Unburnt powder - problem?

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Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by bdas on Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:38 pm

I was shooting last night and noticed (not for the first time) that, when I was done, there was a sprinkling of what appeared to be unburnt Bullseye powder on the bench.  I was shooting 2 different loads... 40 rounds of 200gr LSWC over 4.0gr Bullseye, and 60 rounds of 185gr button nose over 4.3gr Bullseye.  Both loads seemed to be reasonably accurate (all shots indoors at 25yds).  I shot 556/600 including a highlight of a 96 slow fire (plus some extra rapid fire training strings), so it doesn't seem to be adversely affecting accuracy.  

What, if anything, does a small amount of unburnt powder on the bench indicate?  Do others see this?  Is it a problem?  Am I doing something wrong during my reloading process?


Last edited by bdas on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixing goofy typo)

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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by LenV on Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:45 pm

Perfectly normal for Bullseye powder. I usually look like someone sprinkled pepper all over my shooting arm.

Len
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Aprilian on Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:03 pm

Watch the 1911 slow motion video here.  You can tell it is bullseye powder by the shape of the grains.  https://www.trippresearch.com/tech/video.html
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Jon Eulette on Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:14 pm

Just like Len, I'm covered with  BE powder. My 3.4gr loads are the worst. My shots are all on call. I just accept it and shoot 10's Smile
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Sc0 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:15 pm

BE86 imho leaves more residue

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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by C.Perkins on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:35 pm

With Bullseye powder it is the nature of the beast.
Back when all I shot was 200gr LSWC over 3.6gr of BE, my right arm did look like someone sprinkled pepper on it.
Now I shoot 185gr jacketed over 4.8gr of BE and it is less but still there.
Bullseye works and I pay no attention to the residue.
Use it and be happy.

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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by bdas on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:41 pm

Great. Thanks for the replies. Glad to hear that it's not just me.

Dave

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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by desben on Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:25 pm

When I loaded 38 special with a light charge of hp-38, I'd find little yellow flakes in the barrel, under the extractor star, in the crane's pivot, on the bench, everywhere. Accuracy was good, but it required more cleaning. That problem went away when I started using WST: it burns completely.
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by john bickar on Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:49 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Just like Len, I'm covered with  BE powder. My 3.4gr loads are the worst. My shots are all on call. I just accept it and shoot 10's Smile
Jon

That's not entirely true; sometimes you shoot Xs.
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Gary Wells on Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:53 pm

I, maybe mistakenly, thought that unburnt powder was generally the result of too light of a powder load. I generally load 3.8 grs of Alliant BE behind a 185 gr button & I've never noticed any unburnt powder but if I cut back on the powder to 3.6 grs it looked like I was armed with a pepper shaker.  Wilson Combat generally use 4.8-5.0 of BE behind a 200 gr LSWC as their test load for all or most of their guns & that also is the recipe for BW's signature load. Now I am not implying that those loads are the equal of what most bullseye shooters use, but there not that bad of a load either.


Last edited by Gary Wells on Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Wobbley on Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:08 am

It isn't just 45s and 38s.  One day after shooting our indoor match of two relays of 5 shooters per, we swept up the 22 cases.  Someone dropped a match in the pile and we got a rather large flare.
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by john bickar on Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:51 am

Wobbley wrote:It isn't just 45s and 38s.  One day after shooting our indoor match of two relays of 5 shooters per, we swept up the 22 cases.  Someone dropped a match in the pile and we got a rather large flare.
SWIM* used to do that at the US Olympic Training Center sometimes after shooting 1,000 rounds of .22 short in a day.

*someone who isn't me
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Re: Unburnt powder - problem?

Post by Keyholed on Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:31 am

Most ranges are coated in a fine layer of unburnt powder. I've seen a range fire occur from loose-pile commercial carpet being used on bench surfaces. Shooter claimed it ignited from muzzle flash, but I suspect some degree of idiocy was involved. Regardless, a few shooters stood around looking at the fire, taking pictures on their cell phones. In a couple minutes it went from "ha ha look at that" to completely out of control. Nearly burned the range down. The place was supposed to have had a rangemaster on duty (it was a pay-to-play place)--Lord knows what that guy was doing, because he sure wasn't supervising the range.

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