Military surplus powder questions.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Sparkiewalt, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Sparkiewalt

    Sparkiewalt New Member

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    I am new to the forums, so hello to all. I am also new to reloading. I have been using IMR 4831 for my 7mm mag, 270, 270 WSM. I was looking to try to cut the cost down some. I am looking at some of the military surplus stuff like WC857 and IMR 7383. I just wanted to know if it was a good idea and any recommended loads.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Welcome to The Firearms Forum, Sparkle

    I do not load any of the three calibers you mentioned, but I did look through a couple of my reloading manuals. Neither WC857 nor IMR7383 are listed for those three calibers in any bullet weight. I think I would stay away from some unknown military powder without it being listed in at least one manual, no matter how cheap it might be.
  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    I was one who could not resist the low cost of pulldown powder, using the recommended start charge on the jug, I managed to ruin the bolt of my M1A with an overpressure situation. Either the jug was mislabeled or the mixed lot of propellant was FUBAR, either way it can be risky business. Yes many may chime in that it works fine, but my advice would be to stick to commercial powder, the savings is relatively small, especially if you and your equipment are subject to unecessary risk.
  4. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I load a lot of milsurp powder so let me chime in here. I too don't load the calibers you mentioned, but you can google the milsurp powders and find a civilian equivalent to start you off to determine if they will work for your application.

    It must be remembered that military powders are bulk grade powders, not cannister grade. What's the difference? Commercial cannister grade powders are blended and coated so the same powder always yields the same burn rate and pressure, and generally the same velocity, whether you bought the powder yesterday or five years ago. Therefore printed loading data can be used for any lot of that particular powder.

    Bulk grade powders, on the other hand, are made in large batches which are each tested to determine the burn rate and velocity of that specific lot, and the charge load is adjusted to yield the desired velocity and accuracy. Two different lots of the same powder can require very different loads to work properly.

    When you work with surplus powders, it's necessary to start with a low charge and work up more carefully than with a commercial powder, and a chronograph is a necessity. It's also a really good idea to buy a large quantity of powder at one time, all with the same lot number, so you don't have to go through the workup for a newly purchased lot of powder.

    You can find a ton of good information on cannister grade powders at www.castboolits.gunloads.com under their thread "Cannister & Surplus Powder."

    Google the powders and you'll find quite a bit of information on them.
  5. Sparkiewalt

    Sparkiewalt New Member

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    thanks a lot guys...I have a friend who suggested H1000. It will cost me about $200 for 8lbs including shipping and hazmat. A little pricey, but is supposed to be good powder. I may just steer clear of this surplus powder for a while. I just do not have the time to do all that test shooting..I need to load and go.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend you try H4831SC. itll cost you about the same as the H1000, is about the same burn rate and it meters like Ball propellant. A win/win/win IMO.
  7. Sparkiewalt

    Sparkiewalt New Member

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    If I have been using H4831, would the H4831SC shoot about the same? Also the SC does not show up on any of my charts. Should I use the same grains as the H4831?
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  8. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yes, data for H4831 is useable for H4831SC as well. As with any load, start at the published minimum and work up from there.
    SC will perform nearly identical to 4831, but it might be slightly different in a particular cartridge so you'll need to re-work your loads. The charge might wind up the same or it might be slightly different.
    Just don't jump right in with your current H4831 recipes and expect the same results. Always back off the charge and work up just to be safe. :)

    H4831SC is still and extruded powder like H4831, but the grains are much shorter (about the same length as they are in diameter). That's why it meters so much better though a measure than the original H4831.


    I agree with Josh, for the three cartridges you listed, H4831 or H4831SC are excellent choices for a compromise powder.
    Reloader-22 is another powder that is very close in burn rate to the 4831s and might be a good all-purpose choice too.

    H4831SC and Reloder-22 are my two favorites for the .270.
    I've had very good luck with Reloader-22 in the 7mmRemMag, but H4831 works in it as well.


    H1000 is quite a bit slower burning than 4831. It's closer to Reloder-25 in burn rate & performance.
    It's still an extruded powder so it doesn't meter any better than H4831.
    It's borderline on too slow for the .270, good for heavy bullet weights in the 7mmRemMag, and I can't say for sure about the .270WSM since I don't load it.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    yep. 4831SC is just a short cut version of 4831. data is the same.
  10. Sparkiewalt

    Sparkiewalt New Member

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    Thanks a lot guys, your experience will save me a lot of time and money. I really appreciate it. H4831sc it is. No one in my area sells 8 lb canisters, this sux. I asked the guy at bass pro and he said I was the first person to ever ask about it. go figure. But when you start loading these 60 gr mag loads it eats through a 1 lb can quick. None of the other shops in the area seemed to really care or be interested in ordering me an 8 lb can...guess I will have to bite the bullet and pay the haz mat and shipping, after I test the 1 lb can I just got.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Youre gonna love it. I use it in .243 win and 6.5-284 norma. With excellent results.
  12. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    You're right, 1lb doesn't last long when you're stuffing big cartridges.
    I loaded 120 rounds of 6.5x55 last night and killed off nearly a pound of powder. And that's not a big case by comparison to your calibers.

    I will normally try out powders with a 1lb can. If I get a promising one (or use it in half a dozen different calibers like H4831SC) I'll go for the big jug. With many of the less used powders I stick with 1lb jugs though.

    I am lucky and have a local gun shop that normally stocks or will order 8lb jugs. My cost from them is right at what I can get most brands online for when you figure in the hazmat/shipping so you bet they get my business. It's handy to have a local source, so if you do find one let em know you appreciate them.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  13. Sparkiewalt

    Sparkiewalt New Member

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    Yea, the guy at Bass pro said he would check into ordering the 8 lb jug, but his hands may be tied because BP has a lot of control over what they are able to order even at the local level. I may try talking to a manager/owner of a locally owned shop and see if they will order it for me. So far I have gotten very little/no interest in ordering/stocking 8 lb jugs.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    get with your reloading buddies and try to put together a big order to spread out the Hazmat
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