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Thread: Can Swedish blank powder be salvaged?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalGarand44 View Post
    From my reading, the wood plugs spin themselves apart a few yards from the muzzle.

    Edited because I said lead instead of wood.
    Yes, I haven't seen those blanks, but a lot of wooden bulleted ones were hollow for most of their length to cause this. The Germans, late in WW2, sometime used a sequence of live and wooden-bullet rounds in the Spandau light machine-gun. People said it was for terrible wounding effect, but I think it was just to slow down a machine-gun with a notoriously high cyclic rate. I have a very vague memory from long ago of someone who was mystified by a device to screw onto the muzzle of some kind of Swedish rifle, which had internal fins to cut into the bullet. I don't believe he knew Sweden used wooden-bullet blanks, and at the time neither did I. But it would be a useful safety device for training. Just about all kinds of bullets behave surprisingly once in a while, so why shouldn't they?

    I've never seen inside a bulleted .50 Browning round, but the 14.5mm. Soviet KPV uses seven-hole pierced cylindrical grains of about an eighth of an inch across. A powder like NoAngel describes in the .50 shows how much extra speed was needed.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by TacticalGarand44 View Post
    From my reading, the wood plugs spin themselves apart a few yards from the muzzle.
    Ah. You did say CLOSE range though .
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    Amateur proof testing of this kind is notoriously unreliable. It needs accurate measurement of steel and brass afterwards to give reliable information. The reason most people who do it don't experience a blowup, is that most rifles aren't going to blow up. I think most blow-ups happen after some repetition of whatever was done, or to only a few of the people who try it. But you need something better than that.
    You're right, of course, but that "something better" isn't often available to most of us, so various "second options" have been practiced for a very long time now. It all depends on how determined one is to find out, and there'll always be those who'll be so bent. And tying to a tire and pulling the trigger with a long string while the puller is behind a good, bullet/shrapnel proof shelter is what most devolve down into having to use if they're THAT determined, and at least, nobody gets hurt that way.

    At least I've never heard of anyone getting hurt like that, and I've known a few who've tried that for various reasons. They're all still in one piece. I just don't want to see anyone get hurt, when some would just load up some "guesstimated" loads and go shoot them in the stall right next to you at the range. THAT is not only foolish, it's dangerous to others!

    At least no innocents would be hurt with the old tire trick, and that's better than might happen. I think of blank powders as partly propellant and partly explosive. My understanding is that there are various formulations and grain structures for them, and that they're very proprietary mixes, so it'd be impossible to "estimate" how much to use unless some very discretionary experiments are done, and lacking a lab and expensive equipment, many have resorted to the tire trick so as to not pay "the ultimate price" for their experimentation.

    A few will always blow themselves up with their assumptions. I think these are disqualified from the Darwin Awards because it's so clearly suicide that it doesn't provide any real "entertainment factor." (shrug) Forrest was right, that "Stupid is as stupid does," but we don't HAVE to be stupid enough to kill ourselves. Blowing up a rifle can be forgiven, in the name of experimentation. I know a couple who've done that. But let's just keep things safe for the folks involved. It beats funerals, for the participants and those who might be standing next to them on a range.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swede 45 View Post
    I once asked a Norma technician about the powder in these wooden blanks and if it had a similar burnrate as any other listed powder, and could be used for something?
    " No, basicly much faster than Norma R1 and originally intended for explosives." And he also indicated that due to poor qualitycontroll during wartime production, that you never can be sure about the origin and specs of the powder.

    Just for fun, I´ve just pulled a couple of those wooden blanks.. the wooden projectile weighs about 6-8 grains. The powder charge varied in weight in each case ( 3 pulled) and all three charges had a cut flake powder, but all three powdercharges had a different look to it.. one was greenish, one was more graphite gray and one almost black with slightly bigger flakes.. Uniform specs? Dont think so!!

    Headstamps was -43, -57 and -73.
    Headstamps are NOT a way to determine the batch of powder since these are loaded in re cycled cases and mixed during production. Only thing you know is that the round can not been made pre headstamp.. obviously!

    When I occasionally have fired some of these for fun i have noticed that about 30% of the brass splits.. and that´s in a cartridge that produces nearly no pressure..
    I would NEVER EVER use these cases for a load with a bullet in them.

    And "it works for me !" people shouldn´t be listened to.. driving in the oncoming lane at night with lights out might work for them.. but I for sure wont try it !



    Did they put any markings on the brass to indicate how many times fired?

  5. #25
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    The only use I would consider might be for some plastic bullets I have. I bought a couple thousand of them a few years back for next to nothing. They are orange plastic .30 cal bullets with a copper base kind of like a gas check. I've loaded some in various .30 cal cases with a few grains of fast burning pistol powder and they're like shooting .22's at close range. I think they weigh about 13 gr. They're probably no heavier than a wooden bullet. Even then I'd be a little nervous because it's an unknown powder that was never intended for use with an actual projectile.

    Otherwise I expect it would make good 12ga blanks. I tried making some of those years ago and had trouble making anything that went bang instead of poof. I finally used black powder but it's messy.

    Other that that I don't think I could chance trying to work up any kind of traditional load with powder that fast and unknown.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Swede 45's Avatar
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    Some more things about the Swedish wooden blanks..

    Ballistics in Scotland: Yes, they are intended to be used with a blank firing adapter, threaded on the barrel.. those shread the wooden bullet into dust. Similar devices was available for all swedish military guns using wooden blanks. (Submachineguns, machineguns et.c)
    Previous the use of these devices the safety distance was 20 meters, and was introduced after a number of deaths and injuries.
    If shooting these out of a normal barrel, you´ll never know if they will disintegrate or not!
    So, no toys! Safe direction always!
    With the device, safety distance was 2 meters, but I know of several that got their eyes damaged by dust and splinters even with the devices on in CQB exercises..

    The device threads on the barrel and the latch is flipped down over the front sight.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/L%C3%B6sskjutningsanordning_gev%C3%A4r_m-96B_m-38B_m-41B_-_Arm%C3%A9museum.jpg

    Jonas: No, the cases is not marked in any way indicating the number of times they have been used, or otherwise indicates the quality.
    When asking a old guy who did work at a plant making these blanks how the QC on the brass took place, he just told me that they got the rejects from another more advanced ammoplant making live rounds. He also said that the crates of brass was clearly labeled with warnings "not for live ammunition"

  7. #27
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    tell you what I would try. Take a 38 spec and load a 125 cast bullet with one grain of it. See if the bullet clears the barrel. If it does bump it up a 1/2 a grain at a time watching for pressure signs. once it clears the barrel set up your chronograph and keep bumping it up watching for pressure signs till you get to about 560-700 fps and stop. Make sure at 700 fps you have fairly consistant velocity readings and NO PRESSURE SIGNS. Now would I go through all the bother of pulling that powder? Probably not. But if it was already in a jug id about half to give it a try before dumping it.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  8. #28
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    The only placed I would use it is for fertilizer. Blank powder is off the scale FAST. I made a big mistake of purchasing some loaded .357 from a company called Global Arms out of Auburn WA. The plan was to blast it at the range and have brass for reloads.
    The first 6 six and only rounds fired were HOT. I could not extract them out of my beloved Ruger .357 3 screw. I had to remove the cylinder at home and use a brass rod to drive the fired casings from the cylinder. Luckily, there was no damage to my cylinder. I had it magnafluxed to make sure.

  9. #29
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    blank powder is designed to deflagrate without containment. you cannot safely use it with a solid bullet of any weight.
    the cases used for blanks aren't much for process control, because they are not designed to contain pressure.
    that being said I would be willing to use them for low pressure cast bullet loads for practice and small game shooting, with something like a 125 grain bullet and about 10 grains of unique or green dot powder to get around 1000 fps. use at your own risk.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Gunfreak25's Avatar
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    From my understanding it is not blank powder, but a fast burning pistol powder and have seen several posters who use it for light cast loads, around 10 to 13 grains. I have 4800 rounds of the stuff and shoot a lot of blackpowder cartridge. I'm saving it and will be experimenting using around 4 grains for a cleaner burning duplex load with my homemade Fg which is a little dirty and a little less powerful than commercial powder.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson

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  11. #31
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
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    Too iffy. I'm not willing to risk my gun or my fingers on it.

    I vote Fertilizer.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  12. #32
    If you moisten it slightly with alcohol or an alcohol and ether mixture, you can press it into a cylinder with a conical mandrel making a tapered hole up the middle. That is how solid fuel rockets are made, and nobody is going to call you wimpish for that, as they might for putting it on your lawn. But you might be best to take cover as the fuse burns, and not do it within rocket range of human habitation or anything flammable. People can be so unreasonable.

  13. #33
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    "blank powder is designed to deflagrate without containment. you cannot safely use it with a solid bullet of any weight."

    That's not necessarily the case. Our 30-06 blank cartridges were for years loaded with SR4759 which was an excellent powder with bullets.

    However, if you're not sure of exactly what you're doing (Lloyd has a pretty good method to test) then disposing of it as fertilizer is a good idea.

    Larry Gibson

    Added note; I was wrong, the 30-06 blanks were not loaded with 4759, the M22 Frangible 30-06 cartridge was. It was the 7.62 NATO XM82 Blank that was loaded with SR 4759.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 04-10-2017 at 01:19 PM.

  14. #34
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    Blanks are designed to make a satisfying 'bang' without the containment of a projectile. As such, the powder must burn almost instantaneously and to confine it can cause a detonation. I doubt if the stuff even has a pressure curve......or if it does it probably goes straight up.

    The only method of determining the characteristics of an unknown powder is described in Earl Narramore's book "Principles and Practices of Reloading".....long out of print. He gives a careful step by step process whereby the reloader can figure out if the powder is too fast, too slow, etc. and whether it's even suitable for reloading. At the end of this however, he cautions the reader to stay away from any powder that proves to be too fast as it's probably FROM BLANKS.

    Every other reloading book I have (some going back to the early thirties) specifically says NO to using blank powder for anything related to a bullet, period. Both Phil Sharpe and Hatcher's Notebook say it's poison. Play it safe and dispose of the powder. As mentioned, the cases are a little suspect also so if you can get one gentle loading out of them, good for you. Sell the brass for scrap afterwards.

    That's my advice, and worth every penny you paid for it.
    Last edited by 3006guns; 04-09-2017 at 07:42 PM.

  15. #35
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    in regard to old 30-06 blanks and 4759, you must be talking about grenade launching blanks, which are different from salute blanks, or wooden shredder blanks, and use a fast burning but not explosive powder like salute blanks use.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
    in regard to old 30-06 blanks and 4759, you must be talking about grenade launching blanks, which are different from salute blanks, or wooden shredder blanks, and use a fast burning but not explosive powder like salute blanks use.
    I'm sure you are right about that, and some blanks were made with usable powders. But I am sure grenade launching blanks, since the invention of the light mortar, are very much in the minority, and there are many surplus ammo dealers I wouldn't trust to know the difference. There is very little reason for batch-to-batch or year-to-year consistency in noisemaking blanks. What is a soldier to do if they are a little more or less noisy than they used to be? Sue the government?n

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
    in regard to old 30-06 blanks and 4759, you must be talking about grenade launching blanks, which are different from salute blanks, or wooden shredder blanks, and use a fast burning but not explosive powder like salute blanks use.
    Yes, you are correct, the 30-06 blanks were not loaded with SR 4759. It was the 7.62 NATO Blank XM82 that were loaded with SR 4759 powder.

    The 30-06 blank was loaded with "EC" powder. The 7.62 NATO grenade launching cartridge, M64, was loaded with "Double-Base, Western Ball" powder. Per TM 9-1305-200, June, 1961.

    Larry Gibson

  18. #38
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    "Blanks are designed to make a satisfying 'bang' without the containment of a projectile. As such, the powder must burn almost instantaneously and to confine it can cause a detonation. I doubt if the stuff even has a pressure curve......or if it does it probably goes straight up.Both 30-06"

    US made blanks (30-06, 30 Carbine, 7.62 NATO, 5.56 NATO and 50 caliber) are also made to function automatic weapons (rifles and MGs) that have blank adaptors on the barrels that essentially plug the barrels. Thus the powders used are made to have a "pressure curve" to burn when "confined" with out detonating.

    I do not know if the Swedish blanks are similarly made however.

    Larry Gibson
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 04-10-2017 at 03:09 PM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    .

    The 30-06 blank was loaded with "EC" powder. The 7.62 NATO grenade launching cartridge, M64, was loaded with "Double-Base, Western Ball" powder. Per TM 9-1305-200, June, 1961.

    Larry Gibson
    EC was the TRADE name of a euro explosives and cordite maker in the early 20th century. EC "Blank" is discussed by Maj Gen Julian Hatcher in Hatcher's Notebook, his classic text on US ordnance history. He specifically warns that EC Blank should be destroyed and no attempt made at use. he describes it as pink or orange in color.

  20. #40
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    I have pulled down the Swedish practice ammo with the short steel cup bullets. That powder was not pink or orange. Since I only broke down 110 rounds I did not try to salvage it.
    If I had 4400 rounds at about 15 grains per round I would have at least investigated it as a handgun powder. I would not toss out nearly 10 lbs of powder without some serious investigation.

    Quote Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
    EC was the TRADE name of a euro explosives and cordite maker in the early 20th century. EC "Blank" is discussed by Maj Gen Julian Hatcher in Hatcher's Notebook, his classic text on US ordnance history. He specifically warns that EC Blank should be destroyed and no attempt made at use. he describes it as pink or orange in color.
    EDG

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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