Powder Differences

This is a discussion on Powder Differences within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I went to the range today and about 150 rounds of 9mm through my Kahr P9. I used 75 rounds of sub-sonic ammo from Georgia ...

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Thread: Powder Differences

  1. #1
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    Powder Differences

    I went to the range today and about 150 rounds of 9mm through my Kahr P9. I used 75 rounds of sub-sonic ammo from Georgia Arms and 75 rounds of Blazer Brass. Accuracy was pretty much the same and recoil was fairly comperable. The one thing that was totally different was what happened after I pulled the trigger. The Georgia Arms ammo was pretty much flashless, just smokey as heck. Looked like one of those Civil War skirmishes you see on TV. The Blazer Brass on the other hand was pretty much smokeless, however there was a 8 inch diameter fireball just outside the barrel after every round. What causes this? Different kinds of gunpowder?

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Some powders have flash suppressant added, usually more expensive powders used in SD ammo. Cheap range ammo is made with cheaper powder. Leave the flash suppressant out and it's cheaper.

    All powders have slightly different mixtures of mostly the same basic stuff in them I think. What I mean is that though some are proprietary compounds, their molecular makeup is probably not that much different. But diffrent additives and % amounts of the various compounds can cause more or less smoke/flash. (which particular chemical is responsible is beyond my knowledge on the matter)

    Cast bullets???? If the Georgia arms ammo used lead bullets, that probably explains the smoke. Bullet lube used with lead bullets tends to create smoke more than powder in my experience. Different bullet lubes smoke more or less than others as well. Also, cast bullets are usually not loaded with as much powder, thus there would be less flash because there would not be a lot of powder burning outside the barrel after the bullet exits.

    Of course my comments here are overly simplistic, as is my knowledge on the subject, but perhaps it will be enough to help in answering your query. I'm not a chemical engineer or physicist. Just a guy who shoots guns and loads some ammo for fun.
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    It could be as simple as two different burning rates of the powders used.

    One may have used a faster burning powder which resulted in less flash.

    The other may have used a slower burning powder that wasn't completely burned in the short barrel which does result in a fireball when the powder hits the atmosphere.
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    What they both said.
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    sgtD you are 100% correct...they were lead cast bullets. Thanks for the sharp insights.

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