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Thread: Fast powder or slow.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Fast powder or slow.

    When loading jacketed bullets, I most often used slow powder for rifle loads. I have been wondering if this is still the best for lead boolits, since the loads are lighter or maybe there’s other reasons to rethink faster powder. Would alloy hardness make a difference ?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    When I first started shooting cast in rifles my thoughts ran to traditional rifle powders. After much failure I was about to give up when I read Ed Harris's article (the load ) This opened a new door and I realized that powders have a pressure range that the burn correctly in. For traditional rifle powders this is often more pressure than most cast boolits can take.

    There are people here who use slow traditional rifle powders to good effect. These people are often very experienced and have no doubt tried many things that didn't work.

    Since there are no charts showing the pressure needed for a powder to burn right I look at what the powder was designed for. Powders developed around the turn of the last century will usually burn correctly at lower pressures than something designed in the last 50 years.

    I don't know what reloader 7 was designed for but it works very well in many cast boolit rifles.
    2400 is very versatile up to about 1800 fps in most rifles

    4895 can be reduced enough but often requires a Dacron filler for best results
    4759 is possibly the best cast powder but isn't available at the current time. 5744 is great in some applications but not in others.
    Hope this helps

    PS. I reread your post, yes alloy certainly makes a difference. The harder the alloy the higher pressure they can take. For target shooting this is ok. Since I'm a hunter I like a boolit that will expand reliably so I tend to hold my pressure and velocity down.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Second Ed Harris's the load.

    Basically figure out what you are doing with that load out. Light plinkers, far away plinkers, dead deers, or dead rabbits. Then use powders that allow you to achieve pressures that are the most efficient for your velocity range.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    You need to develop enough pressure to seal the chamber with the brass. With rifle cartridges, this takes more pressure.
    The only way to get the pressure without too much velocity is by using faster powders.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Really depends on a few different things like what caliber and what you use it for just target vel stuff at 50 yds or for hunting . For some calibers like 30/30, 32 spl , 35 Rem regular rifle powders and loads for jacketed bullets work well for full speed cast for hunting . For say the 30-06 jacketed loads and powders at that level won't work with cast , you need to use different set of rules loading cast for most rifle calibers . Some rifle powders do work down loaded like 4895 but DO NOT down load slow rifle powders like 4350 and similar. Let us know what your working with and we can all help out better
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I was just getting back into shooting when I ran across "the load"

    I had pulled the trigger on a Mosin Nagant factory round and did not much enjoy the experience.

    Was trying IMR 4895 when I ran across the load, and shortly after found my first pounds of Red Dot powder.

    Since those days I have yet to find a caliber that will not shoot well with moderate amounts of Red Dot below a cast bullet. My prefered alloy is 49% COWW and same of soft lead with 1-2 % of tin or pewter added for fill.

    From .223 to .444 they all work. And are very thrifty on the wallet.

    Given a choice for 40-60 grains of slow rifle powder or 4-10 grains of Red Dot. I know which one I'll pick.

    But I'm just punching paper. So no other considerations come into play for me. YMMV.

    Latest caliber has been 220 and 200 gr cast in .44 Mag over 6.5 grains of Red Dot.
    Like everything else before it, it has not disappointed.

    But Red Dot probably will not cycle a Rifle Semi Auto. Wanting it all would be greedy.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    What I am working with now is .45-70, 405 and 500grs powder coated. It seems to be very forgiving and shoots well with mid range powders. I haven’t been able to chrono it nor shoot very long distance with it.

    I am an America living in France so I can’t get the same powders as in the US. I have been using Vectan TU 3000. Looking on the powder charts it seems to be close to Reloader 10. I hear a lot about Reloader 7 and since this was originally a black powder round, maybe something faster would be better.

    The other round I am trying to get sorted out is ia 6.5x55se. It’s been a lot more difficult. Part of my problem I think is the hardness of the alloy. It is range scrap where there are a lot of black powder shooters, so my alloy is between 10-12 BHN.

    I have been using Vihtavuori 160, which is what is recommended for 140gr jacketed bullets. I have been using gas checks and Liquid Alox. It’s a slower powder and I’ve been wondering if I should consider something closer to Reloader 7, that so many people use.

    Thanks for all input and advice.
    Last edited by GregLaROCHE; 08-13-2018 at 12:41 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    http://www.adi-powders.com.au/powder-equivalents/

    I trust that chart. Use it wisely and within reason. N130 is an equivalent of Reloader 7 and 4198. Note: An equivalent. Not an equal. So start low and work up.

    6.5x55 is going to be a beast unto itself. There are a lot of articles on here about it. I went wading through them chasing the .260 Rem adventure. Just use the search box.
    Last edited by Rcmaveric; 08-16-2018 at 08:29 PM.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Is there a link for the Ed Harris article (the load)?

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven66 View Post
    Is there a link for the Ed Harris article (the load)?
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Rifles-Article

  11. #11
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Concerning Rifle loads. If you want to go slow, use a fast powder. If you want to go fast, use a slow powder. Keep in mins you need to match your alloy strength to the pressures you are running at.
    For 2200+fps loads in the .308 I like IMR4831 and RL15
    For 1400-1800fps I like SR4759, 2400, 4198, 4895, Unique, Red Dot.....
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

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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