Shooters Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm doing my very first loadings. 308 win, Hornady ELD Match bullets 155 gr, Varget powder, Redding #2 powder scale. I started out loading several 43 gr loads then went to 44, &45. But when I got to 46 I noticed something that has given me pause. I looked into the neck of the 2nd 46 gr load & noticed the powder was up into the neck just past the the shoulder. When I took a bullet & held it against one that I had just finished, it looks like the base of the bullet will contact the powder. Is this considered a compressed load? The Lyman book says 48 gr of Varget is a compressed load, not 46 gr. I've weighed a bullet on the scale to verify it's working. Everything is ok there. I didn't feel any abnormal resistance when I seated the bullet either. Am I good to go or do I have a real problem?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,350 Posts
No problem. Some factory ammo is very compressed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,127 Posts
I asked basically that same question a while back when I began loading 7MM TCU. Some of those loads are also very compressed. Some so much so that you have to use a wooden dowel to tamp the powder down. This looks really strange and I'm still not used to it, but the loads have all fired safely. Glad you are watching for things like that and asking questions before doing something harmful.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,350 Posts
There is a solution to compressed charges that works better than swirling or tamping. Load up a loading block full of cases with powder then just touch the loading block with a small vibrator. Shazam! The powder sinks to the shoulder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I've read where an electric/battery operated toothbrush works good for settling powder down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,971 Posts
Need to be careful about creating static electricity.
Case volume varies from case to case which will make the powder height be different.
I love RWS cases for this reason.
Load up a block of 50 and the powder will be the same.
If there is a big difference I measure the load in that case again just to be sure .
To big of a difference and the case goes in to a bigger than usual volume pile.
Just lightly taping a case with your finger should be enough to settle the powder.

cheers
 

·
The Shadow (Super Mod)
Joined
·
7,321 Posts
The Lyman book says 48 gr of Varget is a compressed load, not 46 gr.
And the Hodgdon reloading site says 47 is compressed.

The point is, powder isn't a constant thing. Don't expect to just mimic what is printed in a book, and have identical results; doesn't work that way.

But you should be fine with the compressed charge, verify velocity as you work up. Or as suggested, tap on the case.

Cheers
 

·
Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
Joined
·
10,581 Posts
A few inches longer drop tube helps, but my preferred load for my 35 Whelen even a 12" drop tube isn't enough to get the powder halfway down the neck, so that load is heavily compressed and very accurate as a result.

I employ several compressed loads and find them to be the most accurate in those cartridges. I also buy powder in 8 pound jugs so my load and lot stay the same over a longer period of time.

RJ
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,187 Posts
Note that the bulk density of stick powders can change a lot. Often just the vibration of transport will pack them considerably. Several of the stick powders on Accurate's web site show ±5.6% bulk density variation, so that's an 11.2% span in the volume they can occupy as the powder comes from the factory.

Here's an example of what you can do with drop tubes.

99413
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Cartridge cases of differing brands may have significantly different case volume. What a loading manual states as 100% full is for the case brand they are using, not necessarily what you are using. The biggest issue with compressed charges is the tendency to push the bullet back out, making for inconsistent seating depths.

I had one load that I just could not get the bullet to seat reliably unless it was .010 in the lands. Any further deeper in the case and it just would not hold, even using drop tubes and settling techniques. I could not seat off the lands at that charge weight.

I switched from Varget to a slightly faster burning ball powder and gained velocity with case volume to spare.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top