243 loads with H4895


August 5, 2009, 04:12 PM
I'm relatively new to handloading. I use a variety of sources to work up loads, including the "One Book/One Caliber" series of reloading manuals. That book is normally pretty consistent as between data from bullet manufacturers and the powder makers. But, not for the 243.... I'm using H4895 with two different bullets: 62 gr Barnes Varmint Grenade and 90 gr Lapua Scenar. These two bullets aren't in the manual. However, the powder grain recommendation shown in the Hodgdon portion of the manual are much higher (even the starting load) what the bullet manufacturers are recommending in other sections of the book. For example, Hodgon says for a 65 gr Hornady vmax starting at 38 and up to 41 of H4895. But the Hornady section shows moderate loads at 34 and max of 38.4 with that powder. I was going to load at 39 or 40 gr of H4895 for the 62 gr Barnes based on Hodgdon's data but now I'm worried based on Hornady's numbers. Any help would be appreciated.

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August 5, 2009, 04:51 PM
i use the barnes 62 grain bullet stoked with 41 grains of varget and have had no problems. the bullet is real accurate and is becoming a favorite of mine. varget has a similar burn rate to h4895 but all guns are different and use should never start with a maximum load your better off starting with the 2nd or 3rd load from top. i also know that the 243 should never be loaded below minimum starting very bad things can happen. i learned this the hardway.

August 5, 2009, 05:13 PM
Couple of things.

First H-4895 is a little fast for the .243, especially with the 90 grain bullets. You might find something like H or IMR 4350, or 4831 give better velocity at less pressure.

Barnes even lists IMR-4350 on it's web site data for the Varmint Grenade.

Second, Hornady is known to be very conservative on it's load data.

I would not be too worried about using the 65 V-Max data from Hodgdon if you start with the suggested starting load, and work up while watching for pressure signs as you should always do anyway.


August 5, 2009, 07:01 PM
Hey Franco, welcome to THR.

rcmodel gives good advice and it comes from his extensive experience.

I recommend trying the fairly new Rel-17 from Alliant powder co. It puts the 243 on steroids.
Here's a link to Alliant powder to check it out.



August 6, 2009, 02:10 PM
I ran into the exact same question when I started to reload .243 Win. When I worked the load up according to the Hornady data, I kept getting poor results (6 MOA), even at the "maximum" load. I started to wonder why my "maximum" loads according to the Hornady manual were 4"-6" low at 100yds compared to factory ammo. After looking at a couple other sources, it was apparent that Hodgdon's data was more accurate in my instance. I use IMR 4064 for 65gr. Vmax bullets and IMR 4831 with 100gr. soft points.

August 7, 2009, 09:39 AM
Thanks all. Good, helpful advice all around.

Larry Burchfield
August 8, 2009, 06:22 AM
Although I've never used H4895 I have used IMR 4895 with great success but for heavier bullets (100gr and up) I really like IMR4350.
Have you looked at the websites of the bullet companys that you are using to see what they recommend for their bullets. You can get some good loads that way.
Larry Burchfield

August 8, 2009, 11:29 AM
Many, Many years ago, when I first loaded for the .243, the only powder even close to suitable for it that I had was H4895.

I found that with the 80gr Speer bullet, in a Remington M788 that 36.0 was extreamly accurate. First 5-shot group that I'd ever fired that went under 1" @ 100yds. Actually, it was somewhat better than that, closer to 1/2".

With the 80gr and lighter bullets, H4895 is actually a very good powder for the .243. A Stevens M200 I had a couple of years ago didn't particularily like the lighter bullets nor did it like H4895. Perhaps just an individual gun issue. It really liked the 100gr Hornady flat based soft pt over 42.5gr of RL22. Nosler lists this as a max load, and most accurate load both. My little Stevens would shoot under MOA with this load. Only load that I found would do so. But, it clocked over 3,100fps, too.
But, I lost two of three deer shooting them with the 100gr BTSP. At ranges under 75yds, the bullets were breaking up and not penetrating.

H4350, IMR4350, and IMR4831 are my go-too powders for the 85-105gr bullets in the .243.

August 8, 2009, 04:07 PM
I use H4895 for lighter bullets, 70 grns & H4350 for 95 grn partitions.

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