Mixing Different Lots Same Powder

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by hnts4fun, Aug 12, 2019.


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  1. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

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    Let me have it with both barrels I'm ready for it. I have three 1 pound containers of RE33; each with a different lot number. I purchased these new from a reputable company and they have not been opened. With an eye towards NOT having to work back up to a safe load each time I have to open a new container; would I be able to SAFELY combine the contents of these 3 containers in order to form a homogenous batch of powder? I do know there is the very real issue of static electricity buildup that would need to be addressed, but I wanted to know if my "mixing" idea was a bad one before I asked any other questions.
     
  2. venatic

    venatic Well-Known Member

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    If you are very concerned I would load 4-5 rounds from each lot and round robin and if they look the same mix away
     
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  3. Howland

    Howland Well-Known Member

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    I have about 1/4 pound left between two 1lb containers of different lots. I will mix both into a new 8lb tub of a third lot of the same powder before my next session. I'll run a few test groups, tweak my recipe if I have to, then it'll be almost 700 rounds before I have to do that again. Coincidentally, I have almost 700 bullets sitting on the shelf.
     
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  4. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both.
     
  5. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't do it. I don't see how you can perfectly mix equal portions such that when you dispense a charge of powder it has equal portions from all three lots.
     
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  6. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it will pose no problem if you mix ALL the powder together in a vessel large enough to do so in without spilling any.
    Mix it thoroughly with a large enough spoon for at least 15 minutes, then divide into 1lb lots.

    As long as you work up loads with the mixed powder, there should be no problem.
    I wouldn't mix it AFTER I had worked up a load with one batch and then tried the same previous load without dropping back and working up to that previous load.........bad idea.

    Cheers.

    P. S.
    I ALWAYS mix my lots together.
    If I can't find a 8lb keg, I'll buy 1lb bottles from different sources to make an 8lber and mix it all together.
    I have NEVER had an issue doing this, and I work my loads back up and adjust if necessary.
     
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  7. Kansaswoodguy

    Kansaswoodguy Well-Known Member

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    I mix them all the time just end up with a large amount of a custom lot
     
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  8. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

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    As stated, yes it is safe to mix them to iron out any lot to lot differences. Each is safe individually so why would they be unsafe combined ? They do it with paint and it's call "boxing" the paint to make it all the same color. Different substance, same principle.
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I would not think It would be unsafe to mix as long as you are not loading MAX Loads. I personally would not do it for several reasons.=

    First if you mix them you will not be able to do a perfectly balanced mix as ShtrRady said and load SDs would suffer from shot to shot.

    The next reason is that larger quantities last longer and degrade more with time.

    I would not mix at all, and run completely out of one batch while reloading and then separate the two batches of loaded ammo if more ammo is needed and when the second batch is grouped, do any adjusting that Is necessary.

    Mixing powder is just like mixing primers, Not a good idea in my mind if accuracy and safety is your main goal.

    When looking at the big picture, What is the cost of a few primers or ounces of powder when we spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rifle, support equipment, travel, guided hunts, ETC only to have a bad load cause a miss or over pressure ending the hunt.

    I save these partial batches for break in and testing function with mild loading's. Nothing goes to waist !

    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

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    JE, "larger quantities" ? It's 3lbs... if it degrades so fast why do they make 8lb containers ? Also it is R33 so we are likely in the 60-100 grain magnum size loads so it isn't going to be sitting around long. If you can't blend 3 lbs of powder together into a fairly homogeneous mix you probably shouldn't be reloading. It's like mixing ingredients together and baking a cake.
     
  11. hnts4fun

    hnts4fun Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I appreciate that reloaders on both sides of this issue have taken the time to reply. There were 2 reasons why I posted a request for help. First to see if mixing was safe. Secondly, I'm running a custom 28 Nosler. I came up with an accurate safe load and also did some troubleshooting along the way with the first pound of RE33. Load development is of course a critical component of what we do. However, when loading for a 28 Nosler I have to factor in barrel life. If there was a way to safely utilize my remaining 3 pounds of powder without having to "workup" each time I opened a new bottle then I wanted to know about it.

    Now I'd like some input as to how to mix the powder while minimizing the risk of static electricity causing a problem. How about if I use a large glass container and a wooden spoon? Would this work safely?
     
  12. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

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    Yes, yes, yes. I have done this many times. Just make sure you mix them well.
     
  13. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have always been inclined not to mix different lots of powder.used for precision work. While you may be able to achieve an average velocity from the blend that is the same or close, ES may be increased.
     
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  14. nvschütze

    nvschütze Well-Known Member

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    I've mixed differing lots of the same powder. Gunpowder is all pretty much the same beyond its physical size (spherical or extruded); it just has various coatings on the kernels that regulate the speed of combustion. A can of powder from 1963 is not going to be as precise in its formulation as a can of the same designation from 2013 because of the increases in technology over those fifty years. As long as you're mixing a known powder with a sample of that same designation, you should encounter no problems. Just make sure the entire volume is very well-mixed.

    I'm fooling right now with a mixture of H4831 and H4831SC. The difference in these two powders is that the SC version has the extrusions cut shorter than the original, so as to reduce interstitial losses. The SC type has a sort of green color to it, the original version is the common black/slate shade we see in most gunpowders. Haven't shot any of it; we'll see how it goes when I can finally get out there and start sending bullets downrange. I'm expecting nothing of appreciable note.