Military surplus powder and bullets?


April 27, 2005, 07:42 PM
Anyone have any experience with this stuff. I see it at the gun shows all the time, about 1/2 of what I pay for my powder and bullets. I've started shooting ridiculous amounts of .308 and .223, and if I could use this stuff it sure would save alot of money, or at least let me shoot more for the same money. Seems like one of the powders was listed as being more or less H322 which I have no experience with, but I'll bet I could work something out. Is there a good online source for this stuff?

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Mark whiz
April 27, 2005, 11:23 PM
About the best source for mil-surp components is Jeff Bartlett's ( . A lot of good data concerning his powders on that site.

Widener's ( is also a good place to find mil-surp brass & bullets and a couple choices for powder too.

I bought a bunch of Wideners brass & bullets on sale last year and it has worked well for me so far. :) Never tried any surplus powder yet - but that may change soon too.

April 28, 2005, 12:32 AM
I'm buying AA2230C, this is new military powder packaged by Accurate Arms powder, very economical, very accurate in my loads. I don't trust pull down powders, well...that company thinks it's such and such powder, "they think" isn't good enough for me.

AA2230C $65 for 8 lbs

April 28, 2005, 12:37 AM
Don't know what I was thinking, I forgot all about that annoying HazMat fee. Kinda takes some of the savings out of it. Maybe I can find someone here local.

April 28, 2005, 02:13 AM
I bought 32 lbs. of WC846 from Wideners a little over a year ago. It's Hodgdon BL(C)-2, and has great application in .223 and .308. I think I paid $220 (that's about $7 a pound!!!). The good deals on WC846 seem to have dried up for the time being. Wideners still has 4895 for a decent price (certainly better than retail).

If you buy at least 16 lbs. most of the surplus powder out there is still a total bargain, even with the Hazmat fee.

I don't trust pull down powders, well...that company thinks it's such and such powder, "they think" isn't good enough for me.
Well, it's not that the company doesn't know -- it's that military powder is made in lots in which the lot-to-lot consistency isn't quite so important as it is in consumer powders. It isn't that the company isn't sure if it's BL(C)-2 or not, it's that the powder is "closest" to BL(C)-2. So yeah, if you're going to buy pulldown powder, you probably ought to have a chronograph.

April 28, 2005, 06:05 PM
In my case I just took a ride to Kansas and picked up the powder, Powder Valley is just north of Ponca City in Winfield, KS , so I saved the haz mat fees. Even paying the haz mat fees it's still a lot cheaper than anything else. :D

They are also at the big Wanenmacher's Gun Show in Tulsa.

happy old sailor
April 28, 2005, 06:26 PM
another one of those - i dont know, but i've been told comments: that mil powder is designed to give a certain velocity for its intended loading. this practice would cause bulk or weights to vary lot to lot for a user not loading a million rounds at a time. i suppose if one could work up a load it would work fine until a new batch were procured then start over with the process.

April 28, 2005, 08:30 PM
That's my understanding too. Everytime you get a new batch you have to work the load up again.
Might be worth the drive up to Ks. Do they sell by the pound, or do you have to get 8# kegs? I'd hate to be stuck with 8# of powder I didn't like.

April 28, 2005, 10:31 PM
I've shot a lot of pulled/overrun Winchester 147 grain boattail FMJs in my M1 and M1A. They work well in each rifle shooting subMOA at 200 yards in the M1A. They can be had for $55 per thousand from surplus dealers.

At Knob Creek several years ago I bought eight pounds of IMR 4895. It was from US military rounds that were demilled. I don't like it as well as commercial H4895, but it was just $70 for the eight pound jug.

April 29, 2005, 12:26 AM
While there might be some variance in the next lot of powder, with 8 lbs on hand that won't be anytime soon. I haven't tried it in 308 yet, but I can say it works quite well in 223.

April 29, 2005, 12:37 AM
Now that's right respectable shooting no matter what the load is.

April 29, 2005, 09:38 AM
I've used a pound of WC846 (BLC2) and I got some good performance out of my 308 with it. But with that gun, I can use pretty much anything and it'll shoot.

I no longer use because I don't want to work up loads all over again. For plinking, its fine.

April 29, 2005, 10:22 AM
The powder makers save a lot of money on military powder by adjusting the loads for each batch to meet the required specification. The military has detailed specs, but leaves how to meet them to the manufacturer (within limits).
Canister powders are more tightly controlled, but there is still minor lot to lot variation. The extra control costs more money, driving up the price of the powder.
Accurate Arms has been selling the non–canister grades for a while as ‘data powders’. It could be a batch that was off to far to be canister (my guess) or a surplus lot of military, or even a military overrun.
You can save a lot of money with these powders, but you do need to purchase enough to justify the time and effort to work up a load. I use surplus 4895 in my AI cartridges for fire forming. The accuracy is still very good (though not as good as in formed shells) and the cost savings over canister is a nice bonus.

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