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Thread: RG4895 Surplus Powder

  1. #1
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    Default RG4895 Surplus Powder

    Would anyone have loading data on RG (Radway Green)4895 surplus military powder for 223/5.56? I've tried to find data and so far have found none, although it's close to IMR4895 burning rates, I'd like to see specific data. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    Default

    did you ask the guy's at weidners what the burn rate was or if it had any data?
    if it's close to i-4895 use their starting data and work up slowly like you would with any new lot of powder.
    just because it says i-4895 on the lable doesn't mean it is exactly the same as the old bottle you had.
    everytime you get a new lot of powder you need to rework your loads slightly to keep the consistency.

  3. #3
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Default Surp 101

    You aren't going to find specific data for a surp powder. That's not the way it works. While surp powders are certainly much cheaper to use, working with them is not for a beginner, unless you have a very experienced mentor. You need also to be very familiar with the cartridge and bullets you're using so that you can spot any anomalies like velocity spkes, sudden POI shifts, etc.

    If you lack experience to be able to work without loading data, use only commercial powders until you have enough experience to understand what happens inside the case when the primer goes off.

    The best place to start is to use starting loads for the closest cannister grade (commercial) powder and check to see how closely the actual velocity matches with predicted. In other words, you have to work out by trial and error what weight of your surp powder will give you the correct starting velocity. Sometimes a surp lot is so similar to the parent powder that data is interchangable, but every batch is different and has to be tested individually. A chronograph is an absolute necessity for working with surp powders that will tell you when you're within safe parameters by matching velocities with the starting and Max loads in the commercial charge tables. Watching the primers is not always an accurate or reliable enough method for gauging high pressures, so unless you have access to a ballistic lab with strain gauges or know how to mic your case heads for pressure signs, you are always working more or less in the dark.

    Never try to push velocities with surp powders as it is not always easy to tell when you are approaching or passing the rifle's MAX load. Fortunately, most accurate loads are usually found in the middle of the charge table, though there are exceptions. Just because the pressure warning signs are not particularly reliable, that does not mean you shouldn't watch carefully for them - when they appear, it is data you can use (the problem is that they might NOT appear when you most need them to or you might not be using a bolt action). Even if the chrono says you are not up to MAX, any time you are seeing severely flattened, cratered, or pierced primers or having difficulty lifting the bolt/extracting fired cartridges - STOP shooting and back off your load. Sometimes the MAX load for an individual rifle is much lower than a listed MAX, so you could be watching only velocity and think everything is alright when it is not and you are overpressure.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  4. #4
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    Default

    man versifier you are a lot better at splainin these things than i am sometimes.
    you said what i was kinda trying to say.

  5. #5
    GunLoad Trainee
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    Default

    Thanks Guys!

  6. #6
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    I just read an earlier post regarding the use of surplus RG4895 powder in 5.56 loads.

    I had done some recent research comparing that particular propellant against other
    popular brands for this round, such as Hodgdon's H335, in approximating the military's
    M193 ball ammunition.

    One should NEVER take as gospel another's pet load data but, instead, invest in even an inexpensive chronograph and endure one's self to a little scientific methodology to arriving at what suits your operating environment, e. g. - elevation, mean temperature, etc.

    What I found was that the RG4895 gave me relatively more consistent muzzle velocities around my 3,250 fps goal than several other popular brands. Logically, this translated into tighter groupings at 300 meters than other propellants that I tried, using a 20" Bushmaster heavy barrel.

    The amount of RG4895 propellant for my elevation of 5,250 feet and temperature of around 70F was 26.8 gr. giving a very tight average muzzle velocity of 3,250 fps with
    a standard deviation of 14 fps in 30 round samples. This was a 2-1/2 times smaller
    deviation than with the H335 powder.

    Since this type of extruded propellant (which closely resembles the IMR4895 propellant) doesn't have the more fluid feel as say, the H335 powder, the powder thrower occasionally "crunches" on a few of the extruded pellets. However, weighing
    such samples, the exact weight was registered from load to load, so the "crunch" feel
    didn't seem to affect weight consistency at all.

    On a side note, I also experimented with the Wolf brand magnum small rifle primer
    compared to the CCI #41 and CCI #450, each of which is preferred for an M193 type
    ball ammunition. To my surprise, I found the Wolf primer as good or better than either
    of the CCI primers, particularly with the RG4895 propellant.

    On top of that, this particular Wolf primer seems to be more available and actually
    cheaper than either of the two CCI primers referenced above.

    I hope this sheds a little additional light on this particular topic.

    Below is a photo of a few rounds at 300 meters using the Wolf/RG4895 (shown in the
    squares) versus the CCI #450/H335 (shown in the circles).
    Last edited by vonwille; 02-12-2010 at 07:30 PM.

  7. #7
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