H-380 question

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Guest, Aug 30, 2004.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm getting great groups with my 22-250 and H380...I know..Go figure. Anyway, I'm curious to how tempature sensative it is. I mean it really never gets super blazing hot in Michigan...Keep the rounds shaded etc. Should I be OK? But then again...I'm also getting good groups with RE-15 I just like the way H380 meters.

  2. ppro

    ppro Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2002

    In terms of temperature sensitivity, you have ball powders (in general) on one side of the equation, and stick powders such as Hodgdons, on the opposite side, and both stick and ball powders (from other manufacturers) falling somewhere in between.

    H380 is one of the older ball powders and along with most ball powders that have been around for awhile, are more temperature. sensative.

    There is nothing wrong with using H380 but you might want to develop your loads at a temperature that runs close to your intended use temp range, or, at least adjust you load for the extremes you may believe you will be working (hunting or whatever) in. It is a bit of a stretch (I think) to expect performance of H380 to provide peak harmonic performance over a really wide temp range, without making powder charge adjustments to keep your weapon shooting in its sweet spot. I have shot lots of H380 and Winchester 748 but if I want peak accuracy, I always quantify the accuracy produced under extreme conditions, and adjust my load accordingly.
  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

    Jun 12, 2004

    I have used H-380 in my two 22-250's for several years. All produce good accuracy with the worst grouper being a 3/4 moa rifle with the 50 gr Ballsitic Silvertip and H-380.

    THis rifle is a sporter rifle used for close to medium range yote hunting so that is more then enough accuracy.

    The other is a Ruger M77MkIIVT that flat out loves that same load. It will average in the 3/8 moa range for five shots. I have trued the rifle though so that has alot to do with it.

    I have found some problems with H-380 though over the years. First off, it can tend to produce high extreme spreads in some rifles.

    My VT actually averages around 75-80 fps E.S. and that is the best I can get out of it. I have tinkered and fussed with more things then I care to mention and this is the tightest I can get it.

    At longer ranges, this would raise hell with consistancy but I have hammered enough gophers and P.dogs at the 400 yard mark to say the heck with it and I just use it and live with the velocity spreads.

    I also found that over time, top loads can become hot loads. I learned this because several years back a few hunting buddies of mine and myself were going to take a weekend and do some P. Dog hunting in Eastern Montana.

    Well I loaded up 800 rounds for my two 22-250's. My load drives the 50 gr Ballsitic Silvertip to right at 3900 fps out of the VT's 26" barrel. The 22" sporter is just a tick under 3800 fps with the same load.

    It is a top level load for sure but cases will survive at least 8 firings so I am not concerned.

    Anyway, something came up and we were not able to go on the trip and here I set with 800 rounds of ammo that when used around the area I lived in, would last quite a while.

    Well, I decided to jsut leave the sporter in the truck along with two full, 100 round ammo boxes so that I would always have the sporter with me and wneh an opportunity arose I would be able to use up the the ammo here and there.

    problem is that I left them in teh truck all summer and by the end at the end of the summer I was on a late summer vermin hunt and took the VT. The first round fired almost seized up the bolt.

    It was warm out, around 90 degrees so I figured that was the problem and put that rifle away until the next morning when it was much cooler, about 55 degrees.

    I went out to my range and shot a round over the chono, again the bolt was very tight adn the velocity was almost 4050 fps.

    Need less to say I spend the next week taking ammo apart.

    I even attempted to reuse the H-380 powder by dropping the charge a bit. I had to drop 4 full grains to get down to the velocity I was originally.

    What happened I am sure is a combination of the vibrating in the truck breaking down the coating on the powder which allowed it to burn faster and also the fact that the ammo was subjected to high temps in the truck over teh summer.

    Since then, I still use H-380 but only load 100 to 200 rounds at the most and make sure I shoot it all up before reloading.

    I also do not leave ammo boxes in vehicles any more.

    Changing these two things have returned the fine results I have been used to with H-380.

    It is not as user friendly as the newer powders but with the right load it will shoot well in most rifles.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
  4. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    I have had great results with H380! It can get pretty hot down south but the H380 is still good powder!!And I really drive them,a friend of mine said his hammer was one of my best extractors!!