Questions in Powders


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dashpilot79
September 11, 2011, 02:35 PM
Hello,
I'm still pretty knew to Hand Loading (haven't shot a single hand loading cartridge yet). I was wondering if I'm thinking this right, I will be loading for a Glock 27 (Subcompact 40SW). Since it has a short barrel, About 3.5 inches so to get the best results I would want the fastest burning powder that I have reloading data for, otherwise the slower burning powders will just come out the front of the barrel and be wasted? Specifically, I was looking at Alliant's Bullseye or Power Pistol Products.

Thoughts?

Thank You,
Casey

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Dave P
September 11, 2011, 02:42 PM
Generally correct. A slower powder will give you a big fireball out the front, because it is still burning after the bullet exits.

Energy waste.

Not good at 0-dark-thirty.

Philippe
September 11, 2011, 02:50 PM
Dash, what did you plan to be using that Power Pistol and Bullseye in?

Jim Watson
September 11, 2011, 03:19 PM
Depends on your objectives. A faster burning powder can give less flash and blast but it will also give lower velocity, even in short barrels.

Power Pistol is about guaranteed to give a lot of blast and flash from any usual pistol barrel. But it delivers high velocity, too.

Bullseye will give you serviceable practice ammo, but it won't give as high speed as Power Pistol.

Of course there are a lot of other choices on the market. I don't load .40 but find that Win 231/HP38 does everything I need in 9mm, .38 (Special and Super), and .45.

eam3clm@att.net
September 11, 2011, 03:50 PM
Power Pistol is not a faster powder to me I always looked at it as being a midrange pistol powder. Bullseye does good in my practice 40s&w ammo, but for business ammo I use unique or power pistol. Bullseye will have a lighter charge to get to the max pressure, but you may not be where you want to be in velocity. Also you posted that you were new to reloading and I suggest aginst using a fast powder to learn with espically with a higher pressure round like 40s&w. You leave less room for error if you are pushing to the max and one mistake can cause problems. Im not saying slower is safer, just more forgiving. I now load my practice 40s&w ammo mostly with ACC#5. If you will let us know what you are expecting from your reloads we can further help you.

wanderinwalker
September 11, 2011, 07:45 PM
If you're just starting out, pick something mid-range and use that. In .40 I believe Power Pistol or Unique (both Alliant powders) fall into this category.

As a general rule, the slowest powder you can effectively use will ALWAYS give you the highest speed, barrel length irrelevent.

jerkface11
September 11, 2011, 07:50 PM
Since it has a short barrel, About 3.5 inches so to get the best results I would want the fastest burning powder that I have reloading data for, otherwise the slower burning powders will just come out the front of the barrel and be wasted?

Barrel length doesn't play a role in powder selection. If you want the highest velocity pick the powder that performs best in the manual.

PO2Hammer
September 11, 2011, 07:57 PM
I shoot a lot of .40 in my G-29 conversion, about the same length as your 27, and I think Hodgdon Universal is just right for that barrel length in .40. I get great accuracy, low muzzle blast and the velocities are as predicted in Hodgdon's data, even with the short barrel.

Bullseye is too fast IMO for the .40. It's more of a target powder for low pressure rounds.

Power Pistol should be about the right speed, Unique too.

Slower powders might give the best velocity, but they will also give more muzzle blast and flash.

Universal is sweet in the .40.

dashpilot79
September 12, 2011, 02:48 AM
I want to hand load mainly for targeting with my G27, but it is also the pistol that I carry with me, and if I feel comfortable and hand loading a bunch of rounds and don't have any issues, I might start using my own carry ammo, so what ever I make for targeting I want pretty close to something that is also a good self defense ammo.

noylj
September 12, 2011, 03:51 AM
You can handload to be similar to your S/D ammo, but I am not sure I want to carry my own handloads.
A powder that produces the highest velocity in a 6" barrel will also produce the highest velocity in a 2.5" barrel.
If the bullet tension/crimp is correct and head space is minimal, the powder should be fully ignited by the time the bullet even starts to move. Excess headspace, as in many pistol loads due to short cases, can mean that the case expands fully before the barrel even starts to move and the hot gasses shoot out past the bullet and pressures drop just as the bullet starts to move. In high speed film, you will see flame/smoke come out of the barrel "long" before the bullet shows up.
The problem most people see is using a relatively slow powder in a relatively slow light load such that the powder chosen does not have time to fully ignite before the bullet starts to move. Once the bullet is moving, pressures drop and further combustion can be halted.
The muzzle flash is, in most cases, more a result of flash suppressant in the powder formulation than anything else.
Though, .357 Magnums have always been fun to watch the flames shoot out the cylinder/forcing cone gap.
The .40 is also a real touchy round that loves to KaBoom over any load error. As such, unless you are in some action shooting game where there are "more important" factors than safe and sane loads, you will want to load 145-180gn bullets with powders such as Unique and slower.
HS6 and Silhouette are excellent.
I prefer 155gn bullets.
If you simply MUST try to run a near max load to duplicate a S/D load, then you may want to look at AA7, Longshot, True Blue, N350, or 3N38. You probably can not overload with these powders.

Lost Sheep
September 12, 2011, 04:08 AM
Say what?
Barrel length doesn't play a role in powder selection. If you want the highest velocity pick the powder that performs best in the manual.
Choose the powder that works best in your barrel. Start with the load that the manuals (note the use of the plural) say will work best in a barrel similar to yours (most manuals do tell you what firearm the loads were fired from) and then evaluate and experiment.

A chronograph is handy for this. A friend videotaping your recoil might be helpful, too. Depending on how much thought you want to put into your choices. This is one of the things that makes handloading so much fun (or frustrating, depending on your personality and tolerance/liking for confusing and conflicting experimental data). You can spend as much time as you want (or can stand) figuring out the "best" loads.

Enjoy. Good luck,

Lost Sheep

dashpilot79
September 12, 2011, 04:46 PM
I realize that there will take some "playing" with different powders from the load manuals to find the right one, for what I want. But the one load manual I have at the moment (Speer #14) I believe has like 10-15 different powders listed for a 180 Grain Bullet alone. You can buy each powder in a pound which turns out to be roughly 1000 rounds per pound etc. you can see where I'm going with this. So i was more looking for what direction to start (i.e. get it down to 3-5 different places to look at). I appreciate the help.

Thank You.

Miata Mike
September 12, 2011, 05:13 PM
I personally like Unique behind a 155 grain Berry's hollow base bullet. Works very will in my Sig P239.

chrt396
September 12, 2011, 05:23 PM
I shoot a ton of 45 and 40 and for the .40 cal, I have settled pretty steadfast on AA#5 and an extreme 165g FMJPL bullet. Very accurate. Actually..my gun loves the stuff. I've tried all the rest of the powders that have been mentioned in this post and AA#5, for my purposes, seems to provide the best results..which is on the target!

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