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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

I just bought a pound of Hodgdon Lil'gun on the recommendation of a fella at a local gun shop. He claims it will produce higher velocity with less pressure (depending on the loading) than H110 or W296. He also claims it is not as finicky ignition wise when compared to these two other powders as well. I plan to start with 240 Gr. JHP's and use CCI 350 magnum primers and Winchester cases. (18" Carbine barreled bolt gun)

Does anyone on this board have any experience with this powder? I'm also looking to experiment with .357 Mag in a Marlin 1894 CS so any shared experience with this powder in that caliber would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
SM
 

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Good evening,

I may be able to help out a bit.  I also may cause more confusion, but I'll tell you what I have learned.  I heard the same quote about 'Lil gun giving more velocity with same pressure.  I first saw it last summer in an issue of Hanloader Magazine.  I believe it was Ross Seigfried who said it.  He was talking about 45 Long Colt with lead bullets in revolvers.  Like you, I became very interested since I will always take more velocity with less pressure.  I do not shoot 45 Colt so I tried it in my 44 mags.  I worked up to max loads with 'Lil Gun and chronographed each step to compare with existing H-110 loads.  Bullets, brass and primers were the same.  What follows is mostly just first impressions since I did littel more than run the tests, get the results and drop the issue.   This is mostly opinion from chrono results last summer.  All loads are in 44 mag.

With 300 gr LMNDCGC...(seated deep to the first crimping grove)  I thought H-110 gave a small bit more potential with easier pressures than 'Lil Gun.  Under max velocities were a bit behind H-110.

With 280gr WFNGC..... I thought 'Lil Gun gave a bit more velocity for either the same or less pressure.  Max loads & velocities, however,were about the same with both powders.  There was some real promise for down loading 50-100 fps below max.  

With 250gr LFNGC.... This test I did just a month ago in working up loads for my 1894p and SBH.  The tests are not finished yet ( I got tired of below zero windchills every time I brought out the chronograph).  Still in all, my very early work shows a lot of promise over H-110 in either handgun or rifle with this unique bullet.  I hope to finish my early research in the next month or so and I'll be happy to share it with you if you like.  

You mentioned using 'Lil Gun with a 240 JSP bullet.  If you call or e mail Hodgon, they will send you their data on 240gr JSP bullets using 'Lil Gun.  Personally I doubt you will ultimately get higher velocities than H-110.  I have no data that would suggest how it will perform downloaded.  My guess is pretty good but 100% of my testing has been with Marshall's LBT bullets and they play by a very different set of rules than jacketed bullets.  In any case, it is a very good and versatile powder.  

Wish I had more details but I just have not spent that much time with 'Lil Gun.  Please let us know the results you have with 'Lil Gun.  Hope this helps.


God bless....................  Bill M
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bill,

Thanks for sharing your experience with LIL'GUN. I very much appreciate it.

I do have the Hodgdon mini reloader book with limited data on this powder. However, you answered a lot of my questions that the book couldn't. (and I know what you mean about the wind chill!)

I will post my chrony and accuracy results as weather/time allows.

Best Regards,
SM
 

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Slip Kid,

Adding to Bill M's excellent post, I might add that the burning characteristics of Lil' Gun seem to change to a degree with the cartridge and bullet weight that it is used with!

In the .44 Magnum, when bullet weights are 265 grains and under, the Lil' Gun seems to have an advantage over H110/W296 in the velocity/pressure venue.

In the .357 mag, the jury is still out, my preliminary testing is such that just the converse is true.  With the 180g+ bullets Lil'gun seems to have an edge, yet when you go to the 160g and under pills, it loses out to H110/W296.

In the .45 Colt it appears that Lil'gun has some advantage in the 300g class bullets, but here again the jury is out , and my evaluation incomplete at this time.

All I can say for sure, is that it tolerates reduced loads with much more consistentcy, and uniformity that does H110/W296 that requires to be in the top 5% of the pressure envelope for best efficiency.  In this aspect, Lil'gun behaves much like AA #9 in that loads that are off of the top pressures behave very nicely and predictably.  For this purpose I think that it has a niche on my loading bench... until the rest of my tests are over.

Sorry, but it is all I can share at this time.... I hope that it helps!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Marshall,

That helps a lot! One bit of information in the little Hodgdon book that really caught my eye was the pressure level in .357 Mag when loading 158 gr. Hornady XTP's.

While the published pressure for H110 is 40,700 CUP using a 10" barrel producing 1591 fps, LIL'Gun produces 1577 fps at 25,800 CUP! Seems strange to me.

For instance, why would they list a load of 25,800 CUP as a max load? Could this be a misprint? Their website lists the same numbers so I'm sue many sets of eyes have verified this number as correct.

My results are often quite different than published data anyway, but this one REALLY stands out. I’ll just have to try it and see for myself I suppose.

It's nice to hear the characteristics of LIL’GUN are more like #9, as that powder is very forgiving with respect to charge weights, bullet crimp, etc. I’ve yet to produce a squib with it.

Thanks again gentlemen for the excellent posts. You’ve been a great help! I’ll post my results as I experiment and get good data.

All the Best,
SM
 

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I HAVE LOADED LIL' GUN IN THE 454 SOME, IT DOES WELL ON VELOCITY ESPECIALLY WITH THE HEAVY BULLETS (325-350GR CLASS) BUT CANT SEEM TO GET THOSE ONE HOLE GROUPS THAT THE H110/W296 GIVES. YES IT DOES IGNITE EASIER THAN THE LATER MENTIONED ONES, AS STATED ABOVE IT ACTS DIFFERANT IN MANY CASES. FROM THE DATA I HAVE ON THE 44,454, AND 475 IT SEEMS TO DO BETTER WITH THE LARGER CARTRIDGE CASES. THE 28,000 MAX LOAD IS WHAT THE ENGINEER AT THE LAB THOUGHT WAS A MAX SAFE LOAD FOR THIS BULLET, POWDER COMBO. PERHAPS LOADED WITH MORE POWDER STARTING SHOWING VERY WIDE PRESSURE CURVES THAT CAN SOMETIMES SWING TO THE OUTER LIMITS OF MAX FOR A GIVEN FIREARM. IN OTHER WORDS AT THIS PRESSURE THE LOAD WAS VERY CONSISTANT TO LAB TESTING. MOST POWDERS ARE DESIGNED TO WORK WITHIN A GIVEN PRESSURE RANGE, GET THEM OUT OF THERE HAPPY RANGE AND THEY GO CRAZY. VERY UNPREDICTABLE PRESSURE SWINGS. THATS WHY WE ALL MUST FOLLOW THE START LOW WORK UP RULE. HAVE FUN AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR RESULTS COME OUT.         JIM.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Jim!
The pressure issue makes sense. They don't even list a load for LIL'GUN using a 125gr. bullet in .357 Mag probably for the same reason. Too small a case + too light a bullet = an unpredictable load. The 158gr. must be on the low end of where this powder will work reliably at all. Makes sense to my somewhat reasoned mind anyway. Fascinating stuff, don't you think?

Anyway, I'm sure this powder will find a niche on my bench. I'll post again when good data is developed. I'm going to focus on .44 Mag loads to begin with, then work up some .357's just for the experience of it.

Best,
SM
 

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I was working up 9mm +P++ loads with a dozen powders when I noticed the Hodgdon 38 Super load with LIL GUN has higher velocity than any other powder they sell.

As I worked up the LIL GUN load, I noticed that the more powder I used, the less recoil and report I was getting. I wrote to Hodgdon about this. They said, "Of course it does, as the efficiency goes  down".

From someone who studies load books looking for patterns, LIL GUN data does not always conform.
 

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I have also tried Lil Gun in my .500's. I get much better accuracy with H110, H4227, or Accurate #9. I mostly use Accurate #9 now because it has worked best for max loads and 460 - 500 gr. bullets.
 

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It is the only powder i use to load for my 22 Hornet Encore Rifle. Very accurate and beats every other powder hands down for max Vel. :D
 

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I use Lil Gun in my 1894 with good results. 16.0 grains with 180 grain GC bullets, & CCI primer give about 1700 fps. Almost identical to H110/W296.
 

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Have nothing but good things to say about the powder. Use it in 218 Bee, 25-20 win, 256 win mag, 4570, 450 alaskan, and now in the 25-35 and 219 zipper (as jacketed target loads). It lights well, burns clean, and generates tight statistics - what more can one ask??

do shoot straight,
greg
www.gmdr.com
 

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I am building up a 25-20 WCF on a Remington Rolling block. It's not finished yet but I am looking for loads when it is finished. On paper it looks like Lil'Gun could be a winner. I use it in and very happy with it in my 22 Hornets. Could you give me some ideas on starting loads and what has worked well in the 25-20 WCF.
Lowell
 

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I was wondering when the small caliber crew would weigh in. I use Lil Gun in my 221 Fireball with good results but it's not quite as accurate as other powders.
 

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There are a few cartridges where I put in more LIL'GUN and the velocity goes down.
The powder is blowing out the muzzle un burned, and then makes a huge fire ball.

If one believes Hodgdon published data, it would seem that 158 gr 357 mag is better with LIL'GUN than with H110.

I am suspicious that H110 and LIL'GUN are more similar than Hodgdon data would have us believe, and I know I like the smell of burning H110 better.
 

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I use Li'l Gun for loading very heavy bullets in the .500 S&W.
I use it also in .410 shotshell loads.
Pete
 

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I've used it in the .500 and it was satisfactory, but the 296 and 4227 loads were more consistent.
 

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I just loaded up some .22 Hornet ammo with Lil Gun this afternoon. I was shooting silhouettes with it offhand this morning, it was plenty accurate for that.
 
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