October 3rd, 2019

Stick, Flake, and Ball — Do You Know Your Powder Properties?

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[.]”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 22nd, 2009

Hodgdon's 2010 Reloading Manual Coming Soon

Hodgdon reloading manual 2010The 2010 edition of the Hodgdon® Annual Manual has just been announced, and should be at newstands in January 2010. Now in its 7th year, the Hodgdon Annual Manual includes over 5,000 rifle and pistol loads, with information on 56 Hodgdon, IMR® and Winchester® powders. The new 2010 Manual features 44 cartridge updates, brand new data for the 6.5 Grendel and 6.5 Creedmoor, and updated propellant burn rate and usage charts.

Extensive reloading information is provided for popular cartridges such as the 17 Remington, 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 6PPC, 308 Winchester, 338 Federal and more. In addition, the 2010 Manual includes articles by top gun writers like Layne Simpson and Jim Carmichael plus many other resources for shooters and reloaders.

Articles in the 2010 Hodgdon Annual Manual spotlight the new varmint/match powder, IMR 8208 XBR. Test lots of this new powder have shown truly exceptional temperature stability. In addition, IMR 8208 XBR should deliver excellent accuracy in cartridges such as the 6mm PPC, 6BR, 22BR, and .308 Winchester. Lou Murdica and Jim Carmichael have already recorded impressive benchrest wins with prototype IMR 8208 XBR.

The 2010 Hodgdon Annual Manual costs $8.99 and should be available at newsstands and gun dealers by January 2010. For more on the manual contact Hodgdon at 913-362-9455, visit Hodgdon.com, or write to 6231 Robinson, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202.

Permalink New Product, Reloading No Comments »