Author Topic: The Truth About Lil' Gun...  (Read 16776 times)

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Offline JayCee

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The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« on: August 16, 2009, 05:59:50 pm »
I have heard numerous times that Lil' Gun burns exceptionally hot and will cause accelerated forcing cone erosion.  I have never seen anything definitive that either confirms or denies this alleged fact.  Is this mere conjecture, or is there some source out there that has concrete information?  I like Lil' Gun and use it in several applications, including 454 and 45 Long Colt.  I'd like to keep using it, but the possibility that I'm wearing out a barrel prematurely keeps gnawing at me, so I'd like to be able to put it to rest one way or the other.


Offline torpedoman

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2009, 06:26:26 pm »
there is a powder burn rate chart out there some were.It lists powders in order of their burn rate.
hodgon 110 is 46 on the chart and lil gun is a bit slower than it is.
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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 04:25:31 am »
Ive seen it happen. any ball powder loaded hot will wear a forcing cone a bit faster then a single based powder but lilgun seems to do it faster then the rest. I only use it in small rifle loads anymore.
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Offline Humbo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2009, 01:23:09 am »
Then the question is, which powders will keep the forcing cone wear to a minimum?

Online Ken ONeill

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2009, 04:12:09 am »
H4227 and 2400 probably offer the MINIMUM with perhaps reasonably high velocity, but H110 and WW 296 offer higher velocity and IMO perfectly satisfactory forcing cone life. With the availability of those 2, I've never felt the need to use Lil Gun, and can't imagine why I ever would.

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 04:27:33 am »
correct answer. Keep in mind too that using light for caliber jacketed bullets with these ball powders really is the main cause of most forcing cone wear. Use a heavy cast with them and its minimal.
H4227 and 2400 probably offer the MINIMUM with perhaps reasonably high velocity, but H110 and WW 296 offer higher velocity and IMO perfectly satisfactory forcing cone life. With the availability of those 2, I've never felt the need to use Lil Gun, and can't imagine why I ever would.
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Offline Humbo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2009, 06:56:10 am »
I almost exclusively use Vihtavuori in my guns, and haven't noticed any wear at all, even with thousands of rounds loaded to max. H110 and W296 are really hard to find, but I would for sure buy them for testing if I found some.

Offline quickdtoo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2009, 08:58:12 am »
there is a powder burn rate chart out there some were.It lists powders in order of their burn rate.
hodgon 110 is 46 on the chart and lil gun is a bit slower than it is.

Here's one of the many burn rate charts available online.  ;)

Tim

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Offline Humbo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2009, 10:10:00 am »
I like the burn rate chart from Vihtavuori, it's quite easy to see which powders that are close in burn rate: http://www.vihtavuori-lapua.com/pdfs/Burning-Rate-Chart.pdf

Online Ken ONeill

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2009, 04:04:38 pm »
I almost exclusively use Vihtavuori in my guns, and haven't noticed any wear at all, even with thousands of rounds loaded to max. H110 and W296 are really hard to find, but I would for sure buy them for testing if I found some.

V V N110 is excellent, but I have the opposite problem from you: it's rarely available in my area. V V has had so many false starts and problems with availability in the U.S, that despite what they promise now, I decided years ago I wouldn't allow myself to be dependent on one of their powders.

Offline Humbo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2009, 07:57:11 am »
Ken, that is true, N110 works beautifully in heavy magnum loads, and N105 in lighter .45 Colt loads. But it is pricey though, and not always as available as I'd wish.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2009, 06:20:17 pm »
I used to use 296, but I always felt a little nervous about operating near the top of the pressure envelope, as it seems you have to do with 296.  Lil' Gun seemed to offer similar performance with lower pressures.  That's what made it attractive.  Are there any definitive studies about the effects of Lil' Gun?  Has anyone actually shot out a barrel using it?  Has Freedom Arms made any statements about the use of Lil' Gun?

Offline Bob Baker

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2009, 02:45:06 pm »
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.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2009, 06:29:35 pm »
Thanks, Bob.  That's really good information.  No more Lil' Gun in my FAs.  I'll save the remainder of the can for my Rugers! ;D

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2009, 03:31:15 am »
i was hoping youd pipe in here Bob. I knew it was the case and i had heard you warn people about it but have never seen you put it in print.
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Offline alamogunr

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2009, 07:47:34 am »
I like the burn rate chart from Vihtavuori, it's quite easy to see which powders that are close in burn rate: http://www.vihtavuori-lapua.com/pdfs/Burning-Rate-Chart.pdf

I like that chart.  I would like to print it and file it in my notebook but have had no luck printing it.  No matter what I try, I don't get the full chart.  Any suggestions?

John
W.TN

Cancel that!  I found a way.

Offline quickdtoo

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2009, 09:29:17 am »
Here's another one that's similar to the Vihtavuori chart, ADI is a source for Hodgdon powders, if you cross reference their data with Hodgdon's it's identical for everything I've checked, kinda handy if your OZ friend has a good ADI load you'd like to match it.  It's even got a print button!  ;D

Tim

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Offline Hank08

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2009, 10:27:07 am »
alamogunr, if I'm reading that chart right it shows hp38 as faster than Bullseye and H4i98 faster than 296 makes me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of it.
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Online Graybeard

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2009, 01:58:53 pm »
I use Lil' Gun for what it was originally designed for loading .410 shotshells ONLY. I've tried it and don't care for it in handguns.


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Offline BigMuddy

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2009, 07:43:07 pm »
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.

I am one of those customers Bob mentions. I can assure anyone without a doubt now that Lil Gun powder is the culprit, and the reason I need a 3rd barrel on one of my 83's. It took 3 different guns and 4 barrels to narrow it down to the powder, but powder it is.

Interestingly enough on another forum when this came up, I was told I was wrong about it because the other person had never seen anyone "Like John Taffin" mention it.  ;D Maybe Bob is someone like John Taffin.

I can't speak for it in any other caliber than 454 and no other gun but FA Model 83 because that is all I used it in. (I just like to ruin expensive guns  ;) )

Correct me if I am wrong but "burn rate" really does not have anything to do with the temperature that the powder burns, does it?
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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2009, 04:42:25 am »
you are right burning rate and temperature are to seperate things. I would have to say that Bob Baker is the upmost athority on 454s in this country. If he suggested i didnt use something in my 454 id run from it as fast as i could!!
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Offline WL44

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2009, 12:10:58 am »
I don't know US powders (or powders generally!) well at all, so this is intended to potentially generate some discussion and not intended as an authoritative comment...

The reference by Mr Baker to nitro glycerine implies that these are not single based powders and that Lil' gun is "more double based" than say H110 if one can use such a term.

I do know that in the overbore rifle cartridges the barrel burners are found to be less so if fed with a really slow burning and most importantly single based powder (that burns cooler?). This is being widely applied now by rifle shooters who favour longer barrel life.

Hope this helps, or generates comments from the guys who know more than I do.

WL

Offline Boxhead

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2009, 06:33:23 am »
Pretty conclusive evidence that Lil'gun should not be used in the 454 Casull. Anything similar with other calivers?

Offline Lone Star

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 04:35:09 pm »
Quote
...if I'm reading that chart right it shows hp38 as faster than Bullseye and H4i98 faster than 296 makes me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of it.

Burn rate charts are not absolute anyway.  A great example is - Lil'Gun.  In some loadings it is faster than H110, in other loadings it is slower - all in the same cartridge.    From Speer #14, .44 Magnum:

Powder..Bullet...Fps/Grain
H110.....210HP....59.8
Lil'Gun...210HP...55.9 - slower

H110.....240HP...60.4
Lil'Gun..240HP...60.1 - equal

H110....270SP....62.3
Lil'Gun..270SP...63.6 - faster

I have used Lil'Gun in a few T/C chamberings with no obvious throat wear - I just did a chamber cast of my .300 Whisper barrel to check(!) as that is the one I have used the most LG in.  The cast looks fine, just the minor wear I'd expect for 500 rounds.  But a revolver's dynamics around the forcing cone are far different than a "rifle" barrel with a normal throat.



.

Offline Gun 4 Fun

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2009, 06:44:22 pm »

This is for Mr. Baker, or someone with actual knowledge of this. I have been using it almost exclusively in my 83 .475 Linebaugh. Since this round is listed at 50,000 PSI max ave by SAAMI, as opposed to 65,000 for the .454, am I looking at the same type of problem?

I can, and do use H-110/296 so it's not a problem to switch. I started using Lil'Gun due to articles I have here from both John Taffin, and Brian Pearce.

Offline odoh

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 12:24:14 pm »
Now that this is out in the open, it served to remind me of a unique experience shooting a 454 loaded w/lil' gun in my puma rifle. One shot and the chamber portion of its barrel was sufficiently hot getting ones attention. Based on this info, I plan to retire present stock of it (3#s)


IIRC, when Varget first came out, the published starting loads were too intense right out the gate ~ but that was before the INET infomation hwy.

Offline Bob Baker

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2009, 01:33:23 pm »
Gun 4 Fun, yes it applies to the .475 also.  I intentionally ran the tests with a cartridge that is less pressure than the 454 just to make sure.

I have also heard of problems with rifles but I haven't tried to verify it by running my own tests.

Offline 22popnsplat

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2009, 07:20:54 pm »
Since this thread is the truth about lil gun I have read through and dont see any mention as to the question that comes to my mind . Are the problems with this powder seen just in high capacity case ? I have used it in 22 hornet without much success but others have had great success with it . are the problems created buy the amount of powder being used in large capacity cases ? if so at what level does it stop ?

Offline Gun 4 Fun

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2009, 05:15:51 am »
Mr. Baker-

Thank you for the quick response. Are H-110/296 OK then? If not, what do you recommend for top end loads?

Also, my loads with Lil'Gun were top listed loads by Hodgden, but they didn't make my gun any warmer than H-110 loads fired at the same time, which were also top end loads. I was taking approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute between shots.

Offline JayCee

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Re: The Truth About Lil' Gun...
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2009, 07:06:20 pm »
Mr. Baker's research seems to indicate that the erosive effects are most pronounced after firing a large number of rounds one right after another.  He indicated that after fifty rounds, the gun was too hot to hold.  If the exterior of the gun was that hot, the interior of the barrel must have been incredibly hot, to the point that the heat sink effect of the heavy barrel was virtually nonexistent.  Metal subjected to additional heat at those temperatures will likely start to see some physical changes, and that appears to be borne out by Mr. Baker's observations.   The culprit in Lil' Gun seems to be that it burns hotter than other comparable powders, so it heats up the barrel that much more.  I'm thinking that using Lil' Gun in moderation and allowing ample time for barrel cool-down will potentially alleviate the most serious erosive effects, but I'm not an expert...