Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So got looking for powder and stumbled across a good deal on some milsurp powder with "equivalent rate to Hodgdon H870 or AA8700 data" , which of course i haven't played with before.

Looking for ideas , recipes and precautions particularly for 35 rem, 375 h&h mag, 300 win mag and maybe 45/70 (those big cases take a lot of powder and varget is rarer than hens teeth now)
 

·
The Shadow (Moderator)
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
Bulk grade powder, especially in those very slow burning ranges; can vary widely. That's before someone decided it was out of spec, and surplused it to the waste market.

Slowly work up, carefully watching velocities the entire time.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,972 Posts
The powder you're looking at is extremely slow burning, if it's equovalent to H870 or AA8700. Unfortunately, that powder would be far too slow for the cartridges you've listed.
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
37,006 Posts
Agreed, far too slow for anything you have listed. Look at Hodgdon's on-line data for H870 to see what cartridges you'd need to have for the stuff to be suitable.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,604 Posts
My old print data from Hodgdon says 870 was the last surplus powder left in the Hodgdon line. Once it was gone, that was the end of it. The description says it is for use with heavy bullets in overbore magnum cartridges and in the 50 BMG. I have data for the 470 Nitro Express and the 378 Weatherby if that's any help. In the cartridges you named it willeityher squib out and leave a bullet stuck in the barrel or burn only partially, throwing most of the powder out unburned and will achieve only low pressures and poor velocities at the expense of a lot of powder. Unless you are planning to get a Barret, I would not expect you to find it useful for much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
While too slow by 'normal' load prescriptions, they can be used successfully for low pressure/low velocity loads that can simulate black powder loads. Accurate Arms listed it's use in their earlier loading manuals. I used AA8700 in some 285 grain cast bullet loads in a 35 Whelen Ruger M77 with good accuracy results. If you look at the cast bullet websites and forums, you'll find several references to it's use. You can expect a fair amount of unburned powder, but a positive is that you don't have to concern yourself with powder position or double charges, the case will be full.
You can find some data from this link to older Accurate Arms book: http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/2003guide.pdf
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,604 Posts
I'm just glad it turns out not to squib out and stick bullets. Thanks for posting that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: crooked creek

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
37,006 Posts
I've fiddled with such powders with cast bullets as well; never got all that great of results. The key was to completely fill the case, as far as consistent ignition. Never got all that great of groups, though perhaps a little more experimenting would have changed that.

While Varget works in the .35 Rem, it's almost too slow for even that. So H870 wouldn't likely do much more than push the bullet out the end of the barrel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Quoted from another website

Hodgdon never made H870. They've run out of the stock they had. H870 is military surplus WC870, an Olin Ball Powder made for loading 20mm cannon cartridges. Since it was made in the same time frame as the Ball powders that caused the fouling problems in the early M16s, I suspect the problem is the same, too much residual calcium carbonate in the powder. The usual description is of a very hard deposit in the corners of the rifling grooves that's difficult to scrub out and doesn't come out with the usual cleaning solvents. If I encountered this problem, the first thing I'd try is swabbing out the bore with white vinegar, followed by the usual cleaning. I haven't encountered it, though, as I use the rather similar surplus WC860 and WC872. My batches are of more recent manufacture; Olin took care of the excess lime problem when it was identified circa 1965.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
Out of curiosity, and to refresh an aging memory, I went and dug out some old targets and chrono tapes from 1-5-03 that I shot with the above mentioned 35 Whelen 280 Grain (nominal mold spec.) Lyman gas check cast bullet load. Out of three 5 shot, 50 yard groups shot that day with loads of XMP 5744 (2.645"), IMR-4895 (1.327"), and AA8700 (1.208"), you can see which was best. All three groups were fired in succession on the same day without cleaning in between. These were not 'developed loads', but rather first time out of the block 'let's try these powders!'
Chrono results were: XMP 5744 - Hi - 1774.6, Lo - 1701.8 ; IMR 4895 (only three of the shots registered) - Hi - 1732.7, Lo - 1664.2 ; AA 8700 - Hi - 1604.8, Lo - 1585.7, Av - 1593, SD - 7.2, MAD - 4.9, ES - 19.1
I realize that one five shot group of three different powders 'Does not the story tell.', but, ain't all bad!!
 

·
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Joined
·
23,893 Posts
Some years ago, used up most of the 870 fireforming wildcat cases. The small remainder went into the wife's flower plot.
 

·
The Shadow (Moderator)
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
In reference to the story from the other website. Hodgdon has never made a single ounce, of any smokeless powder. They have only ever bought surplus, and occasionally paid for some toll milling.

Similarly, the "fouling" problem was at least a large combination of things. The CaCO difference between WC 846 and WC 844, is 0.25%. The testing and levels came from trials at Sherman, without looking back I thought I remembered that happening in 69...
At any rate, it took them several hundred thousand rounds, and no cleaning to figure it out. So, while for their purposes something to keep an eye towards; it's not the devil on the bumper sticker that everyone thinks it is.

I don't know that I ever knew what era the WC846 that went into that program, was actually manufactured. However it's Hurcules patent date was the early to mid 1930's(32-35). And after sitting in cardboard drums in leaky boxcars in Florida for an unspecified length of time, Hodgdon bought it and began selling it to us.
Which ties back into the caution of surplus wide lot variations, and the unknown reasons why things were surplussed to begin with. Ideas or directions to consider for a load is fine. But if our OP honestly wants "a recipie", he is walking on some sketchy thin ice.

Be safe, and have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
The CaCO difference between WC 846 and WC 844, is 0.25%.
Are you referring to Calcium Carbonate here? If so, it is CaCO3.

Here is a photo of a pound that I had stashed away for a few years. :D It smelled ok, but the density was way off from what I could tell, so I dumped it. I gave the can to a local reloading store who had a display shelf of old powder cans...then the guy shuttered his doors a few months later. I wish now I would have kept it.

Also a photo of the price list from my Hodgdon #20...not sure of the year, but probably mid-late 60's as my Dad wrote on a number of pages. H870 is the last listing at the bottom of the page.

101_6634.JPG

Hodgdon Manul prices.jpg
 

·
The Shadow (Moderator)
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
Are you referring to Calcium Carbonate here? If so, it is CaCO3.
Yes, CaCO3; thank you for the catch. 👍

Also love the old loading manual, and how it shows how the marketing claims twist with time! 😆😆😆
 
  • Like
Reactions: JWSmith1959

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
Here is a photo of the cover. I am assuming it is an old CUP pressure testing device. Pretty cool. I searched through it and could not find a copyright date...I was guessing earlier, but it was most likely prior to 1972 as my Dad passed away in 1973. Cool looking at some of his notes he wrote ~50 years after the fact.

Hodgdon 20 Cover.jpg
 

·
The Shadow (Moderator)
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
That's a universal receiver and pressure barrel, yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
The powder you're looking at is extremely slow burning, if it's equovalent to H870 or AA8700. Unfortunately, that powder would be far too slow for the cartridges you've listed.
Accurate Arms listed data for AA8700 in their older manuals. I tried it once, it gave black powder velocities and a smokeless boom. I don't recall the manual # but it had the red cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I had some success with both H870 and AA8700 in .257 Wby Mag with 120 gr bullets and 7MM Rem Mag with 160 gr bullets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've l
I've fiddled with such powders with cast bullets as well; never got all that great of results. The key was to completely fill the case, as far as consistent ignition. Never got all that great of groups, though perhaps a little more experimenting would have changed that.

While Varget works in the .35 Rem, it's almost too slow for even that. So H870 wouldn't likely do much more than push the bullet out the end of the barrel.
I've loaded varget in 35 rem with no issues so far as almost too slow. Seemed pretty brisk for me and that was far from a max load with cast bullet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
While too slow by 'normal' load prescriptions, they can be used successfully for low pressure/low velocity loads that can simulate black powder loads. Accurate Arms listed it's use in their earlier loading manuals. I used AA8700 in some 285 grain cast bullet loads in a 35 Whelen Ruger M77 with good accuracy results. If you look at the cast bullet websites and forums, you'll find several references to it's use. You can expect a fair amount of unburned powder, but a positive is that you don't have to concern yourself with powder position or double charges, the case will be full.
You can find some data from this link to older Accurate Arms book: http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/2003guide.pdf

Probably the most usable response so far.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top