Barrel life - BLC2 vs. 4064


David Sinko
June 4, 2011, 08:15 PM
I just acquired some 300 pieces of mixed .300 Savage brass and plan to load them all with one standard load that I know performs well in my rifle. I'll be using a 150 gr. Core Lokt (a flat base bullet) and the standard CCI Large Rifle primer. I have loads with BLC2 and IMR 4064 that perform equally well. Which powder will be harder on the barrel? I'm guessing the ball powder BLC2 will have the more abrasive effect. The rifle is a 60's era Savage 99E. I guess I should add that it has seen over 1000 rounds (some of them cast bullets with and without gas check). Also, the rifle will close on cases that are at least .015" over max OAL, so I figure the throat is already heavily worn. Is there even any point in worrying about the effects of ball vs. stick powder at this stage?

Dave Sinko

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June 4, 2011, 10:00 PM
1000 rounds through a 300 Savage from 1960 should still be pretty darn good. I wouldn't even start worrying until 3000ish. (And I wouldn't worry much even then.)

I wouldn't gauge throat erosion on which cases it closes on. If you're really curious, start loading bullets and see how far out the lands are by seating bullets long. (If this is what you were doing, then .015 is no problem.)

But to finally answer your question, the 4064 powder should be kinder to your barrel.

June 4, 2011, 10:58 PM
"Some debate has ensued over the merits of ball powders vs. extruded tubular powders. Extensive testing at Lake City Ammunition Plant found “no significant difference in bore life, accuracy wise, when using either IMR propellants (extruded tubular) or spherical propellants (ball powder).” While these comments were made specifically about the 30 caliber and 7.62mm NATO Match ammunition, the same situation will hold true for most other cartridges."


June 4, 2011, 11:08 PM
"...Which powder will be harder on the barrel?..." Neither. Powder itself has no abrasive effect. The heat and bullet do though.
"...figure the throat is already heavily worn..." Or just long.

June 5, 2011, 12:10 AM
There seems to be a good deal of contraversy regarding ball powder's in this respect, but nothing that is really well founded on fact. And with regard to the 1000 rounds of deep throated brass is not worth considering until you've actually either measured the chamber or tried seating out to the lands. I have high powered rifles that operate in a much higher pressure range that have had over 5,000 rounds of near maximum loads through them and they still produce 1/2" MOA groups. In my opinion that 300 Savage is in it's early prime, maybe even a little newish.
Shoot it and do try loading just off the lands for accuracy, and also to see just how little wear has occured. I think you'll probably be surprised.

June 5, 2011, 02:40 PM
You'll not see a difference in powder use in your lifetime, and COAL is only a recommended number, and is flexible, based on your chamber and leade, and not indicative of throat wear per se. You need a bore scope to see that.


June 5, 2011, 02:53 PM

A .300 Savage isn't going to wear out a barrel in a normal lifetime of shooting anyway.
It's a relatively small .30 cal case, using a relatively small charge, at relatively low pressure.

Shooting jacketed bullets will wear it out faster then the type of powder you choose.

And I agree what case length the action will close on has nothing at all to do with the throat.

Even a SAAMI max length case doesn't touch the throat.
Only the bullet may or may not touch it, depending on bullet shape of the bullet, and how far out of the case you seat it.


June 6, 2011, 11:19 AM
+1. The caliber isn't even close to overbore. To get throat erosion, typically you need heat - get it hot and keep it hot. Not the normal use of a 300 Savage.

Gadzooks Mike
June 6, 2011, 07:20 PM
1000 rounds through a Savage 99? Heck, it's just getting broken in! Nice gun - enjoy!!

June 7, 2011, 11:53 PM
I would bet you can get 6000 rounds through a 300 Savage without even worrying about the barrel. Powder choice won't matter at all.

There are some brand new rifles that have throats so long that it is impossible to seat a bullet in the case and touch the lands. No big deal. If you have an accurate load already, all you have to worry about is finding time to go shooting.

David Sinko
June 8, 2011, 12:48 PM
Thanks for the responses. I'll go with BLC2 since I have more of it; besides, 4064 works better in the .30-06 where I get hangfires in the '06 with BLC2 and the CCI 200 primer. I don't have this problem in the .300 Savage.

Time to begin the onerous task of trimming these 300 cases with the Lee trimmer. I don't want to take the chance of having them fail to chamber if I ever have to use them in a different rifle.

Dave Sinko

June 8, 2011, 07:25 PM
You can do as you want, but I always use magnum primers with harder to ignite ball powders, to eliminate the problem that you experienced with the '06. It has the potential to occur with the 300 Savage too, especially if you use it in a colder climate.
As long as you work up the load, magnum primers should give you consistent ignition and velocities.


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