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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got a chronograph to check my loads in a 6" ruger GP100.

Components used: Starline brass, federal small magnum pistol primer, XTP 158 grain hollow point.

My aim was to create hunting loads, which means max velocity with acceptable accuracy. All cases are trimmed to 1.280", OAL 1.590" per Hornady.

17 grains is listed as the max, this is the velocity I was getting with that.

1259 FPS, 11 SD, ES 29. Looks good right? Honestly I wasn't impressed with this and considering that my brass was getting sooty with this load, I do not think the pressure was getting high enough. Alliant lists 18.6 grains as a Max, while that is with a standard primer and a Gold Dot. So I decided to creep up the charge a couple tens at a time and check for pressure. Since it is a over Max charge according to Hornady (I believe they went on case capacity a little too much here, but who knows), I won't list them on here, your mileage may vary as always. I created 2 different charged loads and tested 6 rounds each.

Batch #1 = 1294 fps, SD 29, ES 70. I don't really care that the spread went to 70, it was one shot that opened it up, otherwise it was around 40.

Batch #2 = 1360 fps, SD 27, ES 66 (would have been something like 1370 had it not been for one shot). I felt this was a max charge, though I didn't see any high pressure signs, again there was one load that measured 1320 FPS that created the ES of 66, the next lowest was 1339, one shot did not read so i had to use 5 shots to average. The next 3 of this batch was 1376, 1383, 1386. Finally got the brass to not be as sooty, obviously pressure came up to seal better. Recoil was not much different than the 17.0 grain load, but this one averaged 100 FPS faster. While I won't list the exact charge, all I will say is I used hornady measurements, and was more than a grain less charge than Alliant was using as a Max (again, using a magnum primer and xtp in place of a standard primer and gold dot). I decided to use a magnum primer after reading about too much inconsistency from other users about unburned powders, blowby etc. I did not see any unburned powder from any of the loads I made.

Anyways, since there is a likely some people interested with this powder, these are my findings. I may go between Batch 1 and 2 and do another test, but I suspect the average will be between those averages as well. I did hand weigh each charge since I was moving into uncharted territory. So who do you go with, Alliant's data or Hornady, one seems aggressive, the other seems was to conservative?
 

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I had the same issue a few years back with this powder in both .357 and .44 mag. It was all i could find and did some research. Everything I read looked great but could not get the advertised velocities I read about. I went back to H110 when it became available and have been happy ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had the same issue a few years back with this powder in both .357 and .44 mag. It was all i could find and did some research. Everything I read looked great but could not get the advertised velocities I read about. I went back to H110 when it became available and have been happy ever since.
Yeah, I found it to be a low pressure powder, I would be curious to know what the exact pressure was that hornady called a max load. So far what I have found is you tweak a few things here, few things there and you begin to see stepped increases when you up the charge. What I was getting with the Hornady max was basically a standard hornady load velocity. Didn't care for that. Knowing I was seeing low pressure signs, figured why not do a few test. The powder came alive at that point. Have to have a long barrel though to see what I am seeing, not sure a 4" would show the same increases I saw.
 

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Since my post in another thread was deleted, sorry Lowegan. I will post what my findings have been with this powder.

As stated, Hornady data doesn't match Alliant data that well. Case in point, an article from Handloader Magazine in 2011 http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/310/357-44_Bain_Davis/Handloader_274_Oct_2011.pdf (copy and paste that in the URL). The tests done by this guy tracked much more the way Alliant tracks. Since this is on the net and tested, and tracks with Alliant I don't mind to post what I found during my load development.

First, and as Lowegan would say, it's not always good to start at the top end of a load chart, but after researching, I did decide to start at Hornady max of 17.0 grains with the 158 xtp, I still would love to know what pressure Hornady got with that and why they stopped there. The guy in the article used standard primers, I am using magnum primers, he used Sierra Jacketed SP, I am using xtp, so that's where the differences end. He does not list is COL or OAL so I used Hornady's since I am using their bullet. Here is what I found.

17.0 grains, 1250 fps, lots of sooty brass, no pressure signs other than low pressure.

17.2 grains, no change in velocity that amounts to much, still low pressure

17.4 grains, very slight increase in velocity, still low pressure.

17.6 grains, modest increase in velocity to 1300fps (did a 20 shot string), cases begin to seal, much less sooty brass, pressure is coming up.

17.8 grains, 1340 fps, and since I liked this node and the velocity range, SD was 11. Good seal on the brass, no pressure signs at all. I stopped here. Brass extracted with ease, primers look great, case head mic'd good, recoil is a push more than a sudden jolt. The powder does not burn hot like LIL gun so I would say that flame cutting and melting a barrel is not an issue here.

Ok, now if you read the article, you will find that most of my info is tracking exactly with his. What was interesting was how the powder appears to plateau until 17.6 grains and then begin to show step increases, I am guessing the case volume reached a more favorable capacity in regards to how the powder burns. I reached similar velocity at 17.8 grains that he did at 18.0 grains. Likely because I am using a federal premium spm primer and slightly different bullet. He was getting exactly the same velocity I was at 17.0 grains vs. my 17 grain load. I do not know the exact pressure of my loads and if you use my info, use it at your own risk, disclaimer. His loads went to 18.5 and tested out to be within safe pressure but did not say what that was, so there is that, but I would not recommend pushing it that far unless you use exactly what he or alliant used. My GP100 sports a 6 inch barrel, your mileage may vary or be crappy if you have a shorter barrel. If you need more juice than a 357 mag can safely attain, buy a bigger gun..at 17.8 grains it will do what I want it to safely.

Here is my gripe, most of the time we can criticize the powder companies for listing loads that seem laughable, given that, I firmly believe the safety cushion is a bit excessive sometimes if going by the Bullet Manufacturer data. That's not to say that what Hornady listed as a max, isn't one, in one form or another. I just did not see it with my development, maybe they stopped at 17.0 due to it plateauing for a bit and maybe due to shorter barrel lengths that people have more of and more powder not helping those folks. No clue in any of that, just a guess.
 

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I had been seeking a good powder for loads in my Marlin .357 lever action. In my research 300MP came up. It appears that it's a bit slower that 2400 or H110 and doesn't do it's best in short barrels.

Using a 158 grain JSP I had initially tried 2400 and achieved 1690 FPS at the book maximum.

I then tried 300MP, at 18.3 grains (.3 under Hodgdons max) I got 1891 FPS.

FWIW Alliant's 300MP load was tested in a 10" barrel where it reached over 1600 FPS
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree, that is a smoking load in your rifle btw. This load works decent in the author's 6" and my 6". I am not sure it would work the same way in a 4" or shorter, I doubt it though. The author went to 18.5, but since I am using different components, I really wanted to stay away from that. Getting nearly 1350 fps, from a lower pressure powder than H110, there really isn't much to not like about that. There appeared to be a .2 grain difference in load from what he was getting with standard primers to what I was seeing with magnum primers. I "might" work it up to 18.0 grains and see, but honestly I don't think its necessary in my case with a revolver. If I had a rifle, yep, I sure would. Regardless it seems to turn a 357 back into a real magnum safely and not really pushing the envelope to get there.
 

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I had been seeking a good powder for loads in my Marlin .357 lever action. In my research 300MP came up. It appears that it's a bit slower that 2400 or H110 and doesn't do it's best in short barrels.

Using a 158 grain JSP I had initially tried 2400 and achieved 1690 FPS at the book maximum.

I then tried 300MP, at 18.3 grains (.3 under Hodgdons max) I got 1891 FPS.

FWIW Hodgdons load was tested in a 10" barrel where it reached over 1600 FPS
Did you mean Alliant data? I've gotten roughly same results you have, and actually really like 300MP for .357,44mag, and in my .410's.
 

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Did you mean Alliant data? I've gotten roughly same results you have, and actually really like 300MP for .357,44mag, and in my .410's.
Yes, I actually meant Alliant. Had vision problems, my head was up my butt when I wrote that. Thanks. I'll edit it.
 

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I've been looking at 300MP in 44 mag, so this is not directly applicable, but it is definitely slower than h110 and seems to like the longer barrel.

I've run the Alliant data and see a definite improvement in the sealing/sootiness of the brass over Hornady's data. The velocity is very similar between 300/and h110 out of a revolver, but there's a definite separation in the 1894--300MP runs away by 200+fps with only an additional grain of powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got the opportunity yesterday to test the 17.8 grain load in my buddy's Taurus 66 4" revolver and compare it to my Ruger 6". This gets interesting but confirms my thoughts on the powder.

His revolver averaged 1200 fps. This is 150 fps less than my 6". Confirms what I thought might happen to guys trying this powder in less than a 6" barrel. So I guess my final conclusion and why some folks dislike this powder and favor a slightly faster powder like H110, crazy that 2 inches of barrel makes that much difference but there you have it. btw I did test the load again to have something to confirm the difference in my revolver vs. his so we can't say that I didn't test that particular batch along side his, sure enough still around the 1350 mark out of mine. This also may answer why Hornady stopped the charge at 17.0 , no benefit for revolvers less than 6".
 

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I have not at this point. Would probably be a great combination considering the burn rate of this powder. I haven't look to see what Hornady recommends for that bullet.
 

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I have not at this point. Would probably be a great combination considering the burn rate of this powder. I haven't look to see what Hornady recommends for that bullet.

Hornady doesn't list any data for 180gr XTP using 300MP in their 10th Edition Manual.
 

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Alliant 2400 will get you the same velocity with 14 grains and Alliant Power Pistol will get you the same velocity with only 9.5 grains.
Hodgdon Lilgun will get you almost 1500 fps with 17.5 grains.
All of this was calculated using quickload for a 6" barrel
 

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I sent an email to Alliant so hopefully get a response from them. Strange they list the 170GD bullet that hasn't been available for awhile but we all know Hornady XTP bullets are one of the better hunting bullets around. According to Handloader author that starting at 16.0gr. be the way to go but I am out of time as will wait till next year after dear hunting is done. Don't want to be spooking all them deer off the farm.
 

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15 posts and nothing on group size.

It is quite obvious that several of you are experienced handloaders.

I chrono all my loads and use the same .2 gr increases in powder and record the same data as you guys. The difference is I shoot for groups on every shot. My goal is accuracy and I get velocity as verify data. I take velocity to the reloading manuals and get an estimated pressure.

Is velocity the altar you prey at?? Why?

Seeking guidance,
Prescut
 

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15 posts and nothing on group size.

It is quite obvious that several of you are experienced handloaders.

I chrono all my loads and use the same .2 gr increases in powder and record the same data as you guys. The difference is I shoot for groups on every shot. My goal is accuracy and I get velocity as verify data. I take velocity to the reloading manuals and get an estimated pressure.

Is velocity the altar you prey at?? Why?

Seeking guidance,
Prescut
Whoa Nelly!! Maybe some people are really busy. I am hunting now so range is down till after the first of January then I will have some good data and targets to post so in the meantime patience and someone else will have something. Accuracy is the key to for me and hopefully find a load thats good. I did shoot my newly acquired Rossi yesterday before I went hunting. My standard 158gr LSWC with 2400 @50 yd standing was really nicearound 3" cluster after adjusting sight. I have a long wait to bench twst it for real accuracy but again will have time to gather up some loads to give a good workout with my Rossi 92. I am betting the 2400 and H110 is going to be the most accurate of any powder as usual but other powder do have my attention.
 

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Whoa Nelly!! Maybe some people are really busy. I am hunting now so range is down till after the first of January then I will have some good data and targets to post so in the meantime patience and someone else will have something. Accuracy is the key to for me and hopefully find a load thats good. I did shoot my newly acquired Rossi yesterday before I went hunting. My standard 158gr LSWC with 2400 @50 yd standing was really nicearound 3" cluster after adjusting sight. I have a long wait to bench twst it for real accuracy but again will have time to gather up some loads to give a good workout with my Rossi 92. I am betting the 2400 and H110 is going to be the most accurate of any powder as usual but other powder do have my attention.
Thanks Partner,
Right on target. That answers my question.

and that 3" cluster at 50 yards off hand is a sweet number; nice shooting.
Standing is a different world than my bench resting.

I don't want the other side of your powder bet. I've used 2400 and H110 successfully with lots of different bullets myself. They are excellent in this caliber for reaching higher velocities with accuracy.
Lately I've really liked the Vihtavuori powders; especially the N340. It's a touch faster than the H110 and doesn't get the velocity; but, the accuracy, cleanliness, and consistency has amazed me. Half again more money(it's from Finland), but powder price is the least of my expenses with shooting.

thanks,
Appreciate your response,
Prescut
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Group size is 1.5 inches at 25 yards, 3.5 inches at 50. I sight in at 25.

As far as which powder does what, remember you really can't compare a LSWC to a jacketed sp or hp that has a thick jacket unlike the GD's. Most reloading info I have seen shows 2400 or power pistol falling short of the velocities I am getting from the 6" barrel and a whole lot less from a carbine. If I shot the same weight LSWC instead of the XTP I am sure my velocities would be much higher. I did check what 18 grains give me, right at 1400 fps and still no pressure signs. I do not know of any other powder that can achieve this, stay in the pressure safety zone and not be harmful to the revolver. If you push H110 hard to reach this, you will likely be a good deal over pressure, same goes for 2400. Lil gun burns hot, the biggest reason I chose not to use it.

The whole point of doing this and finding what I've found was to create a hunting load that delivers max energy on target accurately. It appears I have achieved it. As always your mileage may vary and everyone has their opinion. I've tried to give as much test data in real time as I could.

For hunting deer and similar weight animals , energy on target is just as important as accuracy, you really need both since 357 is the lower limit on medium game revolver calibers. Where I hunt, if you shoot a deer and it runs a mile, you will lose that deer with all the cover it can hide it.
 
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