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Old 07-14-2017, 10:17 PM
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Default Lil gun powder ( hard on forcing cones?)

I have recently found Hodgon Lil gun powder and I love it for 357 mag and 44 mag! High velocities with low chamber pressures. But then I have been seeing some troubling reports on it due to it being hard on forcing cones. Rumors have it that Freedom arms has warned against it's use in their guns? What is your guys' take on all this?? I have read some fella's oppinions and they will not use it in any of their revolvers long guns only(not on this site but elsewhere on the web)
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:08 PM
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I am not a fan of lil gun for revolver calibers. First , the statement that it has "low chamber pressures" is bull. It has a very flat pressure curve, and while the PEAK pressure is somewhat lower than typical, the AVERAGE pressure and TEMPERATURE are HIGHER than typical. To get high MV, the integrated total work under the pressure curve must be high. There is no magic way to get high MV without more heat and total pressure.
So while lil gun is less likely to BLOW UP your gun it is MORE likely to BURN it up.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:43 PM
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Seems to be a consensus on the high heat theory. Have not felt an overly hot barrel myself after firing off a cylinder but that is by no means a good way to measure.It may be wise to use Lil gun sparingly in revolvers. Some say not at all. I would still like to hear any other thoughts on the subject. Thank you for your input.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:46 PM
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Someone on here a few years back posted a pic of their 686 forcing cone after 6000 rounds of Lil Gun loads. It literally looked like a blow torch was put to it. It was paper thin. I hope he is still on there forum and sees this thread.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:01 AM
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I tried Lil'Gun for the .357 Magnum and in a revolver I did witness very high temps. Add the fact Freedom Arms is reporting having to replace barrels with as little as 750 rounds fired, I use it only for my Marlin. It delivers ~100 fps higher velocities than any other powder without accuracy degradation. LilGun works very well with 170/180gr bullets.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:18 AM
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I have used Lil'Gun for years in 38 Super (1911 Colt) without any noticeable effects on the barrel/chamber. For me, it's one of the most accurate loading for that caliber. Is this concern just a revolver issue?
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:33 AM
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If hard on the forcing cone ,what about the chamber?. I personaly like Bullseye or Red Dot Myself...
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:08 AM
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I've found manufacturers and/or distributors to be forthright and helpful when seeking out factual information, including precautions. Probably best to contact them.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:01 AM
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I don't load LilGun in center fire pistol, but did load it in 410 shotgun.
2 1/2" hulls w/ 1/2oz shot. Powder charge was right out of the book, a simple 1200fps 'skeet' load.

Case/hull life is deffinetly less than if I were to load them w/ W296 or even 2400. Cases mouths are generally burned/singed badly after a couple reloads. 4 was about the max I got out of the precious little things.
W296 I've found much easier on the cases and a better return on case life.
Most 410 shotgun reloaders will echo the same thing about LilGun being 'hot' and burning thru the mouth of the plastic cases in short order.
I've never experienced, seen or heard of any damage to the shotguns forcing cone or bore from it (erosion, ect).
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:10 AM
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I stopped using it, there was a discernible difference in how hot my 57 felt, compared to AA9, and 2400. Found a load using 2400, that it likes, so not a big issue. Have read stories of it eating forcing cones, in as little as a couple hundred rounds
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:20 AM
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Last night I sent an email to Hodgon asking them to send me any data they have on this subject. I will post that information here when I get it. Probably be Monday or Tuesday before I hear back from them.
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddio202 View Post
Rumors have it that Freedom arms has warned against it's use in their guns?
OK, rather than beating your keyboard here, why didn't you go direct to Freedom Arms with your question? The suggestion to query Hogdon direct is good too.

"Rumor hath it....." is often a prelude to a fable/fairy tale/sea story/war story.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:58 PM
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The following is a direct copied and pasted quote from Bob Baker, the owner of Freedom Arms. Dated 8-20-2009

"We have seen numerous barrels damaged by using Lil Gun. According to customers, some had as few as 30 rounds using Lil Gun through them, some had several hundred. Before we figured out what was happening one customer had sent his gun in for a new barrel. Then 600 rounds later it came back for another new barrel.

A couple years ago we did a test with a M83, .357 Mag. using Hornady 180 gr. bullets. We loaded 50 rds. of three different loads. One was a heavy H-110 load and the other two both used Lil Gun in different quantities.

We fired the H-110 loads first, then cut off the threaded end of the barrel. Rethreaded the barrel and shot one of the Lil Gun loads then rethreaded the barrel and shot the last Lil Gun load.

We found even the light load of Lil Gun caused the gun to get extremely hot. The heavy Lil Gun load had the gun so hot the only place we could touch the gun was on the grips and they were very hot.

Under magnification the surface appeared to have heated to a point of flowing using the Lil Gun loads and the heavy load was worse than the light load. This is probably due to Lil Gun having about 10% more nitro glycerin in it than H-110."

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Old 07-15-2017, 04:53 PM
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I don't use Lil Gun in any of my guns and I don't use Blue Dot in my 41 Mag.I've been loading for over 40 years and I figure that the companies that emit such warnings know a lot more than I.I value any part of my body(might not be beautiful but that's the only one I got)and my guns too much to put them at risk.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:06 AM
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I just started experimenting with Lil'Gun in my 357 Rossi, so my experience is very limited. It is a very hot burning powder. Two rounds were ok, by the third I was getting a flyer and the barrel was very hot to the touch, much hotter than the same testing with factory Federal loads. Great velocity and very good accuracy, just very hot. I might end up working a hunting load with it, but for general shooting 296/2400 seems to be a better choice.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:28 PM
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I want to mention here , that in the latest Speer reloading manual they have a 41 magnum load using Blue Dot powder . It is the " exact " load that I have been using for years . I worked up to it starting @ 12 grs with a 210 gr cast bullet . It gets me into magnum territory , very accurate shooting and clean .
If Blue Dot is fine in the 357 ( not using light weight bullets ) and the 44 mag , then why not the 41 ? The biggest problem is it seems, that it is " temperature sensitive - inverse " , that is in low temps the pressure builds higher in any application, shotgun - pistol etc .
It's interesting as Alliant and Speer are both owned by the same parent company . I guess they don't talk to each other though .

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Old 07-19-2017, 08:57 PM
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Well it's been 5 days now since I contacted hogdgon via their website asking them to email any data on lil gun. I mentioned all the rumors online about forcing cone damage. Either I'm the gazillion'th person to contact them about this and they are just ignoring the question. Or maybe they have no satisfactory answer? If I have time tomorrow and still have not received an email from them I will try calling to see if I can get any answers. I'm on my second pound of it and can see no issues with my revolvers but I usually load pretty heavy projectiles and load minimum starting grain loads. 15gr.in 357 with 158 jhp, and 18gr.in 44 mag with 240 jhp.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:41 PM
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When you're talking about the pressures and temperatures a revolver can experience during fire, it doesn't take much in the wrong direction to cause damage. Overpressure loads are the number one cause of problems in revolvers. Damage can be done with very few rounds of improperly loaded ammo. So I have no doubt that Lil' Gun can do the damage everyone speaks of if it runs that much hotter.

The forcing cone is the worst spot for heat, being relatively thin metal that has trouble displacing heat. It causes carburization that will make the steel brittle and lose it's strength. I always let my revolvers cool in between cylinder loadings and never try to run lots of rounds consecutively. I also pay attention to certain areas of my revolvers such as the forcing cone and observe if any negative wear occurs from shooting sessions. Just like maintaining a car.

This is why it's so important to become proficient with the mechanical aspects of revolvers. If you buy used, you need to be able to tell the actual mechanical condition/integrity of the gun. Cause a gun can look brand new on the outside but be mechanical beat on the inside from some overpressure rounds the owner tried out.

I see people paying $2K+ for Pythons that look pretty good externally, but when you see the forcing cone it's eroded all away and it has ratchet and cylinder collar peening to the frame.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:42 AM
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UPDATE: This is for anyone else that is concerned about using this powder in revolvers. I think the Hodgdon rep. summed it up pretty good for me. "There is no free lunch" so to speak. All the slower burning magnum powders create more wear on the forcing cones especially when loaded to max grains and using lighter projectiles. I do think occasional use of Lil gun powder with heavier projectiles creates the same wear your going to get from 110 or 2400 or any of the slower mag powders on forcing cones. Moderation is the key to everything in life, heck even drinking too much water will kill you. Just my humble opinion on the subject. Thanks again for everybody's valuable input, I appreciate it!
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddio202 View Post
UPDATE: This is for anyone else that is concerned about using this powder in revolvers. I think the Hodgdon rep. summed it up pretty good for me. "There is no free lunch" so to speak. All the slower burning magnum powders create more wear on the forcing cones especially when loaded to max grains and using lighter projectiles. I do think occasional use of Lil gun powder with heavier projectiles creates the same wear your going to get from 110 or 2400 or any of the slower mag powders on forcing cones. Moderation is the key to everything in life, heck even drinking too much water will kill you. Just my humble opinion on the subject. Thanks again for everybody's valuable input, I appreciate it!
Occasional use of Lil Gun should be fine. Just use common sense with it. Such as making sure your revolvers cool down in between cylinder loadings. Not running 50-100rds through it in a matter of 10mins.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:44 PM
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I feel any of the hot burning powder running hard are going to enhance flame cutting & piting. So for me, no TG, no Lilgun. Lilgun gives a bit more vel, but is 50fps worth all that? I'll stick with my good ole 2400. If I want more vel than that, H110 works fine.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:30 PM
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LilGun makes a good hotter load for a 22 Hornet rifle.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:15 PM
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Two items of interest... I think it's quite interesting what was posted about how this powder consumes .410 shotshells. Oh yes, I absolutely believe what you say, but what is fascinating is that "Lil'Gun" powder literally gets it's name because it was specifically marketed to the world as a shotgun powder perfect for "the little shotgun" as in... the .410 bore!

My experience... I bought four pounds of the stuff maybe 7-8 years ago and I rolled the fastest 158gr .357 Magnum that I have ever chrono'd and I didn't even load to full Hodgdon published max. It was later that I read about Freedom's experience and warnings and I got rid of the powder shortly after.

My thought process? Freedom makes irrationally good revolvers and they are one of few gunmakers that simply will NOT print any ludicrous claims against using handloads, they know that their fine guns are typically owned and loved by handloaders and they go to lengths to support handloaders.

When you consider that and you hear their take on Lil'Gun, well, my cache has too many terrific powders to even consider going near that stuff. I know for certain that I will never use Lil'Gun ever again in any application.

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Old 07-20-2017, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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When you consider that and you hear their take on Lil'Gun, well, my cache has too many terrific powders to even consider going near that stuff. I know for certain that I will never use Lil'Gun ever again in any application.
I would ad Tight Group to that list of overly hot burning powders & possible gun damage. Run 10rd as fast as you can go in a pistol, the slide will be so hot you can barely hold onto it on a hot day.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:57 PM
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Totally agree that Titegroup is stupidly hot to the touch and that's why I refuse to use it in .38 Special-- it burns my left hand when I eject brass from my S&W revolvers.

However, it may also be worth noting that a typical Titegroup charge (where I would use it) is a quarter to a third of the charge weight you'd dump in to a magnum revolver round.

I can say that in raw numbers... the legions of folks who routinely use Titegroup with full success and no complaints in high volume pistol dwarfs the entire population of guys who use Lil'Gun for anything.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:58 PM
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Should I be worried about my load of 4.3 gr of titegroup over 158gr copperwashed bullets in my K & L frames? It is very accurate. Used in steel challenge etc.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:51 PM
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If you use that load in competition then there is a good chance that you have a high round count of it, so I say look closely at your forcing cone and the rearmost area of rifling in your K & L frames, the evidence (one way or another) will be there if you have shot thousands of these.

Me? I hate touching the cylinder of a K-L-N frame after only 18 fast rounds of Titegroup fueled .38 Special. .38! Not .357 Mag. And I mean I cannot stand the heat.

If you don't notice it or don't mind it and your barrel looks fine and your ammo runs, I see no reason to worry about your load.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:54 PM
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l bought lilgun during the ''great powder famine'' of 2009-14..

0nly magnum powder around at the time, used what l could find for

IHMSA sillywetts with a S&W Model 27-2 8 3/8'' barrel.. l was loading

170/180 gr Speer/Sierra boolits with Hodgden data.. During a match

l did notice that ole Smith getting a bit WARM... Even with short

'2 minute-5 shot strings'.... Anyway, after bouncing back and forth

between that 27 and an old Model 29 l bought a 629 Magnum Hunter.

l pretty much retired the 27 and ended up selling it on GB..

Started shooting a 686 Competitor recently. While looking thru my 357 ammo

l notice l still have quite a few 357/lilgun loads.. l haven't tried any in

my Competitor. l am certianly NOT going to let those silh loads go to waste.

That Competitor barrel is quite a chunk of steel.. Esp when compared

to a 27 pencil barrel.. Compititor barrel looks like a great ''heat sink''..

We will see, maybe as soon as this Sat in Lincolnton ;-)

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Old 07-24-2017, 06:48 AM
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Works fine in my .50 Beowulf, but I won't use it in my M19.
I am still making a decision about using it in my .357 Henry
under a 180 XTP.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:15 PM
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I load for a 94AE, 44 REM MAG, with Lil Gun. May try it in my automag IV in 45 WIN MAG.
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