Hangfires

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Hangfires

Postby lendar » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:27 am

I am having trouble with hangfires in the 450 bushmaster. This is on an ar upper. I am trying the Hornady 230 gr hap bullet. Size 451. I tried both lit-gun and H-110 with 38 grains. Both hangfire. I am running lee dies and give them a med crimp. All primers are cci mag. Both powders shoot a great group but I don't like the hangfire. This is not a problem with heaver bullets size 452. They work fine. I have been loading since 1965 but this has me stumped. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby Al in Mi » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:07 am

welcome.

sounds like you need to get more tension on the bullet. Try skipping the expanding die and/or putting a heavier bite on the crimp.

do those Lee dies come with a taper crimp or factory crimp die?
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Re: Hangfires

Postby Hoot » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:21 am

Welcome Aboard lendar!

My experience with hangfires were not from some mechanical problem like light primer strike. It seemed to be from inadequate neck tension for whatever reason. More specifically, the bullet exits the case too easily during initial ignition but before the powder column has ignited. It jumps a short distance until it engages the lands, stops and then the powder column fully ignites. This can be caused by not applying enough crimp but it also can happen when using copper plated bullets as the jacket is thin like aluminum foil. The crimp effectiveness is dependent not only on die crimping force inward but equally dependent upon the jacket fighting back outward from being pushed easily into the lead core. With conventional jacketed bullets, manufacturing start with a thicker copper cup, into which the lead core is inserted and then the jacket is formed into the bullet's final shape. I discovered this when I tried using Berry 230gr FMJ bullets. Under no circumstances, should plated bullets be used in this caliber. I know HAP bullets are affordably priced but I don't know if that reduction in cost is due to their jackets being plated onto them. That warrants some investigation. The problem of hangfire can be due to the bullets themselves being undersized. I have gotten to the point of mic'ing a few bullets from every box I buy to make sure that they make either their .451 or .452 spec. Don't rely on the precision of a pair of calipers. That measurement should be done with a micrometer.

Lastly, hangfires can be caused by not seating the primers fully into the primer pockets. When I prime my cases, I stand them up on a known flat surface and make sure they don't rock back and forth upon their primers still protruding a small amount from the face. Only takes a second to perform with each case while you're priming. I have not found that the CCI 450 primers have such thick cups that it causes hangfires, if they're fully seated.

If you have another lighter bullet to try in your loads, that is known to not be plated, see if the problem persists with them.

The weight of the bullets factors in but not that much if you avoid not crimping them adequately and not using plated bullets. I have successfully loaded bullets like the 200gr FTX and 200gr XPB. But lighter bullets start getting so short that there is not much metal on metal in the necks unless you load them for very short COL.

Hoot

Shoot! I'm slower at typing than Al and doubled with him.
In Theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In Practice, there is.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby lendar » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:52 pm

My Lee dies have the factory crimp die. I like the idea of not enough neck tension on the ones I have loaded. I think about all the 44 mags I have loaded with H-110 and the heavy roll crimp. I have never had a hangfire in a 44 mag. I am going to put a heavy crimp on the bushmaster and see what happens.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby plant_one » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:18 am

you want the case neck around 0.473-0.474" at the mouth

if you crimp too much you can get headspace issues as this caliber - unlike the 44 mag you're used to - indexes off the case mouth and not the rim like the 44 does.

just something to be concious of when going for a "heavy crimp"






a friend had the overcrimp issue bite him in the ass on his beowulf... tore a case right in half because him and a buddy crimped the case mouth's right down to bullet diamater :shock: :shock:

he got lucky it was only a torn apart case, imho. could have been a LOT worse.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby Hoot » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:09 pm

I hesitate to repost the following because reloaders of lesser experience won't necessarily see the inherent dangers in using crimps that are too small but facts are facts.

Disclaimer: This is not an invitation to damage your rifle or yourself. Print this out and leave it where your survivors can find it.

On August 3, 2011, Cely1932 wrote:Last night while working up some loads, I decided to gauge pin my chamber. The throat measured .4535". Seems to me you could have a pretty tight taper crimp and still headspace correctly. Just an observation.
Craig


I myself have intentionally over-crimped a dummy load down to .462 at the mouth and it still passed the "thunk test" with a distinct stop at the end of the chamber, in my factory Bushmaster upper.

This information is not intended to serve as a guideline to safe 450b reloading.

Hoot
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Re: Hangfires

Postby lendar » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:36 am

Just back from the range and all hangfires are gone. This was with both h-110 and lit-gun. I didn't use a heavy crimp but a firm crimp. I still had to neck expand slightly with a lee universal neck expander. I don't think I would have ever figured this out on my own, so many thanks for the help.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby plant_one » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:35 pm

the terms heavy crimp and firm crimp are ... well.. quite subjective


did you measure the case mouths to determine exactly how much crimp you were imparting on them so that you can repeat it in the future?
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Re: Hangfires

Postby lendar » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:19 am

I have more testing to do before I get to that point. I only did 5 rounds of each powder, but I need to be sure before I start keeping track of that. But, things are looking way better than they did.
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Re: Hangfires

Postby MOOSE EARS » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:38 pm

Try to load with no case mouth bell at all. You can easily do it by chamfering the case mouth.
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