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No really? You are kidding me right?
Well not really. I've been said to be very mildly autistic, so joking is something that doesn't come quite as naturally to me as for some of us. So when people ask questions in an effort to pull a joke over on me, I generally see it as asking a legitimate question, for which I attempt to do my best to provide a legitimate answer. But somehow this seems to inflame people all the more...
 

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Well not really. I've been said to be very mildly autistic, so joking is something that doesn't come quite as naturally to me as for some of us. So when people ask questions in an effort to pull a joke over on me, I generally see it as asking a legitimate question, for which I attempt to do my best to provide a legitimate answer. But somehow this seems to inflame people all the more...
Nah, I am just busting b***s. I know that you are trying to be helpful.

I am sure that there needs to be some amount of port pressure, but I have found that gas volume trumps whatever that port pressure number is. If you can run an SA action wet, that even makes it easier to find a load that will cycle an SA.

I don't run any load under 8,000 PSI and many are closer to 10,000 PSI. My guns always cycle, even in the ND winters. All my loads use at least 16.5 grains of powder or more. Most of them 18.0 plus grains.
 

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FWIW, I have run some loads that have chamber pressures around 7,000 PSI and they cycle my 16 gauge 1100 just fine, but there is 19.0 grains of powder in the load, just not a lot of shot!!

I get bored sometimes.........
 

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Please show me where on a box of factory ammo or in a shotgun reloading manual where the “port pressure” of a load is reported? SIM you really need to just go shoot a round of skeet.
 

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i messed about with some loads in my win sx-2. [3-1/2" gun]

i knew that 18grs of clays and 1-1/8 oz of shot would cycle that 3-1/2" gun no problem.
but 17grs. of titegroup and an ounce of shot does too, only you think to yourself did i just pull the trigger?
the target broke so yeah i guess i did.
so did 17grs. of red dot 100% of the time.
can i go down?
probably,,,, but i'm comfortable with those loads.
the only way to find out is to decrease the shot, and then the powder amount, it only takes 1-2 trigger pulls to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Having moved from a pump for strictly hunting to a semi-auto for both hunting and sporting clays, I've been shocked at how dirty the piston area gets and how often I have to clean.

Do I understand, then, that more pressure will reduce the need to clean?

What about powders that advertise themselves as cleaner burning--is it just marketing or do some really produce less crap? If so, which ones would be cleanest in a 12 gauge 1 oz target load?
 

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What about powders that advertise themselves as cleaner burning--is it just marketing or do some really produce less crap? If so, which ones would be cleanest in a 12 gauge 1 oz target load?
It all depends on the application. Matching the powder to the load is important, but the fastest burning powder for a given load (weight and velocity) will generally yield the most complete combustion. It will usually leave less residue, too, if only because there will probably be less of it in the shell to start with. The composition of the powder is another consideration, with many folks considering single-base powders cleaner burning than double-base, and they are often advertised that way; there may be something to that idea, but there are also lots of exceptions.

12 gauge 1 oz target loads do best with a faster burning powder like e3 or American Select or Clays (or many others). Some older powders, like Red Dot, do seem a little dirtier to me than others near them on the burn-rate chart. I really like e3, because I've found it to be very clean, even when loading very-reduced loads like bean bag rounds, and it's very consistent---and it's double base. In shot shell and metallic reloading, there have been lots of new powders introduced with the claim of cleaner burning, and I've tried quite a few of them (partly because the newer powders seem to be more available during various crises). The newer powders do seem to be a bit better in a number of ways, but the trade-off is less load data available.

Again, it all comes back to the application. Unique in a .38 Special target load is justifiably called "flaming dirt"; Unique in a high pressure 9X19 load is pretty clean.
 

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My Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus 3.5 inch 12ga will cycle 24 gram loads with 16 grains of XtraLite.

Seems to be more about the gun and the system employed in that particular gun than a universal answer about a specific load.

Ask or experiment until you find what cycles in your gun and you have found your answer....for that gun.
 

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It all depends on the application. Matching the powder to the load is important, but the fastest burning powder for a given load (weight and velocity) will generally yield the most complete combustion. It will usually leave less residue, too, if only because there will probably be less of it in the shell to start with. The composition of the powder is another consideration, with many folks considering single-base powders cleaner burning than double-base, and they are often advertised that way; there may be something to that idea, but there are also lots of exceptions.

12 gauge 1 oz target loads do best with a faster burning powder like e3 or American Select or Clays (or many others). Some older powders, like Red Dot, do seem a little dirtier to me than others near them on the burn-rate chart. I really like e3, because I've found it to be very clean, even when loading very-reduced loads like bean bag rounds, and it's very consistent---and it's double base. In shot shell and metallic reloading, there have been lots of new powders introduced with the claim of cleaner burning, and I've tried quite a few of them (partly because the newer powders seem to be more available during various crises). The newer powders do seem to be a bit better in a number of ways, but the trade-off is less load data available.

Again, it all comes back to the application. Unique in a .38 Special target load is justifiably called "flaming dirt"; Unique in a high pressure 9X19 load is pretty clean.
Does 15.7 grains of e3 behind 5/8 oz #9 qualify as a "bean bag load"? My Weatherby SA-08 is very consistent using this reload that is extremely clean burning. Totally agree with your admiration of e3 for reduced loadings.
 

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No such thing as a clean powder. All powder is dirty to some extent. If you don't like cleaning guns, a gas gun might not be for you. Loading anemic low pressure loads in an effort to save money will cause you to clean more often.
 

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Do I understand, then, that more pressure will reduce the need to clean?
No. Shoot wet with BreakFreeCLP.

What about powders that advertise themselves as cleaner burning
Some powders leave less ash in the barrel. That's not a problem.

All powers I have used, even those leaving less ash in the barrel, leave build-up on the gas action parts. That is a problem. Use BreakFreeCLP and shoot wet to counter that.
 

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the higher pressure and the cleaner burning powders combined will help.

your gonna find yourself setting a round count routine for keeping your semi running 100% of the time all the time every time.
even if it's just wiping out the receiver ever 250 rounds and smearing a little oil in the right place.
that's still maintenance.
 

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I had trouble with a Benelli m2 12 gauge cycling a 7/8 ounce load with 16 grains of Red Dot......Broke birds fine and recoil was tame but no doubles.
 

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I had trouble with a Benelli m2 12 gauge cycling a 7/8 ounce load with 16 grains of Red Dot......Broke birds fine and recoil was tame but no doubles.
It should be stated here that the Benelli is an inertia operated semi-automatic. Not gas operated. The same problem has been noted to exist for some shooters with the Turkish clones, such as (for example) the Girsan MC 312.

I can't confirm this, but it has been said that if you place the butt-stock of an inertia shotgun up against a tree or wall and fire it, the gun may not fully cycle. And if you are big enough and strong enough, and you hold the gun firmly on your shoulder (and effectively become as immovable as a tree) you will similarly not allow sufficient of the the rearward 'kick' motion required to aid in cycling light loads. Either don't grip and cheek it as tightly, or try inserting a soft 'shoulder insert' recoil pad. Either of these may (or may not) help. Try shouldering it rather loosely with light loads first to see if that helps. Then progress to trying a rather cushy shoulder pad insert.
 

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I had trouble with a Benelli m2 12 gauge cycling a 7/8 ounce load with 16 grains of Red Dot......Broke birds fine and recoil was tame but no doubles.
Uh, that load is anemic. The lightest load shown in the Alliant website for a 7/8 oz. load is 17.5 grains of Red Dot, assuming a Remington hull, @ 1200 FPS. 16.0 grains of Red Dot would put the velocity at 1,125 or so. That's not going to cycle many SA's especially an M2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Look at your guns manual. They likely give a minimum suggested load. For example, the manual for my M2 says 1 1/8 oz at 3dram equivalent. That corresponds to 1200fps with 1 1/8oz. If you post that info, you'll get a lot more specific help.
I went back and re-read the manual. Closest thing to an answer is '2 3/4" (1oz) to 3" (1 7/8 oz)' Nothing about velocity, so not a truly helpful answer. I did, however, discover than use of reloaded ammo voids the warranty!
 

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I went back and re-read the manual. Closest thing to an answer is '2 3/4" (1oz) to 3" (1 7/8 oz)' Nothing about velocity, so not a truly helpful answer. I did, however, discover than use of reloaded ammo voids the warranty!
General rule of thumb. A one ounce load at or near 1290 fps. A 1 1/8 ounce load at 1200 fps. will operate any semi auto with a 2 3/4 or 3 inch chamber. You can always start there. Reduce the velocity till you have issues.
Currently I load one ounce to 1180 fps and 1 1/8 to 1140+/-fps. This runs in every Semi I have and two M2s. But the M2 will jam if I shoot the gun. But not for the guys that shoot them.
 

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Sometimes we get off in the weeds a bit much. Port pressure? Transducers?
I have several gas guns. 7/8 oz loads can be tricky. I just settled for 1 oz loads at 1200 fps. Any load I used in that neighborhood has cycled any gas gun I shot it in.
If you want to shoot 7/8 oz loads, you will probably have to experiment some. But depending on the gun you can get a load that reliably cycles. But each gun is different.
 
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