Load development in 0 deg temps?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RockyMtnMT, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Just wanted to get some opinions about load development in temp ranges of single digits down to minus single digits.

    Thanks, Steve
     
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    well, I'm no expert on it, but I just got in from testing rounds in -10 F weather. I would be cautious about using real hot loads in the summer time then. I plan on checking my loads when it warms up too.

    Beware of afrostbitten trigger finger ;)
     

  3. RockyMtnMT

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    I am figuring that I will work for known velocities and not do any pushing, and tune for accuracy.

    Steve
     
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    We do it up here all the time. I have never had a load go bad in the summer time. Then again summer here is 80 degrees at best. Besides, most of my loads during development never get to cold as they stay in my home or warm vehicle.

    If youre trying to develop a cold wheather load, chrono your loads at cold temps 1st. You may be suprised at how little velocity you might loose.
     
  5. bowhunthard

    bowhunthard Well-Known Member

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    Using a temperature insensitive powder, such as Varget or IMR4350 (if your rifle is compatible with these powders) might help. I shoot during the winter all the time, using varget as my primary. My groups are about .5" higher during summer.

    _____________________________
    Red mist. It's an addiction. gun)
     
  6. kraky2

    kraky2 Well-Known Member

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    Some guns don't care about 50-75 fps swings between -5 degrees and say 80 degrees. But I would say that even with supposed temp sensitive powders you could see that. If you have a fussy gun or are living with top speed loads you may have to make those changes.
     
  7. RockyMtnMT

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    Thanks for the input guys. I am planning on using the hogdon extreme powders so I think I'll be ok. May have to re-zero in the spring.

    Steve
     
  8. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

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    Do you guy's have any luck with chronogragh's working in temperatures that low?Mine quit's working when it starts to get below about 40 degree's.
     
  9. 358sta

    358sta Well-Known Member

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    I've had my Oehler 35P out in temps as low as 0 F with no problem. I plug it in once I set up and leave it on during my range session. In warmer weather, I unplug it when cleaning or while I'm down range checking targets, etc. in order to save battery life.
     
  10. RockyMtnMT

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    I guess I hadn't thought about that. I use a shooting chrony that runs on a 9v battery. May have to keep a couple w/ me. One in the pocket if the other gets to cold. hopefully the l.e.d. will work.

    Thanks, Steve
     
  11. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Really depends on what you plan on doing. My rule is to always work up loads during spring and fall when it is near actual hunting temps when I'll use THAT rifle.

    However, interestingly enough, I'll be in Ontario in about 7 weeks on my first wolf hunt. I am specifically going to use a medium powder (varget or H4350) in my 270, and a magnum primer. I will be working up these loads between now and then and will choose very cold days here, which, yesterday, it was 3 degrees when I went to work.

    I'm told to expect -20 to -40 degrees F when we are out for wolf. So, I want something as HOT as I can get it, safely. I've been advised to steer away from slower powders that would work well in more common temps where I rifle hunt which is above zero all the way up to 70, even 80 degrees. I've heard that some common hunting loads here can be a squib load there, such as my 130 gr solid base over 58.0 Re22 and a 210M primer. Since I have no experience shooting in temps below -10, I have relied on feedback from those who do.

    I will be sparing in my numbers and will batch these loads separate from all others and label them "wolf loads/-20 plus." I wouldn't want to go play at the range in 60+ degrees with these hotter loads and have a problem.

    The outfitter has stated that he really prefers a 150 gr bullet for wolf but I have such a kickass load in one of my 270s that is already proven, but I'd like to try it with a magnum primer: 130 TTSX over 56.0 H4350. That load shoots just fine at 80 degrees. I'll back off about 4 grains and start with a magnum primer to see how it does, working back up to max.

    Good luck.
     
  12. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I was working with a 22-250 and IMR 4064, IMR 4895 and -12 degrees F. I noticed a substantial degredation in groups when I didn't allow at least 3 minutes for the chamber to cool between shots and get the shots off within a few seconds of chambering the new cold round. I am assuming that the temp change from -12 to 140+ was just too much for the powder lol!
     
  13. RockyMtnMT

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    We are supposed to get back up into the teens and twenties this next week, so I am hoping to get out and do some shooting. Those temps don't seem so drastic to me.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences,

    Steve
     
  14. WRG

    WRG Well-Known Member

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    I was out yesterday and the temp was 15 degrees. Working up loads for my Remington M700P TWS / 308 using Varget powder. 5 shot groups @ 100 yards working the powder up in .5 grn increments. Chrony is a Pact 2 rev B4 and worked excellent all day. I think it is really hard to tell what effect temp has when working up a load in colder temps until you can compare the same work up in warmer temps. I will do the same work up in the spring when temps are around what it is when hunting here at home 30 - 40 degrees. At that point I will be able to compare the data from both work ups. The work up I was doing yesterday was for the temps I could expect to see in Labrador next fall hunting Caribou.

    I will also be working up loads for my new X-bolt 7MM when it comes in this week. Same thing, work up loads for colder & warmer temps. If temp has an effect, when it's all said and done I can decide which rifle I want to use for colder temps and the other for warmer temps. This way I don't have to mess with zero and can practise shooting almost year round. Hopefully the temps with the Varget won't have much if any effect and I can use either in any temp as they claim. Will see!