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anyone using Benchmark in .22-250?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by K-Dirt, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. K-Dirt

    K-Dirt Well-Known Member

    I bought a pound of Benchmark back when I couldn't find any Varget, RL 15 or IMR 4064. I don't have it with me right now, but I think Hodgdon's minimum charge for 55 gr. bullets in .22-250 is 31.6 and a maximum of 33.6 so starting 10% below max would be too light. I loaded some 55 gr. V-Max at 33 gr. of Benchmark. I took one shot and got the stiffest bolt lift I've had to date, a very pronounced ejector mark and a primer that was cratered to the point of having a pretty sharp edge. I went home and pulled a bullet and weighed the charge- 33 grains exactly. The cases were necksized only.

    Has anyone else seen this with Benchmark? The gun (1 in 12 twist Savage) has never had a problem getting near max loads from Hornady, Nosler, Lyman or Hornady manuals. Are Hodgdon published loads just hot?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. NVMM

    NVMM Well-Known Member

    You would be better served with a slower powder.
    You just got alot of high pressure signs.
    I would NOT shoot anymore of those loads.
  3. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    MY Hodgdons # 27 doesn't show a loading for 22.250 and Benchmark with 55 gr bullets, either does LEE 2nd, Hornady 5th, Nosler 5th, Lyman 48 ,or Speer 13.

    stevespages.com shows the Benchmark 31.6min-33.6 max with 55gr bullet and Rem. 9 1/2's

    Might be hammer time:D

    I did find Benchmark in a 2000 Basic Hogdgons manual and the max loading is indeed 33.6 grs!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  4. K-Dirt

    K-Dirt Well-Known Member

    I don't think I've seen a .22-250 Benchmark loading anywhere except from Hodgdon. 33 gr. didn't fill the case very well either. I was using a Federal large rifle primer.
    Well, I knew it wasn't ideal for the bullet weights I like but I was still surprised.
  5. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    That should have been a red flag moment.

    Your second mistake was not following procedure in using the start load listed. Luckily, no damage was done, and we learn from our mistakes.

    I suggest either of the 4895 series powders, IMR4320, Accurate 2495 and several others not mentioned, that have a proper burn rate. They are good powders and usually in stock, because they are often ignored by the current crowd who has to have Varget for everything.
    Good luck in your workups, as the 22-250 is a superb cartridge.

  7. K-Dirt

    K-Dirt Well-Known Member

    Start and Max loads for Benchmark with the bullets and cartridges I use are pretty tight (about a 6% difference). The more I look at Benchmark, the more I see why it's probably better for bench rest shooters than hunters. I weigh each charge when working up loads or loads for deer and elk hunting, but not for coyote hunting.

    So my experience is that I get pressure signs in the upper 33% of the load range with 55 gr. bullets in .22-250.

    Alot of powders work great in my gun (IMR 4895 included), but I was hoping I'd found a temperature insensitive alternative to Varget which is still hard to find around here. Disappointing.
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    I tried H-380 because I wanted something that would meter well and would give an alternative to Varget (which I REALLY like). The suggested accuracy load of 38.0 grains of H-380 with 50 Nosler BT's gave one hole groups my first time out. May be worth a try.

    As noted, Benchmark is most likely too fast


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