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Mil-Spec Gun Powder Burn Rate Chart???????
 Moderated by: klallen, fryboy
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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 08:30 AM
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wayne12345
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I.m looking at other forums that advertize surplus military powder for sale. I have searched for the last few day with no luck as to the burn rate for these powders so as to convert the load data to useable info to work-up loads for whatever calaber i choose to load. The paticular site mentioned that the two powders listed were close to each other and that the data for comerchail powder H414 & AA8700 could be used... in compairing the two powders their is a wide split of like one burn rate for h414 is 109 and the burn rate for AA8700 is 139 being much slower than H414....SOOOOOO can anyone out their steer me to the right place to get the burn rates for mil-spec gun powders????????? THANKS!!!!!!!!!!



 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 12:44 PM
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Rockydog
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Wayne, Using military powders can be a bit of a challenge. Rather than manufacture each lot to a specific burn rate the ammo manufacturers simply adjust the powder charge to the burn rate of each lot. Much cheaper to do that than to make powder with a uniform burn rate from lot to lot like the powder companies do for commercial distribution. You may have to start with the weight of the slower of the two recommended powders and work your way up to a safe load at the velocity that you desire. Obviously a chronograph is a handy tool to have. RD



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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 02:39 PM
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Charley
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Agree with Rocky. Burn rate varies by lot with those powders. Canister grade (for commercial sale) doesn't. Much.



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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 08:30 PM
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OldStuffer
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As above.

Factory-loaded ammo (mil. OR civilian) has access to a full lab and pressure measuring equipment. The mfrs simply test the new lots of powder to see what it does and alter load parameters accordingly to get a pretty uniform (or at least "within specification" end product.

Not the same as the canister grade powders you and I are used to dealing with where consistency of the powder from lot to lot is the goal for you and I do not have access to all that test equipment.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 03:19 AM
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noylj
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Nothing forces you to learn the ins-and-outs of working up a load than purchasing surplus military powder.
I like to know what powder(s) it is similar to and then start with the starting load for a heavier bullet with a faster powder (this double "safety" ensures that you are starting low) and work up in 0.5gn increments.



 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 02:00 PM
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swampshooter
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Many experts claim that burning rates of surplus powder lots can vary by 10%. WOW, that's a bunch, but if you do a web-search you can find approximations listed. I've used three in the past:
(WC844, similar to H-335),
(WC846, similar to BLC-2),
(WC852, similar to IMR 4831)



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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2011 10:11 AM
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dlm37015
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aa 8700 was a 20mm cannon powder it all ran out the current powder wc860 id the same burn rate dont know why they changed the number but its still made at st marks



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 Posted: Wed Apr 27th, 2011 11:53 AM
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Rockydog
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dlm, Do you know how far back the 20mm cannon powder was the same as aa8700? I've got some powder packed in the late 1950s that's simply marked "20mm Ball" handwritten on the can it says "use 4831 data in large capacity cases"

I also have some powder marked "Western blend number 3 use 3031 data" packed at about the same time by a local hardware store. it's also ball powder.

Both powders smell OK, flow OK etc. Any thoughts on these? RD



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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 04:52 PM
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Salmon
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In support of Rockydog ... I had a great Uncle that worked for the Radford Army & Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA - the former Hercules Plant is now owned by Alliant.  He told me stories of the powder manufacturing process that included adding enough chemicals to create 45 tons of black stuff at one time (630 million grains!).  Once the lot was complete they would batch test samples and, as Rockydog stated, make the proper charge adjustments according to pressure limits set by the military.

Last edited on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 05:16 PM by Salmon



 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 09:12 PM
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A pause for the COZ
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swampshooter wrote: Many experts claim that burning rates of surplus powder lots can vary by 10%. WOW, that's a bunch, but if you do a web-search you can find approximations listed. I've used three in the past:
(WC844, similar to H-335),
(WC846, similar to BLC-2),
(WC852, similar to IMR 4831)

Thats what I have heard too.
Its not that difficult though.
I use WC844 in my .5.56mm stuff, 30-30 and 7.62x39.

Pretty easy to find out where your lot is running.

I make a few starting loads with H335 and a few WC844 with the same grains.
Run them across the crono and see where they are at.
This last batch I got shoots 100 fps slower that the h335 loads at the same grains.

Once you know what the base FPS are for your H335 load. Every new batch you get just run a start load and compare. Saves time when working up the next one.
Besides I never load full power loads any way. Tooo cheap to burn extra powder when i dont have too.
WC 846 is going to be on my next order for sure.

Last edited on Mon Dec 19th, 2011 09:12 PM by A pause for the COZ



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