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Old 05-03-2006, 07:25   #1
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Rifle powder vs handgun powder

O.K., here`s a stupid one: Can rifle powder be used in handgun loads?
I know that it`s possible to use handgun powder for some reduced rifle loads....
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Old 05-03-2006, 07:43   #2
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Don't think so......

I think its a good idea to keep shotgun/rifle/handgun/black powder seperate..... then again I have this attachment to my fingers.

- Dave
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Old 05-03-2006, 08:00   #3
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Originally Posted by ShootinDave
I think its a good idea to keep shotgun/rifle/handgun/black powder seperate.....
- Dave
That`s what I thought...until I`ve read about these reduced loads for the .308 using Blue Dot pistol powder....but I won`t mess around with rifle powder in handgun loads , unless I get precise data from a reliable source.
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:44   #4
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There maybe specific info on T/C Conter loads that may use handgun powders for a rifle cartridge but I have not loading for my T/C. I think most have to do with chamber pressure/barrel length/bullet weight to know the propper powder usuage.

-tri
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Old 05-03-2006, 17:38   #5
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Originally Posted by tri70
There maybe specific info on T/C Conter loads that may use handgun powders for a rifle cartridge but I have not loading for my T/C. I think most have to do with chamber pressure/barrel length/bullet weight to know the propper powder usuage.

-tri
The Lyman 48th has a lot of different rifle calibers listed with the use of Unique and other pistol/shotgun powders. IMR and others have data for powders like SR 4759 and 4227 (shotgun/handgun) in rifle calibers. There is also some data out there with pistols using rifle powders. IMR for instance has rifle powder data for 357 harrett and 30 Harrett and the 7mm BR Rem. I think any time you find rifle powder in a handgun cartridge the caliber will be a bit out of the ordinary.


BTW plinky, how are you coming with your Blue Dot research?



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Old 05-04-2006, 02:41   #6
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In a nutshell it's case capacity, pressure limit and bullet weight that determine the approperate range of powder burning speeds. In some areas there will be a overlap between pistol and shotgun and rifle cartridges
IE: while a "rifle" cartridge like the 22 Hornet might safely share it's powders with a handgun like the 357Mag, it's unlikly that powders that fit the bill for a 416Weatherby will find much usage in a small handgun, just as a 25ACP powder wouldn't work in the 416Wby.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:37   #7
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My favorite .45 ACP load uses Hodgdon TiteGroup shotgun powder. As long as you have a reliable source of load data and use proper safety for new loads why not? I'm more than a little fond of all my pinky fingers too, also!!!
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:49   #8
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Thank you guys!

Steve: I`ve ordered small batches (1lb containers) of different powders from powder valley (including Blue Dot), since the local store did not have it in stock. I guess I`m about as hooked as you if it comes to trying different loads.

Rutro, I`m just as fond of mine, that`s why I`m asking a lot of stupid questions.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:28   #9
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If you want to keep all your digits, including possibly the family jewels, be very careful about using rifle powders in handgun cartridges and pistol powders in rifle cartidges. A lot of research is in order if you want to attempt that. Having said that, 4227 in both it's variations is small case rifle powder and a larger case pistol powder. It depends on the powder and its application. I have quite successfully used Blue Dot in my 41 mag and 10mm as well as my .223 and .338 mag. Doing so is definitely not for the inexperienced reloader and no, I am not giving out any of my loads. I will tell you this, with Blue Dot, I load the .223 down to about 22 Hornet velocities.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:54   #10
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If you look at a burn rate chart, you will see that pitol/shotgun powders occupy the fast end, rifle powders from the middle back, and magnum rifles towards the rear.
Reason is, most pistols don't have 24" (or longer) barrels. Pistols usually have barrels from 2" to 10".
Shorter barrels need fast powder so that the burning is done or near done by the time the bullet reaches the muzzle.
Shotguns use a pistol style powder(burn-rate-wise), in order to minimize pressure spikes. Shotguns generate most of their pressure near the chamber, after that, you want it to blled off rapidly, due to shotguns having a thinner wall thickness in the barrel, compared to a rifle. Also, there is no rifling, so friction is reduced, somewhat.
Rifles have a long, rifled barrel, and pressure must build up quickly, yet be maintained as the bullet travels down the barrel. This is the only way to get good velocities out of a rifle.
Magnums, usually having a greatly overbored cartridge, don't want that huge initial pressure spike, as the case holds alot of powder. Rather, you want it to build smoothly, and take advantage of all that case volume.
Small rifle calibers(22hornet, 222rem, etc) can use pistol powders effectively, due to the fact of their small case capacity. They simply can't hold enough of a slower burning powder to get decent velocity.
Smokeless powders burn faster w/ higher pressure, slower(and dirtier) under lower pressure. True black powder burns at the same rate, whether in a barrel, behind a bullet, or spread out on the floor.
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Old 05-04-2006, 14:49   #11
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Originally Posted by johk01
If you want to keep all your digits, including possibly the family jewels, be very careful about using rifle powders in handgun cartridges and pistol powders in rifle cartidges. A lot of research is in order if you want to attempt that. Having said that, 4227 in both it's variations is small case rifle powder and a larger case pistol powder. It depends on the powder and its application. I have quite successfully used Blue Dot in my 41 mag and 10mm as well as my .223 and .338 mag. Doing so is definitely not for the inexperienced reloader and no, I am not giving out any of my loads. I will tell you this, with Blue Dot, I load the .223 down to about 22 Hornet velocities.
I have used Blue Dot in my 7mm-08, 7.62x39 and 30-06. You are correct when you say "it is not for the inexperienced". Special care must be taken when using a powder such as Blue Dot that fills the case less than half way. One mistake or lack of concentration and a double charge may occur. A double charge of Blue Dot can be deadly. So, for all you handloaders out there that are going to attempt the Blue Dot thing, BE CAREFUL and MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE A DOUBLE CHARGE BEFORE YOU SEAT THE BULLET.

When I load with Blue Dot, I weigh each and every LOADED round before it goes into the box. They should all be within a grain or two depending on case size. This is the last chance to save my ass and my face. I also do not through my Blue Dot. I weigh each and every charge.

Be Safe everyone.
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Old 05-04-2006, 15:20   #12
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Steve-
Have you noticed a velocity difference or otherwise when using your blue dot reduced load in terms of powder position in the case?
I was thinking of working up some 200 grn. cast loads for .303 brit, using either unique or SR4759.
Not looking for jacketed bullet velocities, but looking to save a little $ by casting my own, and perhaps a bit more in powder costs.
Also, I was thinking there may be accuracy to find in using a loooong lead bullet.
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Old 05-04-2006, 20:05   #13
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Originally Posted by 2rangers
Steve-
Have you noticed a velocity difference or otherwise when using your blue dot reduced load in terms of powder position in the case?
I was thinking of working up some 200 grn. cast loads for .303 brit, using either unique or SR4759.
Not looking for jacketed bullet velocities, but looking to save a little $ by casting my own, and perhaps a bit more in powder costs.
Also, I was thinking there may be accuracy to find in using a loooong lead bullet.
I thought I posted a reply, I musta screwed up. No, In all of my Blue Dot testing I did not find any diff in powder position. Blue Dot is not position sensitive. I have quite a bit of Blue Dot data, but, nothing in 303. I will do some research and see if I can help you out. The thing that makes Blue Dot special is accuracy. Myself and many others that use Blue Dot are amazed at the accuracy of these light loads. In my 7mm-08 and 30-06 Blue Dot will consistantly punch dime sized holes at 100 yards. If you recall I posted some targets in last years shooting contest with Blue Dot loads. Accurate stuff.
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Old 05-05-2006, 05:11   #14
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2Rangers,

Here is a copy of the reply I received from Seafire (Mr Blue Dot) in regards to the 303 Britt.


Steve,

I have some load data I did in the 30/40 Krag which would be the same thing...

PM me if you are interested in the results...

cheers
seafire


Ps.

I'd recommend SR 4759 tho in that case...It is pretty much my 'TOGOTO' powder in the Krag, and the 8mm Mauser...its accuracy is as good if not better than Blue Dot in those two cases....

More load data is around also for SR 4759.. I had to personally develop all of my load data on Blue Dot...


To All My Fellow AR comrades:
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:26   #15
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Steve-
I'm interested in what Mr. bluedot has as far as loading .30-40 Krag, as it is very similar to .303 brit. .303 brit is is capable of being loaded to 45,000 CUP; I think .30-40 is a little less, pressure -wise, so I should be safe. I'm only looking for about 1700-1800 fps, maybe less, depending on leading. I think I'm gonna try Lyman's 200 grn. cast bullet sized to .313" for this load.
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Old 05-05-2006, 15:12   #16
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If you PM me with your email address I will send you all of my Blue Dot data. This data is all from Seafire (Mr. Blue Dot). It does not contain the 30-40 Krage however. I have sent him a request for that data and I will send it to you as soon as I get it.


I hope I receive your PM. I have sent you several PMs in the past few weeks and you have not received them. If you send me a PM let me know by posting that here.

All of this data is in Microsoft Word, I hope that is not a problem.
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Old 05-06-2006, 13:02   #17
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Thanks!!!

Steve-
Just got your email, and man is there alot of info!! I'm pretty sure I can extrapolate some .303 brit load info from what you've given. And I think you're right about the sr 4759 powder. It looks to bulk up nicely in a case using a reduced charge, w/o fillers. I was never too fond of filler use anyways.
Thanks again. Now all I need to do is get a mold, handles, and a lubricator/sizer.
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Old 06-30-2006, 20:54   #18
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The reason people don't use rifle powder in pistol cartridges is not that it will blow up their pistol, it is that a case full of powder will give very low velocity and much residue in the barrel. It is like using 4831 powder (very slow) in a 30/30: a case full will only give a velocity of about 1795 fps whereas a lesser weight of Reloader 15 (a faster powder) will give 2230 fps (Modern Reloading by Richard Lee). Barrel length isn't a factor in what speed of powder to use, cartidge size is. A short barrel .243 gets maximum speed with the same powder as a long barrel .243 does.
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