Reduced Recoil Load-H4895


April 26, 2012, 08:33 AM
I am currently working on a reduced recoil load for my daughters Rossi Single Shot .223. I have been reading about pressure spikes with reduced loads though. She is my baby girl(8) and my life and I want to make sure there are no safety issues with the load I am working up.

OAL 2.238
Primer CCI 400
Powder H4895
Bullet Hornady 55 V-Max
Case R-P trimmed 1.752
Work up 15.6-20 (in increments of .5)

15.6 was an average of 7 sources taking 60% of max load per Hodgdon rep via phone call.

Can anyone tell me if this is a safe load? Or anyone have a lot of experience with this? I am not looking at using fillers.

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April 26, 2012, 09:59 AM
I first became aware of pressure spikes with reduced loads by reading PO Ackley’s reloading handbooks.

Post WW2 there were a lot of cheap surplus powders on the market and I think 4831 was one of them. Guys were using reduced loads of slow burning powders in big cases and reporting blowups.

This is still a controversial subject as such events are impossible to duplicate and the usual suspect is the reloader, not the reduced charge. However, having read some material in science journals, I believe it could happen.

Burn rate stability is important in guns like auto engines. Anyone who has poured old gas into an engine and listened to the racket can understand that the observed sputtering is bad on the engine. Even though gunpowder is totally different I believe that what we want is an even pressure wave not something that has the potential of developing several pressure waves in the chamber.

I have used reduced charges of IMR 4895 in the 30-06 with cast bullets, it shot fine. Of the powders out there I would have recommended AA5744 for a reduced charge as it is bulky, and designed for use in those big black powder cases, but I think you are fine with H4895. I regularly shoot 42 grains IMR 4895 with a 168 in the 30-06, 4895 is a medium burning powder and has a wide working band.

As long as you are keeping your charge weights within factory recommendations, I think you are fine.

I never thought the .223 had much recoil to begin with.

Why not a rimfire? Hardly any recoil or noise, cheap to shoot. That is what we use for our Pot Shots.

April 26, 2012, 10:13 AM
Well my daughter is 8 and 45# soaking wet. Very small petite girl. Well she wants to shoot a deer this year so we have been practicing with a .22lr but in Arkansas you can't shoot a deer with a rimfire and the .223 was the smallest I could find. The factory loads are a little to much for her bony shoulder to handle and she doesn't shoot it much because of the recoil, hence trying to do a reduced recoil, that way she will enjoy shooting it more.

Over time I plan on bumping up the charges As she gets bigger. I also have 2 other daughters that want to shoot in the future (4yo already wants a gun and to shoot), so I am trying to find a good reduced load for her as well for down the road in a few years. :D

April 26, 2012, 10:26 AM
Here is some reading for you: Not sure I'd want to hunt deer with any of these rounds though.

April 26, 2012, 10:43 AM
My daughter has gotten pretty good at making her grouping small enough to make a neck shot like me but the recoil she does not like, so she doesn't want to practice a whole lot. I figured a neck shot would be the best with that size of bullet as well.

April 26, 2012, 11:13 AM
Reduced loads are only as safe as you. Don't let the story tellers of the spooky stuff scare you. It has been proven. Proven wrong. People make mistakes but instead of saying they was wrong they make a excuse. These guys go even farther after someone owns up & tells there mistake they scream that isn't what happened it was the spookies that did it. (Hope you caught on spookies meaning all there far out theories)

Powder burn speed depends on the amount of pressure it can generate. The more it can generate the faster it can burn & the faster it burns the more pressure it can generate. the spike is when the pressure reaches the ultimate level for the powder to burn its best is the point of the spike. It may only come up enough to get it burning fast enough to peak the pressure over what it can stand.

I have never used that powder but at least you can't get twice the safe charge in the case.

April 26, 2012, 11:23 AM
My daughter has gotten pretty good at making her grouping small enough to make a neck shot like me but the recoil she does not like, so she doesn't want to practice a whole lot. I figured a neck shot would be the best with that size of bullet as well.
She would be better with a double lung shoot & a V-Max bullet.

If you slow the V-Max down to under 2K fps they really stay together around 3K they frag pretty good.

April 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
Hodgdons Youth Load data says the safe lower limit is:

take the maximum H4895 charge listed
for any given cartridge and multiply it by 60%.

So, a 40% reduction is safe.


April 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
I guess I was just thinking if it happen to hit a rib, the V-Max wouldn't penetrate enough to get a good clean kill.

I personally use a 160 grain 7mm rem mag core-lokt, so I neck shoot to keep from ruining meat. :D

April 26, 2012, 11:44 AM
Don't forget about the Clays and Titegroup loads listed at .22LR velocity.

April 26, 2012, 11:50 AM
I never knew about that kludge. I'm still very green on the reloading scene, but enjoying it so far. :)

highlander 5
April 26, 2012, 11:57 AM
If you want to try a different powder 12 gr of 5744 will get you 2000 fps with a 52gr bullet.

April 26, 2012, 12:06 PM
H4895 has been very stable for me in reduced loads; I would have no quals about trying the load that Hodgdon recommended. I have also run TAC down to the 20gr region without issue; that also makes for a nice reduced load in 223.

April 26, 2012, 12:16 PM
I will have to try that out rbernie. I love this reloading many options and not enough time. :)

April 26, 2012, 01:27 PM
Unless you are a very careful person that doesn't make mistakes I'm not going to tell you to load up a fast powder that 3 or 4 times the charge would fit in a case for your little girl to shoot. I load them for myself & son(not quite that fast but enough to get 2 charges in) but I'm not going to suggest it.

I don't remember the owner of this photo so if he/you happen along please claim it & tell your story.
He could have probably only gotten a double charge with the BD he was using.

April 26, 2012, 02:07 PM
I'm not saying I'm not going to make a mistake cause I'm sure I will, but I am fairly OCD about stuff and have a set pattern I've done things in (ie when getting a new case to charge I stand it upside down on my bench and then as soon as I charge it, it goes into a different block, trays are different to and has labels on it). I try to be as safe as possible considering the magnitude of issues that could arise if I do make a mistake.

April 26, 2012, 02:39 PM
I keep my case neck down until I am charging them & seat a bullet as soon as I lay the pan down.

April 26, 2012, 06:06 PM
I recall reading somewhere that extruded powders faster than 4895 could be downloaded to 60%.
I use I4198 in my Contender 357 Herrett. For practice loads I use the 60% rule and shoot cast .358 handgun bullets for cheap practice. I added a Lyman "M" die to the 2-die set to flare the cases for cast bullets.

April 26, 2012, 09:36 PM
Just curios, has she tried regular 223 loads? My daughter killed her first deer with the exact same rifle when she was 7. Neck shot on a spike and he was DRT! My point is that 223 is marginal enough for deer I wouldn't want to download it any personally.

That Rossi has such a crap trigger that she had to use 2 fingers to get it to go off! She could still shot 1" groups @50 yards.

She has now graduated to a 270 with reduced loads (h4895) and takes it like a champ! We r doing 130 core lokts at 2355 fps.

April 26, 2012, 10:41 PM
TheCracker- yeah I had her shooting regular factory loads and the recoil was too much for her. She is skin and bones, 45# soaking wet with fishing weights in her pockets. :)

My plan is to get her shooting these so she's not quite as scared of the recoil, and gradually work the load up as she gets used to shooting it more through the summer. My plan is to have her shooting the minimum loads by first weekend in September, that way she can practice with the load she's going to be hunting with for a couple months prior to youth weekend hunt. :)

April 27, 2012, 02:35 AM
I'm sure that 15.6gr load will work very well. I have also used a few of the Hodgdon reduced loads and all worked well. I'm sure you're daughter will like that light load...

April 27, 2012, 03:40 PM
Did that in 243 for my grand kids, both toothpicks, with H4895 only, no filler. The 8 yr old wouldn't hardly try the 20 ga, now you can't get it out of his grip. Now will it be a hunting round? Probably not. Have a recoil pad on it? Does the recoil really hurt or just flinch from noise? Just wondering if you can put some lead or shot in the stock (listen up rossi!). That Rossi is real light and felt recoil will go down with heavier rifle.

April 27, 2012, 05:05 PM
Well popper, every time she shoots it, she rubs her shoulder. I'm hoping to get her gradually used to the recoil and bump up the charges to at least the minimum starting charge listed in the manuals.

April 27, 2012, 09:50 PM
I would get a nice recoil pad and load .223 at mid range level. I know that a lot of states have a minimum age requirement for high power rifle deer hunting. Have you checked the regs?

April 27, 2012, 10:13 PM
Yeah the regs in Arkansas are 6 years old, and if checked by game warden, the child has to be able to shoot the gun by themselves. The main reason I can't get a recoil pad is because she is fairly small. She would not be able to really shoulder the gun properly if I added a recoil pad to it.

T Bran
April 27, 2012, 10:22 PM
I have used H4895 reduced loads in 30/06 and 300 win with no issues and would have no fear of using it in .223 . The reduced loads were very helpful when a female friend wanted to hog hunt with us and are a great way to avoid a flinch that can stay with someone for life.
If you have enough twist in the rifle try some heavier bullets as they often feel more like a push than a smack.
BTW your daughters have a great parent I always love to hear folks getting their little ones in the woods.

April 27, 2012, 10:35 PM
Thank you T. My dad wasn't much of a hunter and I haven taken to it in my adulthood and have made it a big part of my life. Being a disabled veteran, shooting and hunting are about the only things I can do without to much pain and I guess my daughters have seen that enjoyment of shooting an hunting in me and love it as well.

My 4yo already wants her own gun. :D. Of course mama said she can't get one until she is 7. By then, my oldest will be able to step up in guns and my now 4yo will be able to take over the Rossi .223.

April 28, 2012, 11:35 AM
Admittedly my daughter is tall. She probably weighed 65 lbs as a 7 year old and is the tallest girl in her grade. She is 5'3"and about 95 lbs as a 5th grader so it's probably not a fair comparison.

Just FYI, I tried the 60 grain nosler partitions in that little Rossi and the best group was 6"@100 with varget. That gun did way better with 50 grain nosler BT but I settled for the 55 grain Sierra game king. It will do 1.5" @100 with 27 grains of varget.

Anyhow I was going to suggest a lighter bullet as they will help with recoil and this gun seemed to like the lighter bullets. The Rossi has a 1:12 twist if my info is correct so that would make sense. Seems like they should have made it a 1:9 twist with the short barrel and all.

April 28, 2012, 12:07 PM
Update: She LOVED the special ammo I made for her. She said there was a tad to much kick at the 17.5 load I did, but the 17.0 was just right. So I'm going to do another work up going from 17-17.3 and home it in.

So as of right now it going to be the 17.0 under a 55gn Hornady V-max. I guess I'll have to load up a bunch for her to shoot for deer season.

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