Thread: Powders by type
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: June 6, 1999
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 1,021
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.

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

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.

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.
New gun, same ol' shot.
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