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Old June 9, 2014, 12:21 AM   #1
abrice
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just bought a 50

I'm not really sure if I'm in the right place here, or if I'm butting in to somebody else's conversation, if so, I'm sorry. Please help direct me! I just bought a Watson Weapons "The Boss" with a whole bunch of extras. I am trying to put together some 696 gr ball projos with WC872 powder, but can't find any charts on HOW MUCH powder to use......any help? (I have 500 of these projos and 16lbs of this powder, so I'd kinda like to see if I can use it!) THIS IS MY FIRST .50!
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Old June 9, 2014, 12:30 AM   #2
jeager106
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What is a Watson Weapons "The Boss"?
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Old June 9, 2014, 01:02 AM   #3
Jimro
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Accurate 2003 data for AA8700

642 gr FMJ projectile
205.2gr start 228gr max

750 gr FMJ projectile
196.2 start 218gr max

Barnes data AA8700

600r solid
195gr start, 220gr max

750gr solid
205 gr start, 220gr max

800gr solid
200gr start 215gr max


Based on lot to lot variation, I would set your max charge at 220 gr, reduce by 10% to start at 198gr as you are using milspec FMJ projectile, and work up in 2 gr increments until max (1% charge increase), looking for pressure at every step of the way.

Hope this helps,
Jimro
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Old June 9, 2014, 01:13 AM   #4
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Isn't the Boss the 50 cal AR15 Upper?
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Old June 9, 2014, 10:06 AM   #5
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As you may know already, surplus powder varies in burn rates from lot to lot. There are no data tables for surplus powders, only recommendations for start charges. Your 872 may be a little faster or slower than other lots of it. You have to work up surplus powder EVERY time you switch to a different lot of powder. That's why buying enough of it to last a while is best so you don't have to do load workups every time you buy more powder from a different lot number. For common 50 BMG powders such as IMR 5010-WC870-AA8700-WC860-AA8600-WC872 the start charges are typically:
647-650 grain bullets--start at 210 grains
690-700 grain bullets--start at 205 grains
800 grain bullets--start at 195 grains
Since it's a big volume of powder usually you work up from start charges using 3-5 grain increments. Just a guess but I'd think that 215-218 grains would be near maximum with your combination. Check your brass for signs of case stretching with the circular stretch mark inside the case. Make sure primers are seated flush or below. Have fun but be very careful!
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Old June 9, 2014, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thank you guys so much for your info! I had kinda planned on starting at 185 grains just to be safe, as this is only a plinker, (at least until I have a little more experience with a .50) but, at least my 2-8lb jugs are from the same lot, so I think I may have a little room to play here. Does anyone think it would be a problem starting at 185, or should I go to 198? Will this only affect accuracy or would it pose a safety hazard? Also, the gun came with a Carl Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest scope, which will probably get swapped out later for something a bit larger, but does anyone have a good idea on how far I should be shooting with this combo? Start at 100yds? 200yds?
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Old June 9, 2014, 04:36 PM   #7
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Sorry, couillon and Jeager106 for not answering, but yes, it is an ar-15 upper, single shot .50bmg.
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Old June 9, 2014, 06:14 PM   #8
Jimro
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No point at starting with 185 when the starting charge for a 750gr solid is 196.2.

Yes it is a different lot of powder and a lower mass bullet, but I wouldn't bother backing off from the listed starting charge. Sometimes low case fill issues can look like high pressure issues.

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Old June 9, 2014, 10:11 PM   #9
abrice
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Hadn't thought of it that way.......so, start at 198 or so?
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Old June 9, 2014, 10:47 PM   #10
Jimro
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198 would be about where I would start. I'd go up in 2gr increments as that is "about" 1%.

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Old June 9, 2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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Ok, thank you!
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Old June 9, 2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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Second the motion to start with the minimum load of 198 grains. If you use less than minimums, you are left with a void in the loaded case. On ignition, you can develop higher pressures than you want, the powder may become more explosive in nature than burnable, not what is intended. Also, the BMG is not a hot .223 round. A high-pressure event can be a serious and deadly event for you and bystanders.

If you stay around 10% below the maximum load, you will enjoy longer case life, chamber life, barrel life, etc., etc. Something to consider when you've spent $3k or so on a plinker. The minimums are where to be. Maxing your load will not give you much more velocity, just more pressure. The gain in velocity is not worth the pressures you generate, to me, anyway. And recoil.

For range, zero initially at 100 or 200 yards, then develop a drop table for the ranges you want. The effective range of the BMG cartridge is in excess of 2,000 yards. Your scope will be fine out to about 750 yards, personally, I think it's fine for plinking up to any range.

You also want to invest in a little manometer, a wind gauge, about $25, and a Swiss Artillery rangefinder, they're surplus, and on the net for about $350. Good for those long ranges, great optics, accurate to a little over a meter. Not even the Swiss could drop a mortar shell to a meter CEP, but your drop table can be interpolated for some real fun on small targets. The wind gauge is to use each time at longer ranges, see what happens at what speed, make another table.

Saving 10% of your powder expense means 7 more rounds per two pounds of powder.
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Old June 10, 2014, 10:50 PM   #13
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Great info, kilimanjaro! Seems as if you might know a thing or two about the .50, WOW! So, again, do YOU believe that 198 would be a good place to start with the 696gr projo and wc872 powder? I don't want to get hurt here, ya know? Thank you again.
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Old June 11, 2014, 11:53 AM   #14
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You can use loading data for 8700 powder, it's interchangeable. I don't have a 696 grain bullet load, but 655 is 200 grains, and 750 is 195 grains, per quick lookup. You are safe with your 198 grain start point, provided your rifle is in good condition. Me, I'd set at 200 and never touch it, but that's me, I like simple, perfect is the enemy of good, and errors are reduced.

Enjoy your toy!
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Old June 13, 2014, 12:27 AM   #15
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Thank you very much! As of now, I have loaded up 5 packs of each....195gr, 198gr, 200gr, 202gr, 205gr, 207gr, 209gr and 211gr. I'm doing a rain-dance as we speak in hopes that they will lift the ban on shooting right now in my county so I can check this thing out.
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Old June 13, 2014, 12:28 AM   #16
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Also, I see what you're saying. "200" is much easier to remember!
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Old June 14, 2014, 10:08 PM   #17
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ive been toying with getting a 50cal upper, after seeing how much powder ill need, geez!! i hate needing 4lbs to do 1k 223!!
still, please post some pics and a review after you get out an shoot her, guess in the bolt section
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:43 PM   #18
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Will do, SKIZZUMS. Also remember that the .50 is not a .223, meaning that you probably won't want to shoot 1,000 rds out of it quite so quickly. Just sayin, recoil.
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Old June 15, 2014, 10:45 PM   #19
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Also, what do you mean, the "bolt section". I'm new to this site. Is that like a review section, or?
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Old June 16, 2014, 01:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrice
Also, what do you mean, the "bolt section". I'm new to this site. Is that like a review section, or?
I think he meant the bolt-action section of the forum. Officially it's called "The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action".
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Old June 16, 2014, 08:37 PM   #21
abrice
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How do I get there?
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Old June 16, 2014, 09:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrice
How do I get there?
Go to the main forum page. To get there you can either type www.thefiringline.com or click on the red "The Firing Line" icon at the top left of this page.
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Old June 19, 2014, 12:00 AM   #23
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It must be nice to have a cartridge you can find powder for.
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Old June 19, 2014, 03:53 PM   #24
kilimanjaro
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Powder is back, up here, anyway. 50BMG powder was always on the shelf, even when the rest was gone.
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Old July 9, 2014, 11:30 PM   #25
abrice
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UPDATE! first time out with the .50! NOT REAL HAPPY

Okay, I bought some factory ammo (PMC bronze), and loaded up a bunch of my own in 2 grain increments, from 198 to 216 and tried her out..........First shot through the Watson Weapons BOSS ar50 was with a PMC and...."click". No boom. After waiting about 20 seconds, I pulled out the cartridge and noticed that my firing pin had BARELY tapped it. OK.....I then compared it to my handloads and noticed that the PMC primer was seated WAY DEEPER than mine. So I then chambered a handload with 696 gr fmj and 200gr of wc872 and BOOOOOM! HOLY CRAP that is some recoil!
So let's talk about trying to sight in the gun. Not happening! Why? Wasn't really sure til I got home and saw copper marring, kinda' "rifled", if you will, inside the very end of the muzzle brake.........But only one side of the bore! Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think this means that my brake is not drilled correctly. Can this be reamed slightly, say, .010"? Any knowledgeable feedback would be greatly appreciated. (I could barely HIT a target of 6 square feet from 60 yards)THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING WRONG HERE!
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