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Old January 29, 2018, 07:42 PM   #1
rickt300
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WC852 in my 270

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I have bought a good bit of this powder from an individual at the Dallas gunshows over the years. I used a bunch of it in a 7x57, found it way too slow for the 308 but useful in full power loads using 180 grain bullets in the 30-06. I took a bunch of game loading it to H414 powder levels but in many cases the velocity was ridiculously low but accuracy was excellent. I worked up to 57.0 grains of my lot of WC852 under a 150 gr. Ballistic Tip in my 270 (work up in your rifle) popped with a CCI Magnum primer in Winchester brass. Pressure signs are just not there, primers still have their full radius and there is no shiny spot on the case head. So I may in the interest of science work up until I can see primer flattening or cratering or any sign of excess pressure. I wish I had a chronograph. At one time I used 51.0 grains under a 130 gr. Ballistic Tip in a Savage 270 to take several deer and feral hogs, worked just fine too.

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Old January 30, 2018, 11:57 AM   #2
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Ok final load level is going to be 58.0 grains. I just shot a three shot group measuring .78 with this charge level. Pressure signs are a barely starting to flatten primer that has more than half it's radius left. I worked up from 48.0 grains (H380 level) a grain at a time which is something you should do with this powder every time you open a jug of it since it's burn rate can range from similar to H380 to close to H4831 which is what this seems to be what is in this jug.
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Old January 30, 2018, 02:20 PM   #3
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Where'd you find data? Making up your own is exceedingly unsafe.
WC852 is surplus powder and apparently it's not all the same stuff. Supposedly a bunch of burn rates varying by lot too.
Highly unlikely to need a magnum primer though.
"...more than half it's radius left..." That's still a flattened primer. Using a regular primer might fix it.
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Old January 30, 2018, 04:36 PM   #4
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Welcome to realm of Users of Surplus Powders

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Some data sources and intro comments:
1. WC stands for Western Cannon, a division of General Dynamics which produces Ball powders for U.S. military use at St. Mark's Powder factory in Florida. (Not Winchester. Olin at some point made some of the earlier powders, but not at St. Mark's).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Marks_Powder
2. A few certain powders are one-to-one replacements of military rifle powders. For example WC844 is the bulk version of H335, WC846 is H, BL-C(2). These are the current military powders used in 5.56 and 7.62x51 respectively. However, lot to lot variation is wider and loads for your lot need to be worked up carefully.
3. Beyond WC844 and 846 you are talking about slower powders originally intended for light cannon, 50 Cal, with various special loads, 20mm Vulcan, and even 105mm artillery and up (https://www.gd-ots.com/propellant-and-propulsion/) (you wont find any of that; it would be so slow as to be useless.
They are ALL Ball propellants, and require magnum primers.
https://www.gd-ots.com/propellant-an...n/propellants/
In fact since many of these were original designed for and loaded in for 50 Cal, 20mm Vulcan and up, reloaders often resort to stacked Duplex loads of Magnum Primer, a booster charge of Unique or fast Extruded powder. Typical for 30 caliber rifles and WC872 main charge, is a 3 grain booster charge, The purpose of the booster is to supplement the Magnum primer and provide enough initial GAS to ignite the slow cannon fodder, without leaving un-burnt granules in the barrel. This bolded section is meant as an example of methods used, and not as any specific recommendation.
The slow powders are supposed to not blow up guns but I am sure someday someone will find a way. You start with the slow powder and add one grain at a time to the stacked Duplex booster charge. Inspect after each firing by looking down the bore, bolt (removed), and/or pass a clean patch through. Any black dots indicate incomplete combustion, and merit another grain to the booster.
4. Loads of the cannon powders should fill the case. Fill a primed case up to or into the neck. Weigh it. That is your base charge. When you add one grain underneath, subtract one from your base. Compressed loads mean you have to much powder. You want the case to be completely filled but not compressed.
Data Sources Online:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...C852-load-data
http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Surplus/default.html
WARNING: WC852 and WC852f are different burn rates. WC852 uses IMR 4831 data WC852f uses H380 data

For OP: WC852 is listed (see warning above). 270 is not one of the calibers they provided data for on that last link. Since these are slow to very slow powders, people like you and I, test their own theorized data, and ideally share results. This means find a similar cartridge, use magum primers and start experimenting with the booster (Stay below 3 grains, use Unique or BlueDot, or a fast extruded powder, (like IMR 3031)

Personally, since the Great Shortage has passed, I have been more focused on newer extruded powders and certain ideal burn rate ball powders like IMR8208 and TAC, and Barnes Copper bullets.
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Old January 30, 2018, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Califo
(Not Winchester. Olin at some point made some of the earlier powders, but not at St. Mark's).
More recently than you might suppose. Winchester-Western (Olin started and owned Western Cartridge, so when the took over the bankrupt Winchester company in 1931, that's when the two names became linked) invented the ball powder process in the late 1930's. Winchester/Olin built the St. Marks plant in 1969 to get it out of the Illinois winters, which could freeze the water lines used in the ball powder process. Olin started divesting itself of various properties in that same year, but didn't sell the St. Marks plant to General Dynamics until 1998. So it was making ball powders from the late 30's until then.

If you are doing much experimenting with original powder data, you could do a lot worse than to buy a Pressure Trace.
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Old January 30, 2018, 06:22 PM   #6
Marco Califo
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Thanks Unclenick. I will have to get one of those Pressure Trace gizmos, before I play around in uncharted territory again.
$600 for the pressure trace
$878 Bundle w/ Chrono and SW

Question for Unclenick or any Quickload users: Does QL have data for any surplus powders, beyond what they have for H335/WC844?
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Last edited by Marco Califo; January 30, 2018 at 06:50 PM. Reason: $$
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Old January 30, 2018, 07:28 PM   #7
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Well I charted my territory by working up from 48.0 grains till the slightest of primer flattening was seen. Now I will fire the same cases four times and if the primer pockets are still tight I will call it good. Thanks Marco for the links! However even with published data it is a good idea to work up every time from the lowest recommended charge no matter what. Even below that if you are using different brass, primer or bullet. My gallon jug of powder said "use H380 data to start" and "work upward until pressure signs are revealed" This particular 270 has a very tight chamber with minimum headspace. By tomorrow I will have fired three cases four times each and if there is no problem with the brass then I will say this load is safe in my rifle only.

Last edited by rickt300; January 30, 2018 at 07:40 PM.
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Old January 30, 2018, 07:54 PM   #8
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I use magnum primers when loading ball powders in rifle cartridges So how do you tell when to stop adding powder? The minor flattening of the primer in this load is barely noticeable, much less than the factory load used to get the brass which was the 150 grain Power point factory load. There is no shiny spot on the case head, extraction is effortless and accuracy is excellent. Seems like a good place to stop. I might even back off to 57.0 grains when the weather gets warm as I worked up in 60 degree temps.
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Old January 30, 2018, 09:02 PM   #9
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Each lot of WC852 is different, and there were several different lots out on the market around the early 1990's. Accurate Arms bought one 90,000 pound lot, labeled it AA2700, and when that ran out, had someone make new powder for them. The load that came with my lot was 60.1 grs WC852 with a 150 FMJBT. That produced the velocity the Government wanted.

I have shot mine, most recently in this 1950's custom action. I can tell the lugs were not trued, maybe the receiver face was, basically this is a 2 MOA rifle wth its best loads.











I grease them up, to reduce bullet fouling. Barrels clean up quick and on barrels that I carefully JB bore pasted and soaked in Sweets to remove all the fouling I could, the barrel after shooting greased bullets showed no copper fouling at the muzzle. I also grease the cartridges so they don't have sidewall stretch, you can't see that in these pictures because I smooth the grease down.





It did well in another 270 Win



Somewhere I have better groups in the 30-06 with a more accurate rifle.
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Old February 1, 2018, 08:01 PM   #10
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I built my first sort of custom rifle on a 1917 Remington Enfield with a Douglas barrel in 6MM Remington. Left it cock on close and it shot really well for a long time but them surly Wyoming prairie dogs finally had the last word. Took it to a gunsmith to have it rebarreled to 375 H&H but he was robbed and it was one of the rifles that disappeared. It were heavy and long but a pleasure to shoot. As for greasing cases and bullets seems it would be a bit harder to carry greased ammo with you in the field.
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Old February 26, 2018, 09:05 PM   #11
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Ok I fired the same 3 pieces of brass 4 time each with the 58.0 grain loading. Primer pockets are tight and I would use these cases again. I also jug tested the 150 grain Ballistic Tip of old manufacture (100 count boxes) and found at 100 yards it would penetrate 4 gallon milk jugs at that range with plenty of destruction!
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Old February 27, 2018, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Ok I fired the same 3 pieces of brass 4 time each with the 58.0 grain loading. Primer pockets are tight and I would use these cases again. I also jug tested the 150 grain Ballistic Tip of old manufacture (100 count boxes) and found at 100 yards it would penetrate 4 gallon milk jugs at that range with plenty of destruction!
If you have a 30-06, WC852 works very well with 150's, 165's, 168's, and 175's.















I have used it in the 6.5 X 55 and it does well.
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Old February 27, 2018, 03:58 PM   #13
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Below is a pressure trace of some LC 77 M2 Ball fired in my dad's sporterized '03-A3. This is the slow machinegun lot with charges in pulled samples in the 56-57 grain range. This is under Hodgdon's maximum for a 150, but these are military loads designed to match velocities and trajectories for loads developed with powders available in the 1930's that produced actual muzzle velocities about 200 fps slower than maximum Hodgdon loads with this powder can. This is the powder that was not certified for the Garand due to excess muzzle pressure, whereas M2 that is Garand-suitable has more like 53 grains of the faster lot. You can see from the small secondary reflected apparent pressure bump that the 150.5 grain average bullet weight is on the edge of being too light for it, but not unsafely so. I would not use it with anything lighter, though.

Attached Images
File Type: gif '03 A3 and M2 ball Details.gif (35.2 KB, 326 views)
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Old February 27, 2018, 04:03 PM   #14
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I have been using 58.0 grains of WC 852 under various 180 grain bullets, the Partition, Hornady and the Nosler Ballistic tip presently. From the 2 groove barrel on my Springfield 03A3 I get 2760 fps with this load. I always use magnum primers and this barrel is a fast one, often giving me near 100 fps more than my other 30-06 rifles.
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Old February 27, 2018, 04:26 PM   #15
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Since you are talking about loads 5 grains over the published Hodgdon maximum for H380 (canister grade WC852), the caution is needed at the top of your post. The surplus powder you have is going to be one of the lots that are slower than H380, but some newer readers may be unaware of that.
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Old February 27, 2018, 09:31 PM   #16
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I purchased my lot from Jeff Bartlett and was able to get a copy of the Government acceptance test data. My lot, Lot BAJ 47287, was tested in 30-06 Garands for peening, and velocity. One hundred rounds each were fired through two M1 Garands.

The average pressure for a 152 gr FMJBT bullet at 2750 fps was 40,200 psia at 70 F. The maximum was 41,800 psia. The load data with Lake City case and #34 Primer, 60.1 grs.

I talked to a shooter who worked at Badger Ammunition plant. He tested 30-06 ball ammunition loaded there with WC852. He said the pressures were low enough that the not to exceed of 50,000 psia was never met. Basically the cartridges were loaded to a velocity. Powder technology had improved since the 1903 cartridge specifications, so the bullet would meet the velocity you wanted, at much lower pressures.

This is what I got with Federal Fusion bullets

SAKO 30-06 Finnbear 24" Barrel

150 Fed Fusion 60.5 grs WC852 wtd, Fed cases, CCI #34 OAL 3.225" greased bullets & cases

23 Feb 2018 T = 74 °F

Ave Vel = 2771
Std Dev = 24
ES = 83
High = 2824
Low = 2741
N = 15
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Old February 27, 2018, 10:16 PM   #17
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I have yet to get a lot of WC852 that was not much slower than H380. I had hoped it was like H380 in the beginning because I wanted to use it in a 22-250. It works fine in a 22-250 but acts much slower in the 308 and 30-06, in fact it seems more like H4831 in both the 30-06 and the 270. In my rifles you can be assured pressures are not excessive but if anyone else gets some of this powder work up from H380 data. I did find you could get enough of it in a 243 case with 100 grain bullets to flatten a primer.
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Old December 30, 2019, 06:35 PM   #18
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Well I dragged the Springfield 30-06 out of retirement again. I usually do this at the end of the season if I have not seen the buck I am looking for. Took a big 8 point the last day of the 2017 season with it, didn't have a lease for 2018 and have been spending a lot of days trying to get a shot at a particular non typical buck I keep seeing on my game cams. Problem is he and another nice buck are practically 100% nocturnal. Hoping the old rifle will change my luck as it sometimes does. I shot 18 of the previously mentioned 58.0 gr. WC852 180 gr. Ballistic tipped loads. The rifle has been in the safe for a while, maybe three years and for some reason it hit 4 inches high instead of three I had sighted it in for and I wanted it closer to point of aim, like 1 inch high at 100. Still after a few shots the old gun was reminding me what a good shooter she is giving me three 3 shot groups well under an inch. Going to be gone Thursday through Sunday for the end of the general season where you can still shoot a buck. There are another 2 weeks that does and spikes are legal but I have already taken a doe though if I don't fill my buck tag I will shoot another doe.
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