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This is a discussion on Blackhawk Down within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Hogdon says that for 44 magnum, you can put 11.0 grains of the HP-38 powder behind a 225 gr bullet. Don't be an idiot like ...


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Old December 20th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #1
 
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Blackhawk Down

Hogdon says that for 44 magnum, you can put 11.0 grains of the HP-38 powder behind a 225 gr bullet. Don't be an idiot like me and believe them and think that that means that its okay to put 10.5 grains behind a 225 gr bullet.





Excuse me while I go smash my head through the wall.




Last edited by DirtyHarold; December 20th, 2016 at 12:47 PM.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 03:23 PM   #2
 
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What did it do ?
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Old December 20th, 2016, 03:40 PM   #3
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^What he said. What happened?
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Old December 20th, 2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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According to QuickLOAD, 11.0gr of HP-38 with a 225gr bullet should produce a chamber pressure of 34,667 psi (35,000 is max). 10.5gr of HP-38 with the same bullet only produces 31.857 psi. HP-38 is a fast burning powder so it gets a 100% burn in just 1.08 " of bullet travel. It only produces about 1200 fps but because the powder burns so fast, I'm guessing DirtyHarold found recoil was pretty stiff.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 04:00 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
According to QuickLOAD, 11.0gr of HP-38 with a 225gr bullet should produce a chamber pressure of 34,667 psi (35,000 is max). 10.5gr of HP-38 with the same bullet only produces 31.857 psi. HP-38 is a fast burning powder so it gets a 100% burn in just 1.08 " of bullet travel. It only produces about 1200 fps but because the powder burns so fast, I'm guessing DirtyHarold found recoil was pretty stiff.
Hopefully a sore hand was the only damage. Hope he doesn't leave us hanging.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 08:51 PM   #6
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I loved it when the movie "Dirty Harry" came out and every Tom, Dick, and Harry went out and bought a S&W model 29 in 44 mag. One year after that movie came out, the local gunshops in Northern CA. were loaded with used 44 mags for sale. Most had only a partial box of ammo though them and were sold off due to the heavy recoil the buyer could not tolerate. Bargain used prices were the norm for a while.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #7
 
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What did it do ?
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^What he said. What happened?
lets just say the gasses found a new hole to escape from besides the usual barrel and barrel cylinder gap.




more specifically, the gun grenade in my hand and is donezo.....kaput......thankfully no injuries to myself.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 09:19 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
According to QuickLOAD, 11.0gr of HP-38 with a 225gr bullet should produce a chamber pressure of 34,667 psi (35,000 is max). 10.5gr of HP-38 with the same bullet only produces 31.857 psi. HP-38 is a fast burning powder so it gets a 100% burn in just 1.08 " of bullet travel. It only produces about 1200 fps but because the powder burns so fast, I'm guessing DirtyHarold found recoil was pretty stiff.
couldn't tell you why it happened....im with you, 11.0 grains is what they say the max load is.....I loaded a bunch of ammo with 9.0 grains and had no issues and barely any recoil, so I decided to step it up for a little fun. I loaded about 20 rounds with 9.5 grains of powder, and another 20 with 10 grains of powder, then literally just 5 rounds that had 10.5 grains of powder. everything was going just fine, then I decided I was going to be done for the day after I tried just one round with 10.5 grains in it, loaded one in, fired, BOOM!!!!!! the gun blew up...the round made it out of the barrel but the top strap is separated from the frame and the cylinder is split open.

have no clue what went wrong. I'm not going to sit here and claim to be a pro reloader, I am somewhat new to it but not a total newbie....apparently following the powder reccomendations isn't good enough. I did give the rounds a crimp, but I gave it the same crimp I gave the other 9.0-10.0 grain ammo and I was actually worried that if anything the crimp was going to be too light.

the only reason I can come up with, is that HP38 is simply too fast of a burning powder for loading up 44 mag. also, I was using 225 grain solid copper ammo so maybe the bullets being longer than lead containing ammo, maybe raised the pressure in the cylinder too much. I'm not even sure.....today is just a bad day.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 02:35 AM   #9
 
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Glad you weren't hurt. It sounds like you figured out the problem. I always try to use bullet manufacturers load data. Usually, solid copper bullets have their own load data as they are usually longer than a standard jacketed bullet meaning deeper seating for the same OAL and longer bearing surface when going down barrel. Sure to raise pressures with both of those things happening.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 04:37 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBK View Post
I loved it when the movie "Dirty Harry" came out and every Tom, Dick, and Harry went out and bought a S&W model 29 in 44 mag. One year after that movie came out, the local gunshops in Northern CA. were loaded with used 44 mags for sale. Most had only a partial box of ammo though them and were sold off due to the heavy recoil the buyer could not tolerate. Bargain used prices were the norm for a while.
I remember that time. It was around the same time I got a great deal on one and picked it up. I also load HP38, but never go with max loads on any of my handguns.

Good to hear no one got hurt. Too bad about the handgun though.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 07:26 AM   #11
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This should be a good lesson for everyone. I always preach ... "use the proper burn rate for the cartridge and bullet weight". HP-38 is NOT the best burn rate for a 44 Mag .... it burns way too fast and is not forgiving. For full magnum velocities, H-110 / W-296 is as good as it gets. For mid-range loads, Power Pistol works great.

I highly suspect there was a bit more going on than the crimp or using a solid copper bullets. These things would raise chamber pressure a little but not enough for a Kaboom. My guess ... way too much powder and because HP-38 is not bulky, an overcharge would be hard to detect .... until you pulled the trigger.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 07:53 AM   #12
 
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have no clue what went wrong.
It's one of two things...

Either you had a bullet stuck in the barrel, and then fired that last round with 10.5gr, or you had a double charge...
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Old December 21st, 2016, 08:18 AM   #13
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This should be a good lesson for everyone. I always preach ... "use the proper burn rate for the cartridge and bullet weight". HP-38 is NOT the best burn rate for a 44 Mag .... it burns way too fast and is not forgiving. For full magnum velocities, H-110 / W-296 is as good as it gets. For mid-range loads, Power Pistol works great.

I highly suspect there was a bit more going on than the crimp or using a solid copper bullets. These things would raise chamber pressure a little but not enough for a Kaboom. My guess ... way too much powder and because HP-38 is not bulky, an overcharge would be hard to detect .... until you pulled the trigger.
I agree. Improper crimp might have a small effect on pressure and a slightly longer bullet might have a small effect on pressure but even in combination the added pressure wouldn't rise to the level of gun destruction especially in a Ruger. IMO and limited experience the only way to destroy a Ruger single action revolver in that way is to either make a catastrophic mistake or to make a huge error in judgement. I'd be willing to bet a LARGE chunk of cash it was an accidental double charge. The combination of too fast powder and too much of it could cause the gun to hand grenade. Glad he wasn't hurt. It's a reminder to me to always use the most appropriate powder (thank you Iowegan) and make absolutely sure I don't double charge a round especially at or near the upper limits.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:08 AM   #14
 
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I highly suspect there was a bit more going on than the crimp or using a solid copper bullets. These things would raise chamber pressure a little but not enough for a Kaboom. My guess ... way too much powder and because HP-38 is not bulky, an overcharge would be hard to detect .... until you pulled the trigger.
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Either you had a bullet stuck in the barrel, and then fired that last round with 10.5gr, or you had a double charge...
Actually the chances of a double charge are extremely slim; being that I only loaded 5 of these deadly 10.5 grainers, did them one after another, visually compared the charge amounts after weighing them all out individually with the lee scale (not the auto charge POC)....there was no bullet stuck in the barrel from previous shots because I saw the snow "jump" when I missed the target from the last shot, and I even checked after it blew, the bullet made it out of the barrel and everything....

I'm chalking it up to it being some combination of: I was using a full copper bullet (so longer than normal), being a higher charge load with powder that ideally burns much too fast for a 44 mag, and MAYBE something to do with I was using a 7.5" barrel so the fast burning powder really had time to do bad things.....most likely the first two.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:11 AM   #15
 
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I read about a guy a while back who had the same exact thing happen to him with his SBH, he called Ruger and they sold him a brand new one at manufacturing cost (~$200).

I'm not going to get my hopes up, even with Ruger, but I may as well try my luck with the same thing. I figure I've got nothing to lose out of at least trying.
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