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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After 20 years of using H110 & W296 at about 95% or more capacity ... these type slow burning powders seem to be in an extreme class of its own regarding slow burning powders being position sensitive, in this case even making it a safe load to begin with.

In reading a recent post plus where perhaps a few published loads list a minimum start load near 85% capacity, my question...

...is it recommended or has anyone used dacron filler to keep this specific powder in its proper position (or even compressed?) over flash hole, especially when near low end of published start load?
 

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I have never used a filler, but I know through experience that H110 likes to be loaded toward the max and running at the bottom can lead to problems, not just position sensitive but can lead to burn issues.
What are you trying to do? Are you looking for a special-level load, or just a less magnum magnum load? Would a different powder be a better choice for what you are trying to accomplish?
 

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As stated 110/296 preform better at near max loads due its slow burning characteristics. I personally wouldn’t go below 85% of a max load or a 90% fill. It sounds like you’re worried about a “flash over” which in itself can be catastrophic.......but I’d be more concerned with a squib, which can also be catastrophic. Maybe a switch to a faster burning powder? JMO
 
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I've done testing with start loads of H110 using felt wads vs no wad in 357, 44 and 500 magnum with no discernible difference noted. Accuracy, ES and SD remained virtually identical. Where I did see a remarkable difference was in light vs heavy crimp, especially using lighter projectiles.
 

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valin, You got some bad information. H-110/W-296 are about the least position sensitive powders you can find. The reason for filling the case to at least 85% is for squib prevention. These powders have a strange characteristic .... they burn like a fuse, meaning one granule will ignite the next granule and that granule will ignite the next one, and on and on until the all the powder has been ignited. If there is an air void between granules, the fire may go out, leaving the remaining powder unburned, which can result in a squib or it may lower velocity. The same thing can happen if you use standard primers with these slow burners. A rule about most powders .... the slower they burn, the harder they are to ignite. Why? The basic chemistry formula for single base smokeless gun powder is about the same for most burn rates so to make powders burn slower, fire retardant is added. That's also why slow burning powders are so bulky and take such a heavy charge weight .... because the retardant is heavier than the actual gun powder. There is an exception .... 2400 is a slow burner but it is formulated different so it is not difficult to ignite, This powder uses standard primers and can be loaded as light as 50% of case volume.

Fast burning powders such as Bullseye, W-231, Titegroup, etc are formulated to ignite easily no matter how the powder is positioned in the case so they are pretty much immune to position sensitivity The worst powders for position sensitivity are medium burn rates such as Unique. Here's where fiber filler comes in handy. As an example, using 8gr of Unique in a 45 Colt case will only fill the case to about 47%, leaving a lot of variation for exposing the powder surface area to the primer flash. This will result in poor SD and extreme velocity spreads. When about 1 grain of Dupont fiber filler is used to hold the powder in position against the primer, position sensitivity is eliminated and velocities will become very uniform.

Funflyer, There's a "thing" called powder timing that affects how powder is ignited. First, time is the critical element so if there is a tight crimp, it delays bullet movement and allows more time for better powder ignition. The same is true when lighter bullets are used. It takes less energy and time to move a lighter bullet so it will start moving before the powder gets fully ignited. This results in erratic ignition and velocity spreads. If you combine light bullets with loose crimps, it will result in lower velocity, unburned powder in the bore, and possibly a squib.
 

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296/110 is a powder that deserves standards to be followed.(not that any of them don't) Ioweagn's on the bulls-eye with his post.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Iowegan,

Yeah, I recently read your 'fuse' analogy so it got me to thinking. Also, great library article on smokeless but all this clarified even more!

Thanks all for great feedback.

Yes, have quite a bit of 296 in stock, however, I use faster burn powders too. But this powder really performs when compressed too and now I better understand why as well.

Also have a bunch of IMR4227 which seems much more forgiving with reduced loads but dont think going as low as 50% capacity (as mentioned with the fast burning powders) is a good idea.

Tight necks and very solid crimp, however, plus magnum primers are for sure.
 

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You don't want to use a filler with H110.
In fact ... you should avoid using fillers whenever you can . Some specialized loads will require the use of a filler but by and large only use them when published data calls for them .
I am leery of fillers and make my reloads using components that don't need a filler .
Read Iowegan's post (#5) carefully , great powder advice right there.
Gary
 

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If you feel the need for a filler with your H110/W296 load you don't have enough powder in there. If you want to reduce your velocity/recoil use a medium burn powder, such as Unique, Power Pistol, Herco, HS6, AA#5.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Totally agree, plus prefer NO FILLER - have with some of Lyman's listings 'other' loads but may still at least consider this wad firm filler in a straight neck case if ever 'had' to go with 'reputable' minimum published 296/110, but not my 1st choice.

However, am interested of late using these powders in 357 mag and will use full case capacity myself (NO FILLER NEEDED) especially since this case will only take so much powder when compared to larger caliber magnums. Also interest in longer barrels to burn up a 'bit' more as Iowegan has also illustrated in past.

I do use alot of Power Pistol & HS6 but several other propellants too.

Yes, its good to keep re-reading great advice, and understanding it. Constantly.

Be glad to hear any additional discussion or experience on topic, if any.
 

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valin, Here's some H-110/W-296 information based on my experiences and guidance from other sources. These two powders are nearly identical so load data is almost the same. These slow burning powders take about 15" of bullet travel to burn up so don't be surprised when you see a 3 foot plume of fire puke out of a revolver barrel. Not only does the unburned powder put on a nice muzzle flash show, it also makes a louder thundering boom. Longer barrels (like rifle barrels) burn nearly all the powder so they have way less muzzle flash, less noise, and a much higher velocity.

Most manuals have a caveat for these powders being: "Do not reduce powder charges below the minimum charge weight", which is for squib prevention. The max loads for 357 Mags and 158gr bullets is 16.0 gr, 18gr for 140gr bullets, or 20gr for 125gr bullets, however most reloading manuals may indicate a little more or less, depending their bullet profile and how conservative they are. One of the odd effects with these powers is .... if powder charges are increased beyond maximum, chamber pressure will increase dramatically, however muzzle velocity increases just a little. Why? Because theses slow burners peak in pressure in about 1 1/2" of bullet travel but take up to 15" of bullet travel to totally burn up, most of the excessive powder will burn outside the barrel, leaving muzzle velocity almost the same with a hot load versus a normal load.

Back in 1993, SAAMI lowered the pressure limits for 357 Mag by 25% to increase revolver life expectancy. If you look in a pre-1993 loading manual such as Speer #11, it indicates a max powder charge of 17.8gr for a 158gr bullet. This is about 11% more powder and velocity but it increases chamber pressure to 46,500 psi, which is about 25% higher pressure than SAAMI's current max 35,000 psi. As you can see, there's no good reason to load these powder beyond their SAAMI limit.

I've had the best accuracy in all my 357 revolvers with 140gr bullets and almost as good with 158 gr bullets, both loaded at the high end of the chart. 125gr bullets develop higher velocity but accuracy isn't as good. I found this to be true in my 4" GP100, 6" GP100, and Blackhawks with 4 5/8", 5 1/2", and 6 1/2" barrels. My 2 1/4" SP101 didn't seem to care much about accuracy so I used 125gr JHPs that developed higher velocity.

Another quirk of these powders is ambient temperature. They don't ignite well when powder temperature drops below 30 deg F. For this reason. magnum primers should always be used. Besides the primer issue, these two powders don't burn as well when they are cold so my chronograph data went from 1200 fps at 70 deg F, down to 1025 fps at 25 deg F. I found a bad combination was a 125gr bullet with a modest crimp being fired in sub-freezing temperatures would produce squibs about 1 out of 6 rounds fired. Heavier bullets were no problem with the same modest crimp.

Crimps can be deceiving. If you apply a hard crimp on a jacketed bullet, chances are the case will accordion and actually grip the bullet looser. If you shoot lead bullets, you can apply a hard crimp without losing neck tension but not with hard jacketed bullets. Text book-wise .... a sized case should provide about 90% of the neck tension on a jacketed bullet and the crimp should provide the last 10%. I've found accuracy was best (no squibs) with a modest crimp. I actually made a crimp check tool that mounted in a single stage press. It was made with a Lee bullet seating die with a factory hammer spring from a Blackhawk installed in the cap of the die. A properly crimped bullet would not move when this tool was used. If I applied a lighter crimp or a heavier crimp, the bullet would seat deeper when the tool applied 45 lbs of pressure on the bullet nose. The reason why I brought this up was because many people get poor results with these powders and think it's the powder's fault when indeed it was a heavy crimp that caused the case to accordion slightly and loose its grip on the bullet. Point being, crimps are more important with slow burning powders because it allows better ignition to take place.

I do not recommend using bullets lighter than 125gr with these two powders. This can cause excessive top strap and forcing cone flame cutting. Also, accuracy with these light bullets using W-296 or H-110 is grim.
 

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To put 296 into context, for 30/30 the recomended load for 748 is 34.5gr for a 150gr bullet, for 296 the recomended load is 18gr for a 110gr bullet. This out of Winchesters own powder booklet! I've done both with no problems. So you shouldn't have too much of a problem with start loads in 357 mag.
But as has been said, if you're loading light bullets like 110gr, use a heavy crimp! I didn't one time and had a LOT of un-burned powder coming out of the barrel! HTH
 

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mini1430, There is an attribute all smokeless gun powders have called "burn rate". W-296 was formulated for magnum revolver loads and 410 shotgun loads where a slow burning powder works the best. Rifle powder such as W-748 has a much slower burn rate than W-296 so W-748 takes a considerably higher charge weight to develop the optimum velocity without exceeding max chamber pressure limits. Your 30-30 W-296 load would be comparable to using a fast burning powder, such as bullseye in a magnum revolver load.

All powders tend to take on their own attributes and using W-296 powder in a bottle neck rifle cartridge has no bearing on using the same powder in a straight wall case.
 

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mini1430, There is an attribute all smokeless gun powders have called "burn rate". W-296 was formulated for magnum revolver loads and 410 shotgun loads where a slow burning powder works the best. Rifle powder such as W-748 has a much slower burn rate than W-296 so W-748 takes a considerably higher charge weight to develop the optimum velocity without exceeding max chamber pressure limits. Your 30-30 W-296 load would be comparable to using a fast burning powder, such as bullseye in a magnum revolver load.

All powders tend to take on their own attributes and using W-296 powder in a bottle neck rifle cartridge has no bearing on using the same powder in a straight wall case.
My use of using a 30/30 with that load of 296 as an example was to show that 296 is NOT all that hard to ignite and is not position sensitive. Granted 30/30 uses large rifle primers, but using only 18.0gr of 296 with a 110gr bullet, there is an awful lot of space leftover and it will NOT damage the rifle, I'VE FIRED THAT ROUND OUT OF MY WIN 94 WITH NO PROBLEMS! HTH
 

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When was this .30-30 296 load developed?
 

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H110 is not just nearly the same as 296 as some still believe but are really exactly the same with all the new batches being made. Not so with the older lots.
 

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H110 is not just nearly the same as 296 as some still believe but are really exactly the same with all the new batches being made. Not so with the older lots.
Just great, I worked up loads for my 30 carbine for each, about 30 YEARS ago, 13gr H110 and 14gr 296 for 110gr bullets to the same point of aim, and have been going by that for each powder! And now you're saying I can load 14gr for both? DANG!
 

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You might research some of the recent 296/110 warnings.
 
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