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Autocomp ignition issues

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Been shooting up a case of magtech/ginex primers for plinking ammo in my Taurus . Been having issues with autocomp igniting. Tried some Winchester primers same issue. Suspect it may be the cold damp weather at outdoor range. I was not having any problems until recently with the same load. After knocking bullets out of the gun with a brass rod there is plenty of unburnt powder clumped behind bullet. Several times I have had hang fires. Do have a spring kit in Taurus but have not had any ignition issues before. Thankfully I'm working through the last pound of it. Anyone else have this problem?

 

Load is 357 105 lee swc powder coated over 5.8 grains autocomp.

 

 

 

 

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The first question to ask in posts like this is - do you wet tumble your cases?  Many people who report this problem - squibs with unignited powder - have wet washed their brass and did not let it try sufficiently.

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1 hour ago, superdude said:

The first question to ask in posts like this is - do you wet tumble your cases?  Many people who report this problem - squibs with unignited powder - have wet washed their brass and did not let it try sufficiently.

 

What he said!

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I've burned through 16 lbs of WAC with the cheapest Russian primers I can find,

and NEVER had a problem with ignition.  In NY winters and FL summers.

 

Have to guess that Superdude and jdk129 hit it on the head.

 

Also possible that your reloader failed to dump even a minimum

amount of powder into the case - do you have a light on your press

and do you "SEE" the powder every time before you seat the bullet ?

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I do not wet tumble brass. I did suspect a powder charging problem at first. But the amount of unburnt powder stuck behind the bullets leads me to an ignition issue. I will say temps were mid to low 40s and raining.  But shy of dunking ammo in water I don't think that could cause this issue. That being said. I do not have a light on my press so it is possible some charges were light.

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1 hour ago, BorderShift said:

  I do not have a light on my press so it is possible some charges were light.

 

I've been reloading since the days of the dinosaurs, without a light.

 

Never had a problem, UNTIL, I had a problem.

 

Something broke on my SDB and I didn't realize powder was being dumped into some

cases, but not all cases.   Ended up with 250 rounds that I cannot shoot.

 

That convinced me to buy a light, and LOOK into EVERY case before I seat a bullet.    :) 

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I don't know anything about autocomp, but unburnt powder ussually means too light of a charge, right ? 

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3 hours ago, alecmc said:

I don't know anything about autocomp, but unburnt powder ussually means too light of a charge, right ? 

This I what's making me wonder if the light bullet maybe at play. Thought I also mentioned I was having hang fires as well.

 

Don't rember signing up for a flintlock revolver 😒

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Autocomp lives in the neighborhood of Accurate #5, which I've used under 115 and 105 grain Bayou Bullets. At 5.2grs. of AA#5 I get some cornmeal of unburnt powder left, but never clumps or hang fires. 5.7 should ignite just fine with maybe a little residue. Generally a primer either lights or it doesn't, I've never seem one go off but weakly. If it is with both primers I'm wondering if there is some type of contamination with the powder or cases.

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...Generally a primer either lights or it doesn't, I've never seem one go off but weakly...


Go play with a chronogaph and adjust the tension on your strain screw. You can watch the power factor change as you add and remove tension on your mainspring.

That said, I doubt that's the problem the OP is suffering from.

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On 11/29/2018 at 7:07 AM, PatJones said:

Go play with a chronogaph and adjust the tension on your strain screw. 

 

 

Ah... revolvers... because autoloaders simplify things too much. ;)

 

OP, I run WAC in a few different revo loads and have never seen the issues you're describing. You might be a little light, but it doesn't look excessive...

 

I use:

- 5.4gr WAC under a 158gr coated SWC in a .38 Special for bowling pins (my data's not great on this one, but it's around 940 FPS / 148 PF)

- 5.5gr WAC under a 180gr coated RNFP in a .357 with a magnum primer for IDPA (914 FPS / 164.7 PF out of a 4" barrel)

 

I see a few unburnt granules with the latter load but nothing anywhere close to what you're describing.

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Going to run a few more rounds this weekend and see if problem persits. If I think about it I will take a few pics.

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I ran into Autocomp not burning completely in a revolver as well. I shot thousand of the same load through a 5 inch 1911 without any issues. Trying to run it in my 4 inch 625 I got a bunch of this gross unburned yellow sticky powder mixture that locked the gun up in less than 50 rounds. There was so much of the yellow junk I couldn't even drop the next moon clip in. I don't know if it was the cylinder gap or what but, it was not good. 

 

IMO Autocomp and cartridges with a lot of airspace in the case do not play well together. For 9 mm 147's loaded short and 9 mm major it's wonderful powder. For soft shooting loads in .45, .38 special not so much, Try Clay's or something that fills the case more for that usage.   

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When I was using autocomp I found that it did not burn well unless I was up at the hotter end of loads.  I got unburden powder and large extreme spreads.

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On 11/30/2018 at 3:03 PM, A.J. Stuart said:

I ran into Autocomp not burning completely in a revolver as well. I shot thousand of the same load through a 5 inch 1911 without any issues. Trying to run it in my 4 inch 625 I got a bunch of this gross unburned yellow sticky powder mixture that locked the gun up in less than 50 rounds. There was so much of the yellow junk I couldn't even drop the next moon clip in. I don't know if it was the cylinder gap or what but, it was not good. 

 

IMO Autocomp and cartridges with a lot of airspace in the case do not play well together. For 9 mm 147's loaded short and 9 mm major it's wonderful powder. For soft shooting loads in .45, .38 special not so much, Try Clay's or something that fills the case more for that usage.   

Just used up the last of it. Had a few hang fires at the range yesterday. Think this is exactly what is going on.

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Years ago I had a ported 686 and wanted to try a more "gassy powder" to take advantage of the ports. I got some autocomp and went to work with test loads. I found that Autocomp does not ignite or burn uniformly in the 38 case. Im not an chemist but I suspect the nature of this powder with its focus on creating greater than normal gas volume is by an additive/filler of some sort is a culprit. This composition seems to not react well at all with any low pressure cartridge with a larger case capacity to charge weight ratio leaving considerable airspace  like a 38 special. Results with standard or magnum primers did not differ;  Using a 158 gr. Hi-tek coated bullets I had bullets lodge in the barrel before even reaching the barrel ports with charge weights at the mid point of the published data. At max load they would not exceed 550-600 fps. I called Hodgden to inform them there may be a safety issue with this powder and .38's. My feeling is to stay away from Autocomp in .38/357. Save it for hotter 9mm where I had much more appealing results.  

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It's pretty strange that there seems to be a wide swing of experiences with this powder. I just did a test batch of .357 using 5.5 to 5.9 grains of Autocomp out of a 4" barrel revolver and my standard deviations were between 8 and 13 on all loads. I have to imagine that even a hint of position sensitivity would have yielded much higher SD's... 

 

Extreme spreads were all between 33 and 47, which is pretty typical-to-good for revolvers in my experience (since the "chambers" aren't perfectly uniform).

 

I've also been using it in my bowling pin loads in .38 Special cases for quite a while (5.2 - 5.4gr) and have never seen the slightest issue. I do generally use magnum primers.

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25 minutes ago, matteekay said:

 wide swing of experiences with this powder. I just did a batch of .357 using 5.5 to 5.9 grains of Autocomp out of a 4" barrel revolver and my standard deviations were between 8 and 13 . 

 

 

Did you tip the barrel up before each shot over the chrono ?

 

I've heard that technique will get better results with light loads.

 

Were you using .38 or .357 brass ?

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2 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

Did you tip the barrel up before each shot over the chrono ?

 

I've heard that technique will get better results with light loads.

 

Were you using .38 or .357 brass ?

 

.357 brass.

 

No intentional barrel-tipping. However, I was shooting major loads (165 - 173.5 PF) out of a 4" gun so it probably did a fair amount of tipping on its own...

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1 hour ago, matteekay said:

 

.357 brass.

 

No intentional barrel-tipping. However, I was shooting major loads (165 - 173.5 PF) out of a 4" gun so it probably did a fair amount of tipping on its own...

 

Well played!

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On 11/28/2018 at 3:46 PM, alecmc said:

I don't know anything about autocomp, but unburnt powder ussually means too light of a charge, right ? 

Slower powders with light charges at the starting to mid charge weight usually shows unburnt powder or singed kernals.  

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5.7 g of AC with a zero 115 loaded at 1.09" fixed unburnt powder in revolver and semi auto.

AC in .38 special always leaves a lot of unburnt powder but is accurate.

Tom

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