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  #1  
Old 11-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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How many of ya'll are seeing heavy carbon fouling with some of these new generation powders? For the past couple of years I've been shooting a lot of Varget and Reloader 17 and have been fighting heavy carbon buildup in the throats of the rifles, and it takes a hellavalot of work to get it out.

The other day I was using some of my old IMR 4895 to break in a 260 barrel just to use it up because it was getting pretty old, cleaning after each three rounds. I shot seven of these groups and cleaned after the last one there, while the barrel was still warm. When I got home to give the rifle a good cleaning and expecting to do the usual battle with the throat, it was clean, no carbon. A couple of days later I did the same thing with a new IMR 4895 and again when I got home, it was clean, no carbon in the throat. Yesterday, while at the farm, I wanted to check with the hunting loads, loaded with Reloader 17. I shot three, three shot groups and cleaned after each of those, just to see how they were going to group with a clean barrel. When I checked the throat after doing this, there was heavy carbon that took a lot of scrubbing to get out after just nine rounds and doing a normal cleaning between each group. This same rifle had no carbon with over twice the shots, doing the same general cleaning between groups using the IMR 4895.

I've also have found the same thing with my 22-250 and Varget powder. I've been fighting hard carbon fouling with the Varget so I tried some of the IMR 4895 in it today. I shot five three shot groups, cleaning between each and had the same results. Just a standard cleaning after the last group and the throat was perfectly clean, no moticable carbon buildup.

I know it's still too soon to say but it sure is looking like some of these new powders don't burn very clean at all, and was wondering if anyone else is seeing this. Before saying weak loads cause this, these are not weak loads. They are hunting loads loaded with the Varget and the R-17, and both are pretty dang warm. Any more and they would be down right hot.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:54 PM
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Hmm, I have not seen that with Varget. But I will keep an eye out. Interesting observation.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:56 PM
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Welcome to the wonderful world of "Hard Carbon" fouling. Brought to you by current generation extruded powders. That exact issue is one of the reasons that I left them behind, several years ago now. That issue first appeared to me in the, then new, 204 Ruger. In taking to Sierra about my woes, they turned me onto some info. According to the gent I spoke with, it is a problem with "newer" generation extruded powders. He told me they see it everywhere, but is much faster a problem in smaller diameter bores.
My 204 would deposit black carbon chunks that seemed as hard as diamonds. Major B.S. to get that stuff cleaned out.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:29 PM
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Darkker, you are certantly right about that one. I fell in luv with Reloader 17 after trying it about 18 months ago. Extremely accurate and great velocity in my 260's, but can't handle the carbon buildup in the throat. I just pulled bullets on all the loads I had loaded and pitched an almost new bottle in the trash. I've shot my last load with that stuff.

I've done comparison test with several of the old standby's that have been around forever, W760, IMR 4895 and IMR 4350. None of these powders left a hard carbon deposit in the throat after 10 rounds that a normal cleaning would not easily remove. After testing each on of these powders and cleaning the rifle very easily when done, I shot three rounds of R-17 and the carbon ring was heavy and as you say hard as a diamond. It took the usually PITA amount of work to get rid of it out.

I'm pretty sure Varget will be the next to go in the trash. I've been testing powders and loads in the Model 7, 260 for now but when I get it done, I'm gonna start on the 22-250 and the Varget I shoot in it. I already know it's going to be history, but gonna test it first and see. Then I have a few more of these new generation powders I'm going to test. It just ain't worth the effort it takes to clean the throat, plus there is no way it could be good for the barrel having to work on it that hard.

Also, anyone that says they don't have a problem with these powders, my first question is, do you have a bore scope? If not save any comments until you can look at your throat with one, you are probably in for a big suprise.

Last edited by BKeith; 11-09-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:28 PM
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That is funny, because the whole time i was reading these comments I was going to post the question, " Is ya'lls usin them boar scopin thingy's??" So I see the answer is yes. I have been considering buying one lately but I am afraid if i do i would go nuts with cleaning my rifle... my gun shoots good and the patches come out clean. I guess that doesn't necessarily mean it clean huh?
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:01 AM
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BKeith, I've found the same _lack_ of hard carbon with the 'old standbys' as you. I don't use much of the new-gen extrudeds, based upon the experience Darkker had a few years back; that was enough experience with them for me! The exception is that I do have a 5-lb jug of Re-17. Maybe I'll have to test a couple things now...
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:12 AM
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I have been using Varget for quite a while, since it was pretty new. I don't have a bore scope, so I can't say my rifles *don't* have hard carbon, but I can't see any with a bore light, feel any with the cleaning rod, or get any out with solvent. Both rifles I shoot it in are more accurate now than when I started using Varget.

So I can't really see a problem, at least as far as MY application and usage. It'll be interesting to see if I eventually do develop issues, but so far, so good.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:24 AM
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BKeith, I read this post from last year on BR site

Reloading Question, things gone bad and can't find a reason [Archive] - Benchrest Central Forums
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:14 PM
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What brought it to lite for me was when having the problem I was having with the 22-250. When the pressures went crazy on it, the first thing I did was good cleaning of the throat, which you could tell there was a little but didn't look bad at the time, but from past experience, that's usually where I get my pressure problems. After I made a couple dozen passes with a bronze brush and carbon remover and looked again, I though Oh Crap! the throat was totally shot out, it looked cratered and just down right ugly. I cleaned some more and it looked even worse, I decided the barrel must already be toast so I started scrubbing the crap out of it just in the throat with a bronze brush and carbon remover, just to see how bad it was. After several hundred short back and forth three inch strokes with bunches of carbon coming out on the brush, I looked again and it was looking much better, that's when I could see it was actually carbon buildup I was eating away and the throat was still very good. After a few hundred more strokes with the bronze brush and some JB's Bore Paste, I finally got it back to looking almost new again. The lands have move about .010" deeper but everything else looked great.

The only thing, that still didn't do anything for the pressure problem I was having but it did make me go back and look at the other rifles I had been shooting the past year. All the ones I have been shooting Reloader 17 and Varget in had this same heavy buildup that's just ungodly hard and even harder to get out. The ones I've been shooting the old standards in, like my 6mm with IMR-4350, had very little and it didn't take the extreme measures it took on the R-17 and Varget to get them clean. It also bothers me at just how fast the powders leave that crud, three or four rounds and it can take an hour to get it out if you wanted to get it all out.

Now, I know that if it's not causing an accuracy problem, don't worry about it, that's why the 22-250 had gotten so bad. It had about 200 rounds and I had never done more than the general cleaning and was still shooting 1 - 1/2 inch groups at 400 yards, and every now and then throw in a 3/4" group, so I hadn't bothered to check it that close. On the same note, one of the 260's I shoot R-17 in has been going south after as few as 20 rounds between cleanings. When I tried cleaning the throat in it, I was just as bad as the 22-250's. Now that I've gotten all that crud out of it, shooting IMR-4895, the accuracy is not going away like it did and the throat is not carboning up. The velocity nor the groups are as good as was with the R-17 but that's the first powder I've tried to replace the R-17 with. I've got plenty more to go.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:51 PM
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Do you think that Thales (owner of ADI and manufacturer of Varget and many others) wants Americans' guns to be wrecked? Oh, wait, that may not be it since Re-17 is from Rheinmetall. Still, it's the European powders we're seeing this from...


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Old 11-14-2012, 04:45 AM
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From reading this post, it seems the only problems come when using Varget and Rel 17 in small bore calibers. Anyone using these two in larger bores, say 7mm and up?
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKeith View Post
What brought it to lite for me was when having the problem I was having with the 22-250. When the pressures went crazy on it, the first thing I did was good cleaning of the throat, which you could tell there was a little but didn't look bad at the time, but from past experience, that's usually where I get my pressure problems. After I made a couple dozen passes with a bronze brush and carbon remover and looked again, I though Oh Crap! the throat was totally shot out, it looked cratered and just down right ugly. I cleaned some more and it looked even worse, I decided the barrel must already be toast so I started scrubbing the crap out of it just in the throat with a bronze brush and carbon remover, just to see how bad it was. After several hundred short back and forth three inch strokes with bunches of carbon coming out on the brush, I looked again and it was looking much better, that's when I could see it was actually carbon buildup I was eating away and the throat was still very good. After a few hundred more strokes with the bronze brush and some JB's Bore Paste, I finally got it back to looking almost new again. The lands have move about .010" deeper but everything else looked great.

The only thing, that still didn't do anything for the pressure problem I was having but it did make me go back and look at the other rifles I had been shooting the past year. All the ones I have been shooting Reloader 17 and Varget in had this same heavy buildup that's just ungodly hard and even harder to get out. The ones I've been shooting the old standards in, like my 6mm with IMR-4350, had very little and it didn't take the extreme measures it took on the R-17 and Varget to get them clean. It also bothers me at just how fast the powders leave that crud, three or four rounds and it can take an hour to get it out if you wanted to get it all out.

Now, I know that if it's not causing an accuracy problem, don't worry about it, that's why the 22-250 had gotten so bad. It had about 200 rounds and I had never done more than the general cleaning and was still shooting 1 - 1/2 inch groups at 400 yards, and every now and then throw in a 3/4" group, so I hadn't bothered to check it that close. On the same note, one of the 260's I shoot R-17 in has been going south after as few as 20 rounds between cleanings. When I tried cleaning the throat in it, I was just as bad as the 22-250's. Now that I've gotten all that crud out of it, shooting IMR-4895, the accuracy is not going away like it did and the throat is not carboning up. The velocity nor the groups are as good as was with the R-17 but that's the first powder I've tried to replace the R-17 with. I've got plenty more to go.
Don't know about the R-17, but the problem with the Varget is due to being way overbore on the expansion ratio. In a smaller cased .22 like the .223, Varget works very well. It also works best with medium to heavy weight bullets for caliber. So, even in the .223, it won't work too well with the real light varmint type bullets. 55 gr. on up, it does a good job. If R-17 is a similar burning rate, then that is likely the problem there as well.

You'll see the same problem in 6.8 SPC and .30-06 with Varget trying to use too light a bullet. Bottom line is, you have to match the burning rate, case capacity, and bullet weight to the proper powder choice for a good, efficient burn.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:24 AM
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That's why I stick to the tried and true powders that have been around for YEARS. All the bugs are worked out, all the loads have been developed, and they have proven successful for decades.

If you have IMR 3031, 4895, 4350, 4320, 4198, and 4064, there are D AMNED few calibers you can't load for and get good results. They have been doing it since reloading started, and they will continue to do it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:00 AM
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I've used Varget in:

.22-250 jacketed
.250 Savage jacketed
.257 Roberts jacketed
.30-06 (lots!) cast and jacketed
.338 Win Mag cast and jacketed
.35 Rem (lots!) cast bullets
.444 Marlin cast bullets
.458 Win Mag

Haven't shot my .22-250 in a few years but don't recall any problems cleaning it. Should note, I am not a high volume shooter. Just a few rounds here and there.

I'll keep a close eye out for fouling in the future, but haven't noticed too many problems in the past.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 PM
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I shoot about 1000 rounds of 308 a year. About 46.6gr of Varget per round. I clean after 60 to 100 rounds. I use Bore Tech Eliminator. I see no real carbon build up. I have no bore scope. I go through maybe a pound of RL25 a year in my 7mm wildcat. That's my replacement powder for Retumbo. I get some carbon build up but it comes out easily. I use the same Bore Tech Eliminator after about 25 to 50 rounds. Retumbo is about as clean as any powder I have ever used. The dirtiest powder I have ever used was Herco.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:40 PM
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I didn't think I was having a problem and I also was using Bore Tech, cleaning when I finished shooting at the end of the day. That may have been as few as 10 rounds or 50 rounds. Acurracy was great until the pressure went nuts. I have sinced changed to all KG products, they still give me the best cleaning. Deatons Deep Clean is what I keep in my range box and use it for a quick cleaning, but still use the KG's when I get home.

I would guess it has to be something with my load because if everyone had the amount of very hard carbon mine had, their wouldn't be so many people using Varget. I just know there's something about it that's not working for me and I can use other powders that's I don't have the problem with, so I'm gonna try them.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:41 AM
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I've been shooting R-17 since it came out in couple WSM also in 280AI,284 and 30-06 haven't had any problems and all the rifles are custom.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:04 AM
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Just curious is this a problem with all of Alliant's Reloder line of powders? I've been using RL19 and RL22 and haven't noticed an issue but I don't have a borescope.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 AM
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The common thread with the more modern stick powders is their improved temperature stability. So it may have something to do with the deterrent coatings achieving that property requires. Sticking with the old IMR powders and the Vihtavuori powders (if you can afford them), should keep that issue at bay.

In general, though, if you run powders at a high enough pressures and give them enough time, they seems to burn carbon off pretty well. I suspect, therefore, that either loading warmer or with heavier bullets will reduce the carbon in question. I've had no trouble with Varget in .30-06, for example (and I do have a bore scope) but I was running match loads with 175 grain bullets and charge weights several percent above the standard recommended levels (I also have a Pressure Trace instrument to check my pressures).
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:16 AM
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I read this thread with some interest but really had nothing to add until yesterday. I was building a load for my 300 win mag using IMR 4350. I also decided to bring along my 22-250 to check the rounds I loaded based upon a test I did a while back. I use IMR 8208 xbr.

I shot 9 shots with the 300 ran a wet patch down the barrel when I was done shooting and 4 shots with the 22-250 and did the same thing. Oh with the 300 I shot a total of 21 shots but cleaned the barrel after every 6 shots except for at the end.

Packed up went home and perhaps an hour later cleaned out the guns. The 300 had some soot but not really all that bad. The patch coming out of the 22-250 came out totally black as did a few more.

What makes this really interesting, to me anyway, is that I used bore paste on both barrels prior to shooting them. So both barrels were really clean before shooting them. I really would have thought the 300 barrel would have been far worse but what the original poster said might be something I will consider when choosing a new powder to use.
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