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Thread: WC 844 powder and 223

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    WC 844 powder and 223

    Is this a good powder to start with? It seems to be very economical. I will be loading some 223 and need to figure out which powder to work with. I have 3 lbs of IMR 4320 on hand. Any input would help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    sargenv's Avatar
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    I've used WC 844 and WC 846 both in the 223.. they both work nicely.

  3. #3
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    844 is the powder the US military prescribes for loading the 5.56x45 so it should work equally well in the .223.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    I load 25.0 gr of WC844 behind a 55 gr bullet. This matches military performance in my rifles. Depending on which lot of powder you have, you may need a different charge. With bulk grade powder, ALWAYS start low and work up. You know the drill.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Is the IMR 4320 worth the time/effort? I picked it up at a gun show based on 1 persons recommendation. I reload 270 and will be reloading 223 and 7.62x54R soon. I use IMR 4831 for the 270.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    i allways loaded 24 grains of 844 or 25 grains of 846 for generic ball ammo loads. If im using tracer powder ill back either off another grain.
    sixgun junky

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I was recently trying out some of the 22 into .224 bullets made on danr's dies and went with a relatively low charge weight of 21.5 of the current WC844 from Widener's.. My friend whose 20" AR we were using as a test platform said that he didn't think they'd cycle the action.. Well, not only did they cycle, but the bullets worked well in the rifle.. We weren't going for accuracy at the time, but wanted to check velocity.. these came out to about 2550 fps. So I had a little bit of wiggle room to push them up to maybe 23 gr of WC844. I'll have to get busy and make some more of these.. I was playing with some 60 grainers I made from the same danr dies, but we had problems with them as I had seated them too deep and didn't have enough neck tension on the bullets and when they hit the feed ramp, they were setting back the bullets all the way into the case.. We managed to single load a few to check velocity, but were unable to feed them from the magazine. I'll have to see about seating them to proper length (2.250" as opposed to the 2.218" they were seated at).

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    IMR 4320 might be a little slow-burning for ideal work in 223. It should do well in the 7.62 x 54R, though. IMR 4320 is THE fuel for jacketed work in 9.3 x 62, and is no slouch in the 30-06 or 303 British.

    WC-844 does fine work in 5.56 x 45, achieving mil-spec velocities in my 20" A2 with 55 grain M-193 duplicators (3225 FPS) and 62 grain M-855 duplicators (3050 FPS).
    "As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned with a downright moron."--H.L. Mencken

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Wideners has there 844 marked as SMP844. Is there SMP844 the same as WC-844?
    Kevin

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    swheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbstenberg View Post
    Wideners has there 844 marked as SMP844. Is there SMP844 the same as WC-844?
    Kevin
    SMP/Saint Marks Powder Co, no longer Olin
    Same for your purpose, approx H335 speed
    Hell, I was there!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master bradh's Avatar
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    SMP = Surplus Military Powder

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've read that WC844 is temp sensitive. Is 45 too cold to do load development for 223 with this powder? I'm not trying to get a max load, just a good reliable plinker that will cycle an AR no problem.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    I have shot up quite a few #8 jugs of both 844 and 846 at the prairie dogs in several states. They are both a bit temperature sensitive. We keep our ammo in the shade or even in a cooler on really hot days. Never lay much of it out in the sun to really warm up. I shoot molly coated 40 gr v-max in the 223 and load them on the hot side. These powders are not like the newer formulations in the "extreme" lines as far as being temperature stable.
    Each batch is different, some are VERY different so work up slowly. This is why I normally buy a bunch at a time.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Have you ever done any of your load development when it is cooler out?

    I've got 32lbs. I'd like to be able to find a workable load before the real cold sets in so I have something to do this winter.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    I do load development if I can stand the cold and the wind. Generally about 35 degrees and 10 mph is my limit. I prefer still, sunny days, then I may shoot up, or down, to 20 degrees. If it's sunny and calm, did I mention that?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check