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Old March 21, 2012, 22:13   #1
Inkognito
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Surplus powders: WC842, 844, & 846

I've never reloaded with any of these but I'm going to start. I'm kind of looking for some direction as to help me choose one to start with. I will be buying an 8lb. jug so I want to know what differences exist between them. I can find very little information at all on 842. I have read that 844 & 846 are sensitive to temperature fluctuations? I will be reloading 5.56 55 grain and 7.62x51 150 grain with it. It will be used mostly for plinking. If anyone has any experience loading with any of these powders I would appreciate some feedback. I'm not looking for specific load data, just overall impressions and thoughts on the pros and cons of each.

Thanks.
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Old March 21, 2012, 22:33   #2
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Iv'e had real good results with the data I posted here...
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=307480
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Old March 21, 2012, 23:54   #3
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I have used a metric shitload of WC844/WC846/AA2230C/AA2460/AA2520/H335, etc., etc., and have been quite satisfied with the results with all of it.

The first thing that you MUST do, if you don't already own a chronograph, is to pick up a chronograph. It doesn't have to be an expensive one (and there are a couple of very inexpensive ones available that work quite well), but it has to be one...

All of these powders, including the canister ones, can vary quite considerably in burning rate (and, thereby, in pressure).

Get a chronograph and load to mil-spec velocities, always assuming that you can get to mil-spec velocities with the powder you've picked.

Anything less is shooting in the dark with a potential bomb in your hands (and next to your irreplaceable eyes).

Forrest
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Old March 22, 2012, 06:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftierson View Post
I have used a metric shitload of WC844/WC846/AA2230C/AA2460/AA2520/H335, etc., etc., and have been quite satisfied with the results with all of it.

The first thing that you MUST do, if you don't already own a chronograph, is to pick up a chronograph. It doesn't have to be an expensive one (and there are a couple of very inexpensive ones available that work quite well), but it has to be one...

All of these powders, including the canister ones, can vary quite considerably in burning rate (and, thereby, in pressure).

Get a chronograph and load to mil-spec velocities, always assuming that you can get to mil-spec velocities with the powder you've picked.

Anything less is shooting in the dark with a potential bomb in your hands (and next to your irreplaceable eyes).

Forrest
Yes, I do own a chronograph and that is exactly what I do; load to military specs. For one thing I like my reloads to be very similar to my surplus stockpile so that they shoot about the same.

Thanks for the info. So no preference between 844 & 846?
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Old March 22, 2012, 08:28   #5
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I've been using WC846 and WC844 for a few years now and the last batch of 844 I bought was way to fast for 308. I was pushing pills out of the barrel at 2400 fps and had pressure signs out the wazoo. When I loaded that lot of 844 in 223 I was only able to get 2800 fps from 62gr ss109 bullets before I started having stuck cases and pressure signs in my 20" AR. Max load for the 844 in 223 was 24.5 gr. Don't follow the military loading charts otherwise you'll be loading 26gr of 844 as max which can sometimes be over the max of the powder lot you have when reduced by 10%. The lot of 846 I have easily pushes 147gr fmj, and 145gr tracer projos out of the barrel at mil spec velocities with no signs of pressure. I've found that when loading tracers I need to reduce my powder charge approximately 1gr below what I load for 147gr FMJ bullets. So when you start loading with a new lot you need to rework your loads from the bottom back up to the top. For economy it's the best stuff ever for blasting ammo, and not bad for accuracy either.
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Old March 22, 2012, 19:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftierson View Post
I have used a metric shitload of WC844/WC846/AA2230C/AA2460/AA2520/H335, etc., etc., and have been quite satisfied with the results with all of it.

The first thing that you MUST do, if you don't already own a chronograph, is to pick up a chronograph. It doesn't have to be an expensive one (and there are a couple of very inexpensive ones available that work quite well), but it has to be one...

All of these powders, including the canister ones, can vary quite considerably in burning rate (and, thereby, in pressure).

Get a chronograph and load to mil-spec velocities, always assuming that you can get to mil-spec velocities with the powder you've picked.

Anything less is shooting in the dark with a potential bomb in your hands (and next to your irreplaceable eyes).

Forrest
I can vouch for the validity of these statements. They are very good powders for experienced and cautious reloaders. I would not recommend them for noobs.
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Old March 23, 2012, 14:12   #7
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Please forgive a silly question, but where are you buying this surplus powder from? What's the going rate for 8 lbs of surplus powder? I've only used commercial powders for reloading, but almost all of my reloading has been for hunting purposes...not blasting.

Thanks.
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Old March 23, 2012, 16:58   #8
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Quote:
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Please forgive a silly question, but where are you buying this surplus powder from? What's the going rate for 8 lbs of surplus powder? I've only used commercial powders for reloading, but almost all of my reloading has been for hunting purposes...not blasting.

Thanks.
Randy
I bought all of the mil surp powder that I have several years ago. It was going for $8.00 per pound then so I bought what I suspect will be a lifetime supply. 18 kegs combined of 844 and 846. I don't know where you can buy it now. I haven't looked for long time.

The vendors that I bought from then were:
Pat's reloading
GI Brass
Hi-Techammo.

All were easy to deal with and all transactions went smoothly.
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Old March 23, 2012, 19:01   #9
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Wideners is currently offering WC846 for $94/8lb keg; however, it is pulldown powder if that makes a difference to you.

Although I have purchased AA2230/AA240/AA2520 over the past few years, like HBR, the WC844/C846/H335 that I have was purchased in decent sized lots many years ago...

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Old March 23, 2012, 19:23   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftierson View Post
Wideners is currently offering WC846 for $94/8lb keg; however, it is pulldown powder if that makes a difference to you.

Although I have purchased AA2230/AA240/AA2520 over the past few years, like HBR, the WC844/C846/H335 that I have was purchased in decent sized lots many years ago...

Forrest
I've been using 846 for years and it shoots great in my 308/223's.
Nearing the end of a jug from Wideners # SA-LC20521-109. Seemed faster burning and had to back off a couple grains.

Started experimenting with a new jug from Wideners sold as pull down with no lot #. Seems slower and much more forgiving in charge weight in both 223 and 308. Hope to stock up on more. Never tried the 844.

If you get a chance, get some real 4895 pull down. Doesn't meter as well but very accurate.
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Old March 23, 2012, 21:36   #11
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. Do you guys find any issues with pull down powder? I've never used pull down before.
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Old March 23, 2012, 23:01   #12
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I've known about Widener's surplus powders for a while. I just don't like the hazmat fee. I found a local chap who has both 844 and 846 for the same price as Wideners. I'll give it a try.
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Old March 24, 2012, 13:47   #13
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I currently have (3) different 98lb. lots of 846. All 3 were aquired from different sources. 2 lots are virgin surplus, and 1 lot is from pulled down 7.62 ammunition.

All 3 perform well in my Fals.
I`ve worked up standard M80/M2 loads with all lots using Lake City brass and CCI#34 primers.
Velocitys & standard deviations are pretty consistant.

All of my loads show flattening of the primers (which I see with most surplus 7.62 I shoot anyway), but other than that no problems.

I get a consistant 2775 FPS out of my standard 21" Stg-58 and 2600 out of my 16" Para.

The velocitys produced are derived from a different charge weight for each different powder lot. The charge weights have a 4 grain variation between them that produces almost exactly the same velocitys & pressure indications.

I`d say thats pretty damn consistant.
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Old March 24, 2012, 20:27   #14
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I went to the KC gunshow today and picked up an 8lb keg of 844 for $80. Its supposedly new. I'll see how it goes.
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Old March 24, 2012, 22:10   #15
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I went to the KC gunshow today and picked up an 8lb keg of 844 for $80. Its supposedly new. I'll see how it goes.
Good price.
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Old March 26, 2012, 09:58   #16
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Posted this in another thread but I thought it good info for here as well...

Two more rifles used for testing of this load data and again the results where quite good..

BTW it's worth noting I've been loading for a very long time.. I am well aware of the potential for varying burn rates from surplus powder lots (as well as other powders) and as such always work my way up carefully.. I know chrono data is important & chrono data was used in the initial testing. Velocities with the lower charges however where NOT what I wanted.. I will be checking this load ASAP to confirm velocities but as far as pressure signs there are none.... Cases and primers look great, function is excellent..

One last think I thought worth noting was discovered my last range trip.. I loaded 5 rounds of my new handload and fired them on target.. I loaded another 5 rds of FN PORT and upon firing at the same target using the same POA, my POI was exactly the same with both ammo types..

I'll update again when I have more info but one thing for ceratin If I can find more of this powder I'll be buying it..
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Old March 31, 2012, 21:25   #17
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I just got back from the Tulsa show, there was a vendor there that had WC844 for $70/8 lb. I just bought a keg last week in KC or I would have bought some. Probably still should have at that price.
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