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Old November 28, 2012, 02:24 PM   #1
dbooksta
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Powders by type

I have lists by density and burning rate, but am wondering if anyone has a list of retail powders that indicates the type of each -- whether flake, ball, or extruded?

Also how strongly do people agree with these generalizations?

1. Ball powder fouls significantly more than extruded powder.

2. Ball powder meters so much better than extruded powder that I would only use ball powder for metered loads when I care about accuracy.
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
I have lists by density and burning rate, but am wondering if anyone has a list of retail powders that indicates the type of each -- whether flake, ball, or extruded?
I don't think it gets much better than this, but the internet is a big place. http://www.precisionreloading.net/?page_id=2039

A lot of times you can find pictures of powders on Google Images as well.

Quote:
1. Ball powder fouls significantly more than extruded powder.
I don't agree with this generalization. Each powder is a rule unto itself, along with which cartridge and what pressure it is used at. Some powders are naturally more dirty than others (2400, Unique), but even a powder known for being clean can leave your gun dirty if used in cartridge where the pressure is too low. It is far better to look at powders after you have decided which cartridge/cartridges you want to reload with it.

Quote:
2. Ball powder meters so much better than extruded powder that I would only use ball powder for metered loads when I care about accuracy.
Ball powders meter really well but so do some flake and extruded also. Charge weight is another factor too. For example some flake powders that meter fine for 12 gauge shotgun loads don't meter so well when reduced to a 38spl load. Or another example from my personal experience is that Green Dot meters just fine at 5.3gr when my swamp cooler is off, but will produce a lot of squib loads when my swamp cooler is on and it has been sitting inside the hopper for a week.

On the subject of accuracy, a perfectly metered charge can still deliver a cartridge with awful accuracy because of some other factor like headspacing, bullet choice, primer choice, etc. OTOH for shorter range shooting where bullet drop doesn't play a big factor, a bit of charge variation might not be a factor at all. At 100 yards my 6.5x55 has the same point of impact at 46grs of Reloder 22 as it does at 48.1grs (max load).

There's a ton more to be said about each of your questions, but I'll leave a more detailed discussion of that to others. I reload more to save $$$ than to chase perfection. Hope it helps.
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
1. Ball powder fouls significantly more than extruded powder.
I have no opinion on this.

Quote:
2. Ball powder meters so much better than extruded powder that I would only use ball powder for metered loads when I care about accuracy.
The metering differences are not enough to effect accuracy. Speaking in terms of rifles, good loads are tolerant to several 1/10ths fluctuations. Metering differences are not relevent, within reason.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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As far as I know, you have to look up the powder individually. And what do you call the squashed sphere grains like Hodgdon Universal? Is it really a flake or really a sphere (since it started life that way). Clean burning, by the way.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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"Also how strongly do people agree with these generalizations?

1. Ball powder fouls significantly more than extruded powder.

2. Ball powder meters so much better than extruded powder that I would only use ball powder for metered loads when I care about accuracy."


1. Not the ball powders that I use.

2. Different uses, different powders and types. In general ball is easier to dump with a measure but not always. I always care about accuracy.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Ball powders do meter well, but in some measures they can leak. They also can cling to the sides of the powder measure. I've done tests (need to post a thread sometime about it) where I've found that loads with hard-to-meter powders actually have lower SDs when thrown from a measure than weighed individually. I know it sounds backwards, and it was against my original theory, but it's true. Single base extruded powders are cleaner than any double base ball or flake powders, and many (like Hodgdon's line) are much less temperature sensitive. More benchrest competitions have been won with extruded powders so I sure wouldn't exclude them if accuracy was paramount.


Unclenick: From what I've read in Hodgdon's reloading guide Universal is a single base extruded powder cut super short and only resembles a flake powder. Super clean for sure. It's not leaving my bench anytime soon.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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Powder fouling

I think it is a misnomer to say this powder burns dirty, or that powder burns clean. The truth is that any powder will vary in how completely and cleanly it burns, in direct relation to how closely it is loaded to its intended purpose. The generalization that ball powders burn dirty is flawed. Ball or extruded powders will burn dirty if you use a slow powder in a light pressure load.

Slower powders need more pressure to burn fully. I have some super slow WC872. If I load it straight in 308 or 223, it leaves a trail of partially burned grains down the barrel. However, in a 20mm application for which this powder was designed and intended, it burns cleanly enough to sustain very rapid rates of fire. I have tested duplex loads, using two powders in one cartridge, and was able to make WC872 burn more cleanly and completely in these calibers. Also, using the heaviest available bullet will help slow powders burn more completely, too. Conversely, using too fast a powder will cause higher than safe pressures. It is not the powders fault, if you selected the wrong powder for your load.

Rather than blame a powder, I believe the reloader should consider how suited the powder is for the load they choose to load. If you select the right powder, for the right load, in the first place, you won't be blaming a powder for burning dirty, IMO.
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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Mmb713,

You're correct. My age is showing in my memory. I had to go look at a can of Universal (actually at the Universal in my Dillon Square Deal's measure), but they are indeed just flat chips shaved off extruding powder spaghetti. I can't think what the powder is that I'm remembering. I have a clear mental image little spheres put through a roller and with the edges curling up like potato chips. Next time I'm moving my powder containers around, I'll check for it.

Nick
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Coatings on some ball powder can make them harder to ignite. Use a mag primer. Look up these http://www.hodgdon.com/msds.html

{Edit: Deleted copyrighted material per request. Please assume anything you get from a web site is copyrighted for the purposes of the board policy. This is a great inconvenience to us all, but is the way the law currently works. You can post anything in the Wiki Commons freely. Jim Ristow at RSI told me that as far as he's concerned his site's content is public property and can be used freely. All others have to be asked. }

http://www.alliantpowder.com/resources/msds.aspx Thread on powders http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...r-manufactuers If copy righted, delete please. ty.

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Old November 29, 2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Winchester Powder MSDS

Winchester MSDS link http://www.wwpowder.com/PDF/MSDS%20F...Propellant.pdf
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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243Winxb,

You might be interested to know that I spoke with a tech in the lab at Western who says their Ramshot line all uses more modern deterrent chemistry than the old WC### powders that Winchester and most Hodgdon spherical propellants are canister grade versions of. As a result, he said the Ramshot powders don't need the CCI magnum primers that were reformulated for those other spherical propellants in 1989. Experiments from a number of sources seem to confirm this.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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Good to know, ty.
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Old November 30, 2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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The Lyman manual does the best job of identifying each powder using the code:

(S) for single base
(D) for double base
(B) for spherical or ball shape
(T) for extruded with tubular shape
(W) for extruded with wafer or flake shape

Tells me what I need to know about powder type.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:55 PM   #14
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I don't agree with generalities.

Except that, in general, stick powders produce tighter groups for competitive shooters than ball powders. (has to do with the powder/primer interface consistency, which is a whole nother post...)

I have notice no difference in fouling, at least not between two powders that have similar burn rates, like IMR4064 and Power Pro 2000 MR.

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Old December 1, 2012, 02:07 PM   #15
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Winchester used to brag their Ball powders burned about 500 degrees cooler than stick. Actual temperature also depends on pressure, which means getting it warm enough to burn off maximum fouling probably requires a little more pressure.
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Old December 1, 2012, 07:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Or another example from my personal experience is that Green Dot meters just fine at 5.3gr when my swamp cooler is off, but will produce a lot of squib loads when my swamp cooler is on and it has been sitting inside the hopper for a week.
I would squib on you too. Nothing to do with powder, everything to do with mishandling.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:46 PM   #17
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So if it has nothing to do with the powder, then why does Accurate #2, #5 and Bullseye work just fine after they have sat in the hopper for a week with the swamp cooler running? It has everything to do with the powder while my swamp cooler is running.

As far as your squibs go, they have pills for that nowadays.
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