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Thread: N160 for .243

  1. #1

    N160 for .243

    Am about to start reloading for .243, using 100gr bullets (probably Sierra Prohunter or Gameking) and N160 powder.
    I am struggling to find load data; Viht manuals vary wildly with the latest giving 39.8gr as max load and an older manual 46.9gr, both for 100gr bullets. The Sierra data and Hornady manual I have don't list it for 100gr. Most loads I see posted online mention around 42gr, so currently thinking of starting at 38gr and working up, but I wondered if anyone could share any other min-max data for the above? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by otisthedog; 28-12-2014 at 18:27.

  2. #2
    Reloading data is constantly revised.
    Go to the Vhit site and use what they recommend.
    It's really not that hard....~Muir

    http://www.vihtavuori.com/upload/gui...2014engwww.pdf

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by otisthedog View Post
    The Sierra data and Hornady manual I have don't list it for 100gr. Most loads I see posted online mention around 42gr, so currently thinking of starting at 38gr and working up, but I wondered if anyone could share any other min-max data for the above? Thanks in advance.
    Lee gives 37.2gr of N-160 as a starting load for a 90 grain jacketed bullet, and 'Never Exceed' is 42.6gr if that helps at all?

    I'm no expert (in fact, I haven't even reloaded a single round yet!), but that's straight from the Lee manual

  4. #4
    Thanks Muir, and as in my post above, I had done this.
    Excuse my lack of reloading knowledge, but why revise this data - has the powder 'recipe' changed?

  5. #5
    Yes. Each LOT of powder produced has slightly different characteristics and each is tested before market. Hence the revisions and why your buddy's favorite Vhit load he's been shooting for the last 15 year is not necessarily applicable to this year's LOT of the same powder.
    This is why when you get powder of a different LOT number, you should back off the charge and work back up.
    Basic Reloading 101.
    You need to do some reading, Amigo! ~Muir

  6. #6
    Thanks for the clarification Muir.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Yes. Each LOT of powder produced has slightly different characteristics and each is tested before market. Hence the revisions and why your buddy's favorite Vhit load he's been shooting for the last 15 year is not necessarily applicable to this year's LOT of the same powder.
    Are you suggesting that the powder-makers make a heap of powder to last a year and then test it before publishing that year's manual?

    I take the point about bit assuming that one batch-number of the same powder will not necessarily be the same as another - but I'd be surprised if the tolerances for those potential changes explained 7grain drops in max load, such as that described by the OP.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalua View Post
    Are you suggesting that the powder-makers make a heap of powder to last a year and then test it before publishing that year's manual?

    I take the point about bit assuming that one batch-number of the same powder will not necessarily be the same as another - but I'd be surprised if the tolerances for those potential changes explained 7grain drops in max load, such as that described by the OP.
    No. Not necessarily, but each LOT -and these are often measured in the X's of tons- is tested to make sure it falls within their parameters. It usually does. Often either the LOT changes or the testing becomes more refined. Hodgdon, IMR, Alliant, Accurate Arms data have all changed over the decades. It's not an uncommon thing. This is why they tell you that all data in a manual supersedes any previous data.

    As to the LOT to LOT variations, frankly, I load middle weight charges so I don't do much more than cast a discerning eye on the first cases fired with a new LOT. If it's new IMR4350, I figure it to be the same as the last can of new IMR4350 I bought; or close enough.~Muir

  9. #9
    I wonder whether two things are being confounded here.

    No batch to batch (or lot to lot, if you prefer) variation should ever account for a 7-grain drop in maximum for a 40-odd grain load. So I suspect that inter-batch variation does not account alone for that change.

    Perhaps a wholesale recipe-change, and/or corporate risk-aversion is involved?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by otisthedog View Post
    Am about to start reloading for .243, using 100gr bullets (probably Sierra Prohunter or Gameking) and N160 powder.
    I am struggling to find load data; Viht manuals vary wildly with the latest giving 39.8gr as max load and an older manual 46.9gr, both for 100gr bullets. The Sierra data and Hornady manual I have don't list it for 100gr. Most loads I see posted online mention around 42gr, so currently thinking of starting at 38gr and working up, but I wondered if anyone could share any other min-max data for the above? Thanks in advance.
    I recently (this month) used in my .243 Ruger No 1:

    Hornady #2450 100gr BTSP Interlock
    N160 44.0 gr
    Rem 9 1/2 primer

    QuickLoad indicates 2850 fps (1805 ft-lbs). It shot well enough, putting three rounds under an inch in a very trying crosswind. This is the first handload I've tried with this rifle.

    I've used the following in my .243 Sako 75:

    Lapua GB543 90gr Scenar HPBT
    N160 45.0 gr
    Prvi LR primer

    QuickLoad indicates 2900 fps (not used on game, just target). This load proved exceptionally accurate, a little over 1 MOA at 600 yards.

    In another life, I'd used the following in my .243 Winchester model 70:

    Nosler 95gr Ballistic Tip
    N160 43.7 gr
    Fed 210 primer

    Measured velocity 2925 fps (1803 ft-lbs). This was exceptionally accurate and accounted for numerous foxes, deer and half a dozen pronghorn antelope.

    In the same rifle, I also used:

    Speer 100 gr BTSP
    N160 42.5 gr
    Fed 210 primer

    Estimated velocity 2900 fps.

    Hope this helps.

    -JMS

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