in the .44 (the most voluminous of the casings listed).

    Good thought. Just not practical. Maybe try black powder.....
     
  20. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

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    My buddy tried some H4895 in his S&W 500, which is a great straight walled rifle powder. I use it in my 458winmag. His results were dismal. It was a low report, low velocity load probably with lots of unburned powder. Now, if the end of the world was coming and he had to shoot to survive, I'd say, go with it. But it's not a good practice when we're talking hobbies here, not survival.
     
  21. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    What we usually call rifle powder has a slower burn rate. What we usually call pistol powder has a faster burn rate. Truth is it is just powder of a cretin burn rate.
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Alliant 2400

    [​IMG] Loads for the 40 S&W are available using heavy bullets closer to 200gr. The 10mm uses 2400 also. Great for the 357 mag. Works in the 44 mag also. 2400 not the perfect powder, but may be usable? :uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have used smokeless pistol powders for rifle loads before but never the other way around
     
  24. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    In 33 years of loading I have never considered running pistol powder in rifles or vice versa. I mean why? Unless you are a balistician and have the equipment for the dynamic measurements and forgot your tenets of reloading completely, like said before, don't do it. You are messing with things way beyond your comprehension and the rewards do not justify the potential disaster.


    I suggest you put aside the desire to shoot the 40 for now and see what comes along (as in a trade suggested earlier or a trip by a few shops while out of town)

    Heck, if we were close I'd give you a half pound of powder for free.

    Experimentation in powders/cases/firearms is best left to the pros and wildcatters. Hang tite and you'll find a good pistol powder.
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Some rifle rounds like 458 socom not only use pistol powders but pistol primers too. Subsonic rifle loads often use pistol powders like Trailboss.

    I guess I can say I use rifle powders in pistols like my 7mm BR XP-100 and contenders but that is not what the op was asking about.
     
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