Starting a New Powder Lot

Lee Q. Loader

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I'm about to start a new 8 lb. of Benchmark. Benchmark is my preferred powder for 6.5 Grendel. My plan is to load a few of the same load I did with my last 8 pounder and see how they shoot. My current load is no where near the max load per the Hornady or Hodgdon data, so I'm quite comfortable doing this. My hope, of course is that my load is still good and then I'll load up a few hundred. What are the chances of this happening? Very good, I hope!

I guess, my question is, Has anyone ever started a new lot of powder and had their previously "accurate" load become "inaccurate"?
 
I induce more variance than lot changes in my shooting. i.e. I can't tell a difference, but I also don't load hot, so sticking with a known load is goid enough for my shooting.
 
A medium load according to book numbers and all other things the same. I will set up the crony and check the new lot. If it is within 5% or the same and the same accuracy I continue on as usual. If not then find out why. As long as it is not at book max or above, just do what I consider a minimal workup to verify it is close enough.
 
Only time I ever noticed was on RL15 once about 15 years ago. Group opened up about .035”. Little fiddling around with charge and back to normal. This was on a 6BR.

Never noticed anything since with the powders I use. I don’t punch much paper anymore though, minute of golf ball is my requirement now.
 
Unless you shoot a lot I will wager the difference between new powder and when you run out 8 pounds later is bigger than lot to lot variation. Is the variation in varget much larger than any other powder or just more well known based on the volume used by world class competitors with crazy good documentation.
 
My hope, of course is that my load is still good and then I'll load up a few hundred. What are the chances of this happening? Very good, I hope!
They are indeed very good. I've never noticed a difference.
I'll go further than that. I've never even checked a lot number on a can of powder. Literally have never looked for one.
I've also never had an accurate load become innacurate.
 
Interesting to see everyone's experiences. Thanks for this discussion. I've not had any lot to lot discrepancies personally, but I also don't normally shoot guns capable of the accuracy required to notice.
 
If I was planning on loading a few hundred at a time, I'd run out 5 or 10 and shoot some targets first, to verify everything is good to go. So that I wasn't sad later that I had a few hundred that needed to have the bullets pulled or something.
 
My plan is to load a few of the same load I did with my last 8 pounder and see how they shoot. My current load is no where near the max load per the Hornady or Hodgdon data

That's exactly what I would do.

Has anyone ever started a new lot of powder and had their previously "accurate" load become "inaccurate"?

I've had an inaccurate load get suddenly accurate... with a bullet change... and the reverse, but I've never documented issues between 2 different lots of the same powder.

Back in the day, when I was buying powder 1# at a time, my shooting skills and reloading technique was not enough to tell the difference, but as I progressed in both my technique and shooting, I now buy powder by the 8#'er... and one reason for that is to minimize lot changeover, and other variables.
 
I'm about to start a new 8 lb. of Benchmark. Benchmark is my preferred powder for 6.5 Grendel. My plan is to load a few of the same load I did with my last 8 pounder and see how they shoot. My current load is no where near the max load per the Hornady or Hodgdon data, so I'm quite comfortable doing this. My hope, of course is that my load is still good and then I'll load up a few hundred. What are the chances of this happening? Very good, I hope!

I guess, my question is, Has anyone ever started a new lot of powder and had their previously "accurate" load become "inaccurate"?

When I get completely into a new 8# jug I generally do just a quick 5 round load test at what my current load is and check accuracy and velocity.
 
I've never seen a drastic differences in accuracy out to 200yds.

I have seen differences in MV, ES and SD though. Whether or not the differences made any practical differences depends on the distance your shooting. At a minimum I'd chrono and reset all my MV and temp in my calculator. IF the delta in SD was significant, I'd re-do my load development to sort it out.

It's the primary reason I buy 8lb kegs.
 
Have you checked the lot number to see if they are different? I've picked up powder several years apart and they were the same lot numbers.

I've got where I buy a case of 8# (2) of the powders I use in rifles. This way I don't have to worry about change in lot variation.

Like many I shoot a few out of the new and compare to my old lot. I've only had to make an adjustment once, the load was too hot. Had to reduce the load by a couple of 1/10 to get the same crony numbers as the older lot.
 
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