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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone explain to me the differince between round ball gunpowder vs disklike flake gunpowder and how this affects the muzzle flash. Is there an advantage of one vs another. I never knew there was a difference. Just curious I was at a gun shop and over heard a person ask about this, but no one knew about one vs the other.
 

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Can someone explain to me the differince between round ball gunpowder vs disklike flake gunpowder and how this affects the muzzle flash. Is there an advantage of one vs another. I never knew there was a difference. Just curious I was at a gun shop and over heard a person ask about this, but no one knew about one vs the other.
The different sizes and shapes of flake and ball propellant primarily affect the burn rates. I believe the muzzle flash is controlled by an additive as opposed to a particular granule shape. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Orfeo. I'm assuming the round ball grain has a higher burn rate does this have an affect on the velocity. Which is more common among the +P ammo. Basically, what i'm getting at is one better than the other?
 

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Different powders have different burn times (as you already know) but theres more to just the shape of the powder.

For using a +P or a higher velocity round, you'll want a faster burning powder than normal.... IIRC the more spherical the shape, the faster, or more controlled it burns, but the composition of the powder is more important to how fast it will burn for.

If you trying to get some +P rounds, you can add a little more powder than usual... Although i do kind of recomend against it, i made some very hot stuff for a mark23...

With 'Unique' powder, (the maximum for 230 grain was 6.8 grains) i made some 7.5 grain loads... Very hot stuff! Generally guns can take quite a bit more than the "recomended" loads, but they will wear the gun out quicker (and we're talking by fractions here, not a lot...)

You can expriment with faster powders, but you'll need to talk to some gunshop reloader guys, for a 5 inch barrel, you may want to try some powder meant for 3.5 or 4" barrels... Say you need powder for a compact handgun... Just be sure to work up from smaller ammounts, so you dont go too overboard, because it will increase pressures.

Good luck!
 

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Oversimplified answer

Thanks Orfeo. I'm assuming the round ball grain has a higher burn rate does this have an affect on the velocity. Which is more common among the +P ammo. Basically, what i'm getting at is one better than the other?
No, I don't think that round ball grain is any better or worse than the disc flake shape. From what I've noticed, the finer, ball-shaped powders are usually faster (meaning quicker burn, not necessarily higher velocity) than the flake-shaped powders. A faster powder has a sharper (more sudden) pressure spike than a slower powder.

If you were throwing a baseball, you could suddenly apply all your energy (sharp spike) to the ball fast to get the most velocity. . . if you were throwing a shotput, you couldn't apply all your energy fast like with the baseball, without exceeding the limits of your physical ability, and probably hurting yourself in the process. You would have to apply it more slowly to get the most velocity from the shotput.

Rifles (FAR higher velocity than pistols) usually use slower powders (softer pressure spike) than pistols.

+P pistol ammo propellant is fast by default because it is a pistol powder, but slower than the fastest pistol powders because, with the larger charge, the pressure spike needs to be kept within safe limits.

Generally speaking, really fast powders are used in lower-velocity applications while slower powders are used in high-velocity applications. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for the input. I've learned something new. This forum has educated me exponentially about firearms in general not just HK, I feel a sense of comfort when I handle any firearm now.
 
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