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Thread: Somthing you have to consider when carring at night.

  1. #1
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    Something you have to consider when carring at night.

    So, have you ever shot your carry ammo at night to see what the muzzle flash does to your vision? From my experience, barrel length has some to do with the flash or lack there of, since the longer barrels give the powder more burn time. Some types of ammo will produce more flash than others. Short barrel guns usually produce more flash than longer barrels. +P or +P+ can produce more flash than standard pressure loads. The question is, will your carry ammo be helpful or harmful to you when shooting an assailant at night. When I had done my own research I have found my current rounds to be an issue. I am changing over to Golden Sabers as my carry rounds because it a good improvement on muzzle flash with out sacrificing the power of the round.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n27380935/
    "The primary parameters associated with muzzle flash are the propellant (type, chemistry, burning rate, flame temperature, gas volume at the muzzle), barrel length, muzzle pressure, exhaust gas products, projectile type and primer composition. Hydrogen and carbon monoxide are generated during the deflagration of fuel-rich smokeless propellants both of which are flammable, along with carbonaceous particles, all of which are expelled from the muzzle at high temperatures and pressure. Muzzle flash occurs when these materials form a proper mixture with the oxygen in the atmosphere and are ignited. This mixing usually takes some time and distance, hence photographs of muzzle flash from most small arms often show a non-luminous space between the fireball and the muzzle. Any small amount of flame present in or at the muzzle is likely due to the primer composition."
    more photos below
    http://www.glockpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10352




    Last edited by zack991; 01-27-2011 at 09:33 AM.
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    Thumbs up Interesting issue

    I suspect you're right in assuming that many people have not taken this into account, at all, certainly it wouldn't have automatically jumped into my head (though I'm sure some nighttime practice would have led me to the same experiment).

    The primary factors, by the way, are barrel length and gas volume. However, without experimenting with different ammunition you cannot find one and the other is fixed by the weapon chosen (and may be a compromise anyway, if it's for concealed carry, for example).

    So-called "Plus P" rounds will always have more flash, basically, since they use more propellant, thus more gas and push that along with the lighter round out of the barrel more quickly.

    I'm not at all convinced (putting it mildly) by "high velocity" handgun rounds, such as "Plus P" anyway, though this is not the topic for that. However, it's interesting to note that avoiding them in low light will reduce the likelihood of being dazzled by your own muzzle gases.

    If you conduct any more experiments, do please let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidheal View Post
    I suspect you're right in assuming that many people have not taken this into account, at all, certainly it wouldn't have automatically jumped into my head (though I'm sure some nighttime practice would have led me to the same experiment).

    [b] I did not even think it would be a huge issue to I did some major reading on the subject.[b]

    The primary factors, by the way, are barrel length and gas volume. However, without experimenting with different ammunition you cannot find one and the other is fixed by the weapon chosen (and may be a compromise anyway, if it's for concealed carry, for example).
    I hoping to go to a range before I leave on deployment to test out and compare a few more rounds

    So-called "Plus P" rounds will always have more flash, basically, since they use more propellant, thus more gas and push that along with the lighter round out of the barrel more quickly.

    I'm not at all convinced (putting it mildly) by "high velocity" handgun rounds, such as "Plus P" anyway, though this is not the topic for that. However, it's interesting to note that avoiding them in low light will reduce the likelihood of being dazzled by your own muzzle gases.
    True and I now have a day load and a night load that I carry if I know I have time to change rounds, if not I stick with the low muzzle flash rounds.

    If you conduct any more experiments, do please let us know.
    The photos are not my work but others that I stumbled apawn during my research and thought it would be a great way to show the possible problems gun owners can face.
    my replies in bold.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    Good Idea

    I turned off the lights on the lane I was shooting on. This was mainly to try my night sights. I was shooting a Kimber .45 ACP Pro Carry II.

    There was no real muzzle flash.

    Someone once told me...many years ago...that low muzzle flash was the advantage a .45ACP had over the other popular self defense round of the day...the .357 Magnum.

    Something to consider.

    When people say they are shooting a really hot round, sometimes they are describing a big muzzle flash and a lot of noise.

    The muzzle flash is really powder burning...after the round has left the barrel...and thus, is wasted energy.

    One of the reasons I see those short barrel "mega" guns; the "Alaskan" Models in calibers like .454 Casul, .500 S&W, etc. as being less than effective and essentially a sales ploy. Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerdon View Post
    I turned off the lights on the lane I was shooting on. This was mainly to try my night sights. I was shooting a Kimber .45 ACP Pro Carry II.

    There was no real muzzle flash.

    Someone once told me...many years ago...that low muzzle flash was the advantage a .45ACP had over the other popular self defense round of the day...the .357 Magnum.

    Something to consider.

    When people say they are shooting a really hot round, sometimes they are describing a big muzzle flash and a lot of noise.

    The muzzle flash is really powder burning...after the round has left the barrel...and thus, is wasted energy.

    One of the reasons I see those short barrel "mega" guns; the "Alaskan" Models in calibers like .454 Casul, .500 S&W, etc. as being less than effective and essentially a sales ploy. Just my opinion.
    Agreed, but I think no matter the caliber but the physical makeup of the powder and the way the weapon uses the gasses has more to do with the muzzle flash then anything. In any case people need to carry rounds that can help them and not hinder them at night.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    A couple of points, straight from physics laws

    First, the specific nature of the flash (if indeed any significant flash) has quite a few factors in it, as originally posted. I add this just to clarify my own earlier reply as not being intended to read as "no, it's all barrel length and gas volume" which is how it sort of reads to me now and isn't true. However, my point above was that these are the major factors (which they are).

    Shorter barrel means lower velocity at the muzzle, for the same round, until you reach the maximum effective barrel length. In practice, this means that "competition" length handgun barrels approach maximum effective length and "compact" length barrels drop muzzle velocity measurably. The reason for this is simple and visible at night - gas is what accelerates the bullet along the barrel and out the end. Whilever there is still significant production of gas and subsequent expansion of the cloud, there is still energy to continue accelerating the bullet. In a short barrel, the bullet leaves well before it has had maximum possible energy transferred to it from the propellant but the gas that does that is still being produced and indeed some of the combustibles that make the gas also exit the barrel. This is the "dragon's breath" effect you can observe from powerful rounds and / or short barrels.

    So... any time you are getting serious muzzle-flash, you could be using that energy more effectively, with a combination of longer barrel and / or more massive projectile. Nothing comes that easily however; both of these will, all things being equal, increase the pressures inside the gun and could cause it to fail.

    My personal preference is to use the heaviest projectile that is commonly (commercially) manufactured in that calibre, since this will adhere to sensible limits on case and chamber pressures and your handgun will (assuming reputable manufacture) have been designed, manufactured and tested with it or something with near-identical properties.

    Anyway, just my 'tuppence worth' as we say round my parts. ;)

    P.S. Ten mil is hilarious for this, even in daylight, unless you have a rather large pistol.

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    My personal preference is to use the heaviest projectile that is commonly (commercially) manufactured in that calibre, since this will adhere to sensible limits on case and chamber pressures and your handgun will (assuming reputable manufacture) have been designed, manufactured and tested with it or something with near-identical properties.
    Some guns just work better with certain types of ammunition.

    My .44 Magnum is more accurate with .240 grain Hornady XTP Hollowpoints; and not with those 300 Grain slugs.

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    I was talking autoloaders, actually, with revolvers you're able to use a much greater range of loads and the magnum calibres are outside of my experience, in all honesty.

    I know that top end of effective 10 mm Auto loads surpass the bottom end of .41 Magnum loads (though it quite quickly outstrips it from there) but aside from that, I don't even know the specific ballistics of those rounds.

    However, faster, lighter projectile, which suggests that when you go up to the heavier bullet it's not going fast enough to retain the accuracy you're used to at that range.

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    10mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidheal View Post
    I was talking autoloaders, actually, with revolvers you're able to use a much greater range of loads and the magnum calibres are outside of my experience, in all honesty.

    I know that top end of effective 10 mm Auto loads surpass the bottom end of .41 Magnum loads (though it quite quickly outstrips it from there) but aside from that, I don't even know the specific ballistics of those rounds.

    However, faster, lighter projectile, which suggests that when you go up to the heavier bullet it's not going fast enough to retain the accuracy you're used to at that range.

    I never realized the 10mm was that formidable. Like I said, I am kind of old fashioned and tend to stick with the old "tried and true".

    But I know the FBI chose 10mm as a standard.

    Its surprising that I am even using digital cameras...and this computer.

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    10 mm Auto

    Oh really? It's a very good round. Some enthusiasts get a little carried away; I have seen claims like "10 mil is like 44 Magnum but for semi-auto!" and similar stuff, which is frankly wishful thinking at best, outright ignorant misinformation at worst.

    However, it has an incredibly flat trajectory for an automatic handgun round (in full power loads) and is easily up to the task of tackling small to medium wildlife threats, such as mountain cats, smaller bears and so on. Technically, it can be used to hunt in some jurisdictions but I don't think I'd really want to, in truth.

    My personal experience is that guns capable of firing 10 mm Auto are relatively few models, quite expensive and must be on the larger side. The ammunition is more expensive than most other handgun rounds and not always stocked in smaller outlets. Furthermore, it does have some kick to it, which some shooters just cannot handle or find too uncomfortable.

    In my specific case, I need a larger grip for my long fingers, I'm quite happy for that size to accomodate larger calibre / more ammunition and I don't mind looking around and paying more for the right gun. Ammunition expense is a necessary evil but the fact is that it certainly can be found or ordered and need not be all that expensive if you shop around. I don't have trouble controlling the muzzle or absorbing the recoil (and I am fairly slight) and I find the 'serious' nature of the round comforting, on a psychological level as it is my choice for self-defence carry. I don't like to shoot hundreds of full power rounds in a single session, though ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidheal View Post
    Oh really? It's a very good round. Some enthusiasts get a little carried away; I have seen claims like "10 mil is like 44 Magnum but for semi-auto!" and similar stuff, which is frankly wishful thinking at best, outright ignorant misinformation at worst.

    However, it has an incredibly flat trajectory for an automatic handgun round (in full power loads) and is easily up to the task of tackling small to medium wildlife threats, such as mountain cats, smaller bears and so on. Technically, it can be used to hunt in some jurisdictions but I don't think I'd really want to, in truth.

    My personal experience is that guns capable of firing 10 mm Auto are relatively few models, quite expensive and must be on the larger side. The ammunition is more expensive than most other handgun rounds and not always stocked in smaller outlets. Furthermore, it does have some kick to it, which some shooters just cannot handle or find too uncomfortable.

    In my specific case, I need a larger grip for my long fingers, I'm quite happy for that size to accomodate larger calibre / more ammunition and I don't mind looking around and paying more for the right gun. Ammunition expense is a necessary evil but the fact is that it certainly can be found or ordered and need not be all that expensive if you shop around. I don't have trouble controlling the muzzle or absorbing the recoil (and I am fairly slight) and I find the 'serious' nature of the round comforting, on a psychological level as it is my choice for self-defence carry. I don't like to shoot hundreds of full power rounds in a single session, though ;)
    good read
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidheal View Post
    However, it has an incredibly flat trajectory for an automatic handgun round...
    A 10mm is within 1.1" of center out to 100 yards. A 9mm is within 3" of center out to 100 yards. A 40S&W is within 4.2" of center out to 100 yards. A 45ACP is within 6.9" out to 100 yards. Source. So yes, the 10mm round has a very flat trajectory.

    Neverthless, any talk of trajectories for semi-automatic handguns is foolishness, and please use the proper terminology for describing semi-autos as we spent 20 years re-educating the media, and I'd hate to see them start slipping.

    If you're actually put in the situation of shooting something or someone 100 yards away (not bloodly likely, except for kicks and grins target plinking), you're aim better be incredible. However, at that distance, there's always the option of retreating to safer digs, which is by far the smarter thing to do.

    Besides, the vast majority of handgun encounters occur in 30 yards or less.

    Interesting pictures, Zack. What were the f-stops and exposure times for each of the frames, and how did you sync the camera with a definable short-duration event, such as the contact of the hammer on the firing pin? Something to consider when using photography for scientific purposes. I think if this were standardized across each of the different loads, you'd find much less variance in the results.
    Last edited by since9; 01-29-2011 at 03:09 AM.
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    Actually, it's somewhat relevant because 10 mm Auto pistols can be used at ranges where other autoloaders simply cannot (they have long since ceased to be effective). I can shoot reliably to 100 m. That's essentially the same as the 100 yards (there's a few inches in it for each yard, so it's actually around 109 yd but 1:1 is used a good rule of thumb) and this is quite reasonable even with calibres like 9 mm and .40 S&W though penetration is going to be reduced. I'd suggest that in many cases it's no longer realistic to consider the handgun effective, if you intend to incapacitate the target, however you may well drive the target away (which is still fine for self-defence, remember).

    The terminology is fine, too. An automatic weapon is one where ammunition will automatically be loaded into the chamber after each shot, until there is no more ammunition. A machine gun is one where, in addition to this, the weapon will continue to fire until either there is no more ammunition or the trigger, firing button, whatever is released. However, I'm familiar with the rise of the term semi-automatic to mean a weapon that will load a round after each shot but will fire only once for each activation of the trigger and so usually say and write 'autoloader'. Terms changes and I accept that using unambiguous language is definitely preferred, so pretend I said 'autoloader' instead. ;)

    Anyway, you're right about the practicalities of a self-defence encounter, at a hundred yards, you can almost certainly just put something between you and likewise for your opponent, furthermore, since you're trying to defend your person, running away is far more sensible. For the record, more encounters take place inside 20 feet than any other range. That's why very small handguns (compacts and sub-compacts, for concealed carry) have some utility, rather than being dangerous toys. Certainly, if you can shoot reliably out to 25 yards, you're doing fine for self-defence with a pistol, practically speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Interesting pictures, Zack. What were the f-stops and exposure times for each of the frames, and how did you sync the camera with a definable short-duration event, such as the contact of the hammer on the firing pin? Something to consider when using photography for scientific purposes. I think if this were standardized across each of the different loads, you'd find much less variance in the results.
    See post #3

    If you conduct any more experiments, do please let us know.
    The photos are not my work but others that I stumbled apawn during my research and thought it would be a great way to show the possible problems gun owners can face.
    Last edited by rodbender; 01-29-2011 at 10:34 AM.
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