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Thread: thoughts on 1983 H4831

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    atr's Avatar
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    thoughts on 1983 H4831

    A friend gave me about 8 lbs of H4831 which he had since 1983. I poured it out into a can and there was just a hint of "red" dust, but just a hint. So I decided to give it a try: I loaded up 3 rounds of .303Brit/180 gr. RN using new IMR4831 and
    3 rounds of .303Brit/180 gr. RN using the old H4831.

    At 100 yds the rounds with the older powder (H4831) were slightly lower from point of aim then were the rounds with the newer IMR powder.
    Even though there was some "red" dust in present the powder seemed to preform pretty well when compared to the the newer powder.

    What are your thoughts, especially considering that there was just a touch of "red" dust.
    thanks
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    This "touch of red dust" you describe is an early indication of propellant break down as the stabilizers begin to deteriorate. This makes the powder unstable and unpredictable. Remember, that in 1983, the H4831 powder Hodgdon was selling was military surplus, and the actual date of manufacture is unknown. No telling how old it really is; or under what conditions it has been stored over its life. I would not trust it.

  3. #3
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I have to ask if the "hint of red dust, but just a hint", was actually an early indication of propellant break down or just some iron oxide from being stored in a steel can that had some internal surface rust?

    Years ago, I purchased a very old can of surplus 4831 that was in a lightly rusty DuPont can, this powder had a hint of red dust. While it had no solvent aroma(like new powder has), it also had no acrid aroma, that can be typical of powder degradation...It had no noticeable aroma at all. I deduced it was just fine for target shooting purposes.

  4. #4
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    I still shoot my old 4831 and never have had a problem. I store my powder properly in temp controlled area and will shoot it till it's gone or I am.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I was given a similar old drum once, cardboard with metal top and bottom, half full. The insides of both the metal ends were rusty, and there was rust in the powder. Otherwise, there was no clumping or weird smells.

    I took the stuff out in the back yard on a nice, windy day and poured it slowly into the biggest bowl I could find from the greatest height I could pour with accuracy. The rust blew away, and the powder granules fell into the bowl. I brushed the top and bottom insides of the drum to get rid of any loose rust, replaced and used up the powder, in recommended loadings. No problems.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    I was given a similar old drum once, cardboard with metal top and bottom, half full. The insides of both the metal ends were rusty, and there was rust in the powder. Otherwise, there was no clumping or weird smells.

    I took the stuff out in the back yard on a nice, windy day and poured it slowly into the biggest bowl I could find from the greatest height I could pour with accuracy. The rust blew away, and the powder granules fell into the bowl. I brushed the top and bottom insides of the drum to get rid of any loose rust, replaced and used up the powder, in recommended loadings. No problems.
    I've heard of others doing the same by using a fan to blow the dust away.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I like that idea.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
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    If it has no solvent aroma walk away ...period.... it is a grenade looking for a home ...If it has solvent aroma it is not degrading in any measurable amount ...as with any can of powder new to you ALWAYS begin with the low starting loads and work up watching your pressure signs ...that's why I buy kegs (obviously same lot numbers) or multiple smaller cans of the same lot numbers to save going thru the safety/best load work up ...and when building upper pressure range loads i even set aside the primers of the same production lot for that specific loading
    Ya I'm OCD but I'm 70+ years old and still have 2 eyes,10 fingers etc etc ...and I can still waller a single hole a long ways off

    Bear

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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
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