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Posted: 8/23/2017 9:24:00 PM EDT
For any reloader who has ever complained about dropping stick powders through a powder measure, just realize it could always be worse.  

I know some folks hate reloading with the longer extruded powders through certain measures, as consistency can be a problem.  Varget, 4831, and 4350 come to mind, they can especially be hell out of a Dillon 550.  well, it could always be a lot worse.  I recently picked up an Enfield, and the deal included some '64 stamped Pakistani surplus ammo.  I was curious to see what kind of powder was inside, so decided to pull the bullet.  




I noticed what looked to be some kind of "plug" inside the case, thought it was just some kind of wad to buffer the powder...





I then noticed the powder inside looked clumped, almost as though it had gotten wet.  Whatever it was, it was stuck...and you couldn't pour it out.



Was it wet, clumped powder?  Nope, it is some kind of weird stick powder...almost looks like flammable macaroni sticks.  




Hmm, 36.0gr....



I've been reloading for a while, and never seen anything like this.  Of course, I had to find out if it was actually flammable...






Yep, stuff burned, and wasn't too hard to ignite.  Burn rate was reasonably slow, about what you would expect for this size case.  

So, what powder measure for pull-down Pakistani surplus powder?  I can't even imagine how big a pain in the ass it would be to work with this stuff, has to be significantly more difficult that standard ball powders.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:25:52 PM EDT
[#1]
Well, I can honestly say that in my 45 years of reloading I have never seen anything like that.....
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:25:53 PM EDT
[#2]
It's cordite.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordite

Click



























Bang.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:26:25 PM EDT
[#3]
Gotta run that powder through a food processor before you try to meter it
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:28:40 PM EDT
[#4]
Cordite
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:29:12 PM EDT
[#5]
i am clicking out of tread, 'cuse, fuk...
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:31:23 PM EDT
[#6]
Wouldn't you put a certain amount of sticks in each case?  If so it would be easy to measure.  Just slow.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:31:26 PM EDT
[#7]
That's cordite.

I have had some held together by a little rubber band and some by a string.

I could picture little girls in a factory tying the little bundle up.

Great back in the days when reloading wasn't a thought.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:35:04 PM EDT
[#8]
And now I have one more piece of trivia in my bank for just that special moment!  Now I know what cordite is 
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:36:52 PM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
It's cordite.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordite

Click



























Bang.
View Quote
Yep thats the stuff. Some of the first smokeless propellant
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:37:51 PM EDT
[#10]
I've heard of cordite before, no idea that's what it looked like.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:38:14 PM EDT
[#11]
I guessed Cordite when I saw the thread title
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:40:05 PM EDT
[#12]
Standard chordite... It would have been surprising if it was anything else.

Shoot it on a calm day and you can see ash floating around.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:40:22 PM EDT
[#13]
I had a feeling it was cordite but I'm glad someone else said it, cause I haven't ever seen cordite before. Neat. Thanks for sharing OP
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:42:13 PM EDT
[#14]
Cordite.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:43:57 PM EDT
[#15]
How'd it smell when you burned it?


All of the turn of the century big game hunting books I've read always mention the smell of the cordite when trying to stop a rogue elephant.  I'd love to get my hands on some to just play with!
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:46:08 PM EDT
[#16]
Cordite is notoriously not temperature stable, one of the reasons cartridge designers of the era had to take into account with rifles that were going to Africa And India.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:49:20 PM EDT
[#17]
I read that the many cartridges were charged with Cordite prior to necking the case. Easier to load it into straight wall.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:53:18 PM EDT
[#18]
Has anyone mentioned Cordite ?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:53:46 PM EDT
[#19]
Yeah, that shit is NOT gonna make it through my RCBS Uniflow. 
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:54:43 PM EDT
[#20]
I have a bunch of those rounds from when I still had a SMLE, and pulled several down that didn't go off.  I have an old 1lb jug with a bunch in it and trying to come up with a game plan for it other than blowing it up of course.

Pretty cool stuff and amazing how far we've come!
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:56:04 PM EDT
[#21]
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:59:44 PM EDT
[#22]
Since it's mass produced, I would assume it was loaded on an assembly line by people who didn't measure individual powder charges per cartridge. In that case, I think it'd be a hell of a lot easier to load than regular powder because you could drop the correct amount of sticks in. Assuming all sticks were the same dimensions and weight, one could probably lay them out on a sheet that had dividers in it that would separate them into the correct amounts, then perhaps have this sheet drop about 50 or so bundles into cases that were on a line ready to be loaded.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 10:04:16 PM EDT
[#23]
If you get a weak round you can watch that plug land about 15 feet down range as well.

It took me a while to figure that one out.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 10:04:38 PM EDT
[#24]
Neat! I had no clue.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 10:18:18 PM EDT
[#25]
It has a distinct smell.

Ed
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:04:15 PM EDT
[#26]
 I watched a documentary about the Galipoli landings a few years back. A team of Archaeologists went there to dig up whatever. They found sticks of cordite in the water that had crap growing on it. They offered an explanation as to why sticks of cordite were in the water, but I do not remember what it was. In any event, the cordite displayed was the diameter of a #2 pencil and about 12 inches long. One of the team members wondered aloud if it would burn. The man holding it pulled out a zippo type light and held the flame to the end. Sure enough, it caught fire and burned in a manner similar to 4th of July sparklers.

Yeah, I know: CSB
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:06:49 PM EDT
[#27]
That is actually pretty cool.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:23:00 PM EDT
[#28]
Neat stuff OP.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:31:37 PM EDT
[#29]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
 I watched a documentary about the Galipoli landings a few years back. A team of Archaeologists went there to dig up whatever. They found sticks of cordite in the water that had crap growing on it. They offered an explanation as to why sticks of cordite were in the water, but I do not remember what it was. In any event, the cordite displayed was the diameter of a #2 pencil and about 12 inches long. One of the team members wondered aloud if it would burn. The man holding it pulled out a zippo type light and held the flame to the end. Sure enough, it caught fire and burned in a manner similar to 4th of July sparklers.

Yeah, I know: CSB
View Quote
I believe the brits used cordite in the big naval guns as well.  The strands were a bit bigger than used in rifles.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:40:39 PM EDT
[#30]
Cool OP, thanks.  I'm a youngin and have only been reloading for a couple of years...never seen anything like that.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:44:29 PM EDT
[#31]
1 gr/stick?  36 sticks/charge?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:48:54 PM EDT
[#32]
Shirly you're not serious that you've never heard of cordite.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:54:37 PM EDT
[#33]
Well that's the first I ever seen. But I have read about it.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 12:02:46 AM EDT
[#34]
Really, you never heard of cordite?  That's what they loaded .303 with.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 12:20:56 AM EDT
[#35]
Cordite the British used to love the stuff, they even used it for naval canons.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 1:28:41 AM EDT
[#36]
How'd it smell when you burned it?
View Quote


Honestly, I don't remember a specific smell...I do recall it seemed to burn somewhat clean.

Since it's mass produced, I would assume it was loaded on an assembly line by people who didn't measure individual powder charges per cartridge. In that case, I think it'd be a hell of a lot easier to load than regular powder because you could drop the correct amount of sticks in.
View Quote


These were loaded in there pretty tight, didn't look like they were exactly dropped in.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 1:38:18 AM EDT
[#37]
How do you even get it in there?
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 1:40:45 AM EDT
[#38]
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 3:47:49 AM EDT
[#39]
I still would like to see the process for loading cases with this stuff...
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 3:56:26 AM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I still would like to see the process for loading cases with this stuff...
View Quote
Probably a similar process.

Link Posted: 8/24/2017 4:26:47 AM EDT
[#41]
God I love the smell of cordite.  Back in the day I shot thousands of rounds of it in various calibers.

It is a little hard on throat erosion though.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 4:36:32 AM EDT
[#42]
I can't remember exactly where I read it, but I believe it was Warren Page that had a story about New Zealanders being awfully mad trying to cram sticks of cordite in their .22-303s. Every time I think about that it makes me chuckle. 
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 5:30:29 AM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
I think I read somewhere that they put the cordite in first, then finished shaping the case with the bottleneck after.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 5:56:18 AM EDT
[#44]
That stuff is a funky extruded mixture of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerine and petroleum jelly. Not all that far off from some double base pistol powders. With the notable addition of Vaseline and a noodle like shape instead of small flakes. The low coefficient of surface area, relative to flakes, balls or stars, really slows down the burn rate. It does have a distinctive smell.

I miss cheep 303 British surplus
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 5:58:44 AM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I think I read somewhere that they put the cordite in first, then finished shaping the case with the bottleneck after.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I think I read somewhere that they put the cordite in first, then finished shaping the case with the bottleneck after.
That is my understanding as well. I have pulled down a few cases that didn't fire. That stuff was packed in tight. I suspect necking it down after charging would be the only practicable method.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 8:18:17 PM EDT
[#46]
I still haven't had a chance to shoot any, kind of excited to get it to the range....from what I've read, should be a lot like shooting a muzzleloader!
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 8:19:36 PM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I think I read somewhere that they put the cordite in first, then finished shaping the case with the bottleneck after.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I think I read somewhere that they put the cordite in first, then finished shaping the case with the bottleneck after.
LOL, that would make it easier.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:04:28 PM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I still haven't had a chance to shoot any, kind of excited to get it to the range....from what I've read, should be a lot like shooting a muzzleloader!
View Quote
That is true of the POF .303 for sure.  That's why I pulled most of mine down and just reloaded the bullets in some new cases with a modern primer and powder.   I'm not sure if the primer, or powder, or both is suspect in that ammo, but I had my share of hang fires.   Definitely give it 2-3 seconds if you have a misfire!
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:07:14 PM EDT
[#49]
Cool.  I've never seen it in person.

I could give a rat's ass about metering though.  Highly overrated.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:13:45 PM EDT
[#50]
I've heard of it but I've never seen it before. 

Now I have
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