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Powder deviation help please.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by NC-Mike, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    As you may know, I just started reloading. I have loaded a total of 15 rounds on my Lee Classic using it a single stage. I've now figured out the safety prime and powder dispenser so I'm ready to err rip and auto index! :evil:

    The "problem" I have is the charge I'm throwing and lack of data. I bought the surplus CPP pistol powder from Wideners.

    They give this data for 9mm:

    Charge_____Bullet______Velocity__Case/Primer___Test Gun

    5.7gr_______115gr FMJ__1145 fps__Win/Win SP___Glock 19

    I tried the micrometer charge bar and it is not consistent. Perhaps it is better for bigger charges.

    The 4.4 cc disc throws a consistent 5.4 grain charge. This is should be OK for range ammo, should it not?

    I didn't try the next size up as I sure it would be 6 grains or more. They don't say whether that load is minimum or maximum but I'd rather stay lower for now.

    There should be no harm to try the 5.4 grain charge, should there?

  2. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Without knowing what powder they sold you [a bill of goods]. I would have no idea if that is a minimum or maximum powder charge.

    Anybody else have a clue?
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Since Wideners gives 5.7 Grs for that powder with that bullet, 5.4 should be fine.

    That is a maximum charge they give.
  4. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Well-Known Member


    Take this as constructive, but as a newly minted reloader, IMO you would be far better served by using a very common canister grade propellant, and even better if it's bulky. Other than Wiedener's and the probable manufacturer (Olin/St Marks), who knows exactly what you have but them. By the loads I see published I can take a pretty educated guess at what loads may work, but won't say.

    Maybe try a can of WW231/HP38, Unique, Universal Clays, AA#5, Silhouette, HS-6, etc so that a LOT of folks can bounce ideas your way. As to your question, 5.4 seems reasonable, but the velocity will be very low, and should be well below WWB and Blazer Brass if that is what you used prior to reloading.
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Good advise to any one just starting out. That said, there is nothing wrong with using a surplus data powder, it just takes more experience.

    A good reason to one day invest in a good measure like Hornady, RCBS, Redding, etc sell.

    I really like my Redding 10X for loading pistol. Meters great, and repeatable settings.
  6. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    Well I didn't see anything wrong with it either, the price was certainly right. 82 dollars for 8 pounds. I figured that once I get the load recipe down, I will manufacture a few thousand of these rounds to stock my ammo cabinet.

    That is the way I want to reload.

    Sure that 5.7 grains of this powder is a maximum load when Remington UMC ammo has the same velocity?

    And yes, there is no substitute for experience but that is what I'm getting right now and I also knew I could get some help here.

    And I did buy some other powder and made sure it was "bread and butter" type powder. 2 pounds of W231 and 8 pounds of W748. I just thought this surplus powder would make some good cheap range ammo.
  7. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    So who here has reamed out a disc to make a "custom" charge?

    If I open that 4.4 cc pocket up a little bit, I should be able to get it to drop 5.7 grains of this stuff... :evil:
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I used to use a Hornady pistol measure with brass bushings. I had all 21, plus a couple of homemade ones made from 1/2" brass barstock, plus a few that I reamed out to a size in between. I would mark it so I knew. For instance, 12-M ( A # 12 bushing "modified")
  9. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    When a maximum load is given for surplus powder you should start at a 10% reduction or at 5.1grs. Surplus powders are often pull downs and are certainly not normalized so work up with your particular batch is more important. This nonsense of just starting at or near a max load is sloppy reloading practice and can get you into real pressure problems. Don't short cut load development, esp with surplus powders.
  10. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    I've tweaked a (Lee) disk once. It was a bit tedious--IIRC, I did it with my Dremel with a small carbide bit in it, and polished.

    If you decide to do this, I suspect that "polishing" the hogout is important--so don't overdue the first removal.

    The powders I now use are not an issue with the charge bars, so I've dropped disk use. BTW, Steve C's advise in the preceding post is good stuff--heed it.

    Jim H.
  11. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Well-Known Member

    I didn't say wrong, I said far better served, an opinion I stand by. As a beginner, the fewer variables you have to deal with, the better... I also noted Widener's mentions:

    "As there is no loading data for commercial powder (CPP), we worked up the loads below."

    Nothing "wrong" with this by in and of itself, just that as a very new reloader I would stay with long standing lab developed loads using canister grade propellants that a TON of folks have used and can cross experience with. I like to save $$$ too, but say you bought an #8 canister of Unique from Powder Valley Inc for $93, and then loaded each round with 7 grains of powder. Your total savings with CPP would be $.18/100 rounds over using Unique.

    However you reload, have fun, be safe, and welcome.
  12. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    I hear what you're saying and had I had it to do over again, I might have got another powder. The "problem" was I ordered much of this stuff at once and the surplus powder appealed to me precisely because it was off the beaten path a bit. All the other components I choose were very "safe" so I was trying to spice it up a little... :)

    I just loaded up 15 rounds with 5.4gr charge. I also have 15 rounds I weighed individually with a 5.7gr charge so I'll be able to compare the two.
    It'll be good experience.

    BTW, I don't believe this powder is military surplus. It was advertised as surplus commercial powder from a major manufacturer, Hence the "CPP." Commercial Pistol Powder...

    As far as 5.7 grains being a max load, I kinda doubt that for two reasons. The 5.7gr load produces the same muzzle velocity as Remington UMC ammo and I don't think Wideners would publish a max load. Now that opinion is strictly off the seat of my pants and is very much reflective of my inexperience and failure to yet procure a load manual so I wouldn't be surprised if I was mistaken. I do have plans to order a manual tonight.
  13. gandog56

    gandog56 Well-Known Member

    I would need to know what kind of powder it is. Is it a flake powder? I have had hard times getting consistent throws using my Lee Auto-Disk powder measure using flake powders. Works a whole lot better using ball powders.
  14. straight-shooter

    straight-shooter Well-Known Member

    I bought the Lee double disk kit and by combining two disks I get more choices for the charges that are dropped. I think this is a better choice verses reaming out a single disk. Just make sure the smaller disk is on top.
  15. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    Well I'm going to the range to see how these first 30 rounds I ever reloaded do.

    Hopefully I'll be able to report back here...


    And BTW, its a spherical powder and Wideners has sold out of it.
  16. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Well-Known Member

    Your currently loaded rounds certainly won't be dangerous...they will be lower velocity than Widener's load, hitting the target slightly lower, and may even be more accurate.

    The only problem you may have is that the load might not be powerful enough to operate your semi-automatic pistol slide reliably. At worst, you would have to simply operate the slide by hand each shot to eject the fired case and feed the next. Inconvenient, but no safety problem. You will probably want to increase the powder charge enough to operate the pistol reliably.

    There are several things you can do if you need to increase the powder charge slightly. You can use your current 5.4 measure to load the charge onto a calibrated beam scale pan and finish off (add powder) using a powder trickler. Set the beam scale to the weight you want. You can trickle the powder a few grains at a time by filling a case part full with powder, holding it horizintally, and rotating it back and forth with your fingers, mouth over the powder pan, until the beam balances.

    Or, you can make a dipper...take a small case and file it down until it holds the exact amount you want when leveled, twist a stiff wire around the case groove for a handle, and you are in business. You can mark the powder type and weight on the side of the case to avoid mistakes in future use.

    Have fun!
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    That is definitely the max they will recommend. It ain't a start load. ;)
  18. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    Well ya just might be right. I went out to the range with those reloads and some factory UMC. I shot ten factory loads to get a feel for them and then shot the 5.7 grain reloads. They did feel a little warmer than the factory loads but not in an extreme way.

    What concerned me was the primers. I often heard people talk of reading primers and flattened primers and now I saw them myself. My primers were definitely flattened, some filling almost the whole primer pocket with no rounded edge left on the primer. One primer backed out of the case a tad and a couple looked as if they had the machining marks of the breech-face imprinted on them.

    But, I saw absolutely no evidence of hard extraction. You couldn't even tell where the extractor was on the groove and the extractor itself had no brass on it. I just now chambered those fired rounds in the barrel and they still chamber well so maybe the flattened primers were due to the fact that these 5.7 grains loads were also same I put a little heavy crimp on? I crimped these necks to .375 and like I say, the rounds felt a little warmer and had a deeper report but nothing alarming. Here's a pic of the primers. The three on top are the ones that looked flattened and the one on the bottom is a factory load. The one and only primer that did back out significantly was in a WCC 10 case.


    So, I also brought along the rounds I loaded with 5.4 grains and crimped to
    .378 but I never got to shoot them...

    While I was loading the first three, I realized I screwed up the sequence on one and didn't prime a round till after I had charged it. I didn't know which one it was so I separated those rounds. I found a little bit of powder in the spent primer tube but I didn't think it was that much so I planned to shoot these three rounds first. I figured the round would still go off and I would just get rid of them that way instead of using the blasted inertia hammer. I should have used the inertia hammer and pulled them because the second of these "lite" rounds I fired squibbed out and stuck the bullet in the barrel. :uhoh:

    Since I didn't have a rod to get it out, my range trip was now over. :(

    If that first round I did get off had a full 5.4 grain charge, that should work just fine. I'll go back tomorrow and fire the rest of those off.

    I shot these rounds in my FEG Hi-Power clone. It is my least expensive 9mm but also my favorite. Here it is broke down with the squib round removed. :)


    The plus side of the trip besides the learning experience was the nice cache of brass I found. :D


    And here's a shot of my little press sans powder dispenser and safety prime.
    That's the new workbench top I just made so the press would be sturdy and not move. I have more than a few thousand loaded rounds in the bottom of that bench so it don't move at all.

  19. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    That's the best part of shooting, coming home with more brass than you left with.:D I had trouble with the charge bar. I use the disks and find loads that are good enough without having to throw something in between. The disks have been throwing very consistant drops for me.
  20. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Well-Known Member

    I think I'll be able to live with the charge the disk throws as well. :)

    It did seem to throw a consistent charge. I've heard it is a good idea to throw a couple charges before you get started just to get everything setup and moving right.

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