Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question about cordite powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sandy4570, Jul 30, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sandy4570

    sandy4570 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    California
    Why cordite powder come in stick that look like spargetti ? Can I cut them in to small pieces like modern extruded powder such as H 4895? It is such time consuming to pack this into the case but I do not want to waste the componet and it is quite accurate on Enfield rifle .

    Do we have any British Commonwealth forum member (may be old timer ) who load with this type of powder ? What is the trick to put this things in the case really fast ?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    NO you can't chop it up into small grains like 4895.

    It would change the burn rate to "very faster" and probably blow you up.

    But a more important question is:
    Where in the heck are you getting cordite powder for reloading in the first place? Nobody has made it or used in the last 50+ years.

    To answer your question on how they got it in the .303 case?
    Supposedly, the drawn case was primed, and the cordite spaghetti sticks added to the straight-walled brass.
    Then the straight case was final formed to bottle-neck .303.

    BTW: Cordite burns way hotter then modern powder.
    It is infamous for causing accelerated bore erosion and shorter barrel life.
    I wouldn't use it in a rifle I cared about.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  3. KSCCHTrainer

    KSCCHTrainer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    593
    Location:
    Tornado Alley - KS
    A friend of mine pretty much destroyed a No. 4 Mk 1 Enfield by shooting several surplus .303 rounds out of a box of 20 he had gotten at a gun show. They had Arabic markings on the headstamp and were extremely hot. One of the locking lugs on the bolt was cracked off and he was very lucky that he didn't get the whole bolt assembly back in his face!

    Apparently they were loaded specially for either the Hotchkiss or Lewis machine guns of WW-1 and the markings on the box (after I had them translated) said for machine gun use only.

    He gave me the rest of them as "show and tell" items for my reloading classes.

    I pulled all the bullets (174 grain FMJ flat base) and discovered the cartridges were loaded with cordite. There was a cork wad between the base of the bullet and the top of the cordite sticks.

    I now have lots of cordite to show to people, most of whom have never even heard of the stuff, let alone seen it.

    One stick burns very slowly (would create pretty high pressures when fired).
    Looks like 2" or so pieces of off-colored nylon monofilament fishing line.

    I seriously doubt there is any published reloading data on cordite of any kind and for that reason alone, it would be very bad juju to even consider using it to load your own ammo with. Especially if you value your eyes and other useful appendages.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  4. sandy4570

    sandy4570 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    California
    Sirs
    Thank you very much for this valuable information. I got a hold of WWII era .303 ammo that are hang fire ( bad primers ) but I want to salvage the component . I guess I will only keep the bullets and scrap the powder 'cause I sure don't want #4MKI bolt struck on my face:).
     
  5. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    17,437
    Location:
    Somewhere in the woods of Northern VA
    I think rcmodel answered it best with his very first word - NO! ;)

    sandy, if you don't mind, since you've gotten the answer to your question from both responders, I'm going to go ahead and close this thread. I've seen too many other threads where someone eventually comes along and says, "Well, I've done that a bunch in the past and nothing ever happened to my gun. Sure go ahead and do it."
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page