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Old October 3, 2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Pull Down Powder

I'm working on this 8mm Mauser project. I'm pulling down 1955 Yugo ammo that hang fires a great deal. The primers are too hard, which is typical of that ammo. This ammo I am reloading is from a case I unsealed myself.

I used H414 in the last loads, worked ok actually. But I burned off that original powder. On this set I am going to reuse the powder and just change the case and primer.

The powder is a course flake and loads to the bottom of the neck. The Yugo ammo actually is pretty accurate when it fires. I compared the case capacities of the Yugo case and the Winchester case I am using. The Yugo case has slightly less capacity. I pulled ammo in 3/10 round sets and averaged the powder charge. I came up with a high of 40.8 grains and a low of 40.5 grains. then I pulled rounds signally and came to the same results. I'm using 40.5 grains in this load. It meters well in my Hornady lock and load auto powder measure. I will be using standard CCI primers.

I don't want to toss 900 rounds worth of powder that looks perfect and comes from ammo that is basically very accurate in my Mausers, when it fires.

I'll post how it goes
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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If your mainspring is not producing enough energy for reliable ignition, put in a new one. I install new Wolff mainsprings.

For a M48 I would use the 22 pound spring, the lightest one they have, the heavier springs make bolt lift hard.

Basically I install new mainsprings on virtually all of my old bolt rifles, it really makes a difference in lock time, on military two stage triggers, it often reduces creep on the final stage.

In so far as 1955 powder, it close to the end of its shelf life, if not beyond, I would not load up hundreds of cases and have the stuff sitting around. I did that with surplus IMR 4895, before I found gunpowder has a shelf life, and within a year, I lost 700 LC Match cases due to cracked case necks. As gunpowder deteriorates it outgasses NOx, one byproduct is nitric acid gas. Gunpowder has stabilizers that consume this NOx, but given enough time, the stabilizers are gone. That nitric acid gas will ruin brass. You will see pin hole though corrosion on old ammunition, that is the nitric acid gas eating up the brass.

Also, if you get sticky extraction or “funny” retorts, stop using it . Old powder will blew up actions.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.

Last edited by Slamfire; October 4, 2012 at 09:47 AM.
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Old October 8, 2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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I shot this load yesterday. 40.5 grains of the pull down powder. Accuracy was excellent. while the group was 4 inches it was a straight line string vertically. You could have put a straight edge along the holes. 10 shots in that group. The string is my fault. I can see well enough to keep the windage on but elevation I have trouble with. Old eyes I guess.

I think the big difference in the load was that the military load ran in a .3 grain variation and the old hard primer was inconsistent. I tossed exactly 40.5 grains and used a new primer.

I also shot a varget load with that bullet. Not good at all. Now I'm sorry I burned off that powder from the first batch.
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Year ago I pulled down a couple hundred rds. of 53 & 55 surplus berdan ammo because of primer issues,split necks and poor accuracy.

Needless to say the powder and bullets worked fine in new boxer primer cases and accuracy improved dramatically when I reduced the charge down by about 1.5 grs. from the original factory load average.
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Old October 8, 2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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I'm in the same situation, the Yugo ammo I have has a lot of duds and needs a lot of second strikes. I pulled the projectiles, but tossed the powder.

I honestly, I debated about it, too. The powder didn't seem to show any signs of age, but I figured better to be safe than sorry. Tough call, though, I could see it going either way. Maybe next time I'll reduce the charge and reuse the powder...
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Old October 8, 2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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As long as you know that ammo is from the same case there is no need to down load. Just do what I did.
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