Author Topic: Burn chart / Black powder  (Read 600 times)

Offline powderhombre

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Burn chart / Black powder
« on: September 09, 2020, 06:51:50 PM »
Where on the burn chart would Black Powder be? Wonder why they never include it.

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2020, 08:19:43 PM »
powderhombre,

Do not take this statement personnel... but your question is totally pointless.  I hope someone with better ballistics knowledge will come in with a book explanation but I will try this.  Smokeless powders have burn rates because when they where first created and now they have different levels of built in burnable materials; suppression materials; or fillers to control the rate of burn for different uses.  They therefore burn over a period of minute time(in casing, chamber and down the barrel).  Blackpowder is what is called a 'contained explosive' (all the powder used is generally consumed at once).

The first smokeless powder was developed to be a blackpowder-case filling material.  Then they developed others overtime that had uses in different caliber and better gun steel adjusting the burn rates to fit the needs.

This statement maybe technically wrong by some standards but it does give the general difference between BLACKPOWDER & all the different types of SMOKELSS create over time.

Also look up the term pressure spikes (charts) with relation the smokeless powders.  This will give you a better understanding of what happen with smokeless.
Black River Smith

Offline Drydock

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2020, 08:46:17 PM »
Not really . . .

BP actually has a burn rate slower than many smokeless powders.  That it is classified as an explosive is due to it's burn rate being the same confined or unconfined.  It is a mechanical mixture, and the rate of burn of the individual grains is largely dependent on the suface area of those grains. (thus the "f" system)  In many cases still burning grains are ejected from the muzzle with each shot.  It does not "explode" in the case, as many seem to believe.  But the rate will vary depending on grind, sieve used, type of charcoal, manufacturer, exact percentage of ingrediants, etc.  Thus precision BP shooters attempt to use powder from the same maker, same lot, for each batch of rounds.  Change of Lot will usually result in a change of sight settings at longer ranges.

  Smokeless is an organic compound in which the rate of burn varies due to many factors, the principle being the pressure under which the oxidation of the compounds is taking place.  The rate goes up exponentially as pressure increases, until a constant is reached.  In the case of most cartridges, this is when the expansion volume matchs the rate of oxidation/burn/gas generation, ie the rate of the projectile going down bore.  Retardents can be used to decrease the rate of increase, leading to slower rates of burn under pressure, and slower rates of pressure increase.

BUT!  Each formula for a specific powder must be registered, and then cannot be varied from when under that label.  Thus powders like Unique, Bullseye, etc have to maintain their formulas in order to continue to use the trade names assigned.  Even when you hear of "New, improved, cleaner burning!" this is usually a result of a change in process, the chemical formula MUST remain the same. This registration and maintenance allows for reliable published charts to be used.  BP predates all this, and is not then included in these data sets.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline powderhombre

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 10:09:33 AM »
Thanks. I'm new to reloading smokeless. I've been shooting BP in Muzzleloaders and 45-70 Cartridge. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the different powders and was just wondering where the BP fell in the mix.

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 05:40:35 PM »
Drydock,

I will not argue with you as I stated I hope someone with more knowledge comes in.  I purposely did not mention the 4 different 'F's' of blackpowder to not mud the general idea I was trying to convey.

But I do have questions around my use of the term contained explosive.  One, is the fact that cartridges were designed to handle only specific quantities of BP for a reason and only certain grain sizes where to be use.  Second, the properties of BP demand it be compressed and no air because of the extreme pressure build up hitting an obstruction.  Third, and the most important is that only BP is required by dealer to held in explosive/fire proof containers whereas smokeless does not -- because smokeless just burns/flashes in air -- rather then exploding or detonating all at once like BP.  Fourth, why do my GOEX container have written Danger - Explosive and my smokeless container have only Danger -Flammable.

I do not believe that the spike pressure peaks for BP and all smokeless, occur at the same time.  I do agree that blackpowder is a softer peak not like the 'sharp peaks and slow recoveries' for almost all smokeless nitrocellulose/nitroglycerine powders but this is why CUP's where studied.  Nitrocellulose only burns but Nitroglycerine explodes.  BP only explodes -- pressure/velocity depend on the grain size and volume.
Black River Smith

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:01:27 PM »

Offline Drydock

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 07:38:31 PM »
Black powder
Main article: Gunpowder
Gunpowder (Black powder) is a finely ground, pressed and granulated mechanical pyrotechnic mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate. It can be produced in a range of grain sizes. The size and shape of the grains can increase or decrease the relative surface area, and change the burning rate significantly. The burning rate of black powder is relatively insensitive to pressure, meaning it will burn quickly and predictably even without confinement,[12] making it also suitable for use as a low explosive. It has a very slow decomposition rate, and therefore a very low brisance. It is not, in the strictest sense of the term, an explosive, but a "deflagrant", as it does not detonate but decomposes by deflagration due to its subsonic mechanism of flame-front propagation.

Nitrocellulose (single-base propellants)
Main article: Smokeless powder
Nitrocellulose or "guncotton" is formed by the action of nitric acid on cellulose fibers. It is a highly combustible fibrous material that deflagrates rapidly when heat is applied. It also burns very cleanly, burning almost entirely to gaseous components at high temperatures with little smoke or solid residue. Gelatinised nitrocellulose is a plastic, which can be formed into cylinders, tubes, balls, or flakes known as single-base propellants. The size and shape of the propellant grains can increase or decrease the relative surface area, and change the burn rate significantly. Additives and coatings can be added to the propellant to further modify the burn rate. Normally, very fast powders are used for light-bullet or low-velocity pistols and shotguns, medium-rate powders for magnum pistols and light rifle rounds, and slow powders for large-bore heavy rifle rounds.[13]

Double-base propellants
Main articles: Ballistite, Cordite, and Smokeless powder
Nitroglycerin can be added to nitrocellulose to form "double-base propellants". Nitrocellulose desensitizes nitroglycerin to prevent detonation in propellant-sized grains, (see dynamite), and the nitroglycerin gelatinises the nitrocellulose and increases the energy. Double-base powders burn faster than single-base powders of the same shape, though not as cleanly, and burn rate increases with nitroglycerin content.

In artillery, Ballistite or Cordite has been used in the form of rods, tubes, slotted-tube, perforated-cylinder or multi-tubular; the geometry being chosen to provide the required burning characteristics. (Round balls or rods, for example, are "degressive-burning" because their production of gas decreases with their surface area as the balls or rods burn smaller; thin flakes are "neutral-burning," since they burn on their flat surfaces until the flake is completely consumed. The longitudally perforated or multi-perforated cylinders used in large, long-barreled rifles or cannon are "progressive-burning;" the burning surface increases as the inside diameter of the holes enlarges, giving sustained burning and a long, continuous push on the projectile to produce higher velocity without increasing the peak pressure unduly. Progressive-burning powder compensates somewhat for the pressure drop as the projectile accelerates down the bore and increases the volume behind it.)[1]
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline powderhombre

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 10:07:13 PM »
Very interesting and informative. thank you

Offline greyhawk

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 11:26:04 PM »
Not really . . .

BP actually has a burn rate slower than many smokeless powders.  That it is classified as an explosive is due to it's burn rate being the same confined or unconfined.  It is a mechanical mixture, and the rate of burn of the individual grains is largely dependent on the suface area of those grains. (thus the "f" system)  In many cases still burning grains are ejected from the muzzle with each shot.  It does not "explode" in the case, as many seem to believe.  But the rate will vary depending on grind, sieve used, type of charcoal, manufacturer, exact percentage of ingrediants, etc.  Thus precision BP shooters attempt to use powder from the same maker, same lot, for each batch of rounds.  Change of Lot will usually result in a change of sight settings at longer ranges.

  Smokeless is an organic compound in which the rate of burn varies due to many factors, the principle being the pressure under which the oxidation of the compounds is taking place.  The rate goes up exponentially as pressure increases, until a constant is reached.  In the case of most cartridges, this is when the expansion volume matchs the rate of oxidation/burn/gas generation, ie the rate of the projectile going down bore.  Retardents can be used to decrease the rate of increase, leading to slower rates of burn under pressure, and slower rates of pressure increase.

BUT!  Each formula for a specific powder must be registered, and then cannot be varied from when under that label.  Thus powders like Unique, Bullseye, etc have to maintain their formulas in order to continue to use the trade names assigned.  Even when you hear of "New, improved, cleaner burning!" this is usually a result of a change in process, the chemical formula MUST remain the same. This registration and maintenance allows for reliable published charts to be used.  BP predates all this, and is not then included in these data sets.

Drydock has made a couple of critical points about blackpowder vs smokeless 1) just because its a class 1 explosive many assume blackpowder explodes in the gun - nope - it burns - really really fast - but still its a burn - the way to control burn rate (and reduce the pressure spike) is by grain size
2) burn rate is the same whether confined or not - I believe this is true - someone might have proof to the contrary but in any case the difference in behaviour from black to smokeless here is stark - run a trail a couple of feet long of Blackpowder in the open (on the ground) and light it (use a wick or something remote please) - WHOOSH!! its gone almost in an instant .   Now do the same with some fast burning smokeless (bullseye or red dot even) this stuff is lightning inside the barrel but on the ground it fizzles along slow - BIG difference here .   

Offline Black River Smith

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2020, 02:32:47 PM »
drydock,
I am not arguing against you.  Every normal explosion has a related energy release via a 'Burning' no doubt, to it.  But your own use of a definition that contains what I was trying to express to powderhombre,--- BP...'insensitive to pressure, meaning it will burn quickly and predictably even without confinement,[12] making it also suitable for use as a low explosive.'  ---because he is so New at this without getting into too much detail.   That is why I used the words 'controlled contained explosive'.

greyhawk.
You have expressed what I way try to explain in my first posting above. ...'couple of feet long of Blackpowder in the open (on the ground) and light it (use a wick or something remote please) - WHOOSH!! its gone almost in an instant.'  Yes it has to burn to get that done but it is at such a rate that is very different from smokeless.

BP burn material is carbon as charcoal.  Smokeless burn material is carbon as treated cotton.

I believe we are all talking off the same historical information just in different manners.
Black River Smith

Offline wildman1

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 03:12:16 PM »
I "burned" some Schuetzen Harzer powder in my 44/40 Marlin at a cowboy match today, it burned all the way to the targets and they weren't that close.
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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #10 on: Today at 01:01:27 PM »

Offline Dick Dastardly

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Re: Burn chart / Black powder
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2020, 08:30:31 AM »
Actually, as regards safety, BP is a very safe powder to use.  There are a few simple rules in loading it, but they are simple, consistent and well known.

Heat is what ignites BP.  So, don't smoke while BP is present in loose form.  Other than heat I'm unaware of other means of igniting the stuff.  Static electricity has been shown as a non starter to ignite BP.  If there's heat associated with a static discharge the heat can ignite BP.

I've found that load data is of little use in loading my Cowboy Action BP ammo.  The formula I use is to put enough powder in the case that when I seat the lube/sized bullet it compresses the powder from 1/16" to 1/8".  This works fine for pistol caliber SASS matches.

I do use a compression die for my 'long distance' use to compress the powder under a 1/8" nitro card.  The bullet simply sits on the card firmly but isn't used to compress the powder because of deformation.  I employ only enough crimp that the ammo is 'pocket safe'.

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