Why Varget?


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mugsie
September 29, 2009, 07:08 PM
I'm doing some research on powders for my .308 bolt gun. I loaded up a bunch of 150's and 165's using Varget and they shoot fine. Problem is the stuff meters terrible in my Dillon 550B. So I thought I'd see what others are using, and a lot of guys are shooting Varget. I see comments like "I used to use xx but now I like Varget" or "Tried this but Varget is better", or "varget is cleaner" (cleaner than what?). What's dirty? They all leave residue.

So in my quest for a decent, long range shooting ball powder, I'm starting to settle on BL-C(2) with mag primers. I use this combination in my .223's and both bolt and AR shoot well. I was thinking to try it in the .308 next.

So the question is why does everyone like varget? Tighter groups? Temp insensitive? Better long range capabilities?

Why varget? Also - anyone shooting a ball powder for .308 long range? If so, what kind of results are you seeing?

Thanks....

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Zak Smith
September 29, 2009, 07:51 PM
Varget works great for a majority of .308 loads, it's temp insensitive. Many, many match loads are based around this powder in 308. It works, and keeps working, and doesn't seem to do anything surprising (LR shooters do not want surprises). Most LR shooters I know weigh each charge anyway.

JDGray
September 29, 2009, 07:51 PM
My Savage 10FP .308 likes it:) I've shot better groups, but this is the best one that I saved. I never tried anything else for .308, now for .223, I can't get Varget to do so well. I weigh every charge for rifle rounds.
5 rounds at 100yrds
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b278/JDG357/IMG_3042.jpg

R.W.Dale
September 29, 2009, 09:52 PM
I throw the devil out of varget through my uniflow; the trick is you got to cycle the handle like you mean it

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/51897cd0.jpg

fireman 9731
September 29, 2009, 11:13 PM
I might be crazy but it seems like I get lower pressures with Varget and equal or greater velocities than other similar powders.

Noveldoc
September 29, 2009, 11:40 PM
I like Varget in my 30-06 Garand. Accurate and works action smoothly. Also very clean, which is important if you are gas operated and nice if you are not.

I use an old cheap Lee Perfect measure. Works fine with Varget. Just give it a little jiggle before you fill.

I used pulled surplus 150 grain GI bullets with good success and price. A medium crimp right at the far edge of the cannelure is very important here for accuracy.

Magnum primers work fine with about 20% below max loads. But check a manual or ask a gunsmith before you try this in .308. No pressure signs at all but that is my experience in my rifle.

Tom

Kernel
September 30, 2009, 12:36 AM
It's all in the branding. Cool name.

Varget.

It just rolls off the tongue.

Vaaarrrget.

If it was a breakfast cereal your kids would ask for it by name.

"Mommy, 4064 is so boring. We want Vaaarrrget."

That, and the fact that if falls smack dab in the middle of the rifle powder speed chart. Makes it work, in a fashion, with just about everything. Right in the fat part of the bell curve. Hodgdon did their homework on this one.

Jim Watson
September 30, 2009, 12:44 AM
I load Varget for target shooting, but if I were cranking out .308 on a Dillon, I would try the various Ball powders. My factory barrel shot as well with AA2520 as anything but the Pac-Nor definitely prefers extruded powders, whether Varget, Re15, or 4064. Nothing wrong with BL-C2, either.

evan price
September 30, 2009, 02:23 AM
I load Varget for precision .308 loads or my 6.5x55 loads. Very accurate, tight groups, very repeatable. Precision accuracy is more about being able to remove variables in the equation. Knowing that the powder will perform the same round to round, no matter the outside temp, means I can concentrate on other things to improve my groups.

That said, I use a lot of H335 for bulk reloads for semi-auto rifles like my FALs or in .223. Meters like water in my progressive.

interlock
September 30, 2009, 05:14 AM
"Mommy, 4064 is so boring. We want Vaaarrrget."

I think the marketting is key. I am a quickload user and i have to say that on many similar rounds varget is out performed by IMR4895. This also has really nice small kernals for easier metering.

hovbuild
September 30, 2009, 08:52 AM
I reamed out my powder funnel and polished everything in my Dillon powder thrower. It meters Varget just fine. I have put 25 into the 10 ring at 600 yards on a windless day with my .223. All of these reloads were done using varget and my Dillon.

ar10
September 30, 2009, 09:43 AM
Varget works great for a majority of .308 loads, it's temp insensitive. Many, many match loads are based around this powder in 308. It works, and keeps working, and doesn't seem to do anything surprising (LR shooters do not want surprises). Most LR shooters I know weigh each charge anyway.Varget works great for a majority of .308 loads, it's temp insensitive. Many, many match loads are based around this powder in 308. It works, and keeps working, and doesn't seem to do anything surprising (LR shooters do not want surprises). Most LR shooters I know weigh each charge anyway.

I've used for all my ar10 reloads and weigh each of my match rounds. It also works the same whether it 90+ or 10 below.
I use a LnL powder thrower with a couple of dryer sheets but sometimes I can "feel" when the powder gets cut but it meters within .10 every time. One thing I did is attached a small spring from the handle to the bench which helps a lot to keep the throw consistent.

(zak: Does Horsetooth still have water in it?:D)

jerkface11
September 30, 2009, 11:15 AM
People always say Varget won't meter. I suspect these people are using a Lee Perfect Powder Measure.

ADKWOODSMAN
September 30, 2009, 11:32 AM
I've had perfect results with IMR 4895 for years (35) of High Power competition and hunting loads, why change to Varget now.

Oh I forgot, it's the marketing!!!

mugsie
September 30, 2009, 12:05 PM
My searching turns up 2520 as being a good ball powder for .308. Accurate says it's the "Camp Perry Powder" for .308. Any experience with this powder. Hovbuild PM'd me and gave instructions for reaming out the powder funnel on the Dillon, which I'll also try. No matter what powder I settle on it can't hurt.

I think I'm leaning towards the 2520 though. Looking at the velocitys, burn rate, and amount used, coupled with it being a ball powder (mag primers I'm sure) I think this may be the way to go. Although Accurate doesn't specify mag primers, general rule of thumb in the Speer reloading manual is whenever ball powders are used they recommend mag primers. I'll back off the load a little and work up. Looks like I have a project lined up for now.

Back to the other question - anyone with experience using 2520?

homeyclaus
September 30, 2009, 12:17 PM
I use Varget with a Lee Perfect Powder Measure, and it works great, at least for me. Great enough that I can crank out plinking loads progressively, and still group an inch or less. Actually, the Lee Auto Disc works fine with it too, and I use that when I want to load Varget in 223 progressively.

This being said, there is nothing wrong with other powders. Varget has, or had, significant lot to lot variations, which can be frustrating. I was told once that one of the burn rate control ingredients was a copper compound, and Hoppes #9 comes out green after even a few shots, leading me to believe that that's true, although it's not copper fouling per-se. Varget also seems pretty high volume - basically all my loads fill the case and seating the bullet is confirmed by the "crunch" it gives. It does not bother me anymore, but some people like to be able to shake the case to know there is powder in it or something.

Some folks are starting to experiment with Ramshot TAC for .308 loads, since it's near Varget on the burn chart, is a ball powder, and is readily available.

taliv
September 30, 2009, 01:05 PM
accurate can say anything they want :) but my guess is that almost everyone at perry is using varget, r15 or VV Nx40

i love accurate's data powders though

i throw varget from a harrell precision. it crunches a lot. varies in weight a bit. doesn't seem to matter as far as my HP scores.

WNTFW
September 30, 2009, 01:08 PM
Why? Because when you first try to pick a powder it is hard to ingore one that everybody gets to work. Varget works great for a lot of guys. No coincidence it works well for me.

Why Not? Because of its popularity I can't get it for the last 2 months. At least I have my loads documnted & worked out when I can get some more.

Right now I'm goin to alternate powders, which may work out even better. Or not. A powder that works well in other cartridges is attractive.

WNTFW
September 30, 2009, 01:14 PM
Taliv,
When I first started asking about .308 powders I found out it was not an essay question. It was multiple choice with RE15 or Varget as the 2 choices. These were target shooters - HP & F-Class. Both do work well.

Homenclaus,
Quit telling everbody about Ramshot - It is one I can still get.

ForneyRider
September 30, 2009, 01:22 PM
I used R15, IMR 4064 and AA2230 when I couldn't find it. But it is pretty much on all the shelves this summer and fall in Dallas area. For another 10$.

I bought Varget when: it was recommended for 375H&H, and it looked good on specs for .22-250. These were the 2 rifles I was loading for that needed that burn rate. The temperature insensivity claims and consistency claims by users affected my purchase. Later, it has performed great in 30-30 and 8x57. But, AA2230 and IMR 4064 also worked great in 30-30. Varget is the only powder I have used for 8x57 and that rifle. So I can't compare, but the loads are top notch, so no reason to change what ain't broke.

For .223, I have been beaten in matches on this site by Varget loads. So it must work in .223. My Varget loads weren't as tight as my AA2230 loads. For light bullets in .223, if you can fit 27-30gr of Varget or R15 in a .223 case, you are my hero. I can barely fit 26.5gr.

Varget, R15 meter about the same to me, which is not that great. Ball and flake I have no issues with, but extruded no bueno. Benchmark is shorter and has less snags in the kernels. But I moved to an RCBS Chargemaster, so it is a non-issue for me.

jerkface11
September 30, 2009, 03:08 PM
Don't forget that Varget works in almost everything.

R.W.Dale
September 30, 2009, 03:14 PM
Don't forget that Varget works in almost everything.


LOL just in 30 caliber I've used varget with great sucess in everything from 7.62x39imp to 300wby mag

Duce1
September 30, 2009, 04:59 PM
I as well prefer " Varget " but if you would like a real close second to it try " BenchMark " also by Hogdon .

It might be a preference you would like ?

Ky Larry
September 30, 2009, 10:11 PM
Every gun is a study in ballistics unto itself. I like Varget but it doesn't seem to shoot any better in my .308 than IMR-4320 or AA-2520 or Re-15. My rifle (CZ-550 Varmint) doesn't seem to be very picky about powder choice. My CZ-550 in .30-06 is another matter. It definately prefers one of the -4350's or Re-19. Different strokes for different folks. Try Varget. If it works for you, great. If not, try something else. Lots of good .308 powders out there. Good luck.

lgbloader
October 1, 2009, 01:38 AM
Varget works but then again, so does BLC2, IMR 4895, IMR 4064. Hell, I've used Red Dot and got results that put a smile on my face.

LGB

Remo-99
October 1, 2009, 06:27 AM
I think I'm leaning towards the 2520 though. Looking at the velocitys, burn rate, and amount used, coupled with it being a ball powder (mag primers I'm sure) I think this may be the way to go. Although Accurate doesn't specify mag primers, general rule of thumb in the Speer reloading manual is whenever ball powders are used they recommend mag primers.

Mugsie, it's a fairly standard practice to use mag primers with ball powders, whether a manual states it or not, as most ball powders have a protective coating of graphite, this also allows them to flow smoothly through measures and the extra flame of a mag primer helps to insure a consant ignition from shot to shot.

Varget also seems pretty high volume - basically all my loads fill the case and seating the bullet is confirmed by the "crunch" it gives.

Yep, +1 on that, although it's a slow-ish powder for 308win with light weight bullets(110-130gr) it still gives good velocities and I find that loading it with lightweight bullets, it's taking a full case of powder which compresses some when the bullet's seated.
But hey it shoots fine so I guess that's why I still use it for all bullet weights in 308win.
And I have to say a 110gr bullet pushed out of a 308win by 50gr of Varget takes no time at all to reach a target at 100-200yds. ;)

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