BR5 powder

  • Last Post 17 March 2021
LarryW posted this 25 January 2021

Greetings, I recently purchased a jug of BR5, New military powder from GIBrass.

Ad states it is for there 9mm loadings & similar to Unique, unique data is to be used.

Nice powder, meters great.

Does anyone have any experience or insight into this powder ?Thanks in advance. Take care & be safe...


A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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LarryW posted this 17 March 2021

I sure do appreciate it Corerf,  anxiously await any & all write up' s from you Sir.

I.put the word out for a serviceable 9mm tube, contender or likes there of, nothing out there

I can afford, short of hitting the lottery. I'll let you know if anything pops up.

Thanks again,  Take Cate & be safe...

A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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corerf posted this 17 March 2021

Larry last Sat I attempted to test run both wc820 and BR5 in a 44 mag TC contender 10 inch with strain gage and RSI system.

I had a connectivity issue from inertia on the cabling. My proof level reference rounds (10) were fired with errors and a few mistakes due to failure of the connectivity. I got a few proof traces and got the correction factor set but by then reference Ammo was gone and that pretty much ended testing. Never got to load the BR or WC. The 44 was not my first choice but a bought a used barrel for the purpose and I can perform both powder pressure tests at same time.

So I’m on it but it’s a Saturday thing only and if it pours rain- I’m screwed! I have to drive an hour each way to get to a place to shoot and then I’m time limited. I’ll do 357 and 38 next. Have procured a Hot Shot barrel to bastardize.

Anybody have a 9mm TC pistol barrel I can borrow? Non-destructive, the Loctite 401 glue comes off with acetone and I use reference data at saami max for reference loads. Barrel won’t see more than saami max minus 2000 psi.

Or a 45 acp??

8-10 inch would be great, don’t even need sights. Two shots at each respective acceptable pressure and when max is hit, it’s done.

I’m only testing Keith bullets in the 44 and also a new NOE 319 gr (due to Lee not being able to hit a spec on a mold if they used a truck). My 310 FPGC is simply junk and I’m on #2 in 6 years with low mileage. 38 will get 125/150RN/158 357 will get same plus maybe RCBS 200FN

That’s the update Larry. I’m trying! I still have SMP735, 7383, 857 all to test too!!

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LarryW posted this 15 March 2021

Wouldn't surprise me a bit Sir. Wife & I were out there 8 -10 weeks ago just driving around, thought I would check for any brass

(None by the way) & everything was open just like always. Back out the other day, Chain link fence & Government signage everywhere ?? I hate progress?? At least like that???

A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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Brodie posted this 15 March 2021

I'm sorry to hear that Larry.  Must be some endangered scorpion that the Biden administration wants to protect and preserve.  Can't have those nasty insurrectionists spraying toxic metals all over the landscape now can we. 


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LarryW posted this 13 March 2021

Howdy Mr Brodie, yup, agree with your procedures on this topic fully. Not a problem with it.

Was just wondering if anyone came up with anything new &/or interesting, that's all..

I haven't been able to get out & put any over the chrony due to med issues. Headed out yesterday

& found my long time desert shooting areas, I mean " long time " shooting areas since the 1960's

are closed off, fenced off, no trespass signs, bunch of this & that project mumbo-jumbo on government signs???? Lord I miss the old days 😣😣


A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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Brodie posted this 12 March 2021

Fellas, there is a direct correlation between velocity and pressure in any cartridge.  The higher the velocity the higher the pressure.  

If I were going to work up loads for a "new" powder, one for which there is no published data, and all I had was an indication of the burning rate, I would pick a magnum cartridge (ie 44 mag) and start with 44 special cases.  I would then work up slowly from the starting loads for Unique powder and chronograph ever single round as I worked up to a good accurate usable load, for what ever my purpose.  If the velocity suddenly spikes then you know that particular load was "hotter" than it should be and you can adjust accordingly. 

Same thing for the rifle loads, reduced of course.  Work up and chronograph.  If you get a sudden spike in velocity you know something is wrong.  Doing it this way will warn you of higher pressure before you get any real indication on the primer or case.  You could also measure case head expansion, but that has been shown to be a faulty indicator as well, and who can afford that much new brass these days anyway.  Good Luck with your experimenting.. 


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LarryW posted this 12 March 2021

Any new information, findings, data on this powder ??

Hey Coref, you ok ??????

A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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corerf posted this 26 January 2021

Wow what a timely post (for me at least)


I picked up 36 lbs of BR5 from Jeff as well as 16 lbs of WC857, TODAY! Got back from Owensboro this evening.

I have reviewed a short data sheet Jeff handed me.

I have looked at ALL makes; Lovex, Alliant, AA, IMR/Win/H and I cant find any equivalents or a defined correlation, except it IS slower than Unique from this Ad Hoc data sheet. It is said to be slower by a bit than Unique, from the data offered me, that is true from study of other slower powder data. Its not Herco by any stretch, just a TICK slower than Unique. So the idea is Unique staring loads "should be" low for velocity and pressure low for a given cartridge. Unique start loads taken at their actual weights, are the          "reduced start weight" to work up from. Reducing 10% would be really reducing 15-20% or thereabouts. Cant hurt but will be wasteful of material, PRIMERS and time.

Unfortunately there is no good indicator of pressure for the revolver cartridges like 38 and 32 and 357. Autoloaders are just as bad, unless you have a single shot to strap a transducer to. I have the pressure lab, just dont have the barrels. So when you get 38 special (as an example) typical Unique speeds (min to max for a given load data sheet), then you stop. Push I suppose if you like taking a risk but the fact that it is slower than Unique "virtually" guarantees that Unique weights and Unique velocities, when coincidently met, are the of the end of the line for development. Unless again you have pressure test electronics and a viable breach loading barrel.

Ill be loading 9, 45, 38, 357 32 H&R, 32 SWL, 44 SP, light 44 MAG, 8mm TXR with it and experiment with it for 30-30 reduced loads and the like (Old Lyman Unique type data). It might become a kicker for duplexed WC857/860/872. Bottom line is I loaded up so that I could use just one powder for non magnum shooting and narrow my scope. Ed Harris made that suggestion years ago with his Bullseye work. Im excited to be able to work with it and am hoping others here in 2021 will report findings. WC820 and WC680 for Handgun magnums (in large quantity).

I DO have a 357 MAX barrel for a contender that I can add a strain gauge to so maybe I can get pressure data on 38/38+P/357.

Anybody have a 9mm or 45 ACP contender barrel that can be gauged?? I dont want a complete library of data, just a few index points to work with and have pressure curves. 125/115 (9mm) and 230gr ball and LRN(45)

I have 6 lbs of current Unique and 1 lb of cardboard can Unique to test actual performance differentials.

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Brodie posted this 26 January 2021

Larry W ;

If I were in your boots I would take the most heavily built handgun I had or rifle and start at the lowest end of loads for Unique, and see what comes from there.  That is if you can not find any more information on this BR5 powder.  I know why you bought it.  Components are very hard to find these days.  Almost impossible in some areas, and some of us don't have the luxury of a big stock of powder and primers backed up.  Fortunately for me I have enough to get me by if I don't over do it.  Since I am not shooting action pistol twice a month any more. 

What ever you do with that stuff just be cautious with it.  For your own safety and that of anybody who may be around you. 

Good luck!


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Elmer posted this 25 January 2021

Where does Bartlett get his powders?

With respect to BR, "similar to Unique" does not impress me. I'd like to see some mfr published data.

The guys at Hodgdon have made me skittish, I suppose. I'd not want a gun to blow up due to my ignorance of interior ballistics.


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