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Thread: Reduced Loads?

  1. #1
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    Reduced Loads?

    Bullet X in caliber c has listed powder IMR 7828 charges of 55 grains on the low side and 58 grains on the high side. Handloader Hal loads a box of ammo with 53 grains of powder. Should he shoot them or pull the bullets and add a couple more grains of powder? For powders like IMR7828 what generally constitutes a reduced load? Since too light of a powder charge can be just as risky as too high of a charge what is normally a safe amount to reduce a load by?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Bullet X in caliber c has listed powder IMR 7828 charges of 55 grains on the low side and 58 grains on the high side. Handloader Hal loads a box of ammo with 53 grains of powder. Should he shoot them or pull the bullets and add a couple more grains of powder? For powders like IMR7828 what generally constitutes a reduced load? Since too light of a powder charge can be just as risky as too high of a charge what is normally a safe amount to reduce a load by?
    I would try a couple of 53 grn. and check it out. the loading info on min. loads will vary.

    Mort

    We are talking a bolt action....right?

  3. #3
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    I guess you have to consider who wrote the book and did the research. Then weigh that with what youll get here from members who have gone high and low by guess and by gosh. Id go with what the book says first and stray from there later.

  4. #4
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    i would not call 53 from 55 a "reduced" load.
    but you did not list case volume, gun cartridge pressure limit
    way too many bits of data MISSING
    lots of tools online to show est pressure/velocity
    if you loaded 20 gr, that would be reduced

  5. #5
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    If you are old enough, you can remember Elmer Keith and other notable Riflemen of our childhoods writing about a phenomena where a reduced load of too slow burning of a powder could actually explode rather than burn upon ignition, causing catastrophic damage. This had been reported by a few shooters, and it became sort of an old wives tale.

    The problem was, nobody could ever duplicate the phenomena in a controlled setting. Several articles were written through the 1950s and 60s about experiments where attempts were made with drastically reduced loads of slow burning powder in large capacity cases. Nobody ever blew up anything.

    I would not worry about any ill affects from the loads you listed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmort View Post
    I would try a couple of 53 grn. and check it out. the loading info on min. loads will vary.

    Mort

    We are talking a bolt action....right?
    yes a bolt action.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    i would not call 53 from 55 a "reduced" load.
    but you did not list case volume, gun cartridge pressure limit
    way too many bits of data MISSING
    lots of tools online to show est pressure/velocity
    if you loaded 20 gr, that would be reduced
    It was something posted on a forum on another website. The cartridge was a .270. The guy seated 130 grain Hornady bullets over a powder charge of H4350 intended for 150 grain Nosler Accubonds. His dilemma [the loads were solely to get sighted in on paper] was whether or not he should pull the bullets and add a couple grains more of powder or just shoot em. My advice was to shoot one and see what happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    If you are old enough, you can remember Elmer Keith and other notable Riflemen of our childhoods writing about a phenomena where a reduced load of too slow burning of a powder could actually explode rather than burn upon ignition, causing catastrophic damage. This had been reported by a few shooters, and it became sort of an old wives tale.

    The problem was, nobody could ever duplicate the phenomena in a controlled setting. Several articles were written through the 1950s and 60s about experiments where attempts were made with drastically reduced loads of slow burning powder in large capacity cases. Nobody ever blew up anything.

    I would not worry about any ill affects from the loads you listed.
    Smokeless powder shouldn't explode. Black powder OTOH supposedly does. I've heard the same about pistol cartridges exploding with normal charges of Bullseye. The explanation being that the charge of powder lies flat in the case and the primer flash passes over the powder and ignites all of the powder at the same time. Very difficult to duplicate I understand.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    Smokeless powder shouldn't explode. Black powder OTOH supposedly does. I've heard the same about pistol cartridges exploding with normal charges of Bullseye. The explanation being that the charge of powder lies flat in the case and the primer flash passes over the powder and ignites all of the powder at the same time. Very difficult to duplicate I understand.

    Actually, this is the opposite of true.

    Black powder CANNOT detonate like HE as it is a low explosive whereas Smokeless powder can and will actually detonate under proper stimulus. It's CLASSED as a low explosive, or deflagrant, but can be initiated to high order. One can make ANFO-type charges using smokeless powder as well as detonating it using a primary such as acetone peroxide or PETN. Even blasting caps will often produce HE detonation in smokeless. Or det cord.

    "Burning or lighting all the powder at once" ain't in it......detonation is a pressure related phenomenon. Kinda' like 'dieseling' a gasoline engine...... but not.

    But kinda'


    Meanwhile..... even using containment (large pile/keg, pipe or gerb) the dull 'boom' of black powder comes from making it's shockwave front exceed the Mach limit, maybe 2000fps is achievable but not actual "HE" class velocities.

    Properly stimulated, smokeless will propagate at 15,000+ fps .....


    tmi, I know but I feel these to be important distinctions.



    IMO "reduced loads" don't get dangerous until they're brought down to less than 50% of listed loads. And then only with "overbore" chamberings. IME what you'll run into when dropping down only a few grains below minimum, especially with slow rifle powders, is much less dramatic, involving collapsed cases, sooty necks and cases, weird smells and textures (I've seen cases with yellow sticky goop in them, like the powder turns to caterpillar guts) but can result in some fairly dangerous gas jets.

    WEAR THOSE SAFETY GLASSES YOU'SE RELOADING GENII!!!!!

    Or just stay within established boundaries.




    period.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    Actually, this is the opposite of true.

    Black powder CANNOT detonate like HE as it is a low explosive whereas Smokeless powder can and will actually detonate under proper stimulus. It's CLASSED as a low explosive, or deflagrant, but can be initiated to high order. One can make ANFO-type charges using smokeless powder as well as detonating it using a primary such as acetone peroxide or PETN. Even blasting caps will often produce HE detonation in smokeless. Or det cord.

    "Burning or lighting all the powder at once" ain't in it......detonation is a pressure related phenomenon. Kinda' like 'dieseling' a gasoline engine...... but not.

    But kinda'


    Meanwhile..... even using containment (large pile/keg, pipe or gerb) the dull 'boom' of black powder comes from making it's shockwave front exceed the Mach limit, maybe 2000fps is achievable but not actual "HE" class velocities.

    Properly stimulated, smokeless will propagate at 15,000+ fps .....


    tmi, I know but I feel these to be important distinctions.



    IMO "reduced loads" don't get dangerous until they're brought down to less than 50% of listed loads. And then only with "overbore" chamberings. IME what you'll run into when dropping down only a few grains below minimum, especially with slow rifle powders, is much less dramatic, involving collapsed cases, sooty necks and cases, weird smells and textures (I've seen cases with yellow sticky goop in them, like the powder turns to caterpillar guts) but can result in some fairly dangerous gas jets.

    WEAR THOSE SAFETY GLASSES YOU'SE RELOADING GENII!!!!!

    Or just stay within established boundaries.




    period.
    So if you were the handloader in the OP would you fix your apparent screw-up by pulling the bullets or shooting one?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by antelopedundee View Post
    So if you were the handloader in the OP would you fix your apparent screw-up by pulling the bullets or shooting one?
    Ohh, from the information provided, I'd just shoot those..... as far as safety is concerned. (I thought I covered that with the "50% or less" statement)

    But then again, me, being me, I WOULDN'T shoot them because a barrel's only got a thousand or so rounds in it. I wouldn't waste the barrel nor my time shooting something just to empty the casing...... I'd definitely pull'em.

  12. #12
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    We experiment with reduced loads all the time at work. We have found that powder location affects pressures. This is why we do the "Frankford Roll" with all ammo as we load it into the Universal Receiver. Once the load gets low enough in volume, you can get flashover and high pressures. We usually use a piece of cigarette (rolling) paper to keep the powder back against the primer. We have reduced 5.56mm M855 ammo this way from a 26gr load to a 14gr load for testing. Elmer Keith's statements are true as testing here at Picatinny and at Frankford Arsenal proved out.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for that info, MilGunsmith. It clears up a lot of misinformation.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    Ohh, from the information provided, I'd just shoot those..... as far as safety is concerned. (I thought I covered that with the "50% or less" statement)

    But then again, me, being me, I WOULDN'T shoot them because a barrel's only got a thousand or so rounds in it. I wouldn't waste the barrel nor my time shooting something just to empty the casing...... I'd definitely pull'em.
    Well it was sorta implied I guess, but not clearly. The guy loaded a box of 20 to use to sight in and get on paper, so he's gonna shoot something regardless of whether or not it's a great load. Being a .270 it's likely a huntin rifle where 20 rounds don't matter all that much.

  15. #15
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    Something from Hodgdon that may be useful for doing PGR Precision Guesswork Reloading.

    https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/rel...let-not-listed

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