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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Love to tap into the group wisdom for a fairly new loader...

Been leaning loading for my .243, 30-30 and my 30-06 this year

Have mostly worked on the .243 and have developed loads w/ 3 different powders that shoot all about the same fps w/ nice groupings @ 100 yrs w/ a 100gr BTSP. I was felling pretty good about my learning... :D

Now... I have been working on the 30-06 (165gr BTSP loads) :confused:

I have now worked up a good load of IMR 4350 @ ~ 2900-2950fps w/ a good consistent grouping @ 100yrds.

A couple of very experienced loaders suggested I try the H4350 or the H4895 on both the .243 and the 30-06.... so I did....

Both the H3450 and the H4895 would only preform ~200fps slower on the .243 and ~300fps slower on the 30-06 before it flattened primers.

I really did not expect that much of a difference in FPS vs. pressure issues, especially between the IMR4350 and the H4350.

My mentors gave great reviews of performance for both of these H powders that I am not being able to duplicate w/o real pressure signs.

Both of the mentors have different brands of .243 and 30-06.

Can the difference in the make of a rifle cause that much variance in pressure issue w/ a load?

I have also tried IMR 4320, 4064 and 4007SSC. All of these had to fly at lower fps then the IMR 4350 to avoid pressure signs and/or keep a good grouping.

Don't have a problem settling on the IMR3450 if that's just what it likes... but want to be sure I'm not missing something.


Another learning curve... while I'm rolling...

For my 30-30, I was playing w/ off the shelf brand of 170grs. My Marlin 336 flings these all over the place @100yrs - really it's not me... I had my mentors try it....

I found I could really tighten the 170gr rounds if I load my own so they fly ~150fps slower than the factory loads.

I decided to try the 150grs....

it LOVES a 150gr off the shelf and my hand loads. The H4895 worked very well w/ 150gr @~2400+fps w/ a very good grouping @100yrds.


Thanks!!
 

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It isn't so much the make of the rifle as the dimensions. The accumulated plusses and minusses of the tolerances involved mean that no two rifles are ever alike. They're kinda like women that way, LOL!

You've used powders with a pretty good spread of burn rates, and you've discovered that faster-burning powders can peak out in pressure before they achieve velocities that a slower powder can produce - and that's a GREAT lesson! Good on ya.

For a newbie, you've made some really cogent observations. You will do well, grasshopper.
 

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The velocity you are getting from IMR4350 and 165gr bullets is nearly 100fps faster than any of my reloading books suggests, with a 24" barrel. Is your barrel longer than that? QuickLoad is suggesting you would need 59.5 grains of powder, or 107.5% charge capacity, with a 24" barrel, to achieve 2925fps. That is more than 4,000psi over recommended maximum. PLEASE DO NOT READ ANY OF THE ABOVE AS A RECOMMENDED LOAD!

If you're getting a chronographed velocity reading of 2900+ with a 165gr bullet, and good accuracy, there's no need to look any further. Just be careful because something really doesn't seem safe about that kind of speed with that weight bullet, out of an '06.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the notes! I wrote my post during a break at work earlier today. After reading boom_jm's post I double checked my notes when I got home.

I miss noted my FPS on the 30-06. W/ 57.5 gr of IMR4350 / 165gr Speer BTSP, I averaged 2820fps w/ a high of 10rds at 2900fps.

As a follow up to Racky Raab:

My mentor suggested that I set the OAL of an uncharged round to my rifle by setting the depth of the bullet in the casing w/ the rifle bolt and then using that round as to set my die and adding ~ 1/4 turn deeper to the die set. His take on the practice is that it help insure better accuracy for my rifle by minimizing the distance in the chamber before the slug hits the rifling.... Is this a good practice?

My hand load rounds chamber fine but they are ~ 1/8 longer than any factory loads I have. Can that fraction of time difference before the bullet hits the resistance of the rifling be contributing to the pressure differences?
 

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Hey Guys,

Thanks for the notes! I wrote my post during a break at work earlier today. After reading boom_jm's post I double checked my notes when I got home.

I miss noted my FPS on the 30-06. W/ 57.5 gr of IMR4350 / 165gr Speer BTSP, I averaged 2820fps w/ a high of 10rds at 2900fps.

As a follow up to Racky Raab:

My mentor suggested that I set the OAL of an uncharged round to my rifle by setting the depth of the bullet in the casing w/ the rifle bolt and then using that round as to set my die and adding ~ 1/4 turn deeper to the die set. His take on the practice is that it help insure better accuracy for my rifle by minimizing the distance in the chamber before the slug hits the rifling.... Is this a good practice?

My hand load rounds chamber fine but they are ~ 1/8 longer than any factory loads I have. Can that fraction of time difference before the bullet hits the resistance of the rifling be contributing to the pressure differences?
Your '06 load should be perfectly safe---if it shoots good it's a keeper! Seating bullets longer means less 'jump' before the bullet engages the rifling and usually means the bullet has a better chance of being centered when it starts down the barrel------this doesn't always mean better accuracy. Some rifles aren't fussy about O.A.L and others are. For hunting, feeding from the magazine is more important , and if a bullet is seated to touch the rifling pressures go UP! Have fun-------safely , of course.:)
 

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H and IMR are not the same deterrent chemistries, so the temperature you are developing the load under can matter. Also, your primer can affect some powders more than others. It may turn out with different bullet weights there is less difference, too, or one may favor lighter bullets more than the other. Don't know what your friends were shooting?

Flattened primers alone are not a greatly reliable pressure sign. Most military surplus load I've had will flatten them out pretty well. When they start to show, you usually still have some leeway. If they mushroom or crater, then you are getting into potential primer piercing and probably need to back off (though a wide tolerances firing pin tunnel, or the chamferred firing pin tunnels in some newer Remingtons can cause cratering that may not mean pressure is high).

In any event, I wouldn't sweat the powder differences too much. Just remember they are not interchangeable and you need loads worked up separately with them.

Your mentor is speaking of his experience with his seating depth practice. It will work, but be aware it will raise peak pressure 5,000 to 10,000 psi from normal SAAMI seating depth limits, so you want to drop your load at least 10% and work back up if you start seating out there. You didn't say if he turned the whole die or just the seater stem, where threads are usually finer? A quarter turn on a large threads is about 17 thousandths off the lands, which is what I expect you meant. That moves the bullet back 17 thousandths off contact with the lands of the rifling at the throat. I've seen people swear by seating bullets 10, 20, 30, and 50 thousandths off the lands, and also by seating a bullet's bearing surface a whole caliber into the case neck. But as Gunpa said, it's not a universal truth for any gun.

In the Precision Shooting Reloading Guide, the author of the benchrest loading chapter tells how he always believed 0.020" off the lands was best. One day he accidentally adjusted his micrometer type seating die the wrong way and wound up 0.050" off the lands instead of 0.020". He didn't discover the error until he had 50 rounds loaded. At that point he faced pulling the bullets and reseating them or just shooting the 50 for practice. He decided on the latter. To his amazement, they shot smaller groups than anything he'd ever put through the gun before. That would be about 3/4 turn on your outer die threads.

I've taken to backing down 10% on my anticipated load level and running the seating depth from actual bullet contact with the lands all the way down to as deeply as the bearing surface of the bullet can go into the neck without putting the ogive below level with the mouth. I usually work in 0.020 increments because my seaters have the micrometer adjustment that makes that easy. You can work in 1/4 turns. Usually you find a group minumum or two in that range. Not super tight, but once you have the number of turns involved, you can go back and refine it with 1/8 turn steps to find the center. Once you have it, then tune the powder.

Dan Newberry's round robin method for locating the right powder charge can be adapted to work with seating depths. That's what I use. Read his whole OCW site, since you are a newbie. It provides a very useful systematic method of finding sweet spot loads.
 

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With my 30-06 (24" barrel), I have not tried 4350 or 4064 with the 165gr bullet. My best groups right now come from 50gr IMR4895, with CCI200 primers, at 2825FPS. That is NOT chronographed, but rather from the manuals, so it may be a tad faster than that over a chronograph. I don;t know.

To settle on that powder, for that bullet weight, I also tried Varget, H380, RL19, and RL22.

I'd say if it likes 4895, go with that. I have a habit of trying several different powders even after I've found a good load, and only rarely does it improve (BUT there are those exceptions). Still, alot of powder tried is alot of powder bought. I've slowed down in that respect. Now, I look for recommended loads and try them first. When I hit on a good load that produces consistent groups, I stick right there with that powder and start trying primers and seating depth, and playing a little up and down with the charge weight. I'm not a big velocity guy. If I can get good groups that still shoot 2.7" to 3" or so high at 100yds, then I'm happy....even IF a chrono was to tell me it was travelling slower than what a manual says, for example.

ON EDIT: After posting, I read Uncle Nick's post. I too have found that, with some loads, my 30-06 wants a big jump to the lands. I tried inching up on the lands by seating certain loads closer .010" at a time, and my groups were opening up. That Remington of mine doesn;t mind a jump. Now my Rem in 22-250 is the opposite: it wants the bullet right up there into the lands, especially with heavy Berger bullets. So...each rifle to his own, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, this is gives me some more to "play" with!

While I have no problem of making the IMR 4350 my primary 30-06 powder, but as noted, I'd like to be sure as well as have a back up powder that is close....

I look forward to playing w/ what I have learned now about fine tuning w/ the depth set...

the whole OCW site info = good stuff! I will back up a bit and revisit some of my work ups for the .243.

I just checked some of my 30-06 rounds.....

Max OAL of 3.340" (Lyman Reloading Handbook)

The few Federal 150 gr factory loads I still have are an OAL of 3.204" - these nail a good grouping at 100yrds! I've not checked their vol....

My first factory loads were w/ Rem Core Lokts 165gr set by my mentor's methods are at 3.284" - still have about 50 rds. This was a "rush" set I did early on and have only played w/ them. The fly well, but I wanted to do better.

When I tried to load the Speer BTSP 165gr at the same setting on my dies, I had to give another near 1/2 turn on the large threads to get the longer tip of the BTSP to not hit the lands (learned a new term - thanks!). The rounds I've been working w/ the noted powders have been set a OAL right near the max of 3.338 (not intentionally....).

Would trying to seat the BTSP a bit deeper in small increments as noted help allow a bit better "play room" w/ the other powder pressure options?
 

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First off, try to not juggle more than one variable at once. If you load a different charge, seat a different bullet to a different depth and shoot lousy groups, what caused it? You don't know.

I settle on one powder, one bullet, one primer, one brand case and one seating depth. I vary the powder charge to see what shoots best. Then I tweak the seating depth a bit to see if things improve. (All the while keeping detailed notes, of course.)

After I settle on the best of the best, I may see what effect changing brass or the primer has - or not. Changing the bullet or the powder type means starting over.

I have articles about seating depth measurement, load development and much more on my website. Start reading with "Reloading 101" and then browse around. http://www.reloadingroom.com
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rocky, Will dig in the PM... thanks for the shared knowledge!

Backing out the scope of the question...

W/ very superficial evidence so far ... both my 30-30 and my 30-06 seem to "handle" 150gr bullets easier (with less tweaking effort) than the 170gr (30-30) and the 165gr (30-06).

I have focused on the 170gr and the 165gr for both rifles because of my mentor's recommendations. Understanding that all guns very in how they handle bullets and loads I knew starting w/ his bullet types might be only a starting point.

I have the 30-30 for two reasons: 1) A lot of my dear hunting is in the heavily wooded foot hills of SW OR and 2) I JUST WANTED A COOL LEVER ACTION! I have the 30-06 w/ the idea of a basic heavier rifle w/ a good reach ability. Plus... both were good buys at the time and I figured good places to start learning.

Thinking largely SW Oregon black tail deer, the persistent chicken eating black bear and hopefully some day - an elk or two...

Besides the benefits of the learning and practice time involved, is the advantages of the slightly heaver bullets (170 and 165) worth the effort to tweak them in to submission to my rifles or is there enough "get the job done" in the 150gr rounds for both rifles to just accept a path of least resistance and work on the 150gr rounds?
 

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Probably depends on bullet integrity more than weight. FYI, years ago I settled on the 165gr. Partition as a do-it-all load with my .30-06. It works well enough and I'm way too lazy to change it, despite any advances that may come. Currently using Varget for powder but have had good results with IMR-4064 and IMR-4350 in the past. Just got tired of trickling charge weights.

Have fun, you've started the great adventure of reloading......
 
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