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unlabeled powder

29 Dec 2020
@ 08:29 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

recently I was given a large container of powder by a trusted friend who has been my reloading go to person for last 25 or so years...was told it was H1000 so labeled it as such and put it aside for now.....
decided it was time to try some in 270 and see how good it is after reading of other folks having great results.
not being completely naive about things I checked data from 2 sources before selecting load some 3 grns below maximum (this rifle always happy at or just above max) loaded up 6 rounds and went off to shooting area... first fired 3 of my normal loads into less than inch...then touched off other load.......
to say it didnt go as expected is under statement.
bolt was stuck solid.....
went home shell shocked from grit in face and knowing Id stuffed up bigtime.
managed to get bolt open with much force (rubber mallet) and bolt back with cleaning rod down bore..... wee extracor claw broken out of lug and case is jammed solidly into bolt face....web expanded 1-2mm outside of normal.

will take rifle to gunsmith in new year and see if she can be salvaged.
PLEASE learn from my mistake...... if in doubt at all chuck it lawn has been fed 10lb of powder from 3 tins .....
I wore sunglasses which probably saved my sight.
a close call,only got myself to blame....stupid dumb mistake.


30 Dec 2020
@ 12:14 pm (GMT)

Ed Sybert

Re: unlabeled powder
You are very fortunate that you were not seriously injured or blinded. I've learned that it's not wise to try to save a few dollars by making assumptions. I know it does not apply in your situation, but I keep only one powder container on my loading bench at a time. I read the label before using it and again after, confirming it was the one I intended to use before putting the powder away. Here's a quick example of two powders that are easy to mix up if you don't read the labels carefully: IMR 4756 and IMR 4759.
04 Jan 2021
@ 07:46 am (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: unlabeled powder
I've found you can carefully measure powder (stick type) diameter with a vernier & tell the difference provided you know of course the diameter of the powder you are expecting it to be.

eg AR2209 is much thicker or coarser if you like compared to AR2206H for example.

Can be a useful way to be reasonably sure in some instances 7 avoid a major stuff up.
05 Jan 2021
@ 04:59 pm (GMT)


Re: unlabeled powder
Unless that rifle can be reliably crack tested, or otherwise metalurgically assessed, I would give serious consideration to junking the metal work.

It's done a brilliant job of saving you so far. Don't push it.
05 Jan 2021
@ 07:11 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: unlabeled powder
will take to gunsmith later this week....and let him make call on its future...if cost of getting her back up and running is going to be more than say $500...I may just park it in corner and buy something new.....
great pity as has been a good reliable friend for over 30 years now.
07 Jan 2021
@ 03:09 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: unlabeled powder
Well...that settles it...she is toast.
have ordered new HOWA .270 with green hogue stock and spartan suppressor..... a costly exercise but at end of day it didnt cost me my eyesight or health.
fun times ahead learning what new rifle likes....needless to say I will be starting loads down low and working up......
07 Jan 2021
@ 05:41 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: unlabeled powder
Just like to say a thanks to the humility you have displayed in posting this Mike as hopefully an easier lesson for others.
Onwards and upwards I'd say, a cheap one learned.
Glad your OK.
07 Jan 2021
@ 07:15 pm (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: unlabeled powder
Yeah good onya Mike.

I really like the Howa myself... after a bit a work they are great rifles.
17 Jan 2021
@ 08:45 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: unlabeled powder
howa arrived..went out last night with cleaning gear and did the shoot one,clean,shoot one clean...for 5 shots...that got me on target...cant waste factory ammunition now could I.... then 2 shots of same brand as previous 5....then clean....then 2 different 130grn loads....clean.then 2x 150 grn loads...clean,pack up and go home.....I called one of the 150s pulled low...but last 7 shots still in combined group of 1.5 inches...with 4x happy enough with that.
fired 12th shot today at about 150yards,knee deep in river leaning over low rock and red hind,barren 2 year old now hanging in garage...winchester 150grn load double lunged her,2" hole through ribs on farside and good 1" exit through hide...she went all of 15yards leaving hunks of lung and big blobs of blood on vegetation...not much of a tracking job for Meg......but she did it all the same and had good chew afterwards.... now folks have complained about hogue stock howa being heavy...and the 2 stage trigger being crap.......them folks need to use a SMLE for a time and then thank the good folks at Howa for making such a nice rifle....trigger is very nice,and even with suppressor on end (cause I bush hunt with a dog and respect our hearing) weight is managable.
Im a happy bush hobbit.


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