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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 4/19/2016 9:41:17 PM EDT
In most good reloading books (and websites), there's a summary of the different gunpowders with a couple sentences on each common powder, and maybe a burn rate chart. This is great, but is 1-dimensional: it only tells you the positives, without ever telling you what it's maybe compromising; so you can't actually decide which powder has the compromises you're good with. There are 40 powders to chose from, the description of any 20 of them clearly indicate that's the one for your job - stop looking. 15 of which are in that particular books' load table. But yet, there are 15, are all of them identical with none having any features you might consider a compromise?

For example, if you look up 4895, you'll get something like: "IMR 4895 is one of IMRs most versatile powders. Originally a military powder featured in the 30-06, IMR 4895 is extremely versatile. From the 17 Remington to the 243 Winchester to the 375 H&H Magnum, accuracy and performance are excellent. In addition, it is a longtime favorite of Match shooters. "

That's great to know. But is there a summary table that also will add anything like:, "this powder is an older design and lacks some features of more modern powders such as temperature insensitivity, copper fouling reduction. It doesn't meter very well, and tends to require hot loads to burn cleanly." (none of which may be true, I just made that up).

I'd love to see a 3rd party powder description chart, that has an honest and complete paragraph on each powder, telling you what's great about it and its sweet cartridges, but also telling you its detriments. Is there one?


Link Posted: 4/19/2016 9:52:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 9:53:39 PM EDT by Happy2shoot]
Nope.
Closest thing you will find are "powder profiles" in Handloader Magazine. But they would be spread out over 20 years.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 10:24:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 12:38:13 AM EDT
I learned about powder from a guy who has been doing it for 50 years, and I'm glad I have him as a resource.

You can tell what powders will get you better velocity in a cartridge by the loading manuals, and most of the temperature insensitive powders are definitely listed as such. It's a big selling point, and the biggest negative in most powders.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 12:46:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:54:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/20/2016 11:55:12 AM EDT by nigla]
http://www.adi-powders.com.au/handloaders/equivalents.asp

Powder equivalent list above

I have over a dozen reloading manuals going back a few years from all the big guys- Hornady, Speer, Lyman, Nosler.... If you have a more specific question, please shoot me a PM. Happy to help.


and YES I am so sick of the reading the same reprinted CACA year after. Example-9mm- 231 and Unique have given excellent results. Please...We buried grandpa a long time ago. There are a lot better powders available. Unless you have a basement full of grandpa's powder, lets move on and show me what modern powders can do. Sadly powder names and holding companies change so frequently, its hard for printed manuals to keep up. The old S&W 39 that Hornady has been using for load development should have died a quiet death years ago. For the love of my Jack Russell Terrier use a Glock, Sig or H&K next year....
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:44:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nigla:
http://www.adi-powders.com.au/handloaders/equivalents.asp

Powder equivalent list above

I have over a dozen reloading manuals going back a few years from all the big guys- Hornady, Speer, Lyman, Nosler.... If you have a more specific question, please shoot me a PM. Happy to help.


and YES I am so sick of the reading the same reprinted CACA year after. Example-9mm- 231 and Unique have given excellent results. Please...We buried grandpa a long time ago. There are a lot better powders available. Unless you have a basement full of grandpa's powder, lets move on and show me what modern powders can do. Sadly powder names and holding companies change so frequently, its hard for printed manuals to keep up. The old S&W 39 that Hornady has been using for load development should have died a quiet death years ago. For the love of my Jack Russell Terrier use a Glock, Sig or H&K next year....
View Quote


This is the world that I am stuck in. I have developed loads that work with the old powders. I feel like I am missing out on the latest technology. Couple that with the powder that I have accumulated and I don't know where to start.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 10:24:33 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AJE:
OP nailed my main aggravation when looking for new powders to experiment with.

Start a new thread;
"Hey guys I just got a 5.82 Johnson Magnum, what are the best powders to use?"

Replies:

Start by buying a manual!


I have thought that it would be nice to have a powder list (maybe in order of burn rate or something) that we can add user input for the descriptions past the powder manufacturers.
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I'd love to see a thread like that!

It would have to be run different than a typical forum thread though - and have to be monitored and controlled like a "just the facts", thread on steroids. Otherwise it would just be a near useless jumbled mess. How to do it..? ...Maybe... a home post that's locked, where the moderator has a description of each powder with it's official fluff description, then the compromises/nuances of each based on a summary of user inputs (which means work) - 1 or 2 paragraphs for each - then a link to a separate thread on each powder, that's not locked, but still monitored and "just the facts" like never before. So members could then put in their own anecdotal results and commentary. I think that would be an awesome project. DryFlash would be awesome at doing that (a bunch of work, so I kind of just did a public volunteering of someone else to do a bunch of work - this must be what it feels like to be a Democrat )
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:32:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:48:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2016 11:49:12 AM EDT by Moondog]
Some manuals list burn rates of powders

Edited to add: they list powders in order based on burn rate
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 12:47:58 PM EDT
lazyengineer, if you don't want to deal with the hassle of making a powder comparison thread, I wouldn't mind stealing your idea and cooking something up.

I think this has potential to be a great resource for everyone who visits the reloading section.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 12:57:40 PM EDT
Just come to the AR15 Reloading Forum and ask.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:07:58 PM EDT
I have thought about this before and even asked it in a thread last year some time, though I definitely wasn't specific enough. I have thought about it ever since and wonder what I would like to see. Maybe a spreadsheet sorted by burn rate that rates the following:

How clean it is
How temp sensitive it is
How well it meters

Also, whether it needs a magnum primer, what kind of powder it is (ball, flake, etc), comparable powders (H110=W296), loads that it is really good at (H110 in full power 44mag loads), misc notes.

I would love to see this, but I am too lazy/unknowledgeable to do it.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:07:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Just start a thread lazyengineer and lay out the rules of the thread clearly.


Questions not allowed? Or ok?


A lot of posters don't read threads before they post. That is why your first post is very important, as most of the time they read that anyway.


Once thread reaches a couple of pages, the same questions get asked over and over.


That's just the way it is in an open forum like this one.


Clearly state in opening post that repeat questions will be deleted and "where to find" questions also deleted.


You will have to IM me if you want a post removed.


I can remove the text, but the post with posters name will stay.


All that will be seen is "<text removed> dryflash3" best I can do.


I'm not going to set this up, that's up to you.


I will monitor it like I do the "Case of Cases" thread, and edit if you request it, if it breaks rules in first post.


This is not the only forum I mod in.

If the thread takes off and seems useful, I will set the archive toggle to keep it out of the archives.

Good luck with your idea.


View Quote


Thanks, it would be quite a project - to pull off effectively. Doable, but a commitment - I'll need to think on this one.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:19:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:31:23 PM EDT
^^^ That's been my concern about doing this too. There would be a lot of opinions or, "hey, it worked for me". I would just like some general info I guess. It would be nice to have something mostly in one area. If I'm looking at my Hornady manual, I don't know if a certain powder is clean or dirty or how temp sensitive it is. Will it flow through my powder measure very well? I know I can research that, but it would just be nice to have some of that in one area... even if it is a little subjective.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 4:25:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
I have no problem if some else wants to take this on.


But remember powders will act different in different cartridges and different load intensity.


So many variables and probably why this list doesn't exist.


A reloading manual and the knowledge to use it is what's always worked for me.


Then there will be the guy that uses a powder in one cartridge and makes a blanket statement concerning that powder.


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Man I'm pretty sure I've done this. I'm pretty sure everyone has done this, at least some. Not proud of it, and when someone calls me out, I get mad - not at them, but because I screwed up and showed myself to be a bonehead.

Anyway, I still think a list here with user inputs could be pretty useful, but it will be impossible to make it completely accurate, for this reason. My hope would be the more general detriments (burns dirty at lower pressures/doesn't meter well/etc), would mostly be useful. The trick is having some of the more experienced guy (guys) venting the inputs that actually go into the master sheet. People would be more then welcome to post their anecdotal experiences on each powder's sub-sheet postings. On the master list, I suppose one could put in "seems to not work well in large capacity cartridges". But things like: "This is a bad powder for .223 cases", would have to be done with great care - because you know as soon as you say it, some guy will pipe up saying he made President's Hundred with it or something!

This would be a great project.
Link Posted: 4/22/2016 7:49:43 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nigla:
/...and YES I am so sick of the reading the same reprinted CACA year after. Example-9mm- 231 and Unique have given excellent results. Please...We buried grandpa a long time ago. There are a lot better powders available. Unless you have a basement full of grandpa's powder, lets move on and show me what modern powders can do. Sadly powder names and holding companies change so frequently, its hard for printed manuals to keep up. The old S&W 39 that Hornady has been using for load development should have died a quiet death years ago. For the love of my Jack Russell Terrier use a Glock, Sig or H&K next year....
View Quote


It's a relief to hear that, as I'm really tired of shooters who buy powders like Unique - just because it happens to be on the shelf when they don't really appreciate it's finer qualities and want something else.

How long have you been re-loading and how many calibers do you load for? Your comments reflects the thinking of a relative new comer or an individual who only loads a small number of cartridges, and isn't all that consistent with the bigger picture. .

Unique has been around since about 1900 and I'm sure reloaders like yourself were making similar derogatory comments about it in 1930 when it was 3 decades "old: Yet it persists over 85 years later when those 1930s detractors are all dead and buried. Why? because it works well in a wide range of cartridges from mild to near maximum loads with a good range of bullets weights and a very wide range of load densities.

Those are traits you'll find in all "old" powders, and given that Win 231 is a lot younger than Unique, Bullseye, etc, and Clays, introduced in 1992 is still just a relative toddler, so we'll just call all those old powders "popular" because they've stood the test of time and survived in the market place by maintaining demand and remaining commercially viable over at least a couple decades.

Now...if you're a reloader who only loads a single caliber or a few calibers then, you may well want to find a more obscure, specialized or "new" powder that eeks out a bit more velocity in your particular cartridge, and once found you may be deliriously happy with it, provided you can keep finding it and. provided it stays in production over the long term.

If however you load for a large number of cartridges you may find that you need a different "new" powder for each and every load and the reality is that keeping a large number of powders on hand becomes a problem, particularly during a shortage, and that it's often not worth having a pound or two each of twenty different powders on the shelf when 8 pounds of Unique and 8 pounds of BLC-2, and just a pound or two of a couple other powders would give you the ability to shoot all your pistol and rifle calibers, and provide a lot more logistical flexibility and allow you to buy 8 pound kegs at a much better price per pound. Even if the load produces a little less velocity than the absolute max, unless it's a self defense load, does it really matter?

In that regard, even if you load a large number of pistol and rifle calibers you still may find a niche for one of the newer powders. For example I like Titegroup in a short barrel .380 ACP, where it can eek out perhaps 50 fps more velocity in a self defense load than Bullseye, Unique or Red Dot (which work well in everything from the .32 ACP to the .45 ACP, and in the case of Unique also works well in the magnum pistol rounds and in many cast bullet rifle loads) and in a 3.9" barrel Titegroup may gain a full 100 fps advantage. That matters in the .380 ACP so I maintain a few pounds just for that single .380 ACP self defense load.

CFE was released in 2014 so it's still in it's infancy. Once you get past the marketing hype, I'm not sure how much, if any, advantage it offers over several older powders in any particular cartridge, let alone over a wide range of cartridges, but it's ability to demonstrate some sort of advantage will be the determining factor in whether it stays around.

It's ability to serve a wide range of cartridges and maintain an appeal to a wide range of shooters will also determine whether it's a viable choice for a retailer to stock.

----

If you're around long enough, or start buying old reloading manuals you'll discover, for example, that in the nine Hornady reloading manual editions to date, they have added new calibers as they became popular, added old calibers as they experienced a resurgence in popularity and that for long standing calibers present in their manuals over several editions, they replace older powders with newer powders to the load data in the new editions. however they are still only listing powders that give very good and very consistent results in that particular cartridge and bullet weight combination. If you're not seeing a "new" powder that was a round for at least a couple years prior to the manual being published, there's probably a good reason it didn't make the list of "best" powders that were included.

------

Personally, I don't mind that Hornady uses the same Beretta 84 in .380 ACP, the same S&W 39 in 9mm, the same S&W Model 15 in .38 Special, the same near unobtainable Colt python in .357 Mag, or the same Springfield 1911 in .45 ACP. They may be old but they are well made and still representative of more modern pistols with similar barrel lengths.

Now, in the common self defense calibers and in particular in .380 ACP, 9mm Para and .45 ACP, I'd really like to see a separate section for short barrel loads to reflect load data for the compact and micro sized pistols in .380 and 9mm as well as the 3"-4" 1911s. That would be nice.
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