Unburned powder granules in reloads?


February 9, 2013, 02:40 PM
In 45 colt, using 7.5 gr Universal under 250 rnfp and 255 SWC and getting a fair amout of unburned powder when taking spent shells out. Looks a brownish color. To light a load, not heavy enough crimp, what migh be causing this? trikerider

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February 9, 2013, 02:45 PM
To light a load, not heavy enough crimp,Both.

You might try upping the load a little.
Hodgdon says 7.8 is max in standard presure .45 Colt loads.

And a firmer roll-crimp my help as well.

And sometimes what appears to be unburned powder is actually power "skeletons" or ash left over that didn't get blown out of the gun.


February 9, 2013, 02:47 PM
I've noticed it too but think it is the ash left behind. I've seen this with Trailboss also even loaded right to the max.

February 9, 2013, 03:30 PM
Might be the ash left over, but I don't really like it, will be getting inside innards. It is shape of the universal powder, but is brownish in color, not same color as powder going in cases.

February 9, 2013, 03:34 PM
I think a good tight crimp will do the job. When I first started reloading I did the same thing. Good luck.

February 9, 2013, 03:53 PM
I use Universal for all of my pistol reloading and have noticed the same thing. I use the Lee Factory Crimp dies which helps a lot. I reload .380, 9mm, 9mm Largo, 40 and 45ACP and use plated bullets. It happened with all the calibers I reload until I started playing with the crimp.

February 9, 2013, 04:32 PM
I had the same exact thing happen with a batch of 45 LC. I think I was using Longshot though. I upped the charge and the problem went away.


Hondo 60
February 9, 2013, 05:05 PM
I had the same issue with Accurate #5.
I upped the load by .5 gr, I still get great accuracy & it's a lot cleaner.

200 gr MBC CB # 4 - 11.0 gr of Acc5 - 1.585 OAL.

February 9, 2013, 05:05 PM
This is more likely the result of generous chambering than load issues. 45 Colt chambers are notorious for being big. At ignition you get powder started out of the case and then ignition. The case has not fully expanded, so you get combustion residue around the case mouth and farther down.

If the firearm that you are loading for will take a slightly higher charge, that may help. The tighter crimp might help. But if you are loading only for this firearm, don't full length resize. The case has now expanded to chamber size, so only size the case mouth for bullet seating. This will limit the amount of free space available in the chamber for combustion. Lastly, experiment with slightly longer bullet seating if possible. It's counterintuitive, but seating the bullet slightly more shallow can also reduce combustion residue in the 45 Colt.

February 9, 2013, 05:13 PM
varget in 45/70 loads does that alot that why I dont use varget anymore in the 45/70

February 9, 2013, 05:27 PM
That's just typical of any powder in a bigger bore straight case.

February 10, 2013, 08:01 AM
I don't see much when I use Unique. I will try going to 8.0 gr. Universal and a heavier crimp and see what happens. I am using the Lee FCD. 8.0 should still be ok in my Lipsey flattop. Will give it a try, anyway. trikerider

February 10, 2013, 12:45 PM
Those little golden/brass grains of sand are indeed semi-burned powder, and it has a few causes.

Most of them center around inconsistent burn caused by too cool of a primer flame for the powder type or charge.

Its not typical per se- and any unburned material is potentially lost power...and certainly a cause of shot to shot deviation you will need to address if that kind of accuracy matters to you.

You can however, encounter insufficient pressure to complete the burn cycle even with a magnum primer. I noticed this in bottom feeder h110 loads in both 44 mag, and 30 carbine. I had the load for both 100% dialed in for burn rate and accuracy, and switched to a lighter bullet- allowing more space inside the casing- and Voila...the golden kernels of agony returned.

RC's advice as usual as spot on- but I'd up the charge before I fiffled with the crimp if you like your crimp. Overcrimping is a common "remedy" for a host of other problems, that creates its own pevy of problems. Generally I prefer fixing problems, not solving one by creating another !

February 10, 2013, 01:20 PM
may want to try a different primer (reduce the load a bit if you do). might get a better burn.


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