Is "clean burning" just another word for


December 31, 2008, 09:55 PM
I don't want to have to clean my gun?

I use Bullseye, Unique, IMR 4895, all of which are considered filthy powders by the white glove types. Yet these powders shoot well, exceptionally well.

I also clean my firearms after each range session.

What about the "gotta have a clean burning powder" guys? Do they just shoot and toss the gun in a sock drawer?

If you enjoyed reading about "Is "clean burning" just another word for" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 31, 2008, 10:11 PM
I don't care for powders that are very noticeably dirty. I don't mean a little light soot, but I've shot some that would leave gritty unburned powder and residue in the works and that just isn't cool.

Not such a big deal if you shoot a box and then go home and clean it up. But if you're shooting a 200 round match or a training course that might be over 1000, that can really be a bummer.

I shoot at least once a week - between 100 and 150 rounds. I certainly don't clean the guns after each trip. I might enjoy that but I've got other things to attend to.

If you've got a great combination that does exactly what you want and you're willing to live with having to clean out a bit of extra grit or crud, fine. But there are LOTS of great powders out there that will probably do just as good a job with less mess.

I guess it's not really a moral choice. More like, "Powder A is accurate, cheap, etc., and leaves a lot of residue." "Powder B is accurate, cheap, etc., and doesn't leave a lot of residue." Guess I'll take B, then.


The Bushmaster
December 31, 2008, 10:49 PM
I prefer clean burning powders and I also clean after each range trip...

December 31, 2008, 11:35 PM
Clean burning is just an added bonus, if the powder is cheap and makes accurate loads.

I'd rather avoid taking a cleaning kit to the range (on the off chance I need to clean a gun with an action starting to stick, halfway into a range session).

When I know I can use powders that give good results when shooting 300-500rnds, without need for cleaning. Which I'd rather do at home anyway.

On some occasions when I've allowed my gun (45acp 1911) to go several thousand rounds before a complete strip down and clean.

I only cleaned it cause I thought I should , and not cause it started having malfuntions.

The point I'm making is, Why stick with powders that gum up your gun, if there are other powders that give results without the mess.

January 1, 2009, 12:03 AM
I clean after every range trip, eventually...before the next range trip. I do like cleaner powder as I get to shoot more. I find most powders at 5% below max or less provide the cleanest burn regardless of make or model.

January 1, 2009, 12:03 PM
I like clean burnig powders, but I also clean regularly. Nothing burns "clean" in my blow back 9MM AR. It soots up everything pretty good. Some do better than others of course.

Bottom line is acceptable accuracy. If it takes a "dirty" powder to do it, and no "clean" one will, so be it.

99% of my pistol loads can shoot better than I can. Most are pretty clean. :)

January 1, 2009, 12:08 PM
Any powder will burn relatively clean if loaded properly. The ones that leave lots of grit behind are usually hot loads that do not burn completely before the bullet leaves the barrel.

January 1, 2009, 12:10 PM
Much of the clean vs. dirty in pistol calibers is from the use of lead bullets and the burning lube causing much of the dirty look.

January 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
I love This topic ! The powder of your choice is doing what you are asking it to do. If someone, anyone, is not going to clean their weapon shortly or as soon as possible after firing it, then it's their problem not the powder. And thats that, no ifs ands or buts. For whats its worth I like clean and dirty burning powders!

January 1, 2009, 01:15 PM
I prefer the cleanin' burnin' powders for the same reason I prefer Charmin over the Sears Catalog. Just makes the whole experience a tad more pleasant. :rolleyes:

January 1, 2009, 01:28 PM
I just want to cry! :banghead:

I am just now taking a break before I work up a series of 9mm loads using TITEGROUP. Why? On the advice of a gunsmith who suggested I switch from Unique to a cleaner and "sharper" load such as TITEGROUP.

Has anyone used both in a small caliber pistol like 9mm, and what are your conclusions? Is TITEGROUP any cleaner? (i.e. worth the changeover from Unique?) I don't mind cleaning my pistols, however.

(I am expeting to get a chronograph this weekend, so I will leave performance and accuracy for another day.)

January 1, 2009, 01:30 PM
double post......sorry.

January 1, 2009, 01:37 PM
What about the "gotta have a clean burning powder" guys?

The less grit, trash, residue built up the more reliable firearms function for the most part. It only takes one malfunction that turns a win into a loss to make one change his mind. I shot dirty powders for years before competing though. Same goes for lead bullets vs. plated/jacketed, shooting through smoke is no big deal under normal circumstances in competition it costs time, accuracy or both.

January 1, 2009, 01:40 PM
Has anyone used both in a small caliber pistol like 9mm, and what are your conclusions? Is TITEGROUP any cleaner? (i.e. worth the changeover from Unique?) I don't mind cleaning my pistols, however.

Titegroup is not bad but VihtaVouri powders are the cleanest burning powders that I know of. For 9mm I use VV310 but VV320 is also a good choice.

January 1, 2009, 01:48 PM
Would you buy gasoline from a service station that fouled your plugs after 10,000 miles if a joint across the street sold fuel for the same price that didn't foul plugs for 24K miles? Even if you like changing plugs.

Life's too short to shoot a nasty powder, we have better options today.

January 1, 2009, 01:55 PM
Slam -
"Clean" is not only on the muzzle of the gun, but also in the mechanism and in the barrel.

There's a great article in the forward of the Lyman RLM discussing how burned powder can build up in the bore and affect accuracy adversely after a very few shots.

Some auto pistols with a lot of exposed mechanism under the barrel start to feel gritty if the powder isn't burning completely. It can affect your score to start an IPSC match in the morning with a clean gun and have it feel as if it were filled with sand by lunchtime.

My point is, "clean" serves a very real purpose.

.38 Special
January 1, 2009, 02:06 PM
Especially with revolvers, I've noticed some powders really make a mess of the gun, while others don't. For instance, my long-time Bianchi Cup .38 Special load really was grungy. It would take probably ten minutes with a solvent dampened rag to clean all the Bullseye off the cylinder flutes, underneath the extractor star, etc. Simply changing to 231 essentially ended that. I don't get any joy from gun cleaning, so if I can go from a ten minute job to a one minute job I do it.

I've been using Ramshot powders for rifles in the last year or so. I've been able to essentially quit cleaning rifles.

January 1, 2009, 02:22 PM
some powders do burn dirtier than others. if i were going to load up a few thousand rounds for an m-16, i would worry about it because there is a chance that i might shoot LOTS of shells between cleanings. but under normal circumstances, it is not something that i worry about. mostly because my guns get cleaned almost every time i shoot them. if i shoot a couple of rounds out of one of my guns, and i know i am coming back out in a day or two, i may not clean it. but i think the most i have ever fired from any gun without cleaning it would be a 22 with 200 - 250 rounds. as for a centerfire, if any of my guns ever got 50 rounds without a thorough cleaning, i would be very suprised.

January 1, 2009, 02:32 PM
I don't mind sooty residue, but the gritty crap with some ball powders/4227 in revolvers (esp cold weather) is a no go in pistols that are not as easy to 100% strip like roll pin take down SIG's and Beretta 92's, and tension cover Walther P1's with a lot going on inside the slide.

My non FP safety 1911A1... I use whatever, and really appreciate the simplicity and ease of slide dissassembly. Just another reason to love a good 1911.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is "clean burning" just another word for" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!