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About Our Accurate Smokeless Powder
All Accurate smokeless powders are extremely flammable; by design, they are intended to burn rapidly and vigorously when ignited. Oxygen from the air is not necessary for the combustion of accurate smokeless powders since they contain sufficient built-in oxygen to burn completely, even in an enclosed space such as the chamber of a firearm.
In effect, ignition occurs when the powder granules are heated above their ignition temperature. This can occur by exposing powder to:
- A flame such as a match or primer flash.
- An electrical spark or the sparks from welding, grinding, etc.
- Heat from an electric hot plate or a fire directed against or near a closed container even if the powder itself is not exposed to the flame.
When Accurate smokeless powder burns, a great deal of gas at high temperature is formed. If the powder is confined, this gas will create pressure in the surrounding structure. The rate of gas generation is such, however, that the pressure can be kept at a low level if sufficient space is available or if the gas can escape. In this respect Accurate smokeless powder differs from blasting agents or high explosives such as dynamite or blasting gelatin, although smokeless powder may contain chemical ingredients common to some of these products.
High explosives such as dynamite are made to detonate, that is, to change from solid state to gaseous state with evolution of intense heat at such a rapid rate that shock waves are propagated through any medium in contact with them. Such shock waves exert pressure on anything they contact, and, as a matter of practical consideration, it is almost impossible to satisfactorily vent away the effects of a detonation involving any appreciable quantity of dynamite.
Smokeless powder differs considerably in its burning characteristics from common “black powder.” Black powder burns essentially at the same rate out in the open (unconfined) as when in a gun. When ignited in an unconfined state, smokeless powder burns inefficiently with an orange colored flame. It produces a considerable amount of light brown noxious smelling smoke. It leaves a residue of ash and partially burned powder. THE FLAME IS HOT ENOUGH TO CAUSE SEVERE BURNS.
The opposite is true when it burns under pressure as in a cartridge fired in a gun. Then it produces very little smoke, a small glow, and leaves very little or no residue. The burning rate of accurate smokeless powder increases with increased pressure.