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Old May 29, 2000, 01:50 PM   #1
Mike H
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Guys,

I don't reload but figured this was the place to get an answer to this question.

Why do we still have to endure muzzle flash in our pistols, particularly the hotter loads like 9mm +P and .357 Magnum/Sig. Surely there are fast burning powders (HR38 ?) that can be fully consumed before the bullet leaves the barrel. So why the "tongue of flame" routine. Answers appreciated.

Regards,

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Old May 29, 2000, 05:08 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Hey, there's muzzle-flash even with Bullseye.

Seems to me if you experimented with a fairly long barrel and a fast powder, you might wind up with very little flash. I'd bet you wind up with very little velocity, as well...

FWIW, Art
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Old May 29, 2000, 05:35 PM   #3
Nukem
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Like Art said. The fast powders aren't compatable with heavy bullets at higher velocities. For example: a .357 158gr jhp would use, say 2400 powder. Slow burning, but it's needed with a heavy slug.
You could in theory load for low flash signature but the chances of having both high performance and low flash aren't very good.
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Old May 29, 2000, 05:42 PM   #4
Mal H
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I'm not positive, but I have read somewhere in the distant past that the flash is not necessarily unburned powder burning beyond the muzzle. It is the extremely hot gases which yield a gas plasma effect. Some powders burn much hotter and therefore brighter than other powders even though they may reach similar pressures.
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Old November 24, 2002, 04:39 PM   #5
Thirties
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If you shoot a .22lr handgun in the failing light of a late afternoon, you'll see a lot of muzzle flash.
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Old November 24, 2002, 05:08 PM   #6
yankytrash
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As Mal points out, it's the same effect as a fireman opening a door without checking it. The air on his side of the door seems to explode.
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Old November 24, 2002, 07:11 PM   #7
Mal H
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Gosh, I had forgotten I said that 2 and a half years ago!
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Old November 24, 2002, 10:15 PM   #8
yankytrash
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Damn. I gotta start lookin at the dates man. Had me all freaked out....

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Old November 25, 2002, 12:17 AM   #9
C.R.Sam
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It's a firearm...
Ergo....flash of fire.

Sam
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Old November 26, 2002, 10:27 AM   #10
ZeusOne
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I imagine one could experiment with different powders and load parameters until the minimum amount of muzzle flash was achieved for an individual gun.

Myself, I load up good ole' Blue Dot in the .357 Mag anytime I want an impressive display of spitzensparken! Whatever the bullet doesn't get, the flames will finish off : )
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Old November 26, 2002, 11:26 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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Mal H, you get the Physics Prize!

Muzzle flash can be EITHER unburned powder burning outside the barrel, a plasma effect from the expanding gas, or BOTH.

Flash suppressants put in the powder can help cut this down, but you're really asking for a lot if you hope to totally eliminate flash.
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Old November 26, 2002, 11:57 AM   #12
Mal H
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Thanks Mike! That's mighty nobel of you to mention it.

[Caution - thread veer coming]
Did you notice that three locals won the NP this year? A George Mason prof for economics (second one for GMU); a VA Commonwealth U prof for chemistry; and a member of Associated Universities in DC for physics. Very cool.
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Old November 27, 2002, 02:26 PM   #13
john kilgore
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MORE, FOR WHAT ITS WORTH............

The flash is a result of the excess oxidizer (given off by the powder during the combustion process) igniting when exposed to the atmosphere. This also results in the "jet" effect that increases recoil, or decreases recoil when directed through a compensator.

If you want to minimize the observed flash, -as you stated you are NOT a reloader?: Use the various loadings intended for Law Enforcement use.
Several years back, Winchester worked on this problem and applied it to the "Silver Tip" ammo line.
They claim to use some type of deterent coating on the powders. The results are dramatic.
The old Super-X .357mag. 125gr JHP's I was issued created a "fire-ball" the size of a Basket ball when fired from a 4" bbl. revolver and was blinding at night, a significant problem for law enforcement as most shoot-outs are at night and at very close range.
In the mid '90's, I was issued the "New and improved" 145gr Silver Tips. The flash from these are less than most 148gr factory wadcutter loads, though velocity is only slighty less than the 125's. (1450fps w/125's vs 1350fps w/145's)
The same applies to the current .40S&W. The Rem UMC 180gr "yellow box" loads and the Federal USA produce substantially more flash than the Winchester Ranger "Talon" ammo currently produced, at least it did the last time I qualified at night back last June.
Try obtaining/using either the Silver Tip or RANGER SXT ammo or equivalent from Federal (Hydro-shok) or Speer (Lawman). These should give reduced flash.
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Old November 28, 2002, 12:24 AM   #14
Mike H
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As the originator of this thread I'm now even more interested in how someone picked it up from over 2 years ago

Way to go Thirties.

Mike H
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Old November 28, 2002, 01:12 PM   #15
Gewehr98
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I'm guessing it was diligent use of...

the "Search" function!

(Only because I accidentally did that once, too...)
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Old December 1, 2002, 06:12 AM   #16
buford1
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It dont work like one would think. My AMT 30 carbine pistol blows out a flame approx 1/1/2 ft flame about 8" dia. I also own the LONE EAGLE single shot pistol. IN 308 WIN. Got the idea to load some 308 with the slowest burning powder I could find in my book, figured the flame coming out of that barrel would be something to see. Turned out to be a real disapointment not much muzzle flash at all. I shoot 454 down to 22 in hand guns nothing flames like that 30 carbine auto loader..I really like all that muzzle flash.
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