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Thread: Crazy Powders

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


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    H110 works great over a 209 primer in .410 for me. nothing inconsistant about it. Same for blue dot in 12g mag loads.

  2. #22
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    I would suggest that you study a lot more before making blanket statements. Any powder can be over loaded, under loaded and misused.
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  3. #23
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    This is not supposed to be a thread about bashing or defending H110. I’m asking if there’s other powders that surprised folks in some way. So far Lil Gun gets added to the list.
    *
    As far as making an uneducated blanket statement, what I put in my OP regarding the poor ignition characteristics of H110 is a paraphrase of what I was told by Hodgdon’s technical support. Of course “poor ignition” is relative, and I’m free to have my opinions on a powder.

  4. #24
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    Crazy Powders

    Quote Originally Posted by justindad View Post
    I have decided that I am not interested in H110/296. They have poor ignition characteristics, that can make things go boom with light loads. I know itís not just because H110/296 is a slow burning powder, because Accurate 5744 is slower with much better ignition characteristics.
    *
    .
    I cannot speak about blue dot as I have never used it.

    Regarding h110, donít confuse the requirements of peak performance with poor ignition characteristics.

    All high energy powders will explode instead of deflagrate under the right conditions.

    Black powder needs to be compressed to function as a gun instead of a bomb. And adding anymore powder then whatís necessary will not add any energy to the projectile. It will just go out the barrel. Most slow powders, even smokeless ones tend to have a behavior similar. This is the nature of explosives.

    Allowing the spark from the primer to scatter around inside the entire case and hit most of a powder all at once causes high pressure, because itís all exposed to the spark at the same time. Instead of progressively burning more and more powder as the boolit goes down the barrel.

    Faster powders do the same thing. Except they tend to generate lower peak pressures because we load them down. Really fast powder like bullseye- 6.5 grains to start vs 21 grains to start of h110 (Lymans 50th 357m w/125 grn jword)

    Despite producing similar pressures at a max loading the bullseye does not apply the constant force needed to provide constant acceleration to hit magnum velocity. But when your using the starting loads bullseye produces half the pressure and 3/4 the velocity.

    These are opposite powders that do different things. One can be a hard hitter and a slayer. The other can be a good hitter or a mopey meandering boolit at a wad cutter friendly 800fps or lower.


    All powders perform well in their intended niche. Itís just a matter of cross checking what you want to do with what materials you have to get to do that job. Having the experience to not use the wrong parts to achieve you goal takes research or first hand experience/ experimentation.

    I would argue not that the powders are crazy or improper in function, but the user is ignorant of the parameters each performs well under.

    But offer a list of Ďdonít do what I did with thisí warnings for newcomers. Stupid mistakes to not make, that might not be obvious.

    Ex:

    Donít download h110 by more then 10%.

    Learn to visually check for double charges with small volumes of pistol powders

    Donít have two different containers of powder on your bench at the same time.

    Xxxx powder is temperature sensitive



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    Last edited by johnsonian09; 08-09-2022 at 07:38 PM.

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Smokeless powder is a propellant.
    Black powder is an explosive.

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  6. #26
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    Crazy Powders

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Smokeless powder is a propellant.
    Black powder is an explosive.

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    My point was you can detonate smokeless in a similar matter if you use it incorrectly.

    The textbook difference in classification is the reaction speed of the material. If you artificially increase (low density charge in the h110 example) the area available to the primary explosives heat (primer) you artificially increase the total reaction speed in a small space which leads to detonation instead of deflagration (erratic pressure spike)



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    Last edited by johnsonian09; 08-09-2022 at 07:59 PM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Another thing to consider is intended use of powders vs cross platform applications. For instance..shotshell powders are virtually always running as a compressed load.... Vs metallic cartridge loads that 'seldom' run compressed..and where case volume changes make sometimes big pressure differences. Lots of variables.

  8. #28
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    This thread is horrible. Half these posts are false gibberish. I'm not ever sure where to begin on this one. I guess I'll start with H110. H110 is not going to go boom if you reduce it. Well, it might, but that's what you want. There's no crazy phenomenon with H110 that causes it to raise pressure as you lower the charge. It doesn't detonate. Worst case is you get a dud that sticks a bullet in the barrel, but let me be CLEAR, you have to be way outside of the normal range with H110 for that to happen. H110 works best in certain applications, but it will definitely ignite fine with a standard primer in most conditions. Just because it isn't the best for everything doesn't mean it is dangerous. You are somewhat correct in your assumption that H110 is at it's best in a narrow field, but that can be seen from 10 minutes in a reloading manual.

    Bluedot is a powder that is still around for good reason. It is quite possibly the single most versatile powder that was ever created, rivaling Unique. For some reason unknown to me, people who know nothing about it spread myths. Here are the FACTS about bluedot you need to know. In 2008, during testing, Alliant found that a few of their loads listed on their website were over pressure. They issued a warning that 357 magnum with 125 gr bullet data, as well as all 41 magnum data was considered unsafe. It was removed from the website, and they promised to provide updated data in the future. You will note that you can find post-2009 data from a number of sources for those two cartriges.
    That is all there is to know. Any post you read about bluedot acting strange, or otherwise being unsafe can be traced back to that single warning about a couple of cartridges applying only to Alliant data. Beyond that the truth is bluedot is a very mild mannered and consistent powder. It is an older powder, so it is effected by cold and hot like other older powders such as green dot, herco, and 2400. I've never found it to be very much. My handgun rounds gain or loose about 25-40 fps in the summer to winter. You will see people talk about bluedot being dirty, and it's not true for the most part. In handguns especially, bluedot is fairly clean. It's not a target powder mind you, but it's as clean as anything similar, even with the newest powders out there. The myth mostly comes from shotgun, in which data can often run very low pressures. Bluedot in shotguns performs best at decent pressures. Trying to shoot an 8,000 psi shotgun load, sure, bluedot will probably leave a bunch of flakes in your barrel. Load it up 10,000+ psi, and it's plenty clean. The great thing about bluedot is that it does work in such a wide range really well. It can load any shotgun gauge, I'm not aware of data for any other powder that can do 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, and 410. It works really well in most handgun rounds from 38 special, up to the biggest guns like 500 linebaugh. In a rifle, bluedot is basically the same thing as 2400 or unique. It shoots very well in my rifles.

    Blackpowder, wow johnsonian09, you took all that time to write that post which is all false. Blackpowder does not need to be compressed to work well. It does not explode without it. You don't even have to believe me, just pour a little on the ground and light it. Adding more powder absolutely does allow it to shoot faster, at least until you get stupid such as having 1/2 your muzzleloading barrel full of powder. Using the same projectile, 80 gr will shoot faster than 70. 100 gr faster yet. 150 gr faster yet. This is easy to test, everyone has access to chronographs now. I'm not sure how such myths still exist in 2022. Then you start off on detonation, which is just not true. Not for blackpowder, not for smokeless. Every single ballistician will tell you detonation does not exist in small arms propellants. Secondary explosion event is a different thing, and some claim it can happen, but it seems to only be an issue with very slow smokeless powders and rifles. The truth is blackpowder is idiot proof. There's a reason it was the gold standard for 300+ years. In a cartridge, its even safer yet. You can not possibly go wrong with blackpowder in a cartridge. It doesn't blooper, and it can't be overloaded. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to download a BP cartridge since it already is fairly slow even with a full case in most handguns and rifles. It does make sense sometimes to download shotguns with BP since shotgun loads really haven't changed that much.

    Still picking on johnsonian09, two of his four warnings are bunk. You can absolutely download H110 below 10% of maximum. Most load data has starting loads of H110 around 25% reduced. I've loaded way less than that. H110 doesn't work best reduced, but there's no danger in starting lower than you think just to be safe, and working up. The second is XXXX powder is temperature sensitive. Again, everyone now has access to chronographs. EVERY powder is temperature sensitive. Some are more than others sometimes, but not always, but they are all effected.

    So you want a list of powders with inconsistent tendencies? Well you wont find it in common smokeless powders people still use today. If any powder was inconsistent, it would have been dropped decades ago. Trailboss is kind of an odd duck outlier that still exists. I would think most people know what it is. Trail boss is odd in that it is meant to be bulky like blackpowder, but it's only bulky for a set range of cartridges. It is claimed to be safe to fill any cartridge with it, which is mostly true. I have my doubts on something like a 50-70 trap door. Trailboss is not suitable for shotguns at all. To top it all off, you can't compress the powder. To do so would break up the flakes/discs and dramatically raise pressure. How much, and if it would be unsafe I do not know. Despite all that, trail boss works just fine, and there's nothing unsafe or wrong with it if you just read the bottle. That's as close as you are going to get to a powder today that needs special precautions.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 08-09-2022 at 10:02 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    This thread is horrible. Half these posts are false gibberish. I'm not ever sure where to begin on this one. I guess I'll start with H110. H110 is not going to go boom if you reduce it. Well, it might, but that's what you want. There's no crazy phenomenon with H110 that causes it to raise pressure as you lower the charge. It doesn't detonate. Worst case is you get a dud that sticks a bullet in the barrel, but let me be CLEAR, you have to be way outside of the normal range with H110 for that to happen. H110 works best in certain applications, but it will definitely ignite fine with a standard primer in most conditions. Just because it isn't the best for everything doesn't mean it is dangerous. You are somewhat correct in your assumption that H110 is at it's best in a narrow field, but that can be seen from 10 minutes in a reloading manual.

    Bluedot is a powder that is still around for good reason. It is quite possibly the single most versatile powder that was ever created, rivaling Unique. For some reason unknown to me, people who know nothing about it spread myths. Here are the FACTS about bluedot you need to know. In 2008, during testing, Alliant found that a few of their loads listed on their website were over pressure. They issued a warning that 357 magnum with 125 gr bullet data, as well as all 41 magnum data was considered unsafe. It was removed from the website, and they promised to provide updated data in the future. You will note that you can find post-2009 data from a number of sources for those two cartriges.
    That is all there is to know. Any post you read about bluedot acting strange, or otherwise being unsafe can be traced back to that single warning about a couple of cartridges applying only to Alliant data. Beyond that the truth is bluedot is a very mild mannered and consistent powder. It is an older powder, so it is effected by cold and hot like other older powders such as green dot, herco, and 2400. I've never found it to be very much. My handgun rounds gain or loose about 25-40 fps in the summer to winter. You will see people talk about bluedot being dirty, and it's not true for the most part. In handguns especially, bluedot is fairly clean. It's not a target powder mind you, but it's as clean as anything similar, even with the newest powders out there. The myth mostly comes from shotgun, in which data can often run very low pressures. Bluedot in shotguns performs best at decent pressures. Trying to shoot an 8,000 psi shotgun load, sure, bluedot will probably leave a bunch of flakes in your barrel. Load it up 10,000+ psi, and it's plenty clean. The great thing about bluedot is that it does work in such a wide range really well. It can load any shotgun gauge, I'm not aware of data for any other powder that can do 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, and 410. It works really well in most handgun rounds from 38 special, up to the biggest guns like 500 linebaugh. In a rifle, bluedot is basically the same thing as 2400 or unique. It shoots very well in my rifles.

    Blackpowder, wow johnsonian09, you took all that time to write that post which is all false. Blackpowder does not need to be compressed to work well. It does not explode without it. You don't even have to believe me, just pour a little on the ground and light it. Adding more powder absolutely does allow it to shoot faster, at least until you get stupid such as having 1/2 your muzzleloading barrel full of powder. Using the same projectile, 80 gr will shoot faster than 70. 100 gr faster yet. 150 gr faster yet. This is easy to test, everyone has access to chronographs now. I'm not sure how such myths still exist in 2022. Then you start off on detonation, which is just not true. Not for blackpowder, not for smokeless. Every single ballistician will tell you detonation does not exist in small arms propellants. Secondary explosion event is a different thing, and some claim it can happen, but it seems to only be an issue with very slow smokeless powders and rifles. The truth is blackpowder is idiot proof. There's a reason it was the gold standard for 300+ years. In a cartridge, its even safer yet. You can not possibly go wrong with blackpowder in a cartridge. It doesn't blooper, and it can't be overloaded. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to download a BP cartridge since it already is fairly slow even with a full case in most handguns and rifles. It does make sense sometimes to download shotguns with BP since shotgun loads really haven't changed that much.

    Still picking on johnsonian09, two of his four warnings are bunk. You can absolutely download H110 below 10% of maximum. Most load data has starting loads of H110 around 25% reduced. I've loaded way less than that. H110 doesn't work best reduced, but there's no danger in starting lower than you think just to be safe, and working up. The second is XXXX powder is temperature sensitive. Again, everyone now has access to chronographs. EVERY powder is temperature sensitive. Some are more than others sometimes, but not always, but they are all effected.

    So you want a list of powders with inconsistent tendencies? Well you wont find it in common smokeless powders people still use today. If any powder was inconsistent, it would have been dropped decades ago. Trailboss is kind of an odd duck outlier that still exists. I would think most people know what it is. Trail boss is odd in that it is meant to be bulky like blackpowder, but it's only bulky for a set range of cartridges. It is claimed to be safe to fill any cartridge with it, which is mostly true. I have my doubts on something like a 50-70 trap door. Trailboss is not suitable for shotguns at all. To top it all off, you can't compress the powder. To do so would break up the flakes/discs and dramatically raise pressure. How much, and if it would be unsafe I do not know. Despite all that, trail boss works just fine, and there's nothing unsafe or wrong with it if you just read the bottle. That's as close as you are going to get to a powder today that needs special precautions.
    Awww youíve spoilt it now by bringing reality to this comedy thread.


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  10. #30
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Good reply msm!

  11. #31
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    Never had any troubles or freaky things happen with any of the powders I have tried/used and that is most of the powders available over the last 50 years and a good number from before then . Of course I only use them as intended by the manufacturer and I don't ask a powder to do things that I already know it is not supposed to do , that may have something to do with it. I agree with pretty much everything in the post by megasupermagnum. I tend to read all of the available info on any powder that interest me before I buy it (or not) so I can know with a reasonable surety that it will work for what I intend to use it for and since I am usually very slow to take up with new powders that usually means a lot of info is available. 50 + years ago when I started loading you were limited to what was in the gun magazines , people you personally knew using a powder, and load books or calling the powder manufacturer for info . Now thanks to the internet you have the personal experiences of thousands of loaders to help you decide how and if you can use any given powder, you just got to be able to weed the BS out of the actual fact that gets posted. After 50+ years of loading my BS detector is very sensitive.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by justindad View Post
    This is not supposed to be a thread about bashing or defending H110. I’m asking if there’s other powders that surprised folks in some way. So far Lil Gun gets added to the list.
    *
    As far as making an uneducated blanket statement, what I put in my OP regarding the poor ignition characteristics of H110 is a paraphrase of what I was told by Hodgdon’s technical support. Of course “poor ignition” is relative, and I’m free to have my opinions on a powder.
    IMR 7383 is one that takes a lot of knowledge to safely use. It can be made to go bang in a lot of cartridges but it can leave copper fouling, reportedly bulged barrels and perforated primers. It was cheap. Many surplus powders were not used as designed and did a great job. If you want "Crazy" stay away from non canister powders that no loads are listed for. OTOH, if you're comfortable with that, no canister powder can be considered "crazy". We have plenty of folks here that have made their own B.P., primers and wildcatted cartridges. Calling out canister powders makes many of us laugh.
    You should know when using flake powders that they can bridge. If you don't take precautions that were standard 40 years ago, you might find what you measured is not the amount that ended up in the case. Crazy powders, no; time to make sure that every case has the same amount? Yes.
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  13. #33
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    Since 50-70 was mentioned.. If the gun is modern steel / nitro proofed..like a pedersoli.. The trailboss reload formula is fine per hodgdon tech supt.

  14. #34
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    Your baby is ugly.

    I saw an ugly baby the other day. Have you seen any ugly babies lately? Oh wait, that was your baby?! AwkwardÖ
    *
    Apparently that is how my OP was received. Now that insults are being directed at multiple folks, this one should just end now.

  15. #35
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    I use(d) H110/W296 for one cartridge only, the .30 U.S. Carbine (for which the propellant was originally formulated). In low-volume rifle rounds and all magnum pistol rounds, it seems to be the champion for maximum obtainable velocities. The SNAG is that there is a 3% margin between minimum (starting) and maximum charge weights. I know of no other propellant on the market with a work-up range that is so narrow.
    PERSONALLY, I like wider work-up margins (even though sometimes I DON'T start at 10% off of max). I will cheerfully give up 1 -2% muzzle velocity for the sake of a safer work-up and the option to "load down" a bit.
    I've used a half-pound of Blue Dot in 40 years of reloading. It never filled a niche that I had, until I bought a .38 Super, and NOW, I can't find it anywhere (Thanks, Alliant!). I loaded it a lot in .357, under 125 gr. Sierra Soft Points, usually at or near maximum. At one point, I think an advisory about avoiding the use of Blue Dot in .357 with 125 gr. bullets (not JUST Sierra's) was put out by Alliant, but it was well after I'd burned up MY half-pound of it.
    It also worked okay in 9mm, .380, and .40 S&W, but it didn't do anything that Unique or Herco would not. Even at maximum charge weights, I had no flattened primers, nor wildly distant shell ejections.
    Hodgdon CLAYS is the one powder in 20 years that has given me pause, when I tried it. In semi-autos, the starting load was never enough to operate the slide, 0.1 gr more usually wasn't, either, and 0.1 gr more SOMETIMES was, but not usually. 0.3 grains above the starting load (which was often maximum) operated the slide, but with lower velocities. Another 0.1 gr above this (when the previous was NOT maximum) gave rise to discernibly longer case ejection distances, flattened/flattening primers, or both, often with little or no increase in velocities. Too "twitchy" for MY taste.
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
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  16. #36
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    Oh, now H110 can't be reduced more than 3%?

    It's really crazy watching internet rumors in action.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by justindad View Post
    I saw an ugly baby the other day. Have you seen any ugly babies lately? Oh wait, that was your baby?! Awkward…
    *
    Apparently that is how my OP was received. Now that insults are being directed at multiple folks, this one should just end now.
    You smeared two perfectly good powders for no reason. You straight up said both have shown tendencies to go "boom", implied in a bad way (False, neither have). Your post is a rumor of a rumor. Did you expect warm welcomes?

  18. #38
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    Crazy Powders

    The way Iíve always heard it and had it explained to me was low charge weights/charge density with slow powders cause over exposure to the primer flash and can cause pressure spikes, Or weird pressure curves. Not always unsafe But inconsistent. And potentially bad. Maybe the kaboom side of it is the low charge actually just made a close to normal sound and smoke, but in reality just squibbed and then the next round going off was actually the killer here that started a rumor.

    I remember probably a year ago Megasupermagnum helped me by doing some quick load info when I was working on my deer round and I had issues with h110 half burning and I thought it was pressure signs. (Quick disclaimer- Iím about as brave as chicken poop when it comes to blowing things up in my face and hands) and when I worked up to I think in my case it was 15.5 grains I got huge cratering in my primers even tho 17 should have been a safe 36k psi if I recall. But 15 had enough velocity and accuracy for me in that instance.

    But I donít think Iíd start below a listed load with h110 regardless. I donít remember A 3í% under max as being the safety issue. I thought It was a 10% under starting issue. Extremely low charge density issue, imagine 8 or 10 grains in a 357m case with a 180/170 grain boolit. Maybe il load six like that and pull the trigger with a string see if she blows since msm is so confident that it wonít cause a problem here.


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    Last edited by johnsonian09; 08-12-2022 at 07:40 AM.

  19. #39
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    years ago I got local sports shop to load up some 110grn loads in .270 winchester..asked him to use w760 powder and keep velocity down to about 3000 fps....not really too hard of ask... but the loads were terrible and I got double detonations ....a kaaaboom instead of a boom...unless I POINTED RIFLE SKYWARDS then lowered and fired....its the only time Ive ever had it happen...and years later I have duplicated that load with zero issues..... damp powder maybe??? crappy powder,powder past its best by date...primers at sub par levels...or combination of all..... as said its the only time in 35 years of shooting Ive struck it,and it was terrible for the dreaded "starts with F and rhymes with grinch" absolute shocker not knowing if would fire properly or not.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    This is quite interesting.I have always had excellent results with h 110 and 296 and I don’t load the maximum charge’s . I remember one old codger at the range always telling people when we were shooting black powder at the Buffalo match you guys better never shake the can that’ll make it blow up it’ll take your arm off. What a laugh

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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