How To Try New Stuff


Well-Known Member
LRH Sponsor
Jan 24, 2016
South Dakota
I think in the next couple of years we are going to see new reloading components come to market. Some will be good, others not so much. Already we are witnessing changes in powder chemistry which improve powder energy, reduce copper fouling, increase temperature stability, improve burn efficiencies, etc. The best example is Winchester and Hodgdon with higher energy ball powders and chemistries which improve temp stability and now applying that chemistry to making powders of different burn rates. All very exciting developments. The challenge for us as reloaders and shooters is how we incorporate these new components, especially powders, into our armamentarium safely. This thread should be focused on methods and strategies guys have used or are using to try new stuff. It’s like panning for gold. How do we concentrate the gold nuggets of originality and wisdom to fully take advantage of the value out there.

To start out, I think that discussions on powders is the most relevant. I for one make big use of relative burn rate charts. The best example is StaBall6.5. What peaked my interest right away was the claim that it was the first temp stable ball powder. I bought a pound and proceeded to see what cartridges it was used in. Then I realized that in burn rate charts it’s rate was a bit slower than H100V which is used in a wider variety of cartridges than StaBall. To me that meant that if I used the same minimum charge weight in StaBall as was specified for H100V as an initial trial, it would be safe. From there it becomes a simple matter of gradually increasing the powder charge until early pressure signs appear. That usually can be done within 5-6 shots. Once one reaches what appears to be the pressure limit then back off 1/2 grain and chronograph 2-3 shots to get an idea of the potential velocity spread and go from there.