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Panthera Pardus
July 12, 2011, 11:02 AM
Hi Guys,

I am a brand new reloader. i have not even reloaded my first self loaded bullet. I have done some reading but have just wondered about the different type of powders. I buy powders in RSA named Somchem and the following 3 powders is advised:

1. S335 (hodgdon equivalant = H355) Slow burning powder
2. S341 (hodgdon equivalant = H4892, H380 , H414) Medium burning powder
3. S365 (hodgdon equivalant = H205, H450, H4831) Fast burning powder.

the question I have relative to the above 3 powders is: What does the different type of powders do ito propelling the bullet and for what different type of applications would you use them?

Regards

Frederick

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Walkalong
July 12, 2011, 11:09 AM
The H335 "equivalent" powder will be good for .223 (5.56X45) and .308 ((7.62X51), as well as others.

What calibers are you looking to reload?

Panthera Pardus
July 12, 2011, 11:14 AM
I want to reload for a 30-06.

a friend reloaded a set of 190gr Hornady's with 46gr of S341. I shot them over the weekend. But felt that the points were slightly to heavy. I shot a 6cm grouping over a 100m with them.

Panthera Pardus
July 12, 2011, 11:16 AM
Walk - Does a slow burning powder give you a faster feet/sec and fast burning powder a slower feet/sec projectile?

rfwobbly
July 12, 2011, 01:45 PM
Generally speaking, faster powders are hotter burning and develop slower bullet speeds, with the opposite being true of slower powders. "Fast" and "Slow" are only terms that are completely relative to your caliber. A reloading manual will list a range of powders applicable to a cartridge. Most powder makers will also have this data on-line.

Generally, you'll want to have your powder charge burn cleanly, which happens at the upper 40% of the load range. Ask your powder company for all the load data on 30-06, or whatever caliber it is that you want to load. Then choose a bullet speed based upon the job and distance; slower for target, faster for hunting. (Find out what your peers are recommending for similar situations.)

Then it is an easy task to see from the data sheets that X powder, even at its maximum loading, can't achieve your desired bullet speed. And that Y powder's maximum load equates to a bullet speed far, far faster than you want. That way, just based on the published data, we can throw out those first 2 powders. Maybe the maximum bullet speed of powder Z is only 1500 fps faster than your objective. That would allow you to shoot at 85-95% of maximum, assuring you of clean burning and a margin of safety. Rifle, pistol or shotgun, it's always the chamber pressure we are concerned about for reasons of safety.

All guns are different, and published data is only valid if you can exactly match the 100 variables in the published data. Therefore, we always begin loading at the "starting load" and work up toward our goal in small increments. At some point a chrono or group size will tell us we've arrived. The optimal load will be the lowest load (there again trying to reduce chamber pressure) that achieves our desired results.

These directions aren't an exact fit in every case, but should be a fairly good guide. When in doubt, consult the powder maker first.



Hope this loose generalization helps!

Walkalong
July 12, 2011, 03:32 PM
H414 (S342) is slower than H335 (S335), and would be more suitable for .30-06, although with 190 Gr bullets the even slower powder H4831 (S365) may be optimum.

Hopefully some folks who shoot heavy bullets in .06 will come along with some help.

Does a slow burning powder give you a faster feet/sec and fast burning powder a slower feet/sec projectile?
It all depends, but in general, yes, a slower burning propellant, as long as it is a suitable burn rate for the caliber/bullet weight, can give more velocity because it builds pressure more slower and has a heavier charge weight which contains more energy (Assuming the same type powder, as in single base vs double base)

GLOOB
July 12, 2011, 03:45 PM
Faster burning = achieve better consistency/accuracy with less recoil @ lower velocities. Cannot safely reach the same velocities as a slower powder, though.
Slower burning = higher velocites before you get the best consistency/accuracy.

If you want to shoot tons of ammo with less wear on yourself and your gun, then go with a faster powder.

If you want to make high velocity ammo, then go with a slower burning powder.

Jim Watson
July 12, 2011, 03:58 PM
A few questions for you, Frederick:

Does Somchem put out actual reloading data with their powders or just tell you to go by Hodgdon's supposed equivalents?

Do you have or can you get a general purpose handloading manual like the Lyman here in the USA?

Are you aware that your listing is precisely backwards and that you appear to have made some typographical errors referencing nonexistent powders?

1. S335 (hodgdon equivalant = H355) Slow burning powder
2. S341 (hodgdon equivalant = H4892, H380 , H414) Medium burning powder
3. S365 (hodgdon equivalant = H205, H450, H4831) Fast burning powder.

I trust you MEANT H335 and H4895 but you didn't ENTER H335 and H4895.
You need to be careful with powder designations. It really is rocket science.

H4831 is the "slowest" powder in the list, with H450 not far behind. H205 is a bit "faster" adjacent in my chart to H414.
H335 is the "fastest" powder given, if that is indeed what you meant.
So your listing is just exactly backwards.
You need to be careful with powder descriptions. It really is rocket science.

You should not make loading choices based on "faster" vs "slower" anyhow.
Tested data is available, go by it. With all the precautions mentioned in the boring fine print like "starting loads" and "working up."

Lost Sheep
July 12, 2011, 11:50 PM
As I understand it, here is the reason fast powders are used to achieve slower speeds.

In any given cartridge/chamber, you need a minimum pressure to get the brass to seal against the walls of the chamber (you don't want the gasses escaping out the breech towards your face). It also takes a certain minimum pressure for smokeless powders to burn properly, smoothly, consistently.
You also don't want to have a higher pressure than your firearm, brass or primer can withstand. You can destroy a gun that way, or worse.

So, you want the pressure inside your cartridge to be within that pressure range.

If you use a fast powder, you get into that pressure range very quickly. If you use more of that fast powder, you get above that pressure range. In the short period of time your powder is burning, the bullet gets going moderately fast.

If you use a slow powder, you get into that pressure range and stay there longer (it doesn't hurt that with slow powders, there is USUALLY less free volume inside the case, so pressure rise is faster than you might think). In that longer time, the bullet gets going very fast, but possibly with a slower acceleration rate.

In this way a slower powder usually gives, not only higher velocities than a fast powder (while staying within safe pressure ranges) but also (because of the slower acceleration over a longer period of time) less felt recoil to achieve the same velocity (say you have a slow powder and a slower powder which both achieve the same velocity safely).

Anyhow, that's what I have heard and divined from my reading.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

Panthera Pardus
July 13, 2011, 03:22 AM
hi Jim,

I have a Somchem manual at home, so yes they do produce loadind data for calibers. I might have made a typing error during the post and that is why my "data" appears to be wrong way around.

As I said in my original post I have not yet reloaded a single round. I am very keen to start, but also very apprehensive at the same time. I have seen rifles expode with self reloaded rounds. So I am trying to learn as much as possible.

I can get a Lyman, Hornady, Barnes X, Sierra handloading manual. But I am not sure which one to go for. So any adviseon which book is better will also be appreciated.

Frederick

Lost Sheep
July 13, 2011, 04:32 AM
edited for brevity
I can get a Lyman, Hornady, Barnes X, Sierra handloading manual. But I am not sure which one to go for. So any adviseon which book is better will also be appreciated.

Frederick
All of them? or, at least as many as I can afford or have space for.

I have a Lyman, Lee, Sierra and Speer. I also gather data from the websites of the powder manufacturers and the bullet manufacturers. I compare and contrast them, observe the primers they use and the firearms they tested with.

Knowing what performance I want, I take my best guess as to what recipe will deliver.

Lost Sheep

Panthera Pardus
July 13, 2011, 05:14 AM
Well I can get anyone of the above mentioned. Amazon and a couple of other online sites sells them. But like you say LS, If I can afford them all.

Thanks for mentioning the powder and manufacturer websites for collecting data. I will see how much data I can collect from their sites

Frederick

Jim Watson
July 13, 2011, 02:31 PM
What brand of press and dies do you have or can readily get there?
I would lean towards the book from the company which made my equipment. They tend to use their own products to illustrate operations.
I worked from a Speer manual on RCBS press and dies for a long time before branching out to other sources.

There is not much point in a large library of manuals if you are limited to Somchem powders which are not well known here, where most of those manuals are printed.
Work from company data, applying the usual principles of "starting load" and "working up." (The usual starting load is 90% of the maximum charge for that weight of bullet; but my old Speer showed three load levels. They were maximum, 95%, and 90%. I never had a speck of trouble at the 95% level. I seldom did any "working up" either, that was plenty of power.

rfwobbly
July 13, 2011, 11:52 PM
If you had to buy only one book it would be the Somchem reloading manual. Second choice would be the Lyman #49, but you will not find Solchem powders listed. Close third would be from the bullet maker. Often times the bullet maker will make a special shape, weight or material that is not adequately covered in a general manual like the Lyman. Barnes solid copper bullets come to mind. If you intend to load Barnes solid bullets, then you must have their manual.

Reloading is not hard or difficult, but there is a procedure that must be followed. And there are definitely critical measurements that must be made. If you are too stupid to be afraid, then you run a very real risk of getting hurt. If you can follow directions and respect the materials you are working with, then it is entirely safe, and even relaxing. The mere fact to you are asking questions first, shows you fall into the last group.

Panthera Pardus
July 14, 2011, 05:57 AM
thank you for all the help.

@ Jim Watson. I have a Lee press the breech Lock press. and have an RCBS die set. I will have to see if I can find the Lee reloading manual.

@rfwobbly. Somchem has a manual but only shows load data and the it has a concersion table for powders. This will manual will allow you to use a Hornady manual and convert the H414 Hodgdon powder to the Somchem equivelant. I have decided that I Will use the Horandy interlock 180g bullets. So from your post I will have to get a Hornady manual as well.

I think I should be ok if I have the Lee, Hornady and Somchem manual. I will buy the Lyman manual if I can not get a Lee.

Jim Watson
July 14, 2011, 12:02 PM
That will set you up.
Do be careful with those conversion tables for powders.
I once found a can of H240 on the back shelf of a store. I read that it was "10% faster than 2400" so I loaded some up at 90% of my usual (not maximum) 2400 charge for .357 Magnum. WAY too hot, with hard extraction. I discarded the powder rather than experiment with it. I am more cautious now.

Lost Sheep
July 15, 2011, 12:01 AM
That will set you up.
Do be careful with those conversion tables for powders.
I once found a can of H240 on the back shelf of a store. I read that it was "10% faster than 2400" so I loaded some up at 90% of my usual (not maximum) 2400 charge for .357 Magnum. WAY too hot, with hard extraction. I discarded the powder rather than experiment with it. I am more cautious now.
Correct me if I am wrong. I don't think "faster" and "energetic" are the same thing when it comes to smokeless gunpowders.

A powder with high energy density can be fast or it can be slow, but 20 grains of it will put more energy (translate into speed, which generally means pressure) behind a bullet than 20 grains of a less energetic powder. Of course, if the less energetic powder is a LOT faster, you might get higher pressure (for a shorter period of time), but you can't be sure.

Internal ballistics is very complex.

Lost Sheep

rfwobbly
July 15, 2011, 12:33 AM
@rfwobbly. Somchem has a manual but only shows load data and the it has a concersion table for powders. This will manual will allow you to use a Hornady manual and convert the H414 Hodgdon powder to the Somchem equivalent. I have decided that I Will use the Horandy interlock 180g bullets. So from your post I will have to get a Hornady manual as well.

Your primary source will always be the Somchem manual, since you will double check the conversions and maybe even call these people. If the conversions work out, then you can use the Hornady manual as a guide. The Hornady 7th does show H414 powder listed under 180gr bullets for 30-06.

Here's some data I found for Somchem. This site makes it sounds as if Somchem may no longer be in business. Click Here (http://www.lambdacode.com/reloading/docs/somchem/rifle/rifle14.htm#TOC14)

You will notice that the difference between "start" and "max" is only a very few grains in several cases. This is "grains" as in fine apothecary weights, not "granules". This is done on a precision reloading scale which you will need to buy. I highly recommend a balance beam type scale to start out with.

Hope this helps.

Panthera Pardus
July 15, 2011, 04:15 AM
@rfwoobly, Thank it does help. The most important from what I gather is to Double and tripple check yourself!!!!!

Walkalong
July 15, 2011, 08:37 AM
Yes, yes, and yes. :)

Panthera Pardus
July 15, 2011, 08:46 AM
so my next question is, Would the 165gr or the 180gr be a better load option for the 30-06?

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