barrel length vs. powder usage

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Screwey1, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Screwey1

    Screwey1 Well-Known Member

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    Want to put new barrel on my 7 mag and would like to start load development with Hodgdon Retumbo because I have plenty. Do I need a 26" barrel to completly burn the max load of 70 plus grains, or will this slow powder burn up in a 24 inch?
    I have found load data using 140 grain bullet and Retumbo, it will be a compressed charge if I end up at max load but the barrel length is not specified.
     
  2. roverboy

    roverboy Active Member

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    I don't own a 7 Mag. but, I've loaded some slow powder and I'd probably get the 26" barrel. I'm assuming that this rifle will be a long range rifle and not be in the woods. The longer barrel won't really be a hindrance. You might get decent velocities from your loads. Hope everything works out.
     
  3. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    personaly i think retumbo is to slow for the 7mag with any barrel lenght. Ive loaded the 7 rem mag for 20 years and have allways had my best luck with powders like hodgdon 4831, imr483 and 7828 and re19 and re22. Any slower then these powders and your not going to gain velocity your just going to use more powder.
     
  4. Screwey1

    Screwey1 Well-Known Member

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    What barrel length are you loading? According to my burn rate chart that lists 97 different rifle powders with number ,1 being fastest and 97 being slowest, R-22 is number 89, IMR 7828 is number 90, ad H-4831 is number 85. All the powders you listed are relatively slow burners.
    Retumbo is slower at number 94 which is why I wondered if it could be used in a longer barrel.
    With the powder shortages these days and the fact that I am the proud owner of like 24 pounds of Retumbo, I wanted to keep my options open.
    This does not mean I am dead set on using this ( have 2 other rifles that eat it happily ), I run several powders for load development always but if a 26 inch barrel is necessary in an effort to have this powder as a good option, well it's worth it, however if I am spitting into a fan, then he extra 2 inches of barrel is not worth it.
    I was always of the thought that a slow powder in a long barrel would produce better velocities, but that doesn't make me right.
     
  5. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    Barrel length doesn't matter but bullet weight does. I'd use H1000 for medium weight bullets.
     
  6. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    I'm using RL33 with 180gr bergers out of my 25" barreled 7mm Rem Mag, and I'm sending them at a confirmed 3105fps.

    I wouldn't bother using it with anything smaller than the 180s though, because with the 168s, I run out of case capacity and am only running them at 3030.

    Regardless, that's a hell of a lot of speed from a 180 and 25" barrel.

    You're right that sending MORE powder through a SHORTER barrel you may not get a complete powder burn, with those lighter bullets...but it works just fine with the heavies.
     
  7. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    I just don't know if my results will 'track' in another cartridge, but they are very similar in capacity and barrel lengths and compare well.
    I have had magnum rifles in 24", 26" and 28", and too be honest there is really very little to be gained by trying a very slow powder to increase performance, chances are that you will only get less barrel life and an extra 100fps is not anything to write home about.
    I also found that whatever powder produced the highest velocities in the shorter barrel, also produced the highest velocities in the longer barrels, so I don't feel that trying a super slow powder will achieve much, but I have to say that I have had my best results in a few cartridges to date with RL25 and Retumbo, which run very similar charge weights and produce very similar velocities in equal barrel lengths, quite a bit faster than some traditional powders, so it just may be that it isn't too slow for your application. Either powder have produced the highest velocities in the following chamberings, 25-06, 264WinMag, 270WeatherbyMag, 300WinMag and 300WeatherbyMag. I have never owned or loaded for a 7RemMag, sorry.

    Cheers.
    gun)
     
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Works best with heavier bullet weights for caliber. My 24" 300WM shoots very well with 79gr of Retumbo with 210's. My 6.5x284's with 24/26" barrels, 59gr with 140's. You should have no problem with 168's in your 7mm, but I'd give the 140's a try.
     
  9. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    magnummainiac is right in that barrel lenght means litte to nothing when it comes to picking a powder. What works in a 7mag using a 28 in barrel is going to work in a 20 inch barrel. Most of the powder is burned before the bullet clears the chamber. Heavier bullets can take advantage of slower powders because it takes more to get them moving so it gives a slow powder a nano second more to burn. Like i said ive loaded for the 7 mag for many years. Ive found that with 140s and 150s 4831 will give me all the velocity that can be had. Step up to 160s and powders like 7828 and re22 do real well. I dont load 175 bullets. I use my guns for hunting and never saw what there was to be gained by using a bullet that heavy. Maybe in a 7 ultra but in my opinion the 7mag is most effecient with 150-160 grain bullets for hunting. I could care less which grouped better at a 1000 yards. I hunt deer not paper targets. you have to keep in mind that even 4831 is a slow burning powder. When i started loading it was the slowest powder available to us. Just like with all the new super duper deer bullets that the new guys just have to have. the powder manufactures get in on it too. They push super slow powders best used in a 50 bmg and convince us we need them for a bloody 2506. When in fact good old cup and core bullets and some 4831 still makes most cartridges, even the magnums run at top efficentcy in the deer fields. Some guys look for the last fps they can get. they will do about anything to gain 50 fps. Me i load even magnums for accuracy. Id much rather have a load that does 3000 with a 150 and shoots 1/2 inch groups then one that shoots 3200 and shoots 2 inch groups. Yes i admit ive fooled with retumbo, h1000 and re25 and still use a little re25. But i use it for heavy bullet loads in the 300 ultra. Ive tried all three in about every magnum round going and keep comming back to 4831 in the 7 mag. It gives top velocitys and top accuracy with hunting weight bullets.
     
  10. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    You're taking a lot of proven factual data and replacing it with your opinion. Granted, you've collected a lot of data to form your opinion and I respect that. You can use what you think is best. However, Retumbo works extremely well in the 7RM with good hunting weight bullets between 168 and 190 grains with fantastic accuracy in most instances when used in a properly developed load. Also, none of the powders you listed will come close to reaching the velocity obtained from using Retumbo. To say a powder is too slow is to say I cannot get enough of "said" powder in the case to produce full pressure. Retumbo, however, does not fit this description for the 7RM.
     
  11. Screwey1

    Screwey1 Well-Known Member

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  12. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    Off node? Discordant harmonics?

    I've seen it.
     
  13. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    Why handicap yourself with the 140-grain bullets? If you really look at the data, the 160-grainers give up nothing to the 140s and do it at a longer range. Retumbo is a very slow powder and should work well, but use heavier bullets. You are not using a 7 mag to its potential with a 140.

    The only reason that I have some 139 Hornadys loaded is that I am trying to use them up. After they are gone, it will be only 160 Partitions for me.

    If you insist on 140-grainers try some RL22. I have an under-max load that pushes the 139 Hornady to 3100 from a 26-inch barrel. It is a great deer load, but the 160s are superior.

    I get 3006 fps from my 26-inch Remington with the 160 partition and RL25. This is not much slower than the 139 and definitely hits harder.
     
  14. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    I started loading for the 7 Mag in about 1975. I always wished my old 7 Mag was a 26". I never could get published velocities without major pressure signs. My buddies with 26" barrels always topped my speed with about 10 less grains of 4831.

    I came into this thinking the Retumbo wasn't really suited to the 7 Mag but after consulting the IMR/Hodgdon online reloading center I see Retumbo is considered a top velocity choice for 140 and up. I am very certain the 26" will show a pretty good velocity advantage over the 24". 4831 sure did.

    If Retumbo is what you got I say go burn it up.