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357 MAGNUM & AL8

ENBLOCENBLOC Member Posts: 327 ✭✭
I've acquired some AL8 from a friend who used it for shotshell loads. I loaded some 125 grain hollow points in my Rossi 971 Comp 3" bbl at 11 grains of AL8. Seemed mild and have sighted in at 25 yards. I noticed some of the powder may not have burned (little square flakes) while cleaning. I see my older Speer #9 shows loads at 14.0 and 15.0 as Max. for this recipe. It doesn't call for magnum primers. If I wanted to load this AL8 powder with magnum primers and 125 grain jacketed bullets.....what do I start out at? 20% below Max.? 12 grains of AL8?
Looking to burn up all that powder!

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    hrbiehrbie Member Posts: 521 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some of my loads are like that. But then again if i like the load and it is accurate i dont worry about a few small grains of powder that dont get burnt. If there is alot of unburnt powder it would be a different story. But if it is a small amout that you notice after you shoot i wouldnt worry to much about it. To answere your question, i usually go around 10 to 15 percent below max then work my way up as needed.
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    XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Speer number nine loading manual gives data.

    AL-8 is best used with heaver bullets. (150 to 180)

    Alcan product flier lists the following:

    125gr (L) with 12gr

    148gr (L) with 10.2gr

    156gr jacketed with 10.5gr

    158gr jacketed with 11.0gr

    Magnum primers might be of some advantage with the lighter bullets just to get the pressures up to the point where the powder burns efficiently. The heavier loadings burn very clean. Good powder.
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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,240 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Alcan AL-8 is a fairly slow powder for handgun loads. Like similar powders, it needs a lot of resistance to reach its best burning pressure. That means heavy bullets, hard bullet pull and a firm crimp. Magnum primers don't really increase burning at all, contrary to common belief. They may even decrease it by unseating the bullet too soon.

    I use AL-8 in heavy hunting loads for the 45 Colt, using 260-gr cast bullets .002" over bore diameter and deeply crimped. I get few or no unburnt flakes.

    In the 357, it would take bullets at least 158 grains, jacketed or cast, minimally expanded cases and a firm crimp.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    ENBLOCENBLOC Member Posts: 327 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I appreciate the information on the AL8. I was headed in the wrong direction as I was also considering using some in my .30 carbine Ruger Blackhawk. I'll save it for the heavier bullets as outlined. May make a great load in my 1894 Marlin Cowboy using 158 jacketed with heavy crimp as suggested. I mostly carry 9mm, 38, or 357 and I like the lighter to mid-weight bullets. Thank You for your insight.
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