Newbie Powder/Primer Recommendations?


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AKPicea
March 29, 2013, 10:04 PM
Hello! I've been reading the High Road for years- it's almost the only place I look to answer all my firearm questions. Well, I just joined and this will be my first post.

Just wanted to get some of your all's advice. My situation is that I am moving from the Southern U.S. to Alaska in June. I'll be driving up, and I want to take full advantage of the 10,000 primers and 16kg (35lb) of powder my wife and I are permitted through Canada (I can take as many cases/bullets as my 10,000 GVWR trailer will haul).

I'm not a reloader now, but I would like to start sometime in the near future. I hear that it's hard (or expensive) to get powder and primers up there because of Hazmat issues, and I figure it's better to get this stuff where it's cheap.

The calibers I shoot are: .45ACP, .223, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Win Mag.

My question to you all: what powder and primers should I be looking at getting? What are your favorites for these calibers? Or is there so much variation in loads that I'll just get a million different answers. Well, at least for my plinking calibers (.45ACP and .223), what are the CHEAPEST powder and primer combos?

I will say, also, that I personally feel that the current scarcity will be resolved before June, so disregard that in your response.

Thanks!

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KansasSasquatch
March 29, 2013, 10:32 PM
There's a ton of choices for .45acp and .223. Most of the powders you use for 55+ .223 bullets will also work in .30-06. I don't know much about the magnum calibers other than Retumbo, H1000, and H414 are common powders. For .45 I would look into Unique, Bullseye, and W231. They all work great for .45 and can be used in most other common non-magnum handgun calibers. For .223 and .30-06 I'd go with Varget, IMR 8208, or H4895. Since H4895 can normally be loaded down for light lights, it might also make a decent powder for the magnum rifle calibers. You might consider taking along a pound or two of a suitable magnum handgun powder, 2400 seems to be a good choice for that, just in case you pick up a .357 or something of the like.

45lcshooter
March 29, 2013, 10:33 PM
CCI primers are what most people use. Very good. I use CCI in 223. But in my hunting rifles I use Remington's they are 3 dollars more per k where I'm at, I just like them for my hunting rifles. So I use CCI pistol and rifle primers, and Remington rifle primers.

Powders, one of the most versatile for rifles is Varget, my versatile powders I use is IMR 4893 and Hodgen H335 for rifles. For pistols, Unique and Pistol Power are good all around powders. There is a lot of people using powders such as Reloader 7, Reloader 15, Green Dot, Blue Dot, etc.... I just didn't get to diversified in my powders when I was starting out to reload. As I buy more guns in different calibers then I will experiment with different powders.

Hope that helped a little.

five.five-six
March 29, 2013, 10:38 PM
You are going to be limited to what you can find.

For the .45ACP you will want LPPs and I like bullseye because you get more rounds per pound.

For .223, I like h335 an if it is for an AR15, you will want CCI 41s or the Wolf military SRPs to avoid slamfireing.

Lymans 47th says to use standard LRPs with imr 4350 in .300WM, so you can use the same primer for the 30-06.

I have not loaded 30-06 but it seems there are recipes for 30-06 with imr 4350. If you are loading for a garand, that is a special creacher that needs a really slow powder, someone else will have to help you out with that.

Hondo 60
March 29, 2013, 11:35 PM
Good luck find powders & primers.
There just aren't enough to fill the current market.

Almost everywhere I look the retailers are out of stock.
This is due to people being afraid of what mr. obamanation may try to do.
(which is limit guns/ammo/reloading components, etc)

It's gonna be several months before the mfgs can pump out enough to get component sellers resupplied.

In other words, right now ain't the easiest time to get into reloading.

Good Luck!

warhwkbb
April 1, 2013, 01:54 PM
Varget can be used from .223-30'6 and maybe beyond. It is also safe for a Garand. Unique and\or 231 are also widely adaptable to most pistol calibers. I would personally use 231 if I was limited to one powder for pistols due to working smoother out of a powder measure. Four 8lb jugs of powder will last you a while.

USSR
April 1, 2013, 02:02 PM
I'm not a reloader now, but I would like to start sometime in the near future. I hear that it's hard (or expensive) to get powder and primers up there because of Hazmat issues, and I figure it's better to get this stuff where it's cheap.

I'm curious as to exactly where you think you are going to get powder and primers cheap?

Don

jb27
April 1, 2013, 02:05 PM
Varget or Reloader 15 would be my first choice for rifles, although it doesn't meter as well in some powder throwers/dispensers. W231 would be my choice for .45 ACP. W231 is a good multipurpose powder that works well in both the 45 and 9mm.

My suggestion would be to pick up a few pieces of literature including at minimum:
1.) The ABC's of Reloading
2.) Lyman's #49 reloading manual
3.) at least 1 or 2 more different reloading manuals

pick these up now. Look at the manuals for the calibers you will be reloading and find what powder shows up in the various calibers you are looking at. Then get that powder in bulk. That way since you're only able to bring a certain amount with you and availability will be scarce in Alaska, you will have a sufficient quantity for all your needs.

ArchAngelCD
April 1, 2013, 02:18 PM
I'm also a fan of CCI primers but I probably use just as many Winchester primers too.

If you are loading 300 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag I would suggest buying Magnum large rifle powders because the case volume is so high in both a magnum primers will insure proper ignition and a more complete burn of the powder you load.

In the 30-06 I use almost nothing but H4350 and a CCI LRP for my ammo meant for use in a bolt action rifle. That combination along with a 165/168gr bullet produces sub 1/2MOA groups in my rifles. When loading for the M1 Garand I use H4895 and a CCI#34 primer.

In the .223 I have used CCI 400, CCI450 and CCI#41 primers, all were successful. I like H335 best for semi-auto .223 ammo. I have not tried CFE223 but I hear nothing but good reports with CFE223 in the 223.

My favorite handgun powder and especially in the .38 Special and .45 Auto is W231/HP-38. I highly recommend that powder along with CCI LPP. (or Win primers too) W231 works very well for me with LRN, LSWC, FMJ and JHP bullets.

rcmodel
April 1, 2013, 02:21 PM
I personally feel that the current scarcity will be resolved before June,

If you can find baby powder on sale before June, I'd buy that!

rc

oneounceload
April 1, 2013, 02:22 PM
If you place an order now, you should get delivery by the time you begin your drive, but do not delay - current backlogs are running about 6+ weeks
You'll need Large pistol primers, small rifle primers and large rifle primers - you may want large magnum rifle primers for the 300 and 338, especially if you will be shooting in cold temps
You want to look for powders that will give good results in those temps as well

USSR
April 1, 2013, 06:14 PM
Quote:
I personally feel that the current scarcity will be resolved before June,

If you can find baby powder on sale before June, I'd buy that!

rc,

Would that be for powder puff loads?:)

Don

Kachok
April 1, 2013, 08:03 PM
30-06 likes IMR 4350 and RL19 ALOT.
RL22 would be the first powder I would try in a 300 Win mag without question especially if you are going to be shooting 180gr.
RL19 comes into play again with the 338 Win mag, supposedly a top choice for the popular 225gr though I cannot vouch for that from personal experience.
223s like alot of the same fast burning powders as the 308: W748, H335, IMR 4895, and Benchmark being just some of the popular choices.
As with all popular automatics the 45 ACP gives impressive speeds with longshot powder in 230gr. If there ever were such a thing as a universal high performance powder Longshot is it. 9mm-44 magnum it gives impressive results.

7.62 Nato
April 1, 2013, 11:29 PM
You might consider checking with someone already there to see what is most likely available. That way you won't have to work up new loads with different components later.

4895
April 2, 2013, 12:35 AM
Resolved by June eh? You forgot to mention what year...lol

I would concentrate on large rifle mag primers for all the large rifle calibers. You will get a better burn in the cold than the non-magnum calibers and you won't worry about getting them mixed up. Just start low and work up for standard calibers. Imr 7828 is a good slow burner for mag rifle. Varget, 4895, etc are good middle burners. I would look at Hodgdons extreme powders as they claim to be less temp sensitive than others. The mag primers should help out during the winter season to get that powder lit off. Win 231 or Unique would be my choices for pistol ammo with some 2400 thrown in there for mag loads. Good luck.

AKPicea
April 4, 2013, 09:07 PM
Thanks to everyone who responded. Y'all have provided a wealth of information. Yeah, I may be naive about the stuff being available soon. If so, I may have a hard time taking up reloading!

GT1
April 4, 2013, 09:46 PM
Actually, the stuff has been available, and for the same prices as 6 months ago. One just needed to be patient and ever-watchful.

If you start in earnest now and are persistent you will probably be able to stock up in time. It will take a daily effort, though.

All the reputable places are getting shipments of one thing or another every week. As far as one-stop shopping, that might be a year or two away. You get what is on your list when it shows and you buy in bulk for that particular thing.

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