Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

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Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Hoot » Wed May 30, 2018 8:51 pm

Did you ever run some loads of Lil Gun, in hot weather, where the ends of the spent cases near the mouths changed colors like a half hearted attempt at annealing?

Last Saturday, while testing those 230gr FMJ-FP rounds over Lil Gun, about half of my cases had color transitions down as far as 3/4 inch from the mouths. The color wasn't as evenly distributed around the case as when I've annealed them and more interestingly, the coloration was not reserved to just the upper end of the charge ladder loads, like I would suspect. When I say it got hot, I'm talking in the lower 90's in the shade with a light breeze which made it bearable. I was running my 12VDC vacuum cleaner, barrel cooler at every 5 round break before the next ladder rung for 3-5 minutes, so the barrel was not uncomfortable to touch, but definitely hotter than skin temperature. Over the years, I've run Lil Gun experiments in the summer, but this was the first time I've seen widespread heat coloration. They weren't necessarily top end loads, certainly not in the league as some TSD experiments in terms of velocity. I wish I had photographed some of them. In the case of the ones with the most extreme coloration, some of it still was visible after wet pin tumbling them to a mirror-like finish. I've seen all kinds of variations on sooting and this was not that. As a matter of fact, sooting was very minimal. The 300gr SST bullets over IMR 4227 had a little more sooting but not like some loads I recall from back when I had my "loosey goosey" chambered Bushmaster factory upper. My trusty Bartz chamber is actually on the tight end of the spectrum and well finished. Definitely a two or possibly a three reamer job.

Anyway, it was odd enough to have stuck in my mind, unlike the many other range outings I've done over the past 8 years. I may recall having seen an odd colored case a couple of times but it was more the exception than the rule. As Bob pointed out, Lil Gun does have a reputation of running hot under the best of conditions and I'm a slave to comfortable weather, so perhaps I've just lived a sheltered life with the 450b.

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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Bmt85 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:53 pm

I don't recall seeing anything like that when running Lilgun.

As to the chamber's, I did notice a difference when doing some loading on my Bushmaster and BHW (looser chambers) vs my Tromix (tight chamber). I noticed that the Tromix took a good grain or two less of powder to get a good seal. I also figured out that Starline is good brass, in tighter chambers. Not so much in looser chambers, though. Even with twice fired (light loads) Starline brass, I was seeing quite a bit of case head growth on medium charges when used in my BHW. In the Tromix, Case length growth is more of an issue than case head growth. With the looser chambers, Hornady brass is better. That's what I've found so far, anyway.
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Hoot » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:32 pm

Bmt85 wrote:I don't recall seeing anything like that when running Lilgun.

As to the chamber's, I did notice a difference when doing some loading on my Bushmaster and BHW (looser chambers) vs my Tromix (tight chamber). I noticed that the Tromix took a good grain or two less of powder to get a good seal. I also figured out that Starline is good brass, in tighter chambers. Not so much in looser chambers, though. Even with twice fired (light loads) Starline brass, I was seeing quite a bit of case head growth on medium charges when used in my BHW. In the Tromix, Case length growth is more of an issue than case head growth. With the looser chambers, Hornady brass is better. That's what I've found so far, anyway.


When I had my original Bushmaster Upper, I was initially concerned with some of the casehead growth I got, even with loads that weren't stiff, compared with what others were reporting and most of them were also using Bushmaster uppers. I don't think the "loosey-goosey" chamber I had was Bushmaster's intended design, just my bad luck. Those with "normal" cut Bushmaster chambers also often reported slightly better velocities than I got for the same charge, which is to be expected when more of the initial energy is blunted, expanding the case out to the walls. Resizing my own brass back in those days, even with Imperial Wax, more often than not took more effort than when resizing 1-fired brass from other members. "Hindsight is 20/20" :|

And yet it still shot like a champ! :D

Tonight, I'll probably be reloading the 50 Starline cases I got as a sample, for the third time. I got off to a late start as they arrived just about the time comfortable weather departed last year and lord knows, I'm fussy where comfortable weather is concerned. At first, I had misgivings over the fact that they use less brass in them than Hornady does, but they are working out great in terms of casehead growth and length shrinkage. I now suspect some of my early length shrinkage concerns may be traceable back to that "loosey-goosey" chamber which would "Thunk Test" cases even at .5025!

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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Bmt85 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:58 pm

Oh, didn't realize your chamber was that loose!
I think the Starline will do great in your Bartz upper. Like I commented in your Starline technical thread, the Starline brass, compared to Hornady brass (both new and used in my Tromix), were more consistent, and seemed stronger. You are correct about the length change, though. I was working up the 275 TSX, and the case head growth was tracking very well, however, the case length growth caught up, and it actually seized up the rifle. That was working up with new brass, so I switched to once fired, but only had a chance to do another work up before hunting season. Still have to finish that experiment.

Anyways, good luck and I'm looking forward to what you find out.
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Rklenke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:48 pm

I just shot some 230 grain Hornady HAP over 39 grains LilGun and I noticed the same thing. It was pretty hot out and I did not let my barrel cool off like you. They were averaging just over 2400 fps.
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Al in Mi » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:48 pm

Wonder if that bullet being .001 smaller than a ftx has anything to do with it?
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Rklenke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:35 pm

I don't think so. The HAPs are night and day better than the standard FMJ-FP that I tried earlier in the year. I had a +8 inch group with those and an approximate 2 inch group with the HAPs. I need to load and test some more, but I'm pretty happy with them so far. Also, with the .451 thing, I did a test and control group after running five 300 grain XTPs through my .451 sizer. My group was ever so slightly smaller, with just a tad high velocities. Had I not had 1 flyer, 4 of them would be touching at 100 yards.
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Hoot » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:20 pm

Rklenke wrote:...snip...FMJ-FP that I tried earlier in the year. I had a +8 inch group with those...snip...


I'm almost done with the range report and you're in good company. The FMJ-FP shot little to no better for me at 100yds. :roll:

I just have to resize and host the images and I'll get it up. Probably tomorrow morning. Today it rained so I didn't even bother loading up any tests. That and we went to dinner out for my son-in-laws birthday. Its supposed to be a blue jay purdy day tomorrow, but its also my 29th anniversary and grocery day. The range doesn't open until noon on Sundays out of respect for the neighbors. About the same time we head out grocery shopping, then home to put 'em away, then back out to our anniversary dinner at the Chianti Grill since my wife has a free entree coupon. Boy do we know how to rock the romance or what? :lol: Anyway, looks like next weekend, weather permitting.

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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Rklenke » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:29 pm

Luckily, I've had good luck with the HAP bullets... So far. I've got lots more to shoot. I'm using LilGun and Shooters World heavy pistol (AA9) as my test powders. Here's a AA9 group at 100.
IMG_20180602_161026549~2-759x792.jpg
IMG_20180602_161026549~2-759x792.jpg (108.71 KiB) Viewed 396 times

Maybe I'll make my make my own thread instead of hijacking yours...
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Re: Another Episode of "Did you ever?"

Postby Hoot » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Rklenke wrote:Luckily, I've had good luck with the HAP bullets... So far. I've got lots more to shoot. I'm using LilGun and Shooters World heavy pistol (AA9) as my test powders. Here's a AA9 group at 100.
...snip...

Maybe I'll make my make my own thread instead of hijacking yours...


Nonsense! Threads are made for hijacking. Look around. ;) We do enjoy more Range Reports however.

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