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Old October 24, 2012, 08:27 AM   #1
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Does anyone know what kind of powder Estate Cartrige Inc. (ECI) Super Target Competition Target Load ? PS 2-1/2 ][ 7/8 oz
thanks in advance for your knowleadge ; )

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Old October 24, 2012, 12:56 PM   #2
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Manufacturers don't normally use the same grade of powder that is sold to handloaders, and they don't usually have the same designations. The manufacturers normally use bulk grade powder and determines correct charge weight separately for each lot of powder with a pressure test gun, rather than using a load recipe. This is because the bulk grade powders have wider burn rate tolerances from lot-to-lot, so the charge weight determined for one lot can't be counted on to be safe with the next. It has to be done over. Even so, the bulk grade powder is the least expensive form, which is why manufacturers use it.

What is sold to handloaders is called canister grade powder. It is more expensive to make because it is a blend of a new lot of bulk grade parent powder with faster or slower burning held back past bulk grade lots of the same powder type that were faster or slower burning in order to bring the blend's burn rate close to the nominal burn rate of the final canister grade powder. The cost of the blending and burn rate measuring is what makes it more expensive. This burn rate control is done so the recipes in load manuals remains valid. Only after that blending does a powder get its canister grade designation. For example, WC852 bulk grade powder is blended to a nominal burn rate to become H380 in canister grade.

So, the bottom line is, even if you can identify the parent bulk grade powder from the appearance of the pulled powder, the charge weight you find in a torn down load may not be correct for the canister grade or for the next lot of bulk grade out the factory door.

So knowing what powder is used in those shells may not help you. Your best bet is to look at load data and see what seems to produce matching performance among the offerings in load manuals.
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