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Pressure Signs

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KDK, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. KDK

    KDK

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    Question for experienced re loaders especially those familiar with Magnum Pistol Loads:

    Both loads fired in a ruger redhawk 5.5" barrel revolver, load 1 was fired from a clean gun load 2 was fired after 10 rounds through it. Temp 72 degrees 44% humidity

    Load 1 .44 Magnum, Nosler 200gr JSP, 20.8 Gr Alliant 2400, CCI LP primer (the starting load in the Nosler Manual. Never fired Starline brass

    Shot well, primers appeared slightly flattened but otherwise no other pressure signs


    Load 2. .44 Magnum Nosler 200gr JSP, 21.3 Gr Alliant 2400, CCI LP primer (The midlevel load [of 3] in the Nosler Manual. Never fired Starline brass

    Shot well but noticed a noticeable amount of soot on the rim of the case. Also extraction was a bit stickier.


    Load 2 see below (notice the soot around the rim)
    20190916_151428.jpg

    Load 1 on LEFT Load 2 on RIGHT for comparison
    44 mag.jpg
    My question is: Am I beyond the threshold and should back off. My inclination is that yes I should. Though this load is still before maximum according to the Nosler reloading handbook and other handbooks list 2400 loads greater with similar bullet designs. My experience in reloading has been to only reload to around mid level loads, I have never approached the edge of the envelope yet and would like to learn from other's experience. Thank you ahead of time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  2. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Michael J. Spangler likes this.
  3. jpm

    jpm NES Member

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    I don't see any primer flattening happening yet, which is usually where I go for pressure signs when working up a load. Perhaps the soot and difficult extraction is preliminary indications that you're getting close

    Where's @andrew1220 he'll chime in on this since I think he uses that powder for his hot 44 loads
     
  4. Michael J. Spangler

    Michael J. Spangler NES Member

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    The best takeaway from EC’s article in that link is to understand that there are no definite with pressure signs.
    I believe it was Brian Pierce that wrote an article in handloader magazine on revolver pressure signs.
    Basically it’s not easy to tell and just go by the book. IIRC Case head expansion can be a somewhat reliable source but requires brand new brass and precise measuring equipment.

    As to your sticky chambers, how does the gun handle factory loads? This could just be an issue with rough chambers.

    I had a buddy run into similar issues with 44 mag. Low and behold his bullets were a touch heavier than he thought and more importantly his scale was way off and he was well over pressure.

    Is your scale calibrated?
     
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  5. andrew1220

    andrew1220 NES Member

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    I use 23-23.5 gr of H110 with a Zero 240 gr JSP and my primers are more flattened than that. I think you’re fine.
    8EF2DE26-7F8E-4484-B469-19120FA28AB0.jpeg
     
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  6. TrashcanDan

    TrashcanDan NES Member

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  7. TrashcanDan

    TrashcanDan NES Member

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    I just gave away all my .44 stuff last s.c. shoot.
    Had some 1/2 lb containers of powder that I picked up for .44 mag. Blue dot, v.v., projectiles.
    Might have some 300's left from silhouette shoots.
     
  8. KDK

    KDK

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    Thank you for your replies. My scale is not calibrated per say. It's a RCBS 505 beam scale. I have used it for several years (along side a cheap digital for a quick check to make sure that I'm not reading the beam scale wrong or simply when dialing in a the powder thrower to get "in the ball park"). I believe it to be accurate. I do check its zero every time I move the scale or periodically.

    My biggest concern was the sooty rims. I've never seen that in any other reloads I have produced and therefore concerned me.

    As TrashcanDan posted, there are similar bullet designs that call for (max loads) far greater than what I was reloading. My goal is to be safe, have fun, shoot more and better quality ammo than factory.

    I have never shot factory loads out of the gun. This was my first venture into the .44 magnum platform. Although it would be worth a try and see how extraction goes as well as depriming using my sinclair depriming die (great tool!) vs. handloads.

    Andrew1220, it does look to me that you are experiencing some primer extrusion on your primers.

    Thank you all again for your input.
     
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  9. Michael J. Spangler

    Michael J. Spangler NES Member

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    I'm going to guess a rough chamber is the culprit. Let us know what the factory ammo does.
    Usually sooty cases are a sign of lower pressure in my experience. The brass doesn't expand as much to seal the chamber and the powder leaves soot back on the brass.
    I know with some really light loads utilizing round balls for gallery type loads I've run into very very sooty cases.

    As far as similar bullet designs with hotter loads, I find that usually the bullet with the hotter loads has a different profile or lower crimp groove so there is less bullet in the case.

    An extreme example being a 148 wadcutter vs a 158 SWC. Much more subtle changes still can cause very big pressure changes when working on the upper end of the load data.

    Like a 45 cal 230 RN vs HP.
    if you seated the RN as deep as the HP (which has the nose cut off shorter) There could be a serious issue.
     
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  10. 1903Collector

    1903Collector NES Member

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    Kind of related but has anyone notice that newer S&W revolvers tend to flatten out or dish primers when fired? I've noticed this on both my 629's using magnum and special loads.
     

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