Picking the best powder, powder selection

NewB7654

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Nov 21, 2013
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Hello everyone, I'm just getting into reloading and my head is swimming. I am shooting a hornady 130g 270 cal that from the factory does 3200fps. If that's what I'm sighted in for, that's what I want to reload BUT hornady has some special blend you can't get to replicate those numbers.

That lead me to compare MANY powder types and manufacturers which is now confusing me. One such manufacturer said it would be better to go with a slower burn rate powder because it would pack it in the cartridge at 100% which is better than a faster burn rate but only 80-90% packed.

Price being about the same, Is this true?
How would you choose the best powder to match the ammunition I buy? (or to make the best round possible)
 
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g0rd0

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every time you ask that you will get a hole lot of different opinions.
The best thing that you can do as a reloader is to try different powders with different burn rates then keeping records try them out and go with what works best for you and your rifle.
Try imr 4064, imr 4831 h 1000,
Supreme 780 and Varget these are a good start
In my record books (1 for each rifle) I record
date, bullet (brand type and weight), primer (brand and number with the lot number) powder (weight,brand number, and lot number) and I also record set depth, OAL and full or neck sized.
Also, when I shoot them I add a note to how they performed. I say the load not me (I always perform perfectly):rolleyes:
If you do not have a trimmer yet get 1. You will need it.
Start low work up and forget about trying to duplicate factory speeds, you don't have the lab or resources for that
 

Dr. Vette

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How would you choose the best powder to match the ammunition I buy? (or to make the best round possible)

If I had/have nothing else to go on, I tend to look at Nosler's load data and choose what they list as the most accurate powder. On occasion that powder is not giving the speed I want by looking at their published figures, so I move up the scale to a powder they recommend that is more likely to give the speed that I want.

3200 from a 130gr load is screaming. I'd wonder if your rifle really gets that same speed from their loads.
 

NewB7654

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g0rd0 - "a note to how they performed" as in chronograph speed? How else do you know they perform?

Vette - You start off with Nosler's load data but that's not going to work for me. 1) I'm using Hornady's bullet and 2) I called Hornady and they said they dont have a "best powder or recomended powder". They said make a choice and play with it and compare it to others. Doesn't really help a NewB huh.

Any thoughts as to the 80%, 90%, 100% filled cartridge vs results?
 

g0rd0

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as I experiment with different loads I start low, load 3 and go up in 0.5grn inc. load 3 exct. until I get to max. Once I find the best group I then tweek it up and down 0.2grn. and try for a better group.
As I shoot my first 3 I check for preasure signs (cratered primer fatuged webs, ect) If all passes I go with my best group and as above tweek with 0.2 grn +/- then I start with changing seating depth.
My most accurate load with my 7rm is 67.0grn IMR7828, cci mag primer neck sized with the bullet (150 grn etip) just placed in the neck so that the bullet is seated on the rifleing when chambered. Yes there are many who say that etips preform beast at 30thou off the lands but not with my rifle. Constant 3/4" groups @100mt (2995 to 3010fps)
For 175 grn speer s.p. it likes 60.0 grn RL22 std primer 25 thou off the lands FL sized. Constant 1+" groups @100mt. I have yet to chrono this load
And get this a 139 grn Hornady SP neck sized std primer 47.0grn IMR3031 bullet again just in the neck to ensure that it contacts the rifleing when chambered -3/4" group @100mt. BUT, this load burns HOT by that I mean that it heats up the barrel a lot. But, still shows no sign of preasure excess. I have not chronoed this ether.
The 150 grn load that I mentioned I worked out myself using a Prowley slide rule The other 2 can be found in manuals. I got my load info from Lee 2nd edition, Lyman 45th edition and on line.
Donot take my word for load data I assume no responseability use your published data and common sense.
Enjoy your reloading I know that your ammo will out perform factory loads:)
 

Engineering101

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NewB

You mentioned the caliber but not the chambering you are shooting.

Generally speaking it is preferred to have a case full of powder that gives the maximum safe velocity. This is because the powder can not move around in the case and change the behavior of the round when it is fired. Imagine if you only had 10 grains of powder in the case and you pointed the rifle at the ground. The powder wouldn't be anywhere near the primer. Who knows what would happen.

If you haven't buy Hornady's loading manual and read it all. That would provide a good basic background on loading. The fine points you can get from guys on this forum.

When I want the best choice of powders for my rifles I run Quick Load (an internal ballistics simulator) which will list the performance of every powder in order from top to bottom. If you have a bunch of rifles as I do it is very useful.
 

davkrat

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g0rd0 I've settled on that same 2950-3000 fps with the 150 Etips in my 7 mag. Haven't shot any game with it yet but it's giving me great results on paper. Seeing what the 150 in my .308 do I would not hesitate to shoot the faster and better SD 7mm bullet at anything in North America.

To the OP I like to stick with one brand of powder Hodgdon in my case. If you look at the Hodgdon website you can see 5-6 powders they recommend for a bullet weight and cartridge. Keep the weights equal and I would not worry about interchanging bullets of the same type (unlike shotshell reloading) Lead core bullets and copper solids are not directly interchangeable. But a 130 grain Nosler Partition vs a 130 Hornady is not much to worry about. That's why you start low and work up and listen to what your gun says the max pressure is. I would look at the Hodgdon site and pick up the fastest powder the mid one and the slowest. I'd guess H4350, H4831 and H1000 or there abouts. My .270 absolutely loved H4831 and 130 grain bullets. If you want to shoot a heavier bullet the slower powder might be more efficient and if you shoot a lighter varmint bullet the faster powder will probably be a food choice. But for you I'd start with H4831.
 

Dr. Vette

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Vette - You start off with Nosler's load data but that's not going to work for me. 1) I'm using Hornady's bullet

If you think that the powder gives a rat's behind what bullet it's pushing, think again. A 130gr bullet in a 270 is a 130gr bullet in a 270 no matter who makes it EXCEPT when considering monometal bullets like the Barnes, GMX, etc. If you look at Nosler's data, they group all of their same weight bullets together (Ballistic Tip, Partition, etc are treated the same), so you can do the same by using the data for a 130gr Hornady bullet.

I use the Nosler data with several other mullet manufacturers and I find that their data is the best easily accessed data on the web. Hodgdon's, for example, tends to be way too conservative.
 

USCGLongBow

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Vette - You start off with Nosler's load data but that's not going to work for me. 1) I'm using Hornady's bullet and 2) I called Hornady and they said they dont have a "best powder or recomended powder". They said make a choice and play with it and compare it to others. Doesn't really help a NewB huh.

Any thoughts as to the 80%, 90%, 100% filled cartridge vs results?

As Vette stated the bullet weight is a huge factor, but construction does make some slight differences. Nosler info is usually pretty conservative so it is a good starting point. Just start with the bullet weight, and load to the lower end and move up slowy till you know your rifle will handle it. As Engineering said the caliber is not enough to go on, because every gun is a little different, so to get you in the right area, experienced loaders need chamber, barrel length, barrel contour, barrel twist. They all make a difference in best performance.

In general I get the best performace from a case 98%+/- full, but I have some rifles that like a compressed case, and one that likes 80%, so again YOUR rifle.

I use 60.05gr of RL22 behind a 130gr Nos BT and get perfect results out of my Model 70 Featherweight in .270win. I used to play around with different powders and bullets in it when I first started loading, but I have never been able to duplicate the accuracy or consistency of that load.
 

coyotekiller82

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mullet manufacturers[/QUOTE said:
Haha...love it!!

I find that the above post is accurate regarding fill rate. Most of my loads are with powders that offer between 97% and up, with a couple rifles that like em loaded hot with compressed loads.

Go for a powder that offers that type of fill rate and get some test loads worked up and get to shooting!!

Best of luck gun)
 

BountyHunter

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A little research here and at 6mmbr.com will give you 2-3 go to powders and starting loads for almost any caliber.

I always start with Hodgen powder due to them not being as temperature sensitive as others like RL22.
 

Marble

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If you think that the powder gives a rat's behind what bullet it's pushing, think again. A 130gr bullet in a 270 is a 130gr bullet in a 270 no matter who makes it EXCEPT when considering monometal bullets like the Barnes, GMX, etc. If you look at Nosler's data, they group all of their same weight bullets together (Ballistic Tip, Partition, etc are treated the same), so you can do the same by using the data for a 130gr Hornady bullet.

I use the Nosler data with several other mullet manufacturers and I find that their data is the best easily accessed data on the web. Hodgdon's, for example, tends to be way too conservative.

This is what I do. I look at three different books, scour websites for official loads and then make a load up based on the info I find. Look through a few reloading books at 130 grains for a .270.
 
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