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Muzzle Flash

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jaybirdjtt, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. In the continuing quest to eliminate muzzle flash for my SD loads (can't hit what you cannot see if you're blinded by the flash) I came across this article.;col1

    From American Handgunner, Dec 2007.

    I'd always assumed that faster burning powders produce less or no flash.
    Universal Clays produced NO flash while a faster burning powder like Bullseye, did. On a burn rate chart, fastest to slowest, Bullseye is #6, Unique (both widely used by me) is #35. Universal Clays comes in #16th, slower burning than my old, faithful Bullseye. I posted on this topic a few weeks ago but information on this topic is hard to find in any quantifiable form.

    My loading data shows many loads for Universal Clays with a variety of bullet weights in 9mm and 45 ACP, my SD calibers of choice (or's what I own).

    Guess I'll buy a pound, load some rounds, use my wife as an unbiased observer and see what I can discover. I think this is an important topic for those of us who are serious about what we use for SD loads since most unpleasant encounters with BG's happen at night!
  2. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Buy some Buffalo Bore with flash suppressing powder. Now your done. I don't get to practice at night so thats not something I know anything about.

  3. Halojumper


    Mar 18, 2005
    Aurora, CO
    I was doing some night shooting practice last weekend, using only night sights, and though the flash was noticeable, it did not present a problem with being able to engage the target. This was using practice ammo. SD ammo should have even less flash (We've verified this at some of our night shoots). Is there a specific problem you'd like to correct, or were you just thinking hypothetically?
  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    It's not just burn rate, although that has a lot to do with it, but the coating applied to the powder. You would have to do some serious experimenting to find a true low flash pwoder like those used in factory ammo, if it even exists. Just another reason to use factory loads for SD, that & often better bullets.
  5. Probably it is just the "experimental" aspect of being a reloader coming out in me. I did read about the use of flash suppressants in factory SD and military loads and realize that there is no way to really duplicate these powders for the average reloader. However, the writer did test many factory loads and some had significant flash. In fact, the LE agency mentioned in the article wanted to send back an entire order because of muzzle flash but the manufacturer pointed out the fine print in their contract.
    Part of what I consider "adequate" inventory of ammunition consists of components not yet in cartridge form. Hence, I'd like to have the formula figured out in advance just to feel prepared. Next trip to the gun store.....Universal Clays is on the shoppiing list!