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Compromise Rifle Powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gbw, Oct 28, 2013.

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  1. gbw

    gbw Member

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    I'm looking to find a single rifle powder for the listed cartridges / rifles. I know it will be a compromise and that's ok so long as it provides reasonable results.

    Ball type powder, or other easy measuring / flowing type

    .223 / 5.56mm to function safely & reliably in a Colt LE6920 - 55 gr. and up to ??
    .30-30, Winchester 94 carbine (160 gr or thereabouts)
    .308 Winchester, Kimber rifle, 130 - 180 gr. bullets
    .30-06, to function M1 Garand safely and reliably (150 & 168 gr.), and Winchester M70 up to 200 gr.

    So. Is there any powder that will meet all of these criteria? I'm not trying to work up loads for optimal performance or efficiency, I do all of that sort of tweaking with handgun loads.

    Just a good general purpose powder for these calibers, assuming I can find one. IMR 4895 seems to come close, but I'm not sure about metering smaller charges through a Dillon measure. BL-C2? Or any of the newer powders?

    Any suggestions most appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  2. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Just about any ball powder between 76-103 http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html would be a decent compromise for everything except the Garand safe loads. I am no Garand expert, I've never loaded for one, but as I understand it IMR4895 is the cream of the crop for the Garand. If you can get your hands on a current Hornady manual there may be other Garand safe powder loads listed in it.

    If I were in you situation I'd just try to get my hands on some IMr4895 and any ball powder between 76-103 on that burn rate chart. All of those ball powders can be tricky to get your hands on these days, and so can IMR4895.
     
  3. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    For the Garand, IMR 4064 will also work quite well for certain weight bullets. My Hornady 9th lists about 10 or 12 powders that are also suitable but I've never looked at them closely.
     
  4. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Nope not gonna happen hate to break it to you but there isn't one magic do all powder you should look at several load manuals and this will be apparent PS this is the reason why I have 23 different kinds of powder :evil:
     
  5. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    Accurate 2520. It has near identical burn rate as 4895 but is a ball powder.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I was about to post the same powder but here it is! that was the first powder that came to mind when I read your post.

    You are looking for a ball powder and something that will be safe in the Garand, AA2520 is probably your best compromise.

    In case you can't find AA2520 some other choices are:
    Ramshot TAC which is a ball powder that is very similar to AA2520.

    Another choice would be Hodgdon Varget. It's a short cut extruded powder so it meters well compared to most other extruded powders.

    I like H4895 and for me it meters better than IMR4895 and velocities in the 30-30 are considerably higher with H4895 than IMR4895. As a 4th choice you can consider H4895 if need be.

    I would have suggested Hodgdon CFE 223 except for the fact Hodgdon doesn't supply data for bullets over 165gr in the 30-06.
     
  7. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I would say RL-15 but you want a ball powder. IMR 8208 XBR would meet your criteria for all except 200 grain bullets in the 30/06 and it meters the best of any powder I've tried. You of course shouldn't shoot anything heavier than 180 grains in your Garand. CFE 223 is too slow for the Garand.

    You mention the word compromise so maybe you should compromise on the ball powder thing and go with RL-15.
     
  8. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    OP, can I ask why you want to do this?
     
  9. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I think it's because every reloader's dream is to only need to use one powder for everything. It would make reloading much simpler.

    I have abandoned that dream many years ago.
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Reloading manuals and the powder manufacturers' web sites are your friends. The information you are looking for is there.
     
  11. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    4895, or Ramshot TAC , Winchester 748, all would serve well in the cartridges you listed.
    I have successfully used all but the TAC in the cartridges you listed. 4895 was the powder for the 3006 during WWll and Korea. 748 was the powder they rolled the 308 (7.62x51) out on.
     
  12. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Get an adjustable gas plug for your Garand and you can pretty much use any powder that you decide on for the other guns safely.
     
  13. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    What Don McDowell said.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  14. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    ".223 / 5.56mm to function safely & reliably in a Colt LE6920 - 55 gr. and up to ??
    .30-30, Winchester 94 carbine (160 gr or thereabouts)
    .308 Winchester, Kimber rifle, 130 - 180 gr. bullets
    .30-06, to function M1 Garand safely and reliably (150 & 168 gr.), and Winchester M70 up to 200 gr."


    It can be done, but as your title states, "Compromise".

    I use 748 in .223/5.56 and it does very well until I get to those super long bullets. All of that length has to go some place and soon the space competition with the powder gets too tight. I end up switching to H4895, a compromise.

    Back when I load 30-30s, I only use 3031 powder. So I'm no help on this one.

    For .308/7.62s, again 748 powder does all I want and well.

    And for the 30-06, both with and without a plug, I use 748. I only load 150 grain range bullets, so you heavy weights could be another compromise.

    Several years ago I reduced all of my rifle and pistol powders down to one each.... I'm all the way down to 7 rifle powders and 6 pistol powders. The best plans... maybe some day.
     
  15. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Also look at h322. Might be a problem with heavy bullets in 308-30-06
    and dont know about 30-30
     
  16. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I've loaded 3 of the 4 you're looking to cover and H4895 was the first thing to jump into mind.

    Works in .223 up to 80gr bullets. I prefer Varget but wouldn't be sad if I had to use 4895 instead.

    Makes good .30-30 loads, pretty easily duplicates factory performance. In fact, it's what my .30-30s are loaded with as I type. I know I'm not supposed to be happy with "only" factory .30-30 performance, but it's one rifle I'm content not to try everything I can get my hands on. (Done that in .223. ;) )

    The .30-06 and 4895 just go together in the M-1. However you're going to sacrifice speed with heavier bullets in your M-70.

    I've never loaded .308, but a quick look shows H4895 data available from Hodgdon to start.

    Runners up would be Varget and Alliant RL-15. All three of these have metered well for me and provided good accuracy. Fact check if RL-15 and Varget are in the safe burn-range for the M-1; last I remember they are on the proper side of the chart but it has been a while so don't quote me on that!

    The only other thought I have is if you want maximum performance in everything, you'll need a second powder canister on hand. I'd suggest H4350 for your bolt-action .30-06 ammo when you go this route.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  17. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    RL-15 and Varget are both good for the M1.
     
  18. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    Win 748 or Hodgdon BL-C(2) both work well with .223, .308, and .30-06. Never loaded .30-30 but the book has loads for both of those powders as well.
     
  19. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Its not ball, but Varget would be my choice. I actually prefer it for heavy 223 bullets, and its a great choice for 30-06. Never used it in 308, don't load 30-30, but manuals list it for both.

    Laphroaig
     
  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    There are powders that can work for all. But while you can pour the same powders in all 4 cases, the chances of getting the best perfromance from any of them are non-existant. You'll likely get a great load in one, average performance in 2-3 and and below average performance in 1-2 of your rifles.

    With the 30-06 the best powders for 150 gr bullets won't be the best choice for the 200 gr bullets you want to use in a different rifle.

    You are loading for 5 different rifles with very different needs. 5 lbs of powder cost pretty much the same whether you are buying 5 different powders or 5 of the same. In the long term the costs are the same. Might as well use the powders that will give you the best performance for each use.
     
  21. gbw

    gbw Member

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    Wonderful answers based on actual experience, and I'm very grateful.

    Looks like IMR or H4895, Varget, BL-C2, 2520, Ramshot TAC, RL-15 and Win 748 are all candidates for sure.

    Reloading manuals are fine, and I've several, but they don't report wide experience or say enough about metering.

    I did say it need not be ball powder as long as it meters well (down to about 20 gr. or so), Dillon powder measure.

    To answer one poster, I only want to stock one or at most 2 powders for rifle - I reload these to shoot, not to play with, I'm old enough now not to worry about the last 200 fps, nor can I say I've ever seen any accuracy difference in powders beyond that expected from those giving wide velocity variations, rifle or handgun.

    I'm doing the same with pistol powders though it will take at least 3, maybe 4. But I'm covering far more calibers / bullet weights plus .30 Carbine.

    The reason is the events of the past year. The fewer the powders I need, the more pounds of each it's feasible to keep on hand, and so the more likely a useful powder will be in my locker when I want it.
     
  22. gacajun

    gacajun Member

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    I use Varget for .223 and .308 and found loads for .270 and 30.06. I like it because it meters well and is pretty clean burning.
     
  23. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    If you take the ball powder requirement away, I probably load more rl 15 these days than any of the other powders for the rifles. It meters as well as 4895 for stick powders, and it does give good velocity and accuracy in all 4 of the cartridges you list, plus it works very well for me in the 405, and the 30-30 ai.
     
  24. 4895

    4895 Member

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    I think you're right with your instinct. Imr 4895 may be your go to powder. IMR 4895 is my compromise powder for most plinking rounds. Hunting rounds push more for case fill & velocity.

    I don't mean to start an argument but you say you work handgun loads for optimal performance but not rifle. Sounds kinda backwards to me. I would rather have something like W231 or Unique for all handgun loads and separate my rifle powders for performance.

    As far as metering is concerned, if you're not pushing the envelope with max loads, I think .3 grains is an acceptabe variance that probably won't even be noticed. Your Dillon measure should do that just fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  25. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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