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Thread: where to start with powders!?!?!?

  1. #1

    where to start with powders!?!?!?

    so looking through the various posts, powder websites, literature I have accrued and the stuff that came with my Lee Loader, there appear to be 9 powders from 4 manufacturers recommended for a 100gn SP .270 bullet.

    they seem to give a range of MV from 33xxfps to 34xxfps from similar loads.

    my question is where do I start?!
    I understand the concept of faster and slower burn rates
    Is it advisable to start with same bullet, and try different brands of powder or am I being naive and missing something in looking for one that works well with the 100gn, 130gn, and 150gn I hope to load.

    H4350 seems to be recommended by Lee for 130-150gn but not 100gn
    But Hodgson have it listed under their 110gn options

    The factory load I use (norma) is listed at 3140f/s for 130gn but looking at the charts that is above the MV achieved at maximum loads for any powder option I can find.

    seems choosing the powder is the biggest challenge at the moment!

  2. #2
    Where to start - what's the cheapest and most readily available?
    My powder of choice is Vihtavouri.

  3. #3
    well they all seem to be between 35-39 (certainly when available in one shop) and as yet there is no local option!!
    I do travel around a bit so that is not a major issue.

  4. #4
    from 90 grain up to 110 grain bullets they give reloader 19 on the seirra softwear as the best hunting loads.

    and from 130 up to 150 grain bullets they give reloader 22 the best hunting loads

    reloader 22 seams to come out on top on alot of there different weight bullets

  5. #5
    More variables than you can jump over I'm afraid. If you're lucky you will strike a bullet/powder combination that works quickly. If not it might take some time. I spend a bit of time on the web reading other peoples experiences and consult the Nosler guide to be safe. Quite often a pattern develops and one powder stands out as consistantly good. Start with that. On seating depth I start development with the bullet touching the lands. It works for my calibres but some prefer to be 20 or 30 thou off. Again, a bit of research on the web should give you a clue. Make sure your starting load is 10% below what others are talking about. With your burn rates on 4350 go up in .5 grain increments until you find pressure signs. Back off a grain and try a 3 shot group. Backing off gives you a pressure margin to play with when everything is wet or for when you start playing with seating depth. If you get the accuracy you are looking for great. If not go down .5 grain at a time with 3 shot tests until you do. If you have to go down more than a couple of grains you need to change powders. If you have tried 3 or 4 powders and you still can't get a decent group change bullets. I spent 60 rounds trying to make a 130 Scirocco work in my 6.5 Lapua, switched to a 120 nosler and had found .3 MOA in a dozen shots. When you have found .5 MOA play with seating depth. You may well improve the group size. Accuracy is about an anal retentive degree of precision and consistency, from brass selection and preparation to load weighing and seating depth. Compromise or rush things and you will not find what you are looking for. And don't forget, these things can be bloody dangerous if you get too brave or make a mistake. Check it and check it again. Probably not the simple answer you were looking for. Sorry!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dodgyrog View Post
    Where to start - what's the cheapest and most readily available?
    My powder of choice is Vihtavouri.
    im a great lover of vhit powders , i use N560 in my .270 and N160 in my 6.5x55 .

    i dont think there is anything classed as a cheap powder any more , i used to be able to get tu5000 cheap but even thas gone up roughly 20% !

    but really is does come down to what you can get , hodgdon seems to be available quite alot but even my rfd is struggling to get hold of it (and thats bloody well gone up too ) , good job i get all my vhit powder from a good mate of mine !

    cheers lee

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  7. #7
    Pick a bullet you can lay your hands on and then pick a powder that you can lay your hands on. Rgds JCS

  8. #8
    Unless you have to, the cheapest or most available is a bit arbitrary!

    The best explanation I have seen was by Dan Hackett in Precision Shooting magazine based on earlier work by Homer Powley...

    To summarise:
    a good starting point for the average rifle cartridge is a powder charge weighing approximately 85% of the cartridge's water capacity

    The water capacity can be obtained by weighing a case, filling it with water, seating a bullet, removing the bullet, wiping off excess water and weighing again.

    Then look through the loading manuals and pick a powder that gives the highest velocity from a charge close to your measured water capacity without being a maximum load. This is a starting point for a powder that is shown to burn efficiently in your cartridge.

    You then adjust your load up or down to find the most accurate load in your rifle.
    Hope that helps....... Once you find it and it proves accurate, buy plenty of stock!
    Last edited by JabaliHunter; 19-02-2011 at 19:26.

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