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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all,
New to this forum, but have been loading for quite a few years. Mostly CAS, no problem therre, shoot BP.. My hypothetical question is; Is there a RIFLE powder that can be almost called universal. I reload in anything from 7TCU to 45-70 and 243, 7mm, 30-30, 270, 30-06, 35 Rem, 444, you get the idea.. I shoot NO magnums and reaslly don't shoot for MOA. I shoot for DAD,(deer are dead). I have and shoot many different powders for these loads.
Again, this is a hypothetical question. I can use the excuse of economics.. It would probably be cheaper to buy an 8lb. keg and run it till empty.. I have a wife, 2 sons, a B-I-L also I have to reload for. Before yall get on me about getting my sons reloading, been there done that.. Had to download almost 200rds one time due to no powder..:( Hope I didn't open a can of worms, just a question.
BTW, great site, wish I had found it a long time ago
Thanks, Gil aka Wishbone
 

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One power for that broad of a range, ain't gonna happen, not if you want the best burn rate for each. You are going to hit max pressure pressure and have a lot less velocity with several of those cartridges. You can group the 243, 7mm, 270 and 30-06 into one powder a come out pretty good, but those others won't work very well with that same powder. I have found the new, Alliant Reloader 17 is very forgiving over a very broad range and would load the four I mention and do very well with them. 4350 would probably be a more popular and better known powder (and a little cheaper) but I've been doing a lot of experimenting with R-17 and that's some very good stuff, just no a whole lot of data available on it, you have to make you're own. The 30-30, I've always found IMR 3031 to work extremely well in it and would probably work very well in the 45/70 and the 35 Remington. The 444, and 7TCU (what ever that is) I've never loaded for so can't say about those two.

By the way, don't use the no powder as an excuse, Chucks on Watson Blvd sells most any powder you might need and if not, Sports Center in Perry will for sure have it. Ingleside Guns changed hands and they no longer stock reloading supplies but those two will have most anything one should need.
 

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I have found H4895 to do very well with lots of "medium calibers" such as .223, .308, and the like. It also supposedly does well with some large bores such as .375 and .458 magnums. Not the best for .30-06 or .270, but might do in a pinch.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Medium rate. I've done quite a bit of reloading with Varget. Probably could have made it all work with RE-15 or maybe IMR-4064 or the like.

Nothing is perfect, but the closer you get to the middle, the more ground the stuff covers.

May not work with all bullet weights, but I'm using the stuff in .22-250, .250 Sav, .257 Robert, .30-30, .30-06, .338 Win Mag, .35 Rem, .444, and a .458 Win Mag. Planning on trying in the 6mm Rem and may also the 8mm mauser.

In reality, some of my needs would be better met with a slower powder and I got some H-4350 to compliment the Varget.

My experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Powders

Thanks for all the replies. Getting plenty of input.
BKeith, used to know a B. Keith in the military stationed here at Robins. You are very familiar with WR.. Been here about 27 yrs. use all those stores you mentioned..I have plenty of powder, just looking to maybe shoot a little more economically....,..
Thanks again everyone..Gil
 

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Actually, H4895 is not entirely unsuitable for the '06 class of cartridges, it just doesn't give nearly the performance of the slower burning options. Conversely, it is a bit too slow to be of much use in the 7 T/CU or the 444 Marlin. It will "work" for every other cartridge you listed, but is only ideal in a few of them.

To my way of thinking, if you wanted to limit yourself to three rifle powders; fast, medium and slow, you could cover all the bases you mentioned. The three I would pick, if I chose to restrict myself to just three, would be IMR4227, Varget and H4831SC...with those three powders, I could work up a serviceable load for just about any rifle in my safe. Still, there would be some compromising and I would rather work with a powder that will give me the BEST from a given cartridge, not just something mediocre.

If you had 8lbs of three different powders, that would cover you for quite a while, unless you shoot a great deal. That would be simplified enough for me, but let us know what you decide works for you. :)
 

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Id say if I had to pick one, Varget covers more than anything else for rifles. Unique for pistols and shotguns.
 

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Varget or h4831sc. Those two would cover alot of calibers. As been said, might not be perfect for every caliber, but will do if needed.
 

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My hypothetical question is; Is there a RIFLE powder that can be almost called universal. I reload in anything from 7TCU to 45-70 and 243, 7mm, 30-30, 270, 30-06, 35 Rem, 444, you get the idea..



If I wanted to load those calibers with one powder I'd probably choose IMR-4895, it's usually a tick slower than H-4895 which might help a little in the smaller bores you mentioned. You could think of it as the "Unique" of rifle powders- it won't give you top velocity in some of your calibers but I'm sure you could find nice accurate loads in each with a little experimenting. It's also one of the few powders, if not the only powder, where you could find load data in each caliber you're loading for.
 

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I would also second the 4895, but nothing is a cure all
Hmmm,

The 4895's are certainly at or near the top for versatility, as well as R15. I have yet to try Varget, but by all accounts I should.

Aside from the generalization that "specialization is for insects" I don't think that's true for powders. If I had a .243 and a .270 or 7mm Mag, I could get by with one powder, but not if I wanted to load a full range of bullets. Or for my shotguns. Or for my handguns.

There might be an argument for buying an 8lb'er for the emergency stock, and 4895's could be a good choice, but I find that about six powders covers all of my needs, and cutting back from that is tough.
 

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Wishbone, I was probably stationed at RAB before your time. I spent a year in the 5th MOB's ground radio back in 1980 - early 81. Left there and worked on the developement and deployment of the Ground Lanuch Cruise Missles.

When I retired, we moved back to GA. I live about 25 miles east of WR off GA-96 in J'ville. Mostly shoot at the Griswoldville Gun Club of GA-57. There you can at least shoot 500yds.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A lot in common.

Wishbone, I was probably stationed at RAB before your time. I spent a year in the 5th MOB's ground radio back in 1980 - early 81

I was in the 5th MOB from 83-92. Ran the MRC shop for a few years then went out to TE. Worked at the MOB school for the last few years before retiring in '92. Shot out on Ga. 57 at the Cowboy shooting club there for years before we split up.. Just missed you by a couple of years..

Great answers from everyone else. Wanna try Varget and 4895.
Thanks everyone, Gil
 

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I went through a similar exercise several years back when I found quite a few of my 1# powders were starting to turn on me. In an effort to minimize things to a more manageable level, I took a little time and built somewhat of a spreadsheet of the calibers I loaded for, and the most often used bullets. With this I worked my way through all of the manuals I had on hand as well as most of the powder manufacturers info on line.

With what I found I picked up 8# jugs of Ramshot Hunter, and Magnum, then Hodgdon 4895 and 4831. With these I can load up everything I have on hand with the bullets of choice, and get the most for my money. I load everything from .223 to a .303 British. I don't need to have the last few FPS from the loads as long as they hit where I am aiming, they will get the job done, but I do still have the potential to get all I can from the ones which I might want it from.

I agree there might be better powders for a particular case or caliber, but I wanted overall flexibility. While Varget has worked so well for so many others, in the several pounds I burned, I never found it any more accurate than what I was already using, and in most cases not as. YMMV

I am content with the majority of my loads at or under 2900fps, in standard calibers and with the Magnum or 4831, I can easily hit anything I need with the magnum cases.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Another tip, if you aren't married to a specific bullet weight, then the load can be modified in that way to make the powder more suitable. Within the data, of course.

That is, if your powder is a bit on the fast side, see if there is a lighter bullet that will work well. If the powder is too slow, go with the heaviest bullets that your gun can stabilize....

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lotsa good ideas on this post. I than everyone for your input. I do agree that there is no magical #1 for all calibers and bullets..It is a good post tho..:)
Thanks, Gil
 

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I understand the search for a few powders to do a good job overall. I allway run into buying 4 or so powders to test for one rifle load . This is even more of a problem with very little reloading data availible and to find low and moderate loads for the same gun! But then I end up having a lot of powder choices to develop my next load, I would have to own a powder store if I loaded for all your guns to develope sweet loads.
 

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No IMR 3031?

I was surprised that no one would recommend IMR 3031.

Although I have no desire to limit myself to one powder I have been able to load a number of calibers from 7mm mauser to 45/70 with success using that one powder.

Scruffy
 

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IMR 3031 is another good "all-purpose" choice, but is still quite a bit too slow for the diminutive 7 T/CU and the big-jugged 444 Marlin. For small-to-medium bore cartridges, of ~50-65 grains of powder capacity, medium burn rate powders like 3031 work well. When the case capacity is much less, or the bore size much larger, you start to see a real value in faster powders. When the capacity is greater and bore size still small-to-medium, the slowest powders shine.
 

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One Powder?

I can't limit myself to one powder for one cartridge not to mention the entire group that I have.
6PPC V-133, H-322, XBR-8208, old pulled down military 8208,
 
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