.500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

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.500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Morne » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:59 am

Guys & Gals (and whatever else y'all are identifying as these days...I'll settle on "reloaders" for now),

I happen to have a random partial 1-pound container of Accurate #2 powder kicking around and was hoping to use it for something. Perusing the Western Powders Manual I see that you can use it for the 335-grain plated Rainier bullets.

The trick is that I don't see any other reference to this powder with this cartridge anywhere. Like NOT AT ALL. I want a second opinion and I'm not getting it.

Furthermore, it just seems like Accurate #2 is a weird choice to even include with this cartridge at all. Most of the magnum handgun loads don't even show a recipe with this powder (.357 Magnum being an exception).

Am I just totally barking up the wrong tree? If not, does anybody have another reference they can cite with this powder/cartridge combination?
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Javelin Man » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:38 pm

Sorry, I can't help you on .500.

I use Lil' Gun in my .480 Ruger cartridges and use a lightweight 275 gr. bullet. Does Lil' Gun include a recipe for your 500 S&W?
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Sevens » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:20 pm

As long as you understand that this is a fundamentally AWFUL idea... I guess I can check all my Western guides.

AA#2 is the fastest burning powder in the accurate line and you are talking about the colossal magnum hamdgun round that uses arguably the slowest burning powder in the history of handgun ammo.

Using the fastest powder in the largest, high pressure handgun round is literally the best possible chance you can actually have for catastrophic detonation.

Okay, the Western/Accurate 5.0 guide shows one reference to a publication date -- August, 2013.
This guide actually lists three .500 Mag loads using AA#2, all with a Ranier plated slug, the 275, the 300 and the 335gr plated slugs.

275gr start 23.0gr max 27.0gr 55k psi
300gr start 21.7gr max 25.6gr 54.6kpsi
335gr start 20.0gr max 23.5gr 55k psi

They show no loads at all for AA#5 or AA#7, both of which are faster powders than AA#9 and slower than AA#2.

In my opinion... yes, you are barking up the wrong tree.

At it's most basic, a fast burning powder will reach peak pressure quickly, long before it builds velocity comparable to a proper powder. It does this all the while giving absolute FULL PEAK PRESSURE. It's basically all the wear and tear and less performance and when the pressure curve is plotted on a graph, it is a violent, pointy, horrible fast rise, it's the polar opposite of linear and predictable. Messing with fast powders in high pressure and large cases is where you go from "mild" to "meltdown" with very little warning.

In my opinion (we all have them) the only thing you gain is a lower charge weight (economy?!) and it allows you to get rid of AA#2.

It's better used in 9mm, .38, .44 Special or .45, add those up and you have like 60 published loads.
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby glocksmith » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:58 am

I used 18 grains of Unique for some of my .500 Magnum loads. Talk about a small charge and fast burning powder. :lol:
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby WY_Not » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:33 pm

Does the load have issues with the powder charge being so small with relation to available case capacity? Many years back I went exclusively to Trail Boss in my .45 LC rounds. Much more consistent without having to worry about tipping the firearm up or down after each shot. Unique just left too much unused space in the case.
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Morne » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:28 pm

I kind of figured this was a bad idea. Thanks for the sanity check.

I am using Trail Boss for the plated bullets right now and have great success with making mild loads with it.
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Sevens » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:23 pm

Trail Boss is also a fast burning powder but it's extremely bulky... to prevent from being overloaded. I have heard complaints of Trail Boss under plated, if it were me I would want to see chrono numbers and ensure that it wasn't super slow (under 800fps is a BAD idea with plated) and I would demand shot to shot consistency.

In any revolver with a flash gap you have a pressure escape valve which is a major pitfall to a stuck bullet. And FWIW, plated bullets are simply no fun at all to remove from revolver barrels.

I also played with .45 Colt for a short time and I also couldn't deal with the erratic shot to shot variance due to the extreme space in the case along with a low pressure round. Just not my comfort zone at all.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby WY_Not » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:49 pm

Sorry. Hope I didn't confuse things too much. My question on case volume vs powder charge was more aimed at glocksmith using Unique in a .500 S&W Magnum. Was curious if it had the same issues as Unique in a .45 LC. Nearly all of my .45 LC loads were FPLRN lead loaded for a SAA. Also did a hundred or so shot shells for same. Can't remember which powder I used with the shot shells.

If the volume vs charge question helped, then that is a bonus.

I've shot .500 S&W but have not reloaded for it yet. Seriously fun handgun to shoot. Not sure what I'd ever use it for in any practical setting.
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Sevens » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:45 pm

Titegroup is the best powder I have ever used when it comes to consistent performance when there is a huge amount of empty space, but the (huge!) caveat is that it's a very high nitro, high energy powder and I'm not sure there exists a more perfect powder on the market for absolutely blowing up a firearm if used carelessly or recklessly. Titegroup can be a total disaster if you don't know what it's capable of doing.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: .500 S&W Magnum & Accurate #2 Powder

Postby Morne » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:17 pm

Sevens wrote:Trail Boss is also a fast burning powder but it's extremely bulky... to prevent from being overloaded.

Yes, the reviews I read on Trail Boss in the .500 S&W were that there was room for 12.6-grains of it with a Rainer 335-gr bullet. Thus, anything between 9 and 12 grains should work fine and I can confirm that. No chrono data on them as yet but just "feel wise" they were mild and easy to shoot. Will report back with real chrono numbers.

Obviously, you don't want a compressed load with Trail Boss as doing so can break up the "donuts" of powder and give wildly inconsistent results. I don't go there so it's not a concern of mine. When I want hot loads I switch to Lil' Gun and use a heavier bullet.
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