Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Varget vs IMR4064 for .308 accuracy loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by R.W.Dale, Dec 17, 2010.

?

Your 308 accuracy powder of choice

  1. Varget

    31 vote(s)
    48.4%
  2. IMR4064

    20 vote(s)
    31.3%
  3. other, please specify

    13 vote(s)
    20.3%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,375
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have both on hand to start testing with however before I start working up loads I thought I'd ask you fellas who've used both what your experiences have been as to how these to propellants group with bullets of 150g plus.

    I have not had the opportunity to load the 4064 yet and as such I wonder how the stuff meters through a uniflow that handles varget like it was water.

    Also please share any idiosyncrasies you might have discovered about these two powders as far as what they like or dislike again through the filter of accuracy really being the only concern
     
  2. kludge

    kludge Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Indiana
    I use IMR 4064 in the .308 and it has never given me a reason to try Varget. You can get slightly higher velocity with Varget, but you have to compress it to get there. I can get in the mid 2700's with 4064 in a 24" barrel with the slightest sign of a crater. Varget might get me another 50fps. But >2700fps hurts to much and I prefer 2550fps. I have no problem getting consistent drops with my cheap-o Lee powder measure. I'll probably buy H4895 before I buy Varget.

    It would take a much better shooter than I, at ranges much longer than what I have access to, to determine if there is a difference between IMR4064 and Varget from an accuracy standpoint.
     
  3. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,035
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I have had really good luck with 4064. I keep trying to "love" Varget but it never seems to do as well as the classics like 4064 or 4895 for me.
     
  4. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,177
    Excuse me, but aren't we forgetting the basics here? What rifle are you discussing? And is it reasonably accurate to begin with?
     
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,579
    Location:
    Alabama
    IMR 4064 is a long stick powder and does not meter as well as Varget.

    Most of my buds who use IMR 4064 weigh their charges. But they are the type who would weigh their charges if they were using ball powder.

    I have gotten outstanding groups with thrown charges of IMR 4064 in rapid fire prone at 300 yards.

    I highly suspect I would have gotten equally outstanding groups with thrown Varget.

    You just have to load test to determine which will group better in your rifle. I can say that with hardly any load development you can find a load with either powder that wil shoot inside of your hold, without a bench.
     
    Megan likes this.
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,375
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    We're not skipping anything Offhand
    I'm asking a very specific question with regards to these two powders and YOU'RE assuming other accuracy factors have not been addressed. Let's just say that after getting through the load workup if the rifle isn't deep into sub .5MOA territory I'll be quite disappointed.
     
  7. kelbro

    kelbro Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,264
    Location:
    Desert Southwest
    I have to give 4064 a very slight edge, accuracy-wise, in my 308s shooting 168gr and 178gr match bullets.
     
  8. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,853
    I don't want to stock too many different powders, so for most certerfire rifles from .223 to .308/.30-06, I just keep Varget and IMR4895 on hand; those two handle most everything in the bullet weights I shoot.
     
  9. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,883
    Location:
    NC
  10. J.Boyette

    J.Boyette Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    NC
    I love IMR 4064 for a bolt action, for a semi auto I use Win748

    John
     
  11. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I've only used Varget and AA2520 both are excellent. I have a can of H4895 to try and want to give Reloader 15 as shot too.
     
  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,325
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have not had good experience with Varget in a couple calibers. Low velocities and inconsistent accuracy has soured my initial enthusiasm for using it.
    On a positive note, H4895 has proven to be a solid performer for me, and has replaced Varget in those cartridges with good velocities and accuracy.
    I used IMR4064 years ago when I had a 30'06 and it was always accurate. It can be difficult to meter accurately in some measures though.

    I have no experience with the 308, but I'm aware that it can be a very accurate round. I just don't like it because of it's short neck design.

    If I was loading for it, I would look around at some of the new powders being introduced that fit the 308's burn requirements. Nothing wrong with the older powders, but I like trying some of the new technology too.

    Alliant's new Power Pro spherical powder line shows the 2000-MR giving 2775fps using 168gr Sierra BTHP in the 308.
    Some of Hodgdon's new powders coming on line may boost velocity with nominal pressures.
    Maybe more data will prove to be convincing.



    NCsmitty
     
  13. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,796
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    "...if the rifle isn't deep into sub .5 MOA territory I'll be quite disappointed..." You'd best prepare yourself then. Too much depends on the rifle to think about sub .5 MOA groups.
     
  14. Exposure

    Exposure Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Location:
    The wilds of Maine
    I'm going to agree with Sunray.

    Your question is so vague as to be almost unanswerable.

    You ask the following per your own post:

    "before I start working up loads I thought I'd ask you fellas who've used both what your experiences have been as to how these to [sic] propellants group with bullets of 150g plus"

    Which can only lead anyone replying that you have done absolutely no load workup at all and want some help getting started. That's fine. There is nothing wrong with asking for a starting point.

    Then when Offhand asks a very relevant question that with a few strokes on the keyboard could REALLY help you focus in on the guidance you are seeking you give an amazingly snide response:

    "We're not skipping anything Offhand
    I'm asking a very specific question with regards to these two powders and YOU'RE assuming other accuracy factors have not been addressed. Let's just say that after getting through the load workup if the rifle isn't deep into sub .5MOA territory I'll be quite disappointed."


    Admittedly, you ARE asking a very specific question. But you are unable to answer even the most basic of questions in regards to the variables that are open for discussion. If your handloading and shooting skills are such that you can do mere load development and be "deep into sub .5MOA territory" than I can't imagine why you would need ANY help from the folks here.

    So what exactly are you looking for? Do you honestly expect anonymous people on a message board to be able to give you a recipe for sub .5" loads with an unknown .308 rifle with unknown bullets?

    You don't even narrow down a specific bullet weight, or even bullet manufacturer. Nor do you provide what type of rifle or twist rate you are dealing with. And on top of that you are worried about how well it will meter. If you want sub .5 inch groups you will be hand weighing every charge, not relying solely on the powder measure to do your work for you.

    Sorry but your post is very strange.
     
  15. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,375
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    see post 20
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  16. Mags

    Mags Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    3,235
    Location:
    Belgium
    I voted other I like RL15 and IMR4895.
     
  17. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    The nice thing about Varget is that the half-inch groups will carry through immense temperature fluctuations, if that's important to you. 4064 is alot more temperature sensitive.
     
  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,375
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    Thank you!!!!

    This is the kind of usefull input I'm looking for here.

    How does 4064's temperature sensitivity manifest itself? Pressure spikes, POI shifts, or accuracy consistency?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,120
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    For the most part, IMO Varget is a short cut version of IMR4064.

    The problem with Varget is when it came out there were some applications where it delivered outstanding accuracy so many reloaders assumed it was an accurate powder for all applications, calibers and bullet weights. That is not so. (as we all learned quickly) For some reason reloaders didn't treat Varget like they would other powders and consider the caliber and bullet weight with regard to relative burn rate. Varget is very good at doing what it's good at like other powders but you can't force it to be good at everything. Like I said above, for the most part Varget is a short cut 4064 and will work well in "most applications" where 4064 works well.

    I've found in calibers like the .308 and 30-06 Varget works well with 150gr bullets but not so well with 180gr bullets. That's where it's not like 4064 because 4064 will do well with 180gr bullets most of the time in those calibers. I hope I made some sense here and didn't ramble too much! :p
     
  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,375
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    OK OK Very well I'll provide some background and in retrospect maybe I did come off on the wrong foot a bit

    Because there is a wealth of information posters here can provide if you merely ask, not just on the handloading basics but also when it comes to serious in depth competition level handloading practices.



    My rifle is built with ONE purpose in mind, shooting groups as small as possible. My goal is to shoot very very small groups. To that end I will not be happy (nor have I been with my last such rifle) with .5"+ groups. I fully intend to work through EVERY minute facet of load development towards bettering my group sizes with THR's help if need be.

    Now on the powders outlined.

    The good thing about a common cartridge like 308 is there's a veritable gold mine of information to be had about what works and what doesn't in terms of accuracy. One common theme that's came up in all my research is that by a wide margin Varget and 4064 are THE accuracy powders for the bullets I intend to start my development with. Projectiles such as the 155 A-max, the ubiquitous 168SMK and the 178grn A-max.

    The rifle

    Is built on a three screw savage LRPV or target action if you will, the barrel is a 30" 1-10" McGowan, the stock is a Stockade benchrest bedded of course. My interim scope is a Sighton SII 4x16x42mm Target model with a fine crosshair 1/8" MOA dot reticle




    Right now I'm getting quite promising results with the light weight bullets and N120 left over from my 30ppc Largo that I'm practically burning up just to get rid of.

    While I WILL test this with these two propellants, with my last heavy rifle (30ppc Largo wildcat) I found absolutely NO discernible difference in group sizes comparing weighed vs thrown charges. My best loads for that rifle would shoot in the high .2's ad low .3's with charges thrown straight out of the measure. Granted these were different propellants.

    Even weighing charges how a powder meters matters as you'll want to be able to throw slightly light and trickle up.
     
  21. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    N.E. Ohio
    In my Savage 10FP in 0308, I get better groups with 43gr RL15 and 150gr BT bullets than with Varget. Don't know why, but that is what my targets say. Three shot .5" groups are not a problem off a bench at 100 yards with my OCD prepared hand loads.
     
  22. JDGray

    JDGray Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,131
    Location:
    SW MI.
    I have had great luck with Varget in my two rifle calibers I load for. .5moa average 5 shot groups with factory barrels. I have really not looked any farther for different powders. A shooting buddy swears on the new IMR 8208XBR offering, and its not temp sensitive like Varget:)

    Good luck with your loading!
     
  23. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,273
    I could never get good results with Varget in my .308 shooting Nosler 168 gr HPBT's. I played around with all kinds of different powder charges and nothing worked. I later tried IMR-4895 and it did better across a spectrum of powder charges. I've settled on IMR-4895 for my .308 loading, bought 16 lbs of it.

    I'm not really concerned with temp sensitivity, I stay away from max charges and the coldest weather I shoot in is around 30 degrees, the warmest, 85 degrees. That's not going to affect it all that much.
     
  24. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    17,607
    Location:
    Illinois
    The ONLY way you will be able to answer this question is to buy a pound of each type, and work up loads. If you're serious about competition the cost of 2 lbs. of powder isn't going to set you back.

    When I buy / barrel a new rifle, as a rule I buy EACH type of powder it can shoot, along with EACH projectile that should work well with the twist rate of the barrel. Then I spend a loooong time, and go through a lot of 9V batteries for the chronograph, to find what it likes to eat.

    The peculiarities of your exact rifle's headspacing, chamber, lands, finish lapping, crowning, twist rate, barrel length, and other interior ballistic harmonics which will dictate what powder / projectile / seated OAL / velocity will work best for your rifle.

    If you do not take the time to go through all of the possibilities in a controlled (and safe) fashion, you are merely guessing or (worse) assuming that what you have is "the best". Sure, you skip the process, try a few combinations, and say "good enough" on one of them - I have done this many times myself, and there's no harm there. I say controlled, because if you don't pay particular attention to environmental conditions, all of your work is for naught because results won't be comparable.

    If you are looking for absolute truth, if there is such a thing, you have to go through the process to find it. No Internet message board is going to short-cut this process for you. It may give you a starting place, but it may also give you bias which can skew your results, compared to objectively exploring the possibilities on your own.

    Regarding what will work in your expensive custom built match rifle, you may find results in unexpected areas. From my experience, I found a "sweet spot" on Sierra BTHP MatchKing 180gr 308 bullets for my 300 Win Mag with one particular powder. It took two years of testing, endless hours of meticulous brass sorting and case prep, and a couple of thousand dollars in components, tools, and equipment to get there. In the end, out of a commercial factory off the shelf barrel / action, I was able to put down consistent .25 MOA 10 shot groups with that load (with some occasional larger groups on bad weather days)...

    Unfortunately that was the end of the barrel's life, and now I get to start all over again with a new Krieger next summer. :)

    Make no mistake, the fun is in the searching, not the end result. Once you find what you're looking for it all does get quite boring. If you have neither the patience, time, nor money to go on the adventure of truly working up a load for your rifle, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

    Just my .02.
     
  25. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    17,607
    Location:
    Illinois
    PS, the one absolutely necessary tool you're going to need isn't reloading equipment; it's a good chronograph for testing. A good long range competition load that's properly fitted for a match rifle will yield between 8-12fps maximum velocity deviation. Assuming the bullet is properly stabilized by your twist rate, and the BC and retained velocity is sufficient for the range you are shooting it at, the single most important factor under your control when working up a load is the speed at which the bullet leaves the barrel, and the consistency thereof.

    Wider fluctuations in velocity will result in increasing amount of vertical spread in your shots as the ranges increase. A 10fps max difference in velocity at the muzzle doesn't make a great deal of difference at 100 yards; the bullets will probably pass close to the same hole. Extend that out to 800 yards with the increased time of flight, the fact that gravity's pull is a function of time, and the trajectories separate MUCH wider. In addition, the increasing velocity differences as the rounds travel downrange ALSO mean the bullets are affected differently by wind drift, spin drift (not only horizontal deviation from spin drift, but also the rate they climb against the wind), and so on.

    So "how accurate" depends on your range. If you're shooting at or under 300 yards, you can easily get away with 20-25 fps difference. If you're shooting to set a new 1000 yard world record, you're going to need under 5 fps max deviation, and a REAL steady hand. :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page