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 What is the "WC750" Powder used in M118LR Ammunition?
lawndartF16  [Member]
7/15/2005 5:22:15 AM
I have piles of Sierra 175 grain HPBT bullets, good brass (Winnie and Lapua) and primers (military and Federal GM) laying around the house. I would just as soon make my own M118LR equivalent ammunition for practice. I also have Varget, RL-15 and Western "Tac" powders. Could anyone tell me what powder Lake City puts in their M118LR. For a bonus question, what does Black Hills use in their .308 175 grain Match ammunition?

A reference to the official specs for M118LR would be cool too. My copy of "Cartridges of The World" by Barnes (McPherson) doesn't have that in it.

All help is appreciated.

Thanks,

lawndart
Troy  [Site Staff]
7/15/2005 9:16:41 AM
The military usually uses non-commercial powders, since they use so much powder. What this means is that the military will use batches of powder that may or may not be close enough to the burn rate range that a given commercial powder is supposed to have, and will adjust the powder load/weight to compensate. They will have to retest and readjust with each new batch.

This would be unsafe for commercial powder, as you'd get guys who worked up a load with a 10-year-old can of a given powder, and when they ran out, they'd buy a new can (made 10 years later), and continue to use their old load data, ASSUMING that there was no change in the forumlation or performance of the powder made 10 years later. With the variations acceptable in non-commercial powders, this could easily result in kB!'d guns.

Anyway, I believe that the M118LR is an exception, because IIRC, it was being loaded with Reloader 15.

-Troy
colt100  [Member]
7/15/2005 10:34:17 AM
I would have to say that working up a load with varget will/should get you the accuracy you are looking for. I worked up several deer loads last year using a variety of powder and Varget seemed to be the best performing powder out of my M1a. I used some re-15 and found that it wasn't quite as accurate as the varget.

Lots of people like IMR 4895 also.
RictusGrin  [Member]
7/15/2005 10:37:38 AM

Originally Posted By colt100:
Lots of people like IMR 4895 also.



I've had very good results with this powder in the .308.
ACR26  [Team Member]
7/15/2005 1:34:19 PM
I had heard RE15 too, but no firm evidence
Somewhere between 42-44.5gr
SWO_daddy  [Member]
7/15/2005 4:07:13 PM

Originally Posted By colt100:
I would have to say that working up a load with varget will/should get you the accuracy you are looking for.



I agree.

Trying to simply duplicate what the .mil uses is a waste of time, money, and energy. To begin with, we do not have access to the canister-grade powders they use. Second of all, there is a wealth of knowledge on what are commonly acknowledge to be succesful loads for all US military cartridges courtesy of Highpower service rifle shooters.

Varget, Federal 210GM Gold Medal primers, and a reloading book to get a starting point. My Hodgdon book says start at 42 grains and max out at 45. Somehwere in the middle you will hit the sweet spot.
lawndartF16  [Member]
7/16/2005 5:06:26 AM

Anyway, I believe that the M118LR is an exception, because IIRC, it was being loaded with Reloader 15.




I had heard RE15 too, but no firm evidence
Somewhere between 42-44.5gr



Thanks guys,
I had heard also that ATK had bought Alliant mainly for unfettered access to the RL-15. Interestingly enough, RL-15 is made in Sweden by Bofors. Norma sells that or something indistinguishable from it on the European market.
Maybe I'll run a dozen or so M118LR rounds through my strain gauge gun to get a gouge on pressure. If anyone can find the army specs on the M118LR I would be grateful.
lawndartF16  [Member]
7/16/2005 5:15:33 AM

I would have to say that working up a load with varget will/should get you the accuracy you are looking for. I worked up several deer loads last year using a variety of powder and Varget seemed to be the best performing powder out of my M1a. I used some re-15 and found that it wasn't quite as accurate as the varget.




I agree.

Trying to simply duplicate what the .mil uses is a waste of time, money, and energy. To begin with, we do not have access to the canister-grade powders they use. Second of all, there is a wealth of knowledge on what are commonly acknowledge to be succesful loads for all US military cartridges courtesy of Highpower service rifle shooters.

Varget, Federal 210GM Gold Medal primers, and a reloading book to get a starting point. My Hodgdon book says start at 42 grains and max out at 45. Somehwere in the middle you will hit the sweet spot.




When my son rotates back through SWA/Iraq he will have access to M118LR, but not to Varget, 4895 or a reloading press. Once I get a hold of the specs I can essentially duplicate M118LR and give him a 1,000 rounds for practice before his next deployment.

lawndart
SWO_daddy  [Member]
7/16/2005 9:25:22 AM

Originally Posted By lawndartF16:

I would have to say that working up a load with varget will/should get you the accuracy you are looking for. I worked up several deer loads last year using a variety of powder and Varget seemed to be the best performing powder out of my M1a. I used some re-15 and found that it wasn't quite as accurate as the varget.




I agree.

Trying to simply duplicate what the .mil uses is a waste of time, money, and energy. To begin with, we do not have access to the canister-grade powders they use. Second of all, there is a wealth of knowledge on what are commonly acknowledge to be succesful loads for all US military cartridges courtesy of Highpower service rifle shooters.

Varget, Federal 210GM Gold Medal primers, and a reloading book to get a starting point. My Hodgdon book says start at 42 grains and max out at 45. Somehwere in the middle you will hit the sweet spot.




When my son rotates back through SWA/Iraq he will have access to M118LR, but not to Varget, 4895 or a reloading press. Once I get a hold of the specs I can essentially duplicate M118LR and give him a 1,000 rounds for practice before his next deployment.

lawndart



Instead of trying to duplicate the components, why don't you try to duplicate the ballistics? THAT will have more training value than anything else.

Here are the specs you need:
TM 43-0001-27
ARMY AMMUNITION DATA SHEETS
SMALL CALIBER AMMUNITION
FSC 1305

CARTRIDGE, 7.62MM, BALL, SPECIAL, M118

Type Classification: STD - MSR 07798001.

Use: Rifles, 7.62mm, M14, M21, M24, and M40A1. The
cartridge is intended and specifically prepared for use in
high accuracy weapons.

Description: BALL Cartridge. The cartridge is identified by
cartridge case head stampings with NATO design mark,
manufacturer and year.

Tabulated Data:
DODAC........................ 1305-A136
UNO serial number ..... 0012
UNO proper shipping name ....................... Cartridges for weapons, inert projectile
Weight ........................ 390 gr
Length.......................... 2.83 in. (71.9 mm)
Tracer .......................... NA
Primer ......................... Percussion
Fuze ............................ NA

Explosive:
Type ........................ NA
Weight ...................... NA
Incendiary:

Type ........................ NA
Weight ..................... NA

Propellant:
Type ........................ WC 846 and IMR 4895
Weight ..................... 44 gr
Projectile: Weight ...................... 172 gr
Performance: Chamber pressure ....... 50,000 psi
Velocity ....................... 2640 fps

Shipping and Storage Data:
Quantity-distance class/SCG.......................... 1.4S
Storage code ............... Class V
DOT shipping class ..... C
DOT designation ......... SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION
Drawing number .......... 8597555

References:
SB 700-20
TM 9-1005-223-12P
TM 9-1300-206

ETA: I think the only difference between M118 SB and LR is the bullet. LR uses the Sierra 175 Match King, SB uses a .mil 172 gr FMJBT.
lawndartF16  [Member]
7/16/2005 4:06:11 PM
Thanks for the specs!

Different combinations of components behave slightly differently over the wide range of temperatures he will encounter. If he had his way my young 'un would take 1,000 rounds of my favorite 175 grain fodder: Lapua Brass, 44.2 grains Varget, 175 grain Sierra HPBT with meplats uniformed, WLR primers, 2.805" OAL. Of course, he would also take the AR-10 build up that I am working on. Instead he will use issue ammo and an issue rifle. What I am trying to do is duplicate the issue ammo for him for practice.

thanks,
lawndart