Smokeless powder that is really smoke free.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by lslubecki, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. lslubecki

    lslubecki New Member

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    I shoot a lot indoors and use Bullseye powder. It produces a lot of smoke for an indoor range. What other fast burn powder can I use that doesnt make a lot of smoke. Thanks.

    Steve
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    lslubecki:

    I can not tell from your post if you are shooting indoors at a commercial range or at some homemade basement range. If it is the later be aware that the smoke and gases produced by a pistol shooting in a confined area are pretty toxic. Commercial ranges use large ventilation fans and huge filters to catch everything before releasing it into the environment. The problem for humans is the lead produced from the firing of un-plated or un-jacketed bullets and the splatter of any bullet that hits a back stop. Fine lead dust is produced that we inhale. While we are not in immediate danger it builds in our body and can produce some pretty bad results including death.

    The design of the ventilation system is important and must pull all the gases and powder residues away from the shooter immediately, both at the firing postion and at the target. In a good commercial range you never even see the smoke and gases normally as the ventilation system is so agressive that it disapears almost instantly. It is probably not best to be shooting in a confined area (like a basement) without a properly designed ventilation system or at least don't do it very often. Shooting bullets that are either completely plated (Rainier Re-strike Plated bullets) or jacketed (absolutely no exposed lead) is a good first step to reduce the dangers of lead poisoning. If there is any question about the range where you shoot then get your body lead levels checked by your doctor regularly to avoid it getting out of hand. Most range workers do that regularly.

    As for reduced smoke levels: Bullseye is problably the oldest surviving smokeless gun powder on the market. I would think that a more modern fast powder like Winchster 231 or Accurate Arms #2 or some of the new Hodgdon powders might produce less smoke (??). An inquiry to each powder manufacturer might get you some answers.

    LDBennett
  3. lslubecki

    lslubecki New Member

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    I am shooting in our clubs indoor range. It does have two HD fans to pull fresh air in and smoke out. It also has a steel bullet trap with ballistic blankets in front of the traps.

    I just noticed that with Bullseye I get a lot of smoke and with some store bought ammo I get little or no smoke.

    I like bullseye and wanted something comperable in burn rate with less or no smoke.

    I have shot w-231 and noticed almost no smoke and I liked it but wanted something closer to bullseye burn rate. I am using a Lee reloaders manual for powder charges but some of the powders on the burn rate charts I have read are not in the book

    With this groups wisdom and knowledge I thought I would ask what others are using and/or prefer to use for reloading.

    Thanks to all for your patience with this nu-b.

    Steve
  4. bompa

    bompa New Member

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    Most of the smoke you see is generally from the lube on a lead bullet and also the exposed lead base on a jacketed bullet.. Go to a plated or hollow point jacketed bullet and the smoke is eliminated pretty much..
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    lslubecki:

    Bullseye is probably the oldest smokeless powder still on the market. W231 or its exact equivalent Hodgdon HP38 are more modern sperical powders. It is plently slow enough and my choice for all my plinking loads from 38 through 45 Long Colts. It is a very versatile powder and a tremendously better choice than Bullseye.

    What is the attraction to the powders slower than W231? I see no advantage to powders slower than W231 except that they are more economical because they take smaller charges (more reloads per pound of powder).

    I believe you should give up on Bullseye and start using W231 (or Hodgdon HP38) especially if you know that it produces less smoke as you desire.
  6. lslubecki

    lslubecki New Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I went to the gun show this weekend and bought 4lbs. of w-231. (and about 200.00 of other fabulous treasures I couldnt live without) I did check and found data for w-231 to fit all my pistol rounds with the different weight bullets I use.

    Steve
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