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Hodgdon LiL' Gun now useless?

This is a discussion on Hodgdon LiL' Gun now useless? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; A few years ago I bought several 8 pounders of various powders ...one of them being Lil'-gun ....I load 9mm,38s&w,38wcf,.40s&w,44mag,44wcf,45acp,45lc, .223,264mag,308win,30-06,300h&h and 12 ga 2 ...


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Old November 19th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #1
 
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Hodgdon LiL' Gun now useless?

A few years ago I bought several 8 pounders of various powders ...one of them being Lil'-gun ....I load 9mm,38s&w,38wcf,.40s&w,44mag,44wcf,45acp,45lc,
.223,264mag,308win,30-06,300h&h and 12 ga 2 3/4 target

When I bought the still unopened keg of Lil'-Gun I assure you I looked and found many loads across my many calibers of weapons

So I thought about it the other day as I was rotating my powder supply ...and over a cup of coffee started looking at where I could best apply it as I start to load "Christmas presents" for my boys ...

I find the data has dried up ...nada except for some Krazy big n ugly large bore pistol and some of the little 22 stuff like hornet

Man that's a lot of $$ for a no longer recommended powder #$%!+#$

Bear



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Old November 19th, 2016, 09:34 PM   #2
 
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Some LGS's still have the soft cover Hodgdon loading manuals. Try and find one if you can. I always save old manuals for this reason.
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Old November 19th, 2016, 10:47 PM   #3
 
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Try this: https://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html
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Old November 19th, 2016, 11:01 PM   #4
 
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Found recipes for your 44mag, and 45 colt (Ruger, Freedom Arms, & T/C) in the 2014 Hodgdon manual. Sorry, I know that's not much comfort for you. Should do really well if you ever decide to load 410, though.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 07:35 AM   #5
 
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Lil' Gun is right in there with W296/H110, Alliant 2400, and AA #9: perfect for Magnum handgun loads... And .410 shotgun.

Are there some other cartridges you planned to use it for?
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Old November 20th, 2016, 10:03 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken Bear View Post
A few years ago I bought several 8 pounders of various powders ...one of them being Lil'-gun ....I load 9mm,38s&w,38wcf,.40s&w,44mag,44wcf,45acp,45lc,
.223,264mag,308win,30-06,300h&h and 12 ga 2 3/4 target

When I bought the still unopened keg of Lil'-Gun I assure you I looked and found many loads across my many calibers of weapons

So I thought about it the other day as I was rotating my powder supply ...and over a cup of coffee started looking at where I could best apply it as I start to load "Christmas presents" for my boys ...

I find the data has dried up ...nada except for some Krazy big n ugly large bore pistol and some of the little 22 stuff like hornet

Man that's a lot of $$ for a no longer recommended powder #$%!+#$

Bear
All Hodgdon data is available online in their excellent Reloading Data Center.

That or trade the powder with a friend locally.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 02:25 PM   #7
 
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4,736 410 loads ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moakes58 View Post
All Hodgdon data is available online in their excellent Reloading Data Center.

That or trade the powder with a friend locally.
I understand what is NOW listed ...but what was listed when I bought the keg was far far broader with many more calibers and bullet weights recipes

But thanks everyone ...who needs 8 lbs of 410 powder?!$#^&*)(!

A quick calculation ...it will load 4736 rounds of .410 loads

Bear
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Old November 21st, 2016, 10:38 AM   #8
 
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Lil'gun works great in 327 federal and 32 h&r magnum
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Old November 21st, 2016, 01:17 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken Bear View Post
I understand what is NOW listed ...but what was listed when I bought the keg was far far broader with many more calibers and bullet weights recipes

But thanks everyone ...who needs 8 lbs of 410 powder?!$#^&*)(!

A quick calculation ...it will load 4736 rounds of .410 loads

Bear
You say it was only a 'few' years ago that you saw the loading data and purchased the powder. If so, you can still use that loading data. Search it out on the Internet.

As said before, Lil Gun is suitable for Magnum handgun type loads (relatively 'slow' burn rate powder), which would also apply to .45 Colt when used in a Ruger revolver or most lever action carbines. I would not expect Lil Gun to be a good powder for 9mm, .38 S&W, .40 S&W, .44 WCF, .45 ACP, or any of the bottleneck rifle cartridges you listed.

As stated before in some previous threads on this Reloading section of the forum, there is not one 'do all' powder for handgun cartridges. Example: Powders in the burn rate range of Unique/Power Pistol/AA #5/Hodgdon Universal do well in many handgun cartridges, but 'faster' ones are better for light loads and 'slower' ones are better for heavier 'Magnum' type loads in their appropriate cartridges.

The Lil Gun should serve you well for your .44 Magnum and heavier .45 Colt loads.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 01:30 PM   #10
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Broken Bear, I think your memories may have faded .... I have all the Speer and Hornady manuals dating back well before Lil'Gun came on the market. Those later manuals only list Lil'Gun loads for Magnum revolver cartridges and a couple small capacity rifle cartridges ... 221 Fireball and 22 Hornet.

Lil'Gun was actually designed for 410 shotguns but as most other 410 powders, it makes a great very slow burning handgun powder that is well suited for magnum revolver loads. It is NOT a versatile powder and has never been well suited for anything but these cartridges: 32 H&R Mag, 327 Fed Mag, 357 Mag, 41 Mag, 44 Mag, 45 Colt Ruger Only, 454 Cas, 480 Ruger, 410 Shotgun, 22 Hornet, and 221 Fireball. Lil'Gun burns too fast for normal rifle cartridges and much to slow for anything but magnum handgun cartridges.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 05:39 PM   #11
 
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Although they are more recently developed cartridges, lots of people love lil' gun in 460 Magnum and in the rifle cartridges 300 Blackout and 450 Bushmaster. It tends to be the most accurate powder in those two rifles cartridges. I have firearms in all three and I know some will disagree but..... for me, I would never use lil' gun in anything! It burns WAY too hot (temperature wise) for my liking. Some have reported it damaging the forcing cone on the 460 Magnum. Yes, I know, the 460 holds a lot of powder, but even in the rifles, I wouldn't suggest firing off two or three rounds in rapid fire - that barrel is going to be smokin' hot! That's just my two cents.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 07:37 PM   #12
 
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You aren't alone. I won't use it for the exact same reason. There is no proverbial free lunch. There has to be a downside to published velocities at H110 levels but at a lower pressure. That downside is heat.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 07:19 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW45 View Post
Some have reported it damaging the forcing cone on the 460 Magnum. Yes, I know, the 460 holds a lot of powder, but even in the rifles, I wouldn't suggest firing off two or three rounds in rapid fire - that barrel is going to be smokin' hot! That's just my two cents.

About a decade ago, Lil'Gun was claimed to be the new "Holy Grail" for magnum handgun calibers. Very high velocities with heavy bullets with very little pressure. Even some of the published manuals showed higher velocity with it than H110/W296 with only about half the pressure. Me, for the life of me couldn't figure that out. Like many others I jumped on the Lil'Gun bandwagon. Even tho it didn't give me the claimed velocities, nor the best of accuracy in my handguns, I thought the reduced pressure would be easier on them, besides I had several pounds to use up. One thing I noticed with any of the guns I used it in(revolvers and handgun caliber carbines) was how hot they got so quickly. To the point you had to let them cool off to touch them after only a few mags/cylinders full. Something I never had to do with H110/W296 and IMR4227. This was with everything from .357 to .460. Still I wasn't alarmed until I heard of the problems with excessive premature forcing cone erosion. Then the high heat thing made sense and I quit using it in my revolvers. It was easy since it really gave me no advantage. Other folks scoffed at the idea. Then Bob Baker from Freedom Arms came out against it's usage. Some folks still scoffed. To me, $40 or so worth of powder was not worth what my revolvers are. The wife's Peonies loved it.

BTW....some of the newer published recipes for Lil'Gun show pressures as high or higher than H110/W296. WTH.......Now I am really confused.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 09:09 AM   #14
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buck460XVR, In theory, the slower a powder burns, the lower chamber pressure will be. When powder takes longer to burn, it will heat up the gun more ... the old time versus temperature thing we learned in 7th grade science class. Another realistic thing is .... all powders behave differently in different cartridges and different bullet weights so it is quite possible for Lil'Gun to create higher chamber pressure than W-296/H-110 in a specific load, even though Lil'Gun burns slower in open air burn rate tests.

Many reloaders ... or should I say MOST reloaders strive to keep chamber pressures as low as possible. I use this analogy .... chamber pressure in a gun is much like blood pressure in a human. You need enough chamber pressure to get a good consistent burn with minimal fouling ... just like you need enough blood pressure to support life. Of course you don't want chamber pressure to exceed SAAMI specs .... just like you don't want high blood pressure. Nearly all factory loads using jacketed bullets operate very close (but not over) SAAMI max pressure standards. Some of the drawbacks with low chamber pressure is .... bores get fouled with unburned powder. The muzzle flash looks like a flame thrower. Low pressure often means inconsistent velocity, which in turn affects accuracy.

I've found W-296/H-110 is my absolute favorite powder for full velocity magnum loads in my 357 Mag or 44 Mag revolvers. It has the best burn rate for the highest velocity in barrels over 4", it is exceptionally accurate, and it burns nice and clean. It is very normal to get single digit max velocity spreads. It does produce a huge muzzle flash but that's about the only issue .... other than it is bulky so it takes quite a bit of powder per charge.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 11:18 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
buck460XVR, In theory, the slower a powder burns, the lower chamber pressure will be. When powder takes longer to burn, it will heat up the gun more ... the old time versus temperature thing we learned in 7th grade science class. Another realistic thing is .... all powders behave differently in different cartridges and different bullet weights so it is quite possible for Lil'Gun to create higher chamber pressure than W-296/H-110 in a specific load, even though Lil'Gun burns slower in open air burn rate tests.

Many reloaders ... or should I say MOST reloaders strive to keep chamber pressures as low as possible.
But according to Hodgdon(the distributor of both Lil'Gun and H110/W296), Lil' Gun has a faster burn rate than H110/W296. Using your theory, my guns should have gotten hotter, faster, using H110/W296 than when using Lil' Gun. This was not my experience, nor the experience of most other folks that used both Lil' gun and H110/W296. Thus I believe there was something other than just burn rate going on here, especially since the burn rates between the two are so close. As for the difference in chamber pressures, again the difference in burn rates is so very close, while some of the early pressure differences was very wide, as I said, almost half. The time it takes a handgun powder charge to burn completely is nano-seconds. Not "the old time versus temperature thing we learned in 7th grade science class."

As for using the lowest pressure to achieve a desired performance, exactly what I was attempting to do using Lil' Gun. Even that tho, is not worth the risk of unnecessarily damaging my Revolvers.
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