November 10th, 2016

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

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November 10th, 2016

In Memoriam: Mike Dillon, Founder of Dillon Precision

Mike Dillon Precison death passing

We are saddened to report that Mike Dillon, founder of Dillon Precision, has left the range. Mike, whose progressive loaders revolutionized the reloading industry, passed away just before Election Day. His company issued this notice:

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Mike Dillon. Mike left us on the morning of November 7th, 2016. He leaves behind a large family including wife Carol, sons Stephen and Christopher, daughter Stephanie, and 9 grandchildren. Mike’s legacy has touched the lives of countless people worldwide. He revolutionized the ammunition reloading industry and made it what it is today. Mike also redesigned and manufactured the M134 Minigun that is now in service in the United States and foreign military forces. As a passionate aviator, he worked for TWA as a Second officer for 13 years and later made a name for himself as a writer for Air Progress Magazine. He is recognized by some as being the one who started the warbird restoration movement in the 1960s.

Mike’s dedication to his family, his customers, and this country was exemplary. We hope to continue the legacy that Mike Dillon worked so hard to build and we will never forget the impact that he has had on us all.

We take comfort knowing he is flying in the blue skies of heaven above.”

Leading figures in the shooting sports mourned Mike’s passing:

“Mike Dillon is a true inventor and pioneer in the shooting community. Shooters everywhere have benefitted from Mike’s affiliation with the best people and listening to their suggestions.” — Michael Voigt

“Since Mike Dillon has been involved with the shooting community, it is impossible to estimate the impact of his incredible ingenuity and generosity.” – Brian Enos

“This is very sad, Mike was a GREAT man. I had the privilege of photographing him in the mid 90s, he was very humble and generous soul. Mike changed the reloading industry FOREVER.” — Yamil Sued

Mike Dillon Content on Facebook
During the coming months Dillon Precision will publish many of Mike’s articles, videos, and photographs on the Dillon Precision Facebook Page. One of the first items released was the classic Machine Gun Magic video, showcasing the M134 Mini-Gun Mike Dillon invented.

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November 10th, 2016

Lethality of Long Range Hunting Bullets

hunting book Litz Lethality

With hunting season already in full swing, many game hunters have questions about terminal performance and particular caliber/cartridge combinations. Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics says there are really a number of questions that need to be answered:

1) What’s the max range that the shooter/rifle is capable of hitting the intended target?

2) What’s the max range that a bullet can kill the intended game?

3) How do bullets kill?

4) Effects of Muzzle Velocity on Lethality.
(Your MV may be lower in winter with temp-sensitive powders).

5) Long Range Lethality and the Ballistic Coefficient.

Lethality hunting bullets litz bookYou’ll find answers to these and other questions in Bryan’s book, Applied Ballistics for Long-Range Shooting. These topics are covered in Chapter 15: Lethality of Long Range Hunting Bullets. Bryan says: “For responsible hunting, knowing your limits and your rifle’s limits, is important.”

Bryan’s book also includes Bullet Lethality Charts for a variety of calibers and cartridge types. These charts feature categories for 600-lb, 300-lb, and 150-lb Game animals so you can match performance to the size of your prey. Bryan explains: “If I wanted to know how a Medium Capacity Cartridge shooting the 6mm Berger 115 VLD will perform on 300-pound game, I can reference the bullet-specific chart.”

Lethality hunting bullets litz book

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