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Thread: KABOOM through SEE, what truth lies in this?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    KABOOM through SEE, what truth lies in this?

    Hello everyobdy,
    like all of us, I´m loading cast bullets in military rifles (.30-06 in an USM 1917 and the 7,5x55 Swiss in an G11), which means using reduced loads.

    Now and then I hear a story about a KABOOM because of a SEE effect.

    But is this real?
    I´ve loaded thousands of rounds with VV N110, which is similar to Hogdon H110 and some others, and have never had any higher pressure signs.

    Is it possible, that the SEE in reduced loads doesn´t exist, and those guys say so as an excuse for a double load?
    Or is it true?

    What would you say?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Overloads, user induced bore obstructions and mechanical failure are the causes of most all gun blow ups. The 1st two are "pilot error" and the 3rd most often is. SEE is a real occurrence that does happen and is reproducible. However, it does require certain circumstances to be present for it to occur. Basically it is caused by the bullet moving forward and sticking or stopping in the throat/leade before the powder begins to burn efficiently. The powder then burns efficiently and pressures rise to catastrophic levels before the bullet moves or gets moving again. The powder does not "detonate" and there must be sufficient powder quantity to create catastrophic pressure. In reduced loads many times the powder is not of sufficient quantity to create catastrophic pressures.

    The powder can only create pressure based on the chemical potential of it's quantity. It can not "create" pressures beyond it's potential as some seem to believe. Thus in your milsurp rifles if the reduced load has the potential to create only 50,000 psi maximum psi if the bullet stops or gets stuck before moving again the rifle will handle that amount of psi w/o problems. You will not see "higher pressure signs" unless you can actually measure the pressure.

    In many, probably most, instances of firearm blow ups with "reduced loads" SEE is thought to be the reason when in actuality a double or even a triple charge is the real cause. This is just human nature as we prefer to think the cause of such "accidents" is the cause of something other than our own.

    Larry Gibson

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Low case fill % loads of slow powders are suspected grounds of SEE.

    Low case fill % loads of fast powders are widely used for cast bullets, but susceptible to double charge.

    Each powder has many different technical characteristics besides its place on the burn rate chart.

    Use published data, confirm from multiple reputable sources. There is no need to re-invent the wheel, and a lot of good loads you might find useful can be found here http://www.castbulletassoc.org/2015m...yresults.shtml

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    The overwhelming majority of blowups are caused by the guy who pulls the handle on the loading press. If you don't trust him, don't shoot the ammo.

    I have been loading for over 60 years and only know one person whose reloads I will shoot.

    If you are loading very light loads, be sure to double check EVERY SINGLE powder charge before seating the bullet. I do this with a flashlight but many loaders do it with a short piece of dowel rod.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Well, over here in Germany, you must visit a course and pass a test to get the permission to load and buy the holy powder of joy.

    But in this course, which lasts normally two days and ends with the test, everything goes among rules and laws, and only a little bit about reloading itself.

    The teacher told us about this stuff, that reduced loads from time to time KABOOMs, but he couldn´t proof it.
    But he said, if we ever want to do this, the only way is with Samereier brass.
    http://www.samereier.de/ladetabelle_1.htm
    Never saw one.

    Then I´ve heard stories from such former accidents over the years, but never saw one or heard about one in real life.
    But this rumours are like a disease and every now and then, another one tells the story.

    Like I said, I´ve loaded some thousand reduced loads with great sucess.

    The reason why I´m asking here, is that my shooting club thinks about making an "Ordonnanz Event", where the old military guns will be used for nonshooters.
    Making PR and gaining some new members and so.

    To not overburden them, I was asked, if I would make reduced rounds for this event.

    So I´m thinking now back and forth, if I should or not.

  6. #6
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    your VV N-110 is not the same as our H-110 it is much more stable in reduced loads.

    when reloading you have to double check everything you do.
    powder volume is of course the main topic of concern, most have their way of dealing with this
    some look in the cases, some use an indicator, and some drop the powder and seat the boolit/bullet in one step.
    I use the last one.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Jayjay1 if you stick with published starting loads you should be fine. You may need to use a filler for some loads to get good accuarcy and clean burn. IIRC Larry Gibson has a good thread about using fillers. With starting loads you should be able to give them a "real" feel for the gun without really giving them more recoil than they can handle.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    JayJay is probably using some 16-18 grains of VVN110 in his loads (?). It is definitely NOT published data. There is only one .30-06 load in current VV manual for N110: 57 gr (3,7 gram) ALS-bullet (ALumiini Sydän = aluminium core)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    4350 is one of the powders that can under certain conditions like reducing the load can cause the SEE problem. Instead of burning like it is supposed to it will detonate. Reduced loads like we use for our cast boolits are powders like 2400,4227,4759 (no longer made?) red dot and others. Frank

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The fast burning pistol and shotgun powders which are tolerant of excess airspace in the case, with loading densities of less than 40% of case capacity, such as Bullseye, Red Dot, 700-X, W231, Titegroup, SR7625, Unique, PB, Clays, R100, WST, are of no concern in reduced loads, even in larger cases such as the. 30-'06 or. 375 H&H.

    Powders having a small web size with high deterrent content, such as H110, W296, #2400 will cause problems when loaded below 50% of case capacity
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieEE View Post
    ...With starting loads you should be able to give them a "real" feel for the gun without really giving them more recoil than they can handle.
    That´s the idea.

    But before doing this, I wanted to know if there is any substance on this neverending rumours over here.

    Hola to Ola!

    There´s maybe no published data from VV direct, but there´s a book full of them datas from H&N (a German manufacturer of copper coated boolits).
    19gr. gave me the best accuracy with 180gr. bullets.

    Thanks so far guys!

  12. #12
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    The reason why I´m asking here, is that my shooting club thinks about making an "Ordonnanz Event", where the old military guns will be used for nonshooters.
    Making PR and gaining some new members and so.
    I just did the same for a charity shoot a few weeks ago. Living here in the USA, I can buy the easily ignited pistol powders like Unique, Bullseye and Red Dot mentioned above, which is what I loaded in military calibres for the shoot.

    "Viel Gluck" with the proposed Ordnance Schuetzenfest. I hope you gain new members from it.
    Last edited by Scharfschuetze; 07-03-2015 at 01:47 AM.
    Keep your powder dry,

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Ola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay1 View Post
    Hola to Ola!

    There´s maybe no published data from VV direct, but there´s a book full of them datas from H&N (a German manufacturer of copper coated boolits).
    19gr. gave me the best accuracy with 180gr. bullets.
    You being German, I guessed it!! H&N is really nice company for providing this info. But I have thought that is not "official reloading data" but more like "use with your own risk" stuff. I might be totally wrong..

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you Scharfschütze,
    we call them old service horses "Krachlatten" which could be translated as "noise slat".

    Official it was the "Ordonnanz-Trophy", which was shot only by shooters in the past.
    Now we want to make two sessions, one for the "pros" and one for the none shooters.

    @Ola:
    I just found my H&N book.
    There are official loads in it and H&N says (I´ve forgotten that), that the KABOMMs in the past, which were considered in the past, happened because of mistaking the powder (19gr. of a pistol powder would make some noise I guess) or double charges.

    But all reduced loads in this book were made with N110.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Larry Gibson
    SEE is a real occurrence that does happen and is reproducible. However, it does require certain circumstances to be present for it to occur. Basically it is caused by the bullet moving forward and sticking or stopping in the throat/leade before the powder begins to burn efficiently. The powder then burns efficiently and pressures rise to catastrophic levels before the bullet moves or gets moving again.
    This can happen with otherwise safe loads if the throat is eroded and/or oversized for a few inches then roughened by corrosion.
    Federal made the first voluntary recall of ammunition by a US manufacturer after a Lee Enfield blew out its bolt head when a Federal sporing cartridge was fired. Remains of the blown through bullet were found stuck several inches into the bore.
    Tests on stuck bullets as bore obstructions indicated that if an obstruction was more than a few inches beyond the throat the barrel might rupture or snap off but if closer to the throat there would be a case blow out and/or action failure.

    If initial pressure is high the bullet can bump up to seal properly, if not then blowby super heats the jacket making it more likely to seize up in the rougher or at least tighter portion of the bore.

    I figure throat and bore condition is why the same short load can be safe in one rifle but not safe in another. Bullet construction also plays a part.

    There have been experimental cases with various alternative shoulder profiles that alter just how efficiently a propellant will burn.
    Theres the Herters double shoulder "ram magnum" and a cartridge with dome shaped shoulder mated to a short fat case body.

  16. #16
    Moderator Emeritus JeffinNZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Powders having a small web size with high deterrent content, such as H110, W296, #2400 will cause problems when loaded below 50% of case capacity
    RCBS list reduced .30/30 loads using H110/W296 in their cast manual. They are obviously comfortable there is no issue. Lots of CBA match shooters used reduced loads of both powder too.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Things sure have changed, back in the 70's when I first started reloading I remember all the magazines were warning of the then infamous detonation problems with light loads of Bullseye in 357 mag cases. IIRC the load that was supposed to be dangerous was 2 1/2 grs of Bullseye with a 148 gr wadcutter in the 357 case, this was a common load and I think the problem was supposed to be the longer case length and the shorter 38 special cases were supposed to be safe with this load. In any event that was the first I heard of this phenomenon and apparently those who dismissed it as nonsense were right! I think of that every time I hear it's actually the slow powders that can be linked to these SEE occurrences instead of the fast powders like Bullseye. Anyone else familiar with that load warning from that era?

  18. #18
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    oldred

    Quite familiar with the warning back in those days. I'm also quite familiar with the testing of such that proved it was double charges with bullets seated too deep or triple charges of that 2.7 gr Bullseye load that actually were the problem. Most of the offending loads were on one of the 1st progressive inline presses available at the time. 2.7 gr of Bullseye in and of itself does not have the potential for the pressures required to blow up the revolvers.

    As to RCBS being "comfortable" with the old load data. If the psi was measured back then by RCBS it was with a C.U.P. device that measures peak pressure only. It cannot give any indication of ignition problems or pressure spiking as modern peizo-transducer or strain gauge pressure measurement equipment can. The RCBS manual only lists H110 with the 30-30 in the rifle section. It does not list H110 in the pistol section with the 30-30 but does with the smaller capacity 30 Herret. Keep in mind that "proof" cartridges require 10 - 20+ % overload charges to produce "proof" psi's. Considerably more powder than that is required to reach catastrophic levels. The charges of H110 listed in the RCBS manual do not have the potential to reach proof levels let alone catastrophic psi levels in the 30-30, particularly with cast bullets.

    Also keep in mind that a cast bullet is softer, a lot softer, than a jacketed bullet and is easier to move in the bore with a lot less psi required. Notice in your RCBS manual that H110 is not used in any other bottle necked cartridge in the rifle section. RCBS lists loads for the 30-30 and Hornady lists loads for the 32-40 with H110 only because some CBA shooters use it. Hornady does not list the use of H110 with any other rifle cartridge using reduced loads either. I've scanned the CBA match results for numerous years now and would have to disagree that "lots" of match CBA shooters use H110. A few with select rifles in one category do though. H110 is probably in the two cartridges mentioned because the charges used do not have the potential for catastrophic psi's in those two cartridges.

    The fact that H110/296 is not listed in any publishd manual for the cartridges the OP mentions should probably tell us something, perhaps?

    Larry Gibson
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 07-03-2015 at 11:46 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I think I remember that the problem was supposed to occur when this charge/bullet combo that was meant for, and was safe in, 38 special was used in the longer 357 mag cases, I had serious doubts as it just didn't make any sense but being new to the sport and to be on the safe side I heeded the warnings anyway.

  20. #20
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    That went along with the "detonation" theory which is unproven. What was proved through thorough investigation and testing by Hercules, Federal and S&W was what actually was causing the blow ups. It was double and triple charges with the WCs seated too deep. I have posted the article on this and on the cause of SEE numerous times. Can do so again?

    Larry Gibson

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