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Needed to find a replacement for H4895

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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 30 2024 at 6:06am
With the 174grn FMJ-BT or HPBT, I got as far as 40.0grns. Anything past that and the groupings became erratic. For me, I was satisfied with 39.9grns for my No4 rifles. I have always used WLRM magnum primers because Norma recommends them for almost every caliber in their manual. 
The 150grn SP was kept at a minimum charge weight and solely used for hunting purposes. 
I cannot find 202 out here currently but, I did manage to find 8 pounds of 201 which according to the Norma Ballisticians, has an identical burn rate as IMR3031 so I can keep the charge weight between 37.3 and 39.4 of the 201 and still have excellent results.
I have loaded 180grn RN/Hunting rounds with 40.0grns of 202 and accuracy is above average...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 30 2024 at 10:30am
I loaded up for my next ladder test.  This time with 52 gr SMKs. I prefer the 69 SMK for its better ballistics and less wind drift, but they have been hard to find for more than a year.  So, I need an alternate bullet for the short line load. 

N135 is an ideal powder for this bullet giving optimal velocities. It burns cool and meters very consistently from the powder measure. Plus it’s available for a good price. It is supposed to perform well out to 300 yards.  Out on an AR, recoil will be like a pellet gun. 

As for the previous test, I first look up what the published max charge weights are then start the ladder test about 1.5 grains below that. 

Sierra 5th Ed and VV website both list 25.6 gr as max for N135 and the 52 gr SMK. 

I’ll run the ladder test starting at 24.2 gr and up to 25.4 grains in 0.2 gr steps.

These little bullets will be moving pretty quick out of the muzzle, expect around 3100 fps out of the 20” barrel on the AR service rifle. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 30 2024 at 7:53pm
On the progressive Vs Single stage debate & weighing individual charges.
Maybe with a bench-rest rifle it might. But with a milsurp that is at best capable of holding 2 MOA with custom handloads & I mean Crafted ones for that specific rifle, no it isn't.
I'm a big believer in tests & documented proofs of concept.
With that in mind some years back I did a "match load" Vs a "Custom Hand-load" comparison.
I reload on a Dillon 450, more recently a 550 semi-progressive.
I deprime, case prep & prepare on my single stage because of the Dillon's big weakness its priming & depriming system.
Charge weights are set up carefully & checked regularly on the Dillon dispenser/meter. They have always been +/- 1/10 Gr.
The "match" loads had all the "extra goodies" done the standard loads were run through the Dillon.
The rifle was an excellent condition No4 Mk2 & it was bagged & benched, for & aft for the tests as we were testing loads, not shooters., The difference was absolutely minimal with 3 groups of 10 rounds. All were chronoed & measured for group size. In one run  the match won by a hair, in the other 2 the custom hand load won.
It made sense to do this level of loading with the heavily customized Remington 700 that could hold 1/3 MOA all day. But this wasn't a rifle capable of that level of accuracy even with "an Angel pi$$ing in my touch hole"!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 30 2024 at 9:30pm
When I started reloading,  I had a RCBS Rock Chucker press, RCBS Beam Scale, RCBS Trickle charger, IMR4064, IMR3031 and a 3.1cc scooper. I have always measured out and weighed each charge to the grain. Always have and always will.
I have done my load workup for each of my rifles and then compared those handloads with factory spec'd ammunition. The handloads have consistently edged out the factory loads. My .308 TAC and my .243W Weatherby are my sub MOA shooters. My standard No4Mk1 and my Custom No4 will hold their own regardless of what ammunition you feed them but, can and do produce better than normal groups when time is taken in preparing each round.
I hear it all the time,  "Why waste your time weighing out each charge?" Because I have plenty of time and my dad instilled in me that, "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right." I totally understand that for those who are shooting hundreds and thousands of rounds at every competition they enter that weighing out every charge is not conducive to their shooting environments but to those who are visiting the range every now and then the opportunity to "Craft" their handloads to their firearm allows them to satisfy their want and need to "Do the job right." My Powder Measure can drop a charge within +- 1/10th of a grain of a chosen charge weight but, I like knowing all the charges weigh the same and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that...



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 30 2024 at 10:41pm
there is always a question with a progressive press , my great friend that taught me to reload [RIP tom] taught me to check the drop every 5 rounds so as not to end up with a bunch of bad ones and to detect any deviation that might be excessive , 

i load all my stuff on a single stage except shotgun , i hand dp every charge , but its interesting how much deviation i get in a hand dip when i check them , the bottom line is you would have to tricle every charge - not spending that time unless im a sniper or bench rest shooter that devotes their entire life to just that - if your that guy , fine , im not , if my loads deviate by a tenth of a grain no one knows it ever , im the only one that can tell when shooting by the slight change in whatever im shooting and its so slight i often cant tell , but i shoot extremely low velocity rounds , 

i must qualify my input in that i dont load the 303 or 3006 or 308 or 223 , these bottleneck cartridges are not something i play with - i shoot factory for those 

i shoot  and load 45colt , 38spcl , 4570 and 12 ga regularly , these i quantities , i keep a backlog of many thousand rounds i like my cowboy action shooting , also 22cal tha ti keep around 10k in stock , 
i shoot and load 38s&w [380 brit] as well as 34ar [455brit] for plinking , i have an inventory of hundreds of those , just for plinking fun , 

i shoot modern handgun for self defence practice with factory ammo and its mostly nato ball , im looking at some possible venues to do more with that - i like it and miss the three gun days of years ago , ill not reload for commonly available ammo of this type , 

ive only revealed this to point out we dont all shoot the same venues nor do we do it with the same motivations , when im on the clock its fast and all out , i beat my tools to the max of my ability , but when geoff is on the clock its all about precision with a constraint , he is caressing the most he can get from every shot without exceeding the time limit , my targets need to be hit but no one cares where long as you hit them , geoffs need to be well placed , my rounds can be less accurate than geoffs , but i cant exceed a certain power factor or velocity , 

when im shooting 22s , i it do as goosic does , i go in to the range on off hours with few around to watch , im having fun but not under pressure , dont answer to anyone nor do i have any verifications of results , just me , these are my tinkering toys that i play with ,  i baby them , many are well over 100 years old and i dont want to damage them , i carefully select factory ammo [no reloading 22cal here] paying attention to what im shooting and what its capable of shooting , i have a lot of these and shoot them more often than anything else [some are enfields] both rifles and handguns , 

what im getting at is we dont all do the same things nor think nor act the same because of it - growing in this realm means learning from others what they are doing and why , then adapting what is good from what you learned from them to your needs , there is no ONE RIGHT PERFECT way , id get thrown  [ DQd] from my shoot if i ;loaded as some of you do , but some of your antiques that you think of as wa;ll hangers might have new life with my regime , just sayin , 

todays powder shortages have affected a lot of people , im fortunate i stocked up on what i used the most of and have found some things i wanted when i needed them , but the search for replacements is very common today 
hope you all find what you want or need , OR can develope the replacements as needed  , good luck finding what you need and like for your needs , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2024 at 5:28am
Yup, all good points. I’m just sharing how I do it. 

The objective of Dan Newberry’s method I’ve described is intended to find the accuracy load for your rifle using the least number of rounds.  That accuracy load is at a barrel  vibratory “node” where the muzzle is near the top or bottom of its vibration displacement.  

The second objective is to find a load that tolerates small variations in powder charge weight so you can optimize accuracy of volume loading.  This second objective is not relevant to everyone. If you load up 20 rounds a year to hunt with, yes, weigh those charges, I would. I weigh all charges for long range target shooting too (800 to 1000 yards).  But, for the type of match shooting I do, I need accuracy from volume loading.  

You can find this by shooting lots of groups. That’s how I used to do it. Load up 40 rounds of each load (all charges weighed) and shoot four ten shot groups, measure extreme spread or mean radial dispersion (a better way) and take the average.  Go up in 0.2 or 0.3 steps and repeat.  So it might take 400 rounds to find the sweet spot and most accurate load for your rifle.  With Dan’s method, you can find the accuracy node in 20 to 30  rounds.  A very significant cost and time savings, not to mention saving barrel life. 

The rungs on the ladder (0.2 or 0.3 gr charge variation) are intended to simulate the many variables with your loads which cannot be measured but result in pressure and velocity variation.  Even the most perfect ammunition will not provide a zero velocity standard deviation.  So finding the optimal charge weight where velocity variations don’t impact elevation spreads on the target is going to help you shoot smaller groups. 

When doing this type of test, we find just how much MPI shift there is per grain of powder charge. This is what convince me, or at least provided the evidence, that it is not as much as we might think.  In this particular test, it’s a mere 0.6 MOA per grain (that is just over half an inch at 100 yards). So your typical +/- 0.1 grain variation from the powder dispenser is at worse -/+ 0.06 MOA (a tenth of an inch at 100 yards). Now if you can detect that, or if that bothers you, you’re a far better shooter than me.  BUT, the whole point of this test is to find the accuracy node where a +/- 0.1 grain variation makes no difference in MPI on the target

Here is a last thought.  Individual charges in factory ammo are not weighed. And match grade factory ammo is remarkably accurate, good for everything except a Benchrest match.    I shot next to a young Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) shooter last November at the Talladega 600 match. He was using factory ammo. Well, he beat me because he was a better shooter. I had weighed each charge for the 600 yard prone slow fire stage, did the full up ultimate prep work on the cases (inside neck turn, sort cases by weight, ream flash holes, neck bushing sizer die for optimal neck tension and more), used an inline seating die to get bullet runout to less than 0.002 inches, tuned the bullet seating depth and all the known accuracy tricks and he beat me in the 600 yard stage with the factory loads.   The shooter will always be the largest source of error. 

For our members who are working on developing an accurate load for your rifle, I highly recommend this method.  It will indeed work for everyone.  





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2024 at 9:44am
Geoff, I think the ladder method is obviously the best way of testing a range of loads in one batch. However I do see a potential problem; if you don't have electronic targets. You will need to rely on a very good spotting scope; and mark each shot in a copy book. This may get tricky if shots overlap.
I've been considering investing in a better scope; because I always have issues with visibility at the Dreux 200m indoor range.  
I suppose using a dashcam type camera could be set up to record at target; if the club would allow that. Then you can study the video afterwards. Just make sure you've loaded and noted the correct  sequence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2024 at 10:48am
Maybe a game/trail camera with WiFi ability, & a smart phone at the bench?
Not sure if will have the resolution though.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2024 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by Zed Zed wrote:

Geoff, I think the ladder method is obviously the best way of testing a range of loads in one batch. However I do see a potential problem; if you don't have electronic targets. You will need to rely on a very good spotting scope; and mark each shot in a copy book. This may get tricky if shots overlap.
I've been considering investing in a better scope; because I always have issues with visibility at the Dreux 200m indoor range.  
I suppose using a dashcam type camera could be set up to record at target; if the club would allow that. Then you can study the video afterwards. Just make sure you've loaded and noted the correct  sequence.


Shaun,

The way to overcome this is to set up a series of targets, say 3 x 3 matrix, if your target board is large enough. You take one shot of each load at each target (round robin style), and then repeat two more times. So you end up with three shots on each individual target from each separate load. You can then find the group center and measure the elevation MPI to the same reference point on the target (say, from the center of the black aiming mark).  This is really the way it should be done, but it’s not possible with a single electronic target, so this is how I modified the procedure to work for me. 

If your target board is only large enough for say 4 targets, then you would have to do this test in two (or even three) blocks.   With medium capacity cartridges like the .303 or .308, I will go in 0.3 grain steps rather than the 0.2 grain steps I use in the smaller .223.  Typically, 6 to 8 individual loads (and targets) will be sufficient to identify at least one accuracy node, if not two.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2024 at 2:58pm
I ran a ladder test on the 52 gr SMKs and N135 powder. Glad I had a chrono, because the muzzle velocities were nearly 200 fps higher than predicted by the Hodgdon and Sierra load tables. Not sure exactly why, but possibly due to the heavier Starline cases and #41 primers. 

I did find an accuracy node, but I’m not happy with the MV, too high for my liking even though there is no signs of high pressure (no flattened primers or extractor/ejector marks on the case head). So, I’ll rerun this test but drop the charge weights to a lower range. 

Here is six rounds of 24.8 gr N135 shot prone in sling at 300 yds.   Muzzle velocity 3260 fps with SD of 7.8 fps. Too high for my liking….so will drop charges and repeat the test from 23.4 to 24.2 gr to find a lower velocity accuracy node.  Sometimes you just need to persevere and don’t give up. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2024 at 7:13am
Something Goosic said earlier in this thread piqued my curiosity.  The dry climates in Arizona can have an affect on powder moisture content. And that affects powder burn rate which in turn affects pressures and muzzle velocity. But by how much?

I spent some time searching this on the web and found some good articles on test results measuring pressure and muzzle velocity with powders conditioned at various humidity levels.  Bryan Litz has also done similar tests to confirm this behavior.

It’s surprising how much effect this can have on muzzle velocity. In the test that was done on a 6.5 Creedmoor with H4350, a muzzle velocity spread of over 200 fps was measured between powder conditioned to 14.5% RH and powder conditioned to 83.5% RH. Higher velocities occur with drier powder and the behavior is not linear with RH.  The theory is that the moisture in the powder affects rate of burn.

Now, that’s a pretty big range of relative humidity.   This is NOT the RH conditions when you are shooting, it is the moisture content of the powder itself when you are loading it the case.  Once loaded, moister content of the powder changes very slowly.  The RH in my house stays fairly constant, but drops down to about 35% in the winter and perhaps up to 50% in spring/fall. Summer usually around 40-45% with AC running. So I suspect the powder I store in the house does change moisture content somewhat during the year. 

I don’t know if the higher than expected muzzle velocity results I had with the new loads of N135 with 52 gr SMK had anything to do with powder moisture content.  I think the only way it could have is if the new 1 lb canister I opened was very dry as it came from VV (and that’s probably not very likely). It’s been in my house for a few years, but unopened. 

Do we need to worry about this? I’d say probably not as long as powder is not allowed to dry out to very low humidity levels.  But, if you store powders in very dry conditions, over time it will lose moisture content and it may be wise to reduce max charges by a grain or more.  

I looked thru my copy of the Sierra V5 Reloading Manual and did not see any mention of reducing charges for powder that may have dried out to ambient conditions of low RH where you store your powder.  But it does say powder is hydroscopic and keep the top on the canister closed tight. It’s not surprising powder is hydroscopic, it is made from wood!  








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2024 at 7:02pm
I'm not sure. I'm assuming the powder is in the capped original containers or inside a case with a primer & bullet inserted.
That ought to selectively seal the loaded round & powder reserves against outside atmospheric influences for the most part?
If its left in the hopper of course this doesn't apply but I've never done that as a matter of principal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2024 at 10:44pm
Good point about leaving powder in the hopper!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 3:21am
I rarely leave powder in the measure overnight (not anymore anyway), and keep the caps on the powder canisters tight. But, I suspect that after several weeks after opening, the powder begins to acclimate to the surrounding humidity levels where you store the powder, those “seals” in the cap are not perfect and the canisters are opened to put the powder into the measure and opened again to put it back. 

I ordered one of those little Kestrel Drops, it records temp, humidity and pressure and sends it to your cell phone to fire the data on an app. You just drop it in a powder canister.  I’m just doing this out of curiosity, to see what the moisture levels are within the closed canisters. 

Apparently, moisture content is carefully controlled by the powder manufacturer for the reasons of burn rate being affected by moisture, and should be between 40 and 60 RH at room temp conditions. I’m very curious to see what the moisture content is of that N135 I’m using. 

Here is the article I was referring to. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 10:15am
This got my attention.
"If you live in a region with a year-round humidity similar to factory levels (typically 40-55% RH), or if the conditions in your reloading room are tightly controlled, there may be minimal change."
Now I'm surrounded (almost) by The Chessie bay on one side & the Atlantic on the other, but even then & with our high rainfalls my outdoor/indoor weather station rarely shows a change to the very stable internal humidity, even when the outside is at 99% rH!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 12:39pm
Shamu, what is the RH in the room where you store your powder? Do you have a humidity meter (hydrometer) to measure it? With high humidity conditions, the powder absorbs moisture and pressures/velocities will be lower.  It’s very low humidity we must be careful of as this increases pressures, perhaps significantly above published data. 

I ran another ladder test with N135 and 52 grain SMKs in the .223, this time with lower charge weights to reduce MV. I’m pleased with the results, I now have an accurate load at reasonable velocities. Loads with 23.6, 23.8, 24.0 and 24.2 grains gave nearly identical MOI on the target at 300 yds (a vertical spread of less than 0.30 MOA).  Based on group sizes and velocity, I’m going with 24.1 grains for volumetric loading (that is loading cases direct from the powder measure). 

The wind made this test challenging, blowing from 3 O’Clock across the range at 12 to 15 mph, and gusts higher than that. But, I’m really just looking for elevation spreads here. 

I had six rounds left of the 24.0 grain load I used for fouling shots and sighters which grouped at 1 MOA at 300 yds.  MV = 3092 fps. Group is a bit high, but that’s easy to fix…


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