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338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

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Unread 05-16-2011, 05:57 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: OR
Posts: 44
338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

Having some major headaches with my 338 Edge and finding a new load with H1000… I wanted to share my results to reinforce the warning that newer H1000 appears to be hotter, and get some feedback on a couple points…

When I first had the rifle made it had a little longer throat, around 3.970” COAL to touch the lands with a 300 SMK. At that time, and with older lots of H1000, I was loading 93.5 grains of H1000 with really no pressure signs. At 150 rounds I had the barrel set back just enough to rechamber with a shorter throat. It is now about 3.920” COAL to the lands with a 300 SMK (.098” freebore I’m told).
Got the rifle back, read all over about the newer lots of H1000 being hotter. Went and bought some, and loaded one round each at 90, 91, 92, 93, 94 of H1000 (should have loaded more at each, oh well). The rest of the load specs: Rem brass, 300 SMK, CCI 250, 3.890” COAL (about .030” jump) . My chrono gave me the following velocities:
90 – 2802, 91 – 2810, 92 – 2856, 93 – 2898, 94 – 2909

I noted some pressure signs at 93 and 94. I don’t recall any stiff bolt lift, just some primer flattening and ejector marks. The one round of 92.0 looked good, and 2850 was more or less my goal so I loaded 20 more at that. Shot those with MOA 5 round groups and no major pressure signs that I recall now. Some partial primer flattening but no stiff bolt or ejector marks that I remember seeing. Conditions that day were: temp – 48, humid – 72, baro – 29.90, dens alt – 600.

Thinking I was good to go with that load, I loaded 40 more and went out a week later to shoot at distance. I didn’t record exact conditions that day (damn it), but it was about 15 degrees warmer and 1500 feet higher in elevation. At around round 9 or 10 or so I had a stiff bolt. Looked at it and noticed the primer pierced. “Huh, that’s weird” I thought. Looked at the first 8 or so cases and saw some ejector marks. Decided to go ahead and shoot the rest of that batch of 20, and pull the remaining 20 I had loaded at 92.0. In doing so I had another pierced primer. I really doubt the temp / conditions had much to do with it, as H1000 is supposed to be pretty stable…? None of these were chronied and as I recall they weren’t matching up very well with the 2850 number I had put into Shooter based off the initial pressure test rounds.

Dropped the load two whole grains to 90.0, loaded 20 more and went to the range. Still had some ejector marks, partially flat primers, and one pierced primer. Conditions: temp - 64, baro – 29.83, dens alt – 560. None of these were chronied.

Due to the continued pressure signs I dropped the load another two whole grains, to 88.0. Loaded 50 up and went to shoot at distance, thinking there’s no way I could still have pressure there. I ended up still having somewhat flattened primers, some shiny but not raised ejector marks, and on the very last round a pierced primer. Conditions were: temp – 55, baro – 27.82, humid – 90, dens alt – 2500.

Now for what really has me scratching my head at this point. Shooting the 50 rounds at 88.0 yesterday… I put three rounds over the chrony first thing and got: 2733, 2781, 2788. I put 2775 into Shooter and was almost 2 IPHY (NOT MOA) low at just about every range all the way to 1000 yards. In the end the dope I got was: 535 – 9.0 IPHY, 760 – 15.75 IPHY, 870 – 19.0 IPHY, 965 – 22.75 IPHY. Given the conditions I have to put roughly 2875 into Shooter / JBM to get those numbers to line up. I tend to trust the numbers / ballistic programs over my chrony. That velocity would also better explain the continued pressure to me. I read the H1000 got hotter, but damn… 88.0 and 2875 out of an Edge with the 300 SMK???

I’m not sure how to reconcile the results of the first five pressure test rounds and the first 20 at 92.0, with the subsequent pressure at 92, 90, and even 88. It was using the same H1000 (newer stuff), so maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention on the first 25 (but I sure thought I was). I’m well aware working down from pressure isn’t ideal, and I probably should have dropped WAY down and done ladder testing back up on the first signs of pressure. Normally I do that when developing a load but I already had data for this rifle, albeit with a little longer throat / jump and older lots of H1000. It is what it is…

To summarize:
92: Partially flattened primers, some cratering, some bolt “click”, partially raised ejector marks. Two pierced primers out of 20.
90: Partially flattened primers, partially raised ejector marks. One pierced primer out of 20.
88: Partially flattened primers, shiny but not raised ejector marks. One pierced primer out of 50.

Even at 88.0 of H1000 I’m thinking the load density is getting on the low side. There’s lots of room left in there with the 300 SMK at 3.890”. At this point I’m really leaning towards ditching H1000 altogether and going to Retumbo. I know H1000 used to be nearly the universal favorite for the Edge, but it seems to have become far faster than when everyone was so happy with it for this application.

In the end, my questions are:

Would you trust the chronograph or the real world dope couple with ballistics programs? Which velocity figure better matches up with data of newer lots of H1000 in the Edge?

Ditch the H1000 and go to Retumbo? (seems to be logical to me given all the wasted case capacity with below 88 of H1000) Is Retumbo any more temp sensitive in your experience?

Anyone else had this dramatic of a jump from the old lots / new lots of H1000? Again, I read it got hotter, but I had no idea the jump would be that large. Have the new lots been consistent after the jump?

Here’s a picture at the 88.0 grain load (note the partially flattened primer and the shiny ejector mark over MAG), and a fresh one for reference:

Last edited by edited by; 05-04-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:42 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northeast MS
Posts: 388
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

Wow, that is a significant difference. I dont load for a 338, but I use H1000 in my 300 win mag, and I just loaded some from a new lot of powder. I can't wait to see if I will have as big of a difference as you.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 09:17 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

I have been working on a load for my 338 rum using h1000 and 300smk i had no pressure signs at 91grs but i am now wondering about the loads (92grs)that i have loaded to test.I have noted quite a bit of lot to lot variation and temp sensitivity with rl25 but i am thinking about going back to it.One of my friends had noted a change simular to what you experianced with h1000 in his 300 wby.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 08:51 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NW Montana
Posts: 906
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

I had almost exactly the same experience with my 338 edge and newer lots of H1000. My standard load was 94.0 gr of H1000 with 300 gr SMK. When I bought new H1000 I couldn't even run 92.0 gr without pressure signs.Even dropped to 90 grs still pressure signs.Pierced 2 primers. I got tired of the headache and quit using the H1000 and went to RL25 and the problems went away my ES even went much lower. Even my velocity was slightly better with RL25 with no pressure signs.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 10:29 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 765
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

I loaded some rounds for my 338 rum last month with 100 grs of H 1000 and got nearly 3300 fps with 225 accubonds with a new lot of powder. My old loads with this powder were only around 3100.
Remington model 700 300 RUM LH 26" rem ss/blued receiver lam stock 215 Berger @3070/180 NAB @3300/Leupold 6.5-20x50
Remington model 700 338 RUM LH 26" Bartlein 5C #4 Muscle Brake, blueprinted action, sako extractor, jewell trigger, bell and carlson Alaskan stock/Black cera coat/Sightron SIII 8-32x56 moa reticle, external elevation turret
Savage LH 22-250/Sightron 4-16
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Unread 05-18-2011, 11:07 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 61
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

How much powder do you buy at a time? If you buy it in 1lb cans you might be getting variation between cans. I buy my H-1000 in 8lb cans so I don't have to do load development again.

My accurate load with H-1000 and the 300 SMK in my RUM is 90.2 grains but I haven't chrono-ed it yet.
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Unread 05-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Prince George B.C.
Posts: 195
Re: 338 Edge / H1000 Pressure Woes

any idea what lots that this seems to have started? I have just bought a pound and loaded some for my 338 lapua.... which has still yet to arrive. I am in the interior of B.C. and am thinking that my powder should be older than what you guys down south go through, less turnover and all is what I'm hoping
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