Un-burned Powder

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jr05, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. jr05

    Not sure if this is the right title, but I think I am having an issue with the charge not completely burning before the bullet leaves the gun. I am getting some soot on the outside of my shell casings and I have noticed some increase in flash compared with factory ammo (WWB).

    124gr MG CMJ
    4.8gr WSF
    Remington 1 1/2 primers
    1.158" OAL

    chrono 1050 FPS out of a G34

    What can I do to try to get rid of this issue (all rounds function flawlessly and have good accuracy, so not really a huge issue). I have heard that a low powder charge can do this, but I don't really want to increase my charge since these hit the speeds I am looking for already. I was thinking decreasing the OAL a bit might give me better results as it would take slightly more time for the bullet to leave the casing, giving the powder more time to burn? I am I completely off in this thinking?

    Thanks for any advise!

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  3. You are running right @ the edge of bunnyfart loads (1000fps) & WSF is a bit slow for that. I have a friend does the same thing in his 40 w/ the same results. Bump the charge a bit & it should go away. Yes you will have more recoil @ 1100fps, but the gun will shoot cleaner, probably more accurate too. Decreasing the OAL raises pressures, like adding more powder, same thing, vel goes up. You want to get the the chamber pressure up so the powder burns more completely. If you want to run under 1050fps w/ 124gr bullet, you may want to drop a powder speed to W231 or WST if you like Win powders. Higher pressures w/ lower vel, more complete powder burn.

  4. shotgunred

    shotgunred reloading nut

    Mostly I use TG for IDPA but here is a good WSF load I use also. Not much different than yours.

    124gr PD
    4.7gr WSF
    1.125" OAL

    129 PF
  5. Except your shorter OAL is adding about 50fps or several 1000psi which is just like adding powder. Gun dims can also play a part in pressures. tighter bore, longer lead, larger chamber, it's why guns give diff results, but you know that.:supergrin:
  6. shotgunred

    shotgunred reloading nut

    My G17 actually Shoots the most accurately at 5.2 GR. But 4.7 is more then accurate enough for IDPA and it still makes the power floor.

    Win 231 is the powder that leaves powder burn on my cases with bunny fart loads.
  7. jr05

    I will give the shorter OAL a try next weekend on a few rounds and see how they work out. It isn't a huge issue, and isn't as bad as sooting I have seen on my scavenged brass at the range. I just think I can make it bit cleaner.

    I am going for lower PF loads so want to stick at or just over 1050 to make the 130PF which I will use for USPSA and IDPA both. No sense in having 2 different loads.

    I am going to drop down in 0.010" increments and see what I get. Worst case, I just use the 1.158" I am now, and deal with it. Definitely not a "deal-breaker"
  8. I mentioned in another thread about JUST getting a copy of Richard Lee's "Modern Reloading - Second Edition". I haven't even begun to read it!

    In it, he discusses case capacity and how much it is reduced as rounds are loaded shorter in terms of both reduced case capacity and increased pressure (starting on page 96).

    His example of a 1/16" (0.060") change in OAL makes a 14% change in case volume for a .45 ACP (it would be more in a 9mm, I think). There is a table that enumerates %change in pressure for 1% change in volume. For a powder like Titegroup, the %change is 2% for every 1% change in volume. That number is HUGE even with light loads.

    Bottom line, be careful when you make large changes in OAL, especially on small cartridges.

    I have mentioned elsewhere that I use 700-X for .45 ACP and I will admit that I get a LOT of soot and the cases have a black smudge on the outside. It's been that way for many years and I don't expect it to change. I just don't get too excited, one way or another. They go 'bang' and the bullet usually goes right where I was aiming (whether I was aiming correctly is another story) so I just keep making them.

  9. Read my blog on vel/pressures vs OAL. Reducing the OAL will increase your vel or you can leave the OAL alone & up the charge a bit or you could try a mag primer. Either way, you are going over 1050fps. Really, it's a 9mm, I doubt adding 50fps changes the recoil impulse all that much.:dunno:
    #8 fredj338, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    I've read where 45 Colt rounds will soot if held at the standard 12 or so kpsi that it was originally designed to operate at. In other words, if you use normal 45 Colt loads, you will get soot.
  11. Pretty much, depends on the chamber size & brass used. I have a custom built Colt SAA/Army SM gun I used to shoot CAS with. It has tight chmabers & runs pretty well w/ light loads. Shoot the same ammo out of my generous chambered 1866 & soot half way down the case.
  12. Bump up the charge or if bunnyfart load is what you were going for switch to WST.
  13. njl


    1.158" is kind of long. Why not just try shortening them to around 1.140" and see what happens. If you're not seeing flakes of unburned powder left behind in the chamber or mag, and you're happy with the recoil, velocity, and accuracy, why worry about it? Guns get dirty when shot...and you're going to tumble the brass before reloading it.
  14. Two questions:

    1) What causes the increased flash?
    2) In this case, should the soot on the cases clear up when he increases pressure and the powder burns more efficiently?

  15. THe powder isn't completely burning in the bbl & then as it hits the end of the muzzle it flashes over. The soot is from the brass not expanding enough to seal the chamber off. This can be individual to your gun BTW. A very slightly larger chamber w/ moderate pressure load won't seal the case against the chamber wall on firing. Same for using hard brass w/ light loads, like maybe +P brass in some caliners.:dunno:
    #14 fredj338, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  16. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    1. Quite probable, if there actually is more flash, that more powder is still burning as it is exiting the barrel.
    2. Usually, the sooting goes away as the pressure is increased. The lower pressure does not adequately seal the case against the chamber wall, allowing gas to escape around the side.

    Fred, you're tying faster than I can on this iPhone while watching the Bowl Game..
    #15 PCJim, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  17. Thanks a lot to both of you!
  18. Yeah Iphones suck for typing & I don't get too excited about college ball games. So I am here, finishing up some work on the puter, getting ready to go to the gym. Yeah, I make time to do such things & still manage to reload & shoot!
    #17 fredj338, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  19. pasky2112

    pasky2112 Senior Member

    If I may butt in here... :wavey:
    I'm researching an issue I have just seen in my new 10mm loads. I have actual unburned powder ( Blue Dot discs ) forward of my muzzle with only mod loads... for ex.:
    155g JHP (montana golds)
    12.5g BD
    CCI- 300 (LPP)
    1.260" COAL
    I'm shooting these out of a factory new G20FS...not SF... w/ stock bbl and a 22# SS RSA. I know BD is slow but the max load for this in Hornady guide is 12.9g. But I was also getting less than advertised vel.'s per book speeds. Usually, I get higher than adv. vel. in .40 loads out of this book. Not sure that even matters. But something is afoot at the Circle-K. :dunno:

    So, why the inefficient powder burn?
    Maybe shorten my COAL gradually but hold the charge?
    Use mag primers ( CCI- #350 )?
    Is this characteristic of BD w/ lighter projectiles?

    I have other powders that are faster but I bought the 5# keg of BD specifically for loading hot 10mm. It seems like I'm just wasting powder. I'd' like to resolve this issue. (duh) I'm open to sound advice from anyone else who's seen and resolved this 'problem' and would like to share some remedies. TIA!! :bowdown:
  20. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    I would check out data in other manuals. Many times, some manuals are much lower than others in terms of charge weight. I don't load 10mm so I don't know the ins and outs of it. But, I have learned that for the most part, Hornady and Lyman manuals are very conservative. I'm not saying just increase the powder charge willy-nilly, I'm say see what Nosler, Speer, and Sierra have to say about it.
  21. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Blue Dot does cleanup with more pressure. With a full-house charge, spent cases are sparkly clean with virtually no residue. I would look to other adjustments before going with a mag primers.

    I like to seat 155s at 1.25". Do you have good neck tension? That helps with the slower-burning powders. Reducing the COL will reduce case volume and might contribute a bit to additional neck tension by putting more bearing surface in the case.

    I have not shot the 155 MG, but 155 XTPs at 12.8 grains are pretty clean-burning and running at about 1400 fps. CCI 300 primer, Starline brass, and 1.25" COL.

    My guess is that even with some unburned flecks, you are still getting pretty good groups. I have found Blue Dot to group well even when not pushed. If it is otherwise functioning well, I would not be too concerned with unburned flakes. Your gun will get pretty sooty after a while though. For a few years, my IDPA load was a modest pressure 180 gr Blue Dot load. It grouped very well. My gun would get pretty sooty, but it would still run 100% even with a few hundred rounds between cleanings.

    Regarding velocities, you are running a shorter barrel than most books, so Hornady Blue Dot data is running a bit slower for me than what Hornady publishes. Other loads like Accurate no. 9 track a bit closer for some reason.

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