Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mlrs_27m, Jan 5, 2021.
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I don't think anyone is arguing with you about that, but the OP said he has no idea what the factory charges weighed.
An oversight for sure but not insurmountable. We can state with certainly that the load fit in the case; with nearly as much certainty we know that it occupied more than 50% of the case volume (for industrial repeatability and combustion mechanics). Experience will tell you that even the slowest rifle powder will clear the bore at a 50% underload, so you're unlikely to need to remove a stuck bullet There's your Start.
This certainly is not Joe New Reloader reloading, but I doubt it's any more dangerous than rebuilding your own brake calipers.
That says it all. I personally would just dump it. The main problem being you don't know what the loads actually were as to a charge weight.
What all this back and forth boils down to is risk. Is the cost of powder worth the risk of a damaged firearm? Anyone out there says there’s no risk probably shouldn’t be taken seriously any more than someone who says there’s no way to mitigate the known and unknown risks.
For the OP: Knowing what you know, is the potential cost savings worth the risk to you? JMO/YMMV
I would only use it if civilization had deteriorated to the point that I'm out of other ammo and known powders but have a few last cartridges, primers, and bullets left. In other words....it's fertilizer.
Not to sidetrack the OP's question, but I'm curious why someone would pull factory loads just to reload them? I understand that the 7.62x39 Herter's bullets are steel cased, but I wouldn't hesitate to shoot them in an AK, SKS, etc, those guns will eat just about anything. May be different in an AR platform where the tolerances are tighter and they don't feed or function properly, or a bolt gun. I once had a box of Herter's 45acp that wouldn't feed in my Kimber, and would barely chamber. After fighting three rounds, I put the box away and later got rid of it. Had I been reloading back then, I may have pulled them in order to reload them.
As for reusing the powder, that's a personal decision based on what the OP knows. IF I knew the charge weight, THEN I might, but I probably wouldn't. But I've only been loading for a couple of years.
I have a single shot rifle that does not like the hard primers of factory steel cased ammo. I might get 3 misfires out of five shots. I have brass, primers, and powder but, I am low on projectiles.
This would never be a question if components werent so hard to come by.
If you weighed all the powder you pulled, divided by the number of rounds, you would have the average charge.
How much powder are we talking about here? 1 pound? If so, why bother with all that effort to work up a new load for a little bit of powder?
If we are talking 8 lbs of powder, sure there are reasonable methods to work up loads. You know it's a rifle powder. Start low and work up.
Just how many did you pull and how much powder there’s a diminishing return on time and effort here.
What was the purpose of pulling rather than shooting the rounds. Just curious as to why.
In the past I have broken down cheap FMJ ammo and replaced the projectiles with quality ones for hunting. Also leveling out the propellant charge helped a lot. At the time I was buying cheap 303 BRIT and 7.62X54 rounds for about the cost of a CCI primer.
Aha! Yup, that makes some sense, now. I ran into that with my CZ 527 bolt action carbine in 7.62x39mm also. It wouldn't shoot the Chinese-made Norinco steel-cased ammo worth beans - the same spec' Russian and Bulgarian ammo works fine. I didn't get failures to fire but I did get hang-fires and horrible groups. CZ said it was the ammo and to stop using it. It shot fine in a buddy's SKS - which did NOT like his white-boxed Winchester USA brass ammo - so we traded. Win-win.
They used to call the pulling and switching a bullet using the original powder and charge "Mexican Match" reloading. After WWII this method was very popular, removing military FMJ bullets and either replacing with a hunting style or "Match" bullet. Not a big deal if one uses the thing between their ears. MM loading is different than pulling a commercial ammo powder, saving it and using it in a different load. And since proper components became available (getting pretty slim now!) using an unknown powder is silly...
I have pulled some HXP 147 gr bullets and immediately replaced it with a 150 gr HPBT Match bullet, out of curiosity, but there was no improvement/benefit. I also pulled and weighed a few charges, averaged and recharged with the average charges. But I already had a lot of experience reloading at the time of the experiment and knew what I was doing. Not dangerous done this way, and may be necessary since sleepy joe has been "confirmed", but for now definitely not necessary...
You can only reuse it if you absolutely know what powder it is.
I had a buddy give me about 500 rounds of 30-06 he over loaded. He had records of what it was with amounts & dates he loaded it but had gotten out of reloading. He knew he couldn't shoot it & didn't have a way of breaking it down & didn't want to toss it out.
So I broke it down & used the bullets, powder & primers, I don't have a 30-06 so the brass was the only thing I couldn't reuse.
I've pulled down some military surplus 30-06. Its headstamped wcc 53. Got 400 rnds of it cheap. I was having problems with burn holes and case head separation. Weighed the 1st 10 rnds and took the average charge weight. Loaded it into new brass and it worked great. From what I've been able to find their were some bad batches of brass in the 50s. I still have some of that ammo and every time I pull it apart I weigh the 1st 10. Usually reload 40 at a time.
I also buy reloads at estate sales and pull them down. Dont use the powder on these but use everything else.
IMR 4895 (Bruce Hodgdon's label for it - IMR means Improved Military Rifle) was used for nearly all of the .30 US M2 Ball military loads from 1938 to the end of M2 Ball production. Hodgdon's bio and how he got started is a fascinating read. So is the history of how M1 Ball, M2 Ball and the Cartridge, Ball, Caliber .30, Model of 1906 cartridge were developed. If you pulled US-made cartridges (wcc is Western Cartridge Company, Olin) then it was probably loaded with IMR 4895. Probably.
And other govts used 4895 as well, so you may pull apart some out CONUS milspec ammo and it will contain 4895.
Makes great grass fertilizer, just don't drop it all in one spot. When I pull bullets, if I am thinking of re-using the powder, I check the bullet weight and caliber so the charge will be the same when re-used.
Just isn't worth the risk. Don't do it!!
I did some duck-duck-going around the interbox and found out Soviet and commercial Russian 7.62x39mm is loaded with a double-base ball moderated powder they designate, "SSNf 50" to about 25 grains (one source said 24.7 for mil-spec and 25.2 for Wolf commercial) with a 122gr. JHP-BT bullet in the enamel-painted steel cases, Berdan primed. Similar to Reloader #7.
My recommendation is to dump it in the rose bushes but, if you're going to do something risky, the more information you have, the better.
Would you eat or drink something of unknown origin? Sprinkle it in your victory garden
Not being a "true fact Nazi", but I have read that the gun powder use as fertilizer started from someone saying the high nitrogen content of smokeless powder might be good for plants. Others, knowledgeable gardeners have said that gunpowder will "burn" plants and is just so-so as a fertilizer. (not a know it all, just early in the day and I have nuttin' else to do right now!)
Curious if this started in the single base nitrocellulose era was no the new double base powders are bad in the garden. Just a thought.... its snowing so I'm bored also
The original powder was likely WonderDust #9.
Yeah, I'm cold and bored, also.
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