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Old 05-21-2019, 09:24 AM
milprileb milprileb is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Saigon, RVN
Posts: 2,893
Default Powders...new is not always perfection

The below comments reflect my experience with 1000 yd accuracy with NON GARAND rifles.

For my 30 caliber reloading and 6.5 Creedmoor reloading, I don't chase (nor pay higher prices) for Varget and H4350...both of which have become niche powders , short in supply at times and higher in cost.

I find for 6.5 CM: Standard Non Sexy IMR4350 actually outperforms H4350 and I can find it, pay less for it. I find RL 17 equally the match for H4350 velocity (and accuracy). Its also cheaper and easy to find. Both IMR 4350 and RL 17 is off most radars for powder.

I find for 3006 and 308: IMR 4895, H4895 and IMR 4350 and IMR 4064 are every bit as good or better than Varget and while I really like Varget, these 3 old school powders are easy to find, saner priced and do the job.

I find for 556 which I shoot at 600, 800 and 1000 yds: H4895 and RL 15 both out perform Varget in my AR's.

I am sure for those of you that shoot 100 to 300 yds, just about any powder will suffice for your purposes if you do load development and arrive at a accurate performing load for your rifle. For certain, it does not have to be Varget which has become a Niche powder name and you might take a hard look at powders mentioned here...old reliables that get no respect these days and BLC2 which gets nearly zero visibility but even during the 8 yrs of Hope & Change powder panic/droughts, BLC2 like IMR 4064 was always easy to find when niche powders were extinct.

Here is a bottom feeder powder IMR 3031. I had some so I did a bit of load development with 150 gr BTHP and 175 gr SMK's for my 7.5 Swiss (scoped), K31 carbine. At 300 yds I was killing skeet birds ..single skeet birds (4.5 in diameter) and at 600 yds, I was killing the pieces of broken birds. I had found a great use for IMR 3031 for short range use in my K31 and that load will be used if / when other powders dry up and everyone is walking past IMR 3031. Will 3031 float your boat for your purpose ...don't know , do your home work and see if it will serve your 100 to 600 yd use. I see no velocity with it that would take me to 800/1000 yd lines.

Chase the new powders if you must, drink the Kool Aid niche powders are the way to go and its all good. However , don't assume standard powder selections don't provide extremely good options for reloading precision ammunition.

Here is my last parting shot. The Mk316 Mod O load for military 308 caliber /762 caliber semi auto sniper systems is 41.745 gr of IMR 4064 pushing a 175 gr SMK. This is not a max load and its not a sexy powder but this load shot in my 308 Tikka long range rifle and my non match Springfield M1A are deadly accurate on the 1000 yd line. Far superior in accuracy than any of my Varget loads ever developed for these two rifles for long range performance. Recoil is mild, accuracy is outstanding and this IMR 4064 load will shoot tighter groups than I can hold my rifles at 1000 yds. Will 42 gr IMR 4064 work...I'd guess just fine. I do use a weight that allow me to precisely duplicate the military load of 41.745 grains.

Old Powders: Snooze Ya Lose. and Yes, I do like Varget and still use it but its not the secret sauce its been cheer leaded to be.

Last edited by milprileb; 05-21-2019 at 09:28 AM.
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