Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ericuda, Dec 17, 2021.
Mystery powder is never good but if you are going to load the bullets into new brass, what @1KPerDay is relatively low-risk - IF (and only IF) the powder is obviously not deteriorated. Which, you have to judge by smell and consistency. Personally, if it seems in good shape and goes bang, I'd shoot it. Corrosive priming just isn't all that hard to clean up.
Still curious on powder just due to never seeing a square flake before.
In military loadings, I've seen it mostly in Eastern Block ammunition, including relatively recent production NNY (Yugoslav) 7,92x57. It would not surprise me if your powder was sourced from Yugo at that time.
In commercial loadings, I commonly see square powder in European shotshell loads.
. Instead We are gonna put it in a pile. And throw a match at it ( from a distance of course!!!) and then have a beer
It doesn’t have to be from a distance. If it’s not contained it just goes fzzz.. not Bang. But I would just throw it in the garden or on the yard. It’s great fertilizer with all the nitrogen.
Primers won’t go off. Reloading them with new components.
Old gunpowder from 1957! Stuff that old is risky. I am going to tell you, the reason that old surplus ammunition is on the market is that the originating agency, typical a military organization, decided the stuff was too dangerous to issue and too unstable to keep in storage.
They have tests, the more sophisticated use gas chronographs to determine the amount of stabilizer left in the powder. Or they use reports of accidents from their ammunition technicians to decide to discard old lots. We no longer live in a world where the US Army knowingly issued defective 1903 rifles, (sell price at the time, $40.00) and kept them in service till the barrel wore out, or the receiver blew up in the face of the user. Now days, the Army has to budget for the cost of short and long term rehabilitative care for its injured personnel. And medical discharges are god awful expensive in the long run. (Which is why the Army does all it can to deny service related injuries, just talk to Veterans about their Gulf War syndrome claims)
Old gunpowder deteriorates, and as it deteriorates, one of the problems it creates is pressure spikes. The stuff no longer burns nice and evenly, instead the pressure curve gets to be highly irregular with the interactions between pressure waves off irregular powder granules. It is called burn rate instability. I have lots of posts accounts of individuals who blew their guns with old ammunition. And they don't know why.
By the way, the ammunition manufacturer's don't warranty their ammunition past ten years.
If the bullets can be pulled, and there is no corrosion in the case, then new powder can be put in the case and the old bullet stuffed on top. Unfortunately it sounds as though your primers have duded out. Don't know why, unless NOx outgassing from the gun powder has dudded them. Primers last a very long time.
As you can see in this thread, many in the shooting community believe ammunition is pristine and immortal. Which is why discussions about ammunition having a shelf life, and gunpowder getting dangerous, tend to be shouted down.
The cases are clean as can be. Bullets are fine. Primers will not fire. We are pulling the bullets. Throwing everything else in the garden and reloading the bullets with all new components. We were given several thousand of these. Nothing like Free bullets to reload
Have to agree. If, as it seems to be indicated regarding head stamps, it was made in Portugal, and is definitely Berdan primed, determined by visual inspection, then the ammo was likely made in Europe. Other than Norma and Vihtavouri, There are a bunch of outfits making powder in Europe. I tend to loose track of U. S. powder manufacturers.
A reasonable safe way to reuse the powder is to determine the weight of an individual charge, find a powder in a loading manual, then back track the burning rate (more or less). Probably one would better off to use it with the factory bullets which came with the ammo and in cases of roughly the same weight. However, that runs the risk of mis-measuring something and you are on your own.
The absolutely safest way to use the powder is to burn it in a metal receptacle in the driveway on New Years Eve (keeping onlookers at a safe distance) or just sprinkle it in the garden.
Chances are the 1971 primers are NOT corrosive. But don't plan on reloading those cases.
Another reason to hate berdan primed brass. If the primers dud out, it takes too long to de prime the cases, so essentially, they are scrap.
The brass is definitely in the scrap pile for that exact reason!
If French it was Poudre B, "lemel" is a misspelling of the name of the rifle, the Lebel.
But cut sheet powder was common all over Europe for a long time. Some was sold here by Alcan.
Thanks for that clarification.
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