posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:48 AM
A High Explosive is designed to produce an immediate over-pressure, a modern smokeless powder (modern firearms stopped using gunpowder in WW I) is
designed to produce a far more moderate pressure curve that suits the particular firearm (and often bullet weight) in question.
Pistols tend to prefer faster burning powders becase barrel lengths are 5 inches or less, rifles can tolerate slightly slower burning powders by
virtue of their increased barrel length.
Pistols with ultra short barrels tend to throw surprisingly large amounts of unburned powder down range. I vaguely recall an accident at one of the
major firearms manufacturers last year, I think it was Ruger or Glock, where a tester was killed by an explosion in the plant's test range caused by
the ignition of large amounts of downrange powder from pistols.
Orangetom is a member here who reloads, and those guys really know about this subject.