Author Topic: Versatile rifle powders?  (Read 13204 times)

Offline sukivel

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Versatile rifle powders?
« on: February 29, 2012, 12:09:49 AM »
I am looking for a versatile powder that will work well with a powder measure. I will be reloading .243, .308, 6.5 Jap, and 7.7 Jap. I was looking at Hodgdon's H4895, but I think it is extruded and I understand is sometimes hard to get an accurate measure through a powder measure.

Do I need to be concerned about this, or is there another versatile powder that I can easily measure out. I just don't want to have 50 different powders at my bench. I would be happy with no more than 2-3 for everything.

Thanks!

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 12:50:51 PM »
I use mostly IMR4895, IMR4320, and IMR4350.  I use alot of Hodgdon powder in my handgun stuff.
I don't use a powder measure in my rifle loads though. I weigh every charge when I'm loading rifle rounds.
But that's just how I roll. ;)

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 01:15:37 PM »
I have used Hodgdon's H414 in most of my larger caliber loads.  In no specific order 300 win mag, .243 win, 30-30, 30-06, and 22-250.

I think for the calibers you listed, Ramshot "Hunter" or "Big Game" should work. 
Load data from their website:
http://www.ramshot.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/ramshot_handgun_rifle.pdf

I plan on trying some Ramshot powders once I burn through more of the keg of H414 I have.

Offline sukivel

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 06:53:15 PM »
So after comparing as much load data as I could find, every rifle caliber I want to reload works well with H335, so that's what I got. The lone ranger is the .243. Can anyone point me in the direction of some load data using H335 for the .243? Can you "safely" load similar powders, or is that a no-no?

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 08:56:15 AM »
I would only recommend using published load data.  I know that is what you are asking about, but I just wanted to make the statement.

You may want to write an email to the manufacturer, they may send you some of their data... or maybe they do not recommend the powder in the .243

Offline sukivel

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 01:42:16 AM »
Ok...I am looking at data for .308 Win, using a 150gr sp bullet, H335 powder.

Lee Data Manual (for Hodgdon Powders) - starting load 45.0gr
Lyman 49th Manual - starting load 38.0gr
Hodgdon website - starting load 41.0gr

3 sources, same bullet, same powder. Very different charges? Who do I trust? The powder manufacturer is in the middle, but???

-----------------------------------
As far as the .243 goes...it looks like I am just going to grab a can of H4895, which covers all of my calibers of just about any bullet weight.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 08:34:53 AM »
The information that will be most critical... what is the PSI of each load.  As long as you are below ~ 60,000 PSI (in a modern rifle, less if older surplus)... if you have questions, take your rifle to a smith, see what they say would be a safe pressure to run.

Take the following information as you will, I am not responsible for divergence from published data...
The "max loads" are usually 10% below actual maximums (they have their lawyers make sure things are safe)

Often times the load data will also have pressure ranges for that load.

As long as you are at or below the "max load" it all comes down to trial and error to see what your rifle likes best.  IF you decide to go over "max", go very slowly... 1/4 grain at a time... (once again, read disclaimer)

Offline Duc1

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 08:59:09 AM »
H4895 is one of my main powders and I have no problem getting accurate pours through a Redding dispenser.  It's not as smooth pouring as ball but it works fine.  The accuracy in my 308 and 223 using H4895 is worth it.  Varget is also worth a look.

Offline TheRetiredRancher

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »
Varget is definitely worth a look.  It is very good for target grade accuracy on .30-06 and .308 and is very good in .243. I am not sure if it is recomended for gas operating systems like the M1A or Garand, but it works well out of bolt action sporters.  It is not recomended for the large case magnums though.

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 01:24:30 PM »
Varget works just fine in a M1a. Lots of folks swear by it. It's very similar to IMR4895.
I have nothing bad to say about Varget, but in my rifles the 4895 works well, and I use it for several other calibers.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 02:30:01 PM »
So after comparing as much load data as I could find, every rifle caliber I want to reload works well with H335, so that's what I got. The lone ranger is the .243. Can anyone point me in the direction of some load data using H335 for the .243? Can you "safely" load similar powders, or is that a no-no?

I know this is after the fact, but H335 is a it fast for most of the calibers you mentioned, would not even be in my top group. Do NOT use "similar powders' without specific load data for them.  BL-C2 was the original powder used in .308. Varget and slower would be better powders to consider: Varget, Rl15, H4350, IMR4320, H414, etc.

nelson96

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 02:44:11 PM »
I hate to get in to recommendations on uses, but here is list of powders that I keep on hand that are known to "meter" well. . .

Winchester W231
Clay
Tight Group
Hogden H335
Hogden H322
VihtaVouri (VV)
VVN320
VVN310
VVN330
VV3N37
Hogdon Benchmark
Winchester W748
Winchester W540
Winchester W296
Accurate 2230
Accurate 2015
WSF
WST
Alliant's
Bullseye
American Select
Power Pistol
IMR4895
IMR4064
Ramshot Silhouette
Ramshot TAC
BLC(2)
WC844
WC846

And a list that is known not to "meter" well . . .

AA5
Varget (bridging problem)
Unique
HS-800X
SP2

Offline hillclimber

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 01:00:42 PM »
I know this is after the fact, but H335 is a it fast for most of the calibers you mentioned, would not even be in my top group. Do NOT use "similar powders' without specific load data for them.  BL-C2 was the original powder used in .308. Varget and slower would be better powders to consider: Varget, Rl15, H4350, IMR4320, H414, etc.
Yes, I agree. My mention of IMR4895 and Varget being similar was not meant to mean that you could interchange the two. I only meant that they both work well in the M1a, and Garand.
I really have to be more clear in how I word things.

Offline Skidmark

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
4 - H 4350
3 - H 4830SC
2 - Reloader 15
1 - IMR 8208 XBR

All temperature stable with the last 2 arguably being the most stable. I ranked them in the reverse order to my preference, but I will grab any of those and be happy.

I'm loading for 260 REM, 284 Shehane (up to 60 grains in 28" barrel), 6.5 SLR, 223REM (as low as 30 grains in 16" barrel), and 308WIN.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 10:48:22 PM »
I use Varget in all of my surplus rifles now, and in my hunting rifles. I tried it with my Garand this year, and reduced the load a grain or so from what I was loading for my 1903 Springfield. It now works great in both guns.
I also load it in 7.62x54, 303 Brit, .270, and I think my .243. Its been awhile since I shot the .243 so don't remember for sure.
I will probably load my 5.56 Nato with it as well when I get the components together.
Great powder.
RipT

nelson96

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 11:17:56 PM »
Playing with IMR 4064 to see if I can get loads to match (or better) the "HSM .308 Winchester 168 gr. HPBT Match".

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 11:36:20 AM »
I started out with IMR 4064 (a tried and true military powder) and it's all I use; .223, .270, 30-06. Dead on target at 100 yds. and plenty of dead deer too. I load mostly for hunting deer.

Offline armymars

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2013, 07:04:16 PM »
  You often find differant starting loads and max loads for a given powder in a given cartage with the same bullet weight for a simple reason. The cases can be differant, and the bullet jacket can be differant. Hornady bullets seem to have heaver jackets and develop higher pressure. Norma and military cases are heaver and have less capacity, there fore higher pressure. Then there is the powder lot which can very from one lot to the next.
   Lee manuals will most often list the lowest charge found in all the manuals they check.  For years Hoagen would always show their powders gave the fastest velocity of differant makes of powder. Then lets not forget primers. Some primers are hotter then others.

Offline 16onRockandRoll

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2013, 08:08:23 PM »
In my limited experience, I have used IMR 4350 and IMR 4007ssc in my .243 all the way up to .300 Win Mag. Thats a big range. Both work great. The 4007 ssc is extruded, but it's Super Short Cut, and meters fine so far. I have learned to snap the handle up and down on my powder measure, and that seems to shock it enough that it breaks up any bridging problems before they can throw off my measurements.

Offline Culver Creek Hunt Club

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2013, 11:45:05 AM »
I use H4895 quite a bit and I really like the fact I can load full charged loads for my 308 rifle and they provide data for reduced recoil loads for my 308 pistol. THey offer reduced recoil loads even for some of the magnums.

Offline Ronin4hire

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2013, 12:35:11 PM »
Wow! you guys are pushing me to dig the old Orange monster off the shelf and reconsider reloading...
Got into it in early 90s to save $$ on the 12g clay rounds and 9mm ball I used often.
Kinda liked GreenDot as I found it had load data that could be used for both cartridges.
Left it when I started buying commercial reman ammo in bulk as an arms instructor-
When it was under $100 for a thousand rounds delivered, single stage press was mothballed!
Aaaah the good old days- long gone so maybe time to load my own again.
Now I have the 30-06, 556, 30carb to consider-  maybe 9, 45 and 38?

OK so I sorta hijacked the thread...   but does "versatility" cross platforms like this still?
Guess I may wind up going a REAL press instead of the single stage and scooping powder too...
Probably start back in baby steps and keep things SAFE!   
Thanks in advance



 

Offline Culver Creek Hunt Club

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2013, 12:48:46 PM »
Not to wander too far off topic but This is the press kit I bought and it is on sale and in stock at Midway.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/785993/lee-4-hole-turret-press-with-auto-index-deluxe-kit

The turret design works very well becasue in seconds I can set it up to act as a single stages press (but with the dies all set up) for my rifle calibers. I hand measure each powder load for the rifles. They I can turn around and change it to activate the turret and fully prep, charge and load my pistol rounds. It isn't as fast as a full progressive but once I swap out the turret for a new caliber (seconds) and set up the auto powder measure and thorow a few tests to confirm the setting I can load 150 357 mags in an hour. I load  6 rifle calibers and 4 pistol calibers on it and love it. great starter press that you won't soon out grow.

currently I am using Unique, H4895 4007SSC as my main powders. I am just starting to load 5.56 and I hae yet to get any powder for that round.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2013, 05:07:32 PM »
Wow! you guys are pushing me to dig the old Orange monster off the shelf and reconsider reloading...
Got into it in early 90s to save $$ on the 12g clay rounds and 9mm ball I used often.
Kinda liked GreenDot as I found it had load data that could be used for both cartridges.
Left it when I started buying commercial reman ammo in bulk as an arms instructor-
When it was under $100 for a thousand rounds delivered, single stage press was mothballed!
Aaaah the good old days- long gone so maybe time to load my own again.
Now I have the 30-06, 556, 30carb to consider-  maybe 9, 45 and 38?

OK so I sorta hijacked the thread...   but does "versatility" cross platforms like this still?
Guess I may wind up going a REAL press instead of the single stage and scooping powder too...
Probably start back in baby steps and keep things SAFE!   
Thanks in advance

You can get accurate loads with just 2-3 powders but it won;t give max velocities in every one.

.30-06 and 5.56
Personally I use 2-3 powders for each with some cross over.  For .30-06 I load just for the Garand, and Varget with 168 gr Sierra Matchkings are great. Varget also does very well with Remingotn 165 gr Corelokt SP.  IMR 4064 and H4895 are close seconds for me.  If I wanted full velocity hunting loads I would go with IMR 4350.  Lighter or heavier bullets may change what works best but these mid-range bullets are perfect for my shooting int he Garand and a bolt action (I don't want to take ANY chance of mixing up handloads for Garand and bolt action so I just use one load).

In 5.56  I like BLC2 for 55 gr - 69 gr with H335 a close second.  For the heavy 75-75 gr bullets I like Varget or H4895.  Of course there are many other good powders such as Benchmark, H322, IMR3031, IMR8208XBR, TAC, Re15, CFE223.
 
Trying to use just one powder for them both I would probably try BLC2, Varget, IMR4064 or H4895 in about that order and start off with the heavy bullets in 5.56 (65-77 gr) and the lighter bullets in .30-06 (150 - 168 gr).

The .30 carbine like the same slow pistol/fast rifle powders as thee .357 and .44 mags.  Currently I am using W296/H110 but have head good results with AA9, 2400, IMR4227.  I am going to try Vit N110 and IMR4227 to see if I can get anything little bit milder than a full dose of W296 to cycle the bolts.  The recoil is very mild but I don't want to beat up these old receivers and bolts anymore than necessary.

For the handguns, again one powder won;t be ideal for all of them but I think several are suitable for decent loads in all.  The .38 Special is more of the limiting factor as the 9mm and .45 can use more similar powders.  I would look to Unique, Universal, W231, and AA5.  You could potentially use Blue Dot for the handguns and .30 Carbine, but I have not done that.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Versatile rifle powders?
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2013, 03:25:50 PM »
I have been reloading for 50 years and I would not even attempt to try getting adequate performance from all calibers from only one powder.  I could get by with two, would prefer three, but not just one.

Neither would I drop charges for my medium power rifles through a powder dump.  All those charges are thrown short, then trickled to proper weight.

It is just as easy to have two powders, or even three, on the shelf as it is to keep one powder.  They all cost about the same so what is the big whoop over going to one powder that does not give optimum performance in anything?

If you reload for pistol and/or shotgun along with your rifle, (and who would not?) you are going to be blessed with a couple of cans other than the "one rifle powder for all calibers" choice anyway.