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Thread: 30-40 Krag + 5744 + heavy boolits ...

  1. #1
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    30-40 Krag + 5744 + heavy boolits ...

    Just a question regarding loading the heavier HC boolits, and J-word bullets, over 5744 in the 30-40 Krag. By 'heavier,' I'm specifically referring to bullet-weights ranging from 200gns to the Krag's original 220gn weight.

    Lyman's 50th Edition shows a max load of 27.0 gns of 5744 with the 190gn HC boolit for 2015fps, and a max load of 28.0 gns with the 210gn HC boolit for 1995fps.

    Lyman doesn't list any 5744 load for the 220gn jacketed RN bullet (such the one as Hornady makes). I've shot that specific bullet using Varget in my Krag, but was curious if accuracy might get any better switching over to 5744 and using the same data, up to the book max of 28.0gns (?).

    Thought I'd ask the Krag/5744 experts here to see if someone's been down this road ... Velocity-wise, I'm just looking to replicate the original Mil load of 2000-ish fps.

    Thanks for your comments and insights!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I've never tried 5744, but have loaded many Krag rounds using IMR 4895 and the 220 gr. RNSP jacketed bullet. Just ran across a load using Win. 760. Both loads are in the 1900-2000 fps. range.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Curious why you want to use 5744, that's the most expensive powder I know of. I reserve that for the big boomers that there is not as many options.

    That said, there is a formula from Accurate on using 5744 in virtually any case it is a percentage of the case filled to the base of a seated boolit.

    Weigh the case filling charge, then multiply that by high/low percentages to get your min/max charges.

    I've used the formula on a number of cartridges over the years wiith good success.

    I don't know the percentages off the top of my head, or I would list them, you don't want to trust my geezer memory with load data.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master rmcc's Avatar
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    I shoot the Hornady 220 RN over 40.0 IMR 4350. Duplicates original load in my rifle.
    fools rush in where angels fear to tread...Alexander Pope

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The 40.0 gr IMR 4350 with the 220 gr RN, is the recognized standard military duplication load. 2000 fps + or -. The guys over at the Krag forum swear by it, as a safe load for a sound rifle. As with any new load for your rifle, start low and work up.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Seems I remember someone on this forum blowing up their Krag with the 28 grain 5744 cast load. I know I get pressure signs with it in mine. I gave up on the powder for the Krag.

    I got best velocity and accuracy with the 220 Sierra or Hornady Round nose and the Lyman load for Reloder 19. Sierra rep said their bullet was too hard for a hunting bullet at that velocity. Hornady said theirs was good to go for deer. The Sierra was a bit more accurate.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    Curious why you want to use 5744, that's the most expensive powder I know of. I reserve that for the big boomers that there is not as many options.

    That said, there is a formula from Accurate on using 5744 in virtually any case it is a percentage of the case filled to the base of a seated boolit.

    Weigh the case filling charge, then multiply that by high/low percentages to get your min/max charges.

    I've used the formula on a number of cartridges over the years wiith good success.

    I don't know the percentages off the top of my head, or I would list them, you don't want to trust my geezer memory with load data.
    I have been using Shooter's World Buffalo. As far as I can tell it is the same powder as 5744. My last jug was $90 for 5 pounds.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwater View Post
    Seems I remember someone on this forum blowing up their Krag with the 28 grain 5744 cast load. I know I get pressure signs with it in mine. I gave up on the powder for the Krag.

    I got best velocity and accuracy with the 220 Sierra or Hornady Round nose and the Lyman load for Reloder 19. Sierra rep said their bullet was too hard for a hunting bullet at that velocity. Hornady said theirs was good to go for deer. The Sierra was a bit more accurate.
    28 grains of 5744 is a 48k psi load behind the 220 grain bullet. Not so hot as to literally burst anything unless there's underlying weakness or an obstructed bore, but it's pushing that single lug harder than it should be pushed, given the age and perhaps dodgy heat treatment of the bolt.

    If you want to reach for 2000 fps, Varget will get you there at 8000 psi lower peak pressure. 4895 is a very close second.
    Last edited by uscra112; 12-29-2019 at 01:11 AM.
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    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaysouth View Post
    I have been using Shooter's World Buffalo. As far as I can tell it is the same powder as 5744. My last jug was $90 for 5 pounds.
    Nice price, I don't think I've seen that powder around here, 5744 will run about $40-42 a pound. Rarely see 8 pound jugs. I got lucky a year ago a buddy was at a gun show and picked up a sealed 8 pounder for $100. That will last me a little while.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    My word! $40/lb.? I've still got several unopened 1 pounders that I bought over 10 years ago, for half that!
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master 40-82 hiker's Avatar
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    Nick Adams: I use a lot of 5744 in my old boomers, but not in any .30 cal. rifles. However, I hate treating old guns to max pressure loads. IMHO, the last 100 or 200 fps up to max pressure just aren't really missed. I would drop back to acceptable pressures and resulting velocities, or change powder. In your case, it looks like 5744 is just flat the wrong powder for what you want to do with max velocities with 200 - 220 grain J-words. It is my understanding that 5744 was not designed to do what you are wanting to do. I like the idea of the other powders suggested by others, giving lower pressures. I used a lot of 4350 and 4895 in 30-06 loads years ago. I don't see why those powders aren't still good choices to try.

    Just as a general statement, in my opinion anyway, MY most accurate loads in any rifle, with any powder I have used in a little over 5 decades, have never been max pressure loads. I'd go easy on the Krag... Always wanted one, but never got one myself.

    YMMV

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Mark Daiute's Avatar
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    why would you use 5744 with jacketed? There are so many better powders and that is not what 5744 is meant for.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Daiute View Post
    why would you use 5744 with jacketed? There are so many better powders and that is not what 5744 is meant for.
    Amen.

    As I understand it, XMP-5744 was originally a European military powder. (Czech?) It wasn't good for the military use it was intended for, so it was surplussed, and it found a niche among cast-bullet shooters. Mike Venturino promoted it for the .30-06 and .45-70. The milsurp supply dried up, but the demand was such that Alliant got another powder maker to duplicate it. And that's what you get now as AA5744.

    In the '90s I burned a lot of it in .35 Remington, for loads in the 25k to 30k range, where it worked well. At pressures under 20,000 it leaves a lot of half-burned kernels, and it's too fast to be used above 30k psi IMHO. An inflexible powder. I eventually dropped it. I never was one for the big cases, and in any event it doesn't meter well at all. I was at one time lining myself up to try it with cast bullets in the 7.5x55 Swiss, but Blue Dot and Varget proved so effective there that I never did.

    Time to repost these photos of cracked Krag bolts, as a warning to them as wants to try to make the old girls emulate the .308:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by uscra112; 12-29-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwater View Post
    Seems I remember someone on this forum blowing up their Krag with the 28 grain 5744 cast load. I know I get pressure signs with it in mine. I gave up on the powder for the Krag.
    Hadn't heard that, but it's the listed max load in Lyman's 50th.

    I got best velocity and accuracy with the 220 Sierra or Hornady Round nose and the Lyman load for Reloder 19. Sierra rep said their bullet was too hard for a hunting bullet at that velocity. Hornady said theirs was good to go for deer. The Sierra was a bit more accurate.
    Good to know, as I'm heavily stocked up on Hornady's 220 RN, which I also shoot in my '06 Model 70.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    Curious why you want to use 5744, that's the most expensive powder I know of. I reserve that for the big boomers that there is not as many options.
    Just a powder I'm heavily stocked on. Yes, I make 'reduced loads' with 5744 in my Big-Boomers, like my .404 Jeffrey.

    The little that I've tried 5744 in loading it for my .30-40, it seemed to be as accurate as the Varget loads I've shot. But if the Varget loads with the 200gn or 220gn bullets are actually lower pressure, I'll just stick with those. Have played with Varget loads in the 37.5gns to 38.5 range.

    Varget tracks IMR 4064 pretty close, and for the 220gn jacketed RN Lyman lists the book max of 4064 at 39.5gns (2120fps). I don't need the extra 120fps. Just looking for 2000-ish, and accurate.

    I have quite a bit of Varget too. Got it stock-piled good right before the big hoarding rush hit during the Obama-era panic years.
    Last edited by Nick Adams; 12-29-2019 at 01:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    As I understand it, XMP-5744 was originally a European military powder. (Czech?) It wasn't good for the military use it was intended for, so it was surplussed, and it found a niche among cast-bullet shooters. Mike Venturino promoted it for the .30-06 and .45-70. The milsurp supply dried up, but the demand was such that Alliant got another powder maker to duplicate it. And that's what you get now as AA5744.
    Venturino's a reloading Pro-in-the-Know for sure. That's where I saw him writing about 'Cast Bullets for the Old Battle Rifles' using 5744 in his 30-40K rifle and a 30-06 1903A3 - Handloader #319 (April, 2019). All loads listed used A-5744.

    With the 210gn Lyman 311284 RN boolit, Venturino listed loads of 20.0, 22.0, & 24.0, which was the max he used in his Krag, a Model 1896 with a 30" barrel.

    My 1898 Krag is a custom sporter with a 23.5" barrel.

    With the 200gn Lyman 311299 RN boolit, Venturino used the same 5744 loads. He was under 2000fps with both boolits at the max load.

    It was the Lyman 50th's 28gn max load with the 311284 for 1995fps that caught my eye.

    Time to repost these photos of cracked Krag bolts, as a warning to them as wants to try to make the old girls emulate the .308:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the pics. Hadn't seen those. Just checked the head of the bolt on mine for cracks like that in the same areas, and nada. A few scratches, but no cracks.
    Last edited by Nick Adams; 12-29-2019 at 02:02 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40-82 hiker View Post
    Nick Adams: I use a lot of 5744 in my old boomers, but not in any .30 cal. rifles. However, I hate treating old guns to max pressure loads. IMHO, the last 100 or 200 fps up to max pressure just aren't really missed. I would drop back to acceptable pressures and resulting velocities, or change powder. In your case, it looks like 5744 is just flat the wrong powder for what you want to do with max velocities with 200 - 220 grain J-words. It is my understanding that 5744 was not designed to do what you are wanting to do. I like the idea of the other powders suggested by others, giving lower pressures. I used a lot of 4350 and 4895 in 30-06 loads years ago.I don't see why those powders aren't still good choices to try.
    Those powders may well still be fine, but per Venturino's article (Handloader #319), he clearly endorses the idea that 5744 is a solid 'go-to' powder choice for accuracy with cast boolits in 30-cal rifles. In addition to the 30-40K & '06, he cites the .30 Carbine, 30-30, .308 Win., and refers to Lyman's listing of 5744 loads for the .30-378 Weatherby (reduced loads, of course).

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Do not use it with jacked bullets and be very careful with cast pressure signs came up real fast with mine and 220 grain cast bullets. mine like 4759, 4198 and 2400 much better acc. is great don't push thease old war horses to hard.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flint45 View Post
    Do not use it with jacked bullets and be very careful with cast pressure signs came up real fast with mine and 220 grain cast bullets. mine like 4759, 4198 and 2400 much better acc. is great don't push thease old war horses to hard.
    Thanks ... But isn't 4759 pretty close to 5744?

    Yeah, now I'm thinking I should just go back to Varget with the 220gn jacketed RN. I have only one canister of the IMR 4350. Need to stock up on more of that.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't mean to be critical about your choice of propellants, but what is your obsession with 2,000 fps.+ loads in a 120 year old battle rifle? That old sweetheart has probably seen a lot of stressful conditions if it was used by soldiers at all. If you want 30'06 performance, get yourself a high number Springfield and leave the old one lug pretty boys in the gun rack where they belong.......................

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BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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