What's this 8mm mauser powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ericuda, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Just curious. Have maybe 50 of these rounds. I pulled one and the bullet weighted 197 and the powder 43.3. Does anyone have an idea of what powder it is. Berdan primed and if there is a chance they are corrosive I'll just pull them. Wont reuse the powder. They pulled with just 2 whacks of rcbs hammer surprisingly easy.

    20211217_092818.jpg 20211217_092824.jpg 20211217_092829.jpg 20211217_093747.jpg 20211217_093808.jpg
     
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  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    No point in trying to figure it out. No answer will be conclusive. You can reuse it if you want. The primers are what would be corrosive (depending on when they were made), not the powder. Just weigh 10 pulled charges and average them and load that if you like. With the same bullet weight obviously.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
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  3. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I'd bet that it's not corrosive due to the 1971 date. It's Portuguese and supposedly really good ammo. Do your own thing however.
     
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  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Only the manufacturer would know what powder they used.
     
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  5. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    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.
     
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  6. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    You guys are right, I am not desperate for bullets and don't shoot the ole mauser much. I just take out once in awhile to ring steel and have just been using h4895 reduced loads. I'll just keep the rounds and shoot a few now and then and clean appropriately.

    Still curious on powder just due to never seeing a square flake before.
     
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  7. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    It's called lemel, or sheet powder.

    https://spartacus-educational.com/FWWsmoke.htm

     
  8. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    You see the "square" powder frequently in european loadings. I believe a couple of the Shooters World powders are this style if I remember correctly from researching them in the last shortage.

    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.
     
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  9. AgPilot

    AgPilot Member

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    A Buddy and I have a truck load of these 230 gr bullets with Berdan primers. We are pulling Em and reloading them in 45 acp. We talked about weighing the powder and trying to reuse it and blah blah blah blah ( typical beer talk) 5B027D70-DD8D-4FFE-9AB0-D3D2078FC07B.jpeg BF311C56-9533-423D-ADBB-748370EB03D4.jpeg 2044F412-4392-40AE-9C35-9A27E8EE1243.jpeg . 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
     
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  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Why don’t you just shoot them?
     
  11. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    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.
     
  12. AgPilot

    AgPilot Member

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    Primers won’t go off. Reloading them with new components.
     
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  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2021
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  14. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Recently I broke some 8mm ammo down. Some was purchased in the 70's, and some was old mil ammo my dad came up with. All was bad but only one showed indication of the outside, corrosion. Any ammo over 40 yrs old needs be checked before firing. A couple of years ago I found some powder in my storage that I use for my Rem 7mm Mag had that bad smell when I opened the can. I retrieved all the ammo I had and broke them down to replace the powder with some good.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/powder-breaking-down.893636/#post-12029959
     
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  15. AgPilot

    AgPilot Member

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    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 ;)
     
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  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    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.
     
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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.
     
  18. AgPilot

    AgPilot Member

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    The brass is definitely in the scrap pile for that exact reason!
     
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  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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.
     
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  20. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    That may be. Lots of current flake powders but they are made by extrusion same as tubular grain powder just with very short cut length.
     
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  22. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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    Thanks for that clarification. :thumbup:
     
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