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Old November 25, 1998, 03:21 PM   #1
Steve Koski
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Join Date: October 19, 1998
Location: Spanish Fork UT, USA
Posts: 86
How are powder burn rates tested?

I was recently looking at a list of burn rates and it showed WSL (Winchester Super Light) right next to Unique. According to my manuals WSL loads require less powder and can't achieve the same velocities as Unique. They don't seem very similar yet they are neighbors on the burn rate list.
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Old November 26, 1998, 03:53 AM   #2
Walt Welch
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Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
Steve; burn rate charts are notoriously misleading. Powders perform differently in different size cases and at different pressures. Use a burn rate chart as a very rough gauge only.

Another misconception is that shorter bbls. require faster burning powders for best results. Not true. It is true that more of the fast burning powder will be burned, but the best ballistics are from the charges listed as having the maximum ballistics, usually slow powders. For example, a 3" .357 Mag will work fine with Unique or a similar reasonably fast powder, but best ballistics are obtained with H-110 or W-296, slow powders.

Hope this helps, Walt
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