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Old January 15, 2009, 01:22 AM   #1
Big-O-2
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Clean burning powder

Can anyone tell me if fast or slow burning powder would be the cleanest? And is a brand of powder cleaner then another?

Just started reloading and I have looked all over the web but can not seem to find an answer for this question.

David
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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Loading for handguns? Rifles? What cartridges?

Ken
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:37 AM   #3
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Sorry,

Riffle 30-06 and 30-30

Pistol 9mm and 45 acp

David
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:39 AM   #4
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No simple answer. In general, slower powders need higher pressures to burn cleanly, so they burn most completely near the maximum pressures for the cartridges they are appropriate in. Faster powders tend to be cleaner, but that is a generalization that assumes "all else" is equal. It seldom is. For example, Hodgdon Universal Clays is cleaner burning than Alliant Bullseye, despite Bullseye being faster. The difference is that Bullseye has a graphite coating to help flow and reduce static charge. Universal handles that without graphite, so you avoid the fine soot-like coating of mixed carbon and graphite the Alliant powder leaves behind.

Other factors include the source of the nitrocellulose used. If the nitrated cellulose is from wood pulp it tends to be more sooty than virgin cotton cellulose produces. The latter is in some premium powders, like Vihtavuori.
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:44 AM   #5
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American Select is the cleanest burning pistol powder I've ever used. Titegroup is also pretty clean with jacketed or plated bullets (but dirtier and smokier with cast bullets than most comparable powders.)
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:46 AM   #6
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Could you use one powder for all loads rifle and pistol? say a medium burning powder? That would be somewhat clean in both applications?

David
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:49 AM   #7
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Everything unclenick said is true. Some powders to try for your 06 & 30-30 are IMR4831, Hodgdons H4831, IMR 4064 to name a few. You will find that your Pistols will be much more sensitive to the "dirty burn". Light loads will definitly smoke up your gun. where full loads with say Hodgdons 2400, Alliant blue dot, Win 296 will tend to burn pretty clean.

The above are suggestions only and some are my personal favorites. You will have alot of trials of your own to do....Have fun

Ken
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Old January 15, 2009, 01:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Could you use one powder for all loads rifle and pistol? say a medium burning powder? That would be somewhat clean in both applications?
Generaly not... there is too much difference in case capacity and pressure. Handguns powders are often also shotgun powders though.

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Old January 15, 2009, 01:54 AM   #9
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any of the popular reloading manuals will have an in depth powder selection chapter. Read up and start out carefully.

Ken
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Old January 15, 2009, 02:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Could you use one powder for all loads rifle and pistol? say a medium burning powder? That would be somewhat clean in both applications?
Yes, if you're willing to use cast bullets at relatively low velocity in the rifles.

Generally speaking, powders fall in the following groups:

Very Slow - magnum rifle
Slow - rifle
Medium - magnum pistol
Fast - handgun and shotgun

Of course there will always be exceptions and overlap, but a good handgun powder is seldom a good rifle powder. H4895 or IMR4895 are good all-around rifle powders but not necessarily the best for any cartridge. Likewise Unique and W231 are pretty versatile handgun powders. Looking at 30-'06 you'll find powders that work well with heavy bullets don't work so well with the lighter ones.

If you picked up a pound of W231 and H4895 you could find loads that work for all the cartridges you listed and many more.
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