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Old August 17, 2013, 03:02 PM   #1
skizzums
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mixing powders

anyone ever tried mixing two powders to get a desired burn rate, etc.?? i have no plans of doing this, but always contemplate it and wonder "what if?". i was thinking to get a nice medium between titegroup and hp38, but since they are a different shape, i assume it wouldn't mix consistently. just wondering if anyone has experimented and, if so, what were your results?
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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I have decided to heed he warnings in many reloading manuals not to mix powders. IIRC it has to do with consistency of the mix, as you mentioned, and I don't have the equipment to test the mixture without risking my firearms. Bad bad bad bad idea in my book.
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
anyone ever tried mixing two powders to get a desired burn rate
It has been done. But, is generally viewed as smart as playing Russian Roulette. For almost all hand loaders, there is no compelling reason do do such.
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Have a look at the burn rate chart I attached and please tell me where there appear to be gaps that need filled between two burn rates.

The closest thing to what you are referring to is called a duplex load using a small amount of a fast powder at the flash hole to assist the ignition of a sloooow powder. It is uncommon, and considerably dangerous unless you know exactly what you are doing. Mixing powders is a BAD idea.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Burn Rates_121211.pdf (34.3 KB, 49 views)
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Old August 17, 2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Can it be done? I suspose if one has testing equipment it is possible.

Should it be done? Not without extensive knowledge and testing equipment.

I would just study burn rate charts and select an "in between" powder if that was what I wanted.
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Old August 17, 2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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It is called duplexing and it has been done since smokeless powder was developed. With the powders available today, there is absolutely no reason to duplex.
What Rangefinder is referencing by using fast powder at the flash hole and slow powder on top is an acceptable loading practice. Much of the published data for the older dangerous African game cartridges list an "igniter" charge.

Elmer Keith admitted late in life that some of the un-real velocities his wildcats achieved did it with duplex loads.

Last edited by reynolds357; August 17, 2013 at 04:38 PM.
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Old August 17, 2013, 06:53 PM   #7
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well there ya go. that solves that.

what about hp38 and w231? are they truly EXACTLY the same powder? or just very similar?

cool chart, that's very helpful
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Those two powders are the same. That's still not a reason to mix them. There are so many powders out there today, there's really no reason you can't find a suitable load for your purpose.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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If you can't find a burn rate suitable for your application. It's best to move up or down on the burn scale concerning powder brands until you find one powder that appeals to your liking. Duplex powder charges were primarily used in overbore guns.{B/P Elephant rifles and alike.} I do have one old hand loaders manual that lists a few duplex charges. But not on a scale such as the blending of two different powders you are asking about. Best advice: Do you see or hear of anyone blending their own powders these days. Probably not for one good reason. >Why chance an accident.<

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Old August 17, 2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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i wasn't even considering it, just wondering if others do.
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Old August 17, 2013, 09:37 PM   #11
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Just for information, it is my understanding that Dick Casull (inventor of the .454 Casull round) experimented with duplex and TRIPLEX loads.

It is also my understanding that he blew up a LOT of revolvers doing so as well. The risks far outweigh the benefits. Not recommended.
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Old August 17, 2013, 11:05 PM   #12
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The Only time I ever mix two different powders is when I only have half of a 30-06 casing filled with Varget and I have to open a new container of Varget and finish that casing.
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Old August 18, 2013, 12:34 AM   #13
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dahermit is right: ". . . no compelling reason. . . "
I have no compulsion to even try. I shudder to even think.

Doctor: "Mr. Nick_C_S, how did you blow your face off?

Me: "Oh, I mixed powders, and . . . "

I don't even know how the remainder of that conversation can end with any remaining dignity.
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Old August 18, 2013, 02:10 AM   #14
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As to BuckRub's post, if I don't have enough powder left in one can/bottle to finish my loads for the session, I pour the remaining small bit left into my new bottle of the same powder and mix it up good. If it's the same lot, no problem, and even if it's a different lot, I rarely load to max, so I just go ahead and use it.
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Old August 18, 2013, 03:00 AM   #15
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Like all the others told you, don't blend two different powders, you don't have any controle about the burning rate and the pressure, it can change from charge to charge.
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Old August 18, 2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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If I do grab same powder different lot. I will keep rds seperate and test to make dang sure they shoot same. If not then Ill repeat OCW before loading. I never mix powders
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Old August 18, 2013, 11:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
If I do grab same powder different lot. I will keep rds seperate and test to make dang sure they shoot same. If not then Ill repeat OCW before loading. I never mix powders
OCW? Outside Cartridge Width? Better written communication please. I for one, have no idea what "OCW" means.
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Old August 18, 2013, 11:35 AM   #18
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Mixing 2 different burn rate powders? NOT ME. Mixing a little of the same type powders, that I'll do and shake it well and then start my charge weight from the minimum and work up again.
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Old August 18, 2013, 11:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
OCW?
Optimal Charge Weight. It's a method of finding the best charge weight for a particular rifle/powder/bullet combination. By Dan Newberry.

In my limited applications of his theory, it seems to work quite well in finding the best load for a particular rifle.
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Old August 18, 2013, 12:21 PM   #20
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sorry dahermit, should have explained my better. Last poster got it.
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Old August 18, 2013, 05:36 PM   #21
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No, I would not mix any powders....even if they are supposed to be the same....( like HP38 and Win 231) / there is just no legitimate reason to mix them !
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Old August 18, 2013, 05:45 PM   #22
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I read that the 454 Casull was developed using dupex and triplex loads, I wasn't aware of all the problems encountered.
I read in one of the gun magazine that the ammo factories use "non-canistered" grades of powder because they have the testing equipment to determine burn rates and the loads needed. The rest of us should stick to the loading manuals.
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Old August 18, 2013, 06:38 PM   #23
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The powders used by the factories is load developed per lot. Instead of blending and modifying the powder to an exact spec, they work with it the way it turns out. Powder for handloaders has to be extensively blended to insure lot consistency.

The Cassul is a bit old. Powders that were ideal for some of its loads did not exist at the time it was developed.
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Old August 19, 2013, 09:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Have a look at the burn rate chart I attached and please tell me where there appear to be gaps that need filled between two burn rates.
I've seen that chart before, and it's handy, but I fail to see where it documents the burn rates to see where there might be a gap. Please enlighten me...
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Old August 19, 2013, 10:08 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by BigJimP:

No, I would not mix any powders....even if they are supposed to be the same....( like HP38 and Win 231) / there is just no legitimate reason to mix them !
W231 and HP38 are like H110/W296. They come from the same bulk containers put in similar smaller jugs with different labels applied to be sold by retailers. This according to the manufacturer. Mixing them is no different than mixing lots of the same labeled powder, which in every case reduces the variance between the lots. Reducing the variance between lots is a legitimate reason.
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