Monday, February 9, 2015

Reloading Berry Bullets, continued

My brother came out today and we shot the 27 rounds I had loaded up with Berry 124 grain THP bullets.

---Disclaimer:  Use this information at your own peril.  It is not sanctioned by any laboratory.---

A two-by-four stuffed into a snowbank.  We were shooting from 7 paces.  In retrospect, this was too fine a target for "simulated combat".   In MOA, a two-by-four at 7 yards is about the same as a bad-guy at 25 yards.
I started with 4.0 grains of Unique in W-W brass and an COAL of 1.125" (28.5mm).

In testing for misfeeds we had two limp-wrist induced events.  I had one and he had one.  My brother was actually trying to create a limp-wrist misfeed.  My misfeed was the result of not paying attention.  The reloads with 4.0 grains of Unique felt and sounded like the inexpensive factory ammo.

The plan was to shoot them over the chrony.  My brother shot some 115 grain factory ammo over the screens...and one round through it.  The factory ammo averaged 1044 fps with one flier at 870 fps.  We were not able to chrony the handloads due to impact induced trauma.

To quote PawpawThere are two kinds of chronographs.  Chronographs that have been shot and chronographs that will get shot.

We tunneled half way to Indiana.  I will find the bullets when the snow melts.
We also shot some of the 4.0 grain loads into a water trap.  We saw no evidence of expansion.  It is my belief that water is bullet friendly;  any bullet that might expand will expand if you shoot it through full water jugs or buckets of water.  We were not able to recover any bullets even though we dug 24 inches into the snowbank.  Nor were there any fragments of lead or copper in the bottom of the bucket.  The impacts caused very little agitation of the water which suggests little energy transfer.

We went back to the ERJ reloading facility and added a little more juice.  We talked it over and went to 4.4 grains of Unique and left all other parameters the same.

Everybody does things a little differently.  I use the following method to weigh small powder charges.  I zero the scale.  Then I set the scale to five times the weight I want.  To dial in the powder measure to throw 4.4 grain charges I set the scale counterweight to 22 grains.  I run five powder dumps to stabilize the powder measure.  Then I dump five consecutive powder charges into the scale's pan.  I put the pan back on the scale and determine if it is high, low or on-the-money.  I repeat this process, making adjustments to the barrel of the powder measure until I can get five charges that balance out the scale.  The reason for throwing multiple charges is to wash out minute measurement errors.

After making another 70 rounds we went outside to test them.  He cranked five of the juiced up rounds downrange into the official, bullet trap snowbank.  He really, really, really tried to make it misfeed due to limp-wristing.  It did not misfeed.  He commented that the rounds were warmer than the first ones we fired.  He is a happy guy.

I am very curious to know how fast the 4.4 grains of Unique is pushing those bullets.

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