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Reloading Berger Bullets


hot load advice

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Unread 06-10-2008, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
I assume that the old man chambered this gun if its the one I'm thiniking of and if thats the case then I know that the chamber is perfect. If your sticking brass in a tight chamber thats cut very well then the brass is close to being ruined after a couple shots thats just a ton of stress.
Alot of guys don't relize how much higher you can run the pressures with a well built gun with min specs , those loads may very well lock up a factroy Rem 700.

I would certainly rework the loads for that gun , even though the Nesika action is alot stronger than any Rem and other than primer failure is probably "safe" to shoot in that gun , but just like several of use were concerned with "wildcat"s 4000fps 300 Varmiter round what would happen if those were loaded into a factroy rifle or god forbid an Encore ??

Try some VV N-550 , I like it a bit more than the Varget in the 308's , it'll give a bit more speed , it meters great , not to temp sensitive close to Varget. This powder has given me great results in every 308 i have loaded for.
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 06-10-2008, 02:22 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Memphis, TN. Soon to be Casper, WY.
Posts: 494
Originally Posted by James Jones View Post
...if its the one I'm thiniking of and if thats the case then I know that the chamber is perfect...
I would certainly rework the loads for that gun...
Try some VV N-550...
I don't know anything about the rifle, but any pierced primers are going to put pieces of brass inside the bolt and erode the tip of the firing pin and the bolt face over time. None of these things are good for the rifle. It may be that the action can handle the pressure better than a Remington for a while, but eventually even that action will be damaged by overpressure loads. The best thing you can do is the 2nd to last line in the quote... And maybe even the last...
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Unread 06-10-2008, 04:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 1,652
Cant disagree with anything said. It is a hot load and shouldnt be used. Sometimes we do stuff knowing something is dangerous even when we know that it is dangerous. In this case I shot 66 rounds at the match and then later 10 rounds knowing the load was too hot. I didnt really consider things at the match, heck I was winning. I did think about it after the match and decided I would pull those bullets....but never did.

When I found the loaded rounds I decided to shoot them rather than pull the bullets. Only the 10th case stuck. When that happened I got to thinking about how dangerous what I did at the match and what I did Sunday may have been. An extra 100fps isnt worth it IMO. I guess I wanted more experienced people to tell me how stupid I am to reinforce the lesson. I was kind of disapointed that more didnt jump on me. I come here for the wealth of information and to discuss stuff with like minded persons. I guess everyone is kind of worn down from the varmiter deal. I really deserved and expected to be called a dummy at least a dozen times by people that I respect.
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Unread 06-10-2008, 06:59 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Memphis, TN. Soon to be Casper, WY.
Posts: 494
I won't call you a dummy. We all do dumb things now and then, so... Doesn't make anyone a dummy.
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Unread 06-13-2008, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by eddybo View Post
This occured shooting a load that is under book max. 42.4gr varget under a 168. I have people tell me all the time that if a load is within book max it is safe.
People that handload that think because their powder charge number matches the one on some book's page, that was worked up in another gun, with different brass, or other componts is safe don't really know what they're doing. The problem is that a good percentage of the reloading community has been duped in to believing that "never exceed max charges listed" means that if you don't you're safe. And without fail these people will, even if they agree somewhat with other's methods, fall back to "stick with tried and true book data and you can't go wrong." Yeah, you can! You're living proof! I use a different method to work up loads. I use my chronograph!


Here's an example of a max published load for 30-06: 165 Nosler Accubond, WLR Primer, Win Brass, 58grs H4350, COAL 3.340, 2867fps from a 24" bbl. ( I made this up by way of example...the powder charge/bullet wt combo are a long time tested load...you'll find it as a max load or within one grain in most loading manuals)

Ok I have RP brass, a different lot of H4350, and a 23.6" bbl. In my load work up I drop back 2-3 grains, load, and shoot, ane work up. I watch my chronograph and my brass. When I hit 57.5 grains, the chronograph says an average of 2860 for 5 shots. I'm at max for my gun with my components regardless of the fact that the book says I can add another half grain. In fact, chances are I could do it safely, but why? The flip side of that is that if I hit 58grs, and I'm only at 2725fps, I'm going to add powder to get me up to @2850. In fact, though, in my gun 57.5grs produces max velocity, and to me that's when you've hit max, not based on some arbitrary "max charge" in a book worked up in another gun.

Funny thing is I know a lot of loaders who would agree with stopping short of the max charge if you're getting max velocity, but somehow their brains can't compute going over a published max charge if you're under max velocity. These are the guys that typically refer to book data as "optimistic". It's not optimistic, it just wasn't worked up with your components in your gun. And by under velocity, I don't mean 20fps, I mean 100+ fps. If you're within 25fps of max velocity listed for a particular bullet/powder combo, then IME, you're there.

Then there's the whole concept of burn rate of powder vs velocity. The burn rate of powder, and it's relationship to case capacity, bore size, and bullet wt, affect how fast you can safely push it. For instance, you can't safely push a 180 in a 30-06 as fast with Varget as you can with R-22.

I don't know if you used a chronograph or not, but chances are good it would have told you that you were "hot" long before you worked up to the "hot load".

Finally, the heat you're shooting in, could be a real cause of this load being hot, when at 70F and under it might be just fine. Which is why I don't shoot this time of year!

And since I expect someone to read all that and ignore 99% of it and ask "why do you need to chase that extra 100fps?" Here's my answer: "Im not chasing anything extra, I'm not chasing anything at all. I'm simply looking to get what the data says I can safely acheive. IOW, I'm only trying to get up to the speed limit, I'm not trying exceed it and get away with it. Chasing "the extra 100fps" would be trying to get 2950fps when the book says 2850fps is produced with a max load."
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