Recommendations for a ball powder to use in .243?


April 23, 2011, 11:23 PM
I'm looking for recommendations for a good ball powder to use in a .243. Right now I'm using IMR 4831 and I love how it shoots. I'm getting sub moa groups, and with Hornady 95 grain SST bullets I'm shooting to the exact same POI as Winchester 100 grain power point ammo. I mean almost exact since both will hit in the bullseye. Federal 100 grain Powershoks hit about .5" low and Remington Core Lokts about 1" high. I love this because I can switch to factory ammo if I need to while out of town on a hunting trip, and I don't have to worry about it.

Now what I don't like about the IMR 4831 is it doesn't meter worth a crap. It's always done this for me, but I forgot how bad it was since I hadn't loaded any .243 in a while and I use ball powders for my other calibers. Now, I'm using a RCBS Uniflow powder measure and I weigh each and every charge. It's just something I like to do to make sure it's perfect. With the ball powders I use 95% of the time, it's perfect and every once in a while I will get one just .1 or .2 grains off from the others, but it's rare. It's really nice as I dump the power onto the scale to measure it and dump it in the case. This isn't what happens when using IMR4831. This thing seems to vary about .8-1 grain each throw. Sometimes it will be too much powder coming out, sometimes to little. I often find myself having to dump the powder back in the Uniflow and do another charge. I often find myself doing this 8-10 times before it comes out with the right about. When I have to do this 8-10 times to just load one bullet it takes forever to load anything. Took me well over an hour today just to charge 25 cases. This is a huge hassle, and I'm ready to get something that doesn't do this. Any advice for a similar performing powder, but that is a ball powder?

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Sin City Shootist
April 24, 2011, 01:57 AM
Both the Hogdon Hybrid 100V and the Winchester Supreme 780 meter exceptionally well. The 100v works from 80 gr and up and the Supreme 780 95 gr and up pills.

41 Mag
April 24, 2011, 07:12 AM
As mentioned the Hybrid flows like water through a measure. I have used it on some preliminary loads with 100gr bullets in one of my .243's. You also might look into the SC series of powders, as they flow pretty easily as well.

As for others to try you might look at Ramshot Big Game, or Hunter. I have used the Hunter on quite a few different calibers but not in the .243. It is very consistent and I usually get top end performance from it.

Another one I have used with the 95gr bullets was AA-3100. It meters pretty well through the Uniflow and has resulted in some great groups and decent velocities.

My all time favorite however is H-4350. It has out shined all the rest in most accurate loads from my rifles for several bullet weights. It will throw decent through the Uniflow but you have to have a consistent rhythm. I usually slap it twice pretty hard when loading the cylinder, then throw, tapping it twice on the bottom as well. It might vary a few 10th but I have not noticed this to destroy groups or blow shot strings.

April 24, 2011, 09:47 AM
Although you are slightly handicapped using the Uniflow measure, there are several ball powders available that will give you top velocities and should work well in your measure.
Win 760/H414 has been around quite a while, and will give the 243 exceptional versatility with many bullet weights.
As others have mentioned, some of the newer powders coming on the market need to be tried as they're showing good potential.


April 24, 2011, 05:37 PM
I have great luck w hybrid 100, and varget. If your hand weighing, why don't you just the charge short and trickle? Or am I not understanding something? I use the crappy old lee thrower and set it about a half grain short when it "over charges" I'm dead on and when it under charges I trickle a couple pieces is very fast for me, I can load about 100 in an hour if the brass is ready and that includes an extra step with LFCD.

Oh and I know varget is not a ball powder, but I've still had great luck with it

April 25, 2011, 12:23 AM
Ramshot Hunter.;)

Sin City Shootist
April 25, 2011, 01:02 AM
Just to add from what I posted earlier. I really like the Supreme 780 with the 95gr matchkings. My bone stock R700 ADL in .243 will shoot just a hair over 1" at 200 yards. I don't think the 100v performed quite as good but pretty close. I just loaded some Sierra'a 85 HPBT Gamekings up with 40.0 grs of the 100v and I'll report back on that perfomance next weekend.

April 25, 2011, 08:55 AM
Be real careful with H100V.

My lot# is MUCH faster burning than published data indicates it should be.

Hodgdon's published max for .257Roberts w/100gr bullet is 48.0gr for a rediculous high velocity. (3,100+fps and 45,000cup -a non +P load).

A start load of 46.0gr caused burnished case heads and flattned-cratered primers. Velocity was only 2,950fps.

Dropping to a max for "my rifle" (Ruger M77mkII) was 44.0gr for a paltry 2,850fps. Accuracy was nothing to write about either (~2.0moa).

It is closer to the burning rate of BLC2 in my gun with my lot#. YMMV.

April 25, 2011, 11:24 AM
I really liked WC846 but that was with a 65gr V-Max. Tight groups & very clean but rings the ears of the people around you even with muffs on. This lot uses BL-C(2) data.
April 25, 2011, 01:26 PM
I have had good luck with blc-2 with my hornady measure. I also throw a light charge and trickle up unless I am loading plinking 223 rounds.

April 26, 2011, 10:13 PM
Another vote for H414.

April 27, 2011, 01:00 PM
I have had pretty good results with the W780 Supreme with 95 and 100 gr bullets. But I had the best results of all using Ramshot Hunter powder with those same bullets.

Sin City Shootist
April 27, 2011, 02:23 PM
My lot# is MUCH faster burning than published data indicates it should be.

I've got some IMR4064 that is like that too.

April 27, 2011, 02:58 PM
Another vote for WW760/H414. Flows thru powder measures great and can be very accurate in 22-250, 243, and 257 Roberts.
Like some others, I have not tried some of the newer powders, which may work as well or better.

April 27, 2011, 05:37 PM
I've been reloading for 34 years. Never owned a .22-250 until last year. One of the things I'd heard about for years is how great H380 is in that cartridge. I bought 1 lb and yes the gun shot great, this was during the summer in northern OH.

As winter approached I noticed the bullets hit lower as temperature dropped. In January when I was hitting over 3" low I gave up on H380 and went to Varget. Since switching POI has been constant.

If you do a lot of internet searches on ball powders you'll find that is their downfall. I would never use a ball powder again unless I lived in Hawaii.

April 27, 2011, 10:25 PM
H380 is cannister military powder -- but it is susceptible to temperature variations.

Because it measured exquisitely/performed well however, this last Winter I simply simply began to load for the velocity/season/temp and mark the box. Case in point was my M1A. I'd literally stuff the case full of H380 (weighed of course) to get my desired 2,550fps match speed w/ a 175SMK.

At 25-DegrF that was 47.0gr (last January) **
At 50-DegrF that was 46.0gr. (last month)
At 90-DegrF that was 45.0gr (last weekend)

Granted, this is going to be some trouble....

I am fascinated by your experience of a 3" drop in POA, though. What was the range (and the Temp if you remember)? At 100yds, I couldn't get QuickLoad/Target to do that until my 2,550fps velocity had dropped to 1,800fps. A real Blooper.....

** Mag Primers always, and I didn't go below 25DegrF because ball powders don't like really cold weather

April 29, 2011, 01:26 PM
W760 flows easily in a powder measure and shoots very well in my 243. Listed below is a load using W760. The three round group was dime size at 100 yards.

Winchester Case
Fed 210M Primer
46 grains W760 - This load is 1.5 grains below max as shown in the
70 Grain Nosler BT Hornady Reloading Manual Vol II dated 1973
OAL: 2.625
Velocity 3400 fps
Range 100 yards - 3 rounds fired

May 2, 2011, 08:50 PM
varget is the magical powder in 243... it's worth any headaches, though I can say I haven't had any

May 3, 2011, 11:04 AM
I like H4350--it meters easily from my uniflo & shoots great.
IMR4350 is also good but does not like my uniflo--it is a pain to put in with
Lee dipper & a dribbler.

May 3, 2011, 01:17 PM
H414 is my go to powder for the .243

May 3, 2011, 04:37 PM
varget is the magical powder in 243... it's worth any headaches, though I can say I haven't had any
I get half the group size with a 65gr V-Max & WC846 then I did Varget. Varget wasn't bad but I haven't found a cartridge yet that it was best in.

May 3, 2011, 05:26 PM
What about instead of changing powders, you buy an automatic powder measure? If you weigh them out anyway, this would speed things up. Otherwise I am a Vitavori fan, but it is pricy.

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