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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Loaded some 2400 behind a hornady 240 XTP in my 4 5/8" SBH and wow :eek: The flame ball was tremendous. My Chronograph was only reading 1275fps using 19.5 grns of 2400 and a heavy crimp. I think I need to switch to a little faster burning powder for the short barrel gun.

I also shot some factory Federal 240 JHP maroon box from walmart and they chronographed 1350 with literally no muzzle flash.
 

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BobinIL, If you think 2400 puts out a flame, you should try H-110 or W-296. From a 6" revolver, a 3 foot fire plume is quite normal. BTW, muzzle flash is more over rated than sex .... in daylight where nearly all shots are fired, it is a non-issue. At night, all you have to do is learn how to blink your eyes when you pull the trigger and you will never have a night blindness problem.

I use H-110/W-296 in all my magnum loads and never have a problem even at night. Fact is, I like that nasty fire plume ... if I don't hit the bad guy, I'll at least set his hair on fire.
 

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Besides that, nothing you hit'll know the difference between 1275 and 1350 FPS. And a faster burning powder might, but likely won't increase FPS.

I use 2400 for the lighter bullets (250 gr. and under) and H110/W296 for the heavyweights.
 

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I load .357 and have burned a bunch of 2400. I've bought some 300MP and man does it flash and roar! Not real thrilled about that but seems accuarate. Good clean up afterwords. My next test will be how well it does in the rifle('92). Hoping for good results at 75 to 100 yds.
Each cartridge is different not sure how well it would burn in the .44 magnum.
 

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FWIW; Muzzle flash isn't necessarily from "unburnt powder" in a short barrel. Most occurs when hot gasses are reignited when they get oxygen rich air. In a barrel pressure will rise as long as the powder is burning, called the pressure peak, and this can stop (all powder burned) even before the bullet leaves the case. Powder is consumed before bullet exits the barrel. So, it's not unburned powder from a short barrel that causes muzzle flash.

Some info on muzzle flash; Muzzle Flash

lowegan, correct me if I'm too far out in left field...
 

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Yup, H110 in .44MAG provides a very rewarding red muzzle flash, very rewarding.

Haven't been able to be 'rewarded' in 357Mag yet. H110 doesn't seem to be the ticket. Maybe 4895?
 

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Not to steal the thread, but what do you folks think of 15 grains of the same powder behind a Lee 310 grain, gas checked bullet. I don't know how many of those rounds I've loaded but it was a bunch and I've never had the chance to fire them. I take it that out of my Alaskan I may see a fireball as well, but how about in a longer barreled Super Redhawk? Smithy.
 

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mikld, Perhaps you were thinking about peak chamber pressure, which does indeed happen in the first few tenths of an inch of bullet travel ... however, powder takes a lot longer to totally burn up. Just for grins, I fired up QuickLOAD and took a look at some popular powders in a 357 Mag. Other magnum cartridges follow a similar pattern. All listed loads are under the SAAMI max of 35k psi. I used 140 gr bullet max loads from a Speer #14 manual then plotted bullet travel versus % of burn. Here's the results in order of fastest to slowest burn rate:

W-231, 7.1 gr, 95% powder burn @ .85" of bullet travel; 100% burn @ 1.49" of bullet travel. Velocity with a 4 5/8" barrel = 1133 fps, minimal muzzle flash

Unique, 8.0 gr, 95% powder burn @ 1.3" of bullet travel; 100% burn @ 2.5" of bullet travel. Velocity with a 4 5/8" barrel = 1233 fps, minimal muzzle flash.

Power Pistol, 9.5 gr, 95% powder burn @ 4.4" of bullet travel; 100% burn @ 13.9" of bullet travel. Velocity with a 4 5/8" barrel = 1265 fps, modest muzzle flash.

2400, 15.1 gr, 95% powder burn @ 18.6" of bullet travel; 100% burn off the charts. Velocity with a 4 5/8" barrel = 1398 fps, heavy muzzle flash.

W-296, 18.0 gr, 95% powder burn @ 23.9" of bullet travel; 100% burn off the charts. Velocity with a 4 5/8" barrel = 1326 fps, very heavy muzzle flash.

As you can see, any powder slower than Power Pistol is going to create a notable muzzle flash ... the slower the powder burns, the greater the flash. Also with slower burning powder, velocity continues to increase considerably with longer barrels whereas with faster burning powders, velocity increase is a token amount.
 

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The above respondents share good dope. Important to ACCEPT a REDUCTION in velocity when switching from a slow powder to a medium propellant. Fast powder, such as 231, begins to spike quickly as charge weights increase, and must be removed from consideration for upper velocity loads.

Accuracy should be a determining component of bullet and powder selection.

Factories use propellants with flash suppressants, which to my knowledge are unavailable in canister powders. For this reason reloads tend to exhibit greater flash.

Don't walk the plank loading fast powder with a coal shovel; the top strap may take off traveling as fast as the bullet. When in doubt, call the ballistics folk at the bullet and powder manufacturers.
David Bradshaw
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info Lowegan. I am a believer that a little faster burning powder in a short barrel is better. I will save the H110 and AA#9 for the 7.5" barrel. I am liking Longshot in my 4.5/8 barrel. A 240grn bullet traveling 1250 fps is the perfect 44 mag load for me. Easy to shoot and will take any medium sized game at reasonable distances.
 

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You want to see muzzle flask. Load up a Ruger 480 with H110 behind a 325 Lead bullet. I gutted a pistol rest with the flash!
 

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At night, all you have to do is learn how to blink your eyes when you pull the trigger and you will never have a night blindness problem.
:D:D:D

I think the "Big Flash" winner is Blue Dot and light bullets.

I once had a tough time locating a buddy with a downed deer. It was "pre GPS era, and I couldn't figure out where he was. I pulled out my M19 with a 2.5" barrel, and touched off a locator round. It was near dusk, and my friend was on a hillside across the valley a good half mile away. He thought the US had been nuked from the flash.

I'll give the blink a try. Do they call that flinching, by any chance?
 

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I got a 30 carbine Old Model Blackhawk.....load that baby up with 110 grain ball projectile and a fat load of 2400....Not to much recoil but the most wicked flash and boom I can think of....I've got a 4 5/8" Blackhawk 44 mag that I hesitate to load big because of the arthritis but I've heard the flash off the 30 carbine in a Blackhawk is like nothing else..I'd believe it.
 

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I've been switching back and forth between H110 & 2400 with both 357 & 454, i've seem to have better grouping with 2400 in my 357, althought the muzzle flash is blinding. I'm kicking the idea around of trying out Enforcer just for drill.
 

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TMan51,
I'll give the blink a try. Do they call that flinching, by any chance?
Nope ... it's intentional.

Short story ... many years ago I attended a night shoot class with DOJ. The instructor had taped 99 cent Radio Shack 2" speakers on the bullseye of a target at 7 yards. The speakers were wired to a transistor radio playing music and located away from the target. One at a time, each student went to the firing line (dark as the inside of a cow) and fired one shot from his 45 ACP 1911 at the "sound".

After the shootout with the speakers, we critiqued the course of fire. All 8 student got within a few inches of the speaker and one guy actually hit the speaker. We all found this amazing ... in fact some guys shot better at the sound where sights were invisible than they did in daylight using sights (maybe that was me). Even though a 1911 produces very little muzzle flash compared to a magnum revolver, all of us were "night blinded" and saw spots for several minutes ... just like having a camera flash hit your eyes.

The next course of fire was also one shooter at a time but firing 5 rounds at 7 yards from a 1911. The target was slightly illuminated ... just enough where you could see it but not enough where you could see your sights. This time the instructor told us to aim then just at the moment we pulled the trigger, blink your eyes. It worked like a champ ... no night blindness and we all hit the target. Point is... you need your eyes to aim but you don't need them open when the trigger is pulled.

Years later, I joined some cop friends at a landfill (city dump) to shoot rats at night using our car headlights. I remembered the eye blink technique only this time we were shooting 357 Mags with a healthy dose of W-296. Wow! It looked like a flame thrower when someone fired. The eye blink trick worked well but because the flash lasts so much longer, you had to do a "long" blink. It must have been effective because we killed a bunch of rats that night and never saw flash spots. I haven't fired at night since but if a self defense situation occurs, I hope I remember to blink.
 

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It must have been effective because we killed a bunch of rats that night and never saw flash spots. I haven't fired at night since but if a self defense situation occurs, I hope I remember to blink.
Alas, I suspect I lack the time and talent to perfect the technique.

On the upside, I have three 870's, and that should get me through the tough times. :) You blink to keep the splatter out of your eyes.
 

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44 mag

:)Don't ya just love those big bangs and tremendous muzzle blasts and flashes ?? !! Fun stuff :D
 

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Don't ya just love those big bangs and tremendous muzzle blasts and flashes ?? !! Fun stuff
My son and I took out my entire collection of arms (all stainless, all revolvers, no barrel longer than 3"), and had and incredible blast firing my 44 Alaskan that's also Mag-Na-Ported. And you're right: Big bangs and tremendous muzzle blasts and flashes!! That and just plain fun!! Smithy.
 
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