I thought it was bad to compress smokeless


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Eric F
September 19, 2008, 04:29 PM
But I was looking at some 38super load data and it called for a couple of powders to be loaded to a "high capacity" and then compress the powder with the bullet??? I thought this was a bad idea? Any one ever compress smokeless?

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rcmodel
September 19, 2008, 04:34 PM
Certainly.

There is nothing inherently unsafe about compressed loads, as long as they have been tested as safe.

That is, compressing powder doesn't make it burn at a different rate or raise pressure just because it is compressed.

There are numerous rifle loads that use slow burning powder that have to be compressed to get enough of it in there!

rcmodel

Galil5.56
September 19, 2008, 04:44 PM
I actually like compressed charges for ammo that is used in tubular mags, and some auto pistol rounds to lessen the occurrence of setback. An example for rifle would be 30/30 using IMR 4064, where the compression was such that it actually helped keep the bullet from jumping fwd, not keeping it from being driven back.

In 9mm I like Unique where max published charges for 124 JHP bullets is fairly heavily compressed, and lessens the chance of setback. .357 SIG would benefit from a compression situation too, considering its very short neck and vigorous feeding in some pistols.

Crimp
September 19, 2008, 07:59 PM
I've always heard don't compress BALL powders.

243winxb
September 19, 2008, 09:05 PM
Published reloading data from a reliable powder company will be marked as a compressed load.(IMR) Its common to compress stick powder like IMR, but it can be over done. Anytime the stick is cut in half or mashed, the burning rate is changed. A little compression, no problem just don't over do it. As for ball powder, i am guessing its not a good thing to do as the powder already has high density per volume. Also, the Redding competition bullet seating die can be damaged when compressing powders.

.38 Special
September 19, 2008, 09:30 PM
Some powders, after years/decades of being compressed, become essentially one big hunk of powder. This supposedly happened with the .458 Winchester with the result being extremely low "blooper" velocities. And yes, part of the problem was attributed to the use of ball/spherical powders.

If you intend to load ammunition and then let it set for very long periods of time, this may be of concern. Otherwise, I am unaware of any problems.

rcmodel
September 20, 2008, 01:42 PM
Flip through a Speer manual and you will find any number of compressed loads using ball powder.

The problem with the .458 Winchester wasn't so much that it was a compressed load, but a ball powder problem 45 years ago.

rcmodel

scrat
September 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
Agreed some powders and load combos can be compressed loads.

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