close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Talk

Why should YOU join our Glock forum?

  • Converse with other Glock Enthusiasts
  • Learn about the latest hunting products
  • Becoming a member is FREE and EASY

If you consider yourself a beginner or an avid shooter, the Glock Talk community is your place to discuss self defense, concealed carry, reloading, target shooting, and all things Glock.

What is the TRUTH about 800-X load data?!

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by 21Carrier, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    Guys, I think we all agree 800-X is the most powerful 10mm powder out there, but the more I play with this stuff, the more it starts to bother me. What in the hell is the deal with the load data inconsistencies? Does anyone really know? Anyone that's been around 10mm reloading for even a few weeks has no doubt seen or heard about the now infamous 135gr Nosler load, but that's not what really bothers me.

    What really bothers me are the inconsistencies in other weight bullets. For example, my new Hornady book says a 155gr XTP maxes out at 11.5 gr of 800-X (CCI 300, COAL 1.260" for all loads unless noted otherwise). It says that load does 1350fps, but I KNOW that's crap. Also, I see other sources maxing out BELOW 10.0gr with a 155gr bullet!!! What is the deal?!

    My only guess on this matter is that 800-X has some crazy characteristics. Here's what I mean: in my testing (load workups) it seems that case expansion with 800-X increases to a point, then as you push further, it actually DECREASES for a bit, then starts rising again. To clarify, it almost seems to have a FALSE maximum that comes in early, but can be pushed through. Is this perhaps the reason some books stop so low? Maybe they are hitting the premature maximum, thinking it is max, and stopping the work-up.

    I have noticed this during "in field" case measurements, but since I only tend to keep my last grain or so of worked up empty shells separate for further home measurement/inspection, I don't have hard number to back it up. I just remember hitting a case expansion figure that was near my max at a charge well below book max, but after carefully pushing on, the expansion seemed to decrease a bit then increase again. Has anyone else had similar results?

    By the way, this is only based on remembered "in field" measurements and should not be taken as fact. Please don't think this is fact and push beyond pressure signs. At this point this is nothing more than a curious observation and cause for discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  2. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    You are vocalizing a sentiment that I have had for some time now about 800-X. That is why I have been migrating away from it. I have had fairly nasty symptoms of pressure in one instance at far less than book max (180 xtp), yet loaded to 14.5 grains under a 135 gr Nosler with benign pressure symptoms. Looking at burn rate charts, it is a relatively quick burning powder - to a point. This is all conjecture, but it seems to slow down with heavier charges. I imagine that there is a point where there is an inconsistent burn at higher charges (I.e. the Nos 135 data) so pressures level off or maybe decline. - I don't know. With the 135, there was no increase in velocity from 14.0 grains to 14.5 grains.

    The solution to incomplete burn is traditionally to use a mag primer. However, this powder is an altogether different animal with mag primers in my experience. I don't use them with 800-X.

    Ultimately for me, I can't seem to get a read on that powder. It is a strong performer overall, but I am hesitant to push it. If I am hesitant to shoot any load, then I don't. Period.

    I like Accurate no. 9, and have nearly 200 test loads of Longshot with various bullets to try.

    My guess with the huge cushions for pressure found in load data might have something to do with leaving a huge fudge factor for 1) poor metering of 800-X and 2) pehaps the labs are finding some wide variations too. I don't know.
     

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

  3. MinervaDoe

    MinervaDoe

    9,373
    1,647
    Jan 26, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Metering is about the only variable that you can take out of the equation by carefully weighing each shot in your test batches.

    Other than that, this is the sort of torment that has made me swear a dozen times that I will never use this powder or that powder ever again. In the end, I always come back, but with some new rule or constraint.

    If I had hair, I'd say it was enough to make my hair fall out (or get pulled out).
     
  4. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    My take is that most 0.400" Hollow Point bullets for 10mm/40 cal. are made more for the 40S&W performance, they don't requier that much velocity to have them open up, over driving them tends to break them apart at the higher speeds. With that in mind, Self Defense type loads are taken into consideration performance wise so velocities are less, to prevent pass thru or explosive expansion.:shocked:

    Manufactures are not showing the higher loading data of years past for several reasons but mostly liability reasons. They have no idea what a handloader will be putting into what casing, with what primer and shot thru a gun with no knowledge of its condition. So they revised the data to reflect a larger safety margine taking the unknowns into account. The statements like use "current data" play into their hands for this reason.

    Then there are the "Velocity Jockey", "Performance Pusher" or the "Ballistician Magician" trying to squeeze every fps or ft lb from the loads...Yes there are many who chase the give me more attitude...:wow:

    I too load toward the upper performance levels but look for the balance of accuracy and 100% reliability with my safety in mind!:supergrin:
     
  5. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

    870
    6
    Aug 27, 2002
    To try and answer one question regarding the load data, I have a note in my Hornady 7th, regarding AA#7 and the suggested weights for the 155 XTP.


    7/12/10, Glocktalk, data suspect under Accurate data.


    The Accurate Arms 3.4 Edition has 12.7 grains as max, for a Hornady 155 H.P., same as the Accurate Arms 3.5 Edition, showing pressure as 37,500 PSI.

    I know there is a difference between the Hornady HP and XTP, but, I think taking a 155 gr. XTP up to 15.1 grains as suggested on page 861 of the Hornady 7th, might be a bit questionable and if the AA#7 data is off, well I suppose it's within the realm of possibility that all the data on that page might be off?

    Without sifting back through the aforementioned Accurate Arms data, the gist of the thread, IIRC, was that Hornady made a mistake. Point being the manuals are not always gospel.

    I don't get it either with 800x, guys are for the most part getting really good results, although most recommend not using 350's and some like Tater have had results which make them nervous.

    I recently read an article by Elmer Keith, where he claimed one characteristic of certain smokeless powders was at a given point they detonate rather then burn, (I couldn't help think of 800-x loads) so he advocated staying within book maximums...Elmer of all people, considering the way he pushed the .44 Special for one.

    I don't know much, but one thing I always do is to confirm a load in at least two well known published sources, I prefer three and can usually do that with powder online data, then I generally use the lowest and go from there, I seldom use max load data.

    And I'm hesitant to go over book, I don't care what someone on the internet did, curious yes, but that doesn't mean I'm doing it.

    The highest published charge weight I can find for a 200 grain bullet with 800x is 8.1 grains with an XTP in the Hornady 7th. I've seen McNett state he's used 10.0 grains and users on this forum going almost as high without mishap thus far.

    I'm sticking with 8.1 grains with a 200 gr. WFNGC for now and feel a bit frisky doing that, since it's not the exact same bullet, and my other respected, published sources are recommending 7.8 and 7.6 grains as max with 200 grain bullets.

    Other then that, I'll eventually be looking into other 10mm powders, L.S. is probably going to be next.

    And if I need more velocity, power and weight, and I do out here in the Rocky Mountains, it will be a .44 Mag.

    I love my 10mm but like all calibers it does have it's limits.

    As an aside, I was out yesterday, in the hot, scorching sun, I had various, open ammo boxes, since I was wanting to put my difficult to find brass back into the same box it came from. It got extremely hot, very quickly and I had to wonder what it was doing to the powder and pressures, and I did quickly get it out of the hot sun.

    On a similar note if 800x acts up with 350's, it might have other characteristics we're not familiar with, which is why the published sources have the data they do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  6. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I just don't understand this powder. Most other powders seem to have similar maximums across different brand manuals, but 800-X is not so. Obviously, there are differences in quoted max loads for other powders, too, but with 800-X it's just so extreme. I just don't see why some books stop TWO GRAINS lower than others, and publish a pressure of 30,000psi. I just feel that there's something unique about this powder that makes it different than the other pistol/shotgun powders.

    I also understand what Shadow is saying about not overdriving .400" bullets, but I feel that is beyond the concern of the load book writers. I don't want them to limit my data because of current bullet design. I want them to limit data to PRESSURE. Basically, I want the upper limit to be the upper limit because it's nearing 37,500psi, not because they feel I'm going to be over-driving given bullet designs.

    I guess in the end Taterhead is right. I think there's a lot of sense in the idea that they are covering their butts because of 800-X's poor metering qualities. I also agree that there are some weird pressure characteristics that are limiting them.

    That still doesn't explain why Hornady chooses to go so far with their 155gr 800-X load, then stay relatively safe with the 180gr and 200gr loads. It would seem (from the 180gr and 200gr loads) that Hornady is playing it safe like the others. But then they go and push the 155gr load to what I am certain is a TRUE maximum figure. So they only take the metering/pressure issues into account with the heavier bullets? THEN, there's the issue of that max 155gr XTP's velocity. It is wrong. I have no doubt, but I'll confirm it soon when I get a chronograph.

    I guess the bottom line is that I'm just really interested in what's going on. I'm in no hurry to vaporize my gun and fingers, but I aim to do some serious testing as soon as I have a chronograph.

    I am going to try to figure out a way to do some poor-man's pressure testing. Any other car guys out there? If so, I'm sure you've heard of Plasti-gauge. I'm wondering if a piece of Plasti-gauge wrapped around a bullet could be translated into relative pressures. I realize this would be HIGHLY unscientific, and would be nearly impossible to translate to actual psi figures, but it just MIGHT give a better idea of RELATIVE pressure, which is all we really need. If it, or something like it, would reliably show the difference in pressure between two loads, that's all I would need. Then it could be compared to a well-known max load. I may go get some this weekend. I just hope it doesn't melt or disappear into the wind upon ejection.
     
  7. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    Here is yet another thought to ponder...FMJ, FMC, JHP, Lead Free

    Each of these bullets may weigh the same but be very different in total length and space occupied within the cartridge case. This can and does affect pressure based on the powder compression or free space... same amount of powder but less space increases pressure.

    Then when you think about setback issues that increase the pressures, can you see where the manufactures want even more safety cushion to distance themselves.

    In the past they pushed and published higher limits to sell their products just like the Auto manufactures...Chevy vs. Ford vs. Dodge! The performance junkies eat it up and buy!

    Now Carrier, about your pressure testing...I don't know if the plasti-gauge will yield any data that could be interpted but trying doesn't hurt!

    Pressure test barrels (fixed and round so the strain can be wrapped) that they use a strain gauge wrapped are usually compared to know test performed. I suppose it is based on the expansion of the barrel metal acting on the strain gauge...repeatable and instant read out as a graph over time via computer.

    I think he old C.U.P. method was probably more precise based on the crushed copper disk of known compressive forces. This was slow and could only be use once per disk which had to be evaluated as a maximum.

    I would like to see a chamber cut (slightly oversize near the rear) so as to have the strain gauge wrapped around the cartridge of test and slid into the test chamber. This would be directly acted upon the gauge. This may show different for specific brass cases.

    But what do I know! Absolutely nothing!:faint:
     
  8. TDC20

    TDC20

    1,013
    285
    Apr 11, 2011
    Carrier, I'm glad that you started this thread, because the 800-X issue has bothered me quite a bit, also. I'm used to following published load data without question, so when I saw some of the data and the results posted on the 10mm reloading forum for 800-X, I was a bit skeptical. However, since Hodgdon's data shows the max load for 180gr bullets at 30,000 psi, there's clearly more margin there than what is published. I've cautiously loaded beyond the published level, but that always bothers me. And up to a couple of days ago, I bought into the "poor metering" line of thinking that kept Hodgdon from publishing true max pressure data. Then, I was browsing Hodgdon's on-line reloading data for 357 Sig, and I found this:

    147 GR. HDY XTP, IMR 800-X, 1.140" OAL, 9.0gr 1317fps, 38,000 PSI

    Which tells me that the metering issue must be bogus if they are willing to show 38,000 psi data for the 357 Sig. My guess is that 10mm Auto is too small of a market for them to spend the time and money testing for maximum pressure 10mm load data. I could be wrong about this, but the 357 Sig data kind of backs up this line of thinking. In a way, I feel hurt. :dunno:

    Back to what you said about false pressure maximums, I also saw this when working with 135gr. Noslers and 800-X. At 12.3gr (using Rem 2.5 primers, LWD 6" bbl, and 22lb recoil spring) I was averaging 1667fps, but at 12.5gr. I was averaging 1661fps. I also noted a flake of unburnt powder on the magazine lips after firing the 12.5gr. load. I stopped there with my load development, as I didn't want to push any higher than that, even though case head expansion was still good and there weren't any other signs of pressure. I still don't know exactly what to make of those results, but it was enough to slow me down and I'll think about it a long time before going back there.

    I'm still a big fan of 800-X, especially for "heavy and fast" loads. Until someone does some certifiable pressure testing, though, it will be a mystery as to where that 37,500 psi mark lies. Until then, I think I'll err on the side of caution.
     
  9. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    The 135gr Nosler load was the one that caused me to notice these weird pressure signs. I worked up from 11.5gr to 13.0gr (CCI300, COAL 1.260"). Around 12.0gr I was getting near max expansion (my max is .435", which is usually the point where the smiles appear). I made the decision to move further and noticed expansion slightly DECREASED. By the time I got to 12.5gr, the expansion had backed down to like .433". Then it slowly increased again back up to max, and I called it quits at 13.0gr. It was just weird.

    Thanks for posting that .357Sig load. That sounds like one hell of a .357Sig load!

    You know, just thinking about it, there are so many factors that are just miles above our heads and means of observation. For example, this phenomenon could just be an artifact of my barrel length. Different length barrels will result in different harmonics which could produce secondary and even tertiary pressure waves. Or even the massive flakes of 800-x could cause it to be so different. Maybe more of the flakes combust halfway down the barrel. Who knows. I know it's beyond my abilities of observation without expensive equipment. I think I'll just keep shooting crap, and leave the testing to the guys that have the equipment!
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  10. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

    870
    6
    Aug 27, 2002
    TD

    Good find and observations on the .357 Sig data, I'm a bit startled by it. 38,000 PSI?

    What if?

    IMR has a link I quickly found with an email address. As you can see at the link they tout 800-x as being an excellent choice for 10mm.

    http://www.imrpowder.com/hs800x.html

    Gee, how about some up to date and relevant data guys? Especially with the bullets we're using?

    What if all of us dedicated 10mm re loader's and 800-x fans, start an email campaign asking them to provide us with some more 10mm data, even going as far as telling them what loads we're developing and asking if they'd kindly provide feedback and support of their product?

    Couldn't hurt and we might learn something?

    As 21 said, without cost prohibitive equipment, we're flying by the seat of our pants here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  11. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    A thorough re-test of the 135 grain load would serve us well. How many believe that the max would still be at 14.5 grains? Not me. The max now for a 155 gr is IIRC 9.8 grains.
     
  12. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

    870
    6
    Aug 27, 2002
    I'd like to see 135 Nosler, 155, 180 and 200 grain XTP's and the 200 grain WFNGC, if they'd max those out at 37,500 psi and let us know that would be sweet.
     
  13. Burien

    Burien

    308
    2
    Aug 19, 2009
    My 800x Max load with the 135 gr Nosler is 13 gr @ 1.260" with Tula Large Pistol primers in a KKM G-29 factory lenght barrel.

    My Max load with a factory Glock OEM barrel is 12 gr and all else the same, gets me right about 1495 fps and no glock smile on my brass.
     
  14. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Both 14.0 & 14.5 grains with CCI 300s (1.25") ran at 1695 fps in my stock G20 w/ 22# spring. No symptoms of excess pressure. I do not shoot them at those levels any longer. In fact, I have loaded a bunch to thoroughly re-test workups with the Nosler from 10.0 to 12.0 grains in small increments. I intend to get some additional data that I did not collect when I first did load workups several years ago. When I can get to the range (and when I am not doing other things at the range) I will post my results.
     
  15. TDC20

    TDC20

    1,013
    285
    Apr 11, 2011
    I have a theory about what is happening with the light (135gr) bullets and 800-X. About 6 months ago, I had a half-baked idea to develop a way to shoot 22 cal air rifle pellets out of my .22 LR (I don't own an airgun now). The target was going to be starlings off the backyard bird feeder. Anyway, I pulled some bullets from some cheap 22 ammo, dumped the powder, and then loaded 1gr of the fastest powder I have on hand, which is Bullseye. The plan was to chrono the velocity and work up to about 1000fps. The only problem was that I was only able to get one out of about 10 rds to actually burn the powder and accelerate the pellet out of the barrel at a decent velocity. On the rest, only the rimfire primer burned, leaving a mess of unburnt Bullseye in the barrel. The problem is that smokeless powders burn fast under intense pressure, as can be seen by lighting a few grains of powder with no pressure. Low pressure means a slow burn. I believe the 135gr/800-X "reverse pressure work-up" is a case where there is an initial violent expansion of gasses from the primer and an incomplete initial powder burn. As the bullet moves quickly down the barrel, the pressure drops, slowing the burn rate before all the powder can be burned inside the barrel. Heavier bullets with 800-X don't have this problem, because the pressure remains high enough to complete combustion as the heavier bullet accelerates at a slower pace down the barrel, maintaining a higher pressure. It's possible that using a magnum primer might fix a theoretical 135 slow burn problem, but I'm already getting 1660 fps (6" LWD) with a standard primer, and I've had lower pressure signs with standard primers and 800-X in general, especially with heavier bullets.

    Again, this is just a theory, but if it's anywhere near accurate, it could result in some very serious sudden overpressures when a seemingly benign load suddenly and unexpectedly gets a 100% burn and subsequent huge pressure spike. For that reason, I have quit loading 800-X for 135gr. bullets and instead now use Longshot for my 135's, although 12.0gr 800-X/135 with a standard primer is a safe load that I feel comfortable with in my G20. I won't go any higher than that, though.

    I still think 800-X is THE 10mm high performance powder for 180 and 200 gr bullets if you can deal with hand-weighing. I haven't done enough work with 150-165gr bullets yet to have an opinion as to what works best there, but I'm leaning towards Longshot, mainly for the metering qualities. The 135/800-X situation is a squirrelly one, and I'd just as soon avoid any handloads that exhibit squirrelly behavior, especially since the original 14.5 gr. data has not been republished.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  16. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    3,615
    117
    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Good post. That is EXACTLY what I was thinking. Get a complete burn @ 14.5 grains and....

    Some guys running mag primers are getting pressure symptoms in the 12.0 range like blown primers, etc. My loads with 14.5 grains (standard primers) have been benign. With velocities not increasing relative to 14.0 grains, I suspect that unburnt powder is traveling down the barrel. If it were to efficiently ignite, could be trouble with all of that powder.
     
  17. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I'll be sending an e-mail to IMR. I think it might be worthwhile for all of us to do so. I'm going to try to make them feel guilty about advising 800-X for use in 10mm, yet failing to provide good data. If you go by THEIR data, 800-X is no better than lots of other powders. It's only when you go beyond their data (and likely still within 10mm's SAAMI spec) that 800-X becomes the king of the 10mm hill. I just feel limiting 800-X to 30,000psi only in 10mm does no good for anyone. It doesn't help us be safe, because most of us will push beyond their published maximum since we see there's room to spare, and loading blind is not safe. It also certainly does not help their reputation or powder.

    I will write them tonight, and also make them aware of this thread. Maybe someone with some time on their hands will pay attention.
     
  18. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    4,520
    21
    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    What we may see happen in the future, is that the pressure numbers maybe absent from the data. MHO is that this would leave the handloader blind to where the loads are in any shown data...Sad if they do.

    Alliant's Reloader's Guide still shows pressure data for the shotshells but no pressure data listed for the pistol or rifle...

    Better start hanging on to the data guides of years past where they actually provide the proper data with pressures...Copy and paste into word files and save the electronic listed stuff also. I save my older data books for that reason as well.
     
  19. Jitterbug

    Jitterbug

    870
    6
    Aug 27, 2002
    I'll be sending an email out as well, politely asking them to provide us with some updated data.

    I think providing a link to this discussion is a good one.

    Can't hurt to try.
     
  20. 21Carrier

    21Carrier Until I Gota 29

    3,037
    11
    Feb 4, 2011
    Hoover, AL
    I really hope that doesn't happen, but it wouldn't be THAT bad. As long as the maximum charges are TRUE maximums (meaning at or damn near 37,500psi), then you really don't need them to tell you. As long as max really means max, then it's a given that pressure is about 37,500psi. The problem happens when they list a max that's really only at 30,000psi, then omit the pressure data. THAT is not good. As long as their max is a true max, I'll be happy.

    Obviously, if y'all have ever seen anything I do (the wax tests for instance), you know I love data, so I would RATHER have all the data possible. Hell, it would be ideal if they would provide pressure charts or graphs that would give pressure vs. time, and area under the curve. With that, we could REALLY do some learning. But I'll be satisfied if they just update the data to true maximums.

    EDIT: By the way, I sent IMR an e-mail. I guess we will see what they say.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011