gunpowder - civilian ammo vs military ammo

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by erandyc, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. erandyc

    erandyc New Member

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    Is there a really big difference in the powder loaded in ammo, say from hornady, Winchester... Vs the so called military ammo? Which if either Burman cleaner? Is there a difference in performance? Mainly wondereing if the military ammo Burman "dirtier" than other brand powders.
     
  2. erandyc

    erandyc New Member

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    Sorry for the word Burman. Damn word recognition.
     

  3. erandyc

    erandyc New Member

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    Should be "Burns"
     
  4. erandyc

    erandyc New Member

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    Does the different powders affect direct inpingement differently than a piston? Is one better than the other. I have an lwrc. Just wondering.
     
  5. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Interestingly some commercial powders are the same stuff as in the .mil ammo. The military uses WC844 powder in its 5.56 NATO rounds where you or I would only need to obtain some Hodgdon's H335 powder from our supplier to get the same thing. WC844 is available online in big jugs at somewhat lesser prices than H335. The loading data is the same for either powder.

    WC846 is also the equivilent of BLC2 powder if you're interested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  6. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

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    Maybe, you should cancel this post, do some research, and being it back with more clarity.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Depends on what your trying to achieve. If you want it to go bang with a 55grn bullet going 3100fps then military type powder works fine. Its cheap. If you want an accurate 69grn bthp load for target shooting i use varget.

    I personally think the military powders are a slight bit dirtier than higher quality civilian powders but thats purely a personal perception. Its hard to quantify dirty in a burnt powder.
     
  8. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

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    Clean or dirty ammunition is directly related to the type of charcoal that is used to make gunpowder. Some types of gunpowder is made from the charcoal of Willow or Dogwood trees, other types of gunpowder is made from other sources such as coal. Different types of charcoal have different amounts of carbon to accelerate the burn rate. Some charcoal is ground into fine grain while others into courser grain. Each country could have a different source of charcoal, and process the charcoal in a different manner; therefore, having different gunpowder burn rates. The cost of processing charcoal plays into the quality. The military may not use high quality charcoal; hence have a dirtier gunpowder burn.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry, bro- but smokeless powder does not contain charcoal. It is based on nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin for the most part, with assorted additives (including graphite). Willow charcoal IS used for black powder.
     
  10. Ranger-6

    Ranger-6 New Member

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    I do agree that some gunpowder is produced by different ingredients.
    Additional research on smokeless powder produced the following findings.

    Black powder, commonly known as gunpowder, is the old charcoal, sulfur, saltpeter mix that burns badly and creates huge amounts of smoke.

    Smokeless powder, which is not completely smokeless, is based on the explosive capabilities of certain organic compounds called "nitrocellulose".

    Nitrocellulose is a highly flammable compound formed by nitrating cellulose through exposure to nitric acid or another powerful nitrating agent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  11. lunarmanathome

    lunarmanathome New Member

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    I have no words to describe what you ask here other than:

    What have you heard that would lead you to believe there is any difference?