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Old September 10, 2008, 01:23 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Gun powder bulk density chart anyone ???

so... I can find powder burn rate charts, all over, but nothing in the way of a comparision chart for powder bulk densities...

anyone know of anything out there ???

I'm beginning to load black powder conversion cartridges, & I'm trying to look at powder density as part of my load developement...
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Old September 10, 2008, 01:55 PM   #2
.45 COLT
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http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/VMD'S.pdf

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Old September 10, 2008, 02:00 PM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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Thanks COLT... just what I was looking for...
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Old September 10, 2008, 06:10 PM   #4
amamnn
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Just to add a bit for what it's worth:

The same source of that powder RELATIVE density chart (Richard Lee) has also mentioned elsewhere that powder density is a quite variable quality of smokeless powder. He mentioned some time ago that the (voluntary) powder manufacturer's standard allowed a variance of 14% If you think about it--that can mean a 28% difference between lots of your fav powder. If your first can was 14% high and your next one is 14% low--well you see. That does not take into consideration the variance between lots of various powder of different brands.

Things have improved in the last few years, but there is still enough difference between lots to make your fav load act differently when you buy a new powder. If you're loading right on the cusp of the sweet spot a 3% variance (total possible change = 6%) in powder density can radically change downrange performance.

All the serious match shooters I know also know the true density of the powder they use and keep track of it from lot to lot. If they find one that works very well, they'll buy as much of that lot as they can.

Not everyone can afford 64 pounds of H335 or have a place to store it, so learning how to measure your powder's density is a good thing to know. It's very simple if you have a scale that can measure in grams and some dippers calibrated in (metric) cubic centimeters. The great thing about using the metric system here is that you can find the actual density of your powder because in metric-- the density of water is 1!!!! That means the weight in grams divided by the volume in cc equals 1.

So, using Richard Lee's preferred method of powder dipping and some Lee dippers, you can see that a 1.7 gram weight of powder divided by the 2.2 cc level dipper you used to scoop the powder equals .772 or 77% of water. You do it at least 3 times to be sure of your dipping and leveling skills. You write it on a label and stick it on your can of powder and you always do the same whenever you get a new can. If a can ever varies by more than 5% you might want to adjust the load and refrain from mixing the last of the old can with the new.

I once had a can of powder that actually was 14% low in density. I actually followed it with a can of the same powder that was 13% high. I had made major adjustments to my load using the low density powder and was very perplexed when a new can did not perform similarly. This was in the days before digital scales and trying to do the math in order to figure out density using ounces and grains was daunting. Of course Richard Lee had it figured out in his book, but all I had was a LEE (hand) loader and some dippers.

I love progress. I love technology---to a point.................
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Last edited by amamnn; September 10, 2008 at 06:15 PM. Reason: things the spellchecker missed
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Old September 10, 2008, 06:25 PM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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AMAMNN... thanks for the tip..

... I'm in the powdered food ingredient business, & deal with powder densities all the time, so it only comes natural for me to use the powders density as one of my criteria when doing a black powder conversion cartridge developement...

I did not realize there could be such a variance in industry standards though... so I'll likely test my densities off each lot...

since gun powder is hygroscopic ( readily obsorbs water ) I'd guess that a good portion of the visible density differences, are caused by realitive moisture content differences between batches of powder...

not trying to get that ( in depth ), but you could likely test the moisture on the powder similar to how we would test our products, & even "dry out" powder of high moisture contents if it were desireable...

I have no eye deer right now, the optimum moisture content of gun powder, but that could range from as dry as possible, to being like "pop corn", where the process needs some moisture to perform like it's supposed to ??? however, I'm sure consistancy would be desired for best bench rest results...
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Old September 10, 2008, 11:48 PM   #6
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Heres another; http://www.tacticoolproducts.com/powder.pdf
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