Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

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COSteve
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Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by COSteve »

I had a number of the loads that are either new tweaks or new powders that I'd developed for 5 of my leverguns August 2017 but hadn't chrono'd yet. So yesterday I packed up my stuff and went out to chrono my new and/or tweaked loads. Weather was 87 deg and sunny at our range elevation of 6,100ft above sea level.

When I got my Rossis NIB back in 2009, I started using H110 and 158grn Zero bullets they worked well for me but was convinced to try Lil'Gun after reading some data showing that Lil'Gun produces almost as much velocity in pistols but with significantly lower peak pressure (H110: 40,700cup vs Lil'Gun: 25,800cup). As my brass was showing signs of pressure, I decided that Lil'Gun was the way to go to save wear and tear on my brass. The results were at first sort of surprising but in retrospect, not so much.

I used Hodgdon Max Load of H110, 16.7grn with my 158grn bullet (and even some Elmer Keith level 17.7grn load data for some testing :D) and got good velocity in both my leverguns. However, when I changed to a full load of Lil'Gun where I found a good accuracy node, I noticed that the recoil felt more stout using Lil'Gun, much like my Elmer Keith level loads, even though my brass showed no signs of over pressure at all. I suspected that the velocity data might be a bit higher than the Hodgdon Max Loads with H110 in my long barrels but I was surprised at the results below.

158grn 357mag Cartridge:
20" Rossi Carbine - H110 powder 16.7grn (Hodgdon near Max - 40,700cup) produced 1,789fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 24
20" Rossi Carbine - H110 powder 17.7grn (Elmer Keith - 45,000cup est.) produced 1,941fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 27
20" Rossi Carbine - Lil'Gun powder 18.0grn (Hodgdon Max - 25,800cup) produced 1,951fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 19

24" Rossi Rifle - H110 powder 16.7grn (Hodgdon near Max - 40,700cup) produced 1,822fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 27
24" Rossi Rifle - H110 powder 17.7grn (Elmer Keith - 45,000cup est.) produced 1,976fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 31
24" Rossi Rifle - Lil'Gun powder 18.0grn (Hodgdon Max - 25,800cup) produced 2,005fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 23

Yes, the Hodgdon Max Load of Lil'Gun produced higher velocities (162fps in my carbine and 183fps in my rifle) at dramatically lower peak pressures than with H110. They were even higher than the 'Elmer Keith' loads in both my carbine and rifle! All without any signs at all that my brass was over stressed. In addition, my SDs were lower as well (I think due to the higher case density of the Lil'Gun charges). I couldn't be happier with the outcome and I'd recommend that anyone try Lil'Gun in their leverguns.

My next loads up were my 255grn 45 Colt loads for my Uberti leverguns. As they both have the weaker toggle link design, I use Unique powder at under 14,000psi max level loads to ensure I don't over stress the actions. I was pleased with these results as the Alliant Manual shows max charges for 255grn lead at 9.5grns but I found a node that shot accurately at 9.1 in the 24" so I used that one.

255grn 45 Colt Cartridge:
19" Uberti 1866 Carbine - 255grn Elmer Keith Style Lead - Unique powder 9.1grn produced 1,159fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 9
19" Uberti 1866 Carbine - 255grn X-Treme Plated - Unique powder 9.1grn produced 1,162fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 11

24" Uberti 1873 Rifle - 255grn Elmer Keith Style Lead - Unique powder 9.1grn produced 1,181fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 14
24" Uberti 1873 Rifle - 255grn X-Treme Plated - Unique powder 9.1grn produced 1,209fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 10

Next up was my Mossberg 464 30-30. I wanted some cheaper, lower velocity, lower recoil, plinking loads that my wife would enjoy shooting. I developed a load with X-Treme's 150grn plated bullets and Winchester 760 powder that turned out to be decently accurate even out at 250yds. I was shooting for around 2,000fps to lower the recoil impulse for my wife and settled on a 35.9grn load.

150grn 30-30 Cartridge:
20" Mossber 464 Carbine - 150grn X-Treme Plated - Win760 powder 35.9grn produced 2,074fps muzzle velocity (10 shot average) with an SD of 19

All in all, a good day's worth of chrono testing (however, I still have my Win 88 and Savage 99 to test) and as always when shooting my levers, a great day at the range.
Steve

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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by ollogger »

Thank you Steve!


I like Lil Gun in my 45 & 357 carbines, but don't use it in my hand guns for plinking, to much blast & recoil for me any more



ollogger
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by COSteve »

ollogger wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:05 am
Thank you Steve!

I like Lil Gun in my 45 & 357 carbines, but don't use it in my hand guns for plinking, to much blast & recoil for me any more
ollogger
You got that right!! As I load them with 158grn and 255grn bullets respectively, I use a light charge of Unique or even TiteGroup in my SA Cavalry 357mag and SA Army 45 Colt. I'm looking for mid to high 6XXfps in them just for fun. Not lookin' to blast holes in steel, just plink with them. At 71, I too am past, way past, that 'punish me with recoil' stage. :D
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by earlmck »

Good day at the range indeed Steve. And we're starting to have some nice weather for range testing around these parts too, though at about 3000' less elevation.

I bought a jug of Lil' gun several years ago and have used several pounds of it up, all in rifles of one sort or another. I get good results as it seems to be able to burn well in reduced loads better than you'd expect a ball powder to do and give more velocity than you'd expect from any given load. But after blowing a primer plumb out of my K-hornet with a Hodgdon suggested "starting load" I don't trust Hodgdon's pressure data for Lil' gun at all, at least with my lot of Lil' gun which seems to be a faster-burner than Hodgdon or QuickLoad would predict for my loads.

And QuickLoad doesn't seem to back up Hodgdon's miraculous-seeming pressure data either. I do like the Lil' gun, but I use it gingerly and keep an eye on what QuickLoad says about it. For example, my QL thinks your 18 grains with 158 gr bullet (I don't have the Zero bullet in my database so used Hornady's XTP FP) would be super compressed with a 1.59" COAL and give 47K psi with 1970 fps in 20" bbl. So obviously you got rather less pressure than this QL prediction but my experience has been not to trust Hodgdon's 28K claim either.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by crs »

Good report and thanks.

Reminds me of way back when; I hand loaded my 20 inch Douglas barrelled 1892 .357 with Elmer loads and PO Ackley loads.

I liked the PO load for 160 grain JSP with 26 grains of 2400 = 2135 fps. ; it packed a wallop.

My fave though was a load of my own pushing a 140 grain JSP bullet 2200 +fps. A flat shooter with great accuracy and tore big holes through deer. One doe shot by my wife had a 6 inch exit hole in the base of the neck! No need for a second shot.

Keep up the good work and good reporting; it benefits all shooters.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by GunnyMack »

Originally I bought lilgun for my hornet,bee and 410. Then I got my 41 mag Henry. It is now my go to powder for the 41. Dont remember the exact load but I was getting great velocity and 1 hole groups at 50 with Hornady, Speer and Nosler - all 210s.
Hmm, I gotta see if I can find data for my 25-20...
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by 765x53 »

earlmck wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:37 am
Good day at the range indeed Steve. And we're starting to have some nice weather for range testing around these parts too, though at about 3000' less elevation.

I bought a jug of Lil' gun several years ago and have used several pounds of it up, all in rifles of one sort or another. I get good results as it seems to be able to burn well in reduced loads better than you'd expect a ball powder to do and give more velocity than you'd expect from any given load. But after blowing a primer plumb out of my K-hornet with a Hodgdon suggested "starting load" I don't trust Hodgdon's pressure data for Lil' gun at all, at least with my lot of Lil' gun which seems to be a faster-burner than Hodgdon or QuickLoad would predict for my loads.

And QuickLoad doesn't seem to back up Hodgdon's miraculous-seeming pressure data either. I do like the Lil' gun, but I use it gingerly and keep an eye on what QuickLoad says about it. For example, my QL thinks your 18 grains with 158 gr bullet (I don't have the Zero bullet in my database so used Hornady's XTP FP) would be super compressed with a 1.59" COAL and give 47K psi with 1970 fps in 20" bbl. So obviously you got rather less pressure than this QL prediction but my experience has been not to trust Hodgdon's 28K claim either.
Several years ago an early lot of Lil 'gun was recalled. You might check your lot # with Hodgdon.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by COSteve »

Thanks for the information. I checked with Hodgdon and my lot is fine. In addition, I don't have anywhere near a compressed load in my Starline 357mag brass nor any sign of high pressure. I'm use to flat primers using just 16.5grns of H110, .2grns less than their max but with Lil'Gun the primers look nice and rounded, something I didn't expect. In addition, I've measured the fired brass at the base and I also don't get the swell I got with H110. I'm definitely not shooting a overly high pressure load, just a quick one. :D
Steve

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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by GunnyMack »

I forgot!
When I tried lilgun in my 28 ga I found it to be quite dirty. Probably need a bit more wad pressure.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by piller »

I have used L'iL Gun in my .480 with good results. The accuracy is better than with H110/Win 296. I do notice the barrel heats up faster with L'iL Gun. The primers do not flatten as much as they do with H110. I also use IMR 4227 for the .480 to get lower velocity and less kick in the pistol and higher velocity in the rifle. It burns a little slower, and is a little dirtier in the pistol. A good crimp makes a big difference in group size for me with IMR4227.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by earlmck »

765x53 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:28 pm
Several years ago an early lot of Lil 'gun was recalled. You might check your lot # with Hodgdon.
I hadn't heard that -- thanks for the info: I'll bet I've got a half-used jug of that recall stuff. So ignore anything I have said about Lil' gun.

And 18 grains of my stuff in a Starline case would definitely be a compressed load. Looks like it would fit, but it would be somewhat compressed.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by mickbr »

Nice load data. So anyone know what the safe maximum pressures are for the rossi 1892?
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by ethang »

Steve, I am using the exact same Lil'gun loads in my 20 Rossi and my velocity results mirror yours. 17.7-18 grains and it shoots great. I have only tried a couple loads with 296 but did notice a difference in the case swell at the base with these compared to the Lil'gun loads. Don't know if it's worth continuing with the 296 since Lil'gun shoots so well.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by earlmck »

mickbr wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:20 am
Nice load data. So anyone know what the safe maximum pressures are for the rossi 1892?
Rossi offers the rifle chambered for 454 Casull which is a 65k psi cartridge. So the rifle is a good platform for load testing.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by COSteve »

ethang wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:51 am
Steve, I am using the exact same Lil'gun loads in my 20 Rossi and my velocity results mirror yours. 17.7-18 grains and it shoots great. I have only tried a couple loads with 296 but did notice a difference in the case swell at the base with these compared to the Lil'gun loads. Don't know if it's worth continuing with the 296 since Lil'gun shoots so well.
As I said in the opening, I used H110 (same as 296) for 8 years and I got fed up with the brass stress with loads that produced much lower velocities. I got tired of blown primers and split cases so I gave away my last few pounds of my last 8 pound keg and bought a keg of Lil'Gun. It works great and my brass loves it. What can I say.

And yes, it appears that the pressure is higher than Hodgdon's manual predicts but 1) my Rossis can take it just fine, and 2) I can load up a new load with a lower charge weight if I want some plinking loads. BTW, wonder what a full load of Lil'Gun would be like under a 125grn bullet! :shock: :o :lol:
Steve

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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by crs »

COSteve,
Have you personally measured the chamber pressure of your LilGun loads?
If so, do you have pressure curve data for those loads?

If not, can you refer me to an article or report where this has been done?
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by COSteve »

earlmck wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:37 am
I don't trust Hodgdon's pressure data for Lil' gun at all, at least with my lot of Lil' gun which seems to be a faster-burner than Hodgdon or QuickLoad would predict for my loads.

And QuickLoad doesn't seem to back up Hodgdon's miraculous-seeming pressure data either. I do like the Lil' gun, but I use it gingerly and keep an eye on what QuickLoad says about it. For example, my QL thinks your 18 grains with 158 gr bullet (I don't have the Zero bullet in my database so used Hornady's XTP FP) would be super compressed with a 1.59" COAL and give 47K psi with 1970 fps in 20" bbl. So obviously you got rather less pressure than this QL prediction but my experience has been not to trust Hodgdon's 28K claim either.
Been reading up on Lil'Gun and some people's experiences. It seems that Hodgdon's readings could be low for Lil'Gun, how low is an open question. There are a number of threads who wonder. I noticed that the recoil with Lil'Gun in my Rossis is higher than with H110, however, with the over 10% velocity increase, I would expect that. How much may be an open question.

As to Quickload's predictions, a quick search of the web turned up hundreds of hits about Quickload's accuracy with bottleneck calibers but it's problems with straight walled cartridges. Some threads say that the predicted data for straight walled calibers is 'pure nonsense' with predictions of 9mm with Power Pistol exceeding 1,000,000psi. Further, there is a reference to a discussion by the developer of Quickload where he says that, while it's extremely accurate with bottleneck cartridges, it definitely has issues with straight walled cartridges.

He acknowledged that some pressure and velocity predictions for straight walled cartridges are totally unreasonable. He stated that Quickload is best used with bottleneck cartridges in the 60,000psi range and that it gets less effective as the pressure drops. As Hodgdon's printed max pressure for the 158grn 357mag is 25,800cup, by the developer's own words, Quickload would not be very accurate in it's predictions.

Further, he said that some powders have fairly large errors in the bulk density department and there is no good way to adjust this. The density parameter in the powder window is NOT the bulk density. So, all in all I'll stay with the measured numbers from Hodgdon. They're the one's who have the 'skin in the game' on the accuracy of their data and liability if people rely on it and it causes damage or injury.

Lastly, as I said above, I inspected the fired brass and found little signs of pressure. No blown primers as was an issue every once in a while on hot days with H110, not extremely flattened primers which was standard with H110, and no signs of stressed brass which is standard with H110. Make of this what you will. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and responsible for their own decisions.
crs wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:00 pm
COSteve,
Have you personally measured the chamber pressure of your LilGun loads? If so, do you have pressure curve data for those loads? If not, can you refer me to an article or report where this has been done?
Not done any pressure testing on any loads in all my years handloading as I don't have any equipment to do it. The only pressure data I have is Hodgdon's. As they are the ones who are the manufacturer of the product and liable for damages from misinformation, I'll defer to them.
Steve

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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Great information Steve. Thank you.

I got married earlier this year and moved. I cannot find that dang chronograph anywhere!
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by rossim92 »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:38 pm
Great information Steve. Thank you.

I got married earlier this year and moved. I cannot find that dang chronograph anywhere!
You look in the bedroom? load testing in there? :oops:
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

[/quote]

You look in the bedroom? load testing in there? :oops:
[/quote]

Lol. Yeah, we aren’t teenagers.
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Re: Finally Got Around to Chronoing My New Loads

Post by KWK »

COSteve wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:27 am
He acknowledged that some pressure and velocity predictions for straight walled cartridges are totally unreasonable. He stated that Quickload is best used with bottleneck cartridges in the 60,000psi range and that it gets less effective as the pressure drops.
The early version of QL had a nice write up of the calculations, done by McPherson. There's an equation used which is optimized for higher pressures. Things start to fall apart below 30,000 with most of the powders in the data base. It's a complete cr*p shoot with some powders, such as Trail Boss. If you're relating pressure to fps, it holds up better, but predicting charge weight is hopeless with some powders. Not all straight wall cases work out so badly in QL. There's a fudge factor to account for the initial acceleration of the front of the charge, and this varies with the case but doesn't always fix the problem.
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