Uneven powder burn question and thought

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Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by beeser on Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:35 am

I noticed that all of the .45 ACP ammo that I shot today had burn marks on only one side of the case.  I assume that is the side where the powder settles before it's ignited.  Does this have any effect on the effectiveness or efficiency of the combustion within the case and the overall ballistics of the bullet?  Wouldn't it be a good idea to have some kind of wad holding the powder in a symmetrical position in the case?

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:00 am

Is the burn mark on the outside & how does it correlate to the chamber position?
It's my experience that I only get a noticeable amount of fouling on the outside of the case when I slip to the light side of the powder charge, I ASSUME that I'm not building enough start pressure to seal the case to the chamber.
Going too light can cause a wide range of strange things to happen.
Adding wads to pistol cases adds a couple of added variables that I don't want rattling around my melon.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by Virgil Kane on Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:04 am

I concur with Steve. When I load 3.5 of BE under a 185 grain SWC I get these marks on the cases same as you do. They never however have effected the accuracy of my loads. When I up the charge to 4.2 of BE under the same 185 grain SWC the burn marks disappear.

It's been my experience that these burn marks on the side of the cases do nothing other than let you know that the pressure wasn't great enough to seal the case in the chamber to prevent some blow-by. Other than making the chamber dirty I have seen no harm to the gun or barrel.

IMO I wouldn't even think of going the route of trying wads in a 45acp. The case is much too small for this.


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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by beeser on Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:57 am

I have no idea where the burn marks are positioned in the chamber.  Once the shell is ejected there's no way of telling as far as I know.  Interesting though about it being a sign of not achieving a high enough pressure in the casing and a light powder charge.  Another sign of the light charge suggested by Rob was the unspent powder dropping out of the gun.  Don't take too seriously the idea of the wad.  It was just a naive thought by a novice shooter.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:24 am

beeser wrote:I have no idea where the burn marks are positioned in the chamber.  Once the shell is ejected there's no way of telling as far as I know.  Interesting though about it being a sign of not achieving a high enough pressure in the casing and a light powder charge.  Another sign of the light charge suggested by Rob was the unspent powder dropping out of the gun.  Don't take too seriously the idea of the wad.  It was just a naive thought by a novice shooter.

(a) start with a new case and note the extractor mark on the rim
(b) load a round into the magazine then mark the top with an indelible marker before chambering the round

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by BE Mike on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:35 am

I got these black marks on the outside of my cases for years. It didn't keep me from making master.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:49 am

Guns and ammo don't make master shooters, they only make the road smoother.
Some of the shooters on this list are just starting down the road & are curious/concerned about some of the signs.
I know of one master who hasn't cleaned a case in years, he doesn't have to mark his brass..no one wants to touch them.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by DavidR on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:58 pm

burn marks are normal on light target loads. If your getting unburnt powder on your arm or somewhere else you need to tighten your crimp. this will give a better burn

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by beeser on Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:22 pm

DavidR wrote:burn marks are normal on light target loads. If your getting unburnt powder on your arm or somewhere else you need to tighten your crimp. this will give a better burn
My crimps were .002" - .003" larger than what some of you mentioned using.  That might explain the unburnt powder.  Thanks!

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by DavidR on Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:21 pm

You should be crimping everything regardless of bullet type  to .467-.469

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by beeser on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:04 pm

DavidR wrote:You should be crimping everything regardless of bullet type  to .467-.469
Why do they show a diameter of .473" at the end of the casing in the cartridge specs?  And with that much of a crimp why bother with a case gage?

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by DavidR on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:32 pm

When we stated this journey with you several of us told you, reloading manuals are pretty much useless. Here is the magic formula that will make accurate rounds that feed and function 100%, Good case, new or used long as its good, not cracked in the ballpark of .880-.890, seat lead bullets .030-.035 above the case mouth, crimp to .467-.469 (no bigger) if you build your bullets this way you will smile every time you pull the trigger,. A case gauge is just a tool to stop you from having a failure to feed on the line, just because you set your machine to load a certain way is not a guarantee everything will work perfect every time, sometimes things don't and to catch it before you load it in the gun is a good thing!

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:41 pm

It's my view that reloading for a semi-auto pistol is a mixture or rocket science & water color painting.
There are some hard & fast rules, but there are more suggested guide lines.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:44 pm

beeser comes from the engineering field.  Bear with him as people like us are--um....analytical.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:48 pm

When it comes to spitting hairs I've been compared to the south end of a northbound mule. 
Structural detailing myself.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by DavidR on Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:40 am

Rob Kovach wrote:beeser comes from the engineering field.  Bear with him as people like us are--um....analytical.
Bullseye shooters who excel at the sport are the same except without the lytical  lol!

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:48 pm

Yessir...you are cooorect.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:48 pm

I strive to excel despite the lytical....

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by noylj on Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:22 pm

"Burn marks" from concerned shooters are almost always (always in cases I know about personally) from soot/smoke on case exterior from low pressure round. It means nothing, but I could see it causing some chamber erosion after many thousands of rounds, maybe.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by kwixdraw on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:53 pm

Regarding the case gauge. I obtained a large quantity of brass that was from Winchester white box ball loads and was mostly fired in Glocks. Sized and loaded this stuff as I usually did and found lots of failures to go into battery. The rounds would go into the case gauge with no resistance until it got right to the extractor groove and rim. I'm told that with the Glock's max chamber and design that leaves the case head even more unsupported than a 1911's this is not an unusual problem. I will run these cases through a Lee "bulge buster" and see if that helps. New Starline brass on the same Dillon machine worked perfectly, even after being fired in my 1911.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by DavidR on Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:36 pm

45 fired from a glock should be avoided. You can run thru a bulge buster but the brass has been weakened in that area.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by kwixdraw on Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:59 pm

That would seem to make buying once fired brass a bad idea. With all the Glocks floating around these days you just know that some of that once fired was run through a Glock.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by Rob Kovach on Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:15 pm

.45ACP brass doesn't show as many cases with "glock bulge" because of the lower pressures.  It's more prevalent with 9mm .40, and 10mm cases.  The barrels for Glock gen 3+ were also changed to better support the cases and you wont find as many instances of glock bulge from those platforms either.

The cases that show glock bulge are pretty messed up, and easy to notice.  I believe such cases should be discarded, and they should be fairly uncommon in .45acp.

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Re: Uneven powder burn question and thought

Post by kwixdraw on Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:42 pm

Just ran some through the bulge buster. It works best to resize and decap them first. When done that way the bulge is shown to be very minor on these cases. And it's almost no effort to feed them through the bulge buster die. I loaded a few rounds and they will drop right into a chamber checker.  The bulge buster paperwork warns against using it  on cases for 9mm, .40 and 10mm fired through Glocks. Apparently the higher pressures in those calibers do more damage to the brass. The tool itself seems to be more along the lines of a small base die for rounds loaded in carbide dies. For what it's worth.

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