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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 09:47 AM
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I am almost at the bottom of the powder barrel for my hunting rifle. I have already purchased another bottle of the same type of powder but was wondering what you normally do when you move from one bottle to another.

Do you load as much as you can from the first barrel and toss what is left or do you just dump it into the other bottle. I know you write down the lot number of the powder so I was thinking that if you dump from one into the other you now have a mix of two lots.

Not sure why this might be an issue but there are quite a few little details that have bigger impacts than I would have thought.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:24 AM
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In general and for safety, the proper procedures is; never mix powders from differing lots, properly dispose of unused powder, always use safe and established reloading practices.

Other than that you could PM me for my person thoughts on this issue. But someone may feel safe in sharing what they do when the get to the bottom of the keg.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:26 AM
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The stuff makes excellent fertlizer for the wife's flower garden, if you can get past her horror of the process!
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:24 PM
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If mixing two, full, 1lb containers of a given powder together is 100% wrong...how wrong is it to mix 1% of a 1lb container into another, full, 1lb container? (70 grains into a container with 7000)

How much danger could that really represent? I'm not going to even attempt to answer that.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:31 PM
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First, I'll establish a performance standard for the old powder using my 95% Solution method. Page Title Then, assuming the new lot is anywhere close to the old one - I combine them.

This goes ONLY for powders of the exact same name, from the exact same maker, of course.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:59 PM
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I do the same. As one keg nears the bottom, I pour it into the next keg in line.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:02 PM
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When I do have to buy a new batch, I back the load down about 10 - 15% and rework it back to the load I was using. If it's one of the newer generation of powders, they usually will shoot the same, but even powders that are only three or four years old, when replaced with a new batch of the same powder, the load changes. I've had a couple that I could never get to match the performance of the older powder it replaced and went to a different powder all together.

I would also recommend you don't wait until you run out. Have enough of the old powder that you can use to compare the new powder to on the same day and time. Too many times things can change since you built the load or the last time you've checked it and when you start checking the new powder. You start shooting targets with the new and not doing very well, you blame the powder, but shoot some of the old loads and find they shoot the same as the new. Then you find you're gun or something else has changed.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:21 PM
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Don't know what powder or cartridge you load for but it would seem to me if there's not enough left in the container for one more load it would probably be less than 50grs or so. Now if it were me I'd just dump it into the next pound of powder (as Rocky says same type and make of course) as to me mixing 50 or so grains of one lot into 7000gr of another lot wouldn't be to dangerous.....but to most folks around here I've always been known as a risk taker. why I've even been known to change from one brand of primer to another right in the middle of running a batch of reloads when I've run out of the brand I was using... I know, crazy, but sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do..... I must add that these would be "mid" range 45 colt loads...

Last edited by simcoe; 11-21-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:26 PM
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These powders were purchased only a month or two apart. Thanks for all the ideas and I am so glad I asked because that article that Rocky posted make so much sense. I like how straight forward it is yet so simple. It never fails to amaze me how some people can find such a simple solution. I think in software the word would be eloquent.

I doubt I will dumping it into my garden or house plants. I am hoping the last of the powder is enough to at least build a fouler shell. Thankfully, I have enough shells for hunting season so I can take my time with the new can and see if it changed anything.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2012, 09:03 AM
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Thanks, raptor. For decades, I read that "back down 10% and work back up" rule - and it NEVER made much sense. If you back down and shoot a few, how do you know how that compares to your old powder? Unless you recorded what the old powder did backed down the same amount (and using the same components) your re-test tells you nothing.

But if you shoot a slightly reduced reference load and rigorously record the results, you have a yardstick by which to judge a new component. The only question is how much to back down. I selected 5% because that's the outside limit that powder companies use for lot-lot variation (and most keep it well inside that.) At worst, then, you'd get the same velocity with the new powder at the reduced charge level.

The reference load works equally well when you change brass, primers or bullets of the same weight, by the way. Just be sure to change only one component at a time.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2012, 10:47 AM
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Nearly all of my reloading is accuracy work for paper punching so my loads are nothing near max. With this in mind, my technique for mixing different lots of the SAME powder goes like this: I throw as many charges of my old lot as I can, weighing each charge. When my charges start to become erratic due to lack of powder in the powder measure, I throw a charge and use the powder to adjust any erratic charge to the desired charge. When the powder level in the reservoir is REALLY low, I pour from the new lot to refill the reservoir. If I do this correctly, maybe only one or two cases will contain mixed lots of powder as I continue reloading. "Sharpie" mark the new lot cartridges for accuracy testing and adjust as needed. Very seldom have I found new lots of powder deviate accuracy-wise enough to warrent any adjustments in powder charges. I've had changes in impact points but group size remains relatively the same.

Remember that my loads are nothing near max. If you shoot near max, I would suggest you take the remainder of the old lot which, if you're frugal like me, won't amount to much and use it for fertilizer.
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Raab View Post
Thanks, raptor. For decades, I read that "back down 10% and work back up" rule - and it NEVER made much sense. If you back down and shoot a few, how do you know how that compares to your old powder? Unless you recorded what the old powder did backed down the same amount (and using the same components) your re-test tells you nothing.

But if you shoot a slightly reduced reference load and rigorously record the results, you have a yardstick by which to judge a new component. The only question is how much to back down. I selected 5% because that's the outside limit that powder companies use for lot-lot variation (and most keep it well inside that.) At worst, then, you'd get the same velocity with the new powder at the reduced charge level.

The reference load works equally well when you change brass, primers or bullets of the same weight, by the way. Just be sure to change only one component at a time.

If you're loading for an M1 Garand, then it isn't going to make any difference as far as a new lot is concerned. You're not loading anywhere near max, so even if the new can is 3% faster than the old one, you still won't exceed safe limits. But what if you're loading a .300 Mag with a 180 gr. bullet right up at the top end of the charge range? That extra 3% may be enough to cause the bolt to stick, or worse.

There is a sound reason for dropping back and working back up to your previous load. Its called safety. If you combine that with checking velocity over a chronograph, it isn't very hard to verify if you need to cut back on the charge, or not. You shouldn't have to fire more than 5 rounds to verify. Let's say your load is 75 gr.. 10% is 7.5 gr. Divide that in 5 increments and measure the velocity. The one that gives you the same velocity as before is where to stop. Consider those as fouling shots at the range. For somebody who's been loading as long as you have, Rocky, you ought to know that, with all due respect.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2012, 01:42 PM
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If the powder difference is only 3%, why would you advocate backing off 10%?

From what I can see, Rocky DOES back off and test the new powder. Did you even read the excellent article he wrote on the process he uses? Seems very safe to me.
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2012, 02:58 PM
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Raptor,

Once you have found the sweet spot for a powder/bullet combination, then buy a number of containers of that powder, making sure all of the new batch is on the same lot number! Better yet, buy a jug of that powder.

I have seen velocity drop by nearly a 100fps just in the change of one lot to another, and it is very likely the difference could at times be more. IF, the change had been the other way the increased velocity would have come because of increased pressures which if the difference was great enough, could put you into a dangerious situation.

Running a quick test for pressures with the new powder lot is the smart and safe way.

Those who suggested dumping the tiny bit of powder left in one can, were giving good advice!

If as suggested above, you buy in larger qualities, this problem will arise far less often and save you some time, thought, money besides.

Some years back a Speer loading manual listed some velocities to dream of. Velocities which I could never come close to. Not only were Speer and I dealing with the differences in barrel and action, but also with the differences in lot to lot verations in powder, brass, primers etc.

I'd like to have had a jug of the powder from their lot number, as nothing I had even came close without far exceeding safe limits, even if I could have crammed enough powder in the case, which I couldn't

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Ol'Coot; 11-22-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2012, 03:49 PM
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Your next lot of powder may look the same, but is now made in a different country. (thanks to Hodgdon) Never mix powder, unless marked with the same lot number. Example IMR 4198, 4227 MSDS
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2012, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
If the powder difference is only 3%, why would you advocate backing off 10%?

From what I can see, Rocky DOES back off and test the new powder. Did you even read the excellent article he wrote on the process he uses? Seems very safe to me.
Because even though they say they hold things to 3% variance, you aren't using the same rifle they did, and your bullets and primers are not from the same lot they used. And, because sometimes its more than 3%. None of which you have any way of determining.

10% isn't very much, and it only takes a few rounds to verify if you need to adjust the load. What's the point of risking potential damage or injury just to save a few grains of powder or the very minor inconvenience of testing a new lot of powder?

Every reloader makes their own determination in how to proceed in these circumstances. We all have free will in that regard. If you've got a lot of experience, you've at least got some basis for doing what you do. But, if you're new to the game, you may not realize all the nuances that can effect the end result. If you get a perfect storm where all the negatives line up together, you've got a problem. We need to be aware of that when we make recommendations so that some newb doesn't ruin his rifle or get seriously hurt. So, 10% isn't so much to deal with in the overall scheme of things.
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  #17  
Old 11-23-2012, 08:00 AM
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You seem to not grasp my method, rifter. My 95% Solution is based on MY components fired in MY rifle. The velocity/pressure standard I establish with a 5%-reduced charge provides a direct and concrete comparison to ANY change in components. New can of powder, new brick of primers, new box of bullets, new batch of brass... It takes only five rounds of ammo using the new component to reveal everything I need to know.

If you merely reduce a load 10% and fire it, you will get a lower velocity than with the non-reduced load. So how does that tell you how to "adjust" the charge? You have no standard against which to compare. My method provides that standard.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
If the powder difference is only 3%, why would you advocate backing off 10%?
Only reason I can think of is if/because you load by weight, rather than by volume, so things get disproportionately screwed up when you switch lots. I don't load that way so I don't have to employ the fuzzy math.

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  #19  
Old 11-23-2012, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
Your next lot of powder may look the same, but is now made in a different country. (thanks to Hodgdon)
???
You do know that Hodgy has NEVER made one ounce of smokeless gunpowder, right?
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  #20  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:22 AM
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By weight or volumn, it makes no difference as we are not in control of the formulation and can only deal and rely on the experience and reputations of our suppliers.

Have you never heard of. "recalls"?

As ROCKY Raab says, it only takes a few shots to verify pressures with a new lot of powder!

But then if ecomomy of time and components are the most important to you, look at it this way. it takes only one shot to turn a nice firearm into parts and pieces.

BE smart and buy your powder in larger batches and save yourself the time and effort and potential problems of retesting every 100 - 150 shots.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Ol'Coot; 11-23-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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