Compressed Powder Loads?


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G11354
November 22, 2012, 12:37 AM
Does anyone have experience with compressed loads?

Im considering trying VARGET for my .223 Rem rounds for my AR-15 but have heard the higher end loads call for compressing the powder.

Loading 60gn Hornady V-Max bullets.

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Doug b
November 22, 2012, 01:03 AM
If you don't have one of these http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=powder+funnel+drop+tube I would get one.The drop tube will get all that powder in that little case without spillage.

G11354
November 22, 2012, 01:05 AM
How does a "powder funnel drop tube" help with compressed powder?

Doug b
November 22, 2012, 01:10 AM
Trust me it will.

G11354
November 22, 2012, 01:10 AM
Are compressed loads common and something to be avoided?

Doug b
November 22, 2012, 01:14 AM
No big deal at all.Are you loading on a progressive or single station press?

mbopp
November 22, 2012, 01:28 AM
I-4198 in both my 357 Herrett and 218 Bee are compressed loads. A few light taps on the case with a fingernail or wood dowel settles the powder enough to get it below the case neck.

G11354
November 22, 2012, 01:39 AM
Im using a single stage press.

Doug b
November 22, 2012, 01:48 AM
Good then a drop tube will speed things up a little for you.What maybe an over filled case with a normal funnel will settle in nicely going through a drop tube.Sticking with the same headstamp on the caseing may help with capacity variations.If it's speed your after I see that CFE 223 powder out does Varget by 20 some fps with the 60 grainer without compressing.

G11354
November 22, 2012, 02:00 AM
Good then a drop tube will speed things up a little for you.What maybe an over filled case with a normal funnel will settle in nicely going through a drop tube.Sticking with the same headstamp on the caseing may help with capacity variations.If it's speed your after I see that CFE 223 powder out does Varget by 20 some fps with the 60 grainer without compressing.
Thanks for the input.

I've been using IMR 3031 with great results but others have suggested using VARGET because it supposedly meters better due its shorter cut.

Doug b
November 22, 2012, 02:08 AM
I like H335 with a CCI 450 primer myself. Flows like water and super accurate in my match Bushmaster.Thats with a 55 gr. bullet but I can't believe 5 grs. of bullet could make a ton of difference.

steve4102
November 22, 2012, 03:00 AM
Are compressed loads common and something to be avoided?

Compressed loads are not something to be feared and avoided as long as there is data to support the charge. Compressed loads and even heavily compressed loads are preferred by many.

Grumulkin
November 22, 2012, 09:15 AM
I prefer compressed loads. Since the powder location can't be variable, ignition would seem to be more likely to be uniform. Also, It's impossible to double charge a case with a compressed load.

wanderinwalker
November 22, 2012, 09:21 AM
I've loaded two 8-lb jugs of Varget into .223 with heavy match bullets. Pretty much every load has been slightly compressed. Nothing to worry about at all.

That said, I don't use Varget for lighter bullets (under 60 grain) in .223 as I feel faster-burning powders are more appropriate there. I've never tried the 60gr Hornadys though, most of what I've shot have been 52, 69, 77 and 80 grain match bullets

cacoltguy
November 22, 2012, 01:18 PM
Varget seems to be a higher "volume" powder, meaning that it takes more of it to get the same velocities as other powders that use lesser charges. This is a good thing in that it is nearly impossible to dangerously overcharge a case with Varget since it will come pouring out over the top and be pretty obvious. Secondly, as was mentioned above, a compressed load is believed to be more accurate by some. There are no air pockets inside the case and the powder sits the same way every time leading to more exacting, uniform ignition every time.

gamestalker
November 22, 2012, 11:01 PM
Compressed loads are no different in terms of being safe data as would be any published SAAMI approved data, which they are. The primary reason I load a lot of compressed charges in both High powered rifle and some hand gun loads is because velocities are much more consistent, as are apparent pressures. For instance, IMR-4350 in a .270 win. case at the upper end of the data is a compressed charge. And when I'm loading for any number of handgun cartridges, such as .357, .40, 9mm, I will commonly load compressed charges. Longshot works well for loading safe and consistent stout loads for the .40 and 9mm. For the .357 mag H110 will compress nicely.

In my experience compressed charges don't often produce higher apparent pressures, and often velocities will actually come down slightly too. But as I said, consistency of velocity / pressures have often had a smaller deviation in this respect.

Just don't make the mistake I've seen happen a couple of times over the years by reloaders that failed to read the entire punlished information regarding them. These guys decided to load with a fast burning powder and blew two very expensive rifles to pieces because they didn't know that compressed charges are actually published data relative to slow burning powders. Just imagine what would happen if you stuffed as much as would fit when compressed of a fast burning powder into a .270 Weatherby Magnum case. I don't recall what it was they were using, but it was deffinitely not a powder you could compress and deffinitely didn't have data to support the tremendous load they used. This was a Clark type load, the kind that is used to find the breaking point of any given firearm.

GS

1911 guy
November 23, 2012, 03:07 PM
Winchester cases, CCI primers, Varget and a 60gr V-Max is my pet load for my varmint rifle. I'd have to check my notes, but I think it's 26gr I'm using. Shoots sub-MOA at 100 all day long. And yes, it's a compressed charge. Like Steve 4102 said, as long as there's good data on the load, there's nothing to worry about. I use Varget in my .308, too. Impossible to double charge and no chance of powder position sensitivity.

Hondo 60
November 23, 2012, 07:32 PM
Follow published data (even compressed loads) & you won't get into trouble.

It's when Bubba Joe tells you he used a case full of smokeless powder for a 38 spl & got 1400 fps & a 20' flame.

- now that'll get you into trouble. :eek:

T Bran
November 23, 2012, 07:42 PM
Nothing to fear. Some of my best loads are a bit crunchy when seating the bullet.

As stated above stay within the reccomended load data for your powder and bullet weight and all is well. Just be sure to work up to the load in reasonable increments.

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