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WC 844 Advice please

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dbarnhart, Oct 24, 2011.

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  1. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    I'm looking for some advice. I've been loading for .223 with 26.5gr of Win748 behind a 55gr FMJBT bullet. The price of WC844 is pretty attractive and I'm contemplating buying a bunch (hi-techammo.com has it for $85/8lb and if you buy 4 they waive the hazmat fee)

    I understand that with milsurp powders, Lot Numbers are everything and to start low and work up a load each time I switch lot numbers. I guess what I'm asking for is guidance on the 'work up a load' part.

    For my current Win748 load, I started with the Speer manual's starting point (26.0gr) and when I got to 26.5 I decided it was 'good enough', meaning that the size of my shot groups depended more upon my personal ability than anything else, and they were good enough.

    Suggestions and/or advice?
     
  2. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    While not precisely the same, I use 846 for the same caliber (just because that's what I could get!). As you say, lot # is everything and so I started at 12 to 15% lower just to be on the safe side. I settled on 24.5....more and I started experiencing trouble....primer pocket enlargement etc..

    Since the stuff is so close I'd strongly suggest you do the same. Also, suggest you check out the castboolits.com site.....surplus powders....lotta good data there....good luck.

    By the way, I was using the identical charge of 748 under a 55 gr fmj prior to the 846 expedition........both loads print the same.
     
  3. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    I've used a few different lot numbers of WC844 in the past several years and yes you do need to work up loads because surplus powders do vary in burn rate. All my lots could safely be started at 24 grains with 55 grain bullets and at 23.5 grains with 62 fmj bullets and then working higher. I've worked up to as high as 26 grains with 55 fmj bullets but most loads I've liked have been from 25 to 25.5 grains of 844. Velocities with 25 grains with 55 fmj bullets have ranged from 3075 fps up to 3150 fps with a couple slow lots of 844 down in the 2975 fps range. I've loaded 62 M855 bullets with different lots from 24 grains of 844 up to 24.8 grains with velocities from 2925fps up approx. 3050fps at 24.8. All shot thru a 20" 1/7 twist AR-15. A chronograph is the only way to know for sure what you're getting from surplus powder. WC844 I've used has all been faster than Win 748 powder. I no longer find it's worthwhile paying $80-$100 for 8 lbs. of surplus powder when Hodgdon H335 can be found for just not too much more and it's consistent with published data available. Surplus powders a few years back were a "lot" cheaper. Do start low and work up surplus powders!!
     
  4. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    Powder Valley is selling F35 for $126.70
    My local go-to supplier has it for $132.79

    Even with shipping the WC 844 will be only about $95, so that's a pretty good savings.
     
  5. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I use WC844 in 223. Use the load data for H-335 and you will be good. Start around the starting charge and work it up.
     
  6. Cherokee

    Cherokee Member

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    I also use WC844 in 223. See if the supplier will send you all the same lot number. My lots tracked H335 reasonably well. Start with min data for H335 and work up in .2 or .3 gr increments . For normal use, less than max usually works out fine for accuracy and function.
     
  7. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I've been using WC844 for several years. My biggest regret is not buying a lot more when it was really cheap. I guess we always think things will never end, but they do. :banghead:

    I ended up with the last batch (LC12610) in GI brass at 25.0 gr behind a 55 gr FMJBT achieving 3030 fps. That is my accuracy load. The first batch of WC844 used 24.6 gr behind the same bullet to get about the same velocity. Definitely work up the load for each lot of powder and try to buy a BUNCH of the same lot.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    WC846 is much closer to W748 than WC844 which is much like H335. If you're happy with W748 you might want to buy WC846 instead even though WC844 is the .223/5.56mm powder.
     
  9. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    All of the above, + plus be aware of whether it is "pull down" or new manufacture powder. There's nothing wrong with the pull-down powder, BUT it has been loaded once, probably in the same cartridge, the .223. That means it is older, maybe much older, than new manufactured. It's a good idea to load the pull-down stuff in something that you're sure you're going to shoot it all up SOON. I've never seen any ball powder go bad, but after seeing what slamfire has dug up through his research about smokeless powders, I'd be careful.

    There's almost no new WC-844 powder available anymore. The reason should be obvious, we're fighting 2 wars that use a LOT of .223 for the troops. If Obummer gets us out of the wars, there could be some new WC-844 available again.
     
  10. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    ArchAngel: Actually, I believe that 846 is more like BallC2 than 748.......I was using 748 and 846 (at least my lot) required a lesser charge.

    From what I've read, the real difference between 844 and 846 is slight, and has it's origins in a requirement for a lesser fouling powder, regardless the stuff works well and I'd have no problem in using either.
     
  11. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Not to mention

    Not to mention some inexpensive "overrun" ammo, less expensive primers and bullets, as well as a drop in the military grade powders.

    When we, as shooters, are competing in the marketplace with the Government, we get the short end on price. When the manufacturers start to choke on oversupply, we might just get a break.

    I'm old enough to remember "Military Surplus" 30-06 rounds selling for $0.02 per and that was after the merchant added his mark-up. Maybe we will see something like this, even if only for a short time.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    From the Hodgdon burn rate chart:
    #101 W748
    #102 BL-C(2)
    I'm fairly sure the lot differences are more pronounced than which of those 2 powders are more like WC846 considering they are right next to each other on the chart.
     
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