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Muzzle flash from my .300 Win Mag + working up a new load!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mickeydim468, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    I have worked up only one load so far for my .300 Win Mag.

    Winchester brass
    CCI Magnum Primers
    H-4350 @ 69.5Gr
    165 Gr Speer SPBT

    This is the load it likes so far, but I do not recommend you use this load without working up from minimum yourself.

    I posted my load so that maybe someone with more experience in reloading can help me to refine it or choose another powder that would give me similar results with a much smaller or non-existent muzzle flash. This thing looks like a flame thrower at dusk. It throws a flame that looks to be about 12 to 14" long.

    Is this due to the powder not burning completely while the bullet is still in the barrel? If so, isn't that a waste of powder, or does the powder still continue to propel the bullet even though the bullet and powder has left the barrel?

    I am thinking of working up a load for this rifle using Alliant powder. Which powder would be the best when using the Speer 165 Gr SPBT or Hot Core bullets? Or should I stick with Hodgdon's powder? the reason I mention the Reliant powder is because there is more availability of that powder here where I live and I have to drive many miles and pay about $5.00 per pound more for Hodgdon's powder. 1 lb is roughly 100 rounds, so it isn't cheap by any means for this rifle.

    Thanks guys!

  2. X-Rap

    X-Rap Well-Known Member

    Let the reloading manual be your guide. I try to choose the load with the best velocity potential and find the sweet spot of velocity and accuracy while not showing physical signs of pressure. The muzzle flash is of secondary concern if i am getting the bullets up to the max.
    I use 180 gr but that is for elk primarily I don't know what you are hunting.
  3. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    I hunt for elk with this rifle, or at least I will be.

    I hunted with my 30-06 last year, but I didn't even see or hear any elk during the season, so it really didn't matter what I was carrying! :banghead:

  4. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    Sitting here thinking about this, I came up with a thought and thought I would ask...

    Would a faster burning powder reduce muzzle flash?

    Also, I forgot to give a piece of pertinent information: The barrel length of my .300 Win Mag is 24", Would a faster powder be more likely to increase muzzle velocity over a slower burning powder?

  5. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about muzzle flash, and H4350 is about as fast burning as I would go for powder. Anything faster burning is probably going to give you lower velocity with higher pressure anyway.
    Alliant powders Rel-19 and Rel-22 are superb in the 300 WinMag, and the new Rel-17 will match them for top velocity.
    I don't know if you have a chronograph, but they can give you insight with load development.
    Study the Hodgdon loads at www.hodgdon.com and the Alliant loads at www.alliantpowder.com and perhaps make an informed decision for future loads.

  6. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Here is a good explanation of muzzle flash.

    Simply stated powder is burned and converts to hot gas, the gas escapes the muzzle and further combusts as it combines with O2 in the air. Products of combustion is heat and light, the light being the flash. The more powder the more gas is produced, simple conservation of mass. Faster powders have less muzzle flash as you use less of it so there is less gas produced.
  7. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    Thanks NCSmitty,

    The reason, I have asked about the muzzle flash, is because I am worried that I may have developed a flinch, and I think the flash is contributing to it. So, I thought if I could reduce the flash, maybe it would help me reduce my flinch. I am restocking the rifle right now to a thumb hole stock with a Pachmeir recoil reducing butt pad, and the recoil has become quite a bit more tolerable. Yet I was still flinching. Maybe once I get finished with the stock and get out and practice some more with it, my flinch will resolve itself. I just thought if I could load differently and could reduce the flash, maybe this could help!

    I had not had access to a chronograph until I recently moved to the house I live in now. Come to find out my neighbor is a firearm enthusiast like me as well as a reloader too. His preference is subsonic loads and silencers, so the chrony is very important to his hobby for load development. We went out a few weekends back and he let me try it. It was very cool to see what one of my loads was doing, compared to wondering what it was doing.

    I have not yet had a chance to chrony the .300 Win Mag but my velocities for my .243 loads were within about 15fps of what I expected them to be mathematically. I figured them to be right around 3000fps but they measured 2985 +-10fps over 10 shots. I figured I must be doing something right.

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010
  8. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    Sound like to me you have a phobia!

    Shoot on bright sunny days until you get over the phobia. By changing the time of day you're shooting eliminates the flash.

    I hope that you are wearing ear protection, that does contribute to perceived recoil. I was sighting in a 375 H&H for a guy one day and a friend came by. I had all the bullets in a bag so he did not see the long cartridges, so I told him it was a 243 Winchester. I made sure that he put on the good muffs, the gun was already loaded, he pulled the trigger and hit very close to the bullseye. When he got up from the bench, I opened the action and handed him the empty 375 brass. His eyes flew wide open and he stated that he would have never shot "that thing" if he knew what it was. The thing was he didn't and he said it really didn't recoil very bad at all, but had he known it would have kicked the crap out of him and he would have told everyone how bad it recoiled. Perception of a hard kicking gun...

    You're getting the same type perception with the muzzle flash.
    If you want the 300 Win mag to perform like a 300 mag then it is going to have some muzzle flash... no way around it.

    Jimmy K
  9. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    I am wearing good muffs, but you are right about the time of day. I have only managed to get out to shoot it after work for the most part. I went ahead and loaded up 40 of the same recipe and I am going to shoot this afternoon while it is still sunny. That coupled with the new stock, and some adjustment to the trigger, which I did last night, should help me tremendously.

    The trigger felt very rough and had, what I consider to be long, a long pull before BANG! Or more like BOOM! before. Now it is much shorter and a bit lighter, so it should help. I think I will wear some ear plugs under my muffs too, just to see if it helps.

    I will try every trick I know of to reduce my flinch, I just thought maybe I could load out one of the variables as well.

    Thanks guys for your great advice. I will let you know how it goes.


    Since I am sort of new to reloading, I wasn't sure I was doing it right. Your comment tells me I am probably doing fine. Thanks!
  10. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    I not saying that there are not powders that have less flash than others, I just think that the ones that give magnum performance will have plenty of flash.

    If you want to test my phobia theory, pull out a 3" magnum 12 ga, talk about it to who ever you managed to conjure in to shooting it, talk about the recoil, build it up to being an arm breaker, then hand him a unloaded gun, just make sure he believes it is loaded, then watch the show. I'd be willing to bet that he runs 10 yds down the range when the gun snaps. Perception of a hard recoiling gun! Pull out the video camera if you want some real fun, closed eyes, turned heads and flinches you wouldn't believe.

    You got to believe in your self, when you get ready to shoot... talk to your self.
    "Now self, we can do this, it's not gonna hurt and we're gonna make this bullet hit that bullseye"

    Jimmy K
  11. DKA

    DKA Well-Known Member

    My favorite load for my 300 Win Mag is 165 Gr Nosler Ballistic Tip, 79.3 Gr. RL 22, Fed 215 Primer. Very accurate load. You might want to start 10 % lower and work your way up.
  12. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    Well Gents,

    I went to the range today with my home rolled ammo and my 300 Win Mag. Never before today have I ever been able to shoot 3 shots within 1". That is, before today, and I didn't do it today either... I shot 4 shots within about 1", 3 out of 4, 4 shot groups. The 4th group was about 1.25", but by the time I got to that group I was getting tired and the barrel was hot. My concentration was not up to par, and I was shaking. I am very satisfied with the way the rifle is shooting now. :D

    I will try to take pics of the target either later tonight, or tomorrow. I am very tired though, and may just go to bed!

    I appreciate all of your help!

  13. 454PB

    454PB Well-Known Member

    Hard to argue with those results.

    I use 180 gr. bullets in my 300 WM, but if I were using lighter bullets, I'd try H-414 or WW760 (they are the same powder).

    I use these in my .338 WM and they are clean burning, accurate, and very little muzzle flash.
  14. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    A tip to keep the barrel cool... I use one those Coleman air mattress pumps that run on 12 volts, open the bolt, stick the nozzle in the chamber and let it blow until the barrel is cool. It only take a little to cool it down...

    Since most of my rifles are hunting guns, I want to know where that first cold barrel shot is going to hit... the next 2 or 3 does not concern me as much, I'd like for them to be close, but that first is it.

    Jimmy K
  15. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    I will look into it. Thanks!

    This one is going to be my hunting rifle too. Problem is... I am doing this work on the rifle now when it is 50 to 60 degrees outside and when hunting season rolls around, it will be in the 30s and 40s. How much will temperature affect the POI?

    BTW, I really like your idea with the air pump.

  16. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    I don't think you see enough change to be able to tell, other than you may be shaking!

    Jimmy K
  17. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    The 10 to 20 degree difference in the temperature of the barrel won't make that much difference in the first shot POI? Other than me being cold and shaking? :D
  18. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    I finally got my pics uploaded to my photo page for all to view. If you go to the bottom of the page it is the last 5 pictures posted. This is an ongoing album, so feel free to look at the rest of the pictures there if you want to. At the top of the page, you'll see pictures of it right after I got it, you'll also see my loads as I worked up to what I shoot now. Then you'll see the stock I just bought and am finishing and bedding etc.

    I hope you like the pictures, there is over 100 of them.

    BTW. I am a disabled fellow. I have chronic back pain. The range is 56 miles from home, so I was in a lot of pain, when I was shooting these groups. As you can see, the groups opened up quite a bit as I went along. I really do not think it was the rifle, I believe it was me. Towards the end it was hard for me to control my breathing and I was even shaking too.

    Here is the link: Mike's Weatherby Vanguard Photo Page Enjoy!

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  19. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Well-Known Member

    So, What did you guys think of my range report? The groups are not too bad huh?

    I guess I should stick with this load then. What do you think?

  20. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    I see what has your back hurting .... those calenders on the wall!

    Just joking, my wife has had numerous back surgeries, so I know what it is to deal with back pain.

    Nice looking stock, you should be proud !

    Hunting that elusive magic load is 3/4 of the fun of shooting-reloading to me, keep shooting when you feel like it.

    Jimmy K

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