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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Jack's second picture shows AT LEAST six different powders, 2400, Bullseye and or Unique, possibly IMR4064 or RL15 and others I cant identify. I have a jug I put bench sweapings in that has everything from Red Dot to H50 BMG in it that looks much the same.

If we can get Wapitikid back to say where he got the powder . . . . . .

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I appreciate the pictures and comparisons. According to the loader, the only powders in his room are H1000, H4831 SC, RL 22, H 4198, and H4227. Of those, only 4227 has the speed to take apart a rifle but hasn't been used for quite some time....no chance of a polluted measure. I'm still looking, but so-far the evidence shows a 'weakness' in the action that appears to have been a large part of the causation. More as information is gathered and documented. I'm NOT saying there is a 'defect' only an anomaly.
All the powder was bought fresh from a dealer in 2020.
 

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Gun powder is a chemical. The only method of determining your powder is to have it analyzed by Hodgdon's chemists. The downside is shipping it to Hodgdon for analysis. I'm sure HazMat rigmarole applies. However, Hodgdon assuredly has advise about shipping consistent with HazMat regulations.

BTW, H-4831 is a spectacular powder.
 

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The Shadow
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According to the loader, the only powders in his room are H1000, H4831 SC, RL 22, H 4198, and H4227. Of those, only 4227 has the speed to take apart a rifle but hasn't been used for quite some time....no chance of a polluted measure.

All the powder was bought fresh from a dealer in 2020.
Ehhhh...... You wanna clarify that a tad for me.

Because what you said is he hasn't used 4227 in a long time. But bought every one of them this year.

If he's not using them, why buy them? How old are the originals? When had he mixed then previously?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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It also should be noted that H4831 is an ADI product (AR2213SC) from Austrailia. H1000 is AR2217, H4198 is AR 2207, H4227 is AR2205.

No way am I saying it's "their fault" but Hodgdon gets it in huge drums and bottles/renames it in their jugs. Just saying, not accusing or passing blame.

RJ
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'd start with getting pictures of the faster of those powders (4198 and 2400). H1000 and RL22 are both slower than 4831, and shouldn't have caused a problem, even if mixed in.

The rest of those cartridges ought to go to a facility with the means to conclusively identify what is in them, as well as the remainder of the bottle of powder that the OP has. My opinion.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Kinda what I was illuding to. We can compare pictures 'til the cows come home but there are so many powders that look alike it's impossible for us laymen to identify them.

RJ
 
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The dealer may have accepted a return from someone who mixed powder's. It's also not the first time someone found mixed powder's in a can on a dealer's shelf. Not sure what motive the dealer would have for mixing it, but the public has access to things on shelves and can pull stunts for no reason.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I've heard of that too and wondered myself why a certain container doesnt feel as full or fuller than another (my hands can weigh things to the grain 😁) or if I'm mistaken (99.9% of the time) Having heard of it being done (no proof) I always check the seal now or order online as the hazmat fee is cheaper now than driving the 100+ miles one way just for powder.
 

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I count 10 or more different powders in your original sample. Out of curiosity I took a pic of the contents of my scrap container. It is the result of a few months of tearing down other peoples reloads, some of my own orphaned reloads, and a bit of retired military ammunition + bench sweepings. The container is clearly labeled "junk powder do not use" but I suppose that after I meet my demise such a label wouldn't necessarily stop some fool from trying it. The resemblance to your sample is creepy. I once bought a complete reloading setup at an estate sale that included several 1 pound cans of various IMR powders. Some in unopened cans, which I am using. Among the opened cans is a full one of IMR4064 that isn't extruded as expected, but uniformly crushed. That powder quickly dissolved in water, and when open air burned was confirmed to be FFG black powder. All the rest of the open cans went to the garden.
100567
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I appreciate the picture.
The stumper so-far in this deal is the lack of flake or ball powder. The only fast powders the OP has on hand that could have been mixed is 4227 and 4198. I remember 4227 as being an angular crumble like Re7. 4198 is thin and long and absent in the loads I pulled down. There's not enough unknown powder to create the detonation that hurt him and we know the the case was overpressured by the extrusion of brass into the ejector hole. The bolt lugs broke late in the event as result of that overpressure. Did it come from severely compressed powder? It has to be chiseled out of the case. The load and the OAL is right out of the Nosler book.
I know why the bolt came out, but I don't know how that case built that much pressure. Yet.
 

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The Shadow
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Clearly that isn't fresh 4831, or at the very least not normal serviceable 4831. So while it may be fair to say that good 4831 can't normally produce pressure problems from Nosler load data, very clearly that isn't good, or normal 4831.

Also None of Noslers data online indicated that it is a compressed load, only Hodgdon shows that with a lower charge. Compressed is one thing, being so compacted as to have to chisel or pick it out of the case is quite another. If nothing else that should have been a huge red flag while loading.

Now if we pretended that the powder wasn't messed-up like it is in terms of size, shape, geometry, and what looks like obvious construction differences. Then to be found so compacted as to have to pick at it to get it loose, I have to wonder...
With that level of compaction, clearly designed-for burning rates can very easily go out of the window. How many times have we read about or discussed slow burning powder charges and or fused powder charges detonating?

I would also wonder about some type of hang-fire event where he didn't wait for it. If he began unlocking the bolt and then that fused mass of powder let go in an uncontrolled way, then the results can speak for themselves.

Cheers
 

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Just a thought. Was that the first time he shot that case or had it been shot multiple times in his rifle? Could there have been something wrong in the manufacture of that case that lead to the case volume being significantly less than it should have creating an over pressure situation? That could also be why the load you pulled down seemed highly compressed.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Cases get bigger over time, not smaller.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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H4198 is different than IMR4198, it's shorter grained like ADI Benchmark 1. ADI Benchmark 2 IS Hodgdon's Benchmark. There appears to be so.e of that in the mix too.

The heavily compressed load could account for the misshaped grains. Ball powder coulda got flattened. Thinking out loud.

RJ
 

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Cases get bigger over time, not smaller.
Yeah, thanks for that MikeG. Sorry I was not more clear in my post. I realize brass cannot get a smaller internal volume each time it is fired. That is why I asked if this was a first time firing on that case. The hypothesis would not make any sense otherwise.

If there was a significant defect in the case that cause a reduced volume, that should cause and increase in pressure and could severely compressed powder charge. For example, the base web thicker than it should be.

I learned very early in my reloading career what can happen if you switch from you RP 223 brass to Military brass without changing the load. Just asking about the same concept only maybe to the extreme.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
The OP had loaded 4831SC but these loads are (supposed to be) 63gr/Re22. The information that came with the bullets says that's a middle of the book load. The five fired cases are normal in every way. It could be the norma cases are smaller because there's no way to stuff 66 grains of Re22 and still seat bullet without hydraulics.
I agree with Daarker-- the 'fused' compaction of powder grains had to have affected chamber pressures. It bothers me the pressures could be three to four times 'normal', though!
Here's the loading data from Nosler.
I don't have Re22 to compare, but I do know that after digging 63 grains out of a case and pouring it back in results in powder up to but not in, the neck. 66 grains would be overflowing.

Norma case with unfired primer is 252.2 gr. Capacity of water to the top, 78gr.
 

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The Shadow
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Right, but again notice the rest of the details in the Nosler data.

Tested nosler cases, which are Norma cases; holds 66.1gr of water. Not even their max charge of RL-22 was compressed, let alone fused, as was reported to be the case when the handload was pulled apart. So again, red flags and alarms should have been going off to the reloader when such a difference was noticed during loading.

Fused charges of powder and detonations are a very serious and real thing. UncleNick recently touched on this and resultant pressures in another thread.
Or if you remember in a couple different posts I've done, the secondary ignitions I found with a "middle of the road" load in a 308. Some of those loads exceeded 80,000 psi, with zero "signs", including "normal" middle of the road charge velocities. That was with reasonable charges, but with burning rates gone wrong. Fuse that charge into a solid mass, and it's no longer a propellant it's an explosive.

Cheers
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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If we are now loading with RL22, when did we make the switch?

Also, not much of the sample in the picture looks like RL22 squished or not.

RJ
 
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