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Thread: 44 Special +P data and report

  1. #41
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response MSM. I'm going to try to wrap my head around it.

  2. #42
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    Yesterday, I loaded Power Pistol with 7.0 and 7.5 grains under a Lyman 429667 (averages @ 250 grains dressed with my alloy).

    Walked out to my backyard range, shot two cylinders full at 7.0 and one at 7.5 grains, in the Bulldog. Returned and loaded 50 with 7.5 grains. Recoil was brisk, SD accuracy was acceptable, revolver stayed relatively clean. I won't go up to the 8.0 grains (+P ) load in that particular revolver, though.

    Winelover

  3. #43
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    curioushooter

    Larry, what I don't get is why the actual pressure variation should be any different from velocity variation. If anything velocities should vary more since more variables are involved (barrel friction, lubricant/fouling accumulation, etc). The reason why pressure testing variation is so great is probably because the instrumentation is noisy, not because the pressure actually varies that much.

    Because that's the way it is is why. As mentioned, there is not a 1:1 relationship between velocity variation and pressure variation. As a "professional laboratory scientist and have been for 15 years" I would think you would have an open mind and not have a preconceived notion and then discount that which does not agree with that notion.

    "If I had anything close to a 10% variation in velocity I would suspect something is wrong with my scale, the powder...something. I do not like to see more than 25FPS variation shot to shot in velocity. This represents in a handgun about a 2% variation. I would expect actual pressure to vary withing that range if not less. It just doesn't make any sense any other way. The 8.5 grain of unique with 429215 load has about a 10FPS extreme spread on a given day (I usually chrono a cylinder full...six shots). This is less than 1%. How I am supposed to believe that the pressure is varying by double digits while the velocity is within 1%? "

    I would suggest to you that a 5 or even 6 shot test sample is not a large enough sample. A 10 shot test is the minimum acceptable SAAMI standard and also is standard industry practice. Even then, multiple 10 shot tests are used to validate the data. Your small ES of 5 or 6 shots as are those in the Pierce article more consistent with SDs of a meaningful sample. As to what you are to believe? As a scientist you are supposed to believe the results from test data, even though it disagrees with your notion of what it should be.

    "Given this I do not agree that pressure testing is worth pursuing. With variation in that degree it seems it is not very useful, except maybe as a ballpark figure. Something like Quickload, while not actually measuring anything, seems to be more useful."

    Hmmmm..a scientist that does not believe "testing is worth pursuing"...…. Quickload is nothing more than a computer model. As we've seen recently, the accuracy with the COVD-19 computer models, accuracy with those always has a +/- variation of predictied results. Those +/- variations are many times quite large. As a scientist I would think you would understand that. Quickload will give you a guestiment of the average psi, not what the psi will actually be nor will Quickload give you a +/- ES of pressure or velocity. Understand also that in any publication (even my own test results) a pressure value listed is simply an average. It is not what the exact pressure will be with every shot fired.

    "Another thing is I do not know why Pearce lists it as a max in the Freedom arms and not in the Colt. My suspicion is that he didn't pressure test using an actual revolver cylinder (I don't know how that could be rigged up without destruction of the cylinder). I bet what happened is the author sent ammo samples to a lab which ran it, and that loads were categorized after the pressure data was returned. They weren't worked up to a pressure limit like how a powder company prepares its tables. It is pretty clear that within a category they are loads that run higher and lower. Another possibility is that it is all a bunch of bunk. "

    I also suspect, as I stated earlier, the actual loads listed in the table were not pressure tested for the article. I believe pressure data for those loads (that data is not listed in the article) was resourced from different publications and simply referenced by Pierce for the article table. You can measure pressures with some revolvers (there must be clearance between the top strap and the cylinder for the strain gauge) without destroying them, However, with the Oehler the cylinder would be marred as the bluing is removed to affix the strain gauge.

    As to "it is all a bunch of bunk" we should remember that magazine reloading articles, even the better ones, are written to the lowest denominator of reader perception ability and reloading skill. I am of the opinion that Pierce's 44 SPL article is one of the better ones, even with it's apparent faults or discrepancies.

    "I am a professional laboratory scientist and have been for 15 years. I am disturbed by the lack of forthrightness regarding testing methods in handloader magazine."

    As are all of us who are of a more technical bent than the majority of readers of such.

    I am curious as to what quickload spits out for how much Unique and Blue Dot can be used up to a 25kPSI limit with the 429215 (220 grain LSWCGC) seated to .325" deep in a 1.15" 44 special case (1.495 OAL).

    Again, keep in mind when comparing Quickload's results with measured psi that older PSI may be based on C.U.P. measurement vs newer PSI measurements based on piezo-transducer or strain gauge measurement that the "psi" value is different. Also understand that what one test barrel measures the psi of a given load another test barrel can, and most like will, give a different psi. You might study the SAAMI information regarding "reference ammunition" use to understand that. Also understand, there are no hard and fast results that say "this load will give you exactly this much psi". There will always be a variation (ES) and it, obviously, is going to be larger than most think. Yes, that does go against your own notion of what pressure should be but that's the way it is.

    Over the last 14 years I have pressure tested thousands of rounds in 7 different test barrels of 23 different cartridges with a multitude of loads. The equipment (M43 Oehler PBL) is not "noisy". Referring to it as such to assuage your own belief does not make it so.

    "According to the Handloader date at least 18 grains of 2400 can be used."

    Specifics?
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 05-28-2020 at 10:58 AM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  4. #44
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Precision means nothing without consistency. A strain gauge that measures to the one-hundredth of one pound per square inch is precise, but is that useful when the next shot you take with what should be the same load turns out to be 2000 PSI different?

    A better way to say it is Velocity = Pressure + Time.
    Amen! Time is pretty much determined by barrel length. Since revolvers usually have short barrels, the times are pretty close, so my heuristic velocity = pressure more than anything is basically true.

    There are other variables of course. One of the more important that I think comes into play in this situation is bore diameter. Cartridges like 44 special have so much surface area on the base of the bullet for pressure to exert upon that they accelerate faster and therefore increase the volume of the pressure vessel rapidly. This is why they do so well with faster powders I think whereas cartridges like 357 do better with slower powders. 12 grains of Blue Dot will generate ~40% more energy in a 44 special +P vs 357 magnum despite the 44 running at lower pressures. Just compare 12 grains of BD with a 158 at 1200 FPS vs 255 grains at the same speed. Skeeter, Keith...those sages were all right about the superiority of 44 over 357 in this regard.

    MSM...I think Blue Bot is a pretty useful and nice powder. I do have a mistrust of it though. Some 140 grains JHPs in 357 loaded with book loads that I shot through my marlin in cold weather displayed some extremely alarming pressure signs once. I worked up the load in normal weather and they were fine. I ended up breaking them down (and there were a lot of them) so I sort of hold a grudge there. What if I put one of those in my prized model 19? A lot of people have said that the Blue Dot warning is a bunch of bunk, but every one of these people that says this has come from a hot climate, not a cold one. I use my guns in cold weather more than hot, cold weather performance is an essential for me, which is why I am sort of hesitant with Blue Dot going forward in 44 special. I'd much rather find a way to make Unique work, which has a 120 plus year track record for cold weather performance behind it.

    I really like Unique, which in the end may be my favorite powder, though Blue Dot does offer performance in rifles that Unique just can't. I am pretty sure Blue Dot = Unique + more retardant + blue dye. The flake sizes are very, very similar. All of the things that make Unique great (except doubts about cold weather performance) are present in Blue Dot...it's just slower. They are both originally shotgun powders that also found a home in handguns. They were both intended to be used in shotguns...which operate at low pressures in large diameter applications. People claim they do not meter well. I've personally never had a problem. I get the same .1 grain precision from my Hornady Lock-n-Load that I expect from any other handgun powder. The reason why I have so much Blue Dot is when I lived in Ohio my deer load was 50 grains of BD pushing a 12 gauge Lee slug. Yes, it was brutal.

    2400 was never meant to be used in handguns or straight wall cartridges. It was designed to work in 22 Hornet which is a very unusual cartridge. I've never had or loaded a 22 Hornet, though if I ever found a 10" contender barrel in it for a reasonable price I would snap it up. I do have 32-20 contender and 2400 is very good in that cartridge (though my go-to powder has been 1680 for a while). It doesn't get quite the velocity than 296 or 1680 does, but it is more consistent in my testing. I use small rifle primers in 32-20, and it is my contention that this is part of the reason why 2400 works so well. 2400 is hard to "get lit" (though 1680 and 296 are both worse in this regard IMO). When you have a large capacity straight wall case like 357 mag or 44 special and are using standard pistol primers I think a lot of the 2400 just doesn't get lit. The bullet jumps out too fast and it just doesn't combust well. This explains the unburnt powder and snootiness. It also explains why when you use a heavier bullet it can go away. When you use a rifle primer and cork it up with a heavy for caliber bullet (130-150 grain) and run it at higher pressures (like into the 30k Plus) as I do in my 32-20 contender 2400 preforms very nicely indeed.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 05-28-2020 at 02:04 PM.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    A 10 shot test is the minimum acceptable SAAMI standard and also is standard industry practice.
    That's because it's so noisy. Please explain to me how 10% let alone 20% pressure testing variation is possible when velocity variation is 1-2%. I could do ten or twenty or two hundred shot string, and the variation would still be ~2%. You only need to collect data until your variation is in acceptable limits. When you have noisy data you end up with huge sample sizes that remain of poor significance. When you have clean data, they can be small, yet significant.

    I realize it may be impossible to do any better, but in this situation it just doesn't matter that much. If somebody wants to undertake testing by all means. I have absolutely no opposition. I just doubt it is worthwhile, for me. All I am after is maximum safe loads because I don't want to damage anything.

    If it has been established that 25k PSI is the average safe limit for a S&W 624. This is a discrete limit, as the yield strenght of the weakest part of the cylinder is a certain amount. It doesn't matter that the average is. One shot that is beyond the limit and it lets go. This means that pressure testing equipment could only tell me something that may be within ~20% of that limit, since that is what you reported. With variation like that I have basically no confidence in it. Others may, and that's fine.

    Almost every day I am approached by people who complain that a given instrument isn't working right, and I am usually the one who fixes it and re-runs the work. When I do it's usually fine and so is the instrument. The instruments I work on collect samples in the millions and automatically do all the statistics and put data points into nice little Gaussian distributions. A 20% extreme spread is not unusual in many tests involving living cells. Perhaps more than anything I am shocked to the point of quasi-disbelief that the state of the art in pressure testing is so noisy and this is acceptable in the industry, as non-living things are usually less variable. My $100 Chrony sure is.

    If I had a tape measure and measured a piece of wood and it returned the results over 10 measurements of 8, 7, 6, 9, 10, 8, 7, 6, 9, 10 feet I would not average them and call the piece of wood 8 feet long. I would get another tape measure and or get my eyes checked. If the piece of wood measured 8.1, 7.9, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0, 8.1, 7.9, 8.0, 8.0, 8.0 feet then averaging for 8 would be fine, but I could have just measured it once and would have had a good enough answer.

    As for data (from handloader 321) see 429215 data:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by curioushooter; 05-28-2020 at 03:04 PM.

  6. #46
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    On reflection, no sense beating this dead horse any longer.

    Have a good day.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 05-28-2020 at 05:17 PM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  7. #47
    Boolit Bub
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    Mike Venturino had an article in Handloader magazine a yr or two back of +P loads in 44 special . Using the Lyman 429421 , their version of the Keith 245 gr swc , he recommended using 6.0 grs of a fast powder like Bullseye , red dot etc . His favorite was 700X . I rarely reload the 44 special . I mostly load for the 41 magnum , but if not the 41 , then my preference would be the 45 Colt . Regards Paul

  8. #48
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Everything I read over at SAAMI indicates that their standard variation is 5%, which is much more confidence inspiring. But when they actually set standards, what a shock!!!!

    For a "44 SPL +P+" at 25,000 PSI MAP the Maximum Sample Probable Mean would be 26200 PSI--this figure is three standard errors above the mean. This was what I expected would be operational range where readings would fall. The Maximum extreme variation would be +/-6500 PSI!

    When looking at the examples it is true that huge pressure variations are observed, in the order of ~1500 PSI or so and apparently this is acceptable. Call me shocked! Basically pressure testing equipment is very, very inconsistent. It is interesting to note that velocities are magnitudes lower in the deviations. Typically ~20 FPS which amounts to 1-2%. With pressure testing deviations of ~10% or more are normal! It is not until variations exceed 2500 cup/psi that they are discarded and tests re-run. With most rifles this would represent under a 5% deviation, but for for lower pressure cartridges (like standard 44 special) this is can be ~15%! I am even more surprised that such small sample sizes (10) are considered acceptable for pressure testing. While this sample plenty for something like velocity testing, it seems to me imprudent with pressure testing. But I suppose there are economic constraints on the rigor of the testing.

    In a way to the typical handloader a chronograph is a very useful and inexpensive tool provided you have Maximum Average Pressures (MAP) from the lab. It is accurate and easy to use and cheap. Given the extremely detailed and complicated procedures outlined in the document I believe it would be nearly impossible for the typical DIYer (Larry must be superhuman) to obtain data as good as obtained by good lab, and even that lab's data is not very good compared to a chronograph. It seems that the means of testing pressure is just not very good compared to our ability to measure velocity or load ammo, unfortunately.

    I apologize for any exasperation I may have caused. More than anything though I am surprised at how easily we obtain very good data from chronographs (relatively) yet pressure testing is so much more involved. I thought it was mainly cost of the equipment that was a barrier more than anything. Truly it is just the technical difficulty involved.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    On reflection, no sense beating this dead horse any longer.

    Have a good day.
    Uff Da. It's like working with engineers at work. "but it must fit, this print says it does"
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 05-29-2020 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #50
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    And the effect of bullet hardness was little talked about in this thread.

  11. #51
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    curioushooter, ranchman and Larry Gibson you all make good points and good sense. I believe old and new 2400 is within lot to lot tolerances but I too think .44spl brass is thicker with less capacity and I'm not sure that primers are not hotter today. This a very good discussion. I am enjoying it and I am impressed with the manners shown by everyone involved. JMHO-YMMV
    JMHO-YMMV
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    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  12. #52
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    Pearce states in the Lipseys .44 flattop article that the original Keith load was 18.5 in Baloon cases reduced to 17.5 in solid head cases and reduced to 17.0 by him for faster A2400. I still believe that older cases were thinner. I remember Rem-Umc cases were so thin they were fragile and Federal was the first to make a sturdy .45Colt case.
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddixie884 View Post
    curioushooter, ranchman and Larry Gibson you all make good points and good sense. I believe old and new 2400 is within lot to lot tolerances but I too think .44spl brass is thicker with less capacity and I'm not sure that primers are not hotter today. This a very good discussion. I am enjoying it and I am impressed with the manners shown by everyone involved. JMHO-YMMV
    Yesterday I loaded up the 44 SPL test rounds. I loaded 10 shots each of 16.0, 16.5, 17.0 and 17.5 gr Alliant 2400 in both WRA cases and new Starline 44 SPL cases. The bullet was the RCBS 44-250-K cast of COWW + 2 % tin. They were sized .430 and lubed with BAC. OAL is; 1.565".

    Surprisingly the WRA cases were only 0.5. gr less weight than the Starline cases. The WRAs also had a much larger ES of weight than did the Starlines.

    The WRAs were primed with some old Remington 2 1/2 LP primers as those may have been used by Keith. The Starline cases were primed with WLP primers as they are readily available today.

    I also loaded 10 shots each of both WRA/2 1/2 cases and Starline/WLP cases and 16.0 gr of 27 year old Hercules 2400 for a comparison to the same loads with Alliant 2400. However, 10 shots of 17.5 gr Alliant 2400 were also loaded in WRA cases with WLP primers for a direct comparison of case to case pressures.

    Range is busy on weekends so maybe Monday or Tuesday morning I can get the testing done(?).

    Test results at; http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...0-and-44-250-K
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 06-22-2020 at 05:56 PM.
    Larry Gibson

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  14. #54
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks Larry for your testing.

    Have you ever done any testing with the effect of various amounts of crimp?

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Yesterday I loaded up the 44 SPL test rounds. I loaded 10 shots each of 16.0, 16.5, 17.0 and 17.5 gr Alliant 2400 in both WRA cases and new Starline 44 SPL cases. The bullet was the RCBS 44-250-K cast of COWW + 2 % tin. They were sized .430 and lubed with BAC. OAL is; 1.565".

    Surprisingly the WRA cases were only 0.5. gr less weight than the Starline cases. The WRAs also had a much larger ES of weight than did the Starlines.

    The WRAs were primed with some old Remington 2 1/2 LP primers as those may have been used by Keith. The Starline cases were primed with WLP primers as they are readily available today.

    I also loaded 10 shots each of both WRA/2 1/2 cases and Starline/WLP cases and 17.5 gr of 27 year old Hercules 2400 for a comparison to the same loads with Alliant 2400. However, 10 shots of 17.5 gr Alliant 2400 were also loaded in WRA cases with WLP primers for a direct comparison of case to case pressures.

    Range is busy on weekends so maybe Monday or Tuesday morning I can get the testing done(?).
    Larry, I for one really appreciate your labor and expense in doing this testing. I am pleased with your choice in bullets for the test and choice in loads for comparison. Thanx.................
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  16. #56
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I am appreciative of the testing you do and share as well Larry. Thank you.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master
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    These threads on ballistics are a very important part of any Forum. It give everyone a chance to give their opinion, no matter what that opinion is based on, which makes them feel good about about themselves.
    We have people from newbies in ballistics to people who have 50+ years of shooting bullets and choreographing loads since '72.
    The discussion goes from calm, to less calm, to intense, to argumentative and beyond.
    All this on something that is forever changing, that no one in their right mind would want to bet their house on being correct over the long haul of time because of the variables involved in the components and the people conducting the tests.
    I say go for it.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master
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    Those will be some stiff loads Larry. I fired exactly one round of that same Keith boolit over 17 of 2400. Took the rest apart.

  19. #59
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    Test results posted in new thread; http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...0-and-44-250-K
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #60
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    In a previous post curioushooter asked; "Larry, what I don't get is why the actual pressure variation should be any different from velocity variation. If anything velocities should vary more since more variables are involved (barrel friction, lubricant/fouling accumulation, etc). The reason why pressure testing variation is so great is probably because the instrumentation is noisy, not because the pressure actually varies that much.". I did not give a very good answer, my apologies for that. Further discussion via PM another member offered this explanation which is very close to correct so I will just quote him here (my thanks to him for the simplified answer with less technical jargon...:drinks);

    "Pressure is affected by many things which you know so I don't have to list them for our discussion. The combination of various things results in the variation.

    The reason that doesn't affect the velocity is that pressure does not drive the bullet all the way out of the barrel. Pressure starts the bullet moving, but at some point the pressure starts to drop and stops driving the bullet forward. What continues to drive the bullet is the expanding gas itself not the pressure being generated.

    A variation in pressure causes the initial bullet push to vary in speed and probably the amount into which it's pushed into the throat/barrel. But that variation is overshadowed by the friction involved between the bullet / barrel interface and is minuscule from shot to shot.

    The volume of gas generated will be consistent from shot to shot (in loads with a smaller velocity ES) because nearly an identical amount of propellant is in each case whether weighed or measured. Nearly the same volume of gas being generated in nearly the same space will drive the bullet the same speed.

    In instances where a rise in pressure coincides with a rise is velocity it's due to the increased bullet push caused by the initial pressure being greater.
    "

    We have not yet determined a way to measure the time sequence via a "trace" in actual firearm barrels. We can measure the time sequence of the volume of gas generated in special "pressure bombs" but that does not account for the variables of a bullet moving down the bore of a barrel. In firearm barrels what we do is measure the peak pressure via a C.U.P. device or with piezo-transducers or strain gauges. We also have not devised a practical way to get inside the cartridge to measure the pressure. With all measuring systems we measure a secondary effect [the crush of a copper pellet or the strain put on a transducer/strain gauge]. Measuring the "secondary effect" or "indirect measurement" is very common in many things we measure; temperature, speeds, etc.) Thus the various shot to shot measurements with C.U.P., piezo-transducers or strain gauges may seem "noisy" to some, in fact, they are not. They are simply the best we can do [at this time perhaps?].
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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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