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  #1  
Old 12-18-2019, 03:31 PM
passx passx is offline
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Question on smoke

Ok, so for those ofyou that reload a lot about smoke when fired. I was shooting my 9mm fusion 6” long slide yesterday and shot 2 different rounds that I had reloaded, both used Hodgdon CFE powder and Cci #500 primers and 5.4g of powder using 125g bullets.

The only difference that I can see is that one used a Berry’s 125g copper plated flat nosed bullet and smoked little to none and the other was a ACME 125g round nosed poly coated bullet and smoked heavily.

Initially when I noticed this there was a heavier powder load in the one that didn’t smoke and I thought that maybe powder load was the reason but now I think it has to do with billet type,,,,, any input on this ? Really doesn’t matter I guess as long as it shoots right but just wondering if there is something I can do to reduce the smoke level.
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:08 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passx View Post
Initially when I noticed this there was a heavier powder load in the one that didn’t smoke and I thought that maybe powder load was the reason but now I think it has to do with billet type,,,,, any input on this ? Really doesn’t matter I guess as long as it shoots right but just wondering if there is something I can do to reduce the smoke level.
Lower pressure loadings tend to exhibit more smoke in use.
Higher pressure tends to cause less.

It is just the way smokeless powder works.
It is designed to operate better at higher pressures for the most part.
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:18 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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It's twofold.... powder and acme coating. I have read in several places that CFE is a hotter burning powder than many which can cause lead or coating to smoke more than would otherwise. The plated bullets had no exposed lead or coating to burn and smoke... whereas the acme coating has a propensity to smoke with the hotter powders.

My experience with acme was that they smoked more than other coated bullets, regardless of powder. And smelled of burning wire insulation.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2019, 04:23 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Vaporization of the poly coating on the base of the bullet. Burning powder gets HOT and can reach 1500deg. Handloaders have known for ages about how smokeless powders burns hot enough so that the lead of plain base bullets vaporizes , thus the gas check.
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Old 12-18-2019, 06:13 PM
wv109323 wv109323 is offline
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I don't completely agree with mkk41 on his statement. I know it is not the case with target loads in pistols with properly fot bullets.
Melted lead with most lead bullets occurs when the lead bullet does not completely seal the bore. Escaping high pressure and hot gases along the side of the bullet causes the lead to melt. This escapement mostly happens at the rifling in the barrel. The major cause of the escapement is a bullet that are too small for the bore. Think of an oxy-acet torch. Once the metal is hot the velocity of the oxygen is increased and the metal is blown away. Once the cutting has started you can actually turn the actelene off.
Cast bullets require a fitting to the bore that is .001 or .002" larger than actual bore size. A .357 bore is not always .357". If the bore is .358 or .359 then the the default diameter of a cast bullet of .358 will lead the bore .
Copper jacketed bullets and gas checked bullets have a greater tolerance to bore size. The escaping gases along the copper jacket does not melt except under severe conditions but can still happen.
With properly fit cast bullets velocities of 2500 fps can be obtained without any ill effects.
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:05 PM
passx passx is offline
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Thanks guy’s, great help ! Kind of wondered if it was the gas escaping around the bullet And reacting with the coating or lead.

So is it something that I should worry about or is there an easy fix short of measuring each bullet for diameter ? I believe the “Missouri” bullets I shot earlier did the same thing but they were loaded lighter and I attributed the smoke to that but maybe it was just the coating or raw lead.
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Old 12-19-2019, 04:13 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkk41 View Post
Vaporization of the poly coating on the base of the bullet. Burning powder gets HOT and can reach 1500deg.

A little on the low side.
Handloader runs "Propellant Profiles" and gives gas temperatures for powders.

Some of them can hit 3,000F and higher.
'Double base' powders (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine added for more energy) tend to run hotter than single base (nitrocellulose only) powders.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:49 PM
Andyk Andyk is offline
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.

Last edited by Andyk; 12-19-2019 at 10:52 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:51 PM
Andyk Andyk is offline
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Are the bullets lubed? Lead bullets with a ring of lube smoke a lot, lube is burning.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:02 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Reloads that give off a lot of smoke.....

As Andy C mentioned, lubed lead bullets often smoke a great deal due to the lube used. I have not found coated bullets to smoke as much as lead lubed bullets, but it is possible the type of bullet coating used is causing excessive smoke.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2019, 05:11 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyk View Post
Are the bullets lubed? Lead bullets with a ring of lube smoke a lot, lube is burning.
I too was always under the impression it was bullitt lube. I primarily reload and shoot lead bullets.

Smoke Wagon!
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2019, 10:33 AM
yeti yeti is offline
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Poly coated bullets can produce a bit of smoke with some hot burning powders, but nothing like lubed lead is capable of. The days of peering through the eye burning rasta man haze on a humid windless day is gone with coated lead.
Proper bullet sizing for the bore is still vitally important for best accuracy & combustion. Under flaring (shaving coating) and over-crimping can cause smokey problems with coated bullets, so check that along with bullet sizing.

Play with the load and try a few tenths more powder (respect MAX) or a few tenths less to see if it cleans up.

That burned wire insulation smell & smoke can occur with some powders no matter what you try. Titegroup was one that I liked, but stopped using with all coated bullets. Many use it with coated, but I gave up. Yes, TG is double based but so are many of the current target powders that work beautifully.
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:42 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Bullets lubed with Alox , the most common lube when I started loading , will make ya think yer shooting black powder!
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Old 12-22-2019, 03:12 PM
wuluf wuluf is offline
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I just started playing with CFE pistol instead of W231, and found it produced less smoke in a similar load, using 230 gr LSWC..

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:02 AM
passx passx is offline
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Keep in mind all my loads use CFE pistol, and for the session that made me ask initially both loads use 5.4g of CFE and the same cci #500 primers, both were125g bullets, the only difference is that one bullet is a Berry’s copperplate (little to no smoke) while the other was a Acme poly coated no lube groove that smoked a lot.

After all this discussion the worst smokers that I’ve had were Missouri 124g plain lead with a lube & groove again using CFE and cci primers, really smoked the range up.

I really like the Berry’s bullets and now have another reason but the Missouri and ACME bullets are a fair amount cheaper and seem to punch holes equally as well. But I do like the Berry’s 124g flatnose and Target hollow points a lot.

From the discussion so far it sounds like my experience was not an abnormal thing and really nothing to worry about. Right ?

Last edited by passx; 12-26-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2019, 07:47 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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Ah common...

empty a cap and ball revolver using the Holy Black and lubed with a mixture of paraffin and lard right quick like and you'll see some smoke-a pall that Rastafarians could only dream of on their wildest trip!

I don't get all this fussing over a bit of burned lube or a slightly sooty light charge...
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2019, 03:43 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Methane View Post
Ah common...

empty a cap and ball revolver using the Holy Black and lubed with a mixture of paraffin and lard right quick like and you'll see some smoke-a pall that Rastafarians could only dream of on their wildest trip!

I don't get all this fussing over a bit of burned lube or a slightly sooty light charge...
It is still far far lower than actual Black Powder.
Let alone all the lube BP revolvers require to prevent 'flash over.'
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2019, 04:25 AM
johnnyreloader johnnyreloader is offline
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All cast bullets will smoke, regardless of powder. HiTek coated bullets will smoke less than traditional wax lubed cast bullets. Now, what is "a lot" of smoke is subjective. I shoot SNS Casting HiTek coated in 9mm, 45ACP, .357 and 44 magnum, and 10mm. The little bit of smoke to contend with is more than made up in cost savings and quality of their projectiles.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2019, 06:15 AM
Plaidad Plaidad is offline
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Passx, what round are you shooting? 5.4 grains of CFE is fairly "hot" for 9mm, but pretty low for .38 Super. In my experience, low end loads smoke more.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2019, 04:05 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Originally Posted by Plaidad View Post
Passx, what round are you shooting? 5.4 grains of CFE is fairly "hot" for 9mm, but pretty low for .38 Super. In my experience, low end loads smoke more.
The lower pressure does no allow for as complete a deflegration of the powder.
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:38 PM
liggett liggett is offline
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I shoot coated lead exclusively. My former fav powder, Power Pistol, caused an excessive amount of smoke when loaded to 130PF. I switched last year to VV N-320 (same bullets, same PF) and the smoke is almost non-existent. Enough so that shooting indoors with a flashlight or outdoors into the sun is not an issue anymore.
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