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Where has all the Powder gone?

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Category: Reloading
Forum Name: Reloading .303 British
Forum Description: accepts NO responsibility for any loads that may be used by persons reading this forum. USE CAUTION WHEN TRYING ANY NEW LOADS!!! ANY DATA DEEMED UNSAFE WILL BE REMOVED!!!
Printed Date: October 23 2020 at 4:20am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Where has all the Powder gone?
Posted By: britrifles
Subject: Where has all the Powder gone?
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 7:48am
It’s getting tough to find the powder I typically use:  H4895, Varget, Re 15.  I’m not at a critical shortage yet, but haven’t seen Varget available for over a year now.  Last year I came across two 8 lb jugs at a local gun shop so I snatched those up.

You guys in AU, is ADI stopped making powder down under?  

I’m seriously thinking next time Varget is available to buy 100 lbs of it.  Wish I could get the larger bulk containers.

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 8:08am
Preppers got it.
I tried buying IMR3031 and IMR4064 when all the covid crap started hitting the fan and all I found was,"Out of Stock". As an emergency backup, I found a limited supply of Varget but mostly, "Out of Stock" as well. I ended up finding the 3031 and 4064 along with N202 at a local reloaders store here at an unbelievable discounted price.  They had what appeared to me at the time as the only 500 count box of .308  Sierra 168grn TMK's so, I snatched those up to.

Posted By: Bear43
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 8:25am
When I went to buy some powder I ran into that too. Ended up getting some from Midway. Got a pound of IMR 4064 and a pound of Accurate 2520. Most everything else was out of stock.

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 9:37am
If you guys find yourself getting low on powder or ammunition, I do recommend going to  The owner is a complete a$***e and best left to himself if you do have an issue.  The girl that does the orders online and by phone will always be your best bet in getting things worked out.
(The owner reminds me of the SNL skits with the Olyimpia burger shop. NO COKE,PEPSI!!!)

Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 9:50am
Thanks for that Goosic, always good to have options.  

I might start loading with IMR 4064 and IMR 4895 which I have a lot of and save the Varget and H4895 for matches.  

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: June 25 2020 at 9:57am
I have set aside my Norma 202 for the time being and have started using the 4064 for all my testing and target work, both for the .303 and .308. The 3031 is used only for my 200grn Lapua D166 bullets and my 215grn Woodleigh...

Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: July 03 2020 at 3:38pm
 Spent a great day at the Range today.  Tested some IMR 4064 and N202 loads with 174 gr SMK and Hornady BTHP Match (Grafs).  Both performed very well.

Conditions were not pleasant. 90 deg and 70% RH.  Especially in a shooting coat!

I had forgotten what a PITA it is to throw charges with IMR 4064.  The long sticks will get crosswise in the meter drum, shearing one or two each time.  I ended up weighing each charge, time that I can’t afford to spend every week.  Otherwise, charge weights would be +/- 0.2 gr or worse.  The N202 metered quite well, I did not weigh each charge.  

First off today was a control group with my regular match load (174 gr SMK and 40.0 gr Varget).  This load PERFORMS every time and will expose your shooting errors.  I don’t weigh each charge, Varget meters very well from my Redding measure. 

All groups fired prone in sling, no support, at 200 yards on SR target. 

First off, 0L3xxx Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2 I bought from A Square 10 and refurbished.  Fitted with a PH 5 C/D aperture sight.  My regular match load:  

10 shot group just under 2 MOA.  This rifle is a good shooter, much better than I expected.  Standard forend bedding.  Three shots were right on the edge of the X ring (10.9) but being close only counts in horseshoes and grenades, not in matches, so this is a 100-5x (doesn’t matter it was so close to being 100-8x). But, you get the point. 

I then shot 5 ten shot groups with 40.5 g IMR 4064 with 174 gr SMK.  This load did fairly well, all groups under 3 MOA, best was 2.7 MOA, also 100-5x.  Clearly capable of holding the 10 ring.

Then switched rifles to my 69L Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/3 Fulton Regulated.  This rifle is bedded with a barrel bearing at 5 inches forward of the chamber and free floated forward of that.  It’s always shot well.  I’m sure I’ve put over 5000 rounds thru it.  Fitted with the standard Mk 1 “Singer” machined aperture sight but with a reduced peep size to 0.05 in diameter. 

Loads were 39.0 gr N202 with 174 gr Hornady Match and WLR primers.  The bullets hit about 1 MOA higher than my standard match load (40.0 Varget and 174 SMK).  4 ten shot groups fired prone with sling, the best was 1.8 MOA (target below, 100-7x); all 4 groups were under 3 MOA and well within the 10 ring.  Discounting the widest shot in the group, 9/10 were 2 MOA or better.  I totally threw that last shot high, I had just realized I was on a string of 6 in the X ring, and was hoping for another X, never a good thing to do.  Don’t “hope”, you must “will” that bullet into the X ring.   

My conclusion was that IMR 4064 performs well, as does N202.  Powder choice is not a major player in accuracy, as long as it is in the Medium burn range for the .303.  I’ve gotten good results with IMR 3031, 4064, 4895, Re 15, Varget and N202.  Load for the desired bullet velocity and results will be good.  Since Varget is “unobtainium” at the present, I will start to use up my stocks of 4064.  

Posted By: 303 Hunter
Date Posted: July 03 2020 at 5:47pm
Great shooting!!

The Lee Enfield is to the Canadian north what the Winchester repeater was to the American west.   Cal Bablitz

Posted By: A square 10
Date Posted: July 03 2020 at 8:38pm
not having powder issues lately - had a lot of folks trying to sell me their extra , but then i know a lot of old folks that seem to be discontinuing their reloading these days , a lot of re-loaders and misc equipment for sale as well , 

Posted By: Pukka Bundook
Date Posted: July 03 2020 at 9:53pm
V Good report and groups, Simon!
V encouraging that different powders still work pretty well.
Thanks for that.
4064 is what I use in the M 24 Finn rifle.

Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: July 04 2020 at 7:25am
Thank you Richard.  

I’m logging the number of reloads on a 50 case batch of PPU fired from the 0L No. 4 Mk 1/2.  So far, these cases have had 7 reload cycles neck sized with the Lee collet die.  No perceivable growth in case length. 

On another batch of 100 PPU cases fired thru my 69L No. 4 Mk 1/3, I estimate I’m at about 15 reloads that have been neck sized.  Also cases are under 2.222 and the bolt still closes freely, just a slight bit of resistance in the last deg or so.  I’ll probably be FL sizing these cases after a few more neck size cycles.

These PPU cases are holding up well.  

I’ve noted that the chamber length in my 69L is quite long.  I’ve been monitoring a old batch of 1943 Defense Industries brass that I have let grow after many neck size cycles and a few F/L resizes.  The bolt still closes freely on empty cases measuring 2.231 inches.   I keep my brass sorted separately for each No. 4 .303, so I will allow the cases to get to 2.230 before trimming to 2.225 on this rifle.

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