will magnum primers help w/ unburnt powder?


June 16, 2006, 12:12 PM
I'm playing around with a pretty light load for the 45acp. Currently it is at this stage:
1. CCI large pistol primer #300
2. 3.4gr of Bullseye
3. fired from a 5" barrel 1911

I'm finding that I get a lot of unburnt powder w/ each firing. (I don't get much unburnt powder if I increase the amount of Bullseye.)

I think it might be the low amount of powder in the case not igniting completely before the bullet leaves. I'm considering using CCI large magnum primers #350 , which gives a bigger initial charge and may help with completely igniting my powder.

What do you experts think ?

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The Bushmaster
June 16, 2006, 12:27 PM
Either live with the unburnt powder or change to a ball powder like W-231. I, myself, would not go to a magnum primer. But, I am the first one to try to solve your problem. Others will follow.

I have used W-231 in my Colt 1911 for years and have not had an unburnt powder problem. I am not much of a Bullseye lover anyway...:D

June 16, 2006, 12:27 PM
Deeper seating or the magnum primer will aid in ignition. Both will likely boost pressure.
They'll probably also boost velocity though,which is presumably the reason for the light load in the first place?

Ol` Joe
June 16, 2006, 12:37 PM
The likely reason for unburnt powder in your loads is the low pressures you are working with. Magnum primers aren`t needed just raise the charge a little and the burn will improve. Bullseye is a fast powder and ignites very easily. Powders have a "pressure" window they burn best at. too low and they can fail to properly ignite, too high and they can become erratic. A little unburnt powder isn`t a bad thing in low velocity rounds as long as the pressure is enought to prevent squibs.

The Bushmaster
June 16, 2006, 12:52 PM
Unless it is fired in a swing cylinder revolver like S&Ws. Then it can foul the ejector star & shaft causing all kinds of he**...:scrutiny:

June 16, 2006, 01:55 PM
It is worth a try but as always when swaping to a different primer watch for preasure signs.I would usually advise you to drop down on the powder measure but your load is very light as is.
I have been around the block trying to get low recoil loads in a 1911. I built super light loads,then had to mess with recoil springs to get them to operate. You can reduce manual loads somewhat but results in general were not satisfactory.Generally I found that greatly reduceing loads would play havoc with accuracy or reliability, or both!.
I was trying to get faster repeate shots while shooting plate shoots,so reasonable accuracy was good and good reliability a must for me.
What I wound up with is this. Throw away the light recoil springs and replace with a standard weight name brand spring (wilson or wolf).Use a lighter bullet,some guns run fine with 185gr,some are just more reliable with 200gr.Use Hodgen Clays powder. Somehow the Clays will feel lighter in recoil with the same bullet at the same speed as a Bullseye load. I quess it has something to do with preasure curves and slide speed.Clays is also very consistent with fairly light loads.It also slides thru most powder mesures very well.I use Winchester large pistol primers in all my cases that use that size. Winchester only makes one flavor of that size primer,most other companys have both a regular primer and a magnum primer. I never liked the CCI primers as the "seat" harder .Carefully Watch length,different guns will run best at different lengths.Use a good name brand aftermarket magazine ,I use Chip McCormic.
With all of this my most accurate .357 load ever is a hornady 148gr HBWC bullet seated flush with 3.3gr Bullseye in a .357 case with a MAGNUM primer.
I guess this is because a more uniform ignition. I guess that is what you are really asking!

June 16, 2006, 04:22 PM
If you raise the pressure to eliminate the unburned powder you will raise the velocity.
How the pressure is raised wil lnot make much difference- more powder or a mag primer.
Higher pressure means higher velocity.

June 21, 2006, 11:33 AM
How much crimp do you have holding that bullet in there?

I've found that crimp often makes quite a difference in the amount of unburnt powder left in the barrel. You want a good bullet pull and a uniform start pressure. If it doesn't take much to remove the bullet from the completed round, the bullet may be partway down the barrel before the entire powder charge is ignited.

Something to think about. ;)

June 22, 2006, 01:54 AM
You're not getting complete combustion because the primer is literally blowing the powder out of the case faster than it can ignite it.

There are several remedies and using a magnum primer is NOT one of them.

The most impostant thing you can do is to increase your crimp to keep a lid on the powder charge as long as possible.

You can increase the charge in order to get more powder into the primer flash.

Switiching to a powder with a better load density would also help.

And you can use a filler and/or an over powder card to keep the powder closer to the primer.

Here's a test. Point your muzzle straight up. Slowly lower the muzzle and then fire. Repeat for each round. Chances are you will notice a sharp reduction un unburned powder.

June 22, 2006, 05:13 PM
And you can use a filler and/or an over powder card to keep the powder closer to the primer.

Firstly, thanks for all the replies I've received, you guys are a great bunch.

I can't change the crimp on my cartridges because I'm using the Lee 3 die set, which doesn't seem to have any crimp adjustment. (I'll go dig up its instructions and look it over , just in case.)

What is the filler / over powder card? Could somebody post a link to midwayusa.com or somewhere? Or give me more description? I think this is worth a try. BTW, I'm loading a 45ACP. Thanks.

June 22, 2006, 06:35 PM
Please READ the directions that come with your dies. :banghead:

Pay attention to the part that deal with bullet seating AND TAPER CRIMP.

Your dies DEFINAETLY have a crimper, and it DEFINATELY is adjustable.

Again, read the directions or go to Lee's web site and watch thier videos on how to adjust the dies.

June 26, 2006, 06:01 PM
I just tried some ammo w/ increased crimp and they work much better. Just a little bit of unburnt powder. Thanks for the suggestion.

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