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Thread: IMR-3031 vs ???

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    IMR-3031 vs ???

    Hello all - a question here. While I've used 3031 for years on 30-30 and other cartridges, and have used it in 45-70 single shot rifles.... BUT - those big rod grains are sometimes harder to throw in a powder measure. Are there some other powders that are ready available that don't have the rod grains? Perhaps a ball powder? flake? These loads are for 1200 to 1500 fps with 350 to 400 grain bullets.

    I've used Unique (and Bullseye) for light loads, but for heavier loads I do prefer a bit slower powder.

    Thanks for any suggestions,

    Ken H>

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    RL7 is a touch faster than 3031, and slower than 4198, but is great in the .30-30 and .45-70 with either cast or jacketed, is fine grained, measures well and IS NOT a "Ball" powder, so that it is safe to use in reduced loads without ringing your chamber or blowing up your gun.

    Ball powders don't tolerate reducing below the full charges recommended by the manufacturer, except for the uncoated, flat-rolled ones, such as TiteGroup, 231, WST, which act like flake pistol or shotgun powders.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for reminding me about the ball powders - I knew that, just slipped my mind..... my mind does tend to "slip" more these days. By "RL7", you're referring to Alliant Reloder 7? If so, what about Alliant Reloder 10? from the attached table it looks like Alliant Reloder 10 is just one notch faster than 3031 while Alliant Reloder 7 is several steps faster. About the only powders I've dealt with much are the IMR, Hodgdon, and a couple other powders.

    Thanks for any info.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Yes, Alliant RL7 is Reloder 7

    Have not used Reloder 10. Closest I ever got was when I mixed my own "Reloder 9" years ago.

    I had part of a can of "7" and another part can of "11" and I mixed them, which, of course, is a no-no, but it sure shot good!

    [Kid's don't try this at home, I had access to a pressure gun at the time...]
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenH View Post
    Thank you for reminding me about the ball powders - I knew that, just slipped my mind..... my mind does tend to "slip" more these days. By "RL7", you're referring to Alliant Reloder 7? If so, what about Alliant Reloder 10? from the attached table it looks like Alliant Reloder 10 is just one notch faster than 3031 while Alliant Reloder 7 is several steps faster. About the only powders I've dealt with much are the IMR, Hodgdon, and a couple other powders.

    Thanks for any info.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Alliant has data for RL10X on their website for the .45-70 and .30/30 using Speer jacketed bullets which you may be able to develop cast bullet loads from. A trapdoor load with RL10X is 36.0 gr. (max) with a 350 gr Speer for 1481 fps. I would think that with a cast 350 gr you could start about 32.0 gr.

    Or, you can extrapolate from Accurate 2015 data, which it is similar to in burn rate. Lyman Cast Bullet #4 may have that but I'm not certain since I cannot access the book at the moment. Someone else might look at it and speak up.

    I did that with .308 Winchester quite successfully.
    Last edited by oldblinddog; 08-03-2017 at 06:49 PM.
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  6. #6
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    H4895 will work just fine in the 30-30 and 45-70. It also meters well, ignites and burns efficiently.
    Larry Gibson

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You didn't say....But IF you are loading cast boolits 2400 and RX7 are excellent powders for the 30-30, as are Unique and Universal...

  8. #8
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    What type of grain does the RL7 and RL10x have? Are they extruded long grain like 3031?

    Larry, is H4895 an extruded rod type powder that requires the grains sometime to be sheared as does 3031? You mention it meters well, what type of power measure? I've got an RCBS for heavier loads, and a Harrell's Precision that maxs out around 23 to 25 grains, depending on type of powder. You mention it "ignites and burns efficiently" - is this in 50% to 60% case fills?

    As mentioned before, I'm happy with 3031 performance, just would like a powder that is smoother in powder measure.

    Ken H>

  9. #9
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    Ken H,

    10X is extruded but is cut pretty short so it ought to meter well. I was addressing your question(s) about 10X because you asked them, but I agree with Larry that H4895 will do well for your applications. Nothing wrong with 10X but H4895 may be the better choice if it is available. I use them both.
    Last edited by oldblinddog; 08-03-2017 at 10:43 PM.
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    Boolit Master
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    I have used tac,h-322 and rl-15,7 and have no complaints.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I stock 2 rifle powders, 4895 and 3031. Two old favorites that have never let me down.

    That being said I was never afraid to use a dipper and hand weigh charges for precision rifle. I actually preferred it as I knew that they were all as close to the same as I could make them. YMMV

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, I should have mentioned it's cast bullets only - none of my old single shot rifles have ever had a jacketed bullet shot thru them since I've had them, and don't expect they ever will have. The only gun I've got that shoots j-bullets is a 5.56 AR - and been looking at the idea of .224 cast for it. Well, I have shot some J-bullets in the 300BO, but it's 99% cast for that rifle also.

    I like the heavier loads, just something satisfying about the nice recoil of a 1600 fps load in the old Sharps against the shoulder - BUT, I think I'm gonna have to back off those over 1200 fps loads. I've started having some "pains" in the right clavicle shoulder area, and didn't have those before this last couple of weeks shooting heavier loads. Those type pains are too similar to the cardiac warning pains, and since I've had 6 stents over the last 15 yrs or so anything similar to a cardiac warning pain causes me some concern.

    Maybe I'd better say with light loads in the < 1,000 fps range. Unique does a good job for those, but darn it, the rifle just seems to shoot smaller groups with something closer to 1200 fps range with 3031. I'd LOVE to have a good shooting powder that would allow a full case with a 400 grain bullet in that old 45-70.... and my 50-70 Rolling Blocks.

    While a 900 fps load doesn't seem to cause clavicle/shoulder pain, they just don't shoot as small a groups.

    Thanks again for all the info.
    Ken H>

  13. #13
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    H4895 is an extruded powder with small short kernels. Over the years I've used it in RCBS, Lyman, Pacific and Lee powder throwers with excellent uniformity of charges.

    H4895 is also an "Extreme " powder and is less sensitive to temperature variations than many powders.
    Larry Gibson

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  14. #14
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    4895 don't do as well as 3031 does in the 45-70.
    it loses something in the translation, something like accuracy.
    I'd look at rl-7 [has a lot of published loads] rl-10 and at the accurate 2520/2015 also.

    rl-10 would probably do best with a filler like H-322 does, which also happens to be very, very accurate in most cartridges.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    with 390 to 500 gr cast bullets H4895 in my four 45-70 rifles is as accurate as anything else including RL7 and 3031. IMR4895 doesn't do quite as well.

    With lighter weight cast bullets I, like the OP, use Unique and Bullseye.
    Larry Gibson

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenH View Post
    I like the heavier loads, just something satisfying about the nice recoil of a 1600 fps load in the old Sharps against the shoulder - BUT, I think I'm gonna have to back off those over 1200 fps loads. I've started having some "pains" in the right clavicle shoulder area, and didn't have those before this last couple of weeks shooting heavier loads. Those type pains are too similar to the cardiac warning pains, and since I've had 6 stents over the last 15 yrs or so anything similar to a cardiac warning pain causes me some concern.

    Maybe I'd better say with light loads in the < 1,000 fps range. Unique does a good job for those, but darn it, the rifle just seems to shoot smaller groups with something closer to 1200 fps range with 3031. I'd LOVE to have a good shooting powder that would allow a full case with a 400 grain bullet in that old 45-70.... and my 50-70 Rolling Blocks.

    While a 900 fps load doesn't seem to cause clavicle/shoulder pain, they just don't shoot as small a groups.

    Thanks again for all the info.
    Ken H>
    A full case of 3FG will do that, and it's fun, too. So much fun that I shoot my 44-40's with it, too. I get an audience at the range when I take them.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I've owned several 45-70s in High Walls, Win 1886, and Sharps. I have two pages of records on loads tried, accuracy results, and sorted by number of groups fired. I can say without a doubt that for me, 3031 was not even close to being the best powder I tried. I've found that 4198, Rel7, and 2400 were always better choices. My favorite is 4198. My High Wall produces sub 1moa with this powder and selected bullet on a very regular basis. However, I must add that the gun and cartridge really isn't very fussy. It shoots just about anything well.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    It should be pointed out that IMR 4895 and H4895 are somewhat different. The powder grains of IMR 4895 are similar in size to IMR3031. The grains of H4895 are about 1/2 as long. It will meter much better in almost all powder measures. Keep that in mind when making your decisions.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I go ahead and crunch 3031 happily through my Redding powder measure with excellent accuracy in 30-30 and .358 Win cast loads.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    H4895 is also one of the friendliest reduced load rifle powders, with manufacturer's data and formulas available as a bonus. From top performance in many medium capacity cases to nice reduced loads in even more, it offers a lot to like.

    They meter even worse than 3031, making a Uniflow act like a Turkish coffee grinder, but both 4831s are vastly overlooked as reduced load powders. A case full in many rounds, for which they are thought too slow, can make good moderate loads.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check