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Discussion Starter #1
Need help understanding why the over pressure of a set of 10 cartridges fired from a ultra light Taurus Judge (2.5" 410 chamber) 5 shot

All 10 were hard to extract
3 of the 10 had primers backed out aprox 1/32~1/16"
All 10 had black soot back down case 50%~75% from mouth toward head about 33% of circumference
5 of the 10 had unusual primer indentations/shape (deep firing pin dent (2), flattened primer (2), primer cup outer shoulder raised lip around circumference (1))
All 10 had sharper report and harsh recoil compared to similar factory loads shot same day
All 10 left significant powder fouling and unburned power in the barrel and cylinders

Loads were produced in climate controlled house and shot on typical Texas spring day at 75 to 81 Degrees OAT from a modestly warm revolver (5 rounds of factory shot first from bench at a relatively slow concentrated shot pace)

New to reloading pistol..... similar loads with 6.7 gr Universal function properly

Set up with Lee single stage presses (3) and a RCBS for crimp stage
Very accurate RCBS Range master 750 and Lee balance beam scales
Every load weight checked twice (I am scared to death about double loads and inconsistent Lee so called "perfect shot measure")

Lee carbide deluxe die set (I think set correctly as other loads function correctly)

I used once fired 45 Colt C-B-C brass at 1.280" for 30 of the 50 reloads
and 20 New Starline (larger primer hole .140??) at 1.285"

Bullet works 200 Gr LRNFN--- Brinell 22

COL was set for 1.595 (load data indicated Min OAL 1.600)

Winchester Larger Pistol primers (cannot get any other brand locally and have been on waiting lists at every mail order house for months for CCI and Fed

Load was not "worked up" from starting grains (I accept the ire that will cause and pledge to never use this method again)

Hogdon web site for HP-38 had spread of 5.9 to 8.0 grains

I picked 7.0gr as assumed safe-- and checked my three load data books against the web site load data

Aside from chewing my *** for not working up a load please teach a old dog some new tricks

Most of my 45 colt reloads for the Judge and Uberti 5.25" leave unburned powder in the barrel

I have reloaded with Hogdon Universal, and HP38 with Tight-group and H110 available

not too sure I like the very small load charge in the giant assed case

I bought the starline new brass not knowing what .140 primer hole means or if it makes any difference in 45 Colt with Large Pistol primers ( the high pressure indicators noted above seemed to be spread evenly across all 10 shots (5 of each brass))

Too chicken to try a few of these in my new Uberti 45 SSA so I pulled all the bullets and dumped the loads

You may wonder why I shot 10 rounds with high pressure indications...

First cylinder full I deliberately chose the shinny new Starline brass and aside from louder and harder recoil... they shot well and nice group (2.5") where I was aiming 25 yds away it was during reload that the brass was hard to extract and had the sooty blow back

I looked over the revolver well and decided to shoot a cylinder full of same load in the once fired Colt brass... unfortunately they were also hard to extract so I segregated the ammo fired a box of Universal 6.7Gr loads, a half box of factory loads and went home to examine my spent brass and scratch my *** about why

Looking for more info on how to read spent brass for high pressure I ended up here where UncleNick excellent sticky post helped generate more question...mostly why would a seemingly safe load function with high pressure indicators....

I tend to wonder if the design of the Taurus Judge long cylinder has something to do with it...or more likely in my opinion a very low volume load in the large case may be the culprit as I keep reading about cowboy action folks doing some sort of shake the gun before firing to "stir up the powder"??

Gentleman I invite your thoughts and opinions and the inevitable *** chewing I deserve

Sorry for the excedingly long first post

Fred von Gortler
Texas
 

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This does not sound like a high pressure situation to me. The backed out primer with soot down the side of the case indicates low pressure. The unburned powder is another indicator these are not high pressure loads.
The hard to extract can come from a variety of different things.
I have a friend with a Judge and she has extraction trouble with most shotshell loads but has had no extraction trouble using 45 Colt factory loads.

I would switch to a faster burning powder and or a heavier bullet.

While not an indication of pressure I would measure the cartridge case at the pressure ring – just above the solid web of the case. Let’s see how much those new Starline cases expanded over the new unfired cases. I’ll predict they did not expand very much.
 

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i'm wondering about the .140" flashhole... could that brass be intended for blanks? i'll have to go and measure some of my brass
 

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if you look at the starline page is states very implicitly that the .140" flashhole brass is for use as blanks only... it says in capital letters not to use that brass in cartridge loads!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
big dan

Thank you sir... went to starline web siteand you are absolutly correct

Now off to send Midway a note (after I scour the site to see if I missed this important fact)

crap now have 100 worthless cases!

I was wondering about under pressure---- as my learning (and fear of) over pressure had me convinced that something was very worng but the fouling and unburned powder confused me

I guess, like all other things I eventually get good at, this reloading of pistol ammo will take some time
Learning to reload shotgun with my dad did not seem any where near as complicated....grin

Thanks all for the input

big dan, any opinion why the once fired Colt brass acted similar to the too large flash hole Starline... compared to all other used factory brass I have, the Colt appears to have standard sized flash holes most likley .080" as you indicate
 

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not sure, it could be residue in the chambers or dirty brass before it was fired. after brass has been around a while & been shot and reloaded it seems to lose that "slick" nature of new brass.
where does your 6.7gr loading of universal fit into its loading range? if you had no other indications of overpressure and you are sure of your powder charges i'd clean the chambers as well as possible and try again...
 

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This comes directly off of the Midway USA web-page where the brass is listed.


SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT THIS BRASS:
The .45 Long Colt Blank has the same external dimensions as the standard .45 Colt but utilizes a 0.140" diameter flash hole to keep the primer from backing out with blanks. FOR BLANK USE ONLY! NOT TO BE LOADED AS LIVE AMMUNITION!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I consider myself a fairly astute INTERNET buyer and I am positive back in Jan when I ordered that brass there was no such big bold black Special note that we all see today... checked the original box of bulk brass and no such note and checked the order form and no such note.... OH well, live and learn new crap every day.... there is a few hours and $25 (with shipping) I pitched out the window...just glad I wasn't screwing around with MAX bang loads in the BLANK use only brass

Crap I have 50 all preped and primed... so wasted 70 hard to get primers as well

Back to Dan's thought of dirty brass or chambers.. I tumble clean in corcob all my fired brass..I do a little post assembly scotch bright pad shine of each complete cartridge on an electric screw gun with the Lee case length cutter shell holder. The Starline B:ANK use only was pristeene shiny and I cleande out the cylinders before loading the 5 Colt brass rounds

The main reason for using the HP-38 was a recommendation from a friend who uses it in 45 ACP as preferable to Universal just for more complete burn and less chamber/barrel powder fouling

My concern with the Universal was the 15-30 odd unburned powder granules the 6.7Gr load left in the revolver... most of the burned powder left a light white ash

The HP-38 left more visible unburned granules and a dark black soot residue in the long 410/45 C chamber of the Judge

OK ignoring my stupidity or ignorance of .140 flash holes

How do I load minuscule volume loads in a giant honking brass case and get complete burn

I read some where about some sort of wad material to keep all the powder at rear of case uniformly in front of the flash hole

6.7Gr Universal or 7.0Gr HP-38 is aprox .70cc in a 1.93cc case

In a charged case I can place finger over mouth turn the case horizontal...shake to level the powder and see clear to the flash hole
 

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Don't throw them away.
Save them for wax bullet loads, or trade them to someone that wants to use them for wax bullet loads.

Michael Grace
 

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Your loads are too light and the bullets are not really suitable for a .45 Colt. There is just not enough bullet holding back that little powder in the very large case.

Even "max" .45 Colt loads that are at or below SAAMI spec are very low pressure. Something on the order of 14,000 CUP or the like.

Anyway.... I have had situations where too-light loads in the .45 Colt give impressive fireballs and lots of noise. You're not the first nor will you be the last. I can't say for sure what effect the larger flasholes had. My guess is probably very little, at your load level. There is factory ammo with large flash holes out there (the lead free primer stuff) so it isn't automatically a disaster. Maybe the lead free primers have heavier cups to deal with it? I don't know.

Winchester large pistol primers are fine. Have reloaded many, many .45 Colt cartridges over the years with them.

Hard extraction suggests rough chambers. Starline brass is pretty tough. I suppose it is possible that the cases for blanks are softer than ordinary brass? Might call them and ask. Did factory loads stick, either before or after, your reloads? If factory loads stick check them for scratches. If factory loads stick only after firing your reloads, then it may be that flakes of unburnt powder are responsible.

Last advice, if you don't want to shoot 250-255gr. bullets in the .45 Colt, then I would suggest using some .45 Schofeld brass which is shorter and will help with some of the case capacity issues. You'll find that using filler is tedious and really slows the reloading down.

Keep us posted.
 

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Wax bullets for the wide flash hole cases. I posted a link to an NRA article on them recently. You can use the board search engine to find it? I don't have it at hand. Also, Speer used to make reusable plastic bullets that, like wax, are powdered just by the primer and no powder. I don't know if those are still around? Also, reusable rubber bullets are available from somebody.

QuickLOAD says your loads will both be running under 10,000 psi. 10,000 psi is a sort of lower limit for complete burning among relatively quick powders. Slower pistol powders, like 296, need more like 25,000 psi and greater to burn reasonably completely, while some really slow rifle powders want almost twice that to avoid excessive fouling.

HP38 and Universal have about the same burn rate (for all practical purposes). Among equal burn rate powders, flakes generally burn a bit more easily than spherical grain geometry. I suspect unburned grains of HP38, as small as they are, were blown back around the outside of the case mouth along with the carbon, and that's what made extraction sticky. As Slim said, you can measure the outside of the case to see?

The sharp report is probably due to unburned powder mixing with air, causing it to light up and go bang. (Edit: I see Mike beat my post, and has mentioned that fireball already.) The harsher recoil is likely explained by rocket effect from that same event? With all that unburned powder you may have a lot of unburned explosive vapor in the muzzle when the bullet clears. If you have a chronograph, you can tell for sure because there is an upper limit to how slow your light bullets can go when fired down your particular barrel length by excess pressure. For five or six inch barrels, anything over 900 fps says pressure is higher than I am predicting.

I suggest you buy a canister of IMR Trail Boss. It will fill the case much better, being designed specifically for light loads in the old black powder pistol cartridges firing lead bullets, and it burns extremely cleanly relative to the pressure reached. You will still likely have to drive such a light bullet a little faster from that big case, but I think that powder will work better for you. A bullet that hard should let you get to magnum velocities without leading too badly, and you may find you need to run 1100 fps or so to get adequate pressure from with it in that big case?
 

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Mike and unclenick are spot on. Do read their posts again.

HP-38 (which is identical and interchangeable with W-231) is a very good powder for the 45 Colt. About 7.0 grains is a classic load with 255-gr cast bullets, delivering right at original ballistics (900 fps) while measuring well, igniting well and burning clean. BUT, with a lighter bullet, it never "sees" the pressure it needs to burn efficiently.

There are several good powders to use with lighter bullets. TiteGroup, Clays, Bullseye, RedDot and others work very well - but take up even less room in that cavern of brass. For light, safe loads Trail Boss is the winner. Correct brass will solve 95% of the problems you're seeing, and a powder change will solve the rest.
 

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I just wanted to say I've learned something from this thread, so thanks for starting it. I regularly use 200 RNFP bullets for CAS and haven't had any problems, but the information I read here I can keep in mind and hopefully avoid any problems in the future.
 

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With the powders mentioned in the previous posts, you should not have to worry about positioning the powder in the case prior to firing. In fact, most of my loads are probably right up against the base of the bullet since I shoot standing and rest my revolvers' muzzle on the benchtop between shots. Everything still goes "bang" and accuracy is good especially when I'm doing my part.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks all for the valuable information

Seems interesting to me to see what I thought were signs of over pressure turn out to be underpressure, a condition I never considered

Will keep the .140 flas hole brass--Looks like I did not "loose" the primed ones... midway has box of reusable rubber bullets in 45 caliber for training using this brass and no powder

Agree that the hard extraction was most likley from unburned powder blown back along case

Put calipers to sticky fired brass and checked several unloaded and loaded versions

Except for slight variations in case length (for these revolvers I do not size case length) the stuck cases do not read any bigger or smaller in the demensions I can measure...

In fact I have no reason to believe the 5 Colt brass should not be cleand and reloaded

I have loaded bullet works 230 LRN with the 6.7Gr Universal and they burn cleaner but still leave the odd speck or three of powder in the chamber or bore so the lesson here is as MikeD and unclenick teach.. too light a bullet

Now I better understand the relationship of powder type and grains, burn rate, bullet design and weight, crimp, etc

Any thoughts on me deliberatly seating the bullet much deeper...(the Judge with very long cylinder for the 410 should not care how long or short the cartridges are) .... to reduce case volume and speed up pressure spike?

Will get Trail boss on way home today (here in central Texas) I have a good local gun shop with fair selection of reloading supplies

Fortunatly only have 350 more of the .451 200gr Lead bullets to load n shoot

I have box of 500 of .452 230gr LRN

Care to recommend a Trail Boss start formula for 230 Lead?

Hogdon site:
230 GR. CAST LRNFP
IMR Trail Boss .452"
COL=1.580"
Start 5.5gr 685ft/s 9,100 PSI
Never exceed 6.5gr 802ft/s 12,400 PSI

MikeG, at the end you said " You'll find that using filler is tedious and really slows the reloading down."

Would you expand that thought a little ....what filler would I use? Can using a filler help with the light loades in large volume case? Or is this a bad idea bandaid
 

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I just wouldn't mess with filler at all. It has uses, and for myself I like to use it with firelapping loads. But we are talking in the range of 20 - 50 shots, for the lifetime of the gun. Small inconvenience for the benefits gained. Hundreds or thousands of ordinary reloads per year? I'd go nuts if I had to deal with that.....

For common handgun loads (ie .45 Colt) there is plenty of published data. No need to go to the trouble. The suggestion of Trail Boss is a good one. Will save much time reloading and should do exactly what you need for light loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank all of you

Thanks MikeG and all others here

Went looking for information on overpressure...learned a LOT more

At another site, The Firing line (I think) had a thread that included a link to unclenick sticky post on reading pressure...how I ended up here

I have spent a few days reading many posts and threads here before my initial post

I sincerely appreciate each and every response

Fred von Gortler
Test Officer
U.S Army Operational Test Command
Fort Hood Texas
 

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. . . Any thoughts on me deliberatly seating the bullet much deeper...(the Judge with very long cylinder for the 410 should not care how long or short the cartridges are) .... to reduce case volume and speed up pressure spike? . . .
You really don't want to do this. It isn't that it can't be done dimension-wise. It is dangerous because you have no idea what the pressure in the case will be as you reduce case volume. Reloading manuals provide pressure data based on cartridges loaded with bullets seated to a specific overall length. When you seat the bullet deeper, pressure rises and does so exponentially, not straight-line. My suggestion is that you keep all of your body parts healthy and forget this thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Go a few private messages suggesting it is a bad Idea... thanks for looking out for me and others

Fred
 
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