View Full Version : HP-38 is dirty
26th May 2005, 14:53
I was at the range yesterday and I noticed that the reloads that I was using were dirty as crap. It seemed that the powder wasn't burning all of the way and I was getting it all over me. The brass was new (to rule out case problems in the load, and the bullet was FMJ. the rounds that I have bought weren't as bad. Is it the powder, could it just be that the powder is about a wear old and needs to be replaced? Or am I just going to live with the problem? My SA is dirty as all get out and I only ran about 100-120 rounds through it. :mad:
26th May 2005, 18:05
What specific load were you using?
26th May 2005, 20:39
I was using 230gr .45 cal FMJ with 4.9gr of powder. I just finished cleaning my 1911 and it took for ever. I have never seen so much black crap in a gun in my life except when I did a job on my fathers gun who never cleaned it for probably 5 years and shot it every week.
26th May 2005, 21:31
I've had good luck with HP-38 but haven't loaded them that light. My reloading book shows a maximum charge of 5.7 grs with a 230 FMJ, my Hodgdon Manual shows a max of 5.3grs.
You might want to try increasing your load slowly looking for signs of pressure, etc. When I hear the powder is not burning completely it makes me think the charge is to light.
I also use Hodgdon Clays and when the load gets to light they really start to get dirty and burn inefficiently. A fellow shooter had the same problem with his 45.
Good luck and good shooting.
27th May 2005, 06:51
If you're looking for a cleaner powder for .45 ACP, try VihtaVouri N-310, fast burning and very clean and depending on the charge, a little bit more expensive.
27th May 2005, 11:41
I dont have any exp w/hP38, but with some other powders that had the same affect. I gave a away 10# of win231 because of the "dirtyness". I didnt think about changing the load, but i leared something that day. some powders are more sensitive to volume then others.
try changing your load w/in book limits and see what happens. if its still "dirty" then there are other powders out there that are better. VV is a good powder, but the cost is more and you may not want to spend that much more.
If your powder is getting old, it should have a acidic smell if i remember right, but im thinking your problem is more from powder volume.
28th May 2005, 23:47
This may sound dumb but what are the signs that a load is over pressured? I know that if the case splits (no brainer), but what else should I look for. Also where on the net can I find good load data for .45 and .40, and mabe .500 S&W (for my wifes new toy). I know that loaddata.com charges but are there any that don't?
28th May 2005, 23:59
Most reloading manuals have a good section on pressure and its signs. I think the Speer manual is particularly good in this regard.
Online reloading data is available at www.hodgdon.com free of charge. Winchester has free loading data available online as well although it doesn't offer much selection.
Win 231 and HP-38 are the same powder. They were originally made by Primex for both Winchester and Hodgdon. The company is now called St. Marx and are still made in the same facility located in Florida. The load data for the two varies due to lot-to-lot variations.
I've been using 231 for the past two decades without any excessive fouling or incomplete burning. However, I don't use the 230 FMJ.
5th June 2005, 07:26
I've used W-231 and HP-38 and yes, they are the same. Just about any powder will be a fouling beast if the powder charge does not develop sufficient pressure to support complete combustion. There are ways to build that pressure.
1) Increase the charge weight
2) Increase the bullet pull pressure (not just by crimp, but by slightly undersizing the expander button)
3) Increase the bullet diameter by increments of 0.001"
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