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Discussion Starter #1
I have a .243 that really shoots 95 grain hornady SST factory loads very well. I had a misfire that I broke apart today thinking that I could reload them myself. I checked through all of my powders and I can’t find one that looks close to the attached pic. Can somebody help me out and give me an idea of what I’m looking at? I’m thinking it’s a ball powder of some sort. For reference I measured the powder from inside the case at 49.0 grains.
 

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Factory loaded ammo doesn't use the canister powder that is available to reloaders. Even looking at canister powders and trying to pick what it is would be next to impossible(except maybe Red Dot, Green Dot and Blue Dot) with any certainty.
 

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There is no way anyone could safely and with any certainty ID that powder.
 

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Good luck trying to identify a powder based on what it "looks like".

As reloaders, we can buy whatever canister powders are made available to us. The data is published for safely using those powders that are available.

Winging it generally results in disasters of one degree or another.

What powder an ammo manufacturer uses in large runs of ammo, is a totally different ball game. Your best and safest bet, is to find a load that closely produces the same velocities as the factory load that tickles your fancy and call it a day.
 

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About 50 yrs ago, I bought 2 lbs of unknown powder from a guy who found it in his deceased uncle,s home. No markings on it. I was afraid to shoot it, so I sent a small sample in an envelope to DuPont (back then they made the IMR powders). I received a written reply stating that they would need much more and that it could only be identified by doing a "bomb test" , In this test, they put a quantity of the powder in a sealed tube containing a pressure guage, and detonate it under water. My powder became lawn fertilizer.
 

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Fertilizer is THE best use for unidentified powders.

Back in the mid 70s one of the guys that hunted with me, got a gallon plastic jug of powder from his dad. Was obtained at an estate sale or something, said H4831 on the side of the jug, written with a marker.

"Looked and smelled" like H4831, so my buddy loaded up a few rounds to try in his fairly new M77 7mm Rem mag. First shot locked up the bolt and produced a much stouter recoil than he was used to.

Another buddy tapped the bolt up with a leather mallet, tapped it open the same way. Had to drop a brazing rod down the bore to tap the fired case out. Local dealer sent the rifle back to Ruger to have the bolt lugs and head space checked.

Mystery powder went in the flower bed.

BTW, that incident more or less quelled the peanut gallery on the issue of how strong Ruger's investment cast receivers were, back in the day.

:)
 

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sounds more like a bad primer. dont even mess with that powder and throw it out into the yard. chalk that round up to gone and forgotten.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your input guys. My goal here was to attempt to ID the powder based on any information i could get then find a recipe. I wouldn’t think of just picking a powder based on looks and throwing a bullet together. I have 3 reloading manuals and none of them have a recipe for a .243 where 49 grains of powder are used. I figured if someone had an idea of what the powder was I could look for recipes using the powder and at least have a starting point.
 

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Ammunition manufacturers use proprietary mixtures, even blends of common powders.
 
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As I stated, if the factory ammo you're using is the Hornady Superperformance (Which I assume it is, since that's the only Hornady offering I see with a 95gr SST) then I would be willing to bet that it's the Hogdon Super Performance powder and/or some blend of that powder. I believe this is a newer powder so might not be in any manuals. Also since the super performance ammo is touted as a "hot" load, I doubt that you would see any data mirroring it in a published manual.
 

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Ammunition manufacturers use proprietary mixtures, even blends of common powders.
And they test every lot of the same powder because there are differences between lots.
 

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49 grains of any powder and a 95 grain bullet would most likely be a compressed high end of the chart load in a 243.Buy a chrono if you don't have one and check the speed.To me reloading and testing my own is what is fun.You might find a load that does better.
 

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About 50 yrs ago, I bought 2 lbs of unknown powder from a guy who found it in his deceased uncle,s home. No markings on it. I was afraid to shoot it, so I sent a small sample in an envelope to DuPont (back then they made the IMR powders). I received a written reply stating that they would need much more and that it could only be identified by doing a "bomb test" , In this test, they put a quantity of the powder in a sealed tube containing a pressure guage, and detonate it under water. My powder became lawn fertilizer.
Hey stoolshooter - check your PM....
 

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Hodgdon does show a combo of 95 grain bullet and 49 grains of powder. The powder shape isnt the same though. Their data used IMR 7977 with a max load of 49.3 grains compressed.
 
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