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Goosic View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 16 2020 at 5:23pm
Last week I bought four boxes of military Match M852.  They arrived today.
I carefully opened one of the boxes and and removed four cartridges to breakdown into their individual components and weigh each charge to compare with my handloads. 
The averaged charge weight came out to 42.1grns.  41.5 being the minimum and 42.3 being the maximum. 41.7grns/2.7g is the advertised  charge weight. The cases all measured 1.621" in the Hornady headspace comparator which is identical to my full length resized cases using the 308 resizing die.  The cases are trimmed to 2.005" as well.  The averaged C.O.L. came to 2.785". The primers used look to be the Federal Gold Match non magnum primers however. It was interesting to note that, all four Sierra HPBT bullets weighed in at 167.8, 168.1, 167.6, and 168.0 respectively.  The only noticeable difference in a normal LC case and these LC Match cases is the knurling around the base of the Match cases. These particular cases are date stamped 1990 but I have seen some Match cases date stamped 74' , 80', and 82'. Hodgdon has a published psi of 43,800 when charged with 41.5grns of IMR4064, using the Sierra 168grn HPBT. 
Federal commercial ammunition using the Sierra 168grn HPBT, Federal Gold Medal Match cases, and 41.5grns of IMR4064,( I broke down some commercial ammunition as well, )in comparison, would be as safe to use in a rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO in my honest opinion...
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Frameman 1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frameman 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2020 at 6:09pm
very interesting. I have reloaded some Hornady 165 gr. Bullets with a minimum load of IMR 4895 at 35 gr. With no more pressure signs using the Hornady cases that I had trouble with before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 12:35am
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Hodgdon has a published psi of 43,800 when charged with 41.5grns of IMR4064, using the Sierra 168grn HPBT. 
Federal commercial ammunition using the Sierra 168grn HPBT, Federal Gold Medal Match cases, and 41.5grns of IMR4064,( I broke down some commercial ammunition as well, )in comparison, would be as safe to use in a rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO in my honest opinion...

Do you know what powder is used in those 7.62 rounds ?

It could be that the Hodgdon is 'hotter' than the NATO, or vice versa.
I don't think that you can really make proper comparisons without knowing the characteristics of both powders.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Frameman 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 1:56am
I’m fairly certain that the weak link in my failed load of Hornady 308 cases with CCI 200 primers , Hornady 165 gr, SST bullets with 42 gr. Of IMR 4895 powder was the 308 cases. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 6:13am
More often than not, military loads are made using a bulk formulated propellant for a specific purpose and not directly comparable to commercial canister grade powders even though they have the same name designation (e.g. IMR 4895).  Powder charge weights will vary from lot to lot as they were loaded to give a specified velocity, sometimes by as much as 2 or more grains for the same type of powder (but different bulk lot).  

There should be info online giving the muzzle velocity out of a M14 National Match Rifle at a specified distance from the muzzle (usually 78 feet), that would give some indication of how hot the load is.  


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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 6:58am
Originally posted by The Armourer The Armourer wrote:

Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Hodgdon has a published psi of 43,800 when charged with 41.5grns of IMR4064, using the Sierra 168grn HPBT. 
Federal commercial ammunition using the Sierra 168grn HPBT, Federal Gold Medal Match cases, and 41.5grns of IMR4064,( I broke down some commercial ammunition as well, )in comparison, would be as safe to use in a rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO in my honest opinion...

Do you know what powder is used in those 7.62 rounds ?

It could be that the Hodgdon is 'hotter' than the NATO, or vice versa.
I don't think that you can really make proper comparisons without knowing the characteristics of both powders.
 
It is the same powder The Armourer. 
 From everything I have researched and gathered information on The Armourer. The powder used is in fact IMR4064 with a charge weight of 41.745grns/2.7g. I have been waiting on the actual round to arrive to weigh the charges to see if they are weighed out exactly.  There is a + - of .4grns.
I have found the military contract/order number that specifies the powder and weight. The commercial round produced by Federal, when broken down to its individual components has the exact same charge weight,seating depth, and C.O.L. (Federal Ammunition is also the contracted supplier of the MK 316 MOD 0 military 175grn SMK tipped sniping ammunition with the specified 41.745 grns of IMR4064)
They make the identical civilian marketed commercial round as well. 
Hodgdon reloading data using 41.5grns of IMR4064 with the 175grn Sierra HPBT has a published psi of 45,200, and yes, these are Piezo Scale numbers and conform to the UK CIP standards. 

The bottomline here The Armourer is that I have spent countless hours over the past three years researching the information and I have used my No4Mk1/2 that I converted to 7.62x51mm as the test Mule. The handloads are identical to military supplied ammunition.  Hodgdon as well gives a very low published 43,800 psi reading using .2grns less than the  standardized military 41.745grns.  The Federal Cartridge Company produces two commercially sold variants of the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge with the 308 Winchester brand. The military contract number confirms the charge weight and powder used,, and Hodgdon gives a published PSI reading well under the 52,000 CIP number the UK uses to dissuade the populace with. This is not a fools errand and I have supplied you the facts based off of published data that I have taken more time than I care to admit to in researching.  
Side Note: My handloads using military LC brass and the specific charge weight mentioned, weigh exactly the same as the military M852 ammunition i recieved yesterday. 392.1grns.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 7:19am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

More often than not, military loads are made using a bulk formulated propellant for a specific purpose and not directly comparable to commercial canister grade powders even though they have the same name designation (e.g. IMR 4895).  Powder charge weights will vary from lot to lot as they were loaded to give a specified velocity, sometimes by as much as 2 or more grains for the same type of powder (but different bulk lot).  

There should be info online giving the muzzle velocity out of a M14 National Match Rifle at a specified distance from the muzzle (usually 78 feet), that would give some indication of how hot the load is.  


Would you please be kind enough to explain in layman's terms how off the shelf/store bought IMR4064 smokeless powder is not IMR4064 smokeless powder when the military uses it under contract from Federal Cartridge Company? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 7:32am
Its a "Canister Powder" a version of the commercial one with the same designation, but not quite as tightly controlled when made in giant batches.
The military orders ammo in bulk so they simply adjust the load for Mil-Spec as they're reloading "a batch" of several million rounds.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 7:50am
Commercial ammunition is loaded in bulk/giant batches as well. 
I ended up breaking down one box/20 rounds of the M852 stuff this morning and weight out each charge. On average I came out with 41.8grns. The lowest weight of 41.3grns was recorded and a weight of 42.1 being the heaviest weight recorded. A plus or minus of just .4grn. I honestly do not see an issue here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 8:01am
Shamu is right.  The military (and most commercial factory ammunition) use bulk (non-canister grade) powders.  For canister powders reloaders buy sold in small quantities (usually 1 lb and 8 lb) are made in lots that are carefully blended to produce very consistent (lot to lot) pressures per given quantity (i.e. weight) so that the reloading manuals apply to all lots of powder sold.  Not true for military bulk powders.  They do not have the same energy density, even though they have the same name.  It is very risky to use reloading manuals with surplus bulk military powders.   The military loads its own ammunition (by contract usually) and they specify the required velocity and max pressure, they don’t care how many grains it takes in that particular lot of powder).  Pull downs of .30 cal match ammunition from different lots have confirmed this, with quite large variation in charge weights particularly for M72 .30-06 Cal Match.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 8:27am
[britrifles quote:The military loads its own ammunition (by contract usually) and they specify the required velocity and max pressure, ((they don’t care how many grains it takes in that particular lot of powder)).  Pull downs of .30 cal match ammunition from different lots have confirmed this, with quite large variation in charge weights particularly for M72 .30-06 Cal Match]

So in essence,  commercially sold 308 ammunition and properly loaded  308 handloads are safer to use in a NATO chambered rifle than that of the military counterparts? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 8:50am
The heading of my post is," If anyone is interested." A simple No would have sufficed.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 9:25am
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

[britrifles quote:The military loads its own ammunition (by contract usually) and they specify the required velocity and max pressure, ((they don’t care how many grains it takes in that particular lot of powder)).  Pull downs of .30 cal match ammunition from different lots have confirmed this, with quite large variation in charge weights particularly for M72 .30-06 Cal Match]

So in essence,  commercially sold 308 ammunition and properly loaded  308 handloads are safer to use in a NATO chambered rifle than that of the military counterparts? 

No, not saying that at all.  All I’m saying is that commercially published reloading manuals intended for canister grade propellants won’t provide an accurate estimate of chamber pressures for military loads that use bulk powders, the charge weights may not correlate (and typically don’t).  That does not make the military ammunition unsafe in 7.62 chambered rifles for they are loaded within the military specified max average pressures (unless QC was very bad which would be extremely improbable with a Match loading).  

If you chrono that ammo out of your converted No. 4, the velocity will give you a comparison to your own handloads with that same bullet loaded with IMR 4895.  Pressures will be similar if the MV is the same.   


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 10:42am
Let's say that I have ten rounds that I loaded with 41.7grns of IMR4064 and capped it with a 168grn HPBT. (I know this to be factual.)
Now, let's say that I have ten rounds of military produced ammunition under contract with Federal Cartridge Company,) that is loaded with 41.7grns of IMR4064 and capped with a 168grn HPBT. (I know this for a fact as well from pulling ten rounds down this morning.)
You will argue that there will be a noticable difference in muzzle velocities between the two? The propellants are massed produced to exacting specifications and then segregated into canisters or 1lb or 8lb containers regardless of final destinations. 
I will definitely find out on the following Wednesday past the one coming up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 11:52am
I was under the impression that the powder's that end up in cans for reloaders were the surplus of the powder not used for normal manufactured ammunition; which is why we often have issues finding powder when the manufacturer's ramp up production of factory ammo.  I may be wrong!

I doubt that powder of one particular type would vary that much in quality between military and civilian factory made ammo. However, the fact that you've got 0.4 gr difference in load weight is likely to cause some difference in performance on target. That's quite a difference for "Match" ammo.
It will be interesting to see the results comparing this ammo to your hand loads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 7:26pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Let's say that I have ten rounds that I loaded with 41.7grns of IMR4064 and capped it with a 168grn HPBT. (I know this to be factual.)
Now, let's say that I have ten rounds of military produced ammunition under contract with Federal Cartridge Company,) that is loaded with 41.7grns of IMR4064 and capped with a 168grn HPBT. (I know this for a fact as well from pulling ten rounds down this morning.)
You will argue that there will be a noticable difference in muzzle velocities between the two? The propellants are massed produced to exacting specifications and then segregated into canisters or 1lb or 8lb containers regardless of final destinations. 
I will definitely find out on the following Wednesday past the one coming up.

The IMR propellants we buy are not identical to what the military buys.  The Canister grade propellants we buy are controlled from lot to lot to give nearly the same burn rate and energy density.   If you called up the makers of IMR powders and asked them to sell you some of of their IMR 4064 used by the Lake City plant in loading military 7.62 NATO ammunition, they will probably sell it to you as long as you bought an entire lot, likely several tons. And this lot is unique, no other lot is identical to it.   Then you will need to run pressure tests to develop the load to give he desired velocity.  Charge weights are generally not the same between bulk powder lots, they may occasionally be very close.  

Over the years, even canister grade propellants may change in load density, which is why reloading tables get updated to reflect current production.  

You may or may not measure a difference in velocity with your IMR 4064 handloads, it’s not likely they will have identical velocities to the M852 Match.  M852 was loaded with IMR 4895 per TM-43-0001-27 to a velocity of 2550 fps 78 ft from the muzzle in the M14 National Match rifle, not a particularly hot load and may be perfectly fine in your No. 4 conversion.   I say “may” because I don’t know the chamber pressure for that lot of M852 military bulk powder used in making these cartridges.  

There is lots of info on this subject on the various other forums from contributors who worked in military ordinance and at the ammunition plants.  I’m not making this stuff up, it’s a well known fact.  Reloaders have made mistakes assuming that military bulk powders sold as surplus years ago was identical to commercial canister powders, particularly in IMR 4895, it is simply not the case. 

You might want to weigh the cases if your going to reload them, they may be heavier than commercial brass, adjust reloads accordingly.  I drop 1 to 2 grains when using military 7.62 brass per Sierras (and other) manual and I have chrono’ed a difference in velocity between lighter commercial cases and thicker heavier military cases.  The latter has less air space which affects burn rate. 







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