On the wall of the living room is a display rack. My family got it for me for my birthday. It has an American Flag motif and holds four rifles and has a small cabinet at the bottom for ammo and other accouterments.

On the bottom is a Henry Golden Boy in .22LR. Squirrel gun.

Above that is a Rossi R92 in .357 magnum. Raccoon rifle.

Above that is a Winchester ’95 in 30-30. Deer rifle.

At the top sits a Henry in 45-70. Bear rifle.

The .22lr is mostly a showpiece. It is fun to run, but it is not my go to for taking squirrels. The R92 is the rifle I’m most likely to pick up when things go bump in the night. The 30-30 is too big for small game. The 45-70 is there for when it is needed.

The 45-70 is firing +P rounds. When the first round hit the 8in steel, it knocked the plate off the chains. The 30-30 is firing cast bullets, and I’ve not had any luck with the new mold. I haven’t made the time to cast, and it is too freaking hot to do casting right now. I did source 300 Hornady FTX bullets, so I’ll be loading some rounds up shortly.

Which brings me to the dumb. I’ve been shooting cast bullets out of the R92 loaded over 5 grains of TiteGroup. Nice load. In .38 SPL, 5gr is a +p load behind a 125GR HDY XTP, which is what I loaded up over the weekend. I only shot it out of the Ruger GP100. It did what it was supposed to. Felt pleasant in the hand.

Subsequently, I went to load up some .357 magnums. I checked my notes a few times, wrote down the recipe. Double-checked here and there. Did one final check and then started loading 158gr Hornady XTP over [REDACTED] grains of Alliant 2400. Loaded 50 rounds. Went out to the range and sent 5 rounds down range.

Nice punch. Recoil was there. It even left a small ache afterward. It made the steel ring and swing. Then I cleaned everything and was getting ready to shut down for the night when it occurred to me to check another number.

Yep. The amount of 2400 for a 125 gr XTP was what I put under that 158 gr XTP.

Yeah, those rounds are hot.

I checked the primers for over pressure. There might be some signs, but nothing really stands out.

Today I decided to check the loads out in the Ruger.

Now that was a kick. It RANG the steel. When it hit the box with the spatter target on it, the box jumped. Lots of energy being transferred.

I should have stopped the first time I tried to cock the hammer and the cylinder didn’t want to rotate freely. A little help, and it rotated into position for the next shot.

After we were done, I went back in and went to dump the cylinder. The cases didn’t fall out. That’s ok. I’m told it happens. I pushed on the ejector rod. Nothing. The cases didn’t even budge a little bit.

In the end, I took to tapping the ejector rod gently until the cases ejected.

The pressure was high enough to pressure from the cases to the cylinder walls. Those rounds are not going into the revolver again. They are far too hot for that hand gun.

I’m torn. What I should do is pull every round. What I want to do is just send them down range through the R92.

Do as I say, if you make a hot load and you know it. Don’t mess around, just pull them. You can save the bullets. So what if you lose a bit of powder.

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By awa

9 thoughts on “Do as I say, not as I do”
  1. Pul them. You can save everything but the powder. Worse case you take empty brass and load them and “dry” fire the primer. In making new loads I start at the minimum or even a little below. Add grains up to the max 1/2 grain at a time til you are comfortable. Personally I never load max grains. Too easy to get a big problem.

    1. Most of the time, your puller is contaminated with other powders. It just isn’t worth the risk. If you think getting a hot load because you have a grain or two extra is bad, just watch what happens when you mix powders and get something entirely different.

  2. I’d pull and reuse powder. Also how much over is it for 158gr? If it is within +/- a grain I’d just shoot them from the rossiyself personally.

    1. As I said below, not worth the risk. Yes, I’m going to pull the rounds. Reuse the bullets.
      Lenard, take TiteGroup as an example. Max load for .38 SPL with a 125gr XTP is 5gr. TiteGroup uses very small charges. 6grains would scare me.
      Alliant 2400 is 17.7gr with 125gr XTP for .357Mag. (Lyman) 16.9gr (Hornady). For 158gr XTP it is 14.9gr and 14.3gr. So a difference of 2.8gr or so.
      Using TiteGroup instead the difference is 6.1gr vs. 7.5gr or just 1.4gr. Half the difference from 2400. A +/- a grain isn’t within safety margins for some powders.

      1. You didn’t list your load above, just that it is 2400 in 357 mag, which I know is typically in the teens. Sounds like all your loads are more than +/- 1 grain, so yea I wouldn’t either. That said, +/- 1gr at max load is probably fine; you are still likely within the safety margins from 16gr to over at 17gr. Obviously +/- a grain in the middle is fine. Doesn’t mean you should take the risk it? No, but you are probably fine if you mixed it up etc etc, just like you did.
        Now if you are talking about like you said some powder were +/- a grain IS the swing from min to max to maxxxxxx overload then yea obviously much less safe. Win231 is another example, pita to meter and 38spl is like 2gr min and 5 gr max. Yea I wouldn’t take a chance with that either at +/- 1gr.
        I also don’t see why you couldn’t reuse the power, just measured correctly?

        1. I intentionally did not list my load. All the loads I listed came from what I consider “trusted sources”. The load I did was not a good load. I do NOT want somebody to accidentally stumble onto this post and take my word for it and have a bad experience.
          The short of it. I was not careful enough. When I discovered that I had made an error, I did not immediately decide to pull the hot loads. They were only over by a couple of grains on a powder where “safe zones” are 5 or so grains. I ran them in the R92 and checked the cases for signs of over pressure. The primers MIGHT have been a little flat. Since I didn’t see “excessive” pressures, I tried again in the gp-100. That showed me that we did have overpressure.
          As for accuracy, my loads are +/- 0.5gr. Every load is weighed. The scale that I use is calibrated before each use. I check it again at the end to make sure that it has maintained its accuracy. I’ve done verification against two other electronic scales and had the same results. I really should do a test against my beam balance, just to be sure.
          Regardless, I messed up. I knew I had messed up. I would rather not pull 50 bullets. I was dithering. I wrote this post and in doing so, got the motivation to do “the right thing”.
          Thank you.

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