Contemplating WC 820 and 860 in quantity, looking for experience

  • Last Post 19 May 2015
corerf posted this 12 May 2015

So there is a significant issue forming with magnum pistol powders for the 357 and 44 class, I.e., W296/H110 and 2400.  Im a tricky dude and can/have/will use just about anything on hand to make a gun go bang and pretty accurate.

But quantity is always best, same lot, lots of pounds, makes for easier reloading.

WC820 is a mag pistol powder, similar to H-108 or is equal to it, blah blah bah.Its a good sub for W296/H-110 at max loads and thats what I am aiming for. likewise 860 is a 50 BMG pdr, super slow but has applications in cast bullets, my 25-06 and other overbore cartridges. I have chosen to virtually eliminate all my standard jacket bullet shooting. I still will keep the large supply of jacket bullets I have for the sake of preparedness, but otherwise I will shoot cast.

Much like Ed Harris, id like to consolidate my powder supply down. I like having 20 lbs on hand of a powder. I don't like having 20 lbs of powder in 20 different configurations and lots, even though no one powder covers your butt fully, rifle or pistol. Also unlike Ed, I refuse to use Bullseye for eye infections, ingrown toenails, fertilizer, anti fungal cream preparations, toothpaste, hair dye, plasters, handgun, rifle, howitzer and sub-atomic devices. I understand BE is the end all BE all (pun intended), NO OFFENSE TO ED either!!!.......... its genius I admit...... but Id rather not use BE. Unique, yes. So there is the basis for the question. I have access to a large supply of NEW Production (not pulldown) WC-820 and everyone has access to current supplies of WC-860. I would like to liquidate much of my supplies of powder and narrow the field of choice. If I need a special powder for a gun, then Ill buy 1 LB! Otherwise if I can get away with some RL 19 (everything that needs balls), Unique (anything needing reduced loads, shotgun), Wc844/846 (223), Green Dot (reduced loads again and shotgun), WC820 (mag handgun) and WC860 (all bottle neck cast HEAVIES within reason), id be very happy. I don't need to max out velocity for anything except my 22-250 (Varget, need to add varget)

Cartridges I shoot:22-250243223 (SHTF fodder only)12/20 ga25-06AI'06 and a variety of necked down wildcats (nothing necked up)7mag7x578x576x5530/30 and severely necked down wildcats (6mm Bullberry- nothing necked up)22 hornet(k)a variety of magnum handgun cartridges and super mags9mm8x58RD swedish rollersThere are many more but that covers the general classes.Most all are cast only.Most all are ALL IN loads or cast reduced loads to fit the action used. The powders I can't live w/o realistically: 4227VargetW680 (yes I have 24 lbs of fresh (N) not pulldown)UniqueGreen DotW296 or 2400 or H110 or equivalentRL-19 or equivalent4895 or equivalent  and Holy Black which has taken over my life for the last 5 years.

RL-19, 4895 could be narrowed to just one!296/2400/110 could be narrowed to WC-820 based on current cartridges employing it.Unique and Green Dot are so close they could usurp each other.W680 has no replacement, it is the same powder that people in heaven use to shoot.Varget has to stay or I switch to H-380 which I have a lifetime supply of.4227 is the food for the super mags under 44 cal. Above 44 cal is 680, pending barrel length.

In your experience, WC-860 rifle powder, using big heavies for each application, only in bottle necks, can I reasonably rely on shooter (not match) grade performance for reduced loads in the aforementioned cartridges? Likewise can/does WC-820 have a role in reduced RIFLE APPLICATIONS??And of course is WC-820 a close enough partner to rely on for magnum handgun?

Keeping the mind open here. I don't care to experiment any more. I don't need a lab full of specimens any more. 

Thanks in advance for your input. Ive already read what the internet has to offer, parsed all my data books old and new....... I would like real world experience, not judgements based on speed charts and BS that comes from the side of ones neck.

If you haven't used the powders mentioned, then please refrain from input. If you know someone who has, please feel free to interject or relay information, not load data, just information gained experientially!!! Not HYPOTHETICAL!!  

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onondaga posted this 12 May 2015>corerf

I am halfway through my second big jug of WC820. My experience with it is very limited. I have only worked up one load and have fired that load a very lot. The load is successfully accurate and well within the purpose design of WC820. I picked the powder specifically to work up a hunting load in:

 .500 S&W Magnum rifle.

250 gr Lee R.E.A.L cast #2 alloy and sized .502", tumble lubed 2X with 45:45:10 35.2 gr WC820 BPI Original Filler to rim Starline Brass trim 1.620" LOA 2.005" 1885 fps verified 22” Handi-Rifle.

I use the filler to increase pressure of this load specifically to enhance ignition with my light for caliber bullet selection in my load. WC820 lights best when developing high pressure.  Light rifle loads do not fall into  a safe application for WC820 in my opinion. WC820 has specific ignition characteristics that get dangerous very fast at the edge of design application and WC820 is a very powerful propellant that easily transitions into an explosive under the conditions it likes to do that. It burns very differently below and above a specific pressure range. You should be able to figure this out from the Mil Spec contract for this powder.  This is also a very good fragmentation grenade powder in high pressure grenade shells like the 40mm M203.

I also use WC820 in another .500 S&W load with a 340 gr RCBS bullet and filler that clocks 1702 fps and shoots consistently under 1” @ 50 yards from my rifle.


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Maven posted this 12 May 2015

I've used quite a bit of WC 860 & WC 820 (separately!) in .30cal. (English & metric) with heavy cast bullets and have been very pleased with their performance.  However, I don't recommend 860 in bottlenecked cartridges smaller than the .270Win., and definitely not in the .243Win. (Don't ask!).  WC 820 OTOH, can be used in most of the cartridges you mentioned as long as you stay with smaller charges; e.g., assuming AA #9 burning rate, no more than 18 - 20gr. in the .30-06 with heavy CB's, 14 - 15.5gr. in the .30-30Win., or 15gr. in the .243Win.   Btw, there is a great deal of info. about 820 & 860 on the Cast Boolits site.  Use this search engine if you're interested:>

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tturner53 posted this 12 May 2015

I use AA#9 in .357 and .44 Magnum loads with heavy for caliber bullets. Always gas checked. Plenty good for me. I used AA#9 in the 7.62x54R in an issue MN 91/30 in a CBA military rifle tournament a few years back with about a 210 gr. bullet, IIRC. Did ok, can't knock the load. AA#9 is very similar to WC 820. If I had the chance to get 820 at a fair price I'd go for it.

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corerf posted this 13 May 2015

It seems as though maybe the 820 is all I should buy. Just buy more of it, Maven that's good stuff on the 820 for rifle purposes.

Thanks to all responders. I unloaded about 10 lbs of canister powder today. Should unload another 20 of odds and ends and that should make the way for the 820.

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4060may posted this 16 May 2015

I would be very interested in where you are going to buy any quantity

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corerf posted this 16 May 2015

4060 it will be the same way that 4 years ago I bought 24 lbs of w680, new, not pull down.

I'm fairly resourceful in the matter of uncovering lost treasures. You can consider it already at my door on this one. I won't divulge source till I see the white jugs though. Call it self preservation, supply is very limited.

Nothing is ever really gone, just have to find the right hoarder in the right mood.


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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 16 May 2015

heh, in 1958 i bot a 50 lb keg of h4831 ...( $0.5 a lb ) ... and only had a 222 to shoot it in ... still got a bunch of it ... i might be a hoarder ... but not a guilty hoarder ... ( g ) ..


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corerf posted this 16 May 2015

Im a hoarder---- especially when it in a 50lb keg!!

I love that price!! WOW.

I have the remains of a 50 lb keg of 4831. Stuff still smells as fresh as a new bottle from the LGS.

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j35nut posted this 17 May 2015

I use a lot of WC820 for cast bullet loads both PB and GC and it really shines in the .410 with plastic or brass case.

It is kind of weird to me that my best loads in the 30-20 TC carbine, .357 mag rifle and .410 all use the same charge of 820.

good luck in your quest


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corerf posted this 19 May 2015

This morning I secured 24 lbs of wc820 new, not pull down, h110 equivalent.

Next month will shoot for an 857/860 purchase of similar size.

Thanks for the input.

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