Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have seen a thread about it burning to hot and ruining the forcing cones in revolvers and thought I would see if anyone else has had bad erosion in any rifle or pistol they have used it in.I have planned to try it in my .357 1894 marlin with 158 grain XTP and also a king cobra.It suddenly sounds like it might not be a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes,that is what I have read; I hope that it has more to the amounts of powder used in the large cartridges that they are using instead of the 357 (which I think is about the smallest that it is used in).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
My buddy has shot more than 200 rounds in his 30-M1 carbine all loaded with Lil Gun powder. I also use it to load for my .357 Marlin 1894C.
I have had no problems. ;) :D

CJ
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,025 Posts
The problem (as I understand it) was that they were having erosion problems in revolvers using large-bore rounds and maximum charges of Lil Gun. Think it equates to similar problems reported in years past with granular powders and high flame temperatures. Naturally, in carbines there is no forcing cone to erode, but some burning of the throat is possible IF a steady diet of maximum loads is used.

Being a strong proponent and heavy user of Lil Gun, I checked all my 357 revolvers for signs of premature wear, and couldn't find ANY signs of problems. These guns seee nothing but handloads with Lil Gun and Remington JHP's, but I do NOT load to maximum, I see no need. The book maximum for Lil gun in 357 with a 158-grain bullet is 18.0 grains, my pet load is 16.2 grains, and I have never seen the need to load it hotter. In summer temperatures my standard load is warm enough to show some mild pressure signs (flattening and VERY slight cratering) but in winter they look as mellow as target loads.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,800 Posts
Just one more warning to be cautious when reloading. Never used Lil Gun.

It sounds like a good powder to me.

If I owned a revolver that the manufacturer gave that warning about, I would not want to void the warranty when in our world there is other choices.

I would not really worry about it, especially if you have used other slow burners in your guns, checking the wear and tear on your firearms is a normal routine that should be performed when you are cleaning it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
Never used Lil'Gun because by the time it came out I was already a W296/H110 fan.

What I've learned about it is that it generates more heat than other powders in its class. Not good.

I suppose it's OK to use and many use it successfully, but like I said, I already have a maximum velocity powder I am happy with.

One powder I will NEVER use again is Blue Dot. That stuff is downright scary!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,170 Posts
I think I will side with PJ on this one... He has a butt-load of experience with Lil Gun, and if he isn't seeing issues with his firearms, I doubt that I will see issues with mine. I also agree with taming some of my loads for the handguns.

For full power loads in the .44 and .357, I have had good luck with W-296/H-110 and 2400 (respectively). In the 1894 .44 Mag, my W-296/H-110 loads have accounted for plenty of critters that can no longer dispute the effectiveness of my loadings. In the handguns, full power loads are objectionable, obnoxious, and in the case of the .44, painful. For handgunning, the moderate loads are easier on the gun and my hand, and for those moderate loads, I can see where Lil Gun, 2400, and VV N-350 may be a better fit. Handguns in the .357 and .44 Mag class derive no benefit from moderate charges of H-110/W-296, and are specifically not recommended. If I need more power than the moderate loads in my handguns provide, then I obviously brought along the wrong firearm. ;)

As for Blue Dot, I have exhausted my supply and haven't replenished it... Yet. But in my .44 Mag, Blue Dot provided some outstanding accuracy. In fact, my best slow fire score with a .44 Mag was a 97 (six X) using 11.0 gr of Blue Dot under a 240 gr SWC, producing a fuzz over 1,100 fps. As to whether or not I will use Blue Dot again is up in the air. Just need to keep playing with loads, and after all, isn't that half the fun?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,670 Posts
The thing that's held me off of Lil Gun is that the only thing I've got that has data for it is the 357 rifles.

As for Blue Dot, back about 30 years ago, it was my main go to powder for 41 Mag 170gr jacketed loads and 16 gauge heavy loads. Went through a couple of kegs with those.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,025 Posts
The biggest problem with Blue Dot seems to be a lack of consistency from one batch to the next. I got one lot years ago that was so hot I was getting sticky extraction and cratered/blown primers with starting loads in 357 pistol ammo. After that the only use I had for it was starting campfires. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Us old guys should remember the nursery rhyme about: "There was a girl, with a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead........ And when she was good, she was very, very, good... And when she was bad she was horrid!"

Lil'Gun has always reminded me of this old nursery rhyme! It can behave admirably sometimes and almost (if not) blow primers the next! This said it is the .22 Hornet powder of choice for me! It gives more velocity with less pressure than any other powder. JUST don't get the bullet weight too heavy or the 'horrid' can show up!
That said I have thousands of rounds through Hornet barrels with no signs of any erosion.

Casull working pressures are scorching hot! This can cause erosion and flame cutting with several ball powders, and flake powders too, for that matter.

Remember when Ruger brought out the .357 Maximum in a revolver? It didn't last long AS IT FLAME CUT THE TOP STRAP SEVERELY AFTER A FEW HUNDRED ROUNDS! This was before Lil'Gun was born... but high pressure with a lot of 296 or 680 still got the job done...

2520WHV
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,025 Posts
2520WHV said:
Casull working pressures are scorching hot! This can cause erosion and flame cutting with several ball powders, and flake powders too, for that matter.
I found it curious that Lil Gun was singled out regarding erosion problems when there are so many powders that will do the same thing if loaded to 100% of the potential density or pressure level. I think the caution that was put out was to warn reloaders that as good as Lil Gun can be, it's not immune to the same issues that had plagued other powders. Higher flame temperature is always mentioned, but higher compared to what, and at what scale? If it's 10% higher I'd never use it again, but I'm betting it's a percentage point or two, and not more. Unless you run your loads really hot you'll likely never see any difference. The problem with the 357 Maximum was the use of spherical/ball powders that sandblasted a cut into the topstrap of the guns. Most of what I've read on that topic tells you that yes, there is a cut made, but at a given point it stops getting any worse, and with a stout revolver, it ceases to be an issue. Any 357 revolver that's seen a thousand rounds has the same cut, and it's not an issue, it's just a fact of life, and we all got over it. The guns kept right on perking, and we kept happily shooting them with the same "erosive" loads.

We have learned an awful lot about metallurgy in the last 50 years, and the guns being produced these days are far better than anything we've ever seen. Better alloys, better heat-treating, and better designs make them capable of digesting a round count that would have turned an old gun into a handful of pieces. But bear in mind that older guns were mostly made for low-pressure rounds that didn't wear out or stress guns like the current magnum/high pressure stuff does.

There's a tradeoff between making a gun that will withstand high flame temperatures and not show any erosion, and a gun that is affordable to the masses. Yes, the Freedom Arms guns are made to a higher standard, and they were cited as one of the guns that showed erosion symptoms. But some of the handloads that were used were loaded to pressure levels that would stretch and erode ANY gun, and when they started showing signs of wear, the owners complained. But the fact remains that whether your gun cost you $700 or twice that, erosion at certain prssure levels is pretty much inevitable. Heat treating or alloying can only do so much, and while you can make a gun stronger, you can't make it totally impervious to wear. Consider what happens to a gun between the time the hammer falls and the time the bullet leaves the barrel........the pressures and heat and friction make wear inevitable. Blame the powder if you want to, but the fact is, NO powder is without erosive qualities, be it ball, flake or extruded.

You can load it down and save wear, but you can't eliminate it completely. If you want your gun to last forever, put it in a drawer and don't shoot it. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,670 Posts
PJ, it was the old Hercules Blue Dot that I used back in the early 80s. It was pretty good stuff back then and one heck of a magnum load shotgun powder. The fact that it worked good in my 41 Mag Blackhawk was just icing on the cake. But I wasn't loading to the max either in the 41. As for the newer Alliant Blue Dot, I believe I'd just stick to shotgun shells for it.

I've been eyeing that new Alliant 300MP a bit as well as Lil Gun. But then somewhere in one of my powder stashes, I've still got most of a jug of H110. Decisions, decisions......
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top