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Old December 18, 2012, 01:16 PM   #1
DiffyDoc
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military powder?

Howdy friends.
This is my first post and probably the question I am asking has already been talked about several times. That said here it is. I have bought a bunch of .308 and 30.06 mil. rounds. I have pulled the bullets and dumped the powder in a powder can for storage. Anybody have an idea what this powder might be? It looks nearly exact to IMR4895. It weighs the same also.
Thanks
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Old December 18, 2012, 01:23 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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"I have bought a bunch of .308 and 30.06 mil. rounds."

Dispose of the powder.

NOW.


Sprinkle it on your lawn as fertilizer, burn it in little piles on the ground, whatever, but under no circumstances should you attempt to use it to reload anything.

You have NO way of knowing if the two different cartridges were loaded with the same type/make of powder, nor do you have any way of knowing its burning characteristics.

Military powders are NOT the same as the powders you can purchase in cans from your local sporting goods shop. Cannister powders are blended from a variety of manufacturing lots to give consistent performance from lot to lot.

Military powders are not. Ammunition is normally loaded with powder from a single lot, with loads being worked up for each individual lot.

Military powders are similar to what we can buy, but you cannot treat them the same, you cannot load them using loading information from a commercial loading book, and you can NEVER, EVER assume that two different cartridges have been loaded with the same type of powder.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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My look like IMR4895. Should of just fired the rounds in your rifles. Do you jump on thin ice, NO. Don't play with powder like that, you can be in a world of hurt. Reloading is a safe hobby when you follow the rules. Be Safe
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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You mixed them?

Obviously you did not know that gunpowder has a shelf life. Mixing surplus powders is bad because the oldest powder will ruin the whole lot.

I have written a number of times on the shelf life of powder, here are a couple of posts:


http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...2&postcount=23

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...7&postcount=18

You cannot assume that the powder from one lot was made by the same vendor as another lot. You cannot assume the powder from one lot is the same as the power from another lot. Ammunition loaded for the military uses powder that meets velocity and pressure critieria and that can be a lot of different powders and a lot of different charges.

Given the different formulations in different lots by different manufactures, there is the possiblity of burn rate issues during combustion.
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Old December 18, 2012, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Dispose of the powder.

NOW.

Ditto, + 1000, when in doubt throw it out
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Old December 18, 2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Definately get rid of it!!!
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:26 AM   #7
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If it were a stick powder from US manufactured 308 and 30-06 from Lake City, odds are it was indeed IMR4895, as that is the only stick powder I know of that was used in either cartridge until Re15 was adopted for M118LR.

However, since I have no clue whether the rounds you pulled apart were actual surplus service loads, or if they were foreign reloads of American brass, or even foreign loads with foreign powder, be smart and fertilize your lawn with the powder that would take a ballistics lab to identify with reasonable certainty.

A pound of canister grade IMR4895 will set you back around twenty bucks at a local store (more or less). Your life is worth a bit more than that I think.

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Old December 19, 2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
If it were a stick powder from US manufactured 308 and 30-06 from Lake City, odds are it was indeed IMR4895, as that is the only stick powder I know of that was used in either cartridge until Re15 was adopted for M118LR.
From what I have heard, the Corporation that wins the bid to run Lake City uses their own components. That includes primers and powders. Next winner uses what they want to use.

Short cut stick powder sure looks like any other short cut powder unless the color is different.
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Old December 19, 2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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I have an idea what that powder may be....fertilizer!!!
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Old December 19, 2012, 01:14 PM   #10
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OMG!

Unbelievable.

Throw it on your lawn and forget about. But DO NOT even think of using it for reloading.

NEVER reload with powder that doesn't come in a sealed, well-marked container. NEVER.

Did I say, NEVER?
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:07 PM   #11
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People care about you!

I'm surprised at the uncharacteristic restraint from Mike Irwin.
It's rose food for sure. Get rid of it before you lose something important.
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Old December 19, 2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
From what I have heard, the Corporation that wins the bid to run Lake City uses their own components. That includes primers and powders. Next winner uses what they want to use.

Short cut stick powder sure looks like any other short cut powder unless the color is different.
Not true, once a load has been accepted it cannot be changed without going through a new acceptance process. That is why you find the old M118SB loaded with IMR4895 and WC846, they went through the acceptance trials to get the different loads accepted into the same DODIC.

M118LR started off with WC750 powder (a bulk grade of Win748) but they went to Reloader15 when Alliant won the bid to run Lake City. Crane NSWC made up a new load of M118LR called Mk316 which uses a Fed GMM Primer and IMR4064 for SOCOM issue.

But the only stick powder I know of that was ever loaded in both 308 and 30-06 was IMR4895. Anyone who pulls apart M118LR to get Re15 is wasting their time (I highly doubt they could make ammo more accurate than they just destroyed) and Mk316 is too new to be on the surplus market yet.

And I still don't know if the loads the OP pulled apart were real LC loads or not.

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Old December 19, 2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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"And I still don't know if the loads the OP pulled apart were real LC loads or not."

We don't even know if they were American.

I THINK, but am not certain, that Greek HXP loaded .30-06 ammo used a stick-type powder at one point, and I'm almost certain that Venezuelan .308 used a stick powder manufactured in that country.
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Old December 19, 2012, 10:52 PM   #14
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Tomatoes also like unknown powders too.
Powder is cheap, body parts are not.
Dump it. ( I suspect he already did that. But you gota pile on while the pile is still there.)
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:55 PM   #15
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Mike Irwin,

I know, best to dump the powder. I remember shooting some "malaysian m193" ammunition with a friend. It was all on LC brass of mixed year headstamps. Other countries take US brass and reload it just like ours do, so unless you know for certain that the ammo is US made and surplussed, you can't have any confident that the powder in the case is what the US would specify.

Powder is cheap, even if you buy it by the pound. Body parts are priceless.

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Old December 20, 2012, 12:05 AM   #16
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The only way you could have gotten away with it is if you weighed the charges as you took it out. Then by keeping the 308 and 06 powders seperate, you could have substituted the same weight of bullet and charged them back with the same load.

Thats partly why the 30-06 became so popular after the war. Hunters would pull the FMJ bullet and put in the same weight hunting bullet.

Now you have garbage.
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Old December 21, 2012, 11:58 AM   #17
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milpowder

Ok, Got it! Thanks for waking up the dumb--- in me. I didn't and won't use it for anything but maybe a really effective stump removal tool. LOLOL!!!
Thanks to all who replied.
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Old December 21, 2012, 03:01 PM   #18
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Wow, some real emotional responces to your situation! No, you don't have to throw it out. It won't sneak around your reloading room when you're asleep, contaminating everything in sight. Just don't attempt to reload any ammo with this mystery powder. An adult that's able to reload ammunition safely and successfully shouldnt fear an unknown gunpowder residing in a closed container. Simple...
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Old December 21, 2012, 04:10 PM   #19
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Told you not to use that powder!

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Old December 21, 2012, 09:38 PM   #20
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"No, you don't have to throw it out."

That's the WORST advice possible.

What other reason would there be for keeping something around on the shelf when you KNOW that it is potentially unsafe to use, and that you never should use it?

Decoration?

Bad luck sink?

The stupidity of keeping contaminated powder (and yes, that's what this is) around one's loading room where it could accidentally be used is just... well, I'm sorry, it's damned idiotic.
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Old December 22, 2012, 01:36 PM   #21
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If someone can't be trusted to safely be around something that may be dangerous, that person shouldn't be allowed to use a bath tub (the most dangerous place in the home). Nor should he be allowed to play with pointed objects, might put his eye out! If he ain't smart enough to keep a container labeled and to not use it for reloading, he shouldn't be allowed to have anything to do with reloading and firearms, period! I'm sure it may surprise you, but there are items stored around the house/garage that are potentially dangerous (prolly your house too!). Do you keep gasoling for your lawn mower or snow blower? Potential fire bomb (I had a neighbor child who died from burns from gasoling stored in the garage). Do you have natural gas heating/cooking? Double hazard! You could be asphxiated from a leak, blow up your house or burn it down.

What I was referring to was the overly emotional responces posted. Really fearful, "chicken little" type responces that were totally unnessary. Yep, there may not be a use for the mystery powder, but that's no reason to mess one's britches in fear of a sealed container on a shelf.

Idiot? hardly. Common sense Adult? You bet...

FWIW; I pulled some surplus ammo and tossed the powder, but I wasn't quaking in fear until I disposed of it.
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Old December 22, 2012, 08:44 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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Once again I'll ask...

What is the point of keeping around contaminated powder?

There's a HUGE difference between having an accident and going out of your way to make your own accident.

Your bathtub analogy would be applicable IF someone was also using their bathtub as a means of disposing of motor oil and leaving it greasy and slippery. Otherwise, it's not applicable here.

NO one is suggesting that the OP be quaking in fear.

They ARE, however, emphasizing that it is not safe to attempt to reuse it and it should be disposed of to eliminate the possibly of his manufacturing a completely avoidable accident at some point in the future.

Some accidents are just that... accidents.

Other "accidents" are actually injuries caused by negligence.

Not disposing of contaminated powder is negligent, not accidental.
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:44 AM   #23
DiffyDoc
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Mil Powder

Jeeeeeeeeeez guys. I GOT IT. DO YOU ALL HEAR ME OR WHAT. CRAP IT SOUNDS LIKE I ASKED TO KISS YOUR SISTER OR SOMTHIN. LIGHTEN UP. I GET WHAT YOU ARE SAYING AND YES I LISTEN TO THOSE WHO DESERVE RESPECT. I DESERVE SOME ALSO.
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Old December 23, 2012, 12:31 PM   #24
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Settle down. No one is disrespecting you.

The conversation mikld and I are having is separate from the question you asked.
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Old December 24, 2012, 01:21 PM   #25
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Once again, I was commenting on the "chicken little" responces...

I have yet to see a powder jump out of a closed container and into a firearm case by itself. But, if a reloader isn't smart enough to keep the mystery powder in a labeled container, he shouldn't be allowed to reload. Yes, there is no reason to keep it around, but there is no reason for a responsible adult to quake in fear as long as the powder in question is on his premises. Use plain old common sense.

A whole bunch of folks are injured in their bath tubs each year and they don't use them for disposing of motor oil. I'm saying that if a person is fearful of a closed container of powder, he would prolly be just as fearful of that killer bath tub.

If you'll look at my first post you'll see "Just don't attempt to reload any ammo with this mystery powder". My second post "...and to not use it for reloading".

As a responsible reloader, I think this conversation has reached it's end...
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Last edited by mikld; December 24, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
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