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Adventures with 2400... or maybe not

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by Yondering, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Yondering


    Dec 3, 2011
    Another title of this thread could be "I did something dumb". :whistling:

    I wanted to load up some cheap blasting fodder for the G20L, using some of my cast bullets from recycled lead, used brass, and surplus powder, leaving me to just pay for the primers. I set out some of my Lee 175 TC bullets, and a bunch of 40 S&W brass, then remembered I have 3 old jugs of Hercules 2400 that a friend gave me. I grabbed one of them, the old square can with the "press to open" cap, and dumped it in my powder measure. I decided to start with 9.0gr, with an OAL of 1.145". In my previous experiments with 2400 in the 10mm and 40 S&W, powder capacity was always the limiting factor, not pressure, so I figured this would be pretty safe...

    Wow, 1280 fps average out of my 6.6" barrel. It shot pretty well, with no pressure signs, so I worked up a little; 9.3gr gave 1330 fps and 9.6 gave 1360 fps but showed light smiles, so I didn't load many of those.

    Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with this stuff, giving me 10mm power in basically a 40 S&W load. So I wondered how the newer Alliant 2400 would compare. Hmm, right off, I noticed the 9.3gr charge bar setting for the stuff in the square can threw 11.2gr of the new stuff. That's not right. I backed the charge off to 9.0gr, and tried a few. 890 fps! About then is where I realized this stuff in the square can isn't 2400, or at least isn't the same 2400. I worked all the way up to 12.5gr of the Alliant 2400, getting only 1180 fps.

    So, besides the reminder to always work up loads again with a new lot of powder (duh, I knew that, just didn't do it :upeyes:), do you guys have any thoughts on what this "mystery powder" is? (see pics below) It looks enough like 2400 that I didn't look closer at first, but now I see that it looks more like a cross between Power Pistol and 2400. It has some thin flakes like Power Pistol, and about the same size, but other thick granules like 2400, and some in between. (It could be a mixture of two powders, probably the most likely scenario here.) Did Hercules change their formula for 2400 way back then?

    For comparison, I worked up the same load with Power Pistol (just because it looks very similar, although the flakes are thinner). It seems to have about the same potential as this mystery powder, but takes about 1 grain less to get the same velocity (8.0gr Power Pistol vs 9.0 "mystery 2400" for 1280 fps).

    As a side note, I have two other jugs of Hercules 2400; one is unopened but the other looks just like the newer Alliant stuff, except it's a little denser. 11.2gr of the Alliant 2400 is the same volume as 12.1gr of Hercules 2400 from my tall round jug.

    Comparison of some different powders:

    4 cans of 2400:
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  2. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    Very strange, it is hard to tell from the picture, other than they don't look the same (oldest and newest). My results with 2400 was more like your last tests, no way was I going to get 1300+ fps with my 180gr FMJ's.

    Maybe a call to Alliant will help solve the mystery, perhaps they reformulated after they bought Hercules.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    OUCH !!!!!

    Man you are so very right... Having 2400/Unique/H110 in my blood ! haha. Man I assure you, as you already know, NOW.. haha, that 2400 HAS most definately changed since that little square can..

    I load a max of 13.0grs 2400 ( new Alliant 2400) with 200gr cast ***Do not try this at home boys and girls*** and it makes for a good deer load in the G20 stock setup (except for 21#ISMI spring non captive and steel rod).

    The nitro content has changed in about every thing actually, over the years, but so many of us at times have tried to use the old Hercules 2400 for the now new "look" tube of Alliant 2400... not the same. But not to different either.

    Hope this link will work for ya... I was looking at it the other day.

    I been using 2400 for over 40+ years. The NEW (if ya will Alliant 2400) seems to burn a some tad cleaner and needs les charge weight, and seems a tad faster with less powder charge as compaired to the "square Hercules can."

    I had the answers to about all the questions you ask about content etc, and was looking for it recently myself, and can't figure what I did with it. I'll keep looking.

    There is a little dab of info on this link I gave ya. Not alot, but some.

    HTWH 'some' till I can find that other info I ad, man I don't know what i did with it.. :dunno:

    Well, have fun, and go slow there amigo ! haha. There is some difference for sure..

    I got some really old load data manuals dating waaay back, if ya need some data for something other than 10mm, I may be able to help ya out, until I find this other info on it. It is in a folder some where I just don't know where... ha.

    Came back to add tis NOTE**** I have always thought that the square can of Herc 2400 looked akin to Bulles Eye mix. :dunno: I will try and find that dang info I had man....

    Good luck.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  4. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    The differences with Blue Dot over the years were a little more suttle and densities remained almost unchanged...however Blue Dot is not as old as 2400. :dunno:
  5. Yondering


    Dec 3, 2011
    A few of you guys might know this - in Hercule's powder, which came first, the square metal cans, or the tall cardboard tubes? I'm guessing the square cans were first, just because one of my cardboard tubes of 2400 has more "lawyer warnings" on it than the others, so it's probably a later product.

    If the stuff in my square can is in fact 2400, it would indicate a drastic change in powder formula; it's obviously much faster, and has much lower density (about 75%) than modern 2400.
  6. dm1906

    dm1906 Retired SO

    Sep 7, 2010
    PRK (Kalifornia)
    Yes, square can was first (as far back as I remember using it). The two round paper cans came later, mid/late 70's until Alliant acquired Hercules, about 1995 or so. Good catch on the label warnings. Good indicator of more "modern" (more lawyers).
  7. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    I drifted back over this evening.... Right on here DM. I wish I had some of those older canisters left just for the sake of having them. I used a ton of 2400 in the pic Yondering has with the bright red can and the blue label, about 1973/74 I think. I still got the old old load data books that allow for the Keith load of 22.0grs 2400 with a 250gr Keith bullet.

    The manuals now only go to 20.0/20.5grians 2400 max.
    Being the old dude that I am, I still load the 22.0gr in my 44's with that bullet a good deal of the time. Nice load.

    Thanks for bringing up some good memories guys ! ;)

    Good thread Yondering...