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ARE CERTAIN POWDERS MORE ACCURATE THAN OTHERS?


glockdude1
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Search for a member on here named Darrell. He has done a ton of testing with many powders, bullets (mostly Bayou lately), and different OAL. I'm sure there are others but Darrell does a fantastic job of sharing all his data with us on here.

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Has anyone else had issues with 1 powder being horrible as far as accuracy. My open XDm can only hold about 5-6 inch groups with HS6 but it drops to 1-2 inch groups with Silhouette and autocomp. Sucks because the HS6 "feels" the best but it just isn't worth the accuracy penalty.

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Though most guns will produce acceptable accuracy with a wide combination of components, really gilt edge accuracy results from testing. It also depends on the caliber. 9mm for instance, usually requires the bullet to be driven to velocities higher than "mid-range" loadings will produce to get above average accuracy, while 45 auto and even 40 S&W will produce some pretty good groups with some slower speeds with certain bullets, but shoot well at or near maximum loadings as well. Really slow powders for the caliber will generally require loadings close to maximum to provide the pressure necessary to burn the powder consistently and give good accuracy. Lighter loadings of slow pistol powders do not usually give acceptable accuracy because of this. Really fast powders can give very good accuracy at light loadings, but you "gotta run the gun"... that is, a semi-auto has to have sufficient energy to operate the slide so of course too light a load will not run the gun, and fast powders build pressure fast, so there is a thiner line as to what is acceptable with very fast powders. To me, medium burners for the caliber provide the best chance of getting very good accuracy over a broader range of loadings with a variety of components than other "groups" of powders do. Still... you have to test. There is no substitute. What works in one gun may produce poor accuracy in another, but generally it provides a starting point. I use a lot of Silhouette, for instance, in several calibers with good results. It burns clean, meters well, has low flash and works well with a variety of bullets, even lead. I use other powders as well for different goals in various calibers and most will produce pretty good groups after some load development. It's all about what is acceptable accuracy for the goal you have in mind. If you are after absolutely the best accuracy obtainable, and don't care about terminal performance at all, then you will choose different components than someone who needs to have a specific power level but can accept 2-4" groups at 25 yards. Some guns will never shoot beyond that no matter what you do. Some will. Testing is still necessary.

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Thank you for the explanation "Justsomeguy"....makes a lot of sense....there definitely is a trade-off between softer recoil and less accuracy and then a snappy recoil with more accuracy...I have run Titegroup and N320 in my 9mm G34 and it seems like I get the best results with those powders...PLUS, a lot of shooters on this forum like those powders...I haven't tried Silhouette, but a lot of guys like that also..just hard to find right now....

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True accuracy must be tested using a ransom rest. One must eliminate as much human error as possible,,, to call a tested load "the most accurate". But a decent Ransom rest costs $$$. I prefer to save that $$$ and spend it on components that make "acceptable" accuracy.

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Only been loading since 1990 so possibly I'm wrong, but in general a powder that doesn't fill most of the space behind the bullet will produce larger groups (poorer accuracy) compared to powder that does use just about all the space not used by your bullet. Even compressed loads (if their OAL mics out consistently) can be very accurate. There are some exceptions, with accurate dense powders and inaccurate bulky powders.

For me the least accurate powder hands down was Hodgdon Clays in both 40 cal Major and 9x19 minor. In the late 90's several top Ltd guys discovered that their pet Clays load might not make Major without first tipping the muzzle up to get some powder up over the flash hole.

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