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Discussion Starter #1
I have been doing a lot of testing with various powders over the last several months and I have found that powders are effected to varying degrees by their position in the case at the time of firing.  Some are more effected by others.  I'm sure this is not news to a lot of folks here, but I thought is was worthy of discussing.

Anyway, I haven't tried either of these powders yet and was wondering if anyone here could relate their experiences with them in regards to consistency and their position sensitivity.

I will be glad to share my experiences too.

God Bless,
Mark in GA
 

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Mark,

I've been using AA #5 rather extensively over a broad spectrum of cartridges for about six years now, and I find it to be one of the most consistent, and uniform performers in its burning rate class.   No, I don't find it a bit case position sensitive at least in the handgun cases that I've used it in, but in doing some reduced loads using AA #5 in rifle cases, the jury is still out, and in fact I am doing some evaluations of that very thing this week in preparation for one of the upcoming segments in our 12 part series on the .444 Marlin.

I really can't comment on the merits of AA #2 concerning case position sensitivity, as my use of this powder is very limited, and in a rather narrow scope of application.

FWIW!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Marshall!  I haven't seen you posting here lately, so it sure is good to see you back!

Question:  Have you found AA No. 5 to be less sensitive or more position sensitive compared to Universal Clays?   Also what cartridges have you tried No. 5 in?

I am looking at it for medium to medium-heavy loads in 38/357, 45 Auto, and 45 Colt.  I shoot significantly more 38/357 and 45 Colt than I do 45 Auto, so I am especially interested in your experience with No. 5 in them.

Thanks and God Bless,
Mark in GA

P.S. I am talking about cast bullets excusively just so you know.
 

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Mark,

I specifically haven't done a pointed investigation into the postition sensitivity of AA #5 vs. Universal Clays.  My initial impression is that they are about on a par, but that is of course nothing but a subjective assumption, not based on quantitative data.

As far as my experience with AA #5 it is extensive in .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Special & Magnum and .45 Auto.  Lots of testing, lots of data... most all of it with good to excellent results.

It seems that AA #5 is at it's best with mid-weight bullets for the caliber of interest.  

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Marshall,

How cleanly does No. 5 burn compared to Unique and Universal?  Also, how easily does it ignite given that it is a ball powder?

My experience with Universal it that it is extremely clean burning.  Especially compared to Unique!

God Bless,
Mark in GA
 

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Mark,

Ignition is quite good and reliable, with just about any primer.   It burns cleaner than Unique, but not nearly as clean as Universal Clays... I doubt that many powders can match the clean burning attributes of Universal Clays.  It's one of the features that endears me to that powder!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Mark, I've been using AA#2 in the .44 mag and .45 Colt for 'light' loads in the range of 1,000fps.  This is generally about 7.5 - 8.0 grains for either cartridge.  Don't know exactly how much powder space is taken up but not nearly all of it.  The powder definitely has room to move around.

Anyway while I haven't tried to test for position sensitivity, I've found that a 2 foot square rock at 200+ yards is very hittable, even offhand, once you find out what the sight picture should be (7.5" barrel).

So I'd say that #2 is pretty good in this respect.  Shooting is at a slight downhill angle which to me would suggest the possibility of the powder moving away from the primer at times.  However, I've never had a shot miss where I didn't feel that it was my fault.  It must be fairly consistent or stringing would be bad at that range, I would think.

You can get AA#2 pretty cheap from GIBrass.com (they sell as #102).  I think I got 6 lbs. for &#3648.  One of my friends shoots a .50 BMG so he gets an order from them from time to time and I'll add a can on that, so hazmat is not too bad.
 

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I have been using AA#5 a lot in .38/357 loads like you have mentioned; midrange loads.
It is very accurate, and not position sensitive at all as far as I can tell. My experiences parallel Marshall's.
I don't have any info on AA5 in .45 Colt, but it's great in .357 with cast bullets.
 

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I have been using #5 in the9mm for quite some time and
have found it to be better than anything else I have tried...5gr with a 125gr lead round nose is all I shoot..
Leading is light and the load is accurate...
 

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Both of the propellants in question are rather easy to ignite, so I doubt there should be any problems with inconsistent ignition in virtually any handgun cartridge.
I will ditto Marshall's sentiments on Universal. It is an outstanding powder and I find it on my loading bench more than any other pistol propellant.
 
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