In defense of 4831

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  • Last Post 29 July 2021
Sonnyk posted this 30 June 2021

The cast bullet association and I disclaim any responsibility for use or misuse of this load data, use at your own risk.

Recently I saw a post about SEE and 4831 was specifically mentioned. 

During Covid my usual powders were unobtainable so I began casting about for solutions with the powders I have on hand.  Having 2 lbs of H4831 on I pulled out my 1974 edition of the Hodgdon reloading data manual #22.  Pages 122 and 123 have loads for the .308 Win and 30-06 Springfield respectively. 

I cast 20+BHN alloyed boolits with antimony and tin, many .30 boolits including the 311314, 311299, Lee 312-185, 309-120, 308-329 (for the Springfield rifle) and others.  Eastwood pc coated, sized to .310 with a .014" Aluminum GC courtesy of Pat Marlin. 

I decided to try the loads in the manual and loaded up a bunch of my casts within the ranges stated in the manual.  For the first firing I sandbagged the rifle, firing it remotely for safety, after all, "slow burning powders are dangerous", After two successful rounds with no signs of pressure or any issues at all I began firing the loads shouldered in a normal manner.  The loads were fired from my 1950 JC Higgins model 50.

I was impressed by the accuracy from the start. It paralleled my loads using 4895.  I chronographed the loads but do not have that data available right now and if memory serves correctly they were all in the high 1880's FPS.

I love shooting steels at 200 and 300 yards and I was making them sing with my test loads. 

Right now I have 100x 30-06 loads sitting on my bench waiting for a nice morning to go out and make a bunch of noise, but before I do I wanted to throw my 2 cents worth in on the much maligned H4831.

Hodgdon manual, number 22, 1974: (all loads with gas check)

.308 Winchester:  150 grain Maximum: load H4831 44.0 Vel. 2053 and 180 gr. Maximum: load H4831 40.0 Vel 1856.  Oddly There is no minimum load data.  I have not tried either .308 load at this time.

30-06 Springfield: 150 gr. H4831 40.0 gr.  Vel. 1561, Maximum: load H4831 46.0 gr, Vel 2032 and 180 gr. H4831, 38.0 and Maximum: load H4831 41.0 gr. Vel. 2022.

A jacketed 150 gr bullet (same manual) starts at 56.0, so the load is reduced by 24 grains in a similar weight cast boolit, but I observed no ill effects.

 Recoil was reflective of a slow burning powder (the push)  and accuracy was extremely promising.

Once again, use all data at your own risk.

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RicinYakima posted this 30 June 2021

FWIW, I have fired up over 10 pounds of surplus 4831 over 40 years. I always used Hodgeon's data and never had a single problem. As a single based powder with no ball powder deterrent coatings; it always worked just fine with standard primers. While slow it appears to be easy to ignite and very smooth in burn rate. "Slow" is not the issue, it is powder choice. FWIW, Ric

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lotech posted this 30 June 2021

I've used H4831 since 1965 with full-power jacketed bullet load, but I would contact Hodgdon before I would use any of the H4831 cast bullet data from the 1974 book. Those charges look too low for the bullet weights regardless of the type bullet used. I'd have to check to be sure, but I think my Hodgdon #26 has that same data. It would surprise me if they would recommend such data today. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 30 June 2021

H4831 .. in these days of powder shortage, some of the 223 plastic gun blasters here have been using this in their desperation ...  seems an interesting thing ...

heck, maybe help convert some to consider even lower speed pop can busting with their toy assault rifles ... a future caster perhaps ?? ...

ken

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BigMan54 posted this 30 June 2021

I grew up on it and 4895. Still prefer both over the new stuff.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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John Alexander posted this 30 June 2021

I got my 50 pound keg of it in 1958 for $19 plus shipping and still have a couple of pounds. Still get fully velocity for the load with my 270.

John

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RicinYakima posted this 30 June 2021

WW2 surplus 4831 is probably the most stable powder I every reloaded. I bought it from a keg and they measured it out into paper bags. It stayed in the bags until I used up the powder in some old Hercules cube cans, so some stayed in paper bags for several years. Never had a problem with it. 

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Larry Gibson posted this 30 June 2021

No defense of 4831 is needed, especially with regards to SEE.  It is an excellent powder and does perform well with many cast bullet loads.  

The phenomenon of SEE is not powder dependent nor is it cartridge dependent or even chamber dependent.  An SEE can occur if a series of conditions occur.  There are numerous conditions that need to occur but not all need to be present or to have occurred for an SEE to occur.   Create enough of those conditions and it is possible to have an SEE.

I have shot up well over 50 pounds of 4831 [either original surplus or newly manufactured] over the years without mishap because the loads I used did not create sufficient conditions for an SEE.  Many, many other reloaders have done the same.  I still have 8+ lbs of surplus 4831 along with a jug of H4831SC that I am using.  

LMG

 

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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Shopdog posted this 01 July 2021

No complaints with IMR4831 in, a 6mmR and 22-250,and cast.

Have full throttle cast loads for both using a little over starting JB,book loads. The 250 is a 14 twist R700V using RCBS 60g. The 6mmR is, I think a 9.5 twist. It uses the Saeco 85g and is ridiculously accurate. I'm an eastern varmint hunter so 5 shot groups are my metric,no prairie dogs.These loads "probably" won't hold up to 10 shots and frankly,don't care. They both are bugholers with 3 and 5 shots. I LOVE to pull them out,when some guy starts flapping his gums about what cast,"won't do".... usually,they just walk away shaking their head,mumbling...

"What's that?...... I didn't hear you?.... you spent what for those Sierra's? Bwahaha.

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dale2242 posted this 01 July 2021

I was gifted 30#+ of surplus H4831 that came in the 50# cardboard carton.

I started trying it in my milsurp rifles with cast and 1 gr dacron.

It looks promising.

I will work more with it after i get my hip replaced and ca get out and shoot.

 

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hpbear101 posted this 29 July 2021

Growing up all of our hunting rifle reloading (270, 30-06, and 300WMAG) were done with WWII surplus 4831, I even used it in some 45-70 loads. My dad had a couple of 1 gallon mayonnaise jars of it, I still have about a half of one of the jars left.  

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 29 July 2021

... powder stored in glass jars ... heh ,

for years i kept some surplus Red Dot in a glass jar ...  always made me cringe a little thinking there might be something just plain wrong with that ... but couldn't put my finger on it exactly ...

i do have a friend that has a collection of thousands of old live primers from the 20's and 30's ...  probably never will actually shoot them ...

he keeps them in glass fruit jars on a shelf ...  ...

funny how we are amused by minor trivia ...  ken

 

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Buhler50 posted this 29 July 2021

My dad also introduced me to surplus 4831 that he got before the IMR or H designated 4821 came about.  He used it on his 270 and so did I. it was by firs rifle powder. Ive still got some.and would not hesitate to use it. He told me to not reduce loads. He and my uncle followed the gun writers of the 50's and 60's and 60 grains 4831 under 130 grain J bullets ticks in my head. My stash includes about a pound in a hand labeled tin with a screw top labeled #4831. Another can is an empty 5 out ether tin can with a small screw op also labeled with #481 Hodgdon. He and his  brother bought but quantities of #4831 and split them up among themselves. My dad was meticulous about saving this powder safety and in clean containers and correctly labeled.

by the way I have a small glass jar of Herco ready for my next handgun reloading session.  It's easier to pour out of than the 8 pound cardboard canisters I got from him too.

Oh the memories.

Bruce In Central Caiforia

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