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 Post subject: Hodgdon Lil'Gun Powder
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:25 am 
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Bearcat

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:44 am
Posts: 86
Location: Michigan
I started reloading 15 years ago because of a lack of good boxed ammo at the time for my .32 Winchester Special. I was more than pleased with the results. I did not have any intentions at the time of expanding, but got bit by the bug. About 12 years ago I started loading for my revolvers (.357 mag, .41 mag and .44 mag) and noticed that a new powder - Hodgdon Lil' Gun - listed higher speeds with less pressure on these rounds. I worked up loads for these guns using Hornady XTP bullets and Lil' Gun powder and again was pleased with the results.

Over the past two years I have been seeing a lot of info on the internet concerning Lil' Gun and forcing cone erosion problems. I know, information taken from the internet should be taken cautiously. I have been very happy with the performance and do not see anything out of the ordinary on any of my revolvers using it. I also do not want to cause future porblems with my revolvers. Most of my volume shootin involves lighter loads using Universal Clays that one can tap all day. I use the Lil' Gun for my "hot loads" that I take in the woods (Michigan's Upper Peninsula is full of bear and other creatures that the MI DNRE does not admit are there, but will use people for food). Once in a while I will fire 10 to 15 hot loads just to stay familar with them, and do not rapid fire so the gun does not overheat. One well placed shot will do the trick.

I would like to know what other have experienced with this powder. Mine has been good, but as I mentioned above, I do not what to cause future probems. As a back up plan I am putting together loads using H110 because Lil' Gun is not always available in my area. I would like to hear others experience - good or bad. Thank you.

Tom

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Hunter
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:00 pm
Posts: 2049
Location: Deltona Florida
All I care to say is that I will never use Lil'Gun again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Blackhawk
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Georgia
Interesting, I load 32 Special, 41 mag, and 44 mag, too; I don't have a 357, however.

I have used about 50 rounds loaded with 'Lil Gun, not enough to see any signs of damage. I use it with 265 grain Cast Performance but I don't think I shoot enough with my 41 to worry about. It sounds like you are doing about the same and as long as you aren't running lots and lots of hot rounds through it, I don't think you'll have any problems.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Bearcat

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 99
Location: WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
the fatman wrote:
All I care to say is that I will never use Lil'Gun again.


Is it a secret that you don’t wish to say anymore? That response doesn’t help tomisu very much at all…
____________________________________________________________


Regardless, I have used it and still do with my 357 Magnum and 45 Colt. I haven’t used it in my 44 Magnums and really there is no reason why I haven’t. I guess I just have proven loads for it with other powders…

I have shot 2 pounds of the stuff through the 357 Magnum and the 45 Colt. If you figure and average charge of 18 grains, more for the 45—less for the 357, that equates to approximately 777 rounds fired…

I see no problems at all. Accuracy remains good with Lil’Gun and other powders that I use in those 2 cartridges…

I found Lil’Gun to be about 2 grains faster than H-110, so I get a few more loads from the Lil’Gun per pound of usage. A small amount for sure, but still some savings. And with just a look at the groups fired with both powders, I do belive that Lil'Gun might have the advantage, but by only a "little bit"...

I dang straight would not fear it if I were shooting all the rounds with it that you are…

I believe the “ruin forcing cones” was started by Freedom Arms. They don’t recommend it. Who knows what the real reason is that they don’t recommend it…

Your discretion of course, but I haven’t had problems with it and many others haven’t either…

I honestly think that if there was a problem, Hodgdon would do the right thing…

Good-luck…BCB


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Blackhawk

Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:01 am
Posts: 626
Location: Linn Creek MO
"I believe the “ruin forcing cones” was started by Freedom Arms. They don’t recommend it. Who knows what the real reason is that they don’t recommend it…"


I have ruined two FA 454 barrels, and know of another one ruined with Lil Gun. I had slight damage to another barrel that was polished out. These were all FA guns, and 454 Casull. It is fact, not fiction. I can only speak to this caliber and FA guns as I don't know about others. I know that I too won't use it anymore. Too many other powders out there and barrels ain't cheap!

I shot 50 rounds with Lil Gun in a 41 mag Blackhawk before I had the erosion problems in the FA guns. No damage at all that I can see, but still I am done with it. I have 3 pounds just sitting in my loading room. I know 50 rounds does not seem like a lot, but one of the barrels I mention was ruined with just that many.

Dan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Buckeye
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Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 1883
Location: Tabor City, NC.
I found it to warm the barrel on 357&44 loads qwikly !!

I use it spareingly for hunting loads , yor only gonna fire a few at the time .

It`s not a range powder for sure ,but shines in other areas !

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Hunter

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:00 am
Posts: 3857
Location: METRO DETROIT
I have no experience with the .454, and some with Lil'gun, and my inquiring mind has to wonder if the pressure levels factor in? Off the top of my head, aren't many .454 loads in the 60,000 +/- psi category, vs. 35,000 +/- psi for the other magnum handgun calibers? I know some folks believe in redline only loads, and that too is a factor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 6836
Location: 51st state of Jefferson
Bought a pound when it came out, thinking it must be the wonder powder for .357 mag, but I couldn't get near Hodgdon's velocity claims with some pretty erratic ballistics and sticky cases to boot. Tried it in .44 mag, couldn't get W296 velocity without more of the same...

I don't rapid fire, most of my shooting is slow and deliberate over the chrono for group size, so didn't encounter the heat erosion bugaboo that others have claimed....(And a couple hundred rds convinced me to go back to W296 anyway, so....)

I just prefer the steady, predictable and excellent performance of W296...My second favorite for .44 and .45 use is SR4759, albeit not as fast but excellent accuracy. (Thanks Carl :wink: )

Maybe if I get a .410 or a Hornet at some point, I'll give it another shot. Supposedly it shines there....JMHO 8)

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Last edited by Bucks Owin on Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Hunter

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:00 am
Posts: 3857
Location: METRO DETROIT
I do load it in the Hornet, I couldn't believe it. VERRRY NICE.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:01 am
Posts: 6836
Location: 51st state of Jefferson
M'BOGO wrote:
I do load it in the Hornet, I couldn't believe it. VERRRY NICE.


That's what I hear! I hope to get a Hornet barrel for my Handi Rifle one day, and do a "before and after" with std vs K- Hornet rechamber just for fun... :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Buckeye
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 6:02 pm
Posts: 1390
Location: Akron, Ohio
Lil'Gun is a powder that probably shoots very well in 270g and up bullets for the 44Mag/45Colt. I have received great results with a Speer 270g DeepCurl as well a bulk 240g Montana Gold JSP.

Now I have very minor erosion of the barrel face but I cannot attribute it to Lil'Gun as the sole culprit. It was not until about mid April that I kept detailed load records (loaded for a month prior to that) but I have not fired more than 200rounds of Lil'Gun out of an approximate count of 1200 rounds. About 800 of those rounds have been jacketed bullets with the rest being lead. As far as propellants, I have mostly fired stout loads of 2400 which is in the mid to upper 19g range along with the powders used in WWB and American Eagle factory loads. I have been using a good amount of Titegroup for plinkers and have begun using HS-6 as of 3-4 weeks ago for mid level loads. But the fact remains. I have shot a lot of stout magnum loads near max charges. About a month ago, I shot nothing but HS-6 and about 36 Lil'Gun loads with 240g slugs. After the Lil'Gun loads, I could not see any increase in the striations along the barrel face. So to be fair, I cannot truly pin the blame on Lil'Gun at this point. I do however plan to get an 11 degree forcing cone recut as I will be shooting mostly lead as the time wears on. For 240g slugs, I will probably go to H110 and use Lil'Gun for my 270g and 300g jacketed slugs. I will be keeping notes as far as what each load does to the barrel face after the recut.

Iowegan over on the other Ruger forum basically states that barrel face erosion will occur with any slow burning magnum powder (2400, AA9, H110/W296, Lil'Gun, IMR4227) loaded to the max. But Dan, as we discussed before, the FA does have a very tight B/C gap and admittedly the 454 Casull operates at nearly double the pressure. So the issues with the FA revolvers is very easy to understand and very believable.

In short, I feel that Lil'Gun is not that bad of a powder for use in 44 Magnum, 45 Colt, and the other smaller calibers mentioned here. But my own results show, that while good in medium weight for caliber bullets, Lil'Gun shines with heavy for caliber loads. But once again, careful logging after my recut will tell the tale.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:46 am 
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Buckeye

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 1437
Location: munising MI USA
i quit using it in revolvers. to be honest i didnt use enough of it myself to see any dramatic errosion but did see it in my buddys gun. I figured id burn it up in my 50 beowulf ar. 5 quick shots and you can about light a cigerette off the barrel. 5 shots with wc297 and you can hang on to the barrel. The differnce is that dramatic. I wont use it in that anymore either. Ill burn up the rest of this 8lb jug in the 22 hornet but wont buy anymore of it


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 Post subject: --357 MAGNUM--
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:05 am 
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Hawkeye

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:01 am
Posts: 5719
Location: Duxbury, Vermont, USA
I use and advocate W296, AA9, N110, 3N37, and H110.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:29 am 
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Single-Sixer

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 203
Location: Indiana
Lloyd Smale wrote:
I figured id burn it up in my 50 beowulf ar.

I've gone to H110 and Reloader7 in my Beo. I wasn't a huge fan of the 'glowing barrel' phenomenon. I've never seen the need for LilGun in any of my revolvers based on my experience with the Beo.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:54 am 
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Hunter
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 4345
Location: Arlington, Virginia
I've used it, but its never given me a reason to switch from H110. One thing I have noticed is I'm unable to hit advertised velocities with Lil'Gun. Seems to miss by a lot compared to the manuals. H110/W296 on the otherhand tends to perform as advertised. Also, if Freedom Arms recommends not using it in their 454s, there must be some truth to the rumor of premature wear on forcing cones. Just my two-cents.

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