Varget Substitute?


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RPRNY
June 13, 2012, 11:05 PM
I like Varget's versatility and performance. I load 6.5x55, 30-30 and 30-06 with it and like that I can use one powder with good results.

BUT, I am using the Lee Auto Disk powder dispenser (double disk) and I find that it throws Varget with much less consistency than H110 or Trail Boss, for example. I can get variations of up to 0.8 grs currently. I'm thinking the extruded construction of Varget presents issues in a volumetric system like the Lee Auto Disk.

I would appreciate the thoughts and views of those of you with broader reloading experience as to what a potential substitute for Varget might be. I was thinking IMR 4064 which is very close to Varget but read of someone describing it as "meter[ing] like rough ground gravel" which would probably not be an improvement vs Varget.

So the parameters are similar 1) versatility/use across the three calibers listed above 2) no significant loss in relative performance, and 3) throws well - consistently - in a volumetric system like the Lee Auto Disk.

Thanks very much.

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onlybrowning
June 13, 2012, 11:58 PM
Maybe a ball powder. BLC2 or H380 if my memory serves me should be appropriate. IMR 4064 is extruded and similar in grain size to Varget. It sounds like you want to try a spherical powder. Hodgdon's site will specify make up.


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joneb
June 14, 2012, 12:19 AM
maybe IMR 8208 XBR

243winxb
June 14, 2012, 12:30 AM
http://www.adi-limited.com/handloaders-guide/equivalents.asp Varget is made by ADI for Hodgdon.

Arkansas Paul
June 14, 2012, 12:58 AM
I love Varget for 150 grain .30-06 loads. The Uniflow doesn't throw extruded powders as well either, I suspect none of them do. Just set it to throw a little less than desired, and trickle up to weight. That's what I do with the extruded stuff.

beatledog7
June 14, 2012, 01:22 AM
Don't take away my Varget for .223 loads. No, can't have it.

zxcvbob
June 14, 2012, 01:34 AM
How about AA2520? (have some but haven't tried it yet, using up my Varget first)

MtnCreek
June 14, 2012, 09:48 AM
Throw 25 charges with your measure and weigh 25 charges, load them the same way and shoot them over a chrony. You may decide it’s close enough.

kingmt
June 14, 2012, 10:16 AM
I get .1-.2gn variance with Varget in my Pro Auto Disk. I like BL-C(2) much better in .223 & 30-06 tho. I don't shoot 30-30 tho. BL-C(2) does better in every Cal I've used it in.

Flintknapper
June 14, 2012, 10:45 AM
Varget is indeed a versatile powder...but as you have discovered...it can present difficulties when metering. Any of the larger extruded powders can cause problems.

RL-15 and H-322 are both smaller extruded powders (H-322 being much smaller) than Varget and might work for you (assuming bullet weights around 150 grs. in the calibers you listed).

RhinoDefense
June 14, 2012, 11:41 AM
2520 is advertised as being a ball equivalent to Varget. Give a pound a try.

RPRNY
June 14, 2012, 04:14 PM
Wow. That's pretty impressive. I was half expecting. "Lee junk sucks, dude. Whaddya want." But, this is The High Road.

I appreciate all your responses and will have to sit down with some charts and work out which of these powders may work best. Turns out Varget is awfully versatile. Maybe it is acase of different metering rather than different powder.but

AA2520 sounds like a winner but I can't find 6.5x55 or 30-06 load data for it on the Accurate site. ADIs AR2208 is a Varget equivalent ball powder (ADI makes Varget for Hodgdon) but I take it that ADI powders, other than those marketed by Hodgdon, are not available in the US? Will have to do some studying!

zxcvbob
June 14, 2012, 04:49 PM
AA2520 sounds like a winner but I can't find 6.5x55 or 30-06 load data for it on the Accurate site.
http://masterpostemple.bravepages.com/M1load.htm

You might also try WC846 surplus powder, available online for less than $100 for 8 pounds. It uses BLC(2) load data, sort of.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
June 14, 2012, 04:53 PM
I use IMR 4064 for my .308 loads and get great results.

NCsmitty
June 14, 2012, 09:48 PM
Although not optimal across the board, H4895 affords decent velocities while still providing the temperature insensitivity of Varget. I've not had much luck with Varget, and H4895 has always been the go to powder in the mid sized cases for me.


NCsmitty

Jim Watson
June 14, 2012, 09:54 PM
ADIs AR2208 is a Varget equivalent ball powder

ADI AR2208 IS Varget to within a very few percentage points, off the same production line. It is not a ball powder.


I shot a fair amount of AA 2520 which meters like a dream... but does not shoot as accurately as Varget in MY rifles.
I doubt you will be able to tell much difference unless shooting at least at midrange - up to 600 yards.

T Bran
June 14, 2012, 10:05 PM
My little cheapie Lee Perfect Powder Measure does a far better job with Varget than I expected. Actually does good with every stick powder I've tried but it can be a leak-o-matic with some ball powders.
No way I'm giving up my Varget even if I had to dip it all by hand and trickle up [witch I do for small batches anyway]. Varget and H4895 are my most used powders.
T

rbernie
June 14, 2012, 10:15 PM
Ramshot Zip.

zxcvbob
June 14, 2012, 10:19 PM
Zip??? Don't you mean TAC?

Craigman
June 14, 2012, 10:43 PM
CFE 223 is very close. Meters well. I use it in my .375 H&H:D

RPRNY
June 14, 2012, 10:48 PM
ADI AR2208 IS Varget to within a very few percentage points, off the same production line. It is not a ball powder.

This description from ADI's website threw me:

"A useful fine grained medium/slow burning rifle powder for medium sized cartridges such as .308 Winchester and 25-06. Its burning rate is close to that of IMR 4064 but its bulk density is higher."

But when I spoke with a Hodgdon tech today (Dave, nice bloke), he set me straight. How they can call Varget / AR2208 "fine grained" is beyond me. He was talking about BL-C2 and CFE223 but neither of these work across the three cartridges. I'm not sure that AA2520 will either.

So, it's either give up versatility and replace Varget with at least 2 other powders, which I am loathe to do, suck up the throw inaccuracy of the Lee Auto Disk, or look at better metering. I have a Lee Powder measure kit that someone gave me, so I checked that out for consistency. 10 throws for 6.5x55 had no greater deviation than 0.5 grains, but that still strikes me as a lot. And, the adjustments aren't exactly "fine".

T Bran - thanks for your experience with the Perfect Powder measure. That may be an option to consider....

243winxb
June 14, 2012, 11:42 PM
Search "Lee Auto Disk powder dispenser" - Lees FAQ section gives some tips & updates, to improve it. Dont know if any will help, but free to look. http://leeprecision.net/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/List/Index/13/product-support

zxcvbob
June 14, 2012, 11:52 PM
Hodgdon's has load data online for all three cartridges using BLC(2).

I'm very interested in CFE-223 for loading .30-06 but I can't find any load data at all. There's load data for both .308 and .270 so it should work, but I wonder why they skipped over .30-06. Maybe the case fill is not high enough.

ArchAngelCD
June 15, 2012, 12:07 AM
I use the Lee Perfect Powder measure to throw charges of Varget and it's always very close with all charges. None of the charges I measure are more than .1gr off.

RPRNY
June 15, 2012, 12:54 AM
CFE223 30-06 data from the Hodgdon site:

150 GR. NOS E-TIP Hodgdon CFE 223 .308" 3.300" 49.0 2715 47,600 PSI 53.2 2927 58,600 PSI

Yes, there is BL-C2 data for 6.5x55 but only in the 85 - 107 gr bullet weights and when I spoke to the Hodgdon tech today he said they would not recommend BL-C2 for the higher bullet weights - which I found weird but I don't know enough about the subject. He seemed to suggest that it was insufficiently slow burning for the higher weights in that case. I load 140 gr SP.

I need to take a longer look at metering options (thanks 243Winxb!) because it looks like some folks are getting better results than I do. I am not very experienced, so I have to believe there are other ways to skin a cat.

New question: At ranges of under 250 yards (as far as I intend to shoot) for non-competitive target (wanting results but not against competition per se) and hunting (ie Minute of Deer) will charge deviations of 0.5grs within the same batch make much of a difference?

ArchAngelCD
June 15, 2012, 01:48 AM
New question: At ranges of under 250 yards (as far as I intend to shoot) for non-competitive target (wanting results but not against competition per se) and hunting (ie Minute of Deer) will charge deviations of 0.5grs within the same batch make much of a difference?
Slight differences in charge weights will increase the SD of the ammo but it's been proven even triple digit SD numbers have no effect on accuracy. That said, a charge weight difference of .5gr sounds like a lot even in a large case cartridge like the 30-06 with a charge weight of 50.0gr. It would probably be much worse in the 30-30 and the 6.5 Swede with charges of only 37.5gr.

That said, I use nothing but H4350 in my 30-06 ammo with a 165/168gr bullet and I can achieve sub 1/2MOA accuracy with that powder. I like a slower powder in the 30-06 than 4895, 4064 or Varget.

7mmb
June 15, 2012, 01:54 AM
Get a Uniflow and stick with the Varget. Mine throws it just fine and I get very low SDs with thrown charges.

RPRNY
July 23, 2012, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the advice. I ended up buying a used Lee Perfect Powder measure on ebay for $9.00. What a difference. While it takes 5 - 6 throws to dial it in, once calibration is achieved it has been very accurate and very consistent with loads of both Varget and Trail Boss (I load some 30-30 with the Hornady 86gr 30 Mauser short jacket and TB for plinking and varmint control) - and no leakage. Anyway, a vast improvement, thanks for your advice.

TNBilly
July 23, 2012, 07:17 PM
Reloder 15 is basically the equal of Varget and measures a little better as well.

James2
July 23, 2012, 10:06 PM
I need to take a longer look at metering options (thanks 243Winxb!) because it looks like some folks are getting better results than I do. I am not very experienced, so I have to believe there are other ways to skin a cat.

Let me just say that no matter what tool you have, the technique of the operator has a lot to do with consistency. I am using a Lyman 55 and the instructions say to raise the handle and then hit the tapper, then lower the handle. I have found that it works better for me if I just raise the handle, wait a sec for the powder to settle on its own with no additional tapping, then bring the handle down to cut the load. It is important to try to move the handle at the same speed each time both ways. I hit the tapper after dropping the load to assure it all fell into the casing. I use a couple of rod powders such as 30-31 and 4831 and can throw them with a .2 deviation. That doesn't seem to matter a whit in accuracy near as I can tell. Anyhow for what its worth, there is my technique. Play with the way you use the tool and you may be able to get some better consistency.

ArchAngelCD
July 23, 2012, 11:33 PM
Thanks for the advice. I ended up buying a used Lee Perfect Powder measure on ebay for $9.00. What a difference. While it takes 5 - 6 throws to dial it in, once calibration is achieved it has been very accurate and very consistent with loads of both Varget and Trail Boss (I load some 30-30 with the Hornady 86gr 30 Mauser short jacket and TB for plinking and varmint control) - and no leakage. Anyway, a vast improvement, thanks for your advice.
I use a Lee Perfect Powder Measure and while it's not perfect it's pretty close. If feels cheap, looks cheap and doesn't cost much but it does throw accurate charges of most powders and does it over and over. I like that powder measure for rifle powders...

Big JJ
July 24, 2012, 01:03 AM
Team
I need 308 win. load data for Varget powder with Barnes 150gr TSX copper bullets.
First year back deer hunting this season and in the Cali condor zone we have to use copper now.
The COL is still 2.80 however because the Barnes copper bullet is longer than the FMJ bullets it will have a differant pressure.
That is why I am reluctant to use FMJ date.
I have looked at a lot of load data tables for Varget however none of them show loads for copper bullets thus my problem.
Has anyone tried any loads for these bullets using Varget?
How did they shoot and what are your load recommendations?

Jim Watson
July 24, 2012, 01:09 AM
Call Barnes.
I asked and they furnished data for a .224 X bullet.

JRI
July 24, 2012, 10:28 AM
Imr 4320

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