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Modern 5.56 use Cordite?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mopar92, Jul 16, 2011.

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  1. mopar92

    mopar92 Member

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    What is in the powder that makes ones eyes burn and smells similar to Ammonium ? The guy who owned the M16 said it's cordite that makes your eyes tear when you shoot the full auto... True?
     
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Not true.
     
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Cordite was used mostly by the British. It looks like strands of string pushed into the case. It's not used in today's 5.56 ammunition.

    What makes one's eyes burn is probably the debris from shooting that fast that hangs in the air. My ears burn when I hear someone spout off about modern ammunition using cordite for a propellant.............

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  4. mopar92

    mopar92 Member

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    It was strong, it smelled similar to ammonia or whatever. It was 855? Surplus ammo .
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Maybe you were shooting Russian Wolf ammo?
    It stinks worse then American ammo.

    But it most certainly isn't cordite powder.
    Cordite has Never been used in .5.56/.223 ammo, ever.

    Cordite was last used in the early 1960's in British .303 service ammo.

    All cordite production ended in England at the end of WWII, and the factories were closed.
    There are no cordite factories left in the world now as far as I know.

    rc
     
  6. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    There are definitely some powders out there that smell like a well used cat box when fired. Not always surplus. Last time I smelled this at the range I asked and the guy was shooting H-4895 he purchased from a local dealer. May have to due with whether the powder was damp or not. Since Ammonia is combined Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Oxygen, all the elements are there in just about every powder if there is a little moisture as well.
     
  7. mopar92

    mopar92 Member

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    It was certainly US surplus ammo.. Not wolf as stated above
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Cordite is an obsolete powder. I am unaware of any modern uses.

    I have in front of me Table 4-26 "Thermo chemical properties of propellant constituents" from AMCP 706-247. This table is on legal sized paper and has four separate pages.

    I could imagine the table on the combustion products would fill a book.

    There is a lot of nasty stuff in powder. Don't breathe the vapors!
     
  9. sig220mw

    sig220mw Member

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    I heard the smell of cordite referenced once on "Law and Order" by the forensic doctor and I got a good laugh out of it. RC said it when he said no 223/5.56 ammo has ever contained cordite because that's a fact. People who say such things are just repeating what they have heard the know nothings on the tv screen say. As usual they (tv people) very seldom know what they are talking about when it comes to guns or ammo. In this, they have a lot in common with the majority of the gun banners.
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Cleaning solvents are burn off as the Full Auto gets hot ,if to much* or the wrong kind has been used. Break Free CLP works well. Tell your cordite friend to change his cleaning methods. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  11. 68wj

    68wj Member

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    This^ . CLP burns off too and smells ammonia-ish.
     
  12. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    i dont think cordite has been available in the states in years has it???
     
  13. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    Ammonia is NH3, no Oxygen. Frankly, I have loved the smell of burnt gunpowder, ever since the mid-50s when I shot my father's old Win 06 off a country bridge, plinking at turtles. They were relatively safe with that old shot-out gun that still resides in the safe... :)
     
  14. RyeDaddy

    RyeDaddy Member

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    I've shot American Eagle 223 that had that nasty ammonia smell too, don't know what it is.
     
  15. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    The smell of ammonia...

    is not uncommon when shooting military-caliber rifle ammunition, particularly in rapid fire or full-auto. It is not peculiar to cordite-loaded ammunition, nor to any specific type of other powder, being present when firing ammunition loaded with stick or ball propellants. I think any machinegunner will know what I mean, and most military riflemen and/or experienced highpower competitors...
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike
     
  16. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    Cordite powder is nothing more than a early type double base powder with a high content of nitroglycerin mixed in a suspension of Vaseline.

    NOTE: Mineral jelly is British English for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, which is a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes. This is what changes the Cordite into a dough like material and then pressed into long cords and hence "cordite".

    cordite.gif

    cordite303-1.gif

    216ab.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
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