Originally Posted by Derek M.
So, is there a "go-to" powder for the most part that I can start with much like a go-to with a 308 is Varget or IMR4064?
My Bartlein bbl is 24". I didn't want it any longer so I'm not looking to go pop an elk at 900 yards. I have other rifles I'll take elk hunting. I would prefer accuracy first, velocity second. Should I not reinvent the wheel and stick with the 4350 and 4831SC first?
As with any cartridge, there are many ways to skin the cat as to powder selection. I am a real fan of the 6.5x284 and have several buddies that are as well, both target as well as hunting enthusiasts. For target/competition many go with H4831sc. With the longer barrels used for target shooting, you can hit the sweet spot of 2950-3050FPS. This powder is very accurate, has an optimum burn rate for the cartridge, meters well, has great lot to lot consistency, and is capable of extremely tight ES. It is inherently a lower velocity powder compared to Retumbo, and other slow burning powders.
For hunting I would go with Retumbo. It will deliver the same sweet spot in velocity with a 24-26" barrel,and, if throated properly with a 1:8 twist, should deliver excellent accuracy. It is very temperature stable. Similar to a previous comment, if it doesns't shoot with this powder its possible something else is going on. The only watch out with Retumbo is that you may have to adjust charge weight when changing lots to keep the identical velocity. I have seen this with several powders, including Varget, but have not seen it with H4831sc. IMHO.