Smokeless Powder


  #1  
Old 01-15-05, 04:09 PM
Deekan
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Smokeless Powder

I've inherited some gunpowder, and having trouble identifying some old brands. Does AA = Accurate, does Hercules = H, and are different brands with the same number equal? If AA = Accurate, what does A equal?
 
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Old 01-15-05, 04:50 PM
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Hi Deekan,
Welcome to the DIY Forums.
I am not an expert in the field of gunpowder and my answers are composed from research.
AA= Accurate Arms

The H could stand for various companies manufacturing gunpowder.

Accurate Arms was started in 1946.
One of the companies manufacturing gunpowder at the same times was Hodgdon Powder Company.
Incuded is a link on the history of powder making. This may help you in your manufacturer hunt.

http://members.aol.com/mudsmeller/chronologies.html

Good Luck in your search
 
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Old 01-15-05, 08:53 PM
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Unless you are just curious, if it is old gunpowder, it is probably not good for anything except fertilizer. Smokeless powder is very hygroscopic (takes up water), so, unless it has been in a hermatically sealed container, it probably is not worth much.
 
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Old 01-24-05, 05:18 PM
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When in doubt, destroy the powder. The wrong powder or improper loading can destroy a gun (and possibly injure the person holding it). You can spread the powder over your lawn or garden. The first rain will turn it into fertilizer.

Smokeless powder is made by many companies and in many different shapes. Some powders are flakes, some are pellets and some are really fine grains all having different burn rates. One powder may burn long and slow to give the bullet or shot a gentle push all the way down the long barrel of a rifle or shotgun. A pistol powder must burn more quickly since the barrel is so short (it has to get it's work done quickly).

If the powder has been kept in a sealed container it could still be good. Ammuntion can easily last for 40+ years. Search the web and you will find lots of old Korean era ammunition for sale.

See if your local library has a "Speer Reloading Manual". It is a book that tells you how to load ammunition. It will list many different powders and how to use them.
 
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Old 01-29-05, 11:03 PM
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Thumbs up Let your nose be your guide.

Hi Deekan

I started rolling my own in the early 1970s & telling good powder is about how it smells. I buy a gun the next things I buy Powder, primers, cases, bullets, a set of loading dies & I'm ready. I never believed I would live to see the prices on Factory ammo as it is today. Reload if you can you will save hundreds our thousands $$.

First of all the 45-70 & 30-06s both military rounds have been found & test fired just as a test by the Military. The 45-70 was filled with black powder, & the M2 Ball or 30-06 has smokeless powder and a copper covered bullet.

The 45-70 was found out west & was over a century old. The 30-06 was found in a cave on a Pacific island. When the DCM gave us 30-06 to be used in our Garand clinics many lots were early 50s & we did not have a misfire 40 weapons 60 rounds per shooter.

I still have powder I bought in the 70s & Mil Spec surplus 50 years old. Spell the powder you should get a sweet aromatic solvent smell. Smokeless Gunpowder smells sour bitter rotten take some out put it in your hand it will look brownish tan not pretty & black shiny.

Our choices of Gunpowder today could be from anywhere & some 3rd world stuff stored in hot Depots. Not in the us by the military, but there were some 7.62 NATO ( .308 ) cartridiges from Argentina that had been stored hot. Some of this normaly 52,000 psi cartridiges tipped the meter at over 75,000 psi +.

Since modern Smokless Powder is a propellent & not an explosieve as long as it is not, stored under hot conditions it can last for hundreds of years. Coatings have kept the powder from picking up water or losing the chemicals that keep it stable.

If the powder is bad the others are right, sprinkle it on the lawn it has nitrites so the grass will use it up. If it's good give it to a reloader, it's not inexpensieve like it used to be.

Marturo
 
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Old 01-29-05, 11:25 PM
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Let your nose be your guide.

Originally Posted by marturo
Hi Deekan

I started rolling my own in the early 1970s & telling good powder is about how it smells. I buy a gun the next things I buy Powder, primers, cases, bullets, a set of loading dies & I'm ready. I never believed I would live to see the prices on Factory ammo as it is today. Reload if you can you will save hundreds our thousands $$.

First of all the 45-70 & 30-06s both military rounds have been found & test fired just as a test by the Military. The 45-70 was filled with black powder, & the M2 Ball or 30-06 has smokeless powder and a copper covered bullet.

The 45-70 was found out west & was over a century old. The 30-06 was found in a cave on a Pacific island. When the DCM gave us 30-06 to be used in our Garand clinics many lots were early 50s & we did not have a misfire 40 weapons 60 rounds per shooter.

I still have powder I bought in the 70s & Mil Spec surplus 50 years old. Spell the powder you should get a sweet aromatic solvent smell. Smokeless Gunpowder smells sour bitter rotten take some out put it in your hand it will look brownish tan not pretty & black shiny.

Our choices of Gunpowder today could be from anywhere & some 3rd world stuff stored in hot Depots. Not in the us by the military, but there were some 7.62 NATO ( .308 ) cartridiges from Argentina that had been stored hot. Some of this normaly 52,000 psi cartridiges tipped the meter at over 75,000 psi +.

Since modern Smokless Powder is a propellent & not an explosieve as long as it is not, stored under hot conditions it can last for hundreds of years. Coatings have kept the powder from picking up water or losing the chemicals that keep it stable.

If the powder is bad the others are right, sprinkle it on the lawn it has nitrites so the grass will use it up. If it's good give it to a reloader, it's not inexpensieve like it used to be.

Marturo
PS: You asked. Are powders like 4895 made by IMR the same as Hodgen 4895?

NO! even different lot #s of the same # eg. IMR 4350 lot # 43210 or 53210 will not shoot the same. If you have a favroite load back it off 10% when you open a new lot # of the same powder. Many shooters who load & shoot in tournaments will buy their powder by the case so each round will be the same as the last. Of course you must but your primers & bullets 5 or 10 thousand at one buy + all your cases must be the same brand also.

I had just finnished off my Hurcules 2400 powder & it was priced at under $6.00 I picked up a pound at a Gun show. My cast bullet load I used for years I loaded up 50 44 Mag 240 grain lead semiwadcutter. The first time I pulled the trigger the bowling pin slamed the bank before the BlackHawk came up in recoil. I fired 1 more & tried to eject it with my single action rod no I had to drive the fired cases with a brass punch. I spent some time the next day pulling 48 bullets sure taught me a good lesson.
 
  #7  
Old 02-10-05, 09:14 PM
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Old powder

I wouldn't take a chance with the old powder unless you know the care it has had. Too many unknowns if you didn't buy it off the shelf.
My 2 cents,
Mike A
 
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Old 11-21-05, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mla2ofus
I wouldn't take a chance with the old powder unless you know the care it has had. Too many unknowns if you didn't buy it off the shelf.
I agree. How can you be sure what's in the can is what the label says?
 
 

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