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Hi Guys,

I don't reload, and have often heard the WWB ammo discussed as good to use, but it is "dirty".
So, what causes dirty ammo? Is it the quality of the gun powder?

Thanks for helping educate me on this "dirty question".

Rob
 

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Powders that don't burn cleanly and sometimes not completely. And even some bullet lubes, particularly in reloads.
 

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What Smoke said. Cheaper cartridges are made with cheaper powders that do not burn as clean as the better cleaner burning powders.
 
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Most powders have a sweet spot where they burn clean. For example H110/296, the same powder will burn very clean when you get the load up around the high end. Starting loads on the lower end of the pressure range are dirty. With cast bullets some lubes leave the gun dirty. Yet the same lubes run with hotter loads are not as bad. I like to find loads that have a bullet weight and powder combination that gets the pressure up high enough for the powder to burn clean. Factory loads are a one size fits all type thing. They want a load with good velocity yet hold pressure as low as possible for most rounds. Lower pressure has lower possibility for user having an old gun come apart. Some loads are very dirty yet with the right handloads the same weight bullet in same gun runs clean.
 

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Most powders have a sweet spot where they burn clean. For example H110/296, the same powder will burn very clean when you get the load up around the high end. Starting loads on the lower end of the pressure range are dirty. With cast bullets some lubes leave the gun dirty. Yet the same lubes run with hotter loads are not as bad. I like to find loads that have a bullet weight and powder combination that gets the pressure up high enough for the powder to burn clean. Factory loads are a one size fits all type thing. They want a load with good velocity yet hold pressure as low as possible for most rounds. Lower pressure has lower possibility for user having an old gun come apart. Some loads are very dirty yet with the right handloads the same weight bullet in same gun runs clean.
Good explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys!

It was just one of those things I was curious about.
I do use WWB for the range with my pistols, have not problems with feeding it through them, but yeah they do get "dirty".
Since I clean my guns after each time at the range, I don't believe I'll have an issue with it building up.

Thanks again!

Rob
 

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About the only ones you should really have to worry much about are steel cases with some type of lacquer or polymer coating on it. Heavy use of those tend to get a buildup of the coating inside the chamber, which almost seals the carbon deposits into the metal. Should you start shooting those, i would recommend quick cleaning it at least once in the middle of the range session just to cut down the stuff while it's still pretty soft, and then give it your normal cleaning after you're finished shooting.
 
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In addition to what has been mentioned already, many powders include graphite in their formulations. This has several functions and should not be considered a negative as far as ammo quality is concerned. The graphite, however, does not burn and leaves that even, greyish-black super-fine deposit behind. Not aesthetically pleasing, but it is actually a lubricant and water repellent, so is not a matter of concern.
 

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In addition to what has been mentioned already, many powders include graphite in their formulations. This has several functions and should not be considered a negative as far as ammo quality is concerned. The graphite, however, does not burn and leaves that even, greyish-black super-fine deposit behind. Not aesthetically pleasing, but it is actually a lubricant and water repellent, so is not a matter of concern.
So that's why the feed ramp and everything in my 24/7 is a dusty grey after shooting.
 

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So that's why the feed ramp and everything in my 24/7 is a dusty grey after shooting.
Yep. The stuff that wipes off easily is mostly graphite.
 

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I might add a side note here also if I can. After shooting black powder or pyrdex for a season for cowboy action, I will tell you straight up that no smokeless powder is what I would call dirty any longer.
 
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Thanks for the info guys!

It was just one of those things I was curious about.
I do use WWB for the range with my pistols, have not problems with feeding it through them, but yeah they do get "dirty".
Since I clean my guns after each time at the range, I don't believe I'll have an issue with it building up.

Thanks again!

Rob

Rob,

If you think WWB is dirty, you haven't seen anything yet.
I'm not talking about Black Powder or Pyrodex, but a lot of imported ammo.

Russian steel case - steel doesn't expand like brass therefore carbon escapes around the casing.

I've had brass cased and surplus ammo that creates a cloud of smoke.
Then there is all the residuals left in the barrel and not to mention the soot on your hands. :)
 

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Some of the imported stuff also has corrosive primers even though they say they do not. Clean barrels, and actions good after using, they can rust fast. Once you have rust pits in a barrel it is damage you can't fix short of a new barrel.
 
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