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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: May 05 2018 at 6:19am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Worked with a crony for the first time the other day and when working up new loads for a bullet without data it wasn't much use in my opinion. It's great for comparing your rounds to known data but if there is no data for a given bullet than it's not much use. What am I missing? Craig

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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 05 2018 at 7:25am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I don't think you're missing a thing. You've been loading
a long time and never use one of those Contraptions and
been building good ammunition. I think you're doing
great!

Been loading for nearly six decades now. Never had a
chronograph, and never wanted one. Standard deviations,
high speed and low speed? That doesn't tell me squat
about where bullets are going. I can read a Target. So
that's just my opinion and I'm sure everyone else will
tell me that I am wrong. Fine by me.

Craig, carry on and enjoy what you're doing that's what I
think. If you're comfortable with your loading, and after
all these years I'm sure that you are, you have no need I
think to go dragging another piece of equipment down to
the range to worry about getting knocked over in the wind
and all that other crap. Go shooting and enjoy yourself.
And don't worry about the rest.

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RT58
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Posted: May 05 2018 at 7:48am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Your not missing much, except that they aren't good for comparing your loads to known data either.

Chronographs are very handy tools actually and are used to tell the velocity of ammunition fired through them, which in turn is used in several ballistic calculations. Chronographs replaced the cumbersome ballistic pendulums of the past allowing anyone to check their own loads.

I've seen a lot of talk on the internet that leads me to believe they are widely misunderstood though.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: May 05 2018 at 9:10am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Yes with my work with Incepter 65g bullets I still don't know if what I am shooting is safe. I GUESS that it Might be but it is still a guess! Not very reassuring.

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RT58
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Posted: May 05 2018 at 6:08pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

I wasn't following your Inceptor thread, but looking at your post of your velocities I'd think you are a bit high. I would have stopped at 6.9 gr. of Power Pistol, but that is an unscientific guess also.
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turbo1889
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 1:48am | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

Desert Eagle41 wrote:
Yes with my work
with Incepter 65g bullets I still don't
know if what I am shooting is safe. I
GUESS that it Might be but it is still a
guess! Not very reassuring.


Muzzle Velocity and peak chamber pressures
are only distantly related. Looking for
"pressure signs" as inexact as that is
tells you just as much or more.

For a DIY who really wants to know what
kind of chamber pressures are actually
being generated a "pressure trace" strain
gage system is the best option within a
reasonable budget, but that still runs
$800-to-$3,000 ish depending on what you
can get your hands on and they can be
finiky to work with and often require the
additional purchase or construction from
barrel blank or liner stock of simple
single shot guns to be used as test guns.

Basically how they work is that you use a
space age special glue to attach an
engineering strain gage to the outside of
the barrel steel around the chamber. When
the shot is fired unless your barrel steel
is very thick with a very low pressure
cartridge there will always be a very tiny
amount of stretch in the barrel steel
under pressure just like a spring only in
a radial direction as the barrel around
the cartridge "balloons" a few nano-meters
and then snaps back. This causes a
measurable change in the electrical
resistance of the engineering strain gage
that is space age glued to the outside of
the barrel and with an electronic sampling
system that measures the changes in the
electrical resistance and takes a reading
every 1/30,000 or so seconds you can
measure the pressure curves of each shot
and display it on your laptop screen.

I have such a unit I purchased some years
ago and used primary in my shotgun slug
load development but also some metallic
cartridge loads as well. Haven't used it
in probably a year or so though because
most of what I mainly needed it for I
already did with hundreds of shotgun test
loads in load development batches years
back. And it's a pain to get all set up
for since it's best to have everything out
at the range including your loading
equipment so you can adjust the test loads
making changes after each test shot. But
you need access to a private range and a
best make a full day of it. Tried it a
few times at a club range on an off
weekday when most people are at work and
still had other people show up and drill
me with questions or freak out. Have a
fight on my hands to keep my club
membership and not get kicked out after
one incident even though actually having
the equipment to actually know the actual
chamber pressures your loads are
developing is far safer then anyone else
shooting reloads, they still freak out
when you show up with a laptop and a big
yellow box with wires that attach to your
gun on one end and wires on the other end
that attach to the laptop and pressure
curves pop up on the laptop screen after
each shot and your loading each shot
before firing it. That sight just seems to
kick some people's fear of things they
don't understand quotent into extreme
overdrive high gear. The last time I did
that at the club range even after
successfully winning the membership fight
after explain to the club board exactly
what I was doing and why and that
logically they should kick anyone out of
the club who shot reloads on the range who
didn't use pressure trace equipment not
the other way around if they really
thought it was an issue and my attackers
and harassers being sternly warned by the
club board to "Leave Him Alone!" I still
had problems and ended up having to wear a
visible side-arm in addition to to gun I
was test firing.

Long story short, if you really want to
know the real pressures your loads are
developing as a DIYer it is possible the
equipment to do it is available, but it
ain't cheap and I would strongly, very
strongly, very strongly suggest only using
it on your own property on your own
private range and even then it may ruin a
friendship or two and you may have to call
the cops to get one of your so called
friends or relatived off your private
property after they refuse to leave and
refuse to let you use your own equipment
on your own property and try to physically
take it away from you because it is
dangerous for you to use and they are
going to keep you from using it "for your
own good" when in reality testing unknown
reloads without such equipment, or even
book data reloads which I have actually
tested to be above safe pressure limits in
some cases dangerously above.

Okay, so I might of got off the deep end a
little there. But letting you know there
is DIYer cost level equipment out there to
actually see the real pressure curves and
levels of loads, but it is expensive, and
it makes other people freak out if they
see you using it.

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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 7:57am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

You make good points and people freak out anyway. I did look for pressure signs in the spent brass and I have reloaded the spent brass and it showed signs of little pressure as these loads seem weak when you shoot them.I will just stay where I am now and shoot some more to see what happens. Thanks for all the input. Craig

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turbo1889
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 2:09pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

Yah, I went off the deep end and ranted a little on
that one. But in my defense if someone who was a
guest in your home tried to physically take some of
your reloading equipment away from you because it was
"too dangerous for you to have because you might hurt
yourself" and refused to give it back to you and
refused to leave your property and you had to call the
cops because you didn't want to get in a physical
potentially lethal force confrontation with them ---
Would you still be ticked off about it?

Anyway here is a link if your interested in this
further:

Pres
sure Trace System


You will end up having to buy extra sensors and glue
because that is the weak link in the system and if you
don't get them glued on perfectly (pay special
attention to the prep work before gluing) they will
come loose under recoil and handling over time and
they don't re-glue back on and give good results.

Edited by turbo1889 on May 06 2018 at 2:11pm


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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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turbo1889
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 2:17pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

As an example.

Here is one of my own pressure traces I have saved in my
files from testing some 12ga. shotgun loads:



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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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turbo1889
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 9:26pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

M700 wrote:
. . . .

I've learned that often when approaching a
"max" type load, the velocity increases
are very slight. It's a good warning.
Instead of gaining a lot of velocity for
another half grain of powder, there's just
a little tiny gain. In my experience, it's
time to back off a bit.

. . . .


That is an excellent rule of thumb for
most high pressure cartridges, however I
would caution that it does not hold true
for lower pressure cartridges, especially
low pressure straight wall cartridges.
For example the 45-Colt won't show like
that and you will still get velocity
increases right in step with increased
charges when you are well over safe
pressure for base line 45-Colt loads.

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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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turbo1889
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Posted: May 06 2018 at 10:40pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

Okay, so I quoted a part of his post and
then his post disappeared?

Not trying to scare him or anyone off.



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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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M700
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 7:28am | IP Logged Quote M700

Naw - I was just re-thinking my post.

I've found the chronograph to be a useful tool, but certainly not essential. An awful lot of very good, useful handloads have been assembled without the use of a chronograph.

So - I deleted my post, about it, till I could have some more coffee and see if it in any way contributed to the question raised by Desert Eagle initially.

Not sure I helped any!   

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M700
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 7:31am | IP Logged Quote M700

Probably the worst thing I've seen a chronograph do, is lure handloaders into using heavier and heavier charges to get higher velocity...

It's like a speedometer, they're looking for higher and higher numbers. Sometimes at the expense of going right on by perfectly fine, useful, accurate loads.

Now and again I've been surprised by the chronograph, when a load showed an unexpectedly high or low velocity. Those instances have cause me to look pretty hard at my load and make adjustments.

Regards, Guy
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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 8:16am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Much like Guy, I deleted my comments here. Was going to
talk about my thoughts but figured I'm too old school and
my comments would be arcane and outdated compared to hi
tech stuff. Y'all have fun.

Oh, still scratching my head over a friend trying to take
stuff, deadly force issues, and near riots at the range.
Must be a real hostile environment.

Adios! I'm going to town to get my tire fixed.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 9:01am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I am in agreement that a chronograph can be misused and cause for over loaded charges if one is only searching for velocities such as shown in manuals or in others data. Differences in rifles and brass, components, temperatures, etc. have a lot to do with velocities, so one should certainly not try to load up to written data velocity without close observation to charges, pressure signs, etc.

With that said, while working up rifle loads and magnum handgun loads, I have also observed what Guy was describing. The sudden velocity rise rate or even decline per increment of charge increase when one approaches or possibly surpasses the point of max. pressure for a particular set of components in a certain weapon. That change from the mostly steady graduation of velocity increase shows that the load has reached a point of instability. I have even had increases of charge give me decreased velocity and certainly very erratic and higher extreme spreads in velocity of the group.

When conducting a ladder test load work up, one will normally observe the closer spreads in velocity where the groupings seem to be the best in the ladder test. There might possibly be even tighter groups occasionally somewhere along the way in the ladder test, but they likely will not be as uniform in velocity spread. This indicates a stable bullet and accurate load at the tested distance, but longer range shooting will certainly show a vertical stringing because of the wider velocity spread of the load. The spot of the decent grouping in the ladder test where one gets the best standard deviation of velocity will be far more accurate throughout the weapons useful range.

I love my chronograph and it is useful for many things, but I loaded successfully for probably 30+ years before I got my first one. The thing I like best about a chronograph is that I can determine the actual velocity of my loads and not just guess at that velocity from comparing data from others using the same charges. Individual weapons certainly can surprise one with either higher or lower velocities than the norm, so if the actual velocity of a load is known then I can make a chart up to tape onto the butt of my rifles to help with extreme range shooting. A few hundred feet per second can translate into a good deal of variation in bullet impact at longer ranges, so actually knowing the muzzle velocity is a great aid for the distance shooting.     

Edited by Ham Gunner on May 07 2018 at 9:09am


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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 10:24am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Well Ham thanks for the input. Just found some interesting data in an old Lyman 49th book I think I have had since the 80,s. It has a Power Pistol load for 90g bullet at 7.0g max. I am still at 65g bullet so I really feel my 7.5g load is safe. BTW I am always looking for the most accurate load with a given bullet and almost always end up on the light side!! I like it that way mostly but the lighter 65g bullet has to be loaded up or the action doesn't work or stove piping problems accrue. KInd of stumbled on the crony short commings while trying to work without data. Oh well!! Craig

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Posted: May 07 2018 at 8:39pm | IP Logged Quote hdwhit

I had been loading for 13 years before I broke down and got a chrongraph (one of the original Red Shooting Chronys) for use in my quest to properly load the 5.7mm Johnson wildcat.

Light-triggered chronographs work by using optical sensors to detect the shadow created by the bullet passing over the sensor to start and then stop an electronic timer. Since the distance between the sensors is known, determining the velocity is computational.

The problem with all such chronographs is they have no provision for external calibration; they rely on the consistency of their oscillator. The oscillator is subject to variation based on temperature and how fresh the battery is. Also the sensitivity of the sensors can impact results. Since these conditions will likely all vary from conditions as they existed at the factory the reported velocity will only serendipitously be "true".

But, the conditions from shot to shot during a particular session are likely to be subject to similar effects and so the results obtained in any given range session can be compared with one another. They may be 50 fps different from the "true" number, but they will ALL be 50 fps different.
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M700
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Posted: May 07 2018 at 9:09pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Craig - when you're working with something new and well out of the norm... You've got to expect to be treading in uncertain ground.

I'd be all over the manufacturer of the bullet for guidance.

They loaded SOMETHING to make it go.

Sierra, Hornady, Nosler and other bullet companies have all sorts of load data for their bullets... Why doesn't the maker of this oddball lightweight bullet you're loading?

Guy
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: May 08 2018 at 4:27am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Well Guy funny you bring that up. The little data there is at Incepter is the same data that is at Hodgen website!! I mean exactly the same like one copied the other!! I really wanted to use Alliant Power Pistol powder anyway and there is no data available for 65g bullets. So this is my problwm.   Craig

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RT58
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Posted: May 08 2018 at 6:36am | IP Logged Quote RT58

The data at both sources being the same is an indication that Hodgdon created it for the bullet maker.

One thought that keeps popping up is that looking at the advertising for the Inceptor ammo, their big focus is on the high velocity. If they could get higher velocities safely, why wouldn't they? Hodgdon has a habit of using barrels that are longer than SAAMI specs to show higher velocities than they should, it just doesn't add up.

It is possible the accuracy was just too poor, or the Inceptor folks didn't want to spend the money for more testing. But we also have to keep in mind that not every powder is suitable for every application and those applications are narrowed even more when dealing with "autos". Other factors are the small capacity of the 9mm case and the weight, composition and varying dimensions of the composite bullets.
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