Last week my Dad gave me a box full of old military ammo, and amongst them were some 30-06 ‘gallery’ rounds.
These are the ones which are loaded with a 140gr RNL bullet and they bear the headstamp ‘R A’ over ‘H 18’. I know that the RA is Remington Arms and that the 18 is almost certainly the date. The ‘H’ however eludes me.
Anyway, one of the rounds was apparently a jam because the bullet nose was damaged and it was setback in the casing slightly. I chose to pull the bullet on that particular round strictly out of curiosity. This it where the really odd part comes in and wherein my question lies. When I pulled the bullet and dumped the powder, I discovered that the propellant was granular, yellowish in color, and had the very strong and distinctive odor of a freshly peeled orange. It was a reduced charge of course, weighing in at only 10.5grs, and it does not show any signs of deterioration or exposure to contaminants. It just looks and smells like it was made from freshly ground up orange peels.
So, I was wondering if anyone here, who is more familiar than I with the 30-06 cartridge, knows anything about this kind of powder? I have pulled the bullets on a decent amount of vintage ammunition before, but I’ve never found anything quite as odd as this inside any of them.