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kjk200
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Posted: 9/16/2009 8:20:21 PM
Last night, I was shooting some of my first reloads for my ar, and I was approached by an older friend that asked what I was shooting. After some small talk, he asked what kinda powder I was loading. I said that I think this batch was 4198 or what ever, but my first loads where with bl-c(2). He proceded to tell me (very politily) that I should think about sticking to a stick powder, because ball powder does not burn up entirely and in an AR or (m-16 specifically) that the residue with eventually cause a malfunction. He said that in "Nam" ball powder got a bunch of his friends killed, because the malfunctions happened when they needed their rifles the most. He admitted that my rifle would never see that kind of abuse and or use, but that I should know. I think he recommended that I use 4064, but any stick powder would be better in the AR. He is a VERY knowledgeable shooter and reloader, but I think he might be "a product of his past".

I have MANY different types of powder to pick from, so I am thinking about his suggestion.

What Say You!
Derek45
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Posted: 9/16/2009 8:35:30 PM
I've loaded 10's of thousands of rounds using ball power.
WC844, WC846, BLC-3, Win 748, and AA2230

I like stick powder for 77gr. ( varget)


I keep my AR's halfway clean and they all run like a champ
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RedFalconBill
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Posted: 9/16/2009 8:55:15 PM
Your older friend is weaving a tale that has just enough truth that will cause people to think.

Stick powders are fine in 5.56/.223
I use 4895 for my DCM (73-77gr) loads.

Ball powders are fine in 5.56/.223
While I do not use BL-C(2), I have used H-335, AA-2230, and WW-748. Also lots of people rave about TAC.

Use whichever powder you want with confidence.
EWP
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Posted: 9/16/2009 8:55:19 PM
Varget and Benchmark shoot best in my .223 and H-322 is best in my 6.8 SPC, I tried H-335 with some 55gr FMJ-BT's and they grouped like shit but the same bullets made almost a one hole 5 shot group using Benchmark. So I don't know about the incomplete burning of the ball powders since all Mil. ammo is loaded using a ball powder, so there must be some good to come from it, just not in my gun I guess.
BattleRife
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Posted: 9/16/2009 8:58:28 PM
Your friend only knows half the truth, and the result is worse than no knowledge at all.

Ball powder is the only powder used by the US military for all its AR-15 based arms. It has been that way for about 40 years. Ball is unequivocally the best choice for this gun.

Also, 4064 is a mediocre choice for this round as its burn rate is not a good match.
Rokchukrslave
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Posted: 9/16/2009 9:06:44 PM
IIRC, it was the TYPE of ball powder initially used in the M16 that gave it problems. There is definately nothing wrong with using ball powder in your rifle.
ma96782
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Posted: 9/16/2009 9:08:40 PM
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 10:06:47 PM by ma96782]
Originally Posted By kjk200:
Last night, I was shooting some of my first reloads for my ar, and I was approached by an older friend that asked what I was shooting. After some small talk, he asked what kinda powder I was loading. I said that I think this batch was 4198 or what ever, but my first loads where with bl-c(2). He proceded to tell me (very politily) that I should think about sticking to a stick powder, because ball powder does not burn up entirely and in an AR or (m-16 specifically) that the residue with eventually cause a malfunction. He said that in "Nam" ball powder got a bunch of his friends killed, because the malfunctions happened when they needed their rifles the most. He admitted that my rifle would never see that kind of abuse and or use, but that I should know. I think he recommended that I use 4064, but any stick powder would be better in the AR. He is a VERY knowledgeable shooter and reloader, but I think he might be "a product of his past".

I have MANY different types of powder to pick from, so I am thinking about his suggestion.

What Say You!



Read the history of powder selection during the development of the 5.56 mm cartridge here……

http://www.thegunzone.com/556prop.html

Aloha, Mark

PS.....in case you didn't know......

It's usually said (for data use)........

WC844 = H335

WC846 = BLC-2

It's NOT a direct replacement.

So, of course...........start low and work your way up. YMWV.


"Guns don't kill people......the Government does."

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Anarius
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Posted: 9/16/2009 9:51:18 PM
I use H322 in .223 and 6.8spc; however I used to load with H335 and may do so again when I get a chance to get some. I was not unhappy with the ball powder at all.
dryflash3
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Posted: 9/16/2009 9:52:15 PM
I have used BLC2 and other ball powders for years in my AR loads.

IMR-4064 is a good powder, but too slow for 223.

Reloading / shooting are plagued with many myths, in this case I say "busted".
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AR-180
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Posted: 9/16/2009 9:58:45 PM
Most ball powders are not as accurate as the stick powders especially with the heavier bullets. However, TAC and Varget both at 24.0gr are really good in lots of rifles I have shot using a 77 BTHP bullet.

Start low; work up, etc.
lazyengineer
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Posted: 9/16/2009 10:20:18 PM
Originally Posted By kjk200:
Last night, I was shooting some of my first reloads for my ar, and I was approached by an older friend that asked what I was shooting. After some small talk, he asked what kinda powder I was loading. I said that I think this batch was 4198 or what ever, but my first loads where with bl-c(2). He proceded to tell me (very politily) that I should think about sticking to a stick powder, because ball powder does not burn up entirely and in an AR or (m-16 specifically) that the residue with eventually cause a malfunction. He said that in "Nam" ball powder got a bunch of his friends killed, because the malfunctions happened when they needed their rifles the most. He admitted that my rifle would never see that kind of abuse and or use, but that I should know. I think he recommended that I use 4064, but any stick powder would be better in the AR. He is a VERY knowledgeable shooter and reloader, but I think he might be "a product of his past".

I have MANY different types of powder to pick from, so I am thinking about his suggestion.

What Say You!


He is also wrong. Today's ball powders are not cut with cheap cannon powder and (not so) inert fillers, so do not create a scale deposit and jamming issue. There are lots of good reasons to use stick powders, and lots of good reasons to use ball powders. This isn't one of them either way.
GW Bush ain't looking so bad these days afterall
timb3
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Posted: 9/17/2009 3:38:26 AM
Originally Posted By kjk200:
Last night, I was shooting some of my first reloads for my ar, and I was approached by an older friend that asked what I was shooting. After some small talk, he asked what kinda powder I was loading. I said that I think this batch was 4198 or what ever, but my first loads where with bl-c(2). He proceded to tell me (very politily) that I should think about sticking to a stick powder, because ball powder does not burn up entirely and in an AR or (m-16 specifically) that the residue with eventually cause a malfunction. He said that in "Nam" ball powder got a bunch of his friends killed, because the malfunctions happened when they needed their rifles the most. He admitted that my rifle would never see that kind of abuse and or use, but that I should know. I think he recommended that I use 4064, but any stick powder would be better in the AR. He is a VERY knowledgeable shooter and reloader, but I think he might be "a product of his past".

I have MANY different types of powder to pick from, so I am thinking about his suggestion.

What Say You!


He was right about a powder change from stick to ball causing problems with the early m16, but the bottom line is really just that _any_ powder that burns "dirty" in a gun that shits where it eats (direct impingement) is a bad idea for reliability.

Use clean burning powder and clean your rifle regularly. Another part of the problem in vietnam was that in addition to the guns being issued ammo that was different (dirtier) than the stuff it was developed with, the rifles were initially issued with no cleaning equipment and troops were told that the rifles were "self cleaning"... no cleaning needed. - Of course that was complete bullshit designed to make the rifles fail. - There had been a huge fight going on between the supporters of the M14 and the M16, and I'd bet a fair amount of money that some of the M14 supporters saw to it that the "accidents" happened to make the M16 get a bad reputation. - Unfortunately, it had the side effect of killing a bunch of troops whos weapons malfunctioned.
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wyatt1
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Posted: 9/17/2009 4:39:39 AM
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 4:43:38 AM by wyatt1]
I used to use IMR 4198 but niw I use 748 b/c it meters well.
I'm not shooting competetively or anything

I read that about ball powders in early A1s. The real reason is the guys were told the rifles were so advanced they didn't need to be cleaned and weren't given cleaning kits. Your friend may be telling you the truth but

Once they actually started cleaning their rifles things got better. When the forward assist was added it got even better.
40xb-shooter
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Posted: 9/17/2009 9:25:21 AM
I use H335 and Tac for my 55gr .223 and W748 for my 69 gr SMK .223 and it works just fine.
AeroE
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Posted: 9/17/2009 11:22:58 AM
Originally Posted By timb3:
Originally Posted By kjk200:
Last night, I was shooting some of my first reloads for my ar, and I was approached by an older friend that asked what I was shooting. After some small talk, he asked what kinda powder I was loading. I said that I think this batch was 4198 or what ever, but my first loads where with bl-c(2). He proceded to tell me (very politily) that I should think about sticking to a stick powder, because ball powder does not burn up entirely and in an AR or (m-16 specifically) that the residue with eventually cause a malfunction. He said that in "Nam" ball powder got a bunch of his friends killed, because the malfunctions happened when they needed their rifles the most. He admitted that my rifle would never see that kind of abuse and or use, but that I should know. I think he recommended that I use 4064, but any stick powder would be better in the AR. He is a VERY knowledgeable shooter and reloader, but I think he might be "a product of his past".

I have MANY different types of powder to pick from, so I am thinking about his suggestion.

What Say You!


He was right about a powder change from stick to ball causing problems with the early m16, but the bottom line is really just that _any_ powder that burns "dirty" in a gun that shits where it eats (direct impingement) is a bad idea for reliability.

Use clean burning powder and clean your rifle regularly. Another part of the problem in vietnam was that in addition to the guns being issued ammo that was different (dirtier) than the stuff it was developed with, the rifles were initially issued with no cleaning equipment and troops were told that the rifles were "self cleaning"... no cleaning needed. - Of course that was complete bullshit designed to make the rifles fail. - There had been a huge fight going on between the supporters of the M14 and the M16, and I'd bet a fair amount of money that some of the M14 supporters saw to it that the "accidents" happened to make the M16 get a bad reputation. - Unfortunately, it had the side effect of killing a bunch of troops whos weapons malfunctioned.


Clean M-16's weren't anything to brag about with the old ammo. I always had malfunctions starting around 190 to 200 rounds. I hated the rifle and those problems are the reason I had absolutely no interest in AR's til the Clinton show came along.


It's true, Obama is the Leader of Fools deluded to believe, "Everything is going to change now".
As for me, I will embrace what is Right more tightly than ever.


1 lbf = 32.174 lbm-ft/sec^2