Here's a question for the reloaders in the bunch...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by whitewolf68, January 30, 2012.

  1. I've always separated my loads based on components. Right now I am loading a bunch of 38 leads and ran out of CCI primers and switched to Remington. Would you still separate based on the primers or just lump them in.

    The load I am using is 4.4gr of w231 in 38spl. Only difference is the primer.

    I know I kinda have OCD when it comes to reloading. :D
  2. forrest r

    forrest r

    No worries, that's the beauty of using a fast burning powder. I was playing around with my chronograph yesterday reanswering the same question.

    The load=6.5g ww231/hp-38 Remington LP primers Lyman 429421 245gSWC bullet (range lead) sized to .430" mixed brass (range brass)
    The primers=Winchester, Remington, cci standard & cci mag large pistol primers.
    The test pistol=TC contender 10"bbl

    The test=10 shot strings with each primer I was looking for 2 things, any jump in the fps & any difference in the sd. 10 shots aren't a lot by any means to base a test on. I was thinning out my old/partial primers that I had lying around. I used to pick up any kind of primers at the gunshows if they were selling them at a good price (before the Obama scare 4 years ago). I still do the same thing with gunpowder; it will always burn in something.

    Why the test= I initially worked this load up using Remington lp primers, the Remington primes are known to have the light/weakest flash (brisance) & I ran out of them. I don't want to go buy more of them since I have other brands of primers that I can use. I have a bunch (2000+) cci LP mag primers lying around. I don't use any powders that need mag primers anymore & thought "lets burn these primers up in the contender". So I'm going from the mildest LP primer made to the hottest LP primer made.

    The results= It didn't matter what primer I used with the fast burning powder. The Remington, Winchester & cci primers all stayed in the 880 to 890 #'s. An ES of 10 for a 30 shot string, not bad for mixed primers & brass, recovered lead & a homemade bullet lube. When I made the test load with the cci mag primers (50 of them) I used 6.3g ww231/hp-38 of powder instead of 6.5g thinking that the mag primer would add more pressure/power to the load. The mag primers did nothing for the load & the fast burning powder. The SD was actually 20fps slower than the loads with the extra .2g of powder, what the mag primers did do was lower the ES even more, the first 4 shots of the 5 shot string (I didn't see any need to go any further) all read the same thing, 863. For a minute I thought the chronograph was broke until the 5th shot read 868.

    I don't know why I was worried about the load changing, I thought about it & I knew better from doing the same testing 20+ years ago. It was just that this is a real good plinking load for that contender, it stacks the bullets on top of each other (all bullets touching @50ft for every test group that I've shot now, 10+ 5-shot groups).

    After thinking about it I do know primers can & will change a load, but it more of a mechanical change than a pressure change. Consistent ignition is key to accuracy in any load & the hardness of the different primer cups will affect a load more than anything. Federal & wolf primers are a good example of this. A lot of revolver guys hate wolf primers because they're a hard primer. They get light fp hits, ftf's & good hits all in the same cylinder of ammo. Federal primers are the easiest to set off; they have the softest primer cup. So these guys turn the strain screws down on their revolvers to lower the trigger pull & it also lowers the power of the fp shit/strike causing inconsistent ignition.

    The use of mag primers & fast burning powders. I used to do this all the time, the lp mag primers could be found easier than the standard primers & most times cheaper. They will give any load with a fast burning powder a better SD because there isn't much powder in the cases & the powder will lay flat in the case (sideways). The bigger flash of the mag primer will burn the small charge of powder more evenly creating more consistency.

    I used to do this for my contender loads 20+ years ago, the difference would show up at the 100yd line. It's amazing the small details like these I can & have forgotten over time.
  3. Thank you for the reply Forrest.

    Sounds like you had a good time at the range yesterday. :) I've yet to get to the range this year but looking forward to it.

    I was stocking up on primers and powder during the scare and still. I usually use Winchester primers all around but some CCI have infiltrated my stock and have been getting used. Mostly in the .308 Win and 30-06 loads I have worked up. As for powder there is no shortage here or in the house for that fact. I am using up some of my old W231 and HP-38 I have around to load some .45 ACP and .38's.

    Nice to know your loads are so consistent now matter what. There was some surprises in there for me when you spoke about the heavier load being 20fps slower, that was interesting. I would have thought the fps would have gone up even just slightly with their use. Worrying about the load changes just show you're a good reloader and always checking your data for safety. Even after 20+ years thing can change and data does change so you quite never know for sure. ;)

    I knew there was something more for me to learn here Forrest. I was not aware that Wolf primer cups were that hard and Federals were so soft. I use Federals in my AR-15 loads and have not tried Wolf primers at all. They a re not around in these parts. I was also not aware you could tune a revolver like that, I need to learn not on that front as I have always been a Semi-Auto person but I do have a couple revolvers.

    Hmmm, perhaps I will start using my Small Mag primers for my .38 loads, I think I have a couple thousand of them. I have well over 10,000 primers in stock with brass to match. I just need to get loading and get to the range more. LOL

    Again thank you for the wonderful post and learning experience.
  4. forrest r

    forrest r

    It wasn’t a heavier load, the load was cut by .2 (2/10) of a grain to help make up for the mag primer. The original load was 6.5g of hp-38 & a Remington primer, the new load was 6.3g of hp-38 & a cci mag primer. The primer did nothing to make the load go faster & the .2g drop in powder with the mag primer lost 20fps from the original load. Now if I was using a slow burning powder, it would have been a different story. When I saw the results from the chronograph a light bulb lit up & I remembered some of the testing I did 25 years ago. My concern was using the mildest primer (Remington) & then using the hottest primer (cci mag) & having it affect the loads.

    That ww231 you have laying around is a sweet powder!!! And it really shines in the 2 loads your using them in, the 45 & 38. As you can see I use it in the 44 also & I’ve used it in the past in 30-06’s & cast bullets.

    I’ll have to start using the chronograph more & post the results. Info is always a good thing.
  5. Ahhh, gotcha Forrest. I understand the primer difference now with the mag primers. I was not aware that mag primers were a .2 grain difference, I just always went with the reloading manual instructions.

    I sure am glad you can remember something you did 25 years ago. Anymore I am lucky to remember by breakfast if I did eat breakfast. LOL

    231 has always been a staple powder since I started reloading 20+ years ago. I found it very good in the 9mm I was loading for way back when and like you said, now, in my 38 and 45 loads. My only problem with it is that is seems to be dirty at least to me. I know A No. 2 is pretty clean from my use long ago so I am thinking of switching to that as well. I cannot fathom using 231 in a 30-06, seems just odd to me but I am sure it can be done since you've done it. I've only loaded 30-06 with IMR 4064, then again I am not loading leads either.

    I too have a chrony but have yet to be able to use it. My gun club raised the membership fees to $75 a year now and being out of work I have to find the money for it.

Share This Page