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Varget Substitute?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RPRNY, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

    I like Varget's versatility and performance. I load 6.5x55, 30-30 and 30-06 with it and like that I can use one powder with good results.

    BUT, I am using the Lee Auto Disk powder dispenser (double disk) and I find that it throws Varget with much less consistency than H110 or Trail Boss, for example. I can get variations of up to 0.8 grs currently. I'm thinking the extruded construction of Varget presents issues in a volumetric system like the Lee Auto Disk.

    I would appreciate the thoughts and views of those of you with broader reloading experience as to what a potential substitute for Varget might be. I was thinking IMR 4064 which is very close to Varget but read of someone describing it as "meter[ing] like rough ground gravel" which would probably not be an improvement vs Varget.

    So the parameters are similar 1) versatility/use across the three calibers listed above 2) no significant loss in relative performance, and 3) throws well - consistently - in a volumetric system like the Lee Auto Disk.

    Thanks very much.
  2. onlybrowning

    onlybrowning New Member

    Maybe a ball powder. BLC2 or H380 if my memory serves me should be appropriate. IMR 4064 is extruded and similar in grain size to Varget. It sounds like you want to try a spherical powder. Hodgdon's site will specify make up.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    maybe IMR 8208 XBR
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    I love Varget for 150 grain .30-06 loads. The Uniflow doesn't throw extruded powders as well either, I suspect none of them do. Just set it to throw a little less than desired, and trickle up to weight. That's what I do with the extruded stuff.
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Don't take away my Varget for .223 loads. No, can't have it.
  7. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    How about AA2520? (have some but haven't tried it yet, using up my Varget first)
  8. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    Throw 25 charges with your measure and weigh 25 charges, load them the same way and shoot them over a chrony. You may decide it’s close enough.
  9. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I get .1-.2gn variance with Varget in my Pro Auto Disk. I like BL-C(2) much better in .223 & 30-06 tho. I don't shoot 30-30 tho. BL-C(2) does better in every Cal I've used it in.
  10. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Well-Known Member

    Varget is indeed a versatile powder...but as you have discovered...it can present difficulties when metering. Any of the larger extruded powders can cause problems.

    RL-15 and H-322 are both smaller extruded powders (H-322 being much smaller) than Varget and might work for you (assuming bullet weights around 150 grs. in the calibers you listed).
  11. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Well-Known Member

    2520 is advertised as being a ball equivalent to Varget. Give a pound a try.
  12. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

    Wow. That's pretty impressive. I was half expecting. "Lee junk sucks, dude. Whaddya want." But, this is The High Road.

    I appreciate all your responses and will have to sit down with some charts and work out which of these powders may work best. Turns out Varget is awfully versatile. Maybe it is acase of different metering rather than different powder.but

    AA2520 sounds like a winner but I can't find 6.5x55 or 30-06 load data for it on the Accurate site. ADIs AR2208 is a Varget equivalent ball powder (ADI makes Varget for Hodgdon) but I take it that ADI powders, other than those marketed by Hodgdon, are not available in the US? Will have to do some studying!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  13. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member


    You might also try WC846 surplus powder, available online for less than $100 for 8 pounds. It uses BLC(2) load data, sort of.
  14. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    I use IMR 4064 for my .308 loads and get great results.
  15. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Although not optimal across the board, H4895 affords decent velocities while still providing the temperature insensitivity of Varget. I've not had much luck with Varget, and H4895 has always been the go to powder in the mid sized cases for me.

  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    ADI AR2208 IS Varget to within a very few percentage points, off the same production line. It is not a ball powder.

    I shot a fair amount of AA 2520 which meters like a dream... but does not shoot as accurately as Varget in MY rifles.
    I doubt you will be able to tell much difference unless shooting at least at midrange - up to 600 yards.
  17. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    My little cheapie Lee Perfect Powder Measure does a far better job with Varget than I expected. Actually does good with every stick powder I've tried but it can be a leak-o-matic with some ball powders.
    No way I'm giving up my Varget even if I had to dip it all by hand and trickle up [witch I do for small batches anyway]. Varget and H4895 are my most used powders.
  18. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Ramshot Zip.
  19. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    Zip??? Don't you mean TAC?
  20. Craigman

    Craigman Well-Known Member

    CFE 223 is very close. Meters well. I use it in my .375 H&H:D

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