.243 load questions (novice needs advice)


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Sako75
September 21, 2009, 07:59 PM
.243 load questions

I recently purchased a Lee Loader in .243 and set about loading a bunch of once-fired Winchester Supreme and Remington brass with AR2209 . The powder scoop that came with the kit is 2.5cc = 35 grains and I would like to know what to expect when I fire these loads? Reading various sites all suggest a much higher minimum charge.

Load data
.243 Winchester Supreme and Remington once-fired brass (fired personally so no doubt of history)
2.5cc = 35 Grains AR2209
Federal Premium large rifle match primers
Barnes Varmint Grenade 62Gr Hp

Question 1
Is this load safe to fire (i.e. no risk of double detonation?)
Question 2
What would be a better powder measure for the above components?
2.5cc = 35 Grains AR2209
2.8cc = 39.2 Grains AR2209
3.1cc = 43.5 Grains AR2209
3.4cc = 47.7 Grains AR2209
3.7cc = 51.9 Grains AR2209

Thanks in advance
Nick

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MAGGUNS44
September 21, 2009, 08:11 PM
AR2209 ? I do hope you are using a powder scale also and not just depending on the scoops.

matrem
September 21, 2009, 08:24 PM
(i.e. no risk of double detonation?)

I'll assume you mean double drop? If so, 70 grains will NOT fit.
As MAGGUNS44 said: Get a scale!

loadedround
September 21, 2009, 08:45 PM
ar2209
I have checked my Speer #14 Manual, the Nosler #6 Manual and the Hodgdon website and have not found AR2209 powder listed for any bullet weight for the 243 Win. I strongly suggest you recheck your powder reference and pick a more suitable powder.

NCsmitty
September 21, 2009, 08:52 PM
Welcome to THR, Sako75.

AR2209 is the equivalent to H4350 and IMO, is a bit too slow and the charge is too light for the light 62gr VG.
2209 is better with 95-105gr bullets.

You'll be much better off with AR2208 (Varget) at a nominal charge according to your load manual.
You do need a powder scale, if you do not have one.


NCsmitty

Sako75
September 21, 2009, 09:16 PM
Thanks for the replies and I get the message re: the powder scales (on the shopping list)

Re: "double detonation" this was a term the guy in the gun shop used when informing me that if i did not load enough powder I would not get a clean burn and the powder would burn to slow resulting in dangerous results. I have no experience to rebute what he says but through communities like these I'm learning not to take the word of gun shop owners as gospel.

I did get the idea that AR2209 was suitable for .243 from the ADI website.

Quote from ADI Website "AR2209, A useful fine grained, moderately slow burning rifle powder for cartridges such as 22-250, .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, 30-06 and 300 Winchester Magnum. Its burning rate is close to that of IMR 4350 but its bulk density is a little higher and its metering through a powder loader is better."

I would still really appreciate good infomation on what to expect, should I pull the trigger on any of the loads I mentioned in my original post.

Cheers

matrem
September 21, 2009, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the replies and I get the message re: the powder scales (on the shopping list)

Reloading manual is first on list? ( Hopefully)

bullseye308
September 21, 2009, 09:41 PM
I wouldn't pull the trigger till I got a scale and could verify that bowder charge. Once you know the exact charge you get from the scoop, then you can decide to shoot it or pull the bullet and try a better charge weight.

Sako75
September 21, 2009, 10:50 PM
Thanks for the welcome NCSmitty, It's nice to be here and thanks for the infomation.

counterclockwise
September 22, 2009, 12:51 AM
I agree with the rest of the folks here. Get a powder trickler and a beam scale like a RCBS 5-0-2. Use the scoops to put an underweight load in the weigh pan and trickle up to your target.

QuickLoad shows you are underpowered and mismatched. Only 67% of the powder is burned when the bullet exits the muzzle of a 22" bbl. Pmax is only 22,000 psi, and the MV is abt. 2400 fps. {Please note, I only cite QuickLoad as a ball park indicator} YMMV.

Kernel
September 22, 2009, 01:12 AM
ADI's web site shows in the .243 Winchester with AR2209 powder and 55 gr bullets the starting load is 47 grs and the max load is 50C grs.

With 70 gr bullets it shows a starting load of 40 gr and a max load of 43.5 gr.

Based on this, a 35 gr load with 62 gr bullets should be safe to shoot. The loads are not to heavy. If anything, they may be to light.

That's probably why the gun shop guy was talking about "detonation". Don’t worry about it. It’s more myth than reality. Urban legend is it’s caused by tiny loads of fast powders in large cases.

You’re not using a “fast powder“. AR2209 looks to be a fairly slow powder (based on ADI’s web site. Not sure if that powder is even sold in the USA). And you’re filling up over half the case. It’s a relatively light load, but hardly a “tiny load“.

Though it’s possible to use Lee dippers to make good loads, thousands have done it (that‘s all my dad uses), if you’re serious about reloading you should get a scale.

Email ADI and ask them if the 3.1cc dipper would be appropriate for your .243 with 62 gr bullets and AR2209 powder.

By the way Sako75, what country are you from? Just curious. I’m guessing by your screen name, and use of English, it’s some where in Scandinavia.

Sako75
September 22, 2009, 01:47 AM
GíDay Kernal,

Struth! Are you fair dinkum? Donít come the raw prawn with me!

Iím from Sydney Australia mate!

Now we may have bastardised the Queens English but Scan-da-flamín-navian!!!! give a cobba a break! Crikey!!!!

Ha ha ha Ė actually Iím an Aussie, married to a Finnish girl who put me onto Sako rifles. I bought a Sako75 .243 Varmint a year ago and it's a joy to shoot. The other space in the safe is taken up with a weatherby mk xxii and a cz 453 .17hmr, also there's a Marlin 39a on back order (can't wait).

Bushmaster223
September 22, 2009, 01:59 AM
Welcome Sako 75. The best advice I can give you is to acquire some manuals(Lyman, Speer, Hornady are good ones) and compare the data.

Kernel
September 22, 2009, 08:32 PM
Okay. I was wrong on the country thing. Apologies. For penance I’ll drink a Fosters and sing the first three verses of Waltzing Matilda. If it’s any condolence, Australia was my second guess. It‘s obvious, now. AR2209 was the key. Norskies always use Vihtaviouri.

Once, just to see what would happen, I made the mistake of asking an Australian if he was “part of the British Empire”. I won’t do that again. Visions of the Bugs Bunny Tasmanian Devil come to mind.

Do you just punch paper with your .243, or do you have your sights set on some type of marsupial? I have a pair of Kangaroo leather hunting boats. Light weight and tough. I figure if it’s illegal in California it’s gotta be good. Here, the .243 is marketed as a dual purpose varmint and deer rifle. I consider it as ideal for coyote and just adequate for deer.

I know you’re gonna love the Marlin 39AS (the “S“ means it has the safety). I’ve got a 39T (it’s just like the “A“ but it has a 20” barrel , barrel-band instead of a forend-cap, and a post front sight instead of a ramp), it’s a joy to shoot and one of my favorite rifles.

Sako75
September 22, 2009, 09:44 PM
We have a small acre property about 300km west of Sydney, that occasionally attracts feral pigs and goats but itís the heavy population of rabbits and foxes that see most of our attention.

There are lots of roos and wallabies on the property but I tend to leave them alone because aside from being big and slow and not much sport, they are native animals (not a view shared by most of the neighbours). I do get great satisfaction out of blasting the ferals though and the .243 with Leupold VX-3L 4.5-14x50mm and Harris bi-pod makes mice meat of the rabbits, itís this activity I am hoping to find a good load for.

Oh yeah, nobody on this continent drinks Fosters, we ship all that stuff overseas and import premium stuff from Belgium for domestic consumption. Australian does have a lot of great beers too but most of them are coming out of Micro breweries these days.

The 39a is something I've been looking at for a long time. No particular reason or game in mind, just a good old fashioned fun gun.

WV_Vizsla
September 23, 2009, 12:32 AM
I started using R-22 just because I had several #s on hand...
My 243 loved 41g and used 1/2 the charge of my 300Wby. It was not a max load and I have yet to look for the max yet.
What loads have others found for the Hornady 95g and 100g???
Game is DEER, bigger than rabbits.

WV_Vizsla
September 23, 2009, 12:34 AM
BTW.. You do have a set of calipers and can read them OK??

243winxb
September 23, 2009, 07:40 AM
Trim the brass when it gets to long. Good info here> Get a powder trickler and a beam scale like a RCBS 5-0-2. Use the scoops to put an underweight load in the weight pan and trickle up to your target.

QuickLoad shows you are underpowered and mismatched. Only 67% of the powder is burned when the bullet exits the muzzle of a 22" bbl. Pmax is only 22,000 psi, and the MV is abt. 2400 fps. {Please note, I only cite QuickLoad as a ball park indicator} YMMV. Based on this, a 35 gr load with 62 gr bullets should be safe to shoot. The loads are not to heavy. If anything, they may be to light. Best to up the powder charge to listed data. http://www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide/rifle.asp When using the Lee Hammer Loader, the more pressure the load makes, the sooner the ammo will not fit your chamber and will need FLRSing.This would seem to be the better powder measure to use. 2.8cc = 39.2 Grains AR2209 Buy a scale, trickle up 1/2 GR at a time till your reach your maximum load, not the books. Just remember, the higher the pressure, the sooner you will have to Full Length Resize your Brass. I use IMR 4350 with 68gr Berger,70gr Sierra, 85gr Sierra hpbt & 90gr hpbt Berger bullets with great results.IMR 4350 is best when near or at maximum powder charge. IMR 4831 is ok with the 90gr Berger, but harder to find the exact powder charge needed. The AR2209 burning rate is close to IMR 4350 so should be a good choice for full velocity/pressure loadings.Having never used AR2209, just a guess on my part. Have used the Lee Hammer Loaders.:banghead: Barnes has loading data for your bullet, using IMR4350. http://www.barnesbullets.com/images/243WinchesterWeb.pdf

GW Staar
September 23, 2009, 12:55 PM
Most people who buy a Lee Loader are just starting out like you. The idea is to see if reloading is your cup of tea.

Most of the replies are overkill for that need. I started out with a .243 version of the Lee "target" Loader, not made any more, but that was just a Lee Loader with a couple more steps and parts.

You're perfectly safe if you are patient enough to read and understand the instructions. The powder measure that comes with the kit is just fine with the published loads in Lee's directions...you just don't have a lot of options. But I assure you, Lee did the work and research for you. They certainly used a scale to make and test the "cup" that came with the product. Yes, the loads are mild. Any reloader worth his salt starts mild anyway in a new rifle.

I use an RCBS Pro 2000 progressive press these days, but I'll never forget the Lee Loader experience. I made up my first batch of 20 rounds using Winchester 760 powder (which was on the list then). Went to the range and fired them off at 100 yds. (was sighting-in for a deer hunt with my new Remington 600.) The first 4 went into the same hole. The 5th still kept the group under 1/2". I was so excited then about reloading I talked two buddies into going in together, and ordered a RCBS rockchucker the same week.:)

Kernel
September 23, 2009, 11:43 PM
Nobody drinks Foster we import from Belgium

Cool. I like Stella Artois better, anyways.

Sako75
September 24, 2009, 07:15 PM
Thanks again for all the replies! There is so much good information here. Itís given me the confidence to give reloading a go.:D

Ruahine
October 6, 2009, 06:28 AM
Try 43gr 2209 with 100gr Hornady or 48 gr 2213SC with 87gr Hornady. Have also used 75 Hornady HP's and they are in lighting bolt country.

Remo-99
October 6, 2009, 07:13 AM
The powder scoop that came with the kit is 2.5cc = 35 grains and I would like to know what to expect when I fire these loads?

I used 2209 in my .243win only cause it was the same powder I was loading in my .270win, It's a pretty a slow powder for 243 but does OK in it. Now I'm using 2208 cause it's what I use in .308win as well, it's showing some nice results with the lighter(70gr-85gr) bullets in the 243, for my rifle anyway.

And yep, the scoop that is in the Lee Loader kit is pretty conservative, espesacially for 2209. Scales are a good idea as well as checking data on the ADI web site.

Sako75
October 6, 2009, 07:02 PM
Update

Iíve picked up a set of RCB 5-0-2 scales, some digital callipers and a box of Nosler 55Gr ballistic tip projectiles and set about making up 6 each of the following with the 55gr Noslers, before heading off to the range.

47.5gr 2209 55gr
48.5gr 2209 55gr
49.5gr 2209 55gr

I also took the box of 20 62gr Barnes loaded with the 35gr of 2209 (measured by scoop). I should mention that the only reason I took them was to recover the brass the fun way.

Results
Best load over 100m was the 35gr pushing 62gr Barnes (with one target putting 3 bullets in the same hole). The 55grís did not group as tightly so Iíll be trying the Varget powder next. I should mention that the best results from factory ammo in this rifle are achieved with 55gr Federal (orange box) would love to know the powder and charge they use.

Needless to say the reloading bug has bitten and Iím now looking at a single stage press.

FROGO207
October 7, 2009, 10:30 PM
Sako75
Sounds like the reloadi'n bug has bitten you.:D Welcome to the forum.:) These guys really know their stuff.:cool:

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