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Old February 26, 2020, 09:30   #1
stickp
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Stockpiling powder suggestions.

Looking for suggestions for powder to purchase. I have limited experience reloading but will soon be able to devote some time to it. Will be loading 308, 300 savage, 300 blackout, and 5.56. Maybe a few in 44 mag, 38 special and 45 colt. All input appreciated and thanks in advance.
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Old February 26, 2020, 09:41   #2
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For a rifle powder Varget for 308 and 5.56 is about as good as you can get. I don't know 300 savage but and BO but you can look it up.
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Old February 26, 2020, 09:49   #3
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Powder Valley used to have good prices.
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Old February 26, 2020, 10:31   #4
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Varget will handle your 300 Savage needs quite nicely as well. H110, Win 296, IMR 2400, H4227 will do for your 300 BO and 44 Mag, also heavy 45 Colt loads.
Unique, Accurate #5, Win 231 will do for the 38 Special and moderate 44 Mag and 45 Colt loadings.
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Old February 26, 2020, 18:24   #5
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Powders

Thanks for the suggestions. I will check those out post haste. Sounds like some of these will cover more than one caliber which is one of my objectives.
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Old February 26, 2020, 18:39   #6
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Check out TAC for rifle stuff. It covers a lot.

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Old February 26, 2020, 18:55   #7
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I have settled on stocking ONLY TWO types of medium-burning rifle powder.

You need to stock THREE YEARS worth of what you actually use.

My choices are Varget and TAC.

Reasoning being that they are manufactured by different companies, and in different hemispheres of the world. At least if one factory blows up, there's a good chance the other will be left standing.

A THREE YEARS supply will almost surely get you through times of shortage for that powder. For example, we are currently unable to get Varget. I won't use up all my Varget before it comes back. Plus, I've got three years worth of TAC sitting there in reserve. So technically, I have SIX years worth of rifle powder.

I prefer Varget. Mainly because I'm so familiar with it, and its storied reputation for building accurate ammunition speaks for itself. TAC is also very good.

Now, if you are HOARDING powder as opposed to stocking powder, I don't have any good advice except to suggest you reconsider your objectives. If you are just a hobbyist or patriot, and you have 87 jugs of powder in your basement, there almost certainly will come a time when you wish you didn't.

Check your local fire code as to what constitutes a "legal" amount to store in whatever place you are stashing it.
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Old February 26, 2020, 18:55   #8
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I've had such good luck with varget in everything from 223 to 7.5 Swiss I stopped experimenting with other powders. If I remember right varget was developed as a military powder.
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Old February 26, 2020, 19:01   #9
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Quote:
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I've had such good luck with varget in everything from 223 to 7.5 Swiss I stopped experimenting with other powders. If I remember right varget was developed as a military powder.
Probably true. Very similar in loading specs to IMR-4064, which is definitely a military powder.

Interesting fact to also know, Varget and Reloader 15 (different companies) is for all intents and purposes the same powder - EXCEPT R-15 is a cut into shorter sticks, which affects the fullness of a case when identical weights of powder are compared. R-15 is really good too. Because of the shorter sticks, R-15 gets along with hobby-level powder measures on progressive presses better than Varget.
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Old February 26, 2020, 20:15   #10
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I keep BL-C2 on hand at all times, spherical ball powder that can be used in .223, .308, 8mm Mauser and 30.06.
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Old February 26, 2020, 20:44   #11
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I keep BL-C2 on hand at all times, spherical ball powder that can be used in .223, .308, 8mm Mauser and 30.06.
Some of my most accurate FAL loads to date have been created with BLC2 and 147 grain pills, surprisingly enough.
It sure meters well in a Dillon powder measure.
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Old February 26, 2020, 20:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post

Now, if you are HOARDING powder as opposed to stocking powder, I don't have any good advice except to suggest you reconsider your objectives. If you are just a hobbyist or patriot, and you have 87 jugs of powder in your basement, there almost certainly will come a time when you wish you didn't.

Check your local fire code as to what constitutes a "legal" amount to store in whatever place you are stashing it.


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Old February 26, 2020, 21:03   #13
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Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Probably true. Very similar in loading specs to IMR-4064, which is definitely a military powder.

Interesting fact to also know, Varget and Reloader 15 (different companies) is for all intents and purposes the same powder - EXCEPT R-15 is a cut into shorter sticks, which affects the fullness of a case when identical weights of powder are compared. R-15 is really good too. Because of the shorter sticks, R-15 gets along with hobby-level powder measures on progressive presses better than Varget.
Thanks, that's good to know. Been times varget wasn't on the shelf but r-15 was.
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Old February 26, 2020, 22:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Probably true. Very similar in loading specs to IMR-4064, which is definitely a military powder.

Interesting fact to also know, Varget and Reloader 15 (different companies) is for all intents and purposes the same powder - EXCEPT R-15 is a cut into shorter sticks, which affects the fullness of a case when identical weights of powder are compared. R-15 is really good too. Because of the shorter sticks, R-15 gets along with hobby-level powder measures on progressive presses better than Varget.
Is RE15 as temperature stable as Varget?
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Old February 26, 2020, 23:45   #15
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I don't have much to say about "temperature stability," except to say that the mythology of the subject is a source of some amusement to me.

I tested Varget for its claimed "temperature insensitivity."

5.56 load was 24.2 grains Varget, with 75 grain bullet.

I shot three batches of ammo over a chronograph.
  • First batch was kept under a bag of ice in a cooler before testing - 2722 fps avg.
  • Second batch was just kept in the shade, in my shooting stool - ambient temperature around 80 degrees 2733 fps avg.
  • Third batch was 110 degrees from having been left to cook in the sun on the black rubber of shooting mat - 2774 fps avg.


I did a separate test to see if I could "cook" a round in hot chamber to increase velocity. Powder of the ammo tested was TAC. Velocity of ammo was around 2675 fps average shooting at a normal slow-fire pace. I then did a 20-round mag dump, followed by chambering a single round to "cook" in the chamber. Waited three minutes and fired the single round. Velocity was 2713 fps - which was within the range of velocities I got during the slow-fire string of fire. This "cooking a round" in the chamber myth under ordinary firing pace is bullshit. Simply does not happen. We had already determined that temperature increase of a chambered round maxes-out at about the 2.5 minute mark, and under ordinary firing (single 20-round mag dump) the temperature of the chambered round only increases 27 degrees.

In my experience, people fret too much about "temperature sensitivity." If your ammo is puking primers in mid-July, its probably because you were using too much powder in the first place. Back that shit down, and you will make life a lot easier on yourself.

100 feet per second really doesn't amount to shit, from any practical sense, as far as point of impact. If you doubt it, run some trajectory tables. But, the amount of MORE POWDER AND PRESSURE it takes to get that extra 100 fps, is enough to cause all sorts of problems as far as ammuntion failure. Back that shit down.
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Old February 26, 2020, 23:50   #16
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And for what its worth, a difference of 50 fps amounts to about ONE MINUTE OF ANGLE elevation change if you run the numbers through the trajectory calculator.
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Old February 27, 2020, 00:10   #17
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And for what its worth, a difference of 50 fps amounts to about ONE MINUTE OF ANGLE elevation change if you run the numbers through the trajectory calculator.
I get great amusement from someone agonizing to tailor a load to get the tiniest group possible by varying the load by 0.1 grains at a time (in either 5.56 or 7.62 , or any other rifle cartridge for that matter) to tune the perfect barrel harmonic for best group, sometimes shooting hundreds of rounds to get there. It's funniest when they're doing this with a wispy barrel hunting rifle. When they get a small group (sometimes perhaps just by luck), they're happy and will attempt to push that load on others as the ultimate load.

Of course, drop the bullet velocity your mentioned 50 fps and the barrel harmonic nodes will be different...

Amusing as hell...

And I'm not speaking against accurate loads, of course...

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Old February 27, 2020, 00:17   #18
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*I'm that guy. But I don't push my loads on other because I know each gun is different.

.and it doesn't take "hundreds of shots"

.and it's like degreeing a cam or setting ignition advance...yeah it changes in the field...but the closer you start to zero...the closer you stay to zero.
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Old February 27, 2020, 01:34   #19
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I have done business with these guys -
https://americanreloading.com/en/266...g-rifle-powder

They have some good prices on some odd powders [stuff I have never heard of ] But Id be willing to give it a try,,If it does not produce so called match quality groups OH Well -- The FAL and Snarly barrel Mausers wont care.. have you tried any ??

I hear good things about this shooters world powder ->

https://shootersworldpowder.com/wp-c...ior_072618.pdf
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Old February 27, 2020, 08:02   #20
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I wouldn't say I hoard, but lots of stuff has come my way in terms of auctions and estates. I have bought some 8 Lb jugs of some common powders to have on hand, BLC2, H335, IMR 4895 Unique and H110, but I have also accumulated other stuff like many many many cast handgun bullets. Did you know shotgun shooters like Red Dot? Of course you did. Have a 20 Lb keg that came as part of an estate. How many .38 Specials can you load with 20 Lb? In case any one powder goes away for a time, I have the IMR 3031, 4064, 4198, 4350, 4831 etc. I have the Bullseye, 231, 2400, Green Dot, Blue Dot. So I will be covered. I got the Dillon 550 B set up and running. I am working on the Hornady Lock n Load. I have 2 turrets and the trusty Rock Chucker. All but the Rock Chucker came in estates.

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Old February 27, 2020, 09:10   #21
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I keep my powder (dry) in my wife's coffin...true story.

She always expressed desire for a plain pine box, so I built one in the garage, but it's actually a powder magazine.

Neighbor saw me bringing it in the house on a hand cart and asked, "so, you've finally gone and done it?"

Well, that last part never really happened, but I always say, "I wished it woulda." My neighbors are like that!
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Old February 27, 2020, 10:22   #22
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IMR-4064
My favorite rifle powder. That, some Unique for the pistolas, a few Lee dippers and the old Lyman Spartan and I am good to go.
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Old February 27, 2020, 10:30   #23
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I reload very little true pistol these days.

My go-to powder for pistol is Unique. Mainly because it takes up more room in the case than Bullseye and 231, which makes eye-balling the dropped charges less freaky.

I've still got a pound and a half of 231 I'll probably never use. Even if I tried, that makes a helluva lot of rounds. I tend to just buy pistol ammo anyway, because I shoot so little of it.

I might experiment with some other "slow" pistol powder for the 300 Blackout "pistol." Not sure why I got one of those. Probably some political shenanigans drove me to it.

Maybe old age and circumstance will drive me off the rifle range, and onto the pistol range. Got a feeling arthritis will put the kibosh on me being competitive in pistol games. As if I'm "competitive" in rifle games now. Delusion is a powerful thing. Keep on believing.
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Old February 27, 2020, 11:34   #24
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Powders

Again, thanks for all the insight. WEG, I never even thought about the logistics side of it. Most of what has been stated is new to me.
I unpacked the stuff I had already bought, (probably 10 years ago when I was going to get started). I currently have 1 lb of accurate 2330, 1 lb of imr 4831, and 2 lbs of H335. I'll be adding others based on some of the posts here. Any suggestions for best uses for what I have now?
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Old February 27, 2020, 11:40   #25
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Again, thanks for all the insight. WEG, I never even thought about the logistics side of it. Most of what has been stated is new to me.
I unpacked the stuff I had already bought, (probably 10 years ago when I was going to get started). I currently have 1 lb of accurate 2330, 1 lb of imr 4831, and 2 lbs of H335. I'll be adding others based on some of the posts here. Any suggestions for best uses for what I have now?
AA2230 and Hodgdon H335 are about perfect for 5.56x45/.223 Rem.

IMR4831 is great for 6.5x55mm...

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Old February 27, 2020, 15:03   #26
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Unless you have specific needs beyond just punching holes in paper, Unique is about as good as it gets for handgun calibers for versatility. It's not "the best" for any particular caliber, but 5gr works well behind a 115gr 9mm, 180gr .40, 158gr for 38/.357, 230gr in .45acp, and 240gr in 44sp/mag. Plenty accurate, recoil isn't bad, and all I have to change on the Pro 2K is the dies.

Nice to run multiple calibers at the same charge and everything function fine, even if my 44sp/mg load is basically a cowboy load at that charge. If I need "special purpose" (read for bad things or hunting) I typically use factory loaded stuff, but for killing paper I prefer the wrists not get as much of a workout as the eye and trigger fingers do.

For the rifle calibers I'll stick with the consensus about Varget for 5.56 and .308, and H110 for BO, but I am starting to swap over to the CFE powders where I can... seems to actually work.
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Old February 27, 2020, 20:44   #27
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Hercules 2400 for Magnum revolver powder.

H335 is also suitable for 8mm Mauser.

AA2230C which is the same as AA2460 according to Accurate Arms is also fine for 8mm Mauser.
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Old February 27, 2020, 21:01   #28
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Hercules 2400 for Magnum revolver powder.

H335 is also suitable for 8mm Mauser.

AA2230C which is the same as AA2460 according to Accurate Arms is also fine for 8mm Mauser.
Just remember that AA2230C is not the same as AA2230. AA2230C does burn like AA2460, but AA2230 is faster...

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Old February 28, 2020, 02:27   #29
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Im going to put this out here --My Long range 30.06 Likes AA-3100 I have 2 lbs and its discontinued --If anyone has some they would part with --Perchance we could work something out !
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Old February 29, 2020, 08:39   #30
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I store in an OSHA fire/explosion proof rated locker so gets no stray U.V. light and keep temperature and humidity in comfortable shirt sleeve temps hear round. I stockpile decade plus but rotate from oldest and only cans had go bad were old metal cans bought out of estates that have no idea how old or former storage conditions.
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