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Powder Burn Rates....

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Mikej, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Seems we like discussion on all things guns, and I have little luck with searches, so.....
    For reloading pistol it was recomended I use Hodgdon Titegroup, so that's what I bought. Looking at the powder burn rate chart posted on another thread Titegroup has the 12th fastest burn rate, out of almost 200 powders. What might that mean to you pros? I assume from this that a faster powder is what you want for pistol. Would a slightly slower OR faster powder be better for .45 OR 9mm?

    The Speer book listed Titegroup for 9mm and .38 but not .45, the Hornady book did, as did the Hodgdon site.
    Thoughts, input?

    This site has been great as far as answering questions that I'm sure have come up times before. The other site that was my main discussion forum (fishing) before NWFA had quite a few people that would not share, or jus tell you to "Do a search". I'm liking this site more and more every day.

    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Powder selection depends more on the desired performance of the round than anything else. Burn rate is one criteria but not where one starts.

    When you look at a loading manual like the Lee 2nd Edition, Lyman, or Speer, they usually list the powders that perform best for that round.

    If you are looking for a full case, select a powder that gives the speed you want using more powder. If looking for economy, select a powder that again gives you a workable speed but with a smaller amount of powder. For all practical purposes a load that uses 3.5 grains of powder will be half as expensive (powder wise) than one using 7 grains. One will give you 2,000 rounds per pound and the other 1,000 rounds.

    But will the cheaper be as accurate? Will it "cycle" your semi-auto? Is one "cleaner" than the other?

    I use "burn rate" only when trying to clean up a round. If I have a load that leaves the bore and firearm looking like a "teenagers bedroom" after a day at the range I might go for a powder that has a slightly faster burn rate.

    One thing to take into consideration the goals might not be compatible. Looking for a "one size loads all" powder would be nice but it may not give the best performance in all rounds. Powder manufacturers sell powder so it's to their benefit to list loads for as many cartridges as possible. Bullet manufacturers are interested in how their bullets perform so they are more selective in what they publish.
     
  3. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    We need a "Head Spinning" emoticon. Seeing as I haven't dropped a grain of powder in a shell yet....I am sure at a later date I will take your reply in to consideration.
    Soaking it up!

    Mike
     
  4. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    It is very hard to add anything to what deadshot said, but I will try. One thing I'd would consider is to break the handgun powders in three to four groups, (i.e.) fast, medium, slow and magnum, and I'd buy at least one on each group, and experiment with each. Ask around what are the most popular powders and why, and start with those. I started loading for handguns not too long ago. This is what I have tested so far: Titegroup, Trailboss, Win231, Unique, 2400, H110. This is a very small sample. There are so many other great handgun powders out there, like Alliant x DOTs, x Clays, etc. I would love to get my hands on a jug of Power Pistol if offered locally.

    There is not short cut. You have to find out what works for your handgun and meets your goals.

    Good luck, and enjoy your new hobby.
     
  5. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    If you haven't done any reloading yet, welcome to a great hobby. I load slower/bulkier power to reduce the chance of over charging cases as well as giving a larger spread between min and max. Flake VS ball powder is another choice for ya. Ball powder meters much better most of the time. I'd also recommend seeing what powder you can find local. It sucks deciding on the perfect powder just to find out it is nowhere to be found.
    Stay safe and go slow,
     
  6. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    How easily a powder measures was a consideration for me. There were two choices recomended and I chose the heavier/denser powder (Titegroup). I didn't see me having an issue with double charging using a loading block. Getting that perfect 4.1g in a 9mm is my biggest concern, that ain't much powder! And I haven't played with the scale yet or run the powder through the thrower to coat the workings per instructions.

    I have bullets in calibers without dies and no bullets for the caliber with dies. I'm just waiting! I have cleaned and deprimed brass. Wifey is sitting behind me priming our first brass now.

    Thanks Guys.

    Mike