Mixing powder??

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RDM416, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    First of all I am NOT talking about mixing different powders........ just powders of the same type.

    I have always tried to keep several pounds of the powders I typically use on hand and with the run on ammo and loading supplies a couple of years ago I really increased my stock.

    In some powder types I have several 5 or 8 lb jugs as well as a number of 1 lb. I like having the stock and have started just re-ordering as I use so as to keep quite a bit in stock. I have a sealed very low humidity room I keep all my powder and primers in so they should keep for a long time. All that to ask this question.....

    Say if I have for example, 3 8lb jugs of US869 and 10 or 12 1lb cans. All are from different lots. Rather than having to change or verify my loads each time I use a can and start on a different lot # of powder, what would be wrong with taking ALL the powder and mixing it together real well. It seems to me this would effectively make the entire amount have the same characteristics, and would be like having all the powder come from the same lot.

    Has anyone tried this or know of any reason this would not work, or would be dangerous?? I know I would need to mix the powder in an anti-static container, but other than that I have not come up with a reason this would not accomplish my goal of a large quantity of powder with the "same lot #" characteristics.
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I have a related question. So, if RDM doesn't mind, I'll throw it into the mix so to speak...

    I sometimes load a batch and head to the range expecting to come back and load another batch. Then, I get side tracked and maybe a 3rd pound of h4831sc will sit in the RCBS powder dispenser for a week or so exposed to ambient indoor light, temp, and humidity.

    When I get back around to loading, I think it's not ideal. So, I dump it back in the original container and open a new/fresh 1lb canister.

    As a result, I usually have 6-8 partial cans and have often wondered how that week or so might've degraded the quality and if it would be safe to mix them together.

    Thoughts?

    -- Richard
     

  3. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    No problem Richard. Maybe someone will weigh in with advice / info that answer our questions.
     
  4. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing this for many years. Haven't seen any problems yet due to mixing same powders of different lots. Ultimately, we want to develop the load with the "mixed" lot, and make sure it is in fact mixed well. I've put 3 partial 1 lb cans of H 4831SC in a tumbler and mixed them that way. I also mixed alot of H380 before I started buying it in 8lb cans.

    I didn't want to worry about re-testing loads when I changed from one lot# to the next either.

    I don't have any info on powder deterioration, I've never left any out.? Don't know why you couldn't mix the cans for the same reason though, unless it is really degraded? I don't know how degraded powders behave.

    Just in case any newbies are reading this and misunderstand:
    Never Ever mix powders of different type or brand. IMR 4831 is not the same as Hogdens 4831, do not mix them!! I would not even mix H4831 with H4831SC.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  5. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    I would think it would be time consuming to try to mix up more than a pound or so. Maybe eight pounds at the most

    Tumbler idea doesn't sound too bad.

    I don't think powder goes all that bad in the measure, that fast. Enough to change your poi, maybe, I don't think it would make it dangerous.
     
  6. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks SBruce and BigSky..... Good to hear from someone who has done this on a smaller scale. I will probably not try to mix 20 or 30 pounds together, as BigSky said the mechanics of doing that are a little difficult.

    What I was thinking about though is a 5 lb jug of Alliant powder (RL 25) is a BIG jug and I have a couple of empty ones around. US 869 is a very dense powder (ball) and I think I could easily get 10 to 15 lbs of it in the RL 25 jug. Mix it real well by rolling / shaking the container, the pour it back into the original container(s) and mark as "mixed". 10 to 15 lbs of the same "lot" of powder should do me for a while anyway.

    As for the partial cans of powder, I commonly take a little powder left in one can and pour it into the new one, shake it up and use it. I have just gotten so picky about trying to keep loads consistent that I try to buy everything I use much of in 5 or 8 lb jugs. Most of the time powders have seemed very consistent between one can and the next, but I have had some that were VERY different as well. Thanks for the input guys........
     
  7. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    It's time I start special ordering larger cans. I just never find them on the shelf locally.

    I may also do an experiment and leave some out for 2 weeks and load a box and compare that to some that's brand new. I have no suspicion of it being dangerous. But, I'm curious about SD, ES, and reduced MV.

    thanks!
    Richard
     
  8. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    I would think you could go to your local reloading supply, and request which powders you were looking for in the 8lb jug etc, to come in with their next shipment. Might save you the shipping/hazmat fees.

    I was in a club for a couple of years. About once a year they would take every body's order and have a pallet shipped. I didn't have the patience, or any where to store that much at the time.
     
  9. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    That would be interesting for sure, let us know how it works out if you do that.
     
  10. learning

    learning Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I get powder in the 8 pound jug is so I know the burn rate will be the same so I don't have to recheck my load wasting rounds. I don't think that it's a good idea to take powders from one lot to the other and mix them. I've seen enough crazy burn rates with h1000 in the past two years. Knowing two years ago Shaun Carlock's go to load was 92 grains of h1000 and now it's 90 grains tells me that if you get two lots of powder like this your going to mix them up as best you can and if your lucky you will now have a third burn rate.

    I really doubt once you mix them if your going to get a consistant burn rate if they are in fact two slightly differant burn rates. I think at longer ranges your going to get verticle stringing because of the different fps.

    I remember reading something about this very subject on here a couple of years ago and everyones thoughts were don't. Part of the reason to reload is to take variables out . Don't give yourself one more thing that might go wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  11. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have been mixing my lots of H-1000 for a long time and results have been good. I always start at lower charges and work up with a new batch though. Just in case I have a hotter batch. Here is how I mix mine. I have one of those big black plastic tubs. The ones you find in the concrete mortor section at Lowes. One ponnd just covers the bottom. I alternate the direction of each pound as I spread it. Then I mix very well with my hands and refill the bottles. I mark it as " Mix 3-11-11" with the current date right next to the lot number on the bottle to keep it straight.

    Works for me..

    Jeff gun)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  12. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

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    If you opt to mix containers I would definately do it by hand and not in a tumbler.

    Here is a link that discusses tumbling loaded ammo and how it breaks down the powder/coatings. Presumably breakdown would occur in or out of a case. Just some food for thought.

    Why You Should NOT Tumble Loaded Ammunition « Daily Bulletin

    Chris
     
  13. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Winmagman, Good info, I never thought about the coating applied to most powders coming off from the agitation of mixing. I think just a good stir or shaking in a container should be fine. It really should not take all that much stirring to mix the powder. If a tumbler is used I would think that just a few seconds would be enough. That is why I like to ask these types of questions..... there is always someone out there who has info I had not thought of. :)

    Learning, I agree that by mixing 2 (or more) different lots of powder you are going to get a different burn rate than either...... your example of a 3rd burn rate. However that is the idea. Not to add more variables, but to remove one. You would work up the load with the mixed batch of powder, and that batch of powder should be consistent as long you achieved a good mix. I am loading rounds that use well over 100 grains of powder so a 1lb can does not go far, and it is a lot of trouble to verify my load for each pound. That is the main reason I came up the idea. With some powders I have 10 or more 1lb cans from different lots. If I can mix them all together and have one consistent burn rate that would save a lot of time and barrel life from verifying loads.
     
  14. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Mixing with a tumbler doesn't take much time at all. Only about a minute if that, way way way shorter time frame then tumbling brass. The tumbler really only works for small quantities.

    I've mixed by hand too, haven't noticed any difference between the two except for the time and effort involved.