2.5 gr Bullseye???

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2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:31 am

I've seen some references to old fixed powder measures being sold to BE shooters intended to throw 2.5 grains of Bullseye.

Now, I heard of 2.7 gr back when you still heard stories of people blowing up their revolvers using that load under a 148-gr wadcutter of either type.  And some people went with 2.8 gr of BE.

But I'd never heard of 2.5. Was that for a really light load with 158-gr SWCs or something???

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by spursnguns on Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:28 am

Back in the day; these lighter loads of Bullseye were not uncommon.  When light loads caused blown up cylinders it was because of a condition called "detonation"  This was prevented by keeping the powder up against the primer with a little wad of kapok, or similar material.  This practice was written about and promoted by Elmer Keith, among others.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by Rob Kovach on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:11 am

Is this "detonation" issue still a problem at those charge amounts in .38spl?

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by DeweyHales on Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:26 am

Another discussion

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by BE Mike on Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:07 am

spursnguns wrote:Back in the day; these lighter loads of Bullseye were not uncommon.  When light loads caused blown up cylinders it was because of a condition called "detonation"  This was prevented by keeping the powder up against the primer with a little wad of kapok, or similar material.  This practice was written about and promoted by Elmer Keith, among others.
The NRA and powder companies did a lot of tests back in the 70's and detonation from light charges of powder was never proven, yet the rumor still remains. I've fired several thousands of light loads in .38 SPL and .45 ACP over the years and witnessed many tens of thousands more and never had, nor seen this happen.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:43 pm

BE Mike wrote:
spursnguns wrote:Back in the day; these lighter loads of Bullseye were not uncommon.  When light loads caused blown up cylinders it was because of a condition called "detonation"  This was prevented by keeping the powder up against the primer with a little wad of kapok, or similar material.  This practice was written about and promoted by Elmer Keith, among others.
The NRA and powder companies did a lot of tests back in the 70's and detonation from light charges of powder was never proven, yet the rumor still remains. I've fired several thousands of light loads in .38 SPL and .45 ACP over the years and witnessed many tens of thousands more and never had, nor seen this happen.
I seem to remember that not even a triple-charge of BE could blow the typical modern S&W or Colt revolver in common use in the 1950s and 1960s.

Got tangled up in a minor internet argument over this years ago, in the light charge of slow powder in spacious rifle cartridges context. A smattering of knowledge about how many PSI it can take to blow a few types of steel, but NO ONE could tell me whether there was enough Joules (or US/Imperial measurement) of energy in those powder charges to produce the claimed "detonation" effect.

Even those who claimed to have a handle on the differences between propellant pressure waves and adiabatic shock fell silent at that simple request. I would have thought that anyone capable of running the numbers on the ideal gas formulas could have started with the chemistry and then reported back on the total potential energy load's results in producing metal-cracking effects.

So yeah, I remain skeptical about that.

Okay, so 2.5 BE was the lightest load in common-enough use with the flush-seated 148-gr wadcutters in .38 Special. That's only 7.4% down from 2.7.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:54 pm

Oh, if I remember correctly, the only powder company looking into the 2.7 gr Bullseye kB! phenomenon was Hercules. The discussion pretty much ended when the independent joint H.P. White Laboratories was unable to replicate the claimed blowup events. AFAIK, they were the source for the triple-charge won't blow a quality gun conclusion.

I may be mistaken on that, though. QuickLOAD puts a double charge (5.4 gr) of BE with a flush-loaded Hornady DEWC at 52,512 PSI (peizo), which would catch your attention but a single event shouldn't blow the gun and also shouldn't even stretch primer pockets.  A triple charge at 8.1 gr models out mathematically to 150,111 PSI, which shouldn't blow a rifle with a 3x safety margin but I guess would kill any revolver but a Casull or other modern Uber-Magnum.

I am also not sure that BE can be compressed in loading to 2/3 of its normal volume. A double charge of 2.7 BE = 5.4 gr is barely compressed (4.9%) and would not be noticed on seating.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by saleen322 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:00 pm

While I never heard of a too light charge of a fast powder like Bullseye blowing up any gun, I did hear warnings about too light of a charge of slow burning powders being dangerous. In fact, I think I read somewhere where Winchester only gave one charge weight of 296 with a given bullet for some rounds and added a warning not to reduce the charge. That always struck me as odd in that H110 is about the same thing as 296 and it would have starting loads and max loads. The max load with H110 was the same (or nearly the same) as the recommended 296 load.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by Jack H on Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:06 pm

The detonation thing with slow burning powders is real.  Powders like H110, 4831.  It's all about the powder cake surface area exposed to the primer flash.  With slow powders you do not want too much ignited at one time.  You want the cake to burn through end on not sideways

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by Rob Kovach on Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:34 pm

So is there anything I need to worry about using Bullseye or WST?

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by BE Mike on Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:56 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:So is there anything I need to worry about using Bullseye or WST?
The short answer is no.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by DeweyHales on Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:16 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:So is there anything I need to worry about using Bullseye or WST?
Rob,  

Keep using proper reloading techniques, and you should have no additional worries.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by tenx9 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:58 am

I've used 2.6gr of bullseye with a 148 for about 25 years  and never a problem in my model 10. I had friends who loaded lower than that and never a problem. If the charge is too light it won't stabilize the bullet, but I never heard of pistols blowing up because of light charges with Bullseye. Just make sure you don't accidently double charge it.......then Bullseye becomes a problem

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:07 pm

Not long after Winchester introduced 296, my Dad told me he was happy about that because he had a prior great load with 295 before it was discontinued. He could find no real difference in 296 other than maybe the charge weights were not quite identical. Maybe.

His report on 295 was people who downloaded it AND didn't use Magnum primers could get pfizzles and a bullet stuck a few inches down the bore in really, really cold (like deer hunting season in the northern tier states) weather.

I've heard similar, and more recent reports, on W-W 296. Sure makes a great BANG!!! in .357, and lights up everything downrange so you know where it *was* for your follow-up shots if it's dark.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by james r chapman on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:25 pm

what the masters shot, back when...

2.5 was the SL load for several, but, generally the 2.7 was the accepted standard in the "last century", as it still would be now...

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by LongSlide on Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:31 am

Jack H wrote:The detonation thing with slow burning powders is real.  Powders like H110, 4831.  It's all about the powder cake surface area exposed to the primer flash.  With slow powders you do not want too much ignited at one time.  You want the cake to burn through end on not sideways
What's your source for this?

Over the last several years I've tried to find a reputable source validating this phenomenon with dozens of hours looking.  But I've come up with nothing other than anecdotal stories long on belief and short on fact which, quite frankly, would be better explained by double charges and obstructed bores.  Seems human nature is that people can't accept the possibility that they screwed up and accept the responsibility.  I'm shaving with Occam's razor on this one.

I had heard this phenomenon originated with SASS in revolvers with large case capacity and light loads -- hardly the spot for slow powders but a likely place for squibs. Shocked    Now, if they were using black powder, that might be different, but all the so called detonation stories I've read have been smokeless powders.

I remain skeptical until either it happens to me or some hard facts show up.  Right now, nada.....

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by BE Mike on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:34 pm

GrumpyOldMan wrote:
BE Mike wrote:
spursnguns wrote:Back in the day; these lighter loads of Bullseye were not uncommon.  When light loads caused blown up cylinders it was because of a condition called "detonation"  This was prevented by keeping the powder up against the primer with a little wad of kapok, or similar material.  This practice was written about and promoted by Elmer Keith, among others.
The NRA and powder companies did a lot of tests back in the 70's and detonation from light charges of powder was never proven, yet the rumor still remains. I've fired several thousands of light loads in .38 SPL and .45 ACP over the years and witnessed many tens of thousands more and never had, nor seen this happen.
I seem to remember that not even a triple-charge of BE could blow the typical modern S&W or Colt revolver in common use in the 1950s and 1960s.

Got tangled up in a minor internet argument over this years ago, in the light charge of slow powder in spacious rifle cartridges context. A smattering of knowledge about how many PSI it can take to blow a few types of steel, but NO ONE could tell me whether there was enough Joules (or US/Imperial measurement) of energy in those powder charges to produce the claimed "detonation" effect.

Even those who claimed to have a handle on the differences between propellant pressure waves and adiabatic shock fell silent at that simple request. I would have thought that anyone capable of running the numbers on the ideal gas formulas could have started with the chemistry and then reported back on the total potential energy load's results in producing metal-cracking effects.

So yeah, I remain skeptical about that.

Okay, so 2.5 BE was the lightest load in common-enough use with the flush-seated 148-gr wadcutters in .38 Special. That's only 7.4% down from 2.7. 

I'm familiar with two revolvers ruined by over-charges. One was a Taurus .38 SPL and the other was a Colt Single-Action Army.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by Fritz Ficke on Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:47 pm

james r chapman wrote:what the masters shot, back when...

2.5 was the SL load for several, but, generally the 2.7 was the accepted standard in the "last century", as it still would be now...
This is right on the money as I remember, 2.5 grains of Bulls eye and a 148 grain full wad cutter bullet was THE load during the revolver reign on center fire. Then when the S&W model 52 came on, for reliable  functioning the charge was upped to 2.7 grains.
I never heard the term "detonation" before when referring to ammunition. I have heard about people worrying about using such a small amount of powder in the .38 special case since it was designed for a large volume of black powder original, and the fear was that the powder was spread along the case when held to shoot and the primer would fire over all of it, igniting it all at once. Well that is what is suppose to happen any way and the powder burns at its rate period.  How hard you seat the bullet has more affect on the burn rate than the case size and where the powder is. Any ways I had to chronograph a bunch out of curiosity and could never find a difference by how you held the gun, powder against the bullet, along the case, or against the primer.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:52 am

Fritz Ficke wrote:
james r chapman wrote:what the masters shot, back when...

2.5 was the SL load for several, but, generally the 2.7 was the accepted standard in the "last century", as it still would be now...
This is right on the money as I remember, 2.5 grains of Bulls eye and a 148 grain full wad cutter bullet was THE load during the revolver reign on center fire. Then when the S&W model 52 came on, for reliable  functioning the charge was upped to 2.7 grains.
I never heard the term "detonation" before when referring to ammunition. I have heard about people worrying about using such a small amount of powder in the .38 special case since it was designed for a large volume of black powder original, and the fear was that the powder was spread along the case when held to shoot and the primer would fire over all of it, igniting it all at once. Well that is what is suppose to happen any way and the powder burns at its rate period.  How hard you seat the bullet has more affect on the burn rate than the case size and where the powder is. Any ways I had to chronograph a bunch out of curiosity and could never find a difference by how you held the gun, powder against the bullet, along the case, or against the primer.
*****Cant' seem to get out of the quoted box. Oh well.Don't you think it takes a lot of nerve to suggest that the highly-engineered burn rates of modern smokeless powders cannot be significantly altered by increasing the surface area of the initial burn? Flame front might be what's going on there.Next I imagine you might also suggest that if detonation were a genuine though amazingly rare phenomenon with fast-burning powders in spacious initial powder burn chambers, then it might have been found with other bullets that were loaded with a LOT more space below them than the deep-seated 148-gr WC.What's next? Asserting that if detonation could be caused by primer flame front passing unimpeded over the top surface of a small charge of fast-burning powder, then maybe it could be worse or more common with slightly larger charges that were still fully below the horizontal plane of the flash hole?Me, I'd suggest a bold experiment with very light charges of fast-burning powder worked up to where half of them leave a bullet stuck in the bore but protruding from the muzzle. Might be tedious for those that get stuck deeper, but if the "start-stop" theory of detonation holds any water, I would expect to see a pressure spike by the time 1,000 such rounds were fired

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by davekp on Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:24 am

Powder burn rate is measured, I think, in free air (no pressure). Powder will burn faster as the pressure increases.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

Post by LongSlide on Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:52 pm

davekp wrote:Powder burn rate is measured, I think, in free air (no pressure). Powder will burn faster as the pressure increases.

I believe powder burn rate is measured in a laboratory 'closed bomb', not open air.

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Re: 2.5 gr Bullseye???

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