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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
just finished loading 50 cartridges in .223. stats are as follows:

case - winchester
primer - winchester sr
bullet - hornady 50-grn v-max boattail (#22261)
powder - imr 3031 (1.9cc, or 24.9 grains)
ballistic coeffecient - .242
col - 2.313 (chambered nicely, fit well into magazine)
expected velocity - appx 3270fps

according to everything i see and read, this is a fine load and quite a bit under max for this powder/bullet combination. the only way to know for sure, of course, is to test them.

if anyone sees anything blatantly wrong with this load, let me know, i am still quite new to reloading.

thanks!
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, tasunkawitko:
It looks OK to me, although Hornady recommends 25.7 grains as maximum and you should start at least 5% low, which is 24.4 grains. One thing that concerns me is that you specified your load as 1.9cc. Is this a weighed amount or did you just use a Lee powder dipper? Your technique could vary enough from Lee's to put you over the edge, although you're more likely light.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jack -

i did use the lee dipper. the lee loader came with a 1.6cc dipper, but according to hornady these were not even starting loads, so i switched to the 1.9cc dipper, which, according to hornady, lee and imr, was still a fair amount below max.

along about the third cartridge, i got paranoid about my technique and i weighed the charge. it came to exactly 24.9grains, which dovetails with what lee says it should be. i was quite careful to be as consistent as possible with all of the charges, and was quite conservative. none of the charges were overflowing, and all were leveled off, so i am quite confident that they were consistent.

i looked carefully at how full each case was as well, and am positive that i did not OVERCHARGE. one or two of them might be UNDERcharged, but only by a few granules of powder. believe me, i have no desire to blow up my rifle, my hand or my face!!

i will be getting a powder measure soon, and will look forward to that. i believe that the dippers can be reliable, consistent and above all safe, if used properly; however, the convenience and speed of a powder measure will be nice as well.
 

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Hi, tasunkawitko:
I've never used the Lee dippers myself, and I guess I'm getting old and persnickety, but I weigh every charge when I'm running that close to max. Long stick powders like 3031 don't meter too well and your measure will be doing good to stay in a half grain range. Doesn't matter if it's a cheap Lee, which actually has a good reputation with long stick powders or a Harrell($$$). Short stick powders like H322 or ball powders meter much better. Anyhow, you did the right thing with that visual check. BTW, vibrating the case or slowly trickling the powder into the case will settle the powder quite a bit.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
jack -

good point about metering powders. i will start looking into ball powders such as win 748 & 760 or perhaps something by hodgdon? i have heard good things about varget, but am not sure if it is a ball powder.
 

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Varget isn't a ball powder but a short stick powder. It meters very accurately in my RCBS Uniflow, and I've not been able to measure differences in velocity spread with thrown vs weighed charges. IDShooter
 

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Hi, tasunkawitko:
Winchester 748, Hodgdon H322, H335 and BL-C(2) should work. Winchester 760 is way too slow for a 223 with 50 grain bullets.

Bye
Jack
 

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I've gotten my best consistency with Lee dippers using this technique stolen from a poster on another board. I can't remember who or I'd give them proper credit...

Fill a bowl with your powder of choice and push the dipper down into the powder backwards. When the dipper fills, remove it and strike it off level with a card.

As to powder, try some of the short stick Reloader powders from Alliant. They meter very well. I've had good luck with RL7 under 52 grain Hornady BTHP match bullets. RL15 has a good reputation with the heavy bullet shooters.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Varget is wonderful stuff, use it in a lot of cartridges, but is a bit slow for the .223. Benchmark might be the one, check the Hodgdon data at www.hodgdon.com
 

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The latest Lee Dipper Chart lists the start grains for the 50 gr bullet at 25.5 for 3031, and equivalent to 1.94 CC. The Max load is the 1.9 CC dipper, giving the same 25.5 gr charge. Max and start are probably the same because it only generates 45,600 CUP, which is already 10% below max. Your loads are safe on paper.

The charge weighing phase of your reloading is critical, as it is where 95% of all serious errors are made, and its also time consuming to do accurately. I think you will have more fun, save time and be safer if you ultimately get a LEE powder measure (Less than $10 at Midway). I like it a lot because it has a charge bar graduated in CCs, so you are dealing with BOTH volume and weight when you use it. You start by wieghing charges of your selected powder as they are dispensed from the measure until you get the weight you want. This is made easy, because your first charge comes from the CC value on the charge bar. In your example, you would set the bar for 25.5 CC and charge your scale. Its usually within 1 grain, so the adjustment up or down is easy from there. Once set, you just insert your cases into the measure orafice and pump the handle. Very fast and accurate.

As a double check, just charge a dipper of known volume and make sure it looks right. I recently put Longshot into the hopper in place of Lil'Gun, and the volume check saved me from a serious mistake. My intended load would have generated over 100,000 PSI!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
loader -

i too am a big fan of lee, and will be getting a lee powder measure after christmas. i'll remember your advice, as it sounds like a good idea.

i'll hopefully be able to try this load out on friday or saturday. assuming that i will, i'll report back on the results.
 
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