ON a tangent, I read around here somewhere that having gaps between the powder and the ball could be very dangerous, but I can't imagine why--wouldn't such a condition merely reduce the amount of pressure in the chamber when the gum was fired?
No, the pressure would not likely be reduced.
The danger is that the ball might act something like a bore obstruction and instead of pushing out the ball you may actually split the cylinder or the barrel.
From what I gather it is something like using too greatly of a reduced load with modern powders, the small load in the overly large space can actually create an overpressure.
On a side note, if the balls on your gun were jumping forward you may be using balls that are not large enough, you want to make sure you are shaving a decent ring of lead off the balls when loading