Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Firearms Forum > Reloading
Choosing the Right Powder >

Choosing the Right Powder

Reloading Share techniques for reloading, where to get the hottest in reloading equipment and learn how to reload from fellow hunters.

Choosing the Right Powder

Old 12-14-2018, 11:42 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 446
Default Choosing the Right Powder

Just Curious as to what method you guys use in selecting the powder you plan on shooting. Do you go for the highest velocity with the least amount of powder or what?
edmehlig is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 04:05 PM
  #2  
Typical Buck
 
Berserker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WI&UP
Posts: 751
Default

Actually the fuller the case is the better the accuracy is supposed to be. So least amount of powder might not be criteria for choosing. Plus I don't think that really moves the needle that much on costs.

Myself, I look at speeds and if the reloading manual claims one is more accurate. All rifles are different, so might not be the best for you. But it is starting point. I often google it and see if one powder comes up over and over again. Again people say all rifles are different. But if one powder comes up a great deal, it can be a good starting point.

After all that, how it pours could be taken into consideration. Though the stick powder I use for 30-06, which comes up over and over again, in searches and recommended by someone I trust in, feels like I am grinding through it sometimes.


Also if you already have power, you may want to look into it. Buying in bulk is better for price, and consistenacy.

So, myself, I open the manuals, and google favorite _____ caliber XXXg load.
Berserker is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 04:09 PM
  #3  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Default

I've only been reloading for a few years and consider myself still new to doing this. What helped me decide was researching everything I could find on the caliber(s) I was loading. I started with the load data on the various powder and bullet manufacturers. I would look for powders that they showed as "Most Accurate". Some do, some don't. I also came to the conclusion that the load data in the powder makers info was always a little hotter that other load data information. (My guess was they want to sell more powder!) Nosler is always a go to site for their data because they always show most accurate powders. Buller manufacturers I find more useful than powder manufacturers. Barnes and Nosler have good data. There are also many articles by gun enthusiasts and what they use. I never looked for a powder because it was a "compressed" load or "empty" load. I acknowledge that can and does affect performance, but I guess I too lazy and cheap to test all the powder/primer/brass/bullet combinations available. Search out Handloads.com, Alliant Powders, Nosler, Hodgdon, Barnes, AccurateShooter, Alliant powder is nice because they tend to match powder to a specific bullet.
As far as choosing according to velocity, I would not do that. Instead, I believe it is of utmost importance to learn how to shoot what is called a "ladder". There are several ways of doing this, but this process of loading a variety of amounts of powder shows you which load your rifle likes This is done of course after you have chosen a powder and bullet. Choosing the bullet is as in depth as a powder.
Understand what I have experienced, there is no RIGHT powder. You really have to do your homework and research and settle on a couple (3?) powders and start testing them with a bullet(s) you like and load up and go to the range and shoot the ladder. The whole reloading process is daunting at best. No two shooters have the same answer, no 2 shooters use the same thing. There are trends, but no hard and fast answer to your questions. Not in my experience. Quality components are important too. Good brass, bullet, primers, etc make all the difference. This is a lot longer than I started out to do . . . but the one most important aspect to reloading, regardless of components, is to take your time and pay special attention to being accurate and consistant. Do something wrong and your gun can blow up in your face. My worst "accident": I had been loading handgun loads and I forgot to empty the powder measurer of handgun powder (HOT!) and some of it went into my first few .308 cartriges. I didn't blow anything up (Thank you Savage Arms!!), but everybody at the range heard something wrong when one went off. So, be accurate and careful in every aspect of your reloads. It is really a science more than a sport.
I might also add that I started reloading to improve accuracy in my guns. It to me is the most important reason to do it. I soon learned that using quality components costs about the same as premium ammo off the shelf. (not exactly a "Quick Reply)
dig4gold is offline  
Old 12-14-2018, 06:09 PM
  #4  
Boone & Crockett
 
bronko22000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,585
Default

Ed I've found that selecting a powder for a rifle load is to determine what your case capacity is, the select a powder that will give you good velocity with minimal pressure and fill the case to just below the neck (in a bottle neck cartridge). Straight walled cases are a bit trickier but as close to the base of the bullet as you can get. Using this method I've often found that you get our best accuracy with less then maximum charge and still acceptable velocity. (i.e: I have great luck with IMR4350 in the 270 Win, and IMR4064 in the 30-06).
What are you looking to load? Chances are I probably loaded for it or something similar.
bronko22000 is online now  
Old 12-14-2018, 06:21 PM
  #5  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 446
Default

Clem, I reload for my 280Rem. I currently shoot the Hornady 139gr SST bullets with H4831SC, but was also considering trying the 140gr Barnes Triple shock with the Plastic Tip. I also started reloading for my Grandsons 7MM-08. Currently, he's shooting 42 gr of Vargat with the Hornady 139gr SST bullets as well.
edmehlig is offline  
Old 12-15-2018, 04:37 AM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Default

Originally Posted by edmehlig View Post
Just Curious as to what method you guys use in selecting the powder you plan on shooting. Do you go for the highest velocity with the least amount of powder or what?
Oh and . . . I have been using RL 15 (Reliant) for my .308, .223, and a couple others. Also meant to get or download a Burn Rate Chart. Gives you an idea of whether a powder is "hot" or "cooler".
dig4gold is offline  
Old 12-15-2018, 06:28 AM
  #7  
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 797
Default

looking through at least 4-5 separate reloading manuals, too compare the ratio for pressure vs velocity,
and yes youll generally find a powder that fills the case capacity and provides good velocity at moderate pressure,
tends to be, one of the more useful and accurate.
but youll generally find in my experience that the rifle twist rate and bullet weight both effect the better choices

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com...-manuals.2379/
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 12-15-2018, 12:53 PM
  #8  
Nontypical Buck
 
Nomercy448's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,441
Default

Some powders are less positionally sensitive than others. Some cases are less positionally influential than others. Some bullets are less sensitive to base pressure and jump than others.

What are you wanting to do with this rifle? That’s the first question I ask myself, because it tells me how hard I need to scrutinize my results. How I grade a 0-300yrd load to kill deer with a 45-70 is very different than how I grade a 0-800 coyote killing load, and still different how I grade a 1400yrd precision rifle match load, and still different than a 100/200 benchrest load, still different than a 600/1000yrd benchrest or F-class load.

I think powder selection is often over-thought. In my experience, guys do WAY more load development on average than they should. Hunters don’t really need sub-moa loads, but any of half a dozen powders under half a dozen bullets will usually get them there without much handwringing.

Alternatively: Benchresters and F-classes either have used a similar cartridge themselves, or know other benchresters, so that world seemed to be almost 100% experience based, with most of them never cracking a manual. Most of the Precision Rifle competitors I talk with at matches or on our state club pick up a load using one of 3-4 powders used for ALL of the cartridges in our game. Guys will hand around experience, giving others major short-cuts, rather than recreating the wheel. As an example, I wasted about 50 shots in my 6 creed last winter. Two competitors handed me “105 Hybrid 5-10thou off, 40.0 or 42.0 H4350.” Foolishly, I worked up from 39.0 to 42.7, but BOTH nodes were exactly where they said they would be.

I went through a phase reloading where I would burn POUNDS of powder looking for a load, but I have come around to realize for anything but benchrest shooting, I can find a 1/2-3/4moa load without trying more than one or two powders. I might ask another competitor or reloader, ask online or google “best powder for _____,” but I almost always look at the case capacity compared to something else I have loaded before and build from there. If I ever catch myself again loading 5 powders and taking them to the bench for a single cartridge, I know it’ll be my time to hang it up.
Nomercy448 is online now  
Old 12-17-2018, 05:21 AM
  #9  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 446
Default

I'm just going to use the bullets I reload for, for hunting. Naturally, I just want my bullets to be as accurate as possible. You never know whey you'll have to slip that bullet between some trees while hunting.
edmehlig is offline  
Old 12-20-2018, 03:36 PM
  #10  
Nontypical Buck
 
Nomercy448's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,441
Default

Originally Posted by edmehlig View Post
I'm just going to use the bullets I reload for, for hunting. Naturally, I just want my bullets to be as accurate as possible. You never know whey you'll have to slip that bullet between some trees while hunting.
Slipping between trees sounds all well and good, especially since I shot my buck this winter at 130yrds through a gap in trees, but there’s a LOT of reality to drop on that argument. Unless a guy picks an absolutely terrible powder for a given cartridge, we’re not talking about a powder choice turning 4” groups into 1/2” groups. Really not that much difference between a 1/2moa load and a 1moa load when it comes to hunting, or even a 1 1/2moa load, really.
Nomercy448 is online now  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.