Milsurp pistol powder question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hebrew Battle Rifle, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Hebrew Battle Rifle

    Hebrew Battle Rifle Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I recently acquired several 6# jugs of powder labeled Military Surplus Powder #102 with an addendum reading "use AA#2 data."

    I trust the source of the powder so I have no concerns regarding safety or that the contents are anything other than what is listed.

    I have loaded some 45ACP rounds using commercial AA#2 load data. The rounds are very weak even using the maximum load data.

    If you are familiar with this powder, what commercial load data is more appropriate than AA#2? The data for AA#5 seems to be more inline with what I am getting, but the maximum data seems too high.

    Any useful assistance would be appreciated.
  2. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Jan 14, 2020
    In the scenario that you're describing I would do a work up to wear your 45 ACP you shooting around 850 ft per second and call it good
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I would adjust to maybe 750 fps or the least to reliably function the action.
  4. sequins

    sequins Member

    Oct 14, 2014
    Have you got a chrono?
  5. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

    Jul 3, 2018
    Not DFW
    What bullet are you using?

    Western data for AA#2 shows a start charge of 5.1 gr and a max of 5.3 for a 230 XTP. That gives 800-833 fps. That's +P data

    Standard data shows 4.3 gr - 5.1 gr for 700 fps to 800 fps.

    AA#2 is a pretty fast powder. It works best with lighter bullets in my experience. 5.2-5.8 gr for a 200 gr SWC, 826-939 fps.
    AJC1 likes this.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    You can't just pick the data you want. They told you to use AA#2 load data because that powder you bought is very similar in burn rare to AA#2. Don't use data from other powders, stick with what the distributor tells you is safe.
    Texas10mm, AJC1 and Slamfire like this.
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Mystery powder is a risk and any accidents that happen during load development is on you. I always used a chronograph to develop loads. As for using known powders for loads, at best, they might provide "guidance", but that is about it.

    You really don't know the condition of the powder, and it is my opinion, based on my research, that any surplus powders on the market are there because they were scrapped. They were scrapped because they were too dangerous to use, and too dangerous to store. Someone with access to manuals, procedures, and test equipment, went over that lot and per his procedures, decided to remove it from inventory because it was too hazardous to to issue, and too hazardous to keep in storage.

    I usually get 100% denial on this. Sometimes angry denial, but the denial rate is close to 100% Everyone knows their stash of old ammunition and old gunpowder is like new and will last forever. But I do have a simple question: what is the percentage of stabilizer left in the powder?

    Be aware with old powders, the stuff will pressure spike because the powder grains have deteriorated unevenly. Also, with double based powders, the nitroglycerine has migrated to the surface, and that will spike the pressure curve. If you ever experience pressure signs, on loads that "should be OK", stop using the stuff before your firearm blows up.
    FROGO207 and ArchAngelCD like this.
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