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#6430544 - 08/29/16 10:12 PM Powder Selection
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Trying to finalize my reloading equipment and supplies list - I'm new to reloading and have the following cartridges in factory rifles:

* 223 Rem (semi-auto, 16" barrel with 9" twist, varmint hunting and target)
* 308 Win ("lever", 20" barrel with 12" twist, deer (and larger?) hunting)
* 300 Win Mag (bolt, 26" barrel with 11" twist, hunting bigger than deer, "long" range target)

The 223 will shoot 55 grains.
The 308 will shoot 165 grains.
The 300 will shoot 180 grains.

What I primarily need help with is powder. After some research it seems I can use Hodgdon H335 and IMR 3031 for both the 223 and 308. Thoughts? Doesn't matter if they each have their own. What about the 300, where should I start? For the 300 H1000, H4831, IMR 4831, IMR 7828, RL-22 and RL-25, from my reading, seem more appropriate for "heavier" .30 caliber bullets. I'm sure there are more that I haven't yet researched. Thoughts on any of these or any I haven't mentioned. If environment temperatures are a concern in your responses then they only apply to the 223 and 300 as the 308 is pretty much for deer season (regardless of locale). I measure with an RCBS Chargemaster 1500 combo.

Finally, I have Winchester large rifle magnum primers I could use for the 300 if appropriate. If not, no big deal.

To me this seems like an awful lot to ask in a single post, so I apologize though for you smart and experienced folks this is probably easy to sort through.

If you're still reading and respond, thank you.

-Mickey


Edited by Mickey Moose (08/29/16 10:37 PM)
Edit Reason: Updated bullet weights
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#6430574 - 08/29/16 10:25 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
cblackall Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
You're on the right track and the powders you listed work very well for their respective calibers, but you need to be more specific about the weight bullet you plan to try. Some powders will work across a variety of bullet weights, but to narrow it down to the best choice you need to be a little more specific. Typically, slower burning powders appropriate for the cartridge work well with heavy for caliber bullets. Try to start with one particular bullet for each caliber and work from there.


Edited by cblackall (08/29/16 10:31 PM)

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#6430590 - 08/29/16 10:37 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: cblackall]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Updated bullet weights in my original post.

The correlation of burn rate vs bullet weight is helpful.

Thank you.
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#6430641 - 08/29/16 11:15 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
DStroud Offline
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Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1160
Loc: Waco
For the 223/.308 I would probably choose IMR 8208 or AR Comp
Right now Alliant 4000MR is my powder of choice for 300WM with 180-200gr bullets


Edited by DStroud (08/29/16 11:16 PM)

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#6430654 - 08/29/16 11:24 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20311
Loc: Texas
Powders DS listed are very good choices and would throw in

223 TAC
308 Varget
300 Reloader 23 and 26
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#6430897 - 08/30/16 08:16 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
The powders you listed for the bullet weights you are wanting look good. The weights you are looking at are very general, so the basic powders you see in your reloading manuals will work well. The 223 and 308 powders can be the same one, if you want. You could easily use H335 for both 223 and 308.

I would recommend buying enough powder to sustain you for at least 1 year of shooting, or more. If you plan to shoot 100 rounds a year of each, then 2 lbs of powder is plenty. If you plan to shoot a lot, get enough to load with the same lot #. When you switch powder lots, you will want to retest or work up a new load. And also have a back up powder, in case you can not find your main powder. For my 6.5x47 Lapua, I bought 2- 8# kegs of H4350 of the same lot dedicated to this caliber. The powder charge of about 42 grains and 16 lbs of powder will yield about 2600+ rounds of ammo, which is about 1 barrel worth. So, I should not have to change my powder charge through the life of this barrel.

Another way to select the right powder, is to know how you plan to load the ammo. If you plan to load them single stage, then a good extruded powder will work well, like the Hodgdon line of Extreme powders (H1000, H4831, H4350). If you plan to load on a progressive, then a good spherical or ball powder works well, like H335. The larger extruded powders do not meter well out of a progressive press, so the ball powders are used.
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#6431135 - 08/30/16 10:18 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
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I updated bullets to specific weights to hopefully narrow the powder focus. A single stage with a Chargemaster is the equipment.

More about...

...the 223. It's a factory AR with which I don't have stringent requirements. It's a utility rifle in that it varmint hunts and is a target toy. Its round count is in the neighborhood of 2500.

...the 308. Another factory rifle. Though it's round count is primarily targets for fun, it's a deer rifle with probably 200 rounds. 196 were at targets. Practically, I could stop the target shooting with it and only need one bullet a year during deer season. Reloading is going to be a waste of time and money vs buying a couple boxes of shells off the shelf which would outlast me for hunting. I don't need more accuracy than what shelf ammo gets me.

...the 300. This factory rifle is a little different than the other two. It's the most appropriate of the three for longer range and, for this conversation, is considered brand new. To your point about powder quantity and lot vs barrel life it makes sense to match this up. I'm planning on taking FiremanJG's class with this. It will remain a target and hunting rifle. I have high hopes and expectations from this rifle... I hope that it doesn't embarrass me and I expect that it will! I'm sure it will outperform my abilities with ease.
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#6431152 - 08/30/16 10:27 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
I would probably lean more towards the 308 for the class, than the 300 WM, to learn on.
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#6431274 - 08/30/16 11:26 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: ChadTRG42]
jeffbird Offline


Registered: 03/09/09
Posts: 1725
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
I would probably lean more towards the 308 for the class, than the 300 WM, to learn on.


Usually would agree 101%, but the OP mentions the 308 is a "lever" gun?

OP please provide more specifics on the three rifles.

If the 308 is a tube magazine, then a flat nosed bullet is required for safety to prevent unintended ignition of the primer on the rounds in the tube.

"30-30" type bullets designed specifically for tube magazines usually are 150 grain flat nose.

Hornady has designed a plastic tipped spire point for use in tube mags, so that is another to look at, but do not use pointed tip bullets in a tube magazine.

For a 308, Varget is the first choice and works well with weights from 110 - 190 grains.

I do not load for 223, so will defer, but have often seen Varget recommended for 223 with the heavier weight bullets, so there is some potential for dual use.

300 WM - when powders were hard to find for the last year or two, I tried IMR 4831 and was pleasantly surprised with the results. H1000 works well with the heavier bullets, 200 grains+.

Regular large rifle primers will ignite the 300WM just fine, but magnum large rifle primers provide better accuracy in my testing.


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#6431323 - 08/30/16 11:44 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: ChadTRG42]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
With regards to the cartridge I agree though I didn't give it any thought prior to your comment. Might the long downward throw of the lever (it's a Browning BLR) be a nuisance for some exercises? Shooting from a bench, without a sufficiently tall rest, the rifle has to be lifted to cycle the lever. Also, it has a smaller scope, a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40. The 300 is a bolt with a Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50. I can also put my bipod on the 300 but not on the 308 without additional hardware. Well, I believe that's the case - I'll have to check.
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#6431328 - 08/30/16 11:48 AM Re: Powder Selection [Re: jeffbird]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Originally Posted By: jeffbird
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
I would probably lean more towards the 308 for the class, than the 300 WM, to learn on.

Usually would agree 101%, but the OP mentions the 308 is a "lever" gun?

OP please provide more specifics on the three rifles.

If the 308 is a tube magazine...

...

For a 308, Varget is the first choice and works well with weights from 110 - 190 grains.

I do not load for 223, so will defer, but have often seen Varget recommended for 223 with the heavier weight bullets, so there is some potential for dual use.

300 WM - when powders were hard to find for the last year or two, I tried IMR 4831 and was pleasantly surprised with the results. H1000 works well with the heavier bullets, 200 grains+.

Regular large rifle primers will ignite the 300WM just fine, but magnum large rifle primers provide better accuracy in my testing.


The 308 is a Browning BLR - box magazine, so I'm good there.

Good info in the rest of your post. Thanks.
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#6434865 - 09/01/16 04:39 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
DRD11 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/05/13
Posts: 7
Also a fan of the Hodgdon Extreme line. Prefer Varget for the .308 and H4831 for .300.

Their website had a lot of good starter info and loads on the front of the powder cans.

Get a good reloading manual!

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#6434885 - 09/01/16 04:52 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20311
Loc: Texas
Hodgdon Reloading Data Center has lots of good load information. Much more than on the package labels
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#6434916 - 09/01/16 05:21 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
So when starting new do you buy 1 pound of a single powder and try it before buying others? Or select a couple-few and try them all together? Maybe you folks have other approaches.

Yes, I have a couple manuals and have found good detail on Hodgdon's site as well as others.

Thanks.
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#6435066 - 09/01/16 07:15 PM Re: Powder Selection [Re: Mickey Moose]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: Mickey Moose
So when starting new do you buy 1 pound of a single powder and try it before buying others? Or select a couple-few and try them all together? Maybe you folks have other approaches.

Yes, I have a couple manuals and have found good detail on Hodgdon's site as well as others.

Thanks.


I find out what "the" powder is for my cartridge, and bullet weight combo. Then get as much of the same lot of that powder as I can, or for the life of the barrel. These days it's tough to find some of the preferred powders for certain combos, though.

As far as taking my class, there are some options. Bring as many rifles as you please, and if the .300 Win Mag is the only one you want to bring, that is fine. You can start the day with my "customer trainer rifle". 7mm-08 with hand loads, and the combination is quite capable of 1 MOA from 100 to 800. Drive the mustang first, then move over to the funny car.
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