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Powder in 1942 30-06?

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Kurt
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Powder in 1942 30-06?

#1 Post by Kurt » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:55 pm

Hello again. I have some DEN 42 30-06 I am going to disassemble and reload to ensure the powder is still good and so far it looks just fine. I read on Wikipedia that this ammo was loaded with IMR 4895, though I would have guessed H4895 but what do I know. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-06_Springfield So here I am to ask, were all manufacturers using the same powder to load 30-06 in the WWII era and what were or was that powder. I am actually hoping you are going to say H4895 so I can reload this ammo in more reduced form. Thank you.

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#2 Post by Kurt » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:24 pm

I found another source saying WWII powder was IMR 4895 so I believe that to be true. I have to ask this then, would it be worth the effort to try to sell this old powder, say asking $10 a pound or would that be unwise in various ways? I want to load reduced loads. I am looking at no more than about 2400 feet per second with a 150-grain bullet. This powder even at the starting load level is not going to do that. Should I just dump this powder? Thank you. I hate wasting anything.

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#3 Post by Kurt » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:39 pm

I'm going to try it in my 223 and see what happens.

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#4 Post by RWS » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:23 am

Kurt: Back in the 1980's The American Rifleman's C.E. Harris published the .30-06 and 7.62 NATO loads that the military used during WW2, Korea, and VietNam. Yes, the .30-06 powder is IMR-4895, NOT Hogdon's H4895. It is important to note that the WW2 M2 ball loading was matched to optimal port timing and pressures for the M1 Garand rifle, so if one is reloading for a Garand and does not know how other powders or powder charges affect port pressures then it would be best to stay with the original load in order to avoid op rod or receiver damage. .30-06 bolt guns would be a whole 'nuther story.

So... the factory M2 ball loading is a 150 grain FMJ-flat base bullet with a 49.0 grain charge of IMR-4895 powder. For M72 Match rounds with a 173 grain bullet the load is 46.0 grains of IMR-4895. These loads assume the use of USGI brass cases. The data found in reloading manuals will be for commercial cases that have thinner brass and more case capacity so they will usually show higher powder charges.

Again, the above data should be used with USGI cases. Conversely, the use of commercial cases in the M1 Garand is not recommended but people do it all the time, usually without incident. One case separation is enough to convince you though. Reading Kuhnhausen's book on the U.S. .30 caliber rifles can occasionally spook your mule big time.

I load all my .30-06 ammo around the 49.0 grain powder charge of IMR-4895 with the 150 grain bullet because it is a really good accuracy load for me and loading all cases this way means I don't have to segregate ammo for bolt guns. I also use this same powder charge when reloading for my nephew's 30-06 deer rifle but substitute his bullet of choice, a Nosler Ballistic Tip 150 grain boattail bullet. He says it's a tack driver in his Savage 110 and certainly it has some of the best expansion performance I have ever seen in .30 caliber rifles. But, I digress. Hope this helps.

-Bob

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#5 Post by Kurt » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:13 am

RWS, thank you for the valuable information. I have pulled one round and though I have yet to weigh anything the bullet appears to be a 150 grain and your information that the powder is IMR 4895 is the confirmation I needed. The ammunition I have is corrosive primed so I am most likely going to unload it. I have read so much about the corrosive elements getting under copper fouling and doing damage that I'm worried about it too much to shoot them through my rifle. I shoot to relax not add to my worries. I am reloading for a bolt rifle so I will follow your advice concerning military brass volume. Thanks again. Kurt

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#6 Post by RWS » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:55 am

I will just add that I did pretty much the same thing that you're thinking about with 500 rounds of some 1943 Winchester .303 British corrosive ammo that Winchester manufactured for the Brits. I will probably never do it again, mainly because the re-priming process was so tedious. Pull the bullet, dump the powder, punch out the old primer, remove the primer crimp, re-prime, etc.

I just didn't enjoy it at all. Your experience may be completely different, I dunno. One think I did do though was to run a carbide .32 ACP resizing die down on the case neck to provide more neck tension after re-seating the bullet. It definitely provided a better bullet hold.

-Bob

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#7 Post by polaris » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:35 am

Be extremely cautious referencing IMR 4895 data. Commercial and military ammunition was loaded with "bulk" grade powders vs. "canister" grade as sold for reloading. With a bulk grade powder, data is worked up by the manufacturer for each lot. Burning speeds and hence charge weights vs velocity and pressure can vary significantly from lot to lot. With canister grade powders, specific lots are selected or blended to produce a specific burning speed for which data is developed. Successive lots duplicate this speed within an acceptable margin of safety. If you are simply repriming your brass with nc primers, and replacing existing bullet, you should be OK going with an average charge weight, wouldn't hurt to reduce it a couple of grains. If you plan to load any other load than replicating the military M2, use an extra degree of caution in starting low and working up. Know and look for any pressure signs, and if possible compare velocity to data from a reputable source for IMR 4895.

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Re: Powder in 1942 30-06?

#8 Post by Tuna » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:39 pm

Dupont IMR 4895 was the powder used by the US military to load all 30-06 M2 and M1 ammunition during WW2. When the war ended there were so many hundreds of tons of IMR 4895 around and the government sold it as surplus at pennies on the dollar. Hodgdon started buying a little at a time of this powder and sold it to buyers in paper bags or their own containers. Soon he realized that he could do well if he bought much more then he had been and soon was buying it by the tons and moving it in freight cars. H4895 was born. Same WW2 powder as IMR 4895. This was the start of his business and soon he was buying other WW2 powders and packaging them too. Once the surplus powders were gone he started making his own versions of them.

Now if your just going to be shooting this WW2 M2 in a bolt action rifle then you would be ahead of the game to just shoot it as it is. The only thing corrosive is the priming compound and if you clean your rifle with hot water after shooting, then using a standard bore cleaner you will not damage your bore with corrosive fouling and it won't hide under any copper fouling. If your able to get some WW2 USGI bore cleaner then use it. Might stink a bit but it will clean your bore just fine. Lot less time in cleaning then trying to pull ammo apart. The powder is fine so use it as it was intended. And the velocity of WW2 30-06 really comes out at 2700+/- fps.

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