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Leverevolution Powder in .308 and Other Cartridges

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Leverevolution Powder in .308 and Other Cartridges

Old 04-17-2018, 01:57 PM
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Default Leverevolution Powder in .308 and Other Cartridges

There's a startup in South Dakota called Badlands Precision that's launched itself primarily by marketing a proprietary copper bullet with an aluminum tip for long-range shooting...but if you look around outside of their website, you find that one of their secrets is using Leverevolution Powder.

Skip ahead to the comment section on this article, and see about 3 comments and responses from last year by George Fournier, one of the guys from Badlands Precision explaining their insane results loading LVR powder in a .308 and you'll see this:

The commercial offerings for the 308 Win suffer from lack of high BC bullets and velocity. Currently we are addressing these issues...I have been testing a machined 150 gr copper bullet with a BC of .475-.490 (measured myself with a Berger 185gr as a standard in the test) that can be launched at 3100 fps from a 24 in 308 Win Bartlein barrel. At 500 yds that bullet arrives with 250-500 more foot pounds of energy than any 6.5 Creedmore offering (9 inches less drop than the 143 ELDX Hornady 6.5 Creedmore load at 500 yds). We have used that bullet in Africa on plains game. The largest animal we killed was a 600 lb Blue Wildebeest at 482 yds that dropped like a truck hit it. The powder used was Leverevolution, which for the 308 Win has proven to be superior to any other powder on the market. Strange that there is no published data for this powder in the 308 Win. I have shot well over 750 shots with bullets of all types and weights (lead core jacketed, all copper with weights ranging from 150 to 196 gr) from both my 308 Win rifles in temperatures from close to 0 F up to the mid 90's F. That bullet/powder combination makes the 308 Win perform more like a 7mm Rem Mag than a typical 308 Win...No other cartridge yields as much energy/grain of powder and has as long a barrel life as the 308 Win.
https://www.huntinggearguy.com/gener...08-winchester/


Now if you Google "leverevolution powder in 308" you see several undeveloped threads that follow the same pattern:

1) The "if it's not in the manual and the company claims the powder only works well in the cartridges they offer data for, then that's all there is to it" crowd comes out in full force.

2) Someone mentions that there exists loading data and ample evidence of good performance for loading .338 Federal with LVR, suggesting there is no reason it shouldn't also work in heavier .308 Win loads.

3) If you're lucky, the thread ends with some brave soul actually loading a few rounds and posting tentative results (usually leaving their chronograph at home, because it's broken), while the rest of the posters talk in circles about contacting Hodgson and Hornady to get the answer they've already heard from them re-stated in a more interesting way that can win the debate for the "answer #1 crowd" I mentioned above.

4) If you're really lucky, someone considers the issue with enough good faith to caution said brave soul to work up loads in the summer and the winter, since the jury's out on whether LVR is temp-sensitive.

But nobody actually spends the time to perfect a load that:

a) consistently produces great groups

b) doesn't exhibit signs of excessive pressure

c) outperforms velocities using other powders


In light of the fact an entire business is actually selling .308 loads (if not others, as well) that launch 155-grain pills anywhere between 2900-3100 fps without signs of excessive pressure across a wide range of shooting temperatures, I wonder if any seasoned reloaders on here feel provoked to do the interwebs a service, pull out a decent guinea pig .308 bolt rifle with a 1:10 twist and see if they can approach Fournier's performance with normal-to-heavy bullets that are more readily available (e.g. 150 and 165 gr Spire Points, 165 gr Nosler Accubond)? Maybe even other .308 family cartridges like the .260, 7mm-08?

I've never reloaded in my life, but if LVR really can turn a .308 into a different beast, I'd have a hard time not putting my used brass to work. But I don't want to discover handloading for the first time with this sort of manual-less experimentation.
And until my dad and I go back to Nebraska to hunt mulies in the open range (have talked about it for the first time in forever for this coming year, but don't know if it'll go anywhere), I frankly have no reason to ditch my soft points from Wal-Mart to figure out a load with a heavier premium bullet this summer. So I am selfishly throwing this into other people's court---but even if nobody wants to try this, it'd still be interesting to hear y'all's thoughts about it.

But I hope this thread ends up bringing more to the table than the same sequence, confirming or denying that Badlands Precision's path is for the Everyman, not just people who buy custom ammo. But who am I kidding? It'll probably either get no responses or just a couple incredulous ones.

Last edited by younggun308; 04-17-2018 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Fix confusing wording
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:28 PM
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Thereís no magic to it. Leverevolution is right on the slower end of the spectrum of 308win powders - no reason it canít be used for it, but no reason to expect it could actually turn the .308win into anything it is not. Superperformance powder is another one which can look really great in some loadings.

The Leverevolution Powder is also well documented as performing well in cartridges like the .308 marlin express and itís progeny - a very similar case to the 308win.

Remember also, proper ammunition manufacturers have access to non-canster powders us reloaders can never purchase. It rarely does result in anything we canít replicate, but in reality, it SHOULD. If this little reloading shop is patting themselves on the back for using a less-than-common canister powder for the application, I guess some folks who donít know better might be impressed. In his 750 rounds, what pressure testing was done?

Iíve seen guys touting H1000 as fantastic for 6mm Creedmoor lately, claiming itís faster than H4350 and doubles barrel life... I canít fit enough of it into my cases to even come close to the velocity of H4350 and the muzzle blast and smoke looks like a black powder rifle... but a couple guys online swear itís the best thing since sliced bread... see the parallel here?

I donít have any reason to think Leverevolution wouldnít be a decent powder for 308win, but I also have no reason to believe it does anything unexpected in that service.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 04-18-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:29 PM
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Key question I have - have you actually chronographed their loads in your rifle? Are you seeing actual results of a 155 at 3100fps?
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:32 PM
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Agreed with NM448. I have pushed bullets as fast as 3250 per second with big bullets in larger cartridges, I watch for the warning signs and that's run through a semi-auto! 160 gr Barnes X to be specific.

As far as, "have you chrono'd those puppies?" YOU SHOULD. Most of us dont have access to pressure chambers and the Chrono is the best we can do. Along with the known pressure signs, work it on up and go from there.

Personally, never heard of that outfit and wouldn't buy without credible sources. They may be a great outfit, but not at my expense!

REM7600 (35 years reloading)
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:20 PM
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I was somewhat uncertain if their explanation for how they got 3100 fps (in the comments section of the link, above) was compelling.

First, they used a 24 inch barrel, which ostensibly gives the slow-burning powder more time to propel the bullet (though he said they had to use less powder in the longer barrel. Question: is that because the pressured gas stays in the barrel longer, making a load safe for a shorter barrel unsafe for a longer one?). Okay, it makes sense that a longer barrel contributes to a higher fps.

But I then got lost when he said something in a response about how their bullet "has lower friction because of a small bearing surface...and out of a high quality custom barrel." Not sure what "small bearing surface" means, and why a custom barrel is likely to shoot quicker than a factory one.

As for measuring pressure, I find no evidence they did anything other than check for "signs of pressure" like REM7600 says we hoi poloi must.

One curious thing was that he claims using CCI 400 small rifle primers creates "extraordinarily consistent MV of 3040 fps." Based on what people said on other threads about getting (what they perceive to be) a temperature-sensitive powder to burn in the first place, I would have thought people would suggest a hotter primer to get a slower-burning powder going---but again, I have no experience in such things. I'm merely highlighting where I cannot follow the logic in what these guys have done at their outfit when choosing a primer, if there is a logic to it other than just seeing what works.

REM7600, could you shed some light on what you mean by emphasizing that you were shooting a semi-auto when checking for warning signs, or point to a resource that might explain it in such a way that I could appreciate it, better? Perhaps I'm seeing an emphasis or connection that isn't there, in which case I beg your pardon.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:36 PM
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Bullets with shorter bearing surfaces donít result in as much friction against the bore, so they donít build as much pressure.

No, there is no powder combination which could be safe in a short barrel but unsafe in a long barrel. The pressure peak happens very early in the bullet travel, thatís basic internal ballistics.

Custom barrels, for multiple reasons, can often yield higher velocities than rough and irregular hammer forged factory barrels. Whether itís lower friction from bore smoothness (hand lapped), or greater consistency in bore diameter, or something as simple as how 5R type rifling engages the bullet, itís a very common happenstance.

No, you do not need ďhigh tempĒ primers for slow burning powders. Magnum primers are nice for spherical powders like Leverevolution, but not necessarily required, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the burn rate, but rather the form factor of the powder.

Youíre missing a LOT of basic reloading knowledge to be making such unfounded presumptions.

Last edited by Nomercy448; 04-17-2018 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
Youíre missing a LOT of basic reloading knowledge to be making such unfounded presumptions.
I certainly am missing a lot of basic knowledge. I tried not to be presumptuous, but to rather ask questions, at times by making a guess---but highlighting my uncertainty.

What's a good site(s) and/or book(s) you'd recommend to immerse myself in some much-needed "head" knowledge about reloading?
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:59 AM
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To try and answer YG's ?

Pressure signs are pressure signs, no matter the action; be it a bolt, lever, semi, single shot or pump.

~ Flattened primers
~ Hard to eject cases after firing
~ Raised Ring around where the firing pin hit
~ Ripped off rims due to stuck cases in the rifle
~ cracks in the neck or shoulder region (indicative of reloaded too many times)
~ cracks near the Base of the cartridge

Others may have check for additional pressure signs.

In my case, I'm shooting a Belgium made Browning .338 BAR Safari Express, most typically with 200gr pills. It has a 26" barrel and shoots like a dream; with the trigger being my only disappointment.

Generally speaking, Chronographs also help to tell you where you're going to start seeing pressure signs but is not a sole indicator, best to inspect spent shells and note any stickiness in extraction. Expect slightly less fps than manuals as most use 24" test barrels or some, 26" test barrels for magnums. A typical Sporter barrel is 22".

Any modern or even older cartridge reloading manual will likely be your best source of info. Just realized mine are getting pretty old!

Just My $.02

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Old 12-09-2018, 06:31 AM
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Wanted to dispel some insinuations made in this thread. First of all, we do not sell loaded ammunition and my comments about the Leverevolution and the .308 Win are simply intended for shooters who want to try that powder in that case. By now, we and others have accumulated a considerable experience hunting with that powder and the 150 Bulldozer. That powder was not my first choice. I tried the CFE 223 powder at the loads specified in the Hodgdon Annual Manual and found that it was a very dirty powder, in that it appeared to be fouling up the chamber throat. I looked at the burn rate chart and decided that Leverevolution might work since it was slightly slower burning than CFE 223 and used in the 338 Federal case with heavier bullets. Started out at the minimal charges listed for the CFE223 and slowly increased the charge to the point that I started to get primer flattening, which in my rifle has proven to be a reliable first indicator of high pressure. Note that that may not be the case in other guns. You need to know your gun! I backed off a grain or so and choreographed my loads and found excellent velocities with the 150 Bulldozer. LVR since has proved to be a superb powder for the 308Win and propels our bullets accurately and fast for the caliber. One may chose to use it or not in the 308Win. If you do, just approach it as one would any new load and start slow and work up. If you are not familiar with pressure signs you should not be reloading in the first place else you will not know if trouble is brewing.


Because we make bullets, we test these in a wide variety of cases and use a wide variety of powders. Novel combinations of bullets, powders and primers are the norm for us. The beauty of the Hodgdon Annual Manual is the fact that they also publish pressure data with virtually all their loads. If one looks carefully through the data you will see that for any given pressure different powders will propel bullets at differing speeds. Some powders will launch bullets faster at the same pressure as others, so velocity is not necessarily a perfect surrogate for pressure. I will say that LVR, although working well in the 308Win and the 338Fed, may not work as well in more overbore cartridges like the 243Win and the 7mm-08Rem.


Just want to let everyone know, I am agnostic when it comes to gun powder. I will try and recommend those powders the make our bullets perform the best as we see it, but we more than welcome feedback from our customers. Many are very accomplished riflemen with lots of experience and even are adept at making wildcat cartridges. Their observations we take very seriously.

Last edited by nralifer; 12-09-2018 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:47 PM
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It's certainly clear you are consistent in cautioning reloaders to be conservative in their approach. Your response to a comment in this
is a good example.

I genuinely misinterpreted your website as saying that y'all sell loaded ammunition, and didn't mean to spread fake news. Welcome to the forum!
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