The shape and size of the grains are essential features that will change in powders. While the grain shape can be difficult to see under a microscope, it is crucial for how powders deliver energy. Ball powder can be made from tiny spheres, which can be manufactured faster and reduce the overall cost. It is easier to measure and can store longer than other powders. Ball powders are more stable than other powders and can be used to extend barrel life. Ball powder burns from 3,200 to 3300 Fahrenheit. While other powders can only reach about 3,400 Fahrenheit, they can still be used. Even though the difference IMR 8133 may seem insignificant, it can significantly impact thousands of shots.
This product is similar to regular ball powder but has a flattened oval shape, much like a loaf of bread dough. The flattened powder works well in shotgun shells. This is because flattened powder moves more efficiently on the surface than powder that has been compressed, such as at the back or sides of the wad.
This type of powder comes in granules that look like small discs. They are a powder cut into small pieces by extending into a tube. They are primarily used to make shotgun and handgun cartridges. Because they are round, they can stack when measuring, making it hard to measure accurately. Flake powder results in lower consistency when reloading cartridges.
This powder forms small cylindrical shapes and is very popular in rifle cartridges. Stick powder is exceptionally effective in rifle ammunition. However, it can be difficult for you to measure accurately and may cause inconsistencies. Stick powder is often the hardest to measure. But, by decreasing the length of the “sticks,” you can ensure consistent loading. There is a possibility that the sticks or cylinders may burst, which could lead to even more inconsistent loading. Stick powder burns hot, which can reduce barrel quality. Despite its potential drawbacks in reloading, stick powder is still a popular choice for shot consistency.
A gunpowder explosion in a cartridge may seem instantaneous. However, if it is slowed down, each powder will have a different “burn rate” or speed at its ignition. This is similar to gasoline, which burns quicker than lighter fluid. The rapid explosion of gas causes it to burn quickly, while lighter fluids last for longer and burn slower. You can find the same effect in different gun powders.
Burn rate doesn’t have a standard unit for measurement. Burn rate is rarely discussed as a whole. It is often compared to other powders, and there is no definitive yardstick. Burn rate is, therefore, a highly-debated topic. Some reloaders feel it is less critical than others or almost insignificant.
However, it is essential to know the burn rate of magnum rounds compared to non-magnum games. Non-magnum rounds usually use faster-burning powders, while magnum cartridges may require slower-burning powders. Magnum rounds are more powerful. Because they burn slower-burning materials, the pressure at which maximum power is generated lasts for a longer duration. This is important to ensure that heavier bullets have ultimate power and velocity.
Specifications can vary according to bullet type and cartridge. Generally, a fast-burning powder is used for light ammunition and low-speed pistols. Magnum pistols require medium-rate powders. High-velocity large-bore rifle cartridges need slow powders because they have the highest overall power. It may seem like an instantaneous explosion, but powders can burn slower than others. Be aware of this fact when reloading.