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Varget Substitute?

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

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  1. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    maybe IMR 8208 XBR
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    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 Member

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

    zxcvbob Member

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

    MtnCreek Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    RPRNY Member

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    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 Member

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    http://masterpostemple.bravepages.com/M1load.htm

    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 Member

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

    NCsmitty Member

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    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.


    NCsmitty
     
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
    T
     
  18. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Ramshot Zip.
     
  19. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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

    Craigman Member

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

    RPRNY Member

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    This description from ADI's website threw me:

    "A useful fine grained medium/slow burning rifle powder for medium sized cartridges such as .308 Winchester and 25-06. Its burning rate is close to that of IMR 4064 but its bulk density is higher."

    But when I spoke with a Hodgdon tech today (Dave, nice bloke), he set me straight. How they can call Varget / AR2208 "fine grained" is beyond me. He was talking about BL-C2 and CFE223 but neither of these work across the three cartridges. I'm not sure that AA2520 will either.

    So, it's either give up versatility and replace Varget with at least 2 other powders, which I am loathe to do, suck up the throw inaccuracy of the Lee Auto Disk, or look at better metering. I have a Lee Powder measure kit that someone gave me, so I checked that out for consistency. 10 throws for 6.5x55 had no greater deviation than 0.5 grains, but that still strikes me as a lot. And, the adjustments aren't exactly "fine".

    T Bran - thanks for your experience with the Perfect Powder measure. That may be an option to consider....
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  23. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Hodgdon's has load data online for all three cartridges using BLC(2).

    I'm very interested in CFE-223 for loading .30-06 but I can't find any load data at all. There's load data for both .308 and .270 so it should work, but I wonder why they skipped over .30-06. Maybe the case fill is not high enough.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I use the Lee Perfect Powder measure to throw charges of Varget and it's always very close with all charges. None of the charges I measure are more than .1gr off.
     
  25. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    CFE223 30-06 data from the Hodgdon site:

    150 GR. NOS E-TIP Hodgdon CFE 223 .308" 3.300" 49.0 2715 47,600 PSI 53.2 2927 58,600 PSI

    Yes, there is BL-C2 data for 6.5x55 but only in the 85 - 107 gr bullet weights and when I spoke to the Hodgdon tech today he said they would not recommend BL-C2 for the higher bullet weights - which I found weird but I don't know enough about the subject. He seemed to suggest that it was insufficiently slow burning for the higher weights in that case. I load 140 gr SP.

    I need to take a longer look at metering options (thanks 243Winxb!) because it looks like some folks are getting better results than I do. I am not very experienced, so I have to believe there are other ways to skin a cat.

    New question: At ranges of under 250 yards (as far as I intend to shoot) for non-competitive target (wanting results but not against competition per se) and hunting (ie Minute of Deer) will charge deviations of 0.5grs within the same batch make much of a difference?
     
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