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Old September 1, 2012, 02:13 PM   #12
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,321
"The barrel length does not have a lot do to with powder burnup."

Yes...

And no.

One needs to factor in the pressure at which a particular cartridge is designed to work at.

A short-barreled .357 Magnum loaded with 296 will leave behind a lot more unburned powder than one with a longer barrel. The longer barrel allows for a longer dwell of higher pressure, giving a better overall burn, whereas with the short barrel the pressure drops off much faster, leading to more unburned powder.

In a .38 Special, though, a slow burning powder may well never reach an optimal peak burning pressure, and so will tend to be a lot dirtier and a lot more wasteful of powder no matter what barrel length you use.
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