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Is this normal lot variation or degraded powder?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ScratchnDent, Mar 30, 2010.

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  1. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    Some time back, I purchased an older 1 lb bottle of AA #7. It was obviously not the latest batch, as it has an older label on it than current lots, but I didn't worry about it because I was purchasing it at my local gun shop and it was still factory sealed.

    Upon getting it home, I noticed that there is no lot number stamped on it, but there is a sticker on the bottom of the bottle that says 09/1993.

    I finally used up the last of the current bottle I had and opened this one. The first thing I notice is that the powder is not the same color as newer AA #7, it is a lighter shade of grey.

    I decide to load up 5 rounds of a mild charge which duplicates in every other way a load that I had tested with the newer lot. Same cases, primers, bullets, and seating depth. I used the same gun and even waited for a day with similar temperature to do my testing.

    Well, the powder seems okay, there was nothing strange like hangfires or extreme velocity spread in any of the rounds fired, but they averaged nearly 100 fps slower than my notes indicated from the earlier testing with the other lot.

    Should I be concerned, or just chalk it up to normal variance from a different lot of powder?

    ETA: Here are the load specifics:
    .45 acp
    12.2 gr AA #7
    185 gr, Remington Golden Saber JHP
    CCI 300 primer
    R-P nickel plated brass
    1.218" OAL
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    In 1993, Western AA #9 powder was being made in the Czech Republic, then it was moved to Belgium.
    It is now made in the USA by St. Marks Powder in Florida and sold by Accurate Arms.

    Current production is said to give slightly better performance, although AA #9 load data is the same regardless of where or when the powder was made.

    rc
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Some companies add something to make the powder darker, like H4895, because USA likes dark power, or we think something is wrong with it if is light. Why not contact Accurate and ask them. http://www.accuratepowder.com/Default.htm
     
  4. joneb

    joneb Member

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  5. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I will contact Accurate to see what they say.

    I just looked again at the bottles. The newer lot gives no indication where it was made, while the older lot says it was made in Israel.
     
  6. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    I Stopped using accurate powders back in the late 90s to many wild swings from lot to lot and to many different suppliers over the years. The older original stuff made in the 80s and early 90s was made in Israel. Was good stuff. There was an accident at the plant in Israel and it blew up. After that it was made in different plants in different countries such as China, Czech Republic, Belgium, USA depending on powder number and time frame.

    I once had a load worked up for my 300 Win mag using 3100. Started in on a new can of powder a groups opened up big time. The chronograph showed 240 FPS slower (same charge, same bullet) from one lot to another.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Like rcmodel and Runningman have posted, Accurate's powders have been made different places over the years. Here is a sample of two lots of AA #5. One from the 80's and one from 2006.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Ditto on Accurate powders...... and same experience with #5.
    I had a custom M1911 built with a Kart barrel, ect. in 9mm. I developed a load with Acc.#5 that was shooting at/under 1.5" at 50yds and was shooting it in NRA PPC competiton. I ran through my 4lbs of #5 and had to buy some more.

    Wow, not even the same powder......!!!
    velocity was of by 100fps and shot "shot gun" patterns with same bullet, charge, ect....

    I was recently "given" an 8lb keg that was opened and tried, and "discarded" due to significant changes from the donors previous data and loads.....

    But, it shoots/functions well through some "utility" guns I've got in .45acp, so I'll burn through it and use it up...... But, powder charges for a target level load is as much as twice that of more "conventional" powders.... I personnally won't buy any more.....
     
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Looks like the big change was in 2003/4??Did the powder company just change the powder in the can and not tell anyone?? Great photo Walkalong. Edit. Looks like Accurate & Ramshot belong to Western Powders Inc. whoever they might be.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  10. MetalHead

    MetalHead Member

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    This is why when I buy from them I like the 8 lbs jugs, cause every new jug could be enough different to give me grief. Not worth the time and trouble to redo load development for ever pound but 8 lasts me for years.
     
  11. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    +1 to metalhead. I also buy in larger quantities with ANY powder because you never know when there will be some kind of variance. Having said this, remember that 8 pounds of powder will load an awful lot of 9mm or 40mm cases!:eek:

    Buy in multiples of 8 and you can go for years with the same lot of powder. I also still have some of the Czech made Accurate #2, #5, #7, and #9 powders and I'm still loading with no changes in data.
     
  12. Beelzy

    Beelzy Member

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    As far as the original question is concerned, in a word; Yes.
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    This has been my experience. Each new lot of Accurate Arms powder is suspect and usually requires new load development.

    So, if your lot is slow, you are going to have to add more powder and check your results over a chronograph.

    Sorry.

    The only color you need to worry about is the color red. When you see red in a can of powder, and the powder has a bitter smell, the powder went bad, years ago.
     
  14. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    I probably will not buy any more of this powder. I bought the first pound just to try it out, and it gave me excellent performance in 'high performance' 45 acp and 357 Mag loads.

    It is not economical though. I have a few 8 lb jugs of Unique and Bullseye that give me 90% of the performance for half the weight in powder per charge.
     
  15. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I have had a pound of AA#7 for 10 years and have not loaded any yet.

    But I have done lots of overload experiments with AA#5.
    That powder can blow up a gun if any powder can.
     
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