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View Full Version : Nostalgia question--mid '80's, 6PPC, and 322



JerrySharrett
06-13-2008, 11:03 AM
I came into a big box of old Precision Shooting magazines and have been reading the match reports and equipment lists. Seems that the 6PPC was almost in full colors as was 322 powder. In the mid '80's Precision Shooting Mag was used for match reporting for the IBS and NBRSA so what I noticed and am wondering about has broad coverage.

Looks like almost all of the top 10 at each match was shooting a 6PPC, a 66-68 grain bullet and 26.5-28 grains of one of the 322's (H322, GI322 and T322). The things I am curious about is 1) what approximate velocities were you guys getting and 2) about how full was the PPC case using one of these 322's.

Don Nielson
06-13-2008, 11:10 AM
GI-322 was full to the mouth of the case and T-322 was at the bottom of the neck. Pumpkin

Dave B
06-13-2008, 11:35 AM
At one time 27.2 was the magic number with T powder. As far as speed goes, I don't remember anyone really working with a chrono in those days.

JerrySharrett
06-13-2008, 01:41 PM
At one time 27.2 was the magic number with T powder. As far as speed goes, I don't remember anyone really working with a chrono in those days.

I belonged to a company owned range in the mid '60's and one of the Phd's had a chronograph. It had a bunch of rows of lights on it and you had to count the rows of lights and look on a chart for the speed. Then the fun part, the screens were literally that, screens. Sometimes the screens had to be replaced where the bullet cut the wires, sometimes we could solder a "jumper" and get continuity again.

One of our pilots built a ballistic pendulum in the 1970's, like the one which first came into being in the 1700's. It worked!!

Kent Harshman
06-13-2008, 01:41 PM
Jerry,
One of my first benchrest rifles was a HV built on one of Charlie Poff's "Universal" actions. This was back in 1987. Tony had one too...and ended up selling his to Randy Watson. Randy sold me a couple of barrels from that rifle, and I used them for several years!...
In the fall of 1988, I shot 6 groups early one morning in practice with that rifle and a Schneider barrel...that my good friend, Henry Buhrman, told me never to show anyone because they wouldn't believe it! 3 of them were with T-322 and the other 3 were with GI-322. Three of the six groups were screamers, and the 6-group aggregate was .10xx! The 3 groups with 'GI' chronographed @ 3150 f.p.s., and the 3 groups with 'T' chronographed @ 3170 f.p.s...
The first 'Group' match I ever shot in was in 1989 at Weikert. I finished 3rd at 100 yards with that rifle and a Lilja barrel, and my load was H322 at 3240 f.p.s...
All of this shooting was done with Jef Fowler's 66g. bullets. I didn't have a borescope back then...so I couldn't see far enough down into the case to see where the top of the powder column came! :) Just kidding, obviously, but I don't remember it coming up into the neck of the case at all...
Suffice it to say that I think we all used less powder back then. Maybe it was the result of less use of FL dies, or of being more safety conscious, or just plain old "that's where those powders worked"...but whatever the case may be, things have changed dramatically in the last 20 years...

Dave B
06-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Lapua hadn't started making cases back then, we were all shooting the sako cases. The said the was a bell shaped curve at the base/sidewall junction. I wonder if that improved ignition?

Wilbur
06-13-2008, 03:22 PM
I was sending my wife to a local gun store to buy "322" at $6.50/LB whenever I needed a pound for a match (1989). She came home one day (suddenly and without warning) with a pound and said it cost $15. Enraged, I called the gun store and the guy said it "went up" - didn't know why. I examined the container and found the difference. It was no longer "GI". Shot OK, just more expensive.

Some time later, I moved up to the "BIG TIME". I was ready to buy an 8 pounder. Called up somebody, Walt Berger I think, and ordered a jug of 322 for around $70. It came in a white jug and was labeled "T32". Shot that up and was happy so I called to order another jug. "IT"S BEEN GONE" was the word.

The coming of 133 made available partial jugs of 322 that could be purchased CHEAP so I kept on shooting it. TAC came along, and I had a barrel that loved it! Bought all I could find with the lot "50" sticker. The TAC simply quit shooting but so did everything else. Didn't touch 2 bullet holes for almost three years. It was so bad that when I finally won small group at Riverbend folks cried when they called my name for the trophy.

Thanks to a Louisiana connection, I have one jug of pre-extreme 322 left. I don't care that it's all I have left.....but it's all I have left...if you know what I mean.

Johnnie from KY
06-14-2008, 09:36 AM
I couldn't find out how to email you so I'll just put it here. I have some of this GI 322 and I also have some H322. Early 90's stuff. Is this stuff like 8208? I have never shot any of this in my PPC. Is it affected by temperature and humidity like 8208 or is it like 133? I would like to try some of it , where should I start with my loads? Thanks. Johnnie

Kent Harshman
06-14-2008, 10:01 AM
Johnny,
BE CAREFUL with the GI322! Some of it has gone bad for shooters in the last 10 years! I certainly can't explain why it has gone bad...and why you haven't heard the same stories about 8208, 'T', old 201 or any of the other vintage benchrest powders, but just be careful of it. I personally witnessed a friend of mine opening an old metal storage cabinet to a complete coating of "BLACK" on the inside of the cabinet from a bottle of GI322 "eating" through the lid and coating the cabinet with residue. Thank God it diffused in the way it did, rather than igniting. Someone a whole lot smarter than me will have to tell you the chemistry of that whole thing...

Don Nielson
06-14-2008, 12:00 PM
After all the stories of houses burning down and eating the cap off the jug I poured my GI322 out at a rest area in western Kansas. When I stop there the grass is greener in that spot. All my HOF points were earned with that powder. Don

Johnnie from KY
06-14-2008, 12:25 PM
What I have was never opened still in the box it was shipped in. How can I tell if it's bad? Thanks Johnnie

JerrySharrett
06-14-2008, 12:59 PM
After all the stories of houses burning down and eating the cap off the jug I poured my GI322 out at a rest area in western Kansas. When I stop there the grass is greener in that spot. All my HOF points were earned with that powder. Don

Don, before or after you poured it out???

Johnnie, bring it to Johnson City and we will shoot it.

expiper
06-14-2008, 01:09 PM
I had two ten pound cases ((10 individual pounds per case)) ....three one pound cans went bad....lukily nothing else ignited !!!!! The lids were sorta oxidized away (rapidly!!) ...and two of the cans had a piece of residue in the bottom that looked like a "hockey puk"....??!!!??
I took lots of pics and sent them to Hodgdon....the immediately contactd me and said ...."get rid of what is left ...get it out of your house/buliding/barn/...dont send it to us!!"....they very graciously replaced it with current (15yrs ago.) 322...
It seems ( told to me by a very reliable source) that during the pulldown of some of the west coast GI surpluss powder ....it was stored on the ground ...in big piles....handled like it was dirt by equipment...and this over-exposure to the elements (even in the great California desert air) casused a rapid and pre-mature decompositon of the powder!!!!.When I reported the delima to Hodgdon ,,they immediately asked for the lot ## and said ..."oooo yea...that is the lot that is causing all the problems"....that is my story and Im stikin to it.......
The powder may be 'slowly' decomposing in the can and YOU CANT TELL IT!!!...beware .....open the can ...if it smells like old tennis shoes ...Hodgdon will replace it....but never the less ...dont trust it...either use it or sell it to someone who will ,,,immediately........that is just advice from and old fool that has had it happen to him......Roger
Just noticed ...up above in this thread someone offered to help shoot it up at Johnson City.....I am shure that your shooting buddies will each buy a pound and use it there ...if it is still good....it is some of the best powder evr....as long as it hasnt gone bad......lotsa shooters never had the opportunity to use this great powder...

Tom C.
06-14-2008, 06:17 PM
i had a pound of surplus h322 about 15 years ago went to get it one day
and about 3/4 of the metal lid looked like it was eaten away it smelled like
sour milk so i dumped in my yard it does make the grass grow greener.

Wilbur
06-14-2008, 11:28 PM
I couldn't find out how to email you so I'll just put it here. I have some of this GI 322 and I also have some H322. Early 90's stuff. Is this stuff like 8208? I have never shot any of this in my PPC. Is it affected by temperature and humidity like 8208 or is it like 133? I would like to try some of it , where should I start with my loads? Thanks. Johnnie

Put the GI away from the house. If the lid is rusty or it smells "scorched", destroy it.

If it still smells like gunpowder - halfway in the neck for a 6PPC is a good start.

Bob Kingsbury
06-14-2008, 11:28 PM
My guess is that 8208 and Gi 322 were out of the same litter, at worst
very close cousins. Both shoot super and both have an odd scent. Can't
understand why it cannot be reproduced.

Bill Leeper
06-15-2008, 12:12 AM
In the late seventies, 322 (Scottish) was also the standard powder of choice in the 6PPC. I was a rebel and used H4895 (28.5 gr). One fellow used 748; quite successfully too. I still like 4895 but I'm considered to be out of touch these days. Regards, Bill.

Tony C
06-15-2008, 06:34 AM
"Johnnie, bring it to Johnson City and we will shoot it."

Jerry,

Your Best Post of the Year certificate is in the mail!

Tony

Tony C
06-15-2008, 06:48 AM
"Can't understand why it [8208] cannot be reproduced."

Bob

As I understand it, Lou Murdica was in the process of having this done. I'm not sure how things are progressing.

Tony

JerrySharrett
06-15-2008, 08:27 AM
My guess is that 8208 and Gi 322 were out of the same litter, at worst
very close cousins. Both shoot super and both have an odd scent. Can't
understand why it cannot be reproduced.

Something I am wondering about, according to a contact I have at ADI one of the 8208's was called IMR 8208M and it was coated with a chemical called Ethylene Dimethacrylate. This coating is supposedly what may makes some of the 8208 as user friendly as it is.

There were several lots of 8208 that got repackaged as 322/T/T32/GI322. One of the lots was designated Lot 45710 and so on. What I am wondering is if the stuff that was sold as GI322, did it have a particular coating that caused this unusual breakdown.

This powder we see as 8208 was conjured up during the Robert McNamara's Whiz Kids era. And we all remember how successful these turkeys were!! A lot of Ameican GI's got killed in Nam because of some of this "brilliant" bunch of egotists.

All IMR basic composition is supposedly the same goop, so the unusual deterioration problem is probably not caused by the IMR formulation. Different coatings and different grain shapes is what controls the burn rate. I have some of Bruce Hodgdon's original 4831 and it still shoots the same as it did in the 1950's.

As to Bob's question about why 8208 can not be produced, it can. The rest of this answer is a loong story.

JD Mock
06-15-2008, 09:32 AM
In 1964 the Army switched from IMR extruded powder to Olin ball powder. In October, 1967 the Ichord Subcommittee investigated the problem that our soldiers were having with their M-16s. There were 31 faults found, but most of the focus was on the switch from IMR 8208 to Olin Ball Powder.

As far as GI 322 being close kin to 8208.....maybe, but I don't think so. The GI 322 seemed slower and it definitely broke down faster and has led to several house fires. Jack Sutton has probably shot more GI 322 than anyone here; so, maybe he will chime in and tell his experience with it. James

Bob Kingsbury
06-15-2008, 12:41 PM
There are many versions of black 322 out there. Almost all
shoot very well. Much different than current 322. With that
thought, I would think they all are related. Recvently a friend
and I chronographed my lot of 8208( which arrived in milk jugs,
no numbers). We tried it at same measure setting( with the same measure) and at the same weight( same scale) . My lot , which I
had previously deemed as slow, was not when we got to the same levels.
It did require a whole number higher on the same measure, meaning that it was less dense. All this was done in the same gun, bullet cases and seating depth. Both capable of identicle groups and charachteristics

JerrySharrett
06-15-2008, 03:42 PM
There are many versions of black 322 out there. Almost all
shoot very well. Much different than current 322.

We tried it at same measure setting( with the same measure) and at the same weight( same scale) . My lot , which I
had previously deemed as slow, was not when we got to the same levels.
It did require a whole number higher on the same measure, meaning that it was less dense. All this was done in the same gun, bullet cases and seating depth. Both capable of identicle groups and charachteristics
Just curious, how did the 322 and 8208 chrono when measured by the same weight? I've noticed different lots of the same powder, Hodgdon and Vitavouri, will have different bulk densities but are real close when compared by weight.

Bob Kingsbury
06-15-2008, 04:18 PM
Jerry Sharret
We did not chrono 322, I was simply referring to black
8208/ GI322/ T32 as all in the family. I am convinced that
all of these originated at Dupont. H322 is another matter all together.

HFV
06-19-2008, 10:08 PM
[Back in 80's & early 90's you could buy GI 322 for as little as $28.00/8lb. I always shot half way up neck in cooler weather & bottom of neck on warm days. I have about 3lbs left. Still smells like gun powder. Powder is packaged in H322 8/lb container w/ yellow sticker, (GI military surplus, sugg. retail $53.00. ) Joe Neal Smith & myself shot a 10 shot string over Pac Chrono. (results = 3140-3153)(McMillan barrel ) I did not remember these #'s but we wrote it down and taped it on ammo box. Sako brass was the standard @ that time. As I remember we had very similar results w/Scottish H322, Scot 322, T32, and 8208. The 8208 I have at present will not produce the same velocity (3090fps last time chrono'd)
These powders worked well in 6MM American:)

JerrySharrett
06-20-2008, 05:59 AM
Back in 80's & early 90's you could buy GI 322 for as little as $28.00/8lb. I always shot half way up neck in cooler weather & bottom of neck on warm days. I have about 3lbs left. Still smells like gun powder. Powder is packaged in H322 8/lb container w/ yellow sticker, (GI military surplus, sugg. retail $53.00. ) Joe Neal Smith & myself shot a 10 shot string over Pac Chrono. (results = 3140-3153)(McMillan barrel ) I did not remember these #'s but we wrote it down and taped it on ammo box. Sako brass was the standard @ that time. As I remember we had very similar results w/Scottish H322, Scot 322, T32, and 8208. The 8208 I have at present will not produce the same velocity (3090fps last time chrono'd)
These powders worked well in 6MM American:)

Thanks Tommy, that is what I was looking for, the velocity. Seems that as many teen aggs were shot at about 3150-3225 as today at 3375-3425. I'll agree with Ed Hartman and Smiley Hensley though, shooting hot is more fun.
Uncle Jerry

Mike Bryant
06-20-2008, 12:50 PM
Just curious, how did the 322 and 8208 chrono when measured by the same weight? I've noticed different lots of the same powder, Hodgdon and Vitavouri, will have different bulk densities but are real close when compared by weight.

I shot the GI322 at 54.5 clicks on a Sinclair measure. Never measured it by weight. When I had just a little left, I ran it over the chronograph and found it was running 3250 with a SD of 2. I shot the smallest group I ever shot with it at a match at Luther in '87, .135" @ 200. Berger 65 gr bullets made with Rorschach dies. I thought I had done it again at the next match the following month there and found I had four shots in the black square that I couldn't see. BR will bring you back to earth quickly.

HFV
06-21-2008, 02:38 AM
;)Looks to be a phony jug. You better let me dispose of it for you. (joke) I have 2 partial 1lb containers with same. I think most of the H powders were surplus powders and this was new powder mfg in Scotland, not from surplus stockpile. (just guessing) My GI jug does not have this on jug.
The Scottish, GI, and the particular lot of 8208 I have all weigh close the same. (Less than tenth difference dropped from Culver)
52 Clicks= 28.0 gr
52-1/2 Clicks 28.2
53 Clicks 28.4
53-1/2 Clicks 28.6
All weights are measured on balance beam. The 8208 was just a little high on the line but if you move the scale 1 tenth it would fall just below the line.

Chuck Bogardus
06-21-2008, 05:12 AM
Well, I may be a little odd, but the first jug of H322 I shot popped primers all over the place without overly torquing on The Big Knob.

Ended up using it for fire forming... It was good for that - would blow 'em out nice with it halfway up the neck.

I've got maybe 3-4 different lots of 8208 right now... As near as I can tell, they all "want" to shoot, but they like different weather. I suspect to the same degree that 133 likes different weather.

And now we hear from someone who thinks that loading in a climate-controlled facility will affect how things work on the firing line... Heck, maybe...

I know someone in Olin... I'm serious (I live in St. Louis, and I've worked with a lot of execs in the area doing management presentations).

Would anyone besides Forrester be interested in a run of Ball C (1)?

JerrySharrett
06-21-2008, 06:17 AM
Some history of Hodgdon "Newly Manufactured". Bruce Hodgdon started his powder company with a train car load of 4895 powder. He started packaging and selling it as H4895, the surplus stuff, then bought some other types of powder from government surplus sales. This was the leftovers from WW II.

Later, as these surplus supplies ran out he started getting replacement powders made from various sources. These powder containers were marked "Newly Manufactured".

http://www.hodgdon.com/history.html

hecksf
06-21-2008, 07:06 AM
Jerry
Are you sure he bought 4831 and sold it as 4895??
Acording to the article you directed us to he bought a car load of 4895. Which would seem right since that is what they used for Ball 30 Cal M1.

I have read that story before and I enjoyed reading it again.

Ted

Tony Gauthier
06-21-2008, 08:37 AM
Glenn,
I have a jug of 322 looks the same as the one in the picture but it doesn't say made in Scotland or newly manufactured. Do I have a jug of that lousy GI powder? 50 clicks on a Harrells premium BR weigh 27.7 grains. If it is GI were should I start for clicks to check it out?

JerrySharrett
06-21-2008, 10:38 AM
Jerry
Are you sure he bought 4831 and sold it as 4895??
Acording to the article you directed us to he bought a car load of 4895. Which would seem right since that is what they used for Ball 30 Cal M1.


Ted
Sorry, that was a typo.

Chuck Bogardus
06-21-2008, 12:54 PM
Hey, I haven't run into any "lousy" powder. It's all good for something. Some just fits into the narrow niche of the 6PPC better than others.

The only powder I wasn't really happy with was a (very cheap) jug that the guy at the table said was 4831. Well, it ain't. I think it might be 4895. Gonna try and start light, and work up some .223 loads...

Tony Gauthier
06-23-2008, 08:07 PM
I do know that the fellow I got it from said it was faster than the previous jug he had. I am thinking that it is after GI and before the scottish made powder, possibly an 8208? Will start at 27 and see what it does. That may be a while as the road to our range is still washed out,but will post what I find!

ImBillT
06-23-2008, 08:15 PM
Would anyone besides Forrester be interested in a run of Ball C (1)?[/QUOTE]

I most certainly would if the price were reasonable.

B J Atkinson
06-23-2008, 08:29 PM
After all the stories of houses burning down and eating the cap off the jug I poured my GI322 out at a rest area in western Kansas. When I stop there the grass is greener in that spot. All my HOF points were earned with that powder. Don

G'day Don,
The 'problem' with GI322 was first discovered in this country by one of our local shooters here in Adelaide, when he left some in his powder thrower for a couple of days by accident. It went all goo-ey, and then a week later he had a can ignite in his shed. As a result, this powder was banned from use on all SSAA ranges in Australia. I still had four or five pots of it, and it shot very well in a hunting PPC.
The 322 that was available around 1980 was made by Nobel in Scotland as I recall, and was a bit faster than the stuff now made here in Australia.

The locals use anywhere from 28.6 to 29.8 grains in a 6PPC but velocities seem to top out at around 3370 fps. That's in my guns anyway.

mike from va
06-25-2008, 08:48 PM
We use to fill the old cases up with 322 and with t if you had some new cases the old cases would open primer pockets up if you ran them hot.I think a little over 3200 was near the top of there range.In the late 80s you could not buy a new case.Thats when some of us started useing taldogs .I think back to the first match i shot the short br in .I told ed and tony and some the guys guys i was shooting 3425 fps.You should of seen the looks i got.but at 200 yards the only looks i got was through spoting scopes 4 groups into sporter at 200 yrds i was .1660 .Corse i blew it the 5th group 4 shots in.3something and 1 out to .8.LOL had them scared though .