Author Topic: How can a powder produce "Flyers"  (Read 751 times)

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Offline Roger Vick

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How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:50:30 PM »
This may be a silly question but being new to this game I'll ask anyway.
I keep reading HP-38/W231 causes flyers is there any truth to this?

I started out with HP-38/W231, after shooting several thousand rounds of various makes of bullets over several different loads I don't see flyers caused by the powder. Some bullets are more accurate than others, some loads are more accurate, some seating depth w/some loads are more accurate and some days I shoot better than others.

Every Flyer I get I cause, either buy loading bullets that shoot poorly, bad loading job or bad shooting.

For the life of me I can't understand how a propellant can cause a Flyer, but I sure someone knows.

Offline pewpew4life

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 05:57:23 PM »
This may be a silly question but being new to this game I'll ask anyway.
I keep reading HP-38/W231 causes flyers is there any truth to this?

I started out with HP-38/W231, after shooting several thousand rounds of various makes of bullets over several different loads I don't see flyers caused by the powder. Some bullets are more accurate than others, some loads are more accurate, some seating depth w/some loads are more accurate and some days I shoot better than others.

Every Flyer I get I cause, either buy loading bullets that shoot poorly, bad loading job or bad shooting.

For the life of me I can't understand how a propellant can cause a Flyer, but I sure someone knows.
I honestly don't think just the powder causes flyers. I think its more of a stacking of variables. But I think slower burning powders may more prone to flyers because it builds pressure in the case slower (just my opinion). I have yet to see any "substantiated data" to prove one way or another slower burning powders like W231 and HP-38 cause the flyer. Just my ¢2 FWIW.

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Offline Roger Vick

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 06:07:27 PM »
This may be a silly question but being new to this game I'll ask anyway.
I keep reading HP-38/W231 causes flyers is there any truth to this?

I started out with HP-38/W231, after shooting several thousand rounds of various makes of bullets over several different loads I don't see flyers caused by the powder. Some bullets are more accurate than others, some loads are more accurate, some seating depth w/some loads are more accurate and some days I shoot better than others.


Every Flyer I get I cause, either buy loading bullets that shoot poorly, bad loading job or bad shooting.

For the life of me I can't understand how a propellant can cause a Flyer, but I sure someone knows.
I honestly don't think just the powder causes flyers. I think its more of a stacking of variables. But I think slower burning powders may more prone to flyers because it builds pressure in the case slower (just my opinion). I have yet to see any "substantiated data" to prove one way or another slower burning powders like W231 and HP-38 cause the flyer. Just my ¢2 FWIW.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Thanks for the response, I would really like to see some hard evidence one way or the other.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 06:10:37 PM by Roger Vick »

Offline skin

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 06:09:38 PM »
 Consistency of the burn of the powder. With a cronograph it is seen as standard deviation and extreme spread,  although SD has many other parts. Some powders are easy to ignite,  so they burn better. Some are harder to ignite and won't burn completely. For example, my 222 Rem, I  use blc2. It's a ball powder with a heavy deturant coating. Until it's compressed a little, my extreme spread is about 50 fps. When  I reach the upper loading per the reloading book,  my SD and ES go down and accuracy goes up. I have to use a magnum primer to make sure it ignites thoroughly. In my 45 acp, I use bullseye, a fast burning powder that is easy to ignite. Low SD and ES. You want all the powder to burn all of the time. If not, the bullet will be out of the group.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 06:14:48 PM by skin »

Offline Roger Vick

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 06:26:05 PM »
Consistency of the burn of the powder. With a cronograph it is seen as standard deviation and extreme spread,  although SD has many other parts. Some powders are easy to ignite,  so they burn better. Some are harder to ignite and won't burn completely. For example, my 222 Rem, I  use blc2. It's a ball powder with a heavy deturant coating. Until it's compressed a little, my extreme spread is about 50 fps. When  I reach the upper loading per the reloading book,  my SD and ES go down and accuracy goes up. I have to use a magnum primer to make sure it ignites thoroughly. In my 45 acp, I use bullseye, a fast burning powder that is easy to ignite. Low SD and ES. You want all the powder to burn all of the time. If not, the bullet will be out of the group.

I understand velocity change will change point of impact depending on how much and how far your shooting. Shooting precision PCP airguns for decades has taught me lots about velocity vs accuracy.
If there is a extreme change in velocity that causes a flyer the shooter would be aware of this.
So if all loads of powder are equal  how can the powder cause a flyer?

Offline skin

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 06:36:48 PM »
 Not all of the powder is being burned. In a small pistol  case, it would not have to be very much. It is very hard to feel a difference of 30 fps, but it is enough to put a bullet out of an otherwise perfect group.

Offline Boris_LA

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 07:20:29 PM »
With small amount of fast burning powder in the case, sometimes some powders are also position sensitive. It may burn with the different rate if all powder bunched up against the primer or laying low and primer blast starts it from the top layer of the powder.

Offline Roger Vick

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 07:46:53 PM »
Not all of the powder is being burned. In a small pistol  case, it would not have to be very much. It is very hard to feel a difference of 30 fps, but it is enough to put a bullet out of an otherwise perfect group.

I agree 100% with what you say and have seen POI change while benched. Most of the girls I shoot with shoot 25 yards or less offhand. I don't think any of us would be able to to see a POI change caused by a 30 fps change at that range. I think the term "flyer" may be used to explain that one shot that can't be explained.

Offline Roger Vick

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 07:51:09 PM »
With small amount of fast burning powder in the case, sometimes some powders are also position sensitive. It may burn with the different rate if all powder bunched up against the primer or laying low and primer blast starts it from the top layer of the powder.

Yes sir this explains POI change I agree. Could be my definition of "Flier" is different than others, when someone says flyer I think of a shot that caused the what the heck was that reaction. 

Offline Boris_LA

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 08:44:11 PM »
I think the general consensus is to call "flyer" a detached from the main otherwise well defined group hit if its not called by shooter or explained by other unrelated to gun and ammo conditions. Not perfect trigger pull or bad timing may result a detached hit, often called and explained by shooter.
Here is a typical example of 50' shoot that could be called flyer if I would not call it. In this case the problem was a inconsistent trigger finger position. Ammo and gun is not to blame.


I also had while ago a bad batch of target 22 ammo, that had about 5% of under-powered charges. Some perfectly executed shots were landing a few inches lower on the 50-100m. I only was able to rid of those flyers after switching to new case of ammo from a different lot.
Even better quality ammo sometimes do this, although not often.
Last BE match, i had a true flyer on the 50yard slow fire line. Perfectly executed shot with "Wolf Match Extra" ammo that i have never had problems before sounded weaker and resulted in low hit in the 8 ring. It also failed to produce enough energy to extract and eject the empty case from the chamber.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:55:38 AM by Boris_LA »

Offline Roger Vick

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 09:11:11 PM »
I think the general consensus is to call "flyer" a detached from the main otherwise well defined group hit if its not called by shooter or explained by other unrelated to gun and ammo conditions. Not perfect trigger pull or bad timing may result a detached hit, often called and explained by shooter.
Here is a typical example of 50' shoot that could be called flyer if I would not call it. In this case the problem was a inconsistent trigger finger position. Ammo and gun is not to blame.


I also had while ago a bad batch of target 22 ammo, that had about 5% of under-powered charges. Some perfectly executed shots were landing a few inches lower on the 50-100m. I only was able to rid of those flyers after switching to new case of ammo from a different lot.
Even better quality ammo sometimes do this, although not often.
Last BE match, i had a true flyer on the 50yard slow fire line. Perfectly executed shot with "Wolf Match Extra" ammo that i have never had problems before sounded weaker and resulted in low hit in the 8 ring. It also failed to produce enough energy to extract and eject the empty case from the chamber.

First off that's some fine shootin, and yes I would call that a flyer. So powder charge and how it burns can result in flyers, regardless of what powder you use some more than others.

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 09:19:59 PM »
Slow burning powders usually require more powder, for the same velocity, than the faster burning powders.  That can result in compressed loads of powder, which means position changes of powder in relation to the primer don't happen.  The most accurate .308 and 30.06 loads I ever shot in my guns (M1A and 03A4) were compressed loads of IMR4350 over a Federal BR primer.

One thing about faster burning powders is that less powder makes more of a difference - so a small variation in powder charge (and maybe a small variation in ignition/burn rate) would make a bigger difference in bullet velocity, or so it seems to me.

How about the effects of uneven crimp with a fast burning powder?  A longer case may be crimped more than a shorter case??  More crimp should mean more neck tension and result in more pressure (increasing velocity??)  I don't trim pistol/revolver cases, but I do trim rifle cases.


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Offline Boris_LA

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2017, 09:49:57 PM »
First off that's some fine shootin, and yes I would call that a flyer. So powder charge and how it burns can result in flyers, regardless of what powder you use some more than others.
I would too if I only see the picture and didn't shot it myself. In this particular case I cussed and called it one bad shot out of 30 or so. I don't remember the details, but kept the target as a reminder to stay focused.
During the recent quest to develop "The Load" for BE, I have tried different recommended powders with combination of bullets. Looking my logs I see that some powders are just produce flyers on almost every control group. Some are very consistent with group of various size. Sightly larger, but well rounded group is more predictable and allow to try to shrink it by changing other variables, like crimp, seating depth, etc... If you have very tight group of 8-9 shots and 1-2 flyers that present in most of the groups, its so much harder and may not worth it for me. Sometimes flyers start disappearing with larger charge, but at that time recoil and other variable are outside of the ideal range for me.
The consistent powders that behave well and produce good group with almost no flyers for my requirements were WSF, TG, N320. N320 was the winner with 115gr bullets, TG was equally good with 115gr and 125gr and won overall. WSF took the third place with its well behavior, but stronger recoil.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2017, 10:25:54 PM »
Along with amount of powder, and ability to ignite the powder, I would think variations in cartridge case volume would be a very big contributor. Much more significant that crimp.
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Offline 1SOW

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Re: How can a powder produce "Flyers"
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2017, 10:33:10 PM »
I agree.  Using same headstamp cases and close length tolerances should limit that variant. 

 

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