50 BMG





usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#1
Does anyone have experience with Alliant Reloader 50? I plan to resize some pulled 639 grain API bullets and use Reloader 50 as powder / propellant. The closest reloading data from Alliant is a 650 grain bullet; powder load is 255 grains of Reloader 50.
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#3
I believe that the WC860 is from pulled surplus military ammunition; I have read that this is preferred when using APIs, as it is far cheaper, than other new commercially sold powders. The APIs that I have, all have serious tool marks from pulling; as such, all need resizing. Most of the supposed 639 grain APIs I bought are actually 649 grains. I did some research, the 639 grain APIs seem to be are the older version of the M8; the 649 grain API are a newer version. Identification can be determined by weighing and also by the cannelure; one is cut and the other rolled.

Does your WC860 completely burn? I have read residue and unburnt granules are present after firing? Have you experienced that with your batches of WC860? I have also read that APIs are not that accurate.
 

1browski

Very Active Member
#4
I know this is months late, but i havent noticed anything for unburnt powder. Probably a little dirty. Been a while since loading and shooting any. Other new things to reload for and shoot. Viscous circles for reloading attention. All I do to the pulled bullets is push them through a sizing die just to make sure.
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#5
I started using WC860 powder with pulled API bullets, so far no evidence of unburnt powder. WC860 is far cheaper! Some of the API bullets are far out of diameter specs (either from being pulled or from original manufacture process); I initially use a .510 lee sizer die and then a C&H .595 sizer die. A few still struggle to make it thru after repeated resizing; they are disgarded.
 
Last edited:

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#6
I use Imperial sizing wax when sizing pulled .50 projectiles, are your bullets the type with the pinch marks on the sides?
your load of 255gns of Reloader 50 are what the Alliant's web sight shows max for a 650gn ball bullet, I think you are just wasting powder shooting API's with R 50. I would just use pull down powder, I like 5010 but I think its getting hard to find but I have not shopped for powder for awhile. I have found API's to be quite accurate with AA8700 but it is not available any longer. I can remember when you could get API's for 12 cents each what are the now .50 each, AMAX's were $24 a box now there 40$ something a box of 20. They took Hodgon H50 BMG off the market but have since brought it back, its a little hard to find right now but should be easier to find soon, kinda like 22lr ammo was, dam hoarders. Are you a member of the Fifty Caliber Shooting Association? If not you should be, I am a mod on there members only forum, lot of good info there. don't even try to get on the regular sight I don't think it works any more. here's a link to the FCSA main page...
https://www.1moa.org/

Casey
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#7
For REL 50, I reduced the max load by 10%; used 230 grains. I do not waste the expensive powder on APIs; I use the pulled powder, WC860. The APIs do have pinch marks; I too use imperial sizing wax for bullet and brass. I am considering joining the FCSA; thank you for the link. Great news about bringing back H50 BMG. In the future I may consider investing in swage die set for 50 BMG bullets; would hope performance would be comparable to AMAX. Not sure yet if I will shoot 50 BMG enough to justify.
 

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#8
They say the most accurate GI bullets a AP's, I shot a 1000 FCSA match in Reno using vergin AP's once. about the best I could was a 20" 5 round group using LC brass and 228gns of AA8700, If I could afford a better scope it might help. All I have is a 16x Super Sniper on my Steyr HS50, I can usually 10-14" groups with AMax's and a 218gn load of H50BMG with CCI primers.
What rifle are you shooting? What press are you using? all I have is a LEE set up.

Casey
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#9
Rifle: Serbu BFG-50 with 36" barrel and Vortex HST 6-24X scope. Press: Initially used LEE. Had some issues with the LEE sizing die length. I decided to get RCBS Ammomaster-2 press with RCBS dies. The RCBS sizing die is a little longer in length than the LEE die; brass sized with RCBS die did not have issue. I noticed some reloaded rounds using the LEE sizing die had a little difficulty closing the bolt in the chamber; issue was eliminated with the RCBS die. Yes, I use a 50 BMG headspace chamber length gauge to check resized brass. The gauge did not show a problem with the LEE resized brass, but the Serbu BFG-50 bolt / chamber did. I still use the LEE press for the factory crimp die and priming. I like the extra height of the ammomaster-2 press; I do not have to angle it into place like the LEE press.
 

Earthquake

Obsessed Member
#10
You have the bolt action right? do you know which chamber you have? the Steyr has a typical Machine gun chamber with a .560" neck and a .700" long leade/free bore so there's no seating the bullet just off the lands. It can still shoot better then I can. I wish I could have kept my ALS, it had a tight necked match chamber, I had to sell it to pay the bills.
I have the very first set of LEE Collet dies for .50 BMG, I like them in .308 win but the BMG dies take a lot of force to size and it kinda of does a taper on the case neck so the bullet is a little loose.
What kind of brass are you using? brass fired in a M2HB machine gun is hard to resize in a LEE full length die, I had to put a .010" shim under the case in the shell holder to get it to size small enough to make it easy to chamber [make sure to take the decapping rod out], after that they were fine and it did not bump the neck back.

Casey
 

usmcnye

Aim Small Miss Small
#11
Bolt action. I will have to research chamber. Based upon reloading brass fired in that same rifle, I resized the brass in one stroke of the press ram without too much effort. Thus, the Serbu BFG-50 must not be an oversized M2 machine gun chamber. All of my brass, except for a few pricey new Lapua, are LC. I am saving the Lapua brass for match grade bullets. The LC brass original resizing had to be performed in multiple stages with adequate amount of imperial sizing wax. Very time consuming; had to take apart die and clean out excess lube every few rounds to prevent damaging brass with a dimple. The LC brass must have been fired from a M2. For full length sizing, I will stick to the RCBS die. When placed side by side with a LEE sizing die, the RCBS sizing die is noticeably longer.