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Thread: 357 Magnum airspace??

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Question 357 Magnum airspace??

    I've been loading for a number of years, mostly using Unique, and Hodgdon Universal, with a short flirtation with Bullseye. Fairly recently, I had a talk with one of the Speer people, asking about loads for use with their shot capsules. Their data recommends 5.5 gr. Unique in 38 Spl. brass. As it happens, that has been my go-to load for years, only in 357 Magnum brass...IPSC, plinking, etc.

    I asked about using 4.5-5.0 gr. Unique, for perhaps better patterns out of my 4" revolver.

    The tech said NO! and something about airspace in the cartridge causing problems. (?)
    That's the first I had ever heard of airspace problems in a pistol cartridge, and I have used as little as 4.5 gr. Unique in 357 brass, behind 125, 150 and 158 gr. cast bullets with no problems so far. I can seat the shot capsules to the recommended overall length for .357...1.590 in., with no problems.

    Except...there was a time I wanted to see how small a charge would get a boolit out of the muzzle, and 2.5 gr. Unique stuck it in the barrel. Why would I do that? Well...this article in a Gunzine suggested really low velocity loads were fun, and the scribe said he went as low as 2.2 gr Unique! That resulted in a little kid at the range asking his mom;"Why is that man hammering on his gun?"

    Somebody please school me, what are the hazards, if any, of using the smaller loads of Unique (4.5-5.0 gr.) in 357 brass for shot capsule loads, and with cast boolits, too?
    Thanx

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I am curious about this, thus the post, never heard of "airspace" being an issue with any cartridge when staying within load ranges in reloading manuals or even reducing loads 10% of Start(Min.) with the exception of S.E.E./ "Detonation" issues possibly occurring & from what I now understand, that is when one is using light loads with slower burning powders but I do have a question(s) for you...

    ( BTW, this does not mean there are No cartridges & loads where this is a concern, but so far I do not recall seeing any yet in what I have looked for in manuals & on the internet as well for a resource. I defer to those with more experience in any of those cartridges.)

    What is the Grain weight of the shot capsule projectiles you are using?

    Perhaps it is that which is why the "tech" gave the warning? If it is not within the recommended load range for that cartridge & the projectile weight ( or even within 10% below Start or the like), and not only for safety, but to avoid liability of the company, the tech suggested that you ( or anyone else) not use that amount of powder, in that case.

    Pretty interesting...

    I am sure someone here more informed will chime in & perhaps shed some light.


    G'Luck!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    JB;
    I've never measured the gr. weight of the shot loads+capsule, but what information I have been able to find, the shot alone ranges from about 100-107 grs. with #9 or #12 shot, which is what I will use.
    But...It is easy enough to do, so next time I am in the mood for reloading, I'll measure some. Now, why didn't I think of that? THANX!

    That's what I like about the forum...somebody Will always suggest something that will work!

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I don't use Unique for revolver shot loads, but Bullseye.

    The loads listed in Speer No. 10 Handbook (1979) p. 403 are:

    .38 Special/.357 Magnum Bullseye 4.5 grains 1021 fps 6" barrel

    .44 Magnum Bullseye 6.0 grains 1101 fps 6" barrel.

    I use 4.5 grains of Bullseye in the .45 Auto Rim and 6 grains in the .45 Colt with the Speer shot capsules.

    In my H&R .44 Garden Gun and .44-40 rifles, I use 5 grains of Bullseye, with 150 grains of shot loaded in Starline 5 in 1 blank cases with .44 cal. Buffalo Arms card over the powder, Federal 410SC shotcup and a .36 cal. Buffalo Arms card top wad crimped in the end of the shell using RCBS .44-40 Game Getter Shot crimp die.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Jedman's Avatar
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    I would agree with most of the loads listed if you are using a Speer shot cartridge or something like it.
    I could see where you could get in to high pressures if there was no air space and a fast powder such as bullseye.
    Say you loaded a 357 mag case similarly to a shotshell where you had a card wad compressed down tight on top of 4.5 grs. of BE and the rest of the space inside the case full of shot to the top you may have a hi pressure situation similar to a deep seated bullet.

    Jedman

  6. #6
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I imagine he was just repeating something he herd somewhere.

    Using rational thought what would be the change in internal volume by using .5-1.0 grains less unique?

    There are also old wives tails that used to have some merit but now have no application.

    Kind of like don’t set your battery on concrete, set them on something. The first lead acid batteries used wood cases and setting them on concrete and the moisture that developed would harm the wood and thus the battery. Fast forward to plastic cases and the problem is no longer an issue; however, folks that haven’t been alive long enough to see a wood cased battery still repeat the advice.

    Moving back to something gun related, with black powder you do not want any air space, if you want a reduced load in a metallic cartridge you need to use a wad to keep the powder together and no air space, otherwise ram the projectile down to it.

    Someone hears that might think it’s applicable to smokeless powders as well.?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper View Post
    JB;
    I've never measured the gr. weight of the shot loads+capsule, but what information I have been able to find, the shot alone ranges from about 100-107 grs. with #9 or #12 shot, which is what I will use.
    But...It is easy enough to do, so next time I am in the mood for reloading, I'll measure some. Now, why didn't I think of that? THANX!

    That's what I like about the forum...somebody Will always suggest something that will work!

    YW!


    Simply , I just wanted to help & also to learn more myself.


    G'Luck! in your endeavors!, & I will be coming back to see if I can learn more as well.


    P.S. - To anyone.... but I saw it mentioned here before, and perhaps other places... { I cover a lot of ground & places trying to research about these sort of things, & lose track sometimes of the sources...}
    In regard to using a wad in a metallic case. I do use reduced loads in about 4-5 handguns, both wheel guns & semi auto, but have not yet used a wad or filler in them. Perhaps I am just lucky in how I do things, & the loads I choose to test & use, but I have not yet done it anyway & have had bad results from it. All has been good for "me". I do not recommend "Anyone" do what I do. Each of us is responsible for our own actions good or bad...

    Do your own research &, IMO, if ya want to try to attempt do anything that has not been tested by those who offer reloading manuals, it is gonna be on YOU if something bad results from YOUR doins... "Personal Responsibility", & not someone else to blame, , if ya choose to not follow suggested data...


    Other than Outpost75 above, there is one other member here that "I" have read has used wads in his 38Spec. IIRC, his member name is , HONCHO, and he may perhaps be able to answer some questions if someone chooses to ask. Otherwise, I do not know of any others who might help & it would also be up to them if they wish to offer any advice.

    G'Luck!, once again!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    [QUOTE=JBinMN;4252187]YW!

    P.S. - To anyone.... but I saw it mentioned here before, and perhaps other places... { I cover a lot of ground & places trying to research about these sort of things, & lose track sometimes of the sources...}


    Yup, and the older we get, the harder it is to find what we found so interesting...if we don't write it down!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    [QUOTE=sniper;4252223]
    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    YW!

    P.S. - To anyone.... but I saw it mentioned here before, and perhaps other places... { I cover a lot of ground & places trying to research about these sort of things, & lose track sometimes of the sources...}


    Yup, and the older we get, the harder it is to find what we found so interesting...if we don't write it down!
    Yes. For a fact.

    LOL

    Some call it, C.R.S. as in , "Can't Remember ****". I call it , "Anheusers", instead of Alzheimer's*, ( see below) due to I have drank a lot of Buds over the years.


    { Disclaimer... * - No offense to those suffering from, or have someone they love suffering from the disease. Just making light of not always remembering stuff that we wish we could remember as we get older, simply because it happens a lot to a lot of folks... Alzheimers or not... IMO, Many times, it is just "part of getting older.". }


    { P.P.S. - I think is is a bummer that I would feel I have to put a disclaimer above, here in the forum, just so some folks don't get their "panties in a bunch", about someone making light of getting older, and possibly forgetful, even if it is coming from someone who is getting older & sometimes forgetful, who is laughing at themselves about it, simply because they can accept their lot in life.. I hope folks actually have a sense of humor & "get it". I guess it, once again, is, one of those, YMMV things... }
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I had a situation some years ago, with Detonation, and it is no joke! I was loading some 6.5 Cal. Italian Carcano rifle catridges, and Dave Emary of Hornady had posted some load with their new, correct sized bullets for the Carcano, (.268, if memory serves--), and I figured I'd load it a little below his minimum posted load-- BIG mistake! I got a detonation that knocked my socks off! Thank God for the strength of the Carcano receiver, as nothing serious happened, but it blew the primer clean out of the case, deformed the case and primer pocket, and I had to hammer the bolt open! (No, the cleaning bill on my pants was not that bad--)
    I'm sure there will be posters saying that I was crazy to even be firing a Carcano, but they might not know it was one of the strongest bolt action receivers of WW I & WW II! The Italians had paid the Czechs serious money for the formula of steel for their receivers, when they were designing the Crncanos and apparently all Carcanos used it. Dave Emary went so far as to say that they tried to blow up a Carcano Receiver, on purpose, and couldn't do it with Bullseye compressed charges, they finally had to use DYNAMITE to blow up the Carcano action! This was research done before releasing the new Hornady Cancano .268 bullet for the sale, on the market. Emary was emphatic about NOT using a lower than posted charge of #4064, in the loads, which I didn't know until later! The guy knows his stuff, and is a brilliant designer, just so happens he designed the .17 HMR rimfire series of cartridges--

  11. #11
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    In regard to using a wad in a metallic case. I do use reduced loads in about 4-5 handguns, both wheel guns & semi auto, but have not yet used a wad or filler in them.
    As long as you are not using black powder there is no need to.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    As long as you are not using black powder there is no need to.
    That is what I think also, but there are those who do think there is a need sometimes, ( Outpost75 & HONCHO, for example), and as well, those who want to keep the powder in the primer end of the case (same^), "without" using a wad so they raise the firearm up, rather than have it be fwd. by the boolit/bullet, or settled in the bottom of the case by recoil between shot , giving different velocities based on firearm thus ammunition positioning.

    This whole "case airspace" deal, without an explanation from this particular "tech" mentioned in the OP, really is the one that needs to back up that claim about that "particular load" being worth saying , "NO!", emphatically to the OP (sniper)it seems. I only offered that it could be the "weight" of the [projectile ( in this case a "shotshell" in a metallic 38Sp. case) and the amount of powder suggested (over-charge - or under charge)might have been the reason for the emphatic, "NO!".

    IMO, until that is cleared up, I see no reason to think any differently than I did before ,when I posted in this topic earlier.

    My & anyone elses concern with "SEE/Detonation, should only be concerned with "Slow" burning powders & a lot of "airspace" in a metallic case, and not necessarily "Fast" burning powders & a lot of airspace in a metallic cartridge.
    {Although I am currently thinking about how fast powders might react in Cold temps vs warmer ones separate from this instance}

    Unique as a powder, should not be the issue it being #31 on the offered "burn rate list" here:
    http://www.wwpowder.com/PDF/Burn%20R...02015-2016.pdf

    While many manuals have listings for even smaller amounts of even faster burning powders in the load ranges for Start(Min.) to Max. ( I.E. - Alliants Bullseye, & Red Dot, as well as Hodgdons Clays & 700X) that would have even MORE Airspace in the cartridge than Unique.

    Considering that there is about 148 powders in theat offered list & that the powder being used is in approx. the upper 20% of speed, from what "I" currently understand SEE/Detonation is not likely the issue since it is not faster powders that usually create that condition, so it must go back to the Tech & either it is the weight to powder of the load that is the issue & the Tech made it sound as it was "airspace", or perhaps the Tech in "Mis-informed" in some way, or not understanding something completely in that conversation.

    I "rambled", but hey.. Why not? No one is forced to read what I say anyway, right? YMMV I suppose...
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

    For the Fudds > "Those who appease a tiger, do so in the hope that the tiger will eat them last." -Winston Churchill.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Most Unique loads are going to have a goodly amount of air space, so I don't know what the tec guy was talking about. That 4.5 grain load would leave plenty of room to make an accidental double-charge -- do you suppose that was what he was worried about?

    A 4.5 grain load would be low pressure, but not absurdly low pressure so there should be no risk of sticking the load in the barrel. So other than the "possible-to-double-charge" issue I don't know what was worrying the fellow.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Loading smokeless with an over-powder wad and airspace above has been shown conclusively to be the cause of chamber ringing. That may be what that engineer was thinking of. If you MUST use something to keep the powder back against the primer, a grain or two of kapok is best. With fast pistol powders it's never necessary, IMHO.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check