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  #11  
Old 03-04-2015, 01:46 PM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
 
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Nice write-up. But, I have to ask you about the powder and cases from the FA 11 98 Krag cartridge.

Are you sure that the powder is bad. Some of the early Krag cartridges were loaded with "Peyton Powder" which was primarily nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose. It was not coated with graphite as far as I know and had that red/orange color, very much like Cordite. The inside of the case was tinned to prevent the corrosive effects of the powder and the chemical reaction of fulminate of mercury in the primer. It was found that the effect of the powder was negligable and when the non-mercuric primer was adopted the tinning was dropped.

Also, most Krag cartridges from the late 1890s and early 1900s have neck cracks or incipiant cracks. Not from the powder but from improper annealing during manufacture of the case. Cracked necks continued to plague US military ammunition until the beginning of WW 2.

Ray

Last edited by raymeketa; 03-04-2015 at 01:58 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2015, 01:50 PM
edwardm edwardm is offline
 
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Interesting that Slamfire decided to take my Clif Notes version and turn it into the War and Peace version.

TL;DR applies everywhere, especially to shooters. Hence the desire to make the information approachable and not lose the audience. That said, I hope people will take the time to read the long post and review some of the cited sources.

One thing I didn't think about was the autocatalytic nature of nitrogen bond breakdown. It's obvious and it makes sense. Early 20th century film reels have the same problem, same material.

As for gun magazines and books, 98% of the authors are unqualified to tell us much more than the details of a firearm, or the factory information about ammunition. I think it's the continued end result of our educational system.

Back to waiting for cries of "bolt thrust" in the brass resizing thread.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2015, 07:20 PM
Slamfire Slamfire is offline
 
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Quote:
Are you sure that the powder is bad. Some of the early Krag cartridges were loaded with "Peyton Powder" which was primarily nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose. It was not coated with graphite as far as I know and had that red/orange color, very much like Cordite. The inside of the case was tinned to prevent the corrosive effects of the powder and the chemical reaction of fulminate of mercury in the primer. It was found that the effect of the powder was negligable and when the non-mercuric primer was adopted the tinning was dropped
In the dark, those powder grains glowed like red rubies. I looked at them with a magnifying glass and they looked like hot charcoal briquettes.

Quote:
Interesting that Slamfire decided to take my Clif Notes version and turn it into the War and Peace version
Your post inspired me and the intent laudable: to educate the shooting population about the issues of old gunpowder.

Quote:
TL;DR applies everywhere, especially to shooters. Hence the desire to make the information approachable and not lose the audience. That said, I hope people will take the time to read the long post and review some of the cited sources
I know the post is disjointed, rambling, and long. I don't know I would have read it all the way through. But, it is accurate to the best of my ability to research the topic.

Last edited by Slamfire; 03-04-2015 at 07:28 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2015, 09:53 AM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamfire View Post
In the dark, those powder grains glowed like red rubies. I looked at them with a magnifying glass and they looked like hot charcoal briquettes. . .
I'm a really old guy who's been around the world and seen the elephant. I've been to two World Fairs and one goat banging, but I've never seen rifle powder that glowed in the dark.

Color me skeptical.

Ray
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:35 PM
Slamfire Slamfire is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymeketa View Post
I'm a really old guy who's been around the world and seen the elephant. I've been to two World Fairs and one goat banging, but I've never seen rifle powder that glowed in the dark.

Color me skeptical.

Ray
Don't blame you, I have pulled other bullets from the same ammunition and not seen the glow. But I remember, that first cartridge, powder grains glowed like red rubies in the dark garage: they were beautiful. So I went back in house and got a magnifying glass and looked at them, and I remember the briquet appearance. Now that I know what I was seeing was exothermic deterioration, I want a picture of glowing grains, but I have not been able to re capture that moment. All of the powder I have pulled is similiar red in color.

So, how many powders have you examined that are from 1898?
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  #16  
Old 03-06-2015, 07:54 AM
Shug Shug is offline
 
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I wonder if the glowing of the 1898 powder was from exposure to additional humidity when it was removed from the case accelerating the breakdown?

I'm going to go and start pulling some 50's and 60's stuff to check what condition it's in. The problem with the double base 60's stuff is it wasn't shipped in lots at retail, so even with the same year headstamp one cartridge's propellant condition isn't necessarily representative of everything else in the can.
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  #17  
Old 03-06-2015, 10:09 AM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamfire View Post
. . .So, how many powders have you examined that are from 1898?
Quite a few. I collect U.S. Military cartridges and so I pull a bullet and catalog a powder sample from every different cartridge that I have, going all the way back to the Cal .45 Springfield.

I also have doubts about the comments regarding the split necks on the Krag cartridge. My experience has been that split necks are usually the result of poor annealing rather than bad powder. I have examples of cases that have cracked at the head too. That is probably from a combination of poor anneal and a reaction to the Mercury in primer.

Some lots of Cal .30 (30-06) cartridges from the 1920s have cracked necks on every cartridge and yet the powder is like new.

Ray
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2015, 11:35 AM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamfire View Post
. . .I sent an IM expert the pictures of my corroded bullets . . .
Just curious, what is an IM expert??

Ray
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2015, 06:18 PM
Shug Shug is offline
 
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Insensitive Munitions, I'm guessing.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2015, 03:07 PM
raymeketa raymeketa is offline
 
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Powder from a 30-40 Krag, headstamp F 2 99. As fresh and sweet as it was the day it was made. But, it doesn't glow in the dark, darn it.

Ray

Last edited by raymeketa; 03-07-2015 at 03:13 PM.
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