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Reloading Berger Bullets


lower preassure better?

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Unread 06-21-2009, 03:04 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
lower preassure better?

Hi guys,
am getting into coyote hunting a little paper punching and reloading .243.
I am trying to pick a powder to start with. According to the Hodgdon reloading data centre the differet powders produce their highest velovities at differet pressures, so it would seem to me that I should pick the powder that produces the highest velocities at the lowest pressure. ie H414 or Win760 with 75 gr. bullet 3447 fps at 41100 CUP vs. Vargent 3408 fps at 45000 CUP.
Why would I even try Vargent? Am I missing something?
Thanks Denis
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Unread 06-21-2009, 03:51 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,226
Re: lower preassure better?

Sometimes the highest performance load for YOUR gun doesn't turn out the desired load(well, I guess it depends on your desire).
But if you find that Varget for some reason shoots really well for you, that compromise in velocity won't matter a bit.

Last edited by Mikecr; 06-21-2009 at 04:54 PM.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: lower preassure better?

lower pressure is always better considering case and barrel live.

However the difference between the two pressures you mentioned is pretty much negligible, the way I figure.

The final load will depend upon how your gun handles which combination of powder, primer and bullet.
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Unread 06-21-2009, 10:04 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 286
Re: lower preassure better?

Provided you are loading to safe pressures, I don't think it matters much. Having good reloading techniques, a proper cleaning regimen and not heating your barrel up are what effects your brass and barrel life. In all but very few cartridges it would be tough to notice an appreciable difference between shooting toward the upper end of safe pressures and the lower end of safe pressures. Load up what shoots the best and forget the rest.
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Unread 06-22-2009, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Merkel, Texas
Posts: 59
Re: lower preassure better?


Yes, the simple answer is you ARE missing something. The companies that put out powder and bullets and reloading manuals all have adopted a "keep it safe" attitude for liability reasons... and I don't blame them. This has moved into the way that they post pressures in the loading information. If the average of 20 shots with 50 grains of powder A is 2500 fps and the pressure averages 50,000cup all should be well in our uninformed mindset. But the companies have to have it safe. An example: the same 20 shots with powder A has pressure variances that run from 44,500 to 59, 500cup with the majority being under 50,000 but several big spikes in pressure run the average up. The companies will NOT report this as 50,000cup average pressure!!! What if someone uses this data and has a pressure spike with disastrous results??? Liability issues big time. Instead they report the spike pressure!!! and they modify their loads downward accordingly. It is a well know fact that some powders tend to have bigger pressure variances in certain cartridges. You are safer and will get better results from your handloading looking for powder and loads that produce the HIGHEST pressures rated in the manual. They will still be safe!, but they won't have as much pressure variances as loads with low pressures that are reported. In other words, they have fewer spikes, and that means more "repeatability" for lack of a better term.
I recommend the Hodgdon Powder Manual No. 27 for its review on pressures. A quote from that source..."If the pressure for a given load combination is listed at 49,400 CUP, then that combination of components tends to have a slightly lower pressure spread than a load that is listed at an average of 48,000CUP."

Hope this is clearer to you, the reader than it was to me when I first read it. Also, I hope this helps out.

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Unread 06-22-2009, 12:38 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 14
Re: lower preassure better?

Thanks for your replies everyone, gives me something to think about. coach I will defenantly be checking out the hodgdon manual, what you've said makes sense. I'm very thankful for a board like this because I don't know a lot of reloaders and it's great to have a place to ask questions and get opinions.
Thanks again guys Denis
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