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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

    RayinNH's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    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 .
    Proud member in the basket of deplorables.

    I've got the itch, but don't got the scratch.

  3. #23

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    Apr 2005
    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
    Boolit Master
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    Jul 2011
    Ogilvie Mn
    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
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    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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    Jun 2014
    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.

    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
    Boolit Master

    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    munising Michigan
    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

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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