Problems with current limiting system

Well, I just got a nasty surprise, and am looking for input from
someone that is more familiar with this than I.
I wound an iron core coil, hoping to use it as a limiter for my pig.
about 10lbs of iron wire form a straight core. I wound about 400 turns
of 10AWG wire on this. Measuring current with my 110V variac
I found that I got 10A at 130V. So I figured I would get around 25A
at 240. Boy was I wrong.
Wired in series with my pig, shorted pig output. Meter shows 83A being drawn
and considering how the wires were jumping, I'd belive it.

Is it possible I saturated the iron, even though it is a straight rod?

Michael Baumann
Coiler, Homebrewer, Nerd. mycroft-at-access1-dot-net