Why mouse fart loads?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by kcbrown, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. kcbrown

    kcbrown

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    Seems a number of people are interested in "mouse fart" loads, i.e. loads that barely cycle the slide.

    My question is: why?

    If it's practice you're after, wouldn't you be better off with full power loads, so that when SHTF the rounds you'll be using will feel the same as they did during your practice sessions? That's especially important for followup shots, since the recoil has a huge impact on time-on-target for followups.

    If it's because you prefer the low recoil, wouldn't you be better served by going to a smaller caliber or perhaps even a gas blowback airsoft gun?


    I guess I just don't see any advantages of such low power loads that other cheaper (and, sometimes, more flexible) alternatives cannot provide, but maybe someone can enlighten me on this...
     
  2. LEAD

    LEAD

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    I am in agreance with you here, however I think the idea is to improve upon other aspects of shooting that have little to do with recoil. Personally I wish all my practice rounds were as hot as what I carry.
     

  3. Mellio

    Mellio

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    Sometimes when people go shooting it's not practice for SD/HD or SHTF. It's just a lets see if I can hit the X kinda thing, you know sooting for fun or just the "sport" of trying to hit some cans off of a fence or something. :cool:
     
  4. dudel

    dudel

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    Couple of reasons:

    1) if you are trying to familiarize someone who has never shot, a light load gets them started without developing a flinch.

    2) there is a niche group, particularly amoung rifle boolit shooters, that pursue the VLS (very low speed)load. This group, goes for accuracy, while pushing rifle rounds at 600-700fps. The challenge is in getting MOA groups at 100 yards while not exceeding 750fps. Why? Because not everyone has the skills to load such a round. It's a challenge.

    Personally, I don't know why they are called mouse fart loads. I load a light target round in .38 spl. I've put 5 shots in a very small hole.

    When it comes to defense, I'd prefer to get one slow moving, quiet hit, than 100 fast, loud misses.
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I only see the point when introducing a new shooter to a larger caliber. FOr me, if I want to shoot lighter, loads I drop a bore size. When guys start shooting too light, changing springs & krap, it just makes no sense. I never change a gun to match a load. I load to match the gun & then learn to shoot it. It is one relm the revolver rules. Flea flicker loads to elephant loads all in one gun w/o modifications.
     
  6. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    My mouse fart load is a 124 gr bullet going 1050 fps. Thats not that far off what a normal 124 gr non +P load would do. Maybe 60fps or so shy of normal. But it feels way softer then WWB or any other factory load I have tried. So it's not about performance as much as feel for me.
     
  7. Brucev

    Brucev

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    Over the years I've loaded plenty of ammunition till it was hotter than the hinges of Hell. It made holes in paper targets and holes in deer. The targets did not feel the hole. The deer all dropped like they were hit with a cannon. At some point I got interested in shooting steel plates at various distances. I was amazed that it didn't take a cannon to knock them down. I noticed that the lighter loads gave better accuracy. I noticed also that my scores in competition were better. And when hunting, I noticed that none of the deer complained that I did not shoot them with a LoudEnBoomer. They just cooperated by falling down and dying when I put a round through their heart/lungs. I also took note that my daughters took to shooting these less than maximum loads like the proverbial ducks to water. I decided that I didn't need to prove anything to anyone by loading my rifles and pistols to the absolutely red line limit. I get a lot of pleasure out of shooting my pistols and revolvers and rifles. Less than maximum loads allow me to shoot more comfortably, more accurately and a little more economically. With such loads my daughters have gained a great deal of experience in shooting as well as developing a abiding interest in the shooting sports. When there is a need, I load up with full-power ammunition. But when that is not needed, I go ahead and use loads that are easier on my handgun and on me. Sincerely. Brucev.
     
  8. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    Agreed, but I will add... or a "180g bullet doing 920 Fps" in some cases.
    In actuality some of the factory produced larger calibers don't even make what is considered to be major power factor.
    Like Steve says it's about feel...
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I totally agree w/ this. Changing springs, etc.. so you can shoot really light loads, makes little sense to me. I usually load some fairly light .38spl loads when showing a new shooter the ropes. I've also got a light 9mm load I like. Beyond that though, I typically try to get my ammo in the area of WWB for that caliber.

    I think some folks like loading as close to a certain power factor for competition as well. I've never shot loads like that, so maybe they aren't actually mouse farts...

    IGF
     
  10. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Exactly,

    And, if your going to "play the game with .40 S&W"

    180 gr @ 722 FPS
    200 gr @ 650 FPS

    OR

    220 gr @ 590 FPS

    All of them make 130 Power Factor.

    That 220 gr you can watch it as it goes to the target. That is a mouse fart load. NOTHING like factor ammo. Thats gammin to the max.
     
  11. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Actually standing on the target and shooting down between your feet doesn't count as putting '5 shots in a very small hole'. :whistling:

    Jack
     
  12. MarkTX

    MarkTX

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    That's an important point. You kinda have to define your mouse fart :supergrin:

    I've got IDPA gamer loads that shoot to just above the required power factor and some would consider them mf loads -but they are not actually the softest shooting loads possible in my Glocks.

    I shot CDP (the 45acp division) at Nationals using a handloaded 230gr Montana Gold jacketed bullet that was officially chronographed at 755fps. So that 173pf is not what I'd call a mouse fart load, but it was about 65fps slower than WWB last time I clocked it in my G21sf.

    And to those who see no value in pulling a trigger on any load that's not full power factory ammo -I'd simply offer the fact that I personally am a much better shooter because of my addiction to the IDPA game. The more competitive I get the better my overall shooting has become -regardless of what ammo I choose.

    As an example, I often shoot a very gamey 40 load (180gr moving 750fps). It sorta levels the SSP playing field for the 40 shooters vs the softer 9mm guys. But I recently shot my best time ever in the classifier using a G22 and factory 40 ammo (WWB). IOW, the trigger time and general competitive nature of the game has made me a better overall shooter regardless of what ammo I grab to shoot that day. I seriously think many folks discount the nature of "sports" shooting and really do overlook the benenfit they could receive from it.

    BTW, some folks misunderstand the purpose of changing recoil springs. It can let you shoot a milder "Bullseye" load that might not function in the gun otherwise. But many in the action pistol sports are using the spring change to reduce the feel of the recoil impulse. IOW, the actual load is still pretty hot but the impulse is faster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  13. njl

    njl Crusty Member

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    Hey, that's my load too. Just for the heck of it, I compared a few rounds the other day (primarily checking for accuracy).

    115gr Blazer Aluminum
    124gr PD FMJ, Win brass, 1.155 OAL, 1050fps
    124gr MG CMJ, Win brass, 1.155 OAL, 1050fps

    I fired 5 shot groups, slow, at 7yds.

    The Blazer was noticeably snappier in recoil, and the first target was not much of a group.
    I shot the PD next and got a very nice small group (5 holes I can cover with a nickel).
    Then the MG and got nice group (one hole about the size of nickel and one hole about a nickel away from the big one).
    Then I reshot the Blazer and got a much better group than the first one, similar to the MG group.

    Based on those results, I can't really say any of these loads is more accurate than another...but at least my reloads did at least as well as if not slightly better than Blazer...and with much less recoil.

    Less recoil = faster/better follow-up shots at matches.
     
  14. dudel

    dudel

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    Ok Big Boy. You try doing it with 6 cups of coffe in ya. Bet ya shoot your toes off. :tongueout:
     
  15. D. Manley

    D. Manley

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    I got past the "flash & awe" phase of reloading about 4 decades ago and never looked back. It's wrong to assume everyone that shoots and particularly, those that shoot in volume, do so as defensive practice. While I do an amount of defensive work I feel necessary (for me), I shoot primarily for no reason other than, I like it. Since my focus as a reloader is primarily to achieve loads that are very accurate -and- pleasurable to shoot I tend to shoot factory velocity loads very seldom. This has no relationship with defensive ability regardless of the popular notion and in many cases, the opposite can be true...shooting pleasurable loads leads to more shooting and development of better techniques. Muscle memory tends to be retained and carried over regardless of what's in the chamber. There is some truth to the old axiom that in a life or death situation you will invariably sink to the level of your training and I find more range time a lot easier and more fun with softer loads...not to mention, a lot less beating on the guns.

    Another factor is those who shoot competitively and especially, minor power factor games. The objective is to win and to do that, you need the ability to shoot as fast and accurately as possible...that ain't happening much with OEM velocity loads. Those shooting major power factor games also strive to do so with the least amount of recoil and best sight tracking possible...often, guns as well as loads are tailored to the game. If you want to see some really soft loads and what they're capable of, check out what the Bullseye shooting guys are loading...very few stock 1911's could cycle them.

    As for modifying the gun to suit the load well, I say if it's what you want to do, it's your gun. My defensive weapons...that is, the ones I actually carry and would bet my life on, are pretty much stock with nothing more than a minor add-on here & there. My range guns are another story with every one of them tweaked to have a very nice trigger and re-sprung to shoot most anything I might want (including, some minor and sub-minor loads) with a nice recoil track. If someone don't like soft-shooting stuff, don't load 'em but there's nothing wrong with it for those that do.
     
  16. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Very, very good post... many would be wise to not only read it several times but to also practice the message.

    Kudos.

    Jack
     
  17. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    The problem is everyone is calling starting loads a mousefart. To me, a mousefart is a cast bullet for 32ACP with a pinch of Bullseye/Red Dot etc. I could think of lots of uses for that. VEWWY QUIET!!

    I never loaded anything like that, but I have some 95 grain 0.311" RN bullets and a couple of 30-06 guns and plenty of Bullseye so I will someday just for shoots and giggles.

    To me, a 40SW with a 180 cast bullet at about 700fps is not a mousefart, it's more like a 40SW version of the old 148WC load.
     
  18. DannyR

    DannyR Moderator Millennium Member

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    In many competitions, it's not a question of power, but of accuracy at speed. It's easier to accomplish that in G17 using a light load than with a G22 using full power service ammo. It's called gaming. My 147-gr 9mm loads have a PF or 129, while my 40's and 45's are at about 145. All are well below the lowest powered factory loads. In IDPA the minimum PF is 125. In GSSF, steel is calibrated to fall with a 9mm 115-gr factory load. The object is to knock the steel down, not blast a hole through it.
     
  19. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    A good wabbit load indeed but wemember... never dwink wodka while hunting... you might get sick and womit. :whistling:

    Jack
     
  20. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    Some of us shoot GSSF. There is not a power factor. The name of the game is speed and accusary. So the faster you can get back on target the better. This is using stock factory recoil springs. So we try for as light as a load that we can get, with accuracy and reliability of the firearm.
    Also some of us shoot 400 to 600 rounds in a match and in practice just about every week in one day. Try doing that with full power loads. I have shot 1000rds of 45acp and 1000rds of 9mm everyday for a couple of weeks of full power loads during gun tests. Full power loads get old fast.
    Most gun battles are between 0 too 21 feet. If I remember right 2.5 rds fired and lasts for about the same amount of time. Being on a firing line and in a gun battle are two different things. On the firing line you notice the recoil in a gun battle the majority of people are not going too notice if they are shooting a full power load or a mouse fart load. So in the long run you are a lot better off in shooting 50 or 100 rds. Practice your fundamentals and then only shooting 10 or 20 full powder loads. It is a lot easier on you and the gun and when you get older you don’t develop a jerk like I did.