Newbie Powder Questions


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jwl3715
November 9, 2009, 11:22 PM
Started reloading shotshells this summer and am currently working on first batch of metallics in .270 Win. I just finished reading Chap 5 of the ABCs of Reloading and have a 2 part question:

1. Red dot has been working OK for shotshells but I am noticing some inconsistent drops out of the RCBS Grand. I am already using a smaller bushing than the chart says for my prescribed charge but am still getting as much as .5-.7 either way. I primarily shoot 12 ga competition sporting clays. Can any shotgunners recommend a better powder choice for consistent metering and low charge volumes? It looks like Hogdon has a good variety...I'm assuming a spherical powder like Titewad might meter better. Any thoughts appreciated.

2. Have the .270 polished, sized and primed. Ready to drop powder using RCBS uniflow powder measure. Again looking for consistent metering and accuracy so am thinking spherical again rather than flake or stick. Have been reading many of the recent powder related posts and am realizing there is a lot to consider. I will ultimately reload for many rifle calibers .22 to .348...some hunting but mainly competition and plinking. Multiple powders is not a huge problem but would like to keep it reasonable. Alliant seems to have widest variety ball powders...any thoughts.

Thanks for the time. Reading this forum has gotten me this far. Can't wait to seat the bullets and give my first ones a try.

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xmanpike
November 9, 2009, 11:49 PM
I individually measure out charges for my .270 as it is not a rifle i am putting hundreds of rounds through. Hodgdon 4831sc is an excellent powder for the 270 but is cylindrical and wont meter great. I would highly suggest taking a little extra time to measure out your individual charges for your larger caliber rifles. Especially if you are shooting for accuracy.

Russt
November 10, 2009, 12:14 AM
I'm no help on the shotgun powders but I reload for .223, .243, .270, 30/30 .308, 30/06, & 45/70 in rifle cartridges. I have about 14 different powders. I use Hodgdon the most, H414 and BLC2, mainly because they meter so well. I too have a Uniflow, and a Hornady, and a Lee. I've found the stick powders such as Varget, IMR 3031, H4895, & H4198 have been a little more accurate but it's been such a small difference I stick with the ball powders. I use the Lee Perfect Powder measure for stick powders and it does pretty good, + or - 1/10 grain. That's plenty accurate for me as I mostly shoot at pop bottles full of water. If I can hit a 20oz pop bottle at 200 yds with any of my rifles, yes even the 45/70, I feel pretty confident any critter I shoot at is a dead critter. That being said I also have this friendly competition going on with a friend whom I just got started into reloading. He has a Savage 12 .22-250 and I have a .223. Both have 26" bull bbl and accu-triggers. He's using Varget and getting 3/8" to 1/4" groups at 100yds. I'm using BLC2 and getting 3/8" to 1/2" groups. Normally I wouldn't care, but I can't stand to be beat, so I'm going to have to tighten up on my loading procedures it looks like. Back to the stick powders and hand weighing each charge. Just till I can shoot a smaller group then him though. Then it's back to the ball powders.

WNTFW
November 10, 2009, 12:53 AM
jwl3715,
Ramshot Magnum is what I used in the .270. Starting load of 57.7 grains gave .594 MOA with with Remington PSP CL 130 grain. Seating depth of 1x bullet diameter has worked fairly well in all my rifle loads

I was pretty excited to get that with a starting load. I got side tracked by .308 load development and have not pursued the .270 load development other than to get more powders. The same load shot well in 2 sporter weight rifles. It would not chamber in a 3rd .270.

Ramshot makes good powder. Ramshot load data is a bit lacking and their .270 data is not exactly abundant. I went with the brand because I could get it.

What weight bullets?
What type of competition?

I throw light charges & trickle up to weight when testing loads. Same after picking a load and loading the first batch. Once I know the load works I then try the next batch thrown only to exact weight, weighing each charge. Next thing is to decrease from weighing every charge to spot checking rounds instead of every round. I do visually check each round for powder level, just don't weigh every charge. I have loaded match ammo without using a trickler. All of this is null & void if the weights vary in the first batch.

Ideally your load should tolerate a bit of charge weight variance & still shoot well.

Jim Watson
November 10, 2009, 11:36 AM
I have not loaded any Titewad but used to flip-flop between flake 700X and Ball 452AA depending on the current price. No doubt the Ball powder measured more uniformly, but I got better patterns with 700X, charge weight variations notwithstanding.

I tried hard to like Ball powders for target loads in .223 and .308. WW748 and AA2520 did fairly well, but in every rifle tried but one, extruded Varget gave noticeably better accuracy.
So I got a PACT dispenser so as to weigh powder conveniently. The RCBS is more expensive but is a better machine from what I hear.
My .22-250 is at least as accurate with Spoherical H414 as anything, so it might be worth your while to try one or two Ball process powders for your .270 before going to the trouble of loading extruded.

Some say that even with shearing granules and a bit of variation, measured extruded powders will still shoot well. Benchrest shooters sure think so, but they have very good measures and very good technique.

Oh, by the way, Alliant does not make Ball powder.

627PCFan
November 10, 2009, 11:55 AM
1. Red dot should measure consistently. It wouldnt in my minigrand until I used a grounding strap to eliminate and static. That should make it more consistent.

2. Ball powder is for blasting ammo. if you want accuracy you really should lean toward stick powder.

twice barrel
November 10, 2009, 12:27 PM
I've had good success in years past with H380 and H414 in 270 Winchester.

Check out the Hodgdon online load data.

Slight variations in charges won't matter much in your shotgun and Red Dot. But if the powder is bridging in the drop tube you do need to watch for no-charge and double-charges. But I loaded thousands of rounds with green/red/blue Dot powders and never had a problem with the shotshell bushing type loaders.

Regards,

TB

Steve C
November 10, 2009, 02:41 PM
1. Red dot has been working OK for shotshells but I am noticing some inconsistent drops out of the RCBS Grand. I am already using a smaller bushing than the chart says for my prescribed charge but am still getting as much as .5-.7 either way.

How well powder is dispensed mostly depends upon how consisently you operate the press and how well the powder flows from the hopper. Keeping the hopper mostly full of powder will help with the flow. Using the same rythm when operating the press makes for better consistency.

Shot shell reloading is done by volume so use the bushing the chart says to use. Follow the component list exactly for the case, wad, and shot wt. Don't sweat the small stuff by over analyzing and worrying about small discrepancies in powder weight that you measure on a scale. Best to save the scale for metalic reloading as a few 10th's doesn't make much difference in a 18 to 20 grain load. Red Dot is a powder that's been used succesfully by trap and skeet shooters for over 1/2 a century.

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