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  • Mixing Powder?

    I have three one pound containers of RL-15. They're from different lots. I'm thinking about mixing all three into a large pot and pouring them back into their containers. I'm thinking that this will give three pounds of consistent powder versus having to test each time I open a new container.

    Any thoughts about this?

  • #2
    I don’t have a whole lot of “powder storage room” so it is actually common practice for me to take a half empty container of powder and dump it in with a new pound (obviously the SAME kind of powder) to fill the container all the way up and save some space in the cabinet.

    Supposedly the variances in burn rate from one batch of powder to another batch of powder can be significant enough to drive some cautious reloaders to re-workup their loads… I aint one of them guys. I am confident that the powder manufactures have done their due diligence and can be trusted to do as they say they do, and test each and every lot of powder to insure that it is within its published specifications. I am equally as sure that the specifications for any given powder has a tolerance. I don’t know what that tolerance is, nor do I need to know. I all need to know, is that there is in fact a specification (all the manufactures web sites allude to this fact) and that they test each batch of their product to ensure that it meets said specification, and will therefore fall within what ever the tolerance may be; presumably from which the load data was generated when the various bullet manufactures worked up their loads (I would doubt that they are able to work up a single load without consuming powders from multiple lots, but this is an assumption on my part), which means to me, that mixing powder of the same brand and specification, with another powder of the same brand and specification will still result in powder that is within the tolerance of the specification..…convoluted answer I know… but you get my drift.
    Of course if you are a “redline” kind of guy that likes to go with the maximum powder charge you can find in print as you scour the internet and your volumes of reloading data, then you might want to reconsider my advice… but if your like me, and your loads are generally below the max listed load anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    I just don’t think its that big of a deal, and to prove that I am correct; I hereby proclaim that I am in fact typing this using both hands and all ten fingers, having never been maimed, injured, burned, blown-up, disfigured, deafened, blinded or sterilized by a hand loaded cartridge utilizing mixed gun powder from different lots…:rolleyes:

    That said… I have been wrong before. But don’t tell Smitty!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    • #3
      Kinda what I thought too...

      I already did it and I don't shoot max loads. I did get there but backed it down to get best group.

      Thanks for your matching opinion.

      Comment


      • #4
        No problem, always glad to offer up an opinion...

        But do me a favor... if it turns out we are both WAY wrong, and you blow yourself up, have your wife call and tell me! Ill do the same! Ha!
        “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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        • #5
          marshall:

          I can't see any problem with mixing them, but don't see any advantage either. Like Alangaq says, it all should be within a certain tolorance.

          BE SURE, you don't EVER mix two different KINDS of powder. Yeah, I know you wouldn't do it on purpose, but just thinking about that kind of ACCIDENT is enough to discourage me from mixing cans of powder. I like to leave it in the same can it came in, until it's gone, and when it runs out, go to another can.

          VERY RARELY, I have done, what Alangaq does, so I'm relieved to know it's the "Right" thing to do.

          Smitty of the North
          Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
          Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
          You can't out-give God.

          Comment


          • #6
            Smitty

            I always put a piece of tape with the powder type on the hopper just in case I get called away and come back to a mystery.

            The RL-15 I had was from different batches and I wanted to have three pounds of equal bang.

            It worked out just fine. I just finished up with testing on .375 Ruger and .375 H&H with Barnes TSX 270gr over RL-15. Good results with both rifles.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well when I buy the RL series of powders I buy two 1 lb. jugs, which will easily hold 2 lbs and I pour them into one jug BUT I only do this if of the same lot number.

              Also, there are some powders I steer clear of like the plague and one of the big reasons for this is that they are inconsistant from lot ot lot. They give wide variations and from one lot to another may give a big difference in velocity, and obviously pressure as well. RL powders do not vary much at all except comparing the old brand with the new Alliant, there was a jump with RL-22 but even then it didn't amount to much. So I would say that if they are of recent manufacture, they would be ok to mix. (If they are both in the tall plastic jugs that say made in Sweden and Alliant on them)
              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Murphy View Post
                Well when I buy the RL series of powders I buy two 1 lb. jugs, which will easily hold 2 lbs and I pour them into one jug BUT I only do this if of the same lot number.

                Also, there are some powders I steer clear of like the plague and one of the big reasons for this is that they are inconsistant from lot ot lot. They give wide variations and from one lot to another may give a big difference in velocity, and obviously pressure as well. RL powders do not vary much at all except comparing the old brand with the new Alliant, there was a jump with RL-22 but even then it didn't amount to much. So I would say that if they are of recent manufacture, they would be ok to mix. (If they are both in the tall plastic jugs that say made in Sweden and Alliant on them)
                That's what I had, emphasize on had...

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                • #9
                  I shoot all of my reloads (as well as factory stuff) over an Ohler 35 with proof screen. Using the same rifle, brass, bullets and primers 50 fps difference from powder lot to powder lot is quite common and usually not that big a deal. Most recently I recorded a consistent 150 fps difference between recent lots of RL 22 - both of these were from 5 lb containers. I was both surprised and dismayed since I will use at least 5 to 10 lbs each of RL 19, 22, and 25 a year with perhaps RL 22 being the one I use the most. Fortunately the 150 fps difference was lower than with my prior lot - higher might have produced some significant problems!
                  "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by marshall View Post
                    Smitty

                    I always put a piece of tape with the powder type on the hopper just in case I get called away and come back to a mystery.

                    The RL-15 I had was from different batches and I wanted to have three pounds of equal bang.

                    It worked out just fine. I just finished up with testing on .375 Ruger and .375 H&H with Barnes TSX 270gr over RL-15. Good results with both rifles.
                    I'm with you on that. I'm paranoid about powders.

                    When I put powder in a container, or in a powder measure, I also put a tag on it that has the powder type.

                    For example, on the can of H4831sc, I'm using, I have 3 tags, (small pieces of paper with H4831 written on it with a piece of scotch tape) for H4831, stuck on with Scotch tape.

                    I can pull one off and stick it onto my Pdr Measure, when I put H4831 in it. Then when I'm done and empty the Powder Measure, I put the tag back onto the powder can.

                    I can quit in the middle of handloading, and know which powder is in the Measure, or bowl or anyplace there is powder, because it is tagged.

                    Smitty of the North
                    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                    You can't out-give God.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      which ones

                      Originally posted by Murphy View Post
                      Well when I buy the RL series of powders I buy two 1 lb. jugs, which will easily hold 2 lbs and I pour them into one jug BUT I only do this if of the same lot number.

                      Also, there are some powders I steer clear of like the plague and one of the big reasons for this is that they are inconsistant from lot ot lot. They give wide variations and from one lot to another may give a big difference in velocity, and obviously pressure as well. RL powders do not vary much at all except comparing the old brand with the new Alliant, there was a jump with RL-22 but even then it didn't amount to much. So I would say that if they are of recent manufacture, they would be ok to mix. (If they are both in the tall plastic jugs that say made in Sweden and Alliant on them)
                      You've got me curious now, Murphy. Which powders have you found this to be a problem with? I use IMR 4831 and 4064 more than anything else, and haven't had any problems with those. I'll probably start playing around with N110 and N105 this spring if I can ever find any. Of course I'm sure I don't do a fraction of the loading you do, so I'm interested to hear what you have to say.
                      We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
                      James Madison

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                      • #12
                        There were a number of us in benchrest that mixed a powder of different lots. The powders I remember mixing were H322, H335, H4198, H4895, WW748, WW760 and BR-28. The calibers were 6PPC, 6BR, 22BRL and 308. The most I remember mixing at one time was 24#s - that was 3 - 8# containers of a powder having different lot numbers. After mixing we would load at the bench, firing over a chronograph until we found our former velocity and the accuracy returned. The charge normally was one or two tenths one way or the other to reach our former "accurate" load, which was determined by bullet velocity. I have no experience with "modern" powder mixing (meaning those powders coming on the market in the past 15 years) so maybe some powders may give erratic velocities/pressures from shot to shot when well mixed but I wouldn't think so.

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                        • #13
                          296 mixing a no-no

                          I'm not positive it is still that way, but different lots of WW296 had real inconsistencies. What I do to know what powder is in the measure is to leave that particular powder container on the bench behind the measure, just that one.

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