Thought I'd set a few things straight re: cordite.
1) Cordite is no longer used in ammunition. When a modern gun is fired, you will not smell the cordite. Apparently, this is a common mistake; the only time I've seen it is in a Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher. I may have read about it in the past. If so, it didn't stand out. I only recently learned it was a common novelist error.
2) Cordite was produced in the the UK from 1889, to replace gunpowder.
3) Cordite is smoke-less.
4) Shortages of cordite during WWI led to American smoke-less powder propellants being introduced.
The cordite is in long strings. Box of Truth took some shells apart, find the results here: http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu30.htm.
And remember, if your novels set in the present, you won't smell the cordite.