Anyone use Hodgdon Lil' Gun powder?

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So, when I recently bought some powder online I had seen that Lil' Gun was real interesting in it didn't have as high a pressure as other powders do, but the velocity was pretty fast. What I didn't know was that after a few hundred rounds in a revolver the heat generated by the powder erodes forcing cones. That sucked because I was planning to use it in .32 and .327 Mag. Then I learned that it's okay in non revolvers, which meant I could use it in my lever actions in the future.

So, I wanted to test this stuff out and used data from Hodgdon's website. Using a starting charge and a small pistol magnum primer I loaded up some .32 Mag with an 85gr XTP bullet. Hodgdon wanted the bullet seated to where the top of the cannalure was below the case mouth, which I didn't do because it doesn't make sense. I've always crimped on the cannalure. Apart from that, I did nothing else different.

Went shooting yesterday and took the chronograph to get a reading of what I could expect from this in terms of velocity from a longer barrel as the data on the website shows 1160fps from a 5 inch barrel. I was shooting with a 10" barrel single shot pistol and the velocity was over 1600 fps. That seemed very high and I did have some difficulty breaking the barrel open.

I had brought a revolver just to try this load in and after that I decided not to shoot it in the revolver.

So, what I'm looking for is feedback from other who have used Lil' Gun in something like .357 or .44 Mag in both a rifle and revolver and what your velocities were with both. I know I wasn't anywhere near max with the charges I used, but I'm hesitant to use it in the lever action rifle I have.
 

TrashcanDan

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What I didn't know was that after a few hundred rounds in a revolver the heat generated by the powder erodes forcing cones. That sucked because I was planning to use it in .32 and .327 Mag. Then I learned that it's okay in non revolvers, which meant I could use it in my lever actions in the future.

Its fairly abrasive stuff, and will sand blast chamber throats as well. Its more prominent on wheelguns because you don't need anything fancy to see the top strap or forcing cones.
It'll do the same thing to leverguns chambered in a mag round shooting specials like .38 or .44.
Might take longer in a smaller caliber, but the end result is always the same.

I used to chalk it up to internet picture wives tale gossip. Older guy at the range asked me to look at his black hawk. Looked like he had been shooting heavy .44 mag loads through it but he swore up and down it was "cowboy loads" for that and his Marlin "That he's put 1000's of rounds through with the same load without a problem like this"
Told him to go up the street and see if they could stick a bore scope in the chamber.

Never heard back, probably thought I was baggin on his guns.
Heard he sent the ruger back for warranty work. Saw the rifle up on consignment 2 or so months later.
 

jpm

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I wouldn't be hesitant about using it in your lever gun unless its old (like 90+ years old). In revolvers I wouldn't use it because of the 'flame cutting' that happens and erodes the forcing cone. Its a freakin' hot powder.

I used it for 357 mag loads in a Marlin lever gun using 170gr FMJ bullets. They were hot loads, but I never got a chance to chrono them (don't have one) and were screaming fast for sure. But they were also quite accurate. Just work up slow and make sure you label them as not for handgun use! The lever gun has a lot stronger action and can handle stuff I would not use in a handgun.
 
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I wouldn't be hesitant about using it in your lever gun unless its old (like 90+ years old). In revolvers I wouldn't use it because of the 'flame cutting' that happens and erodes the forcing cone. Its a freakin' hot powder.

I used it for 357 mag loads in a Marlin lever gun using 170gr FMJ bullets. They were hot loads, but I never got a chance to chrono them (don't have one) and were screaming fast for sure. But they were also quite accurate. Just work up slow and make sure you label them as not for handgun use! The lever gun has a lot stronger action and can handle stuff I would not use in a handgun.
I've read some conflicting stuff on whether Lil' Gun will erode the chamber throat in rifles, but I've also read it's fine, so IDK what the deal is. The lever action is a Henry I got a few years ago, I have no doubts on its strength, I just don't want a worn out throat/bore.
 

jasons

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I have a few .500 magnum loads that use lil'gun. Haven't noticed an issue but I also haven't been shooting a lot.
 
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