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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Reloaders...

Does anyone out there understand the facts regarding start loads with H110? I am trying to load 180 Hornady XTPs for the GP100 and the Marlin 1894. The Lee Auto Disk works great with H110, but the Hodgdon manuals say the start load is 13 gr. However, the Auto disk only has the .82 disk (which the Lee book suggests for start loads...) which equals 12.6 grains. The next size on the disk is 13.5 grains which is the Max load in the data.
My question regards loading down to 12.6 gr. I have heard some about H110 causing pressure spikes if you are under the start load. I have grown to trust the Hodgdon data more than the Lee data over the years... Anyone know if 12.6 gr is too low for safe shooting?
 

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I'd use a drill bill and slowly open the hole up to get the start load listed. If you take a drill bit that will just go in the hole and work it in and out you can open it up in very small increments. You don't even need a drill, just the bit. I had the same problem with 158grain bullets using H110. One size too small and the next larger one was too big. I talked to a tech at Lee about the problem and he told me to change power. I told him he had it all backwards and that maybe I should chage brands of equipment. I used the drill bit because it will make a nice clean cut. A round file will make a rough cut.
 

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Hodgon powder, use Hodgon data. Even though it's just .4 gr. difference and you'd prolly be ok, I wouldn't go any lighter than Hodgon's 13.0 gr. recommendation. You'll just have to weigh your loads (you do have a scale don't you?) and/or throw a charge and trickle up .4 gr. Or modify the cavity to throw .4 gr. more. Besides detonation, erratic/incomplete burning is possible with light loads of H110 and I'd also suggest magnum primers.
 

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I believe all 296 and H110 loads have a very small window for loads,
It may be cause of inconsistent ignition.
 

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Anyone know if 12.6 gr is too low for safe shooting?
W296/H110 are really fine powders for straight walled cases. Make that magnum capable cases in guns that can take the pressures.

I have used them in .357/.44M loads, and I find that medium to heavy bullet weights rarely have a problem with 95-100% loading density. Lighter bullets may need 100-110% loads. If there's a magic number, it's probably 100%.

The only time I've had problems with either powder is when I employed minimum level loads. For some reason they can jump way up, to the point of scary flattened primers and difficult extraction. The .357 is more responsive than the .44M.

For handloaders familiar with Unique and similar, all that fuel seems scary. For handloaders with some experience with the stuff, loads that have an audible "shake" are suspect.
 

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To the OP, get equipment that reliably measures powder for you. When you get into the magnum range you need to take the guess work out.
It's great you realize low loads can get you into trouble as can high loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys! You are surely brighter than the average blog out there.

I called Hodgdon and asked them the question and here is what they said: They are not worried about the load having a "low load spike of Pressure". He said they have not been able to duplicate that phenomenon in the lab. 12.5 gr is not a risk of pressure, but rather a risk of lousy performance. Ignition and consistency is the concern. But, the load is not that far from the optimal start load.

He seemed more interested in just loading 13.5 gr. which is, it sounds like, the standard load for the that 180gr. XTP and a great performer in the Marlin rifle.

I may unload these and increase the load to 13 gr. and be done with it.

THANKS!
 

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Get the Lee Auto-Disk Adjustable Powder Charge Bar and you will be able to throw exactly 13.0 gr of H-110/296 with the Lee Auto-Disk. If I recall correctly, they are about 8 bucks at Midway.
 

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When I load W296 (H110) for .357 Mag/.44Mag, I always throw a 'base' charge from the powder measure into the scale pan and use the trickler to top it off to the desired weight on the scale. That means I weigh all W296 charges.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
forty5 -- Is that charge bar the shotgun reloading bar? Does that fit in the Autodisk mechanism? Thanks.
 

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GunLover said:
I'd use a drill bill and slowly open the hole up to get the start load listed. If you take a drill bit that will just go in the hole and work it in and out you can open it up in very small increments. You don't even need a drill, just the bit. I had the same problem with 158grain bullets using H110. One size too small and the next larger one was too big. I talked to a tech at Lee about the problem and he told me to change power. I told him he had it all backwards and that maybe I should chage brands of equipment. I used the drill bit because it will make a nice clean cut. A round file will make a rough cut.
I have often suggested reaming out a too-small cavity to carefully bring the charge weight up to the desired amount.

In another thread I read where you can take a disk with a cavity too large and make it drop less powder, too. And it becomes adjustable.

Drill a hole into the cavity from the front of the disk immediately adjacent to the cavity. Thread it and screw a bolt into the hole so that the front of the bolt enters the cavity. The deeper you screw the bolt into the cavity (so the front of the bolt enters the cavity and occupies some of its volume) the less powder it will drop. And you can adjust it up or down any time you want.

Lost Sheep
 

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By Hodgdon's own account (and web pages), the issue is not higher pressure or spikes, it is the fact that H110/W296 MAY have ignition problems thereby sticking a bullet in your barrel:

For those loads listed where a starting load is not shown, start 10% below the suggested maximum load and then approach maximums carefully, watching for any sign of pressure (difficult extraction, cratered and flattened or blown primers, and unusual recoil). H110 and Winchester 296 loads should not be reduced more than 3%.

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Reduce H110 and Winchester 296 loads 3% and work up from there. H110 and Winchester 296 if reduced too much will cause inconsistent ignition. In some cases it will lodge a bullet in the barrel, causing a hazardous situation (Barrel Obstruction). This may cause severe personal injury or death to users or bystanders. DO NOT REDUCE H110 LOADS BY MORE THAN 3%.
That said, if you look at load data across the board from Hodgdon and bullet manufacturers, charges vary by as much as 20% from Min to Max...H110/W296 need a magnum primer, and heavy crimp to aid ignition...

To add fuel to the fire, here are pages that loaded H110/W296 reduced charges in lever actions, and had no issues with poor ignition:

.357 Mag 180gr bullet:

357 S&W Magnum Powder Weight /Velocity Data for the 180gr FPbb

.44 Mag 240gr Bullet:

44 Rem Magnum Powder Weight /Velocity Data for the 240gr SWCbb

Those pages are from the link below, and there are many other low velocity tests, and many more powders:

Lever Gun Performance Studies
 

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forty5 -- Is that charge bar the shotgun reloading bar? Does that fit in the Autodisk mechanism? Thanks.
The auto disk adjustable powder charge bar is made just for the Auto-Disk. You can adjust it to drop any amount of powder within its range.
 

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I have often suggested reaming out a too-small cavity to carefully bring the charge weight up to the desired amount.

In another thread I read where you can take a disk with a cavity too large and make it drop less powder, too. And it becomes adjustable.

Drill a hole into the cavity from the front of the disk immediately adjacent to the cavity. Thread it and screw a bolt into the hole so that the front of the bolt enters the cavity. The deeper you screw the bolt into the cavity (so the front of the bolt enters the cavity and occupies some of its volume) the less powder it will drop. And you can adjust it up or down any time you want.

Lost Sheep
I'm not sure how well that would work. I can see problems with the power flowing around and below the bolt and not getting the same charge every time. The adjustable charge bar is too wide. A little adjustment can make a big change in charge. I told them they need to make 3 or 4 charge bars with overlapping ranges that would be more precise. More sales for them and more control for the reloader.
 

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12.5 gr is not a risk of pressure, but rather a risk of lousy performance.
I stopped using W296 in the .357's for a long time, after a 12.5gr charge/180gr Penn cast gave me severely flattened primers, and difficult extraction. I pulled several rounds and checked powder weight, it was exactly 12.5gr. Not sure what happened.

That said, I've loaded every .357M, .44M load to 100+% since. Never a problem.

W296/H110 is always in my powder magazine. It's always the best for accuracy + velocity of any powder I've used in those rounds, with heavier bullets. Accuracy with that set of propellants is always best, just as you start to wonder if it's really a good thing. Hot or not is the choice.

In my arms, 2400 has the edge with lighter bullets, most of the time. Blue Dot is a better choice for medium level performance.
 

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I stopped using W296 in the .357's for a long time, after a 12.5gr charge/180gr Penn cast gave me severely flattened primers, and difficult extraction. I pulled several rounds and checked powder weight, it was exactly 12.5gr. Not sure what happened.
Hornady 4th edition starting load of H110 for the 180gr XTP is 12.1 grains...I'd update manuals, but my loads run pretty close to the published velocities with this 20 year old edition...

As an example of what I am trying to show in my post above;

Current starting charge of H110 according Hodgden for the 158gr XTP is 15gr with a max of 16.7gr...

I have a 15 year old jug of H110 with a MAX charge for that combination of 14.5gr, and the dire warning not to reduce by more than 3%...

My point being that we need to use regular reloading practices and cautions, and we also need to use our greatest asset, which is our brain...Our experiences, and intellect have to come into this hobby of ours...

I firmly believe that H110 MAY give you problems with ignition if you do not use a magnum primer and a heavy crimp...

I do not believe (and Hodgdon appears to agree) that there is NOT a danger of 'detonation' with moderate charges...I am certainly not suggesting anyone drastically cut loads to the levels that work with fast shotgun powders in a handgun caliber, however judicious 'downloading' has been done effectively (and safely) by bullet companies and others...

Pic of the old H110 jug:

 

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My point being that we need to use regular reloading practices and cautions, and we also need to use our greatest asset, which is our brain...Our experiences, and intellect have to come into this hobby of ours...
The ultimate answer, of course.

Yeah, I never was sure what happened with that set of loads. On the other side of the coin, I was never tempted to try to reproduce the event. I've wondered if the cast bullet moved forward easily, then as the pulse peaked, the bullet was engaging the rifling. ??

One thing I do find is that the slow powders need uniform case length, a firm crimp, and magnum primers to demonstrate good accuracy. From a handgun, the differences are hard for me to see these days, as my eyesight is OK out to 50yds with a 8" bull, but "OK" is the key word. But from my scoped 77's, I can see the difference in charge weight, and inconsistent crimp. I found that "tired" brass is not a good test for accuracy, and I now track that for my rifle loads.
 

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I've got a One Cal/One Book that starting load for 180gr XTP-HP is 11.3gr & max 13.1gr,,

The book is 2004 copyright & 11.3=900 FPS/13.1=1050 FPS ; )

Y/D
 

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Junk the auto loader and get a Lee Perfect powder measure. Then you can taylor your loads to what ever you want.......Robin
 

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Discussion Starter #20
TMan51 -
Thanks... I think I will unload these 357s and load them up to the 13.5 levels. Indeed, most reports tell of no issues and good performance.

THANKS
 
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