Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders"

Posted by: RickBin

Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/04/09 04:42 PM

Hi Folks:

You should have received John Barsness's latest exclusive column, "Modern Rifle Powders," in your inbox by now. If you haven't, please check to make sure you have a valid email linked to your profile, and please whitelist webmaster@24hourcampfire.com and newsletter@24hourcampfire.com

For those who have not received it via email, here's a link to sign up:

Sign up for John Barsness's Exclusive Monthly Column

And here's a link to last month's column:

"Seating Bullets Straightly"

Here's December's:

"Cartridges and Bullets for Whitetails"

Here's November's:

"Rifle Cartridge Overall Length"

And here's October's:

"The .300 Weatherby: The Best .30-Caliber Magnum?"

Don't forget to check out John's (and Eileen's ) other stuff at http://www.riflesandrecipes.com.

Thanks again, John!
Posted by: dennisinaz

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/06/09 06:29 PM

Shouldn't this be pinned???
Posted by: Bolivar

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 05:45 AM

JB

Would you consider posting a list of your favorite powders for various Cartridges and Bullet weights?

It would be nice to have some idea of which powders have proven to be better performers. I know some reloading manuals provide this but not too many in my experience.
Posted by: LeonHitchcox

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 05:58 AM

John has written a couple of articles on this subject. Google "Handloads that work" and you should find a downloadable pdf.

Leon
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 07:01 AM

And I'm considering updating that article again, since I've discovered some other good loads, and have experimented with other cartridges as well.
Posted by: kyreloader

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 07:07 AM

John, you dont comment at all on the VV line of powders. I would be interested in hearing your take on the 100 series powders as well as the 500 series powders. Speed, accuracy, temp sensitivity.

Also, any experience yet with RL 17?
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 07:22 AM

The VV powders typically result in good velocity with fine accuracy at normal temperatures, but I just did some cold experimention with VV560 and wasn't impressed. I hope to do some with the 100 series powders before winter is over.

I was promised some Reloder 17 last fall by the folks at Alliant, but still haven't seen any.
Posted by: LeonHitchcox

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 11:56 AM

I was hoping to hear that you were going to do an update. Some appealing new components on the market. Thanks for the great job that you do.

Leon
Posted by: mrbman

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 05:16 PM

Mr. Barsness, I enjoyed your article on Modern Rifle Powders. I also enjoyed your article in the March Guns magazine on new powders for the .30-06, particularly the Big Game and Hunter powders. My older daughter will be 'moving up' to my .257R next fall and I was wondering if you had done any research with the 110 Accubond and Big Game in the Roberts. Thanks for the articles.
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/07/09 06:50 PM

The 100 AccuBond works great in the .257. IMR4350, H4350 and Hunter are all good powders. I'd start with around 42 grains of any of the three, and work up until muzzle velocity is no more than 2900 fps.
Posted by: PBR

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/08/09 08:11 PM

Sir:

Was wondering if you were familiar with the "Magnum MR-3100" powder? I have literally pounds of it and some data for a few loads, but have been unable to get data for other rounds (notably 338-06) and haven't been able to find anything about it. Thought maybe they had been purchased and the powder is called something else now - I see "3100" listed in a few manuals, is that the same thing (the powder charges look similar to my data)?

Thanks,

Paul
Posted by: JLM

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/08/09 10:38 PM

John,

That would be great if you would update the above mentioned article. I tracked down a copy of it and there is a lot of useful stuff in there.

I didn't see any .308 loads thou man! :P HEHEHE.....
Posted by: Phil09

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/09/09 03:45 AM

Thanks for the tip on the article Leon!!

JB,
Another vote for an update.


Phil
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/09/09 07:33 AM

Paul,

Is your Magnum MR-3100 from Accurate Powders? They were purchased by Western Powders (the same company that imports and sells the Ramshot powders) and they have an Accurate Powders loading manual that includes .338-06 data. You can contact them at http://www.ramshot.com or406-234-0422.
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/09/09 07:35 AM

JLM,

Yeah, the .308 somehow didn't make it into the last article. Don't ask me why. Try 46 grains of Varget and any 150-grain bullet. (Actually I suspect that single-based horse manure would work in the .308, but haven't tried it yet.)
Posted by: PBR

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/09/09 07:43 AM

JB:

Thanks for the info! The powder is from Accurate Powders and I'll be giving thema call.

Thanks again,

Paul
Posted by: JLM

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/09/09 05:34 PM

John, HA! I SHOULD be able to find a big pile of single base here in WY. Good to go I guess.

I'm actually shooting 44gr Varget right now under 175's. Workin' good. Seems most dudes either run that or RL-15, or 4064 even.
Posted by: 257Rob

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/10/09 10:36 AM

John:

Have you any experience with Hodgdon Hybrid 100V powder? It is relatively new, and looks like it would be excellent in my .257 Roberts, but Hodgdon data stops at 115gr. bullets, and I haven't been able to find any info on 117 and 120s, which I mostly use.
Posted by: John_Boy

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/10/09 10:50 AM

Winchester model 70.
Fast twist Douglas SS barrel #3 contour.
RL-25: 46.5 grains
5/8 group @ 100 yards.
What do y'all think?
Whay does Hornady call it a barrel burner with 38gr Varget, yet a 22x57 is called wonderful with 49 gr of H1000?
Powder capacity of the WSSM is the same as a .243
Should be about a 7.3 on John B's chart for efficient cartridges. (yes John I kept that article)
Thanks,
John Boy
Posted by: IndyCA35

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/13/09 05:12 PM

"Whay does Hornady call it a barrel burner with 38gr Varget...?"

If that's a .257 Roberts they must be wrong.

I use loads like that in a 6XC, smaller case capacity and lower expansion ratio. With full power loads a 6XC lasts around 1800 rounds before anyone can even detect an accuracy falloff at 600 yards (which becomes apparent before it does at shorter ranges). I don't use full power loads and mine is going strong at 2300.
Posted by: Tejano

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/18/09 07:11 AM

Good info as always.

My question is why do the Bench Rest crowd seem to avoid Ball type powders, is there a real difference in accuracy? Haven't most of the early inconsistencies been resolved? I know early on there was concern the finer Ball powders would migrate into the primer, but I haven't heard that in awhile. I know it is not an issue for hunting loads.
Posted by: John_Boy

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 02/23/09 12:24 AM

Should have re-read my post. The rifle in question is chambered in .223 WSSM. I'm looking for more data on my load of 46.5 grains of RL25. Does any one know where I can obtain bottom metal and stocks for the super short action?
Posted by: Hammer1

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 03/22/09 09:18 PM


 Quote:


... why do the Bench Rest crowd seem to avoid Ball type powders







Back when the 222 dominated benchrest wasn't BLC(1), BLC(2), and 748 used by some the benchrest shooters ?

.
Posted by: Dew

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 03/24/09 02:44 PM

Yep,Yep,Yep.
Posted by: IndyCA35

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 03/30/09 12:54 PM

Another question:

I'm trying to work up a load giving maximum velocity with a 350 Barnes TSX in a .458 Winchester. I use AA2230 with good results with heavier bullets. But lighter bullets dictate a slightly faster burning powder. I think H322 or H4198 would be ideal. but with the .458 a continual problem is case capacity. I'm not sure I can get enough in the case to reach maximum but reasonable pressures. Is H4198 less or more dense than H322. At the same or better density, H4198 would be the better choice.
Posted by: Richdeerhunter

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 04/24/09 07:56 AM

John-
In your powder article, your 150 gr 30-06 load is 55.0 gr of Ramshot Big Game. What primer are you using?

Thanks,
Richdeerhunter
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 04/26/09 05:29 PM

With Ramshot powders in the .30-06 I generally try the Win. Large Rifle primer (about the hottest 'standard' primer') and if that doesn't result in the accuracy desired, then switch to a magnum primer.

I only have a general idea about what the benchresters are up to, and in some ways don't care much, because my concern is with hunting loads.
Posted by: ClarkEMyers

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/03/09 05:22 PM

Given a short barreled .308 (Scout) and a decision to use 150 grain MRX BT/Lapua brass preferably but equally brass and primers to match the book loads how do I choose the most likely to be very best powder to try first?

the bullets are spendy and in short supply - I wish there were more understudy bullets Bitterroot bonded used to suggest an understudy and some of the majors will lump data for their line including a less and more expensive bullet.

How do I get from - any of these powders is worth trying and likely (almost certain) to be satisfactory - to this is the one to try first? Even more than the problem of having the powder to me is that surrounded by hoplophobes and Alzheimer's victims (literally, no joke) I can load only occasionally and finding a time and place to shoot and especially to chronograph is hard - gone are the days I could easily hit a good range during the evening diurnal reverse and find a few minutes of still wind or what have you to test loads.

I agree that
Quote:
I suspect that single-based horse manure would work in the .308, but haven't tried it yet.
equally
Quote:
Look at
a list of powders of that approximate “speed” [4895] these days, and the list runs on and on:...


It's certainly true that it's hard to go wrong - perhaps the only cartridge it might be as easy to load with a dartboard and hit success is the 9.3x62 but I digress.

I gather the all copper bullets are somewhat different and looking at the Barnes #4 the fastest load is BLC(2). Faster, especially a lot faster is good.

On reflection that is an older
(or was originally I don't know about the current clone if clone it be?)
spherical
(is Ball still fought over as a trademark? Does Hodgdon own spherical and ball both as a trademark?) and so likely to be just a tad dirtier less clean burning slower to clean than some others and equally is likely to be more temperature sensitive?

So in this case I'll likely try RL15 as combining velocity and cold weather tolerance - but I have some TAC (for .223) and some 748 left over from long ago and H4895SC - given that almost any of them will do just fine and there is no penalty here for second best and good enough is plenty good enough - seems senseless to choose haphazardly or alphabetically so what procedure to choose the powder to try first. And can a procedure be generalized?
Posted by: Eremicus

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/04/09 07:19 AM

I'd probably try Varget with Lapua brass. I'm assuming it's a heavier case than Winchester. I'd start with 44- 45 grs. and go up to 47 grs. and see how they shoot.
Frankly, for hunting loads, I find WW brass just fine. Get a tad more velocity out of the .308 case, etc. My standard hunting loads with Varget is 47 grs., 150 gr. bullet, and WW brass. In fact, I've tried all sorts of bullets from the 125 gr. Speer TNT to the 200 gr. Nosler Partition, and always found that either Re-15 or Varget work fine. I use about one grain less Re-15 than I do Varget.
For somewhat less than full velocity loads, with the heavier brass, I really like Ramshot Tac. For that and reduced loads, H4895 is another choice. E
Posted by: zxc

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/04/09 08:47 AM

i don't write about guns and stuff but have been a reloader for a long long time. Some observations over time have led me to conclude what is best all round powder for differant caliber bullet weight combinations. My experience: 7mm Rem Mag 175gr bullet, Norma MRP and H-450; 6.5x55 Swede, 130/140gr bullets H-4350; 270 Win and 280Rem H-4831 any weight; 30-06, H-4350 up to 180gr, RL-22 for the 200's; 35Whelen, Varget is the best, 338Win, H-4831; 375HH, 270gr bullet, RL-15; 308 Win, Varget; 308 Norma, H-4831; 370 Sako/9.3x66 VV-550 for factory velocities; 45-70 Gov't IMR 3031. All my handloads use CCI- 250 primers except the 45-70 uses Federal large rifle. Tried many differant combinations but these give a good balance between accuracy, velocity, and consistancy that is needed in a big game situation.
Posted by: bwinters

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/04/09 10:01 AM

Hi John,

While this thread is active, have you had a chance to try RE 17 yet? If so, thoughts?
Posted by: 257Rob

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/26/10 05:50 AM

John:
I am having a bit of a struggle with my 257 Roberts. I got somewhat better accuracy when I used IMR 4350 and 4831 powders, especially in my .270, but then I switched to the less temperature-sensitive Hodgdon powders. Given the temperature extremes in my home state, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but results were a bit less consistent, too. 7/8 in. groups one day, then 1 1/2 in. or more the next. "Big Four" 100-120 gr. bullets, CCI primers, Winchester +P brass, free travel .030 in., weighed charges.

My goals are: accuracy and ~2800 fps with 110-120 gr. bullets, ~3000fps for 100gr., and ~3000-3100 for 85-87gr. bullets, but now, I am wondering if that is relistic?

I don't think my basic procedures have changed much over the years, so I guess that is just part of the "fun" of reloading, or the fabled "contrariness" of the Roberts.

I'll probably shoot what I have of the Hodgdon powders, then go back to using the old standby, IMR, and see if that makes any difference.

What do you think?
Thanks.

Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/26/10 06:05 AM

257Rob,

First, I haven't experienced that sort of inconsistency with Hodgdon Extreme powders. I use a lot of Varget, H4350 and H4831, along with some H1000 and Retumbo, and all have been very consistent in performance.

In fact, when I switched to H4350 ffrom IMR4350 for my hunting loads a number of years ago, the accuracy was very similar in loads that I'd used for a long time, such as 46-47 grains with 100-grain bullets in the .257 Roberts and 57-58 with 165's in the .30-06. So I just kept using H4350 (which also meters a lot better) and haven't been disapointed since.

I also haven't experienced the "fabled inconsistency" of the .257 Roberts. Did read a book by a nitwit some years ago who claimed it wasn't a very accurate round, but that hasn't been my experience with around a dozen Bobs.

I guess I'm not much help--but am a little puzzled with part of your post. Unless you're using the old military-surplus H4831, or some of the early replacement powder from way back when, you ARE using one of the Hodgdon Extremes.
Posted by: Mule Deer

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/26/10 06:09 AM

bwinters,

I missed your post for some reason earlier.

I have tried Reloder 17. So far it seems like a good powder, though not the Wonder Powder that a lot of people claim it to be. It does get a little more velocity in SOME (not all) applications. But then I'm mostly been using tested data, and not working up loads without any information.

It's also turned out to be very accurate in a few loads. Just tried it the other day with 100-grain Nosler Partition in the .243 and it looks like a very good combo.

I haven't, however, had the opportunity to do any serious cold-weather testing with RL-17 yet, so will try to do that this winter.

Apparently some major differences have shown up in different lots.
Posted by: 257Rob

Re: Ask John Barsness Questions About "Modern Rifle Powders" - 10/26/10 07:30 AM

Thanks, John. I goofed, I typed H4831, when I meant IMR 4831. I'll keep trying.