• Last Post 19 August 2018
joeb33050 posted this 18 August 2018

I have searched the net, and opinion is widely divided. In the Jacketed Bullet Test I fired well over 2000 shots with jacketed bullets 40-68 gr., and 4.5-8.5 gr Titegroup in 22-250, and no explosion-but that doesn't prove anything..

Is there any danger in light loads of fast powder in large cases?

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 18 August 2018

... not including of course the too real danger of double charging ... which is a good reason to dipstick all such small charges.  i suspect cell phones have wrecked more guns through double charges than SEE .

.... but i have wondered if the occasional blow up of ~3 gr. of bullseye in 45 auto handguns are always double charges ... kinda like testing flashbulbs though ...

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Larry Gibson posted this 18 August 2018

As Ken mentions, double charging can be a potential problem IF the double charge's produced psi exceeds the structural strength of the brass and action......many times, with the light loads you're using a double charge won't.

A given charge of any powder only contains so much potential energy regardless of how it is released.  IF the small charges could be "detonated" inside the case (they aren't and won't be) they still can't produce any more energy (psi) to cause a "blow up".  SEE is caused by created conditions not present in your testing.

Another possible problem with such light loads is severely sticking a jacketed bullet in the barrel or throat.  The pressure could still be contained in the case and opening the bolt could result in it thrusting severely to the rear.  If stuck in the barrel and another round can be/is chambered and fired more severe problems most likely will occur. 

SEE will not be the problem.



Concealment is not cover.........

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GP Idaho posted this 18 August 2018

Joe:  With as many rounds as you and I have sent down range with small charges of TiteGroup  in the last couple years, one of us would be missing a thumb by now if it was going to cause a SEE. Larry does bring up a point that I hadn't considered though. I assumed gas wouldn't be contained in a tight enough manner to cause problems opening the action. Gp

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OU812 posted this 18 August 2018

Not secondary or detonation but,

Once by accident I shot a double charge Titegroup (8gr + 8gr =16) in my 223 Remington. No explosion, but bolt was frozen and would not open. After removing barrel I could remove bolt. Brass case head had expanded and formed into bolt face. I had to use Dremel tool to grind brass then pry out to remove. Gun has fired many more rounds since then.

A friend of mine split bolt face of his Remington 700 with high pressure 243 load. Barrel had to be removed and bolt had to be forced from action and replaced. He still shoots that rifle.


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GP Idaho posted this 18 August 2018

I send more bullets down range with TiteGroup than any other powder.  Two things I'll add. It's not a powder to compress and you can go from "That worked pretty good" to "Wow! that was hot" in very little added powder. For sure a powder that you don't want to double charge in a load like OU812 mentioned above.   7gr. TiteGroup in a 41mag is a great can rolling load under 210 to 250gr lead bullets. Gp

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Brodie posted this 19 August 2018

As I understand SEE Tight Group is much too fast a powder to produce the "secondary explosion effect".  Everything that I have read since 1970 on the phenom. says that it occurs only in slow burning powders  (IMR 4350 and slower).  Two of the more plausible theories are: 1. The primer explosion (most likely a mangleum primer) causes a number of the granules laying along the bottom of the case to fracture into small pieces thus changing the burning rate of the powder. and  2.  The burning wave becomes a detonation wave (from my 101A Physics Teacher).  Personally I subscribe to a large charge of fast burning powder accidentally put into the case instead of the slow burning powder, or reloader error. 

To date I have not heard of anyone being able to induce SEE on demand.  If others have heard of such an occurrence please speak soon or forever let us know about it.


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Ross Smith posted this 19 August 2018

I think,from experience, the same holds true for black powder cartridges. Light loads are safe, you don't have to fill up the case with wads etc. Can do if you want but 30 gr ffg in a 45 2.1 won't cause any problems. 

Not so with muzzle loaders that have been "short started" with the ball or slug only 6" down the barrel. I've seen a barrel burst from that.

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dbarron posted this 19 August 2018

Well, maybe. Something happened to me a few years ago.  I touched off a load of 22 grs of 4198.  The following event blew my 210 pound butt off the bench and four feet back to the wall of my shed. I've seen a couple of rifles blow but nothing like that. The bolt looked like a trumpet bell. I took it to the smith and offered NO opinion as to what had happened. Just the facts, ma'am.  He called me a few days later and told me I'd had a SEE.  No barrel damage but action ruined. I'm capable of screwing up that badly, but...  God bless Remington. No damaged body parts.  Not the powder one thinks of in connection with that kind of thing. Again, but...


Addendum:  21 Aug 

Returned home and have access to my records.  From notes made at the time:

44 grains of 4198 will not fit in the .308 case I was using.  An obvious overflow.

All charges were dispensed using a Lyman 1200 DPS 3.  Charges were check weighed on a known-accurate electronic scale until 5 matching readings were obtained.  Each fifth charge was check weighed.   All were visually verified. 

Number of charges dispensed (recorded by the Lyman 1200) was verified against the number of rounds loaded.  

Sized and primed cases were stored upside down.  A charge was dumped and the bullet (185 gr. LBT) immediately seated. 

All shots were chronographed--there were no spurious velocities recorded and all shots registered except the offending round, which came up an error.

Approximately 600 rounds (barrel warmers and foulers had not been recorded) had been fired with this load with no problems.  

There was no damage to the barrel.  There was no leading.  The barrel was only normally dirty.  

The action did not come apart and nothing broke.  The action was stretched some unreported (by Remington) amount and the bolt head was belled like a trumpet.

The shooter was undamaged except for a cut where the scope slammed the shooter's glasses rather forcefully into his forehead.  

Conclusion?   None, as yet.   SEE seems likely, but I keep thinking about other options.  Specifically, did I screw up somewhere?  How?  Can it be prevented in the future? 

Additional information for anyone interested.  Theories welcome. 

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max503 posted this 19 August 2018

I was shooting round balls through a 10" 44 Contender with a light charge of Unique.  One shot went click-BOOM.  There was definitely a delay.  Just a split second, but there was a delay.

I think the primer went off, sending the ball into the barrel.  Then the powder ignited - delayed - and it detonated with the ball part way down the barrel.  And there wasn't enough of a powder charge to do any damage.

That's my guess, anyway. 

I haven't detected any damage to the barrel, but it scared me and I haven't shot any more of those loads.

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Ed Harris posted this 19 August 2018

Giorgio and I had a long discussion about this over dinner one night during my visit there.

The conclusion we reached with respect to reduced loads with fast-burning pistol or shotgun charges is that a safe gallery or small game load should not require a gascheck, and that a DOUBLE charge should only lead the barrel, and not blow up a strong rifle.

I can tell you from personal experience that 11 grains of W231 in the .45-70, with correct fitting .462" bullet cast 1:40 is wonderfully accurate at 200 yards in an original 1884 Springfield Trapdoor.  No filler needed.

I can also tell you with authority that 22 grains of W231 and a 370-grain cast Hoch bullet will not blow up a sound Trapdoor or cause any defect which is apparent to external visual inspection. BUT that the chamber will be bulged, and after driving out the fired case with with some difficulty using a 3/8" brass rod and lead, dead-blow hammer, you will be successful in turning a shooter-grade rifle into a wall hanger.



73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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