Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Pistol Powder, Rifle powder: What if…...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Bing, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Bing

    Bing Salem (Independence) Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    2
    What if you forgot to change out the powder in your dispenser and loaded pistol cartridges with rifle powder? Would your gun blow up or would the bullet just go down range really fast? I know this post sounds kinda sophomoric but I would like to hear from people who really know. I can get "….probably……" answers from the kid behind the counter. And I did.

    jim

    :)
     
  2. R U Crazy

    R U Crazy Salem Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    6
    I think I would refer to a good reloading guide and see if the powder that was mistakenly used has pistol loads listed. Then CAREFULLY calculate whether your load is within specifications for the pistol ammo you loaded. If not start pulling bullets
    Remember, not enough powder means bullet stuck in barrel,, to much powder means no barrel!!!!
     
  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    All kinds of stuff, or nothing.
    Maybe a hangfire, which means you pull the trigger and a little later you get a boom.
    Or, maybe a squib. Funny boom with bullet stuck in bore. No biggie unless you pull the trigger again on another round.
    Or, maybe detonation. That usually means an exploded gun.

    You want definitive answers? Shoot the gun. Just don't be holding it or allow anyone around it when you do.

    Reality? Pull the bullets. It ain't worth finding out.
     
    My 3 sons and Jamie6.5 like this.
  4. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    385
    Likes Received:
    256
    If you were loading 338 Lapua and switched to reloading 9mm you'd not miss the powder dumping everywhere. Even if you went from .223 to 38 special you'd probably overflow and notice the error right away. Seems like a pointless exercise to ask for expert opinion regarding a nearly impossible scenario.

    I'm no kid behind a counter nor do I know for certain, but rifle powders tend to burn slower than pistol powders so I would expect a low pressure and low velocity should you happen to put 4.0gr of IMR-4064 (for example) into a pistol case.
     
    al42 likes this.
  5. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    Hi Jim;
    Don't shoot those loads in your pistol
    You haven't told us which powder, how much powder, which pistol you are loading for.
    Will your gun blow up? Maybe...

    I would pull the bullets, dump the powder.
    Punch out the primer, re-size the cases and start over.
    Better safe than kaboom

    Glock kaboom 6.jpg
     
  6. R U Crazy

    R U Crazy Salem Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    6
    I was under the impression that he loaded the correct weight of powder for the pistol loads just failed to change powder.
     
  7. Bing

    Bing Salem (Independence) Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    2
    I guess this is making me look dumb because I didn't make it clear what I was looking for. It would have been much simpler to ask what would happen if I fired the correct amount for the load in .38 Spl. using rifle powder instead of pistol powder. The kid behind the counter sold me Alliant RelOder 17 after I told him I wanted pistol powder and like a dope I didn't notice until I got home. I called and told the store what happened and they said they would accept a return, only, get this, they don't have pistol powder in stock.

    Sorry for the confusion by trying to be cute.

    jim
     
  8. R U Crazy

    R U Crazy Salem Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    6
    Curiosity kills the cat,,,,,,, how many did you load?
     
  9. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Oregon New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is so much more to your question then most people realize.... modern smokeless powder has far more numerous criteria then just "what if"..... And No offense intended at all , just saying that it is far more complicated then just swapping powders.
    Modern smokeless powders ( MSP ) burn rate charts are still a guessing game, because powders act differently in different size cartridge cases, bore diameter, bullet length... etc. MSP need to be burned under pressure in order to produce maximum efficiency.... altering the case size ( or other factors ) will drastically alter those burning rate results. This is partially why one rifle powder works so well in a 7mm bore, but is not perfect in a 300WM... You can image how difficult it is to consistently produce a specific burn rate under those conditions... not to mention trying to make it fully burn efficiently in a approx. 20" barrel ( +/- 4" ).

    Long story short.... you can not use RL 17 in your .38 Special.

    Think of powders like fuel... wood , coal, AV gas, kerosene, diesel, gasoline.. etc
    Each one has a specialized use. And while you could substitute one for another.... it really wouldn't be a remotely good fit.
     
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    You're less likely to have a problem with rifle powder in a pistol case, than if you had pistol powder in a rifle case. The latter would cause a nasty k-boom.
    Short of it is, don't be stupid. Pull 'em or throw 'em out.
     
  11. Bing

    Bing Salem (Independence) Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    2
    What a great bunch of guys, the way you responded. Thanks.

    I did a little more research and after watching a You Tube video of how the burn rate differs between rifle and pistol, I have decided to return it to the store.

    jim

    PS I didn't load any; in fact I didn't open the bottle - that was an idiotic first post and caused a lot of confusion. Sorry.
     
  12. WillametteWill

    WillametteWill Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    140
    Shame on the store for not directing you to a good reloading manual and showing you the different powder options available for your caliber. Sounds like you may be a bit new to reloading...Welcome! It's really great fun and gives you lots of options. Handgun powder is in a bit of short supply for now but you can find it.
     
    rick benjamin and Steve M like this.
  13. Bing

    Bing Salem (Independence) Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    2
    More shame on the store: I took the powder back the next day and they wouldn't take it back. The seal was intact and I had the receipt. Real smart manager: I asked why they wouldn't take it back and he said "because". I said "No, that is my grandson's answer." I will never set foot in Sportsman's Warehouse again. That just isn't right.

    jim
     
  14. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    2,774
    No, it's not right, but it's probably store policy.
    Alliant RelOder 17 is suitable for 270, 308, 30-06, and a bunch more rifle calibers

    A list of powders that could fuel a 38 special

    Alliant Bullseye
    Winchester 231
    IMR 700X
    Accurate A#2
    Alliant Red Dot
    Hodgdon Tite Group
    IMR Trail Boss
    Alliant Clay Dot
    Alliant American Select
    Hodgdon Intermational
    Vihtavuori N-320
    Winchester WSL
    Alliant Green Dot
    Ramshot Silhouette
    IMR PB
    Ramshot True Blue
    Winchester WAP
    Accurate A#5
    Vihtavuori N-330
    Alliant Unique (my favorite)
    Hodgdon Universal (my favorite)
    Alliant Power Pistol
    Hodgdon HS-6
    Vihtavuori N-340
    Winchester 540
    Alliant Herco
    IMR SR4756
    Vihtavuori N-3N37
     
  15. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,262
    Likes Received:
    3,076
    Actually shame on the person who should have gotten someone experienced in reloading to help you. Regardless
    And that is where it ends - no 'what ifs' allowed with reloading - the answers can be disastrous. When in doubt PULL! I have no problem admitting to having had to 'pull' a series of reloads once.
     
  16. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w Keizer, or Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,315
    Likes Received:
    3,839
    this is what it will do... it will go bang. how big of a bang i have no idea. i go by this rule... if you have to question whether or not your gun is goin to blow up then pull all the bullets and start over.the risk of firing a load that you have no idea of what it may or may not do is not worth a limb,an eye, or even your life. think about what happens if those bullets get mixed in with some you give to your buddy to shoot and it kills them? when in doubt pull it out.
     
  17. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    120
    Suggest posting in the classified reloading section. Maybe you can find someone willing to swap a pound of W-231, Titegroup or Bullseye for your Reloder 17. Reloder 17 is an excellent powder that I have loaded in .243 Win., .270 Win. And .270WSM. Good Luck, as it seems rifle powder is much more available these days than handgun powder.
     
  18. bellarum

    bellarum beaverton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    397
    Primers are cheap. Don't even mess around with the "what ifs" Just start over and reload a new batch knowing that someone's life might depend on how you assembled your hand loads.
     
  19. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    76
    Just for grins I ran a .38 spcl.QuickLOAD for a 148 gr. DEWC bullet and 4.8 gr. of Unique. This is a load I have shot and it works pretty well. I substituted RL-17 for the Unique (same 4.8 gr) which gave a max chamber pressure of 1468 psi. propellant burnt 9.82% and a lot of other info that makes it look like a squib to me. The bullet might make it out the muzzle of a snubbie, but I would not bet on ito_O
     
  20. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,776
    Likes Received:
    4,965
    I been reloading since I was 11 years old. That's roughly 45-46 years. And I have never seen a store anywhere that would take a lb of powder a tray of primers or loaded ammo back once sold.

    So stop crapping on Sportsmans for your lack of knowledge and inattention to detail. YOU SCREWED UP YOU BOUGHT THE WRONG POWDER FOR YOUR NEEDS.

    Sorry to be blunt but one thing I have learned in my decades of reloading. YOU ONLY GET ONE GOOD MISTAKE when reloading.
     
    Mikej and Steve M like this.