Sorting Brass by weight

Mikecr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2003
Messages
5,821
Location
NC, oceanfront
And my counter;

All powders vary in burn rate due to ever changing load density, confinement, and pressure at any given moment within a barrel.

Powder burn is very sensitive to initial confinement.
Put a 1/3 charge of powder in an open case, load carefully(barrel upward), and on firing you get WUMP...
Now do the same with a fold of toilet paper set on the powder, and you get BOOM.
This is the functioning of cream of wheat fireforming, and brass weight is not a factor in it.
The confinement offered by that paper, tiny as you can imagine, is significant.
The flame front literally bounces off it to light a higher percentage of powder granule surface at a resultant higher rate.

Another confinement test, caused by load density and/or proximity; with loaded cartridges that hold a relatively low load density(case filled to body-shoulder), you can measure a considerable velocity shift, again with no change in brass weight.
Just hand load one with the barrel pointed straight up, carefully lower the gun onto a rest so that the powder stays rearward in the case.
Fire it across a chronograph and note POI.
Then load case with the barrel pointed straight down, carefully raise the gun to a rest so that the powder stays forward in the case.
Fire it across a chronograph and note POI.
You will see velocity higher when powder was lit most rearward in the case.
This is one reason load density is important -beyond getting enough into a case. Load density is really confinement -caused by the powder itself.

Pressure itself affects every powder burn rate, all along the way, from primer ignition to muzzle release.
When you jam a bullet into the lands, you not only increase in pressure before full land engravement, but you speed powder burn RATE to a different position on a burn rate chart. Advantage in this depends on consistency of it, as it changes MV and barrel timing.
This again, can be independent of brass weight.
 

Bart B

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
2,763
And my counter; ...........
I agree with all that.

But I've never had those extremes in what I've done.

Mike, you forgot one other variable that'll easily cause one MOA or more change in shot placement at longer ranges. Even if everything about the reloaded round is exact to the nth degree across all of them in your ammo box, forgetting this one thing's gonna make the next shot go high; often very high.
 
Last edited:

ShtrRdy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
3,784
Location
High Plains
And my counter;

All powders vary in burn rate due to ever changing load density, confinement, and pressure at any given moment within a barrel.

Powder burn is very sensitive to initial confinement.
Put a 1/3 charge of powder in an open case, load carefully(barrel upward), and on firing you get WUMP...
Now do the same with a fold of toilet paper set on the powder, and you get BOOM.
This is the functioning of cream of wheat fireforming, and brass weight is not a factor in it.
The confinement offered by that paper, tiny as you can imagine, is significant.
The flame front literally bounces off it to light a higher percentage of powder granule surface at a resultant higher rate.

Another confinement test, caused by load density and/or proximity; with loaded cartridges that hold a relatively low load density(case filled to body-shoulder), you can measure a considerable velocity shift, again with no change in brass weight.
Just hand load one with the barrel pointed straight up, carefully lower the gun onto a rest so that the powder stays rearward in the case.
Fire it across a chronograph and note POI.
Then load case with the barrel pointed straight down, carefully raise the gun to a rest so that the powder stays forward in the case.
Fire it across a chronograph and note POI.
You will see velocity higher when powder was lit most rearward in the case.
This is one reason load density is important -beyond getting enough into a case. Load density is really confinement -caused by the powder itself.

Pressure itself affects every powder burn rate, all along the way, from primer ignition to muzzle release.
When you jam a bullet into the lands, you not only increase in pressure before full land engravement, but you speed powder burn RATE to a different position on a burn rate chart. Advantage in this depends on consistency of it, as it changes MV and barrel timing.
This again, can be independent of brass weight.

Thanks for the info Mike!
Can you comment on how a slightly compressed load behaves?
 

Mikecr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2003
Messages
5,821
Location
NC, oceanfront
Works great for me.
My loads are typically ~104% density per QL, and I use a 12" drop tube and very slow pour to keep it consistent.

My goal is the fastest powder that fills the case and gives me SAAMI max pressure with chosen bullet, off the lands.
It's easy to find with QL
 
Top