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Ramshot Silhouette

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dudedog, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Was "talking" (PM) with a another THR member about Silhouette.
    Looking it up on burn rate charts (which of course are closed bomb tests and not necessarily how a powder behaves when loaded in ammo) we found some interesting things. Some charts show it fairly fast around Green Dot, others show it quite a bit slower.
    Ramshot who makes it puts it around Green Dot (faster than Unique) but Grafs and Hodgdon put it slower around Autocomp of CFE-P. I have seen other charts that show it around Green dot as well. I tend to agree with Grafs and Hodgdon for the small amount of testing I have done with it.
    Would be interested in hearing from others who have used it where they would put it on the chart.


    upload_2020-9-17_8-24-54.png
    upload_2020-9-17_8-25-40.png
    upload_2020-9-17_8-26-54.png

    Charts vary but to me this is a big difference between around Green Dot and slower than say Unique.

    Looking forward to everyone's opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It’s “forgiving” in 9MM with 124/5 Gr bullets. I really like it. It is rebranded WAP (Winchester Action Pistol)
     
  3. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    I have used Silhouette often, in 380, 9, and 45 Auto. I would placed it there with CFE-P. I have a healthy supply of both.

    What I have noticed at lower pressure loads, CFE-P is sooty, Silhouette leaves bits of unburned granules.

    I have never used Green Dot. So my opinion may not matter. :)
     
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  4. sellersm

    sellersm Member

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    Agreed with both Walkalong and kcofohio comments above.

    I don't really know where in the burn chart it would lie, but it seems to like being run towards the top ends of loads. I have used much of the old WAP powder and Silhouette indeed does what WAP used to do.

    I think of it close to HS-6 and WSF in that it likes to run at the higher end of loading. I know in my loads, I've pushed it pretty hard and it works great for things like SD loads in 9mm.

    As to the whole "burn chart thing", it's a bit of a catch-22 cuz the chart itself requires things be put into a certain slot, or order, so even if one powder is extremely close to another, it must be put either above or below another item in the chart, which lends itself to a comparison of being 'faster' or 'slower', when in reality, it may be very close. The chart is just that: a chart.
     
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  5. Cannibul

    Cannibul Member

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    I couldn't care less where it would fall in a burn rate chart. It's a great powder. There's tons of data for it.
     
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  6. Ghost In The Fog

    Ghost In The Fog Member

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    I have used Silhouette quite a bit before switching to BE-86. I believe the spread sheet I shared with you a few years back was primarily for Silhouette. I have had very good results with the RMR 124Gr. JHP ranging from 5.1 grains to
    5.5 Grains Not sure about the burn rate but these are my results.

    5.1 Grains
    4" barrel 1005 FPS
    5" barrel 1042 FPS

    5.5 Grains
    4" barrel 1060 FPS
    5" barrel 1112 FPS

    The go to load is 5.4 grains seated at 1.090 with speeds at 1050/1101 Anything 5.3 and lower leaves burnt soot on the cases. Good expansion in water jugs at 5.2 and above.
     
  7. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

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    I have been looking at Silhouette for some 45acp loads, assuming it was on the faster side. Now it seems it is more a top end load type powder. I read some comments on the Brian Enos powder where Silhouette is used to make 9mm major. It is probably not a fast burn rate powder. It has load data for all the pistol cartridges I load, so it is probably a good powder to have and try out. Thanks for starting this thread.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, you can push it, carefully, but I like it for near full power 124/5 Gr jacketed loads

    I have posted this pic before..
    Load # 116 RMR IH 124 Gr JHP 5.5 Grs Silhouette- 5 Inch Colt.JPG
     
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  9. Zendude

    Zendude Member

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    HP38 seems like it’s put way too high on the Western chart. Is HP38 faster than Red Dot?
     
  10. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    I went through close to 20 lbs of Ramshot Silhouette during the last panic when it was readily available and most other pistol powders were not. I'd say it is far closer to CFE-P than Green Dot when it comes to burn rate. I've also shot an 8 lbs jug of Green Dot in handguns, for reference. Back when it was WAP, it was popular for 38 Super major loads in competition. They were loaded above published data, but nothing crazy. I think that is where Silhouette performs best, at higher pressures.

    When I ran out of it, I was done with it. It burns dirty in 9mm, less so in 40. It meters very well. No pressure signs at max load in either caliber. It isn't a bad powder, but there are better ones available. If it came down to buying more of it in a panic as a last resort, I would do it again.
     
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  11. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I have reduced my powder choices to three. AA#2, HP-38 and Ramshot Silhouette. The Silhouette has been used to replace AA#5.

    In the 9mm and 45acp if you look at the Western data for 124gr 9mm or 200gr 45acp and compare AA#5 and Silhouette you will see huge overlaps between the two. Or at least I did.

    I found in loading the Ramshot in 380, 9mm and 45acp it performed very well from starting loads all the way up to max loads to the point it has replaced HP-38 in all my 380 and 45acp loads. I have also been loading the Silhouette with both plated and cast lead bullets!
     
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  12. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Yep Hodgons chart says relative burn rate...
    Not concerned with 1,2, 3, 4... positions but more whether a powder is say on the fast, middle, or slow side for an application
    as an example for 9mm (IMO)
    Fast Bulleye, Red Dot, Titegroup
    Fast- Middle HP38/W231, AA#2, N320
    Middle Universal, Unique, PP, N330, WSF
    Slow CFE-P, HS6, Longshot (Silhouette IMO)

    vaalpens was wondering about Silhouette and mentioned he saw a chart with it by Green Dot which I would put in fast, fast-middle
    (haven't used green dot in pistol just shotgun)
    My experience with it and other charts put it on the slower side of non mag pistol powders, so my question on what others thought.
    Does not matter where it falls, good stuff IMO, but if one was looking for a fast burn speed power to try, I would not call Silhouette fast burn speed wise.

    I would say HP38 is a little slower burn speed wise than Red Dot/Promo at least for me.
    Hodgdons and Grafs charts reflect that.

    If you take some like AA#2, ZIP, N320 and HP38 even though the chart shows one faster than the other I would say they are about the same burn speed wise. (of course they all have there own data not saying they are the same like HP38=W231, H110=W296)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this burn rate chart has it about right for Silhouette
     

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  14. sellersm

    sellersm Member

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    Pretty close. In my experience, I'd put it slightly higher closer to #5, WSF, WAP... But, as Dudedog stated above, it's a relative burn chart!

    And these are the things that cause us to tinker and experiment and discuss... oh yeah, and to load up some great ammo as well!
     
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  15. black mamba

    black mamba Member

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    I load only for bigger stuff: 41 mag, 44 mag, 45 Colt. In those calibers Silhouette loads very much like True Blue, usually within half a grain. Longshot is another one that is listed weirdly on the charts, way too slow. In my experience, Longshot is just slightly slower than Herco, Silhouette is a little slower, and Accurate #5 and HS-6 are slower yet. In my loads, HP38 (231) is closer to Unique than it is to Red Dot, but definitely in between those two.
     
  16. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    How are you (and other folks here) measuring burn rate?
     
  17. Otto

    Otto Member

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    You're not looking at Hodgdon's most recent Burn Chart dated Nov. 2019.
    It clearly rates Silhouette much faster than Autocomp or CFE.
    https://hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/burn-rate-color.pdf
    Mystery solved.
     
  18. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    No one here measures it. It is a matter of looking at how many grains I am using in a load, how cleanly the powder is burning, and maybe what velocity I am getting from a chronograph. Seeing one powder having a higher maximum load indicates it is slower. Having it burn dirty at that higher powder charge also indicates it is slower. Needing more powder for the same velocity indicates the powder is slower as well.

    It is strictly observational.
     
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  19. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    upload_2020-9-19_15-25-13.png

    That one is nuts IMO, no way is Silhouette faster than AA#2 or W231......
    I am not measuring burn rate other than by what I see when loading it, so I perceive it to be around Autocomp, CFE-P.
    A couple steps below Bullseye and above HP38/W231, :eek:(maybe in a "closed bomb" test but not in a 9mm cartridge )
    Just looking at Ramshot's load data and vels shows that it appears to be slower than AA#2.
    I think Hodgdon has it in about the right place on there 2016 chart, Grafs seems to have it about right as well
    Funny, big change from 2016 to 2019 on the chart. Mystery is now why they moved it on that chart so much.
    Again where exactly does not matter it is more of a case of fast fast-medium, medium, medium-slow or slow as far as non mag pistol powders are concerned,
    and in the end that really doesn't matter either, what's important is how it works for whoever is using it.


    I would agree.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  20. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Assumptions that could be wrong.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree.

    True Blue is out of place as well.

    I have used a bunch of those powders in that area of the chart.

    From the part I can see in the post, I have used 700X, Bullseye, Target, American Select, Silhouette, Solo 1000, True Blue, WST, Trail Boss, N320, AA#2, ZIp, W231, 20/28, W244, Unique, Power Pistol, Universal, N330, WSF, N340, AA #5, HS6, 3N37, Blue Dot. Still have some of most of those.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  22. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Might be easier to list the ones you haven't used:D
     
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  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Try AA #2 and Silhouette in 9MM or .38 Spl side by side and it will tell you that chart is wrong in the real world as far as the burn rate for Silhouette.

    Then try AA #5 and Silhouette side by side in those. Much more closely related burn speed wise.
     
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  24. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I have been using all three of those powders and have to whole heartily agree with that observation. Actually I have used up almost all my AA#5 and have been using the Silhouette in it's place and getting the same results with about .5gr less powder. Though I will also add that the Silhouette is less dense and fills the case better.
     
  25. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    And that would affect what exactly?
     
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