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Old April 8, 2007, 08:11 AM   #1
Mach II Sailor
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Mixing or blending powders

anyone ever done it ? i called a bullet manufactuer and asked what powder was used in in a certain ammo loading, they told me it was a propritary powder, a "blend" and therefore not available to reloaders.
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Old April 8, 2007, 08:17 AM   #2
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The Companies that do this have safe methods of testing their mixes before they put it in production.
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Old April 8, 2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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If Your Anxious

To leave this world, or live with part of a body, then DUMP AWAY!
One would have to be NUTS to mix powders, OR to double up your charges!
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Old April 8, 2007, 08:47 AM   #4
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Well, 'duplex' charges were how the 454 Casull started out. The difference is he was willing to blow a gun to bits and start over. He could afford it, didn't care, and figured out how to do it safely.

We have SO many powders now that are SO different that there really is NO reason to try it, not unless your desires are drastically different from what you can get. If so, be prepared to hurt guns badly, and figure out how to test these things safely. It is going to be EXPENSIVE.

I would just step up to a more powerful cartridge and shoot on.....
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Old April 8, 2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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I'd liken it to mixing sweating dynamite and a ballpein hammer, except that's probably a little safer than blending powders.
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Old April 8, 2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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Well, 'duplex' charges were how the 454 Casull started out. The difference is he was willing to blow a gun to bits and start over. He could afford it, didn't care, and figured out how to do it safely.
He got up to triplex charges, Unique, 2400, and a little Bullseye on top to give a last burst of gas as the bullet moved down the cylinder and barrel and increased the working volume.

Now you can just load it with 296 and do better than ever.

As far as what the manufacturer told Mach II Sailor, they might have been using a special order powder "blend", they more likely were using a bulk powder not sold by the pound, and they were very likely using what they got a good price on this month and will be loading Something Else of similar burn rate next month because they get a better deal.
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Old April 8, 2007, 10:50 AM   #7
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1) It's like striking a match to find a gas leak.
2) There's ABSOLUTELY no need for it.
'Nuff said.
Only the ignorant find ignorance to be bliss. Only those of us who know better will suffer from it.
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Old April 8, 2007, 11:04 AM   #8
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Commercial ammo makers use a "bulk" powder.
You and I use, for reloading, "Canister" powders.

Bulk powders are made in large lots to provide a specific burn rate, have certain flash properties and still be within certain pressures using standardized tests.

Canister powders are consistent from lot to lot (can to can) so that we can use the same charges from session to session.

Blending your own powder is a recipie for disaster!
There is no guarantee you can get multiple powders to disperse evenly from charge-to-charge, thus one charge may produce 20% more pressure than another.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old April 8, 2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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If you choose to do it, please do it far away from your friends and neighbors. Although if you are Nancy Pelosi's neighbor, mix away to your heart's content!
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Old April 8, 2007, 11:17 AM   #10
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If you the think idea of holding explosions in your hands close to your face might be fun then blending powders might be for you. Can we say Darwin Awards?

NEVER Blend powders
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Old April 8, 2007, 01:41 PM   #11
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A lot of fear stuff, but not very much real reasoning about why not to mix.
Of course you can blend accurately.
What could you gain?
If you want more muzzle flash?
If you have a chrony couldn't you work up a blend carefully?
Are there any powders that some of you have blended? Results?
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Old April 8, 2007, 02:32 PM   #12
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pictures of the aftermath would be good. video in real time would be even better
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Old April 8, 2007, 03:42 PM   #13
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Around these parts with so many different powders available, why waste the time, money, and effort to blend ones own powder? But necessity is the mother of invention. I remember other similar posts by peoples with limited access to varied powders(as in S Africa). Besides being careful and working up, something not to do, was to try not to mix powder types that were way different from each other( as single base, double base, stick, flake, spherical, etc). best-o-luck
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Old April 8, 2007, 06:32 PM   #14
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In todays market there is no reason to come up with one's on powder mix. If you were planfing on going in the bussiness of manufacturing ammo for profit it may be a diferent story. Even then it would have to be done under lab conditions to keep things safe for the lab tech and the end user. For your own safety it would be advisable for you to forget about reinventing the wheel and stick to whats availible.
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Old April 8, 2007, 08:51 PM   #15
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Seems to me if you did, for some unusual purpose ,need to mix powders that accuracy and velocity would be erratic unless you could mix and distribute the powders exactly the same within the case.So,even if you didn't blow anything up the load would likely not be accurate.
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Old April 8, 2007, 09:15 PM   #16
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Blending powders is a common practice among BR loaders, though not a majority. I know a few who do it and I have seen it done. It is not a matter of adding half a pound of 748 to half a pound of 335 and shaking it up. The folks I know who do it swear it gives better performance, but I don't see them in the top 5 aggs here, or anywhere else.
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Old April 8, 2007, 09:34 PM   #17
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Consider the potential for differing densities of your two powders, and therefore settling of the denser powder in the bottom of your measure (or floating of the lighter one if you used a trickler.)

If they two powders had radically different burn rates, (and if they were very close, why blend them?) if the denser powder was the faster powder, you would be likely to throw a significant overcharge of the faster powder. With disastrous consequences.

This would be true even if your target load was precisely interpolated between the safe pressure loads of the two powders. Which you could only figure accurately if you knew both the absolute burn rate (burn rate charts and even numbers are relative burn rates, based on the speed of the fastest powder in the chart) and the gas volume per unit mass of powder burned (which may, and may not, correlate to the burn rate) for both powders. Neither of these data points are available to the handloader, and if you had the equipment needed to derive them empirically, you wouldn't need to come to an internet handloading forum to ask the question.

So the only way this could ever be even remotely safe for the amateur would be if the two powders were very similar in terms of shape and density, and if they were close enough in burn characteristics that a load of 100% of target weight in either powder would be a safe load. At which point, why bother trying to blend them? Even then, it wouldn't be a good idea.

Don't try this. Please.

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Old April 9, 2007, 12:37 AM   #18
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Some of the benchrest community have been blending powders for years and in some cases with very good result.
The following is an excerpt from another forum. The author is unknown. The testing is well thought out. As are the potential problems.

You would need to have a good understanding of your desired end result and weigh that against what is already available. Your end result very likely already exists.
Kernal size would need to be very similar to avoid the settling of one from the other. Also burn rates would need to be similar. Mixing would need to be very thorough.
Blending could be a very hazardous proposition if not done with good sense. Both powders would need to be tested and chronographed. A good understanding of each powder is necessary to theorize what the blend should deliver. Testing of the blend should be very predictable, based on collected data of the individual powders.

I started about a month or so ago blending N135 and Varget for my 30x47. I was using 41.8 grs. of N-135 or 43.9 grs. of Varget. Now I use 42.8 grs. of this blend. the reason for this was because the N-135 would increase in velosity as much as 40 to 50 fps from a temp change from 65 degrees to 85 degrees and The x count would not be there shooting score matches. By adding this blend of Varget Xtreme non temp sensitive powder I found that my velocity's are only variying about 20fps in this same temp variance and that my x count is as good as it was when I used straight N-135 on a day that powder and temp matched. and on the same note the N-135 was not filling my case as I would like it and the Varget was like a compressed load. now with 42.8 grs I get good case capacity and a velocity varaince that does not seem to affect the accuracy as much. and as far as being dangerous I can go as much 43 grs of N-135 or 45 grs of Varget, and since I'm using 42.8 grs of blend even if I would dump all of one kind or the other it would not be over the max load anyway. And by the way I get a good blend when I only do 250 grs. of each at a time

Last edited by mc223; April 9, 2007 at 01:11 AM.
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Old April 12, 2007, 09:00 AM   #19
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i do not plan on this, i just wanted to know if it has been done by any one and if so what powders were used, and for what calibers.

i have done the duplex and triplex loadings with unsatisfactory results
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Old April 12, 2007, 09:28 PM   #20
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what they did not explain was the whole prosess.factorys blend-they take the different lots of the like powder and blend it.they test it to see if it burns correctly if not more blending.thats a short verson of the process.don't you do it.which you said you just wanted to add to your knowledge.
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Old April 23, 2007, 01:33 AM   #21
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I would only do it if you don't care about living or you are uber rich and can afford the ridiculous amounts of safeties.
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Old April 23, 2007, 04:45 AM   #22
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I've done it by accident before.

Bought a 4 lb. can of 4350. I was emptying a powder measure to fill it with another propellant. Dumped a bunch of Unique in it by accident.

I about died! Until I ran the numbers of exactly how much I had dumped. The percentages were like .5% of the new propellant in the jug.

Pfft! I shot all of it and didn't have any problems. Shot some nice groups too.

By all rights, I shouldn't have. But I wasn't about to toss a whole new 4 lb. can of propellant.

I joked for months about my "custom blend". I still have all my fingers and toes too.

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Old April 23, 2007, 07:09 AM   #23
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A friend had a slipup like that; dumped a measure of AA2520 into his Varget can. I got with a contact in the laboratory and borrowed some testing sieves. We found a mesh that screened out the powders. He got maybe 98% of his 2520 back with no Varget in it and the Varget with a dusting of 2520. He loaded the mixture up at a charge weight that was in the normal range for either powder alone and it shot as well with the mix as the straight stuff. Not better, he had no temptation to start blending powder on purpose, but it did work to where he could salvage the powder with no penalty in accuracy.
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