Review Of IMR 8208 XBR-Hogdon's New Benchrest Powder
When I received the pound of 8208 XBR from Hodgdon, the 6mm Dasher barrel was on this rifle. I decided to begin my testing with that chambering.
Without any data for the 6mm Dasher, I decided to use moderate H4895 loads. I loaded 31.4, 31.7, and 32.0 grains, ignited by CCI 450 primers, behind a 105 Berger VLD Target bullet. The barrel is a Krieger heavy Palma that measures 28 inches in length.
Although the loads shot well (see Photo #3), I would strongly recommend that one start at a lower level. The brass showed signs of high pressure…especially in the 32.0 grain loading. I would recommend starting at 30 grains and work up to possibly 31 grains with this bullet.
This powder will produce over 2900 fps with this bullet at safe pressures, but it may be a little too fast for the 105-107 grain bullets. I normally use Varget and Re 15 in the Dasher. After I get through testing the powder in the 6 PPC, I will try it again in the Dasher or perhaps in the 6 XC. Lou Murdica said that he used 36.0 grains behind the 105 Berger in his 6 X 47 Lapua. Since the 6XC is very similar to this cartridge, this may be a guide for loading the 6XC. Remember, always start low and work up.
After a brief session with the 6mm Dasher, I turned my attention to the 6 PPC. After removing the Dasher barrel, I screwed a Bartlein gain twist (14-13.25) 6mm PPC on and prepared some rounds for it.
This barrel has shown a preference for Del Bishop’s 65 grain flat base bullet built on an 0.825 jacket. He calls them 7 SC ogive because the die maker said that they were a “7” but Del states that he believes that they are closer to an “8” ogive. Therefore, the “SC” stands for “subject to controversy”.
Behind this fine bullet, I loaded 4 rounds with 30.4 grains, 4 with 30.7 grains and 5 with 31.0 grains. All loads were ignited by Wolf Small Rifle primers.
Dutifully, I set up the Oehler Model 35 Chronograph, and proceeded to check out this new powder. I fired one round of the 31.0 grain load to check pressure and get the rifle zeroed. The pressure was okay and after a quick scope adjustment, I was ready to proceed.
Although the weather in Louisiana has been dismal in October, I caught a break in the rain long enough to shoot a few groups. The temperature was 51 degrees and there was a cool wind from the west (9 o’clock) at 10-15 mph.
I started with the 30.4 grain load and fired all three 4-shot groups quickly without cleaning. (Photo # 4 shows the three groups.)
The 30.4 grain load registered 3266 with a standard deviation of 6 fps. The group measured a miniscule 0.109 inches on the soggy target.
Without hesitation, I fired the 30.7 grain over the chronograph screens at 3299 fps with a SD of 7. The 4-shot group measured 0.138".
Continuing, I fired the last four shots with 31.0 grains into a .194 inch group and the chronograph registered 3315 with a SD of 13.
As a sort of control, I fired 5 rounds that I had left from the “Nationals”. These were loaded with 29.3 grains of N133 and chronographed 3320 fps. The SD was 9 and group measured 0.279 inches.
I was most impressed with these early results. I will try some different bullets and perhaps different barrels in my next excursion.