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Old 11-02-2009, 03:27 PM
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H4831 vs H4831SC

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Other than the fact that it meters easier, what is the difference between H4831 and H4831SC? I see many loads for the .338 Lapua using the short cut but not many for the standard.

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Old 11-02-2009, 04:55 PM
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I've read that the two are supposed to be the 'same'. While I have loaded some SC powder (30-06), I don't recall any significant excursions in performance from the non-SC powder in my load, and it's been long enough that anyone should work up new loads as normal anyway. I don't have a 338 Lapua, although the case mouth is large enough that powder flow isn't a problem. It may come out of the dispenser better without that grating grinding sound, but the non-SC likely isn't a problem in feeding into the case! Don't know if there's a price difference in the std vs the SC version?
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kudu40 View Post
Other than the fact that it meters easier, what is the difference between H4831 and H4831SC? I see many loads for the .338 Lapua using the short cut but not many for the standard.

I haven't used the SC powder yet, but 4831 has never metered well out of my powder measure, which has forced me to weigh each charge. This isn't a big deal since I don't shoot 1,000 rounds of .270 a year, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at something that dropped out of the tube more consistently.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:34 PM
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Always measure all centerfire cartridges with a scale, so don't know how well the SC measures as compared to the longer stick H4831.

Switched over to the SC when it came out because its supposed to be temprature insensitive. Can't notice any difference between it and the regular 4831 as far as pressures/velocities.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:51 PM
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The shorter cut is designed to meter more easily, but longer grains are easier to get consistent ignition from. Hatcher wrote about working up a load for National Match ammunition one year (back when the military still supplied the ammo for matches) in which he had two powders very similar to what is now IMR4320. One had grains 1/22" long and the other had longer 1/11" grains. The former would meter within an extreme spread of 0.6 grains in the arsenal loading machines, while the latter was much more difficult for it, producing an extreme spread of 1.7 grains; a big number by a modern reloader's standards. Yet, in machine rest testing, the sloppier load of the coarser grained powder was consistently more accurate.

Hatcher believed easier passage of the flame front through the coarser grains was responsible for achieving ignition enough better to overwhelm the better consistency of the finer grain loads. He also said that new records were set at the nationals with that coarse grained ammunition. He reported that some know-it-all pulled some bullets an pronounced it inferior because the charge variation was higher than the ammunition issued the year before. The records somehow escaped this fellow's notice.

The bottom line is that until you work up loads with both, you won't know which version might do better in your gun, or if you will see any difference at all? If you are lucky enough to find a charge weight-indifferent load as Hatcher did, you won't really care about the metering precision much. At that point, you can just get one of the inexpensive Lee Perfect measures to use with it, which will do about as well as any with coarse sticks. The only measure I know of that does better with them is the JDS Quick Measure. It's design can't cut grains, and my copy is never off by more than .2 grains. More usually the error is half that. But it costs more than the Lee.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:49 AM
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The shorter grains of SC may allow you to get a little more powder in the cases, but the burn rate of the two varieties should be the same.
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