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Old May 16, 2002, 12:29 AM   #1
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Problem with AA#5 38sp loads

I have tried some 38 special loads using 148 grwc and 4.5gr of AA#5 in a 4" GP100. They have worked fine and accuracy is acceptable, but after, many golden brown flakes are found on the revolver. They don't seem to be unburned powder as they are a much lighter color than the powder is. They seem to be a burned byproduct of the original powder flakes or somethings. They are about the same size as the original powder flakes.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is this ok? Is the load too light? Is there possibly something wrong with the powder?
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Old May 16, 2002, 02:44 AM   #2
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tighten up the crimp a litle more and see if it goes away , but i have this happen with my hbwc's never thought it was a problem .
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Old May 16, 2002, 08:28 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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The flakes you see ARE unburned powder. The color is light because the graphite coating blew off when the rest of the charge burned. It won't hurt anything, if you eject the empties with muzzle up to keep from getting granules under the extractor and binding up cylinder rotation. But it is a sign of low pressure - your load is the AA starting load for a bevel base wadcutter (What is a "grwc" by the way?).

A faster burning powder would be cleaner if you are shooting mostly wadcutters or standard velocity RN or SWC. AA 5 ought to be fine for +P.
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Old May 16, 2002, 08:31 AM   #4
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I shot a hundred or so AA-5 158 gr .38's out of my new 2" Charter Arms Undercover the other day, and was getting repeatedly sprayed in the face and hands by all sorts of unburned/semi burned powder.

Later, as I scrubbed all the powder doody off of me, I resolved to not use AA-5 for .38's anymore and stay with either WST or Titegroup.

FWIW, many Glock reload KB!'s were with AA5. There's something about that the bottom of this page:
We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then it gets worse.

Last edited by zanthope; May 16, 2002 at 08:51 AM.
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Old May 16, 2002, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, they explained a lot. I will quit reloading with AA#5 for 38sp light loads. After firing several rounds of these, although they fired fine, the unburned powder did begin to interfere with rotation of the cylinder and occasionally made it a little difficult to close after loading. I also noticed some of it worked its way into the individual chambers and made inserting some cartridges a little more difficult occasionally.
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Old May 17, 2002, 06:05 AM   #6
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AA#5 is good for some applications, but for light loads you might want to consider W-231, Bullseye, or AA#2 Improved. I have never had really great results with slower powders for light loads. Theoretically, the bulkier, slow powders should fill the case and provide more uniform ballistics, but it is hard to prove in my guns.
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