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I was pleased to read Marshall's Tech Note on "Max Loads" & Handguns.  In fact I have read it a number of times.  It really helped me understand why I have been having problems getting accurate loads with W296/H110 powder.  You see, I'm not as young as I used to be, and max loads are not what I'm looking for.  I don't see the need to put max stress on my guns or on me.  So I have been loading less than max loads and have not been happy with the accuracy.  Now I understand that these powders really need to be loaded at their maximum efficiency in order to get small ES (extreme spread) velocity performance.  I do understand the relationship between consistant velocity and good accuracy.  What I didn't know is that by reducing these loads I was increasing ES.

So, to get good accuracy, I either need to maximize the efficiency of W296/H110, or I need to start using a faster powder.  I have decided to do both.  

Marshall's procedure for working up a safe load with 296/110 is clear and will be easy to follow.  Will this procedure also work for faster powders, like 2400 or Blue Dot?

Besides the procedural question, the bigger question is this.  Can I ever expect to get similar accuracy with less than "Max Loads" as is possible with w296/H110?

(Edited by Husker at 4:53 pm on June 18, 2001)
 

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Hi Husker,

You asked a mouthfull.  Yes you can get great accuracy with far less than max loads.  One of the best places to start is to get Marshall's book on shooting cast bullets.  When you lower pressure on the base of a lead bullet, it is important that the bullet is either soft enough to obturate (do a search on the word for a good working knowledge) or is already a correct fit for the gun (a search is in order here too).  These two issues can easily make or break you on accuracy.  I am assuming your gun or guns are already proven in their accuracy.  You may want to slug the bore to make sure it is in good shape.  So far, I would say the place to start is with the right diameter/softness bullet.  

Yes, you can work up with 2400 and Blue Dot the same way as H-110/296.  The downside is you can expect a much steeper pressure spike so extra care is called for.  Actually for loads well under max, you probably should not be even approaching max. You are looking for accuracy and consistancy... not high pressure.    

Why don't you reply with the kind,caliber of weapon you are using and the bullet too.  There are many one this forum who may be able to give you good specific info that will save you a lot of guessing.  The other thing you might do is to decide what kind of performance you are looking for and let us know.  

I agree with you that working up good accurate low and mid range loads is sometimes more difficult than max loads but it is very doable and just takes a bit different mind set.  We would be happy to help you all we can.  

God bless..................  Bill M
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Bill, for the reply.  

OK, let's be more specific.  The gun is a Bowen Bisley .475 Linebaugh using converted W-W 45-70 brass, WLP primers and Beartooth 420gr WFNGC.  I also have the 420gr LFNGC and will eventually get (as soon as Marshall can make them) the new 355gr LFNGC.

What I was wondering is regarding the ES figures.  Do the faster powders follow the same pattern as W296/H110 of having ES gradually tighten up as you workup to the optimum efficiency chage weight?
 

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Husker, I thought a couple of the .475 shooters would jump in here to help out.  I have never so much as pulled a trigger on a .475.  I will share som generic info hoping it will help, until a .475 expert shows up.  

In my experience, H-110 and WW 296 are pretty unique among handgun powders.  They only operate efficiently in the top few percent of the pressure curves to burn well and give those wonderful velocities.  Most other powders that are quicker burning, do not need to operate in the top 3% of pressure to work well.  

When you burn something like Unique, Universal, AA-5 and Blue Dot, they are best not loaded up near the max for the worry of spiking pressure.  Find some printed data for your gun with the moderate burning powders and concentrate on good technical reloading.  You may end up switching powders, primers or brass to find those low es, but they are there.  Just this morning I was working up a mid range load in a 44 mag.  By simply changing primers, the es fell from close to 60 to single digits.  

In short, it is possible to drop the es numbers way down but I would not recommend pushing the faster buring powders close to the max.  

One final thought on 2400.  In my experience it behaves neither like H-110/296 or like the AA-5's & Blue Dot's of the world.  I have had wonderful experience with it in 357 mag and fair to poor (compared to the other powders mentioned) experience with it in 44 mag.   It's not a bad powder.  It's just hard to put it in either group of powders.  Hope this helps.


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

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Husker,

I, like my fellow Keystoner Bill M., have never so much as held a .475 let alone loaded for it but feel his suggestions are sensible. I like 2400 a lot and have used it in a number of cartridges and many different firearms. It will spike faster than H110/W296, but if you stay within established data you'll have nary a worry. Let us know how your experiments go. With the really big bores like your .475 the emphasis is always on top velocity. It would be nice to see somewhat reduced load results to compare.
 

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Husker, John Linebaugh recommends W231 or HS6 for low power or practice loads.  HS6 will give a little more velocity while W231 will give somewhat lower pressures.

God bless,
 

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husker, some of the faster powders HS6 HS7 BLUE DOT will give better es figures using mag primers, I am not a fan for mags with w231 or even unique. one of my most accurate loads in the fa 475 is 12.5gr/HS6/CCI350/1025 with my 420lfngc. I consider this load very near maximum. with es figures in the low 20s. from a 7 1/2" tube. please be carefull with any of the faster burn rate powders. things get spooky real quick.       jim.
 
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