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Is there a powder burn rate range for the AR-15 when reloading?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bexar, May 9, 2014.

  1. Bexar

    Bexar Well-Known Member

    I know the Garand does because slower or too fast a powder than several powders on either side of IMR 4895 can damage the rifle.

    The direct gas impingement system of the AR-15 seems like it would allow for a slower powder which I have several pounds from "magnum rifle" days.

    I'd like to use the IMR 4895 stuff for the 06' and .308 and use the too slow burners for the AR if possible.

  2. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

  3. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    What are the actual "slow" powders that you have on hand and want to use in .223?

    If its Retumbo and RL-25, I'd say no.

    "Too slow burners" isn't really specific enough information for us to go on here.
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    The Garand's issue with powders is the port pressure. Too high a port pressure will run the risk of bending the op rod. Generally, slower burning powders will generate higher port pressures in the Garand.

    There are loads for 223 Remington with IMR4895. One source is Hodgdon's web site. There are others.

    Check here.

  5. Bexar

    Bexar Well-Known Member

    Yes...IMR 4895 is fine for the AR-15 and I do appreciate your input. However, I am interested in the slower burning powders like IMR 3031...H450...IMR 7828...Win760...H4350 and similar powders I either have a full pound or half pound of from my .300 Weatherby self abusing days. One of the main reasons I'm asking is if I when I make my annual sojourn to the reloading component store is if they only have a slower powder I'd like to have the option to buy for the AR to reload for our Daughter's rat rifle.
  6. Nighthawk0083

    Nighthawk0083 Well-Known Member

    hornady has imr 3031 listed in there 9th edition. 75gr bullet min load 18.6 @ 2200fps and the max load is 21.2gr @ 2600fps. This is specific for an ar load. Although I dont think this powder is even close to as slow as the others you listed. Hornady has it listed as faster than imr 4895. According to the info that I have I cannot find any data for the other powders you listed.
  7. Nighthawk0083

    Nighthawk0083 Well-Known Member

    The slowest ar powder with data I could find is power pro varmint which is the second slowest powder listed. Do some searching and you may find someone that has made it work. I couldnt find any data but I didnt look that hard. Good luck.
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    3031 is one of the faster powders that I use for .223.

    I linked an ordered list of powder burn rates in #2

  9. carbine85

    carbine85 Well-Known Member

    Why do you want slower burning? Slower burning = higher pressure.
    I have used 4227 and 4064 and didn't like either for the AR.
    My best loads come from IMR4895.
    I'm also having good luck with AR- Comp
  10. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    Good to hear. I just got a couple lbs of 4895
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Port Pressure AR15 223 Remington

    http://www.6mmbr.com/223rem.html The gas port pressure curve is a critical part of internal ballistics for cartridges used in gas operated firearms. Gas operated weapons are generally tailored to a narrow range of powder burning rates and characteristics. If the port pressure is too low the weapon will fail to function and if to high the weapon may function too forcefully or rapidly causing extraction or cycling problems. With such a wide range of bullet weights from 40gr to 80gr, matching the gas port location and size is critical.http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=502784 A problem with IMR4198 or H4198 is not a common problem. Just an example.
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    Not really in fact no. He is talkin slow rifle powders like 7828 and 760, these powders are so slow, one cannot get enough powder in the case to generate adequate chamber pressures and performance let alone anything that would resemble "High" pressure.
  14. Bexar

    Bexar Well-Known Member

    I don't want slower burning but since I have some left over powder from my magnum days I was wondering if I could use them because I'd like to reserve my IMR4895 for the Garand and I was looking for a use for the slower powder I have in stock. I think I'll use the slower powders for whatever calibers She and my Brother have that wouldn't go into Her Garand. I've got to start doing some reloading, more for physical therapy than anything else, and in looking at my reloading assets I was reminded of the several pounds of slow burning powders I still have in inventory.

    I've got a lot of load research to do so I guess I'll be happily pro-occupied for awhile.
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    As pointed out your 3031 is faster than your 4895 and is fine for .223.
  16. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clearing that up Steve, I was trying to figure that statement out..
  17. flyguy958

    flyguy958 Active Member

    IMR 4064 is just one step slower than IMR 4895 in IMR powders. Seems 4064 would be a reasonable choice in powders if 4895 is not available. RL12 is only slightly faster and Varget is slower than IMR 4064. Is there a problem with IMR 4064 in the AR platform? Burn rates are from Hodgdon.com.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  18. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    I found data, and loaded 223 with IMR 4064 so I hope there's no problem.
  19. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Well-Known Member

    You should be able to get functional but dirty loads with H4350 and 760. Load manuals will stop publishing load data when velocity truly starts to suffer but there are functional powders slower that where they draw the line. You will need to make your own load data. With H4350 you'll certainly be able to fill the case and put a bullet on top without worrying about excessive pressures.

    With 760, Hodgdon does publish loads for extra heavy bullets (82gr and 90gr). Using the 82gr load data would be my starting point.

    Once again, they will give below average velocity and shoot dirty. But that being said, they should be functional. For shooting freehand, inside 100 yards, there really isn't a drawback though.
  20. Bexar

    Bexar Well-Known Member

    Can't multi-quote so I'll say thank-you to everyone.

    Everyone's input is appreciated.

    NWcityguy and flyguy especially.

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