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mwwilkew

Reloading Manual Minimum Powder Charge Data

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mwwilkew   

I've been reloading for a few months now and have stayed within the published minimum and maximum powder weights while reloading 9mm and .40 on a 550B. The reason for staying below the maximum is obvious, but what about the minimum? Is there any problem going below the recommended minimums if I'm targeting a specific velocity or power factor? What are the consequences other than the bullet not exiting the barrel for a really low charge...lost accuracy, failure to cycle the slide? Thanks for your help.

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chirpy   

Getting a bullet stuck in the barrel is a pain and sometimes next to impossible to get out! It is also dangerious if you are not aware of it!!!!!!! Downloading to certain vel/PF can be accomplished with different powder/s usually.

There are powders that you do not, under any circumstances, want to go under listed but there is usually a note stating such, WW296 being one example. I would suggest you contact the mfg. of your powder(s) to be safe. Try wwpowders.com/ for one and this will take you to Hodgdon (WW parent Co.) and IMR. From there you should be able to find a "Contact US" address. Loading manuals should have this info also.

Good luck and stay safe.

Richard

Edited by chirpy

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I've been reloading for a few months now and have stayed within the published minimum and maximum powder weights while reloading 9mm and .40 on a 550B. The reason for staying below the maximum is obvious, but what about the minimum? Is there any problem going below the recommended minimums if I'm targeting a specific velocity or power factor? What are the consequences other than the bullet not exiting the barrel for a really low charge...lost accuracy, failure to cycle the slide? Thanks for your help.

The consequences you speak of are all true...and there may be others. It has been said that some powders do not like ultra light charge weights, and instead of burning when ignited, actually explode, causing a severe and catastrophic increase in pressure. I don't know that it has ever been proven, but it's out there...the fear of a squib alone should keep you from doing it...dumping another round down the tube with one stuck in it is a good way to make a very expensive paper weight...

If you are chasing a specific PF or velocity, use the powder most suited to that chase...Don't try and make one powder do everything, cause it won't, and you'll end up buying a different powder anyway.

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Braxton1   

Low charge weights "exploding" rather than "burning" like Grumpy mentioned is a documented fact. It's called "detonation". Ask almost any cowboy shooter.

The SASS guys have gone to ridiculous lengths to get the loading density on those light loads up, from packing the empty portion of the case with lightly-wadded toilet paper to inventing totally new powders for such use (IMR's "TrailBoss" powder).

Edited by Braxton1

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grant22   

Low charge weights "exploding" rather than "burning" like Grumpy mentioned is a documented fact. It's called "detonation". Ask almost any cowboy shooter.

The SASS guys have gone to ridiculous lengths to get the loading density on those light loads up, from packing the empty portion of the case with lightly-wadded toilet paper to inventing totally new powders for such use (IMR's "TrailBoss" powder).

Hope you don't mind me piggy backing this thread to ask a question......

What is a rookie loader supposed to do when the bullet I have isn't found in the manual? Example: I have lead MO Bullet .380 acp @ 95 gr. The closest lead projectile my Lyman shows is a 90 gr. Sure, my Lyman shows a 95 gr FMJ, but I thought lead compared to FMJ is apples to oranges.

The Lyman shows a starting weight of 2.4 gr of Bullseye for the 90 gr bullet. Is it safe for me to charge my 95 gr starting at 2.0? 2.2?

THX

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BBBB   

The problem with using the 90gr bullet data with the 95gr bullet is that the pressure are likely to be higher for the same charge (assuming everything else is equal) but you don't really know how much and have to guess at what might be safe. In general, since lead is softer you will get a little more velocity and a little less pressure with the same charge. That being the case I would start with the 95gr jacketed data since is more likely to be safe. You may have to back off the charge a bit from the jacketed data to get the same velocity. This, of course, will make the pressure even lower. For the comparison to work you also have to take into consideration the COAL.

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