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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted to ask around if anyone has been reloading with this powder. I have an old Ruger 7mm. magnum (1976) and have never had much sucess reloading for it having never shot a group yet under an inch and 1/2 until I broke down and finally bought a box of Hornady Superperformance with the 139g. Gmx. All of my factory ammo was about as old as the gun and I knew they had made a lot of improvements in ammo since then so I decided to dust old "Knock 'em stiff" off and try again and was amazed when I started shooting 1" groups. I had always loaded this gun with 169 grain boattails because thats what all the "pros" were using. But I finally checked the twist in this gun and found out it was 1 in 12" which is slow and it probably wasn't stabilizing the longer bullets as well as the shorter bullets.
So I bought one pound of this powder but could not find any reloading data for this load in any reference books. I even called Hogdons and they would not tell me. So I had a pound of worthless powder! I seached and searched on the internet and could not find any data. If you don't believe me I would like to know where? Anyway what I did was I pulled the GMX bullet out and weighed the load on my electronic scale and found out it was 73.5 grains. Now what I would like to know is this a good idea if I started with say 70 grains and see what happens? I know they are others like me because I read about a fellow that was having the same problems with I believe a .223? they only release info on certain calibers. I figure I can do the same thing with my .223 and buy a box of .223 superperformance and weigh it out and try it in my ar-15. Am I barking up a tree? Please give me some feed back before I load these up.
Bullthrower
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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You are indeed barking up the wrong tree. Hodgdon is using the Superformance name on several different similar, but unrelated products.

I don't see a snoball's chance in Hades that you will find a powder that works in the .223 and also the 7mm mag, at maximum charges.

Please don't even think of loading anything you don't have published data for.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In other words this canister of pwder is different from what they are putting in there unpublished cartridges?
 

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Maybe you've already looked, but scroll down to the bottom of the page here:

Sperical Rifle Powders

Please read the last sentence on Superformance. What they are loading in their factory ammo MAY be different than what they are offering to reloaders in canister. Maybe they'll tell you, maybe they won't. But DON'T guess and try if there is no published data FROM HODGDON for the cartridge being contemplated.
 

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In other words this canister of pwder is different from what they are putting in there unpublished cartridges?
According to Hodgdon themselves, the answer to your question is, YES...the powder you bought is not the same powder they put into the factory loads.

Here is what's going on with the factory loads for both the Superformance and LeverEvolution lines of ammo. Hodgdon is custom-blending powders that are tailored for each cartridge/bullet combination. At least, that is what they are claiming to do.

The Superformance and LVR powders they're selling to the public are likely a "middle ground" of the blends they are using, but simply not identical (in most cases) to what you buy in the production ammo.

So, the only wise thing to do is abide by their warning to NOT use these powders unless they have published loads for them, in your cartridge/bullet weight. Your best bet is to take the powder back for a refund, if you can get one, and then buy another slow-burning powder.

I will also go so far as to say that your earlier frustration with accuracy has WAY more to do with the heavy bullets you were running than it does with a "special" powder. Powders just make pressure; bullets and barrels make accuracy. Pick up some H4831, on the fast side, and something like Reloder 25 or H1000, on the slow side. Stick with flat-based bullets of 160 grains or less. If you choose a boat-tailed bullet, consider 155 grains or less. Some guns just shoot flat-based bullets better.

Rest assured that if your gun will shoot a factory load well, that you CAN find a handload that shoots just as well, and possibly even better. You just have to find the right combination of powder, charge weight and bullet. ;)
 

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The Shadow (Super Mod)
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The Superformance and LVR powders they're selling to the public are likely a "middle ground" of the blends they are using, but simply not identical (in most cases) to what you buy in the production ammo.
I don't know about a "middle ground" as the(some of)factory superformance ammo is extruded powder from Thales; the powder you can buy is a Ball powder from GD.
 

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I think the extruded powders may be a carryover from the Light Magnum line. Highly compressed and able to expand to overflow the case after you pull a bullet. Special reloading equipment is required to get it packed into the brass that the average handloader does not possess.


Bullthrower,

Usually accuracy has to do with several factors. Barrel time is one that you adjust with charge weight. Dan Newberry's system is the one I like for this purpose, generally.

There are a few things that throw some guns off more than others. But the single biggest factor is the gun itself. If it needs: recrowning, the barrel floated, the stock bedded, the bolt lugs lapped, has a terrible trigger or, most commonly, the scope needs to be remounted properly, then the best possible load for that gun may still not shoot to the accuracy level you'd like. In those eventualities you need the gun fixed first, and until you get that work done, getting anything more than adequate medium sized game hunting accuracy is a bonus.
 

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Hi,

I am not sure of the "protocol" on this forum when it comes to offering opinions when it comes to reloading, so maybe like the Hodgdon Superformance data, I should take the high road and just say stay away from working with a powder that doesn't have specific data listed for the cartridge you are working with.

With that caveat, there are established ways to work up loads from a safe starting point, especially with a powder on the slow end of the burn rate scale.

Many "Wildacat" cartridges have no known powder manufacturer data yet are historically developed and safely loaded.

A powder within a known burn rate range based on multiple comparisons to powders with published data can be worked up into safe loads. My 35 Whelen AI is an example of that. My safe loads are very different in load data I have worked up compared to the standard 35 Whelen. Is that unsafe? I do not believe so, as I have the working knowledge to do that from years of reloading and gathering information from those who have gone before.

There are many respected and known articles dealing with this type of load development that I have read over the years, and by doing it correctly, you can work up a load safely.

However, I understand Hodgdon's liability concern because not everyone has that level of working knowledge and understandably so they won't offer any advice.

Please let me know if I am off base and going where I shouldn't, and I will keep from sharing this kind of thing in the future.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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There is some truth to that methodology, assuming powders that behave as known. But.... I don't think we really know all the things that make Superformance powder tick just yet.

In the Hodgdon data for the .30-06, the Superformance powder seems to fit in between H4350 and H4831. But, many of the loads are compressed and not all of them showing full pressures, which suggest that no more powder would fit in the case. So, I'm not real comfortable drawing firm conclusions about the burn rate. A relevant example would be that if you compare H4350 and IMR-4350 data, sometimes you find one has a higher max charge weight and sometimes it's the other. So, even with single base extruded powders there are few absolutes.

If it truly is new technology, it is best to wait for Hodgdon to publish a little data. The powder won't go bad sitting on the shelf and will surely turn out to be useful for something. For your 7 mag, I would personally try H4350 with the lighter bullets. There's plenty of data and it will mostly fill the case. Sometimes you just have to burn a little powder and see what happens.

But please don't try to extrapolate any data for Superformance. It's just too new on the market in my opinion.
 

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That is a good post MikeG.

I see the general tone is to play it safe, even though there is more than reasonable information from many sources in the reloading world to offer what has been shown to be safe procedures for doing what is being discussed. It all comes down to experience and the ability to do it correctly.

Keep that powder sealed up and see what Hodgdon does! I would not be surprised to see the major bullet manufacturers starting to put data out for more cartridges, so check websites for that and even check with the specific makers such as Barnes, Nosler, Speer, etc as they have everything to gain by being the first with data pushing their bullets faster, and it goes without saying, shooting accurately.

I'll leave it at that my friends, and happy loading!
 

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Privately, if you have access to an ear there (my source's last name is Hodgdon) they will tell you that Superformance is very much a niche powder. In a few cartridge/bullet combinations it really cranks. In others - it's nothing special and even UNDER performs existing powders.

They continue testing, but say that they'll only publish data for combinations that work especially well. That's why they keep saying "If there's no data for it on our website, don't load it yourself." It'll take a while. The test lab runs more than 40 hours a week doing nothing but loading and test shooting. Remember that they produce more than just Superformance powder, and then try to add up every cartridge with every bullet and every powder that has to be tested for the rest of their product line.
 

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I'd agree with you Rocky. The full line of Superformance ammo is apparently loaded with a blend of powders suited to each cartridge, you can't have a one size fits all cannister powder. And with superformance being a specialized powder to begin with (possessing some different make-up in order to perform like it does), it may become even more limited in application by default.

My apologies in advance for the light turning on in my head all of the sudden and restating that.
 

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No sweat. my friend. It's that little light bulb that counts. Some wise man once said "Once you know everything about something, it's what you learn afterwards that really matters.
 

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Well, I have a Ruger M77 stainless/synthetic in 30-06 that probably needs to digest a bit of Superformance powder, since that is one cartridge it seems to excel with!
 

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Hi,

I am not sure of the "protocol" on this forum when it comes to offering opinions when it comes to reloading, so maybe like the Hodgdon Superformance data, I should take the high road and just say stay away from working with a powder that doesn't have specific data listed for the cartridge you are working with.

With that caveat, there are established ways to work up loads from a safe starting point, especially with a powder on the slow end of the burn rate scale.

Many "Wildacat" cartridges have no known powder manufacturer data yet are historically developed and safely loaded.

A powder within a known burn rate range based on multiple comparisons to powders with published data can be worked up into safe loads. My 35 Whelen AI is an example of that. My safe loads are very different in load data I have worked up compared to the standard 35 Whelen. Is that unsafe? I do not believe so, as I have the working knowledge to do that from years of reloading and gathering information from those who have gone before.

There are many respected and known articles dealing with this type of load development that I have read over the years, and by doing it correctly, you can work up a load safely.

However, I understand Hodgdon's liability concern because not everyone has that level of working knowledge and understandably so they won't offer any advice.

Please let me know if I am off base and going where I shouldn't, and I will keep from sharing this kind of thing in the future.

You're not off base at all. I have also worked up loads for wildcats for which there is no data available. There is a tried and true methodology to doing so, and the powders used are a known quantity as far as what their behavior is and what characteristics they exhibit.

That's where the difference is. Superformance reacts differently in different cartridges. You can't rely on it being repeatable in how it works like 4350 or 4831, etc. Under those conditions, Hornady/Hodgdon's caution in only publishing certain loads is understandable. I think its chemistry is different enough, however, that it will be a fairly long time before there is any significant amount of data put out.
 

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Looking at load data for Superformance on the Hodgdon site, it is a consistently slower burning powder relative to H4350, as an example when comparing the 22-250, 243 Win, 30-06 Springfield, 300 WSM. I did not see any surprises when looking at the data where Superformance morphed from one end of the burn spectrum to the other. There is nothing "special" about those 4 cartridges compared to other rounds when it comes to reloading. They are a representative group from the cartridge spectrum.

With those things in mind, and all that has been said before about the established process for working up loads for other cartridges where there is not data, what am I missing that would keep a knowledgeable loader from proceeding with caution, as we ALWAYS do when reloading and following established methods for working up loads?

I'm proabably going to draw the ire or admonishment of someone, somewhere, for saying that, but playing the other side of this discussion has merit to question what information has been shown to those in this discussion to the contrary, other than to say it is not a good idea?

I recall another member tried Superformance in a 35 Whelen if I remember, and got extremely slow velocities. Ok, low velocity with a slow powder that fills the case to a normal or compressed level, makes sense in a 35 Whelen. No surprise, yet that thread ultimately was shut down because of the intensity of opinions and the way they were stated.

Thanks to all for being thoughtful and considerate in all aspects of this discussion.
 

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Nothing prevents you from trying - as long as you have realistic expectations.

The problem is that many reloaders see the name and automatically assume that they'll get super performance just by using this powder. Then they don't, and they get mad at Hodgdon because of it. Some actually accuse Hodgdon of being deceitful despite the fact that Hodgdon says in writing that this powder may not provide higher than usual performance in some cartridge combinations.
 

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No pity for those folks from me, it's up to them to be aware what might happen in terms of performance, just like it is with most powders we use.

In my 270 Win and 30-06, I sought a flat shooting antelope round with a well constructed bullet. Worked up loads for the 110 Barnes TSX/TTSX in the 270, and 130 TSX/TTSX in the 30-06.

Velocity in the Barnes manual shows an easy 3450 and over 3500 fps with a few powders for the 110 grain bullet out of the 270, and top speeds in the low 3300 fps for the 130 grainer in the 30-06.

Working with their data, I am no where near the velocity Barnes shows for the 110 grainer in the 270 Win. I am 150-200 fps shy with the 270 using the powders Barnes tested. I easily matched their velocity with the 130 grainer in the 30-06 with slightly lower charge weights than max.

Should I go kicking and screaming to Barnes? No way would I ever do that, they are a good company that tells it like they test it, and it's always with the understanding your results may vary.

Same way with Hodgdon. I have read their information, and any issue with representation is in the starry eyes of the consumer wishing for something.

Given what I see in Hodgdon's data for the cartridges they have tested with Superformance powder, there is no way a seasoned and knowledgable reloader would every consider that powder in the 35 Whelen, and with a lightweight bullet to boot! A powder is a powder, and data is data. To think a powder can morph into the best propellant for any cartridge given data for a specific set of cartridges is not possible no matter what we hope to be the case. In the instance I am working with, a very short carbine barrel bleeds velocity like a stuck pig, typically in well documented tests over the years, it's possible to lose 100-150 fps from that alone compared to a 22" or 24" bbl, then chamber cut, throat or freebore, etc enter in, and, well you know...

With respect to the slower than expected velocity reported for the Superformance powder loaded in a 30-06 with the 180 grain bullet reported in another thread... The chamber could be on the loose side of spec, still plenty fine, but not optimum for velocity. That barrel no matter how long, could have a long throat and plenty of velocity can and will be lost with freebore. Not saying that is the case, but there just too many variables again.

With my particular 35 Whelen AI, between the throat, magazine length and the bullet being used, in many instances I can seat the bullet to recommended OAL, or seat it out another .25". The velocity chronographs lower by 25-50 fps with the long seated cartridge, all else the same. I shortened the bbl from 26" to 25" and lost 25-30 fps on all loads. I can get another 25 fps or more velocity loss or gain depending on the primer type, just like different primers give more shot to shot variation with the same load.

Really enjoying this forum, and hope folks take what I am sharing as helping the cause to reinforce this is not an exact science, and to help build confidence that I won't just post to post, but to add to and reaffirm that we are all doing a pretty cool hobby with lots to learn and discover.
 
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