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 Post subject: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:02 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:04 am
Posts: 47
I've only been reloading shotshells for a few months but have been doing metallic for almost 40 years.

I thought it was odd that there appeared to be a bunch of special "shotgun powders" which have almost the same burning rates as pistol powders. And you're only supposed to use "shotgun powders." As if there is something really different about them.

Then you notice that there are a number of traditional pistol powders that have some shotgun data if you dig enough. Universal, Unique, V320, the Dots... But other common fast burning powders that should be suitable (W231) have NO data for shotguns.

I suspect but cannot prove that the root of this is powder manufacturers want you to buy ten different types instead of five.

I suspect but cannot prove that those with the proper equipment to measure pressure don't publish 3rd party shotgun loads only because they would have liability for the data, without the profit motive.

I suspect but cannot prove that most powders faster than Blue Dot can be used in shotshells.

If I am incorrect, what exactly is the magic ingredient in shotshell powders?



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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:22 pm
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Location: Central Texas
Well if you think you have a great load that isn't published then load some and send them off to be tested.
Please publish the results.

I for one have too many different powders on hand. Keep trying to narrow down to a few then find a good buy and walla - then have several different ones that do the same job. Go figure!


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:48 pm
Posts: 586
You have mentioned:
Quote:
there are a number of traditional pistol powders that have some shotgun data if you dig enough. Universal, Unique, V320, the Dots...


Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but I guess I never have to dig too far to get good load data for those powders mentioned. I commonly think of all of the Dots, Unique, Universal as shotgun powders first - especially Universal as it was originally "Universal Clays" as part of the Clays line of powders from Hodgdon. ( Clays, Universal Clays and International Clays all shortened to avoid confusion)

Perhaps Lyman has some published loads for the other powders?

I don't think that it is a conspiracy by any means - just my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:04 am
Posts: 47
I don't think it's a conspiracy but only benefits powder manufacturers. No profit from selling MORE powders = no motive to publish.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:54 pm 
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Differing burn rates and pressures may mean some that are close for one are not suitable for another

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 1034
There are already too many powder types, many covering the same application.
Hodgdon is discontinuing a number of powders.
Profitability has always been a first priority in business.
A business that's not focused on profitability is short lived.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 505
Location: New Mexico
The powder companies developed any given powder for a specific use FIRST. Then they or shooters discovered that the powder could also be used for a different type of gun/cartridge/shell.

An example:
SR 4756 was developed when low-pressure rifle target loads were needed with (originally designed for black powder) target rifles built commonly in the late 1800s. Later, it got a very good reputation as a slow burn rate shotgun powder.

When the word got around about this, DuPont and then IMR tested and published suitable shotgun loads with 4756. Was this intended to be a shotgun powder originally? Nope, not with the SR in front of it, which stood for Sporting Rifle! So, a single use powder was converted to a dual use powder just because data became available.

The ... DOT powders were shotgun powders long before they became known as "also a pistol powder".

Bullseye has been a premier pistol powder (developed for the military load in .45 automatic round in the 1911) since it was unveiled. But, it has been found to be a rather worthless shotgun propellant. Not that it can't make a shotshell that works, somewhat, but that other powders (first intended as shotgun) are just better in the same performance profile.

The powder companies minimize their cost when they develop a new powder. They aren't spending extra time and money to spec/test/develop a "best pistol power for the .34 magic round" and also a "great 1/2 ounce load powder for the 13 gauge shotgun" at the same time.

I am unwilling to paint powder companies with a profiteering claim just because they develop a powder that CAN perform well in more than one type of cartridge/shell. We generally know that many pistol and shotgun powders overlap burn rates, etc. And some shotgun and rifle powders overlap, too. But it's not guaranteed by a "long shot."

I do NOT expect them to do the additional ballistics testing to SEE if any alternate possible uses are good enough to publish data for a totally different type of shell/cartridge than what the powder was under development for. It would take a lot of additional testing time and money to explore other possible uses than what they had in mind when they started developing it. I'm just happy they can "hit their main target" without stopping to worry about "other potential targets" which were not what THEIR customer (an ammo company or the US military) had in mind. That keeps cost of developing new powders as low as they can! They actually are looking out for shooters, IMHO, not grabbing more money from customers.

good luck, GJ


Last edited by garrisonjoe on Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:18 pm 
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Not really been "Had" kind of thing, but that if you are going to come up with a shotgun load data, then you need to have a wad in play that will give the needed volume fill of the hull to make the powder work. Remember, unlike metallic reloading where you can have loose powder in the case, a load in a shotgun hull has to have the powder/load slightly compressed by the crimp.

Lets take a powder that does not have a load listed for it, but we know that it has the burn rate of a power that does have a load. Best guess, the powder has a different density/volume fill for the needed amount of power, and if say denser powder, then manufacturer would have to include some type of filler to get the shot height up to the correct level. So lets take a win powder, since the spherical powder is about a dense as your going to get, and the load would have to look like a given wad, plus smaller gauge fiber stack in the cup, to get the desired shot height in the stack with the off powder.

Take the real win 20 gauge factory loads, and if you have not noticed, the win wad in 7/8 is about the tallest wad you will find since win does use spherical powder in their loads.
Image

When is comes to the win 12 gauge factory load in the HS hulls, you will notice that the hulls are shorter then say a STS hull, to make the load work (get a decent crimp) with the standard Win12 gauge wad instead.

So the reason that there are powders that have the same burn rate as another powder that do included data to load with them in shotgun, but the other powder does not have loading data, is they fall out of the range of any know usable wad to come up with a load without fillers, to get the shot line to the bottom of the hull fold line before crimp.

So as a shotgun reloaders, we have to deal with canistor powders that will give the correct volume fill in the hull with a given wad.
While manufacturers, just spec a non canistor powder at give burn rate/powder density that will work with their wads instead. Yes, they still need to develop.fine tune the load with the amount of powder to get them to ideal pressures and speeds per lots, but for the most part, is just a few tenths of a grain to dial the load in from lot to lot.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:21 pm 
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[quote="trebleplink"][/quote]

Have you considered that most people have no use for .729 inch bore diameter rifles or pistols, or smoothbore rifles and pistols? Have you also considered that most people have no use or desire for a rifle or pistol that throws a 437.5 grain payload? :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:08 am
Posts: 2464
Location: Central NH
RandyWakeman wrote:
trebleplink wrote:


Have you considered that most people have no use for .729 inch bore diameter rifles or pistols, or smoothbore rifles and pistols? Have you also considered that most people have no use or desire for a rifle or pistol that throws a 437.5 grain payload? :roll:

Have you considered that this is a shotgun forum, and most here have those exact uses?


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:59 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Soda Springs, Id.
weird 437grs. is real close to the 435gr bullet I shoot in my 45-70 using 'shotgun' powder.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:45 pm 
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Pretty much everything north of Accurate 5744 can be used for some gauge and shot charge of shotgun. There are plenty of combinations you can put together that will feasibly work, but may result in a poor fit, too low or variable pressure, too low or variable velocity, extremely poor efficiency, ect. Powders that once had data may no longer if a better combination was found. Bullseye can make a fine 12ga load, but it's dirty and you'll probably have stack height issues.

It's all about choosing the best combination of components for the goal you have in mind. You can use something like Longshot or Blue Dot in just about anything but the 410, but if you use it for target load 12ga you are WASTING a lot of powder to get there, and you will be running at pressures so low as to likely have inconstant shells.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 2559
Location: San Jose, CA
Dano523 wrote:
Not really been "Had" kind of thing, but that if you are going to come up with a shotgun load data, then you need to have a wad in play that will give the needed volume fill of the hull to make the powder work. Remember, unlike metallic reloading where you can have loose powder in the case, a load in a shotgun hull has to have the powder/load slightly compressed by the crimp.

Lets take a powder that does not have a load listed for it, but we know that it has the burn rate of a power that does have a load. Best guess, the powder has a different density/volume fill for the needed amount of power, and if say denser powder, then manufacturer would have to include some type of filler to get the shot height up to the correct level. So lets take a win powder, since the spherical powder is about a dense as your going to get, and the load would have to look like a given wad, plus smaller gauge fiber stack in the cup, to get the desired shot height in the stack with the off powder.

Take the real win 20 gauge factory loads, and if you have not noticed, the win wad in 7/8 is about the tallest wad you will find since win does use spherical powder in their loads.
Image

When is comes to the win 12 gauge factory load in the HS hulls, you will notice that the hulls are shorter then say a STS hull, to make the load work (get a decent crimp) with the standard Win12 gauge wad instead.

So the reason that there are powders that have the same burn rate as another powder that do included data to load with them in shotgun, but the other powder does not have loading data, is they fall out of the range of any know usable wad to come up with a load without fillers, to get the shot line to the bottom of the hull fold line before crimp.

So as a shotgun reloaders, we have to deal with canistor powders that will give the correct volume fill in the hull with a given wad.
While manufacturers, just spec a non canistor powder at give burn rate/powder density that will work with their wads instead. Yes, they still need to develop.fine tune the load with the amount of powder to get them to ideal pressures and speeds per lots, but for the most part, is just a few tenths of a grain to dial the load in from lot to lot.


I found that, or rather rediscovered, when I purchased some Winchester Super Handicap when powder was in short supply. Ballistically, it mirrors Green Dot and International. But it's so dense it wouldn't crimp right with my green claybuster wads and 3/4 oz.

I don't like using fillers, so it sits. If I need to I can adjust down to a 7/8's charge and adjust the shot up to stack properly.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:41 pm
Posts: 313
I never thought of any powder as shotgun or pistol or whatever. Go to the loading data tables and if it has shotgun loads for a powder, it’s a shotgun powder. Not losing any sleep over powder conspiracies.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:24 am 
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Really?

There are 80 head of cattle in the pasture across the road and it doesn't smell as bad as this thread, not even when we are down wind.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:39 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6390
Location: Newton Kansas
trebleplink wrote:
I've only been reloading shotshells for a few months but have been doing metallic for almost 40 years.

I thought it was odd that there appeared to be a bunch of special "shotgun powders" which have almost the same burning rates as pistol powders. And you're only supposed to use "shotgun powders." As if there is something really different about them.

Then you notice that there are a number of traditional pistol powders that have some shotgun data if you dig enough. Universal, Unique, V320, the Dots... But other common fast burning powders that should be suitable (W231) have NO data for shotguns.

I suspect but cannot prove that the root of this is powder manufacturers want you to buy ten different types instead of five.

I suspect but cannot prove that those with the proper equipment to measure pressure don't publish 3rd party shotgun loads only because they would have liability for the data, without the profit motive.

I suspect but cannot prove that most powders faster than Blue Dot can be used in shotshells.

If I am incorrect, what exactly is the magic ingredient in shotshell powders?


No-one has bothered to test them.

The gunpowder has no idea whatsoever what type of ammunition it is being burned in.

Powders that have been around for decades (a century in some cases) have FOUND crossover use, have been used a lot, and tested, long ago, setting a track record.
Other powders have just never been tested for certain uses.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 505
Location: New Mexico
Quote:
what exactly is the magic ingredient in shotshell powders?


Ballistics testing as a possible shotgun powder.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:34 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Buffalo NY USA
I don't think we're being had. There is a powder for every situation and every type of arm so far. I think that is OK. I think we should have many different companies and suppliers competing for our business. Ballistic testing and chemical lab testing is not cheap for a manufacturer. Therefore the home guys should experiment and send their own loads of whatever in for testing. In view of the recent shortage, it should be obvious why it would be bad to have a monopoly cartel controlling all the supplies. I *am* somewhat nervous about recent (last 25 yrs) industry consolidation for that reason --.

PS the Pentagon can always outbid you. You might be waiting a long time.

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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:12 pm 
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garrisonjoe wrote:
Quote:
what exactly is the magic ingredient in shotshell powders?


Ballistics testing as a possible shotgun powder.



Exactly!

The magic ingredient is a wealth of published data, using every hull, primer and wad combination available.

Those are the powders I like, lot's of data, and versatile.


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 Post subject: Re: I think we're being had.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:39 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:25 pm
Posts: 29
Why are we being had. If a manufacturer had a powder that would do everything they would make a fortune and be able to streamline their production. It may be that pistol powders are not promoted for shotshell use but I doubt it is a conscious decision on the part of the manufacturers.




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