Chamber pressures Smokeless vs. Black Powder
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Chamber pressures Smokeless vs. Black Powder

Chamber pressures Smokeless vs. Black Powder




      

Chamber pressures Smokeless vs. Black Powder


Chamber pressures Smokeless vs. Black Powder

Compared with chamber pressures developed by black powder the difference is remarkable, as with black powder the pressures were probably never over fifteen tons per square inch, whereas with smokeless powder, using a charge to impart 2,000 feet velocity, the chamber pressure runs up to twenty or twenty-five tons per square inch, and to give 2,500 feet velocity pressures run up from twenty-five to thirty tons for regular charges and for excessive charges sometimes as high as forty tons per square inch.

Such enormous pressures require greatly increased strength and solidity in the breech mechanism, and a corresponding increase in the strength of the barrel. Both barrels and action are now made of a superior grade of steel, costing five times as much as the machinery steel used for black powder rifles and the barrels are increased in thickness over the chamber and to keep down the weight reduced in thickness toward the muzzle. The jacketed bullet being so much harder than lead would wear out the rifling rapidly were not the barrels made of hard material, as hard as can be properly worked. All of which add greatly to the cost of the present rifle.

The chamber pressures in nitro charged shot-guns do not compare with the intensity of pressures in rifles, they averaging generally not over five or six tons per inch. Nitro powders as used in shot-guns should never be used in rifles; nothing but smokeless rifle powder should be used, following carefully the directions for loading, and no experimenting with excessive charges should be indulged in.

Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.

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