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Thread: Herco for reduced cast rifle loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Herco for reduced cast rifle loads?

    Going through stuff and realize I have a fairly large quantity of it. Good stuff for this task? I have quite a bit of various pistol powders, just wondering if this would be any better or worse than say, Unique or Blue Dot in cast loads in '06, .308, etc.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    herco was designed for 12 to 28 gauge moderate to heavy shotshells, so does burn well in straight cased high pressure handgun and rifle carts like 357, 44 mag, and 30 carbine, but is a bit fast burning for bottle-necked rifle cases unless you are happy below 11-1200 fps, and is not reportedly as flexible as unique in that application, though it is more consistent and less dependent upon containment than blue dot. 2400 and 4227 and 4198 are better for reduced rifle if you want to exceed 1500 fps safely. herco is just a bit slower burning than unique, so data would be similar to unique load data, and it burns cleanly and meters fairly well, whereas blue dot is messy at anything under max load. 8-10 grains in a 30-30 with 170 cast is around 1100 fps, for reference. kapok pillow stuffing from the fabric store keeps these small charges near the primer in any position, and has zero effect on the pressure if you put it in uncompressed.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    During a previous powder shortage I found an 8 pound jug for a very good price, so started using it in 30-40 and 30-06. Shot a lot of 10 gr. charges with the PB 311403,and it was very accurate in both calibers. I have used 12gr. and a Saeco 315 bullet at around 175 gr., with the velocity at 1485 fps, in the Krag. I'm not sure of the pressure, but the velocity was a bit higher than I expected, and I would not go any higher in the Krag. Just for comparison, 10.5 gr of 700x and the Saeco , 1460fps , and 11gr of 700x went 1490 fps.

    A good powder for reduced loads for what I'm using it for, and I think maybe cleaner burning than the old Unique that I had, and a bit more accurate.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gewehr-Guy View Post
    During a previous powder shortage I found an 8 pound jug for a very good price, so started using it in 30-40 and 30-06. Shot a lot of 10 gr. charges with the PB 311403,and it was very accurate in both calibers. I have used 12gr. and a Saeco 315 bullet at around 175 gr., with the velocity at 1485 fps, in the Krag. I'm not sure of the pressure, but the velocity was a bit higher than I expected, and I would not go any higher in the Krag. Just for comparison, 10.5 gr of 700x and the Saeco , 1460fps , and 11gr of 700x went 1490 fps.

    A good powder for reduced loads for what I'm using it for, and I think maybe cleaner burning than the old Unique that I had, and a bit more accurate.
    Good to know. Looks like I have about six pounds of it, hopefully it works well in something.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I’m using it in 40 s&w and 30-06. In the Lyman 3rd edition cast bullet handbook there is lots of Herco data. In 30-06 with a 311291 the starting load for Unique is 12gr, for Herco it is 12.5gr.

    I shot a batch of this load this past weekend out I the woods.
    30-06, Ideal 308241(plain base), 8.5gr Herco, two coats of 45/45/10.
    Accuracy wise it was ok, sitting on the ground using sticks I shot a ten round oval sized two inch group, at 50 yards.

    JM
    Last edited by JM7.7x58; 05-27-2020 at 08:21 PM.

  6. #6
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    Well, got to messing around with the Herco with a few things. When I went back to the tried and trues 311284 in my .30-06 target rifle using Lyman's starting load of 13 grains, I managed to shoot this ten shot 100 yard group, so I guess Herco works if you find its sweet spot.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I've used Herco much like Unique in reduced rifle loading, 303 Savage, 30-30, 308. Found accuracy, other qualities much the same in rifle cartridges.

  8. #8
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    Rich that looks pretty good for 10 at 100 yds. I tried Herco at 13-14-15-16 gr incriments in 22 inch Savage 110, 30-06 with 200 gr Lee, notes say 15 grs was my best at 100, 1.490" and 1556fps, also says burn really clean. THis was at 10* F Jan 6-2004, I try not to even go outside at 10F 16 years later!
    Hell, I was there!

  9. #9
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    Well, it was a little warmer than that (under statement). It was actually pretty windy, which isn't going to affect the flight path of a heavy bullet like that at 100 yards, but it did affect me while I was trying to shoot. Took quite a while for ten shots while I waited for lulls in the wind.

    I need to get that rifle out of the stock and see what Ican do about teh trigger. It's not too bad, but could be a lot better, might make it easier to shoot well.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nice shooting Rich!

    I’m going to be trying out a load of 13 grains of Herco under a NOE 325365 216gr (sized to .318”) in my Type 99 Arisaka on Father’s Day.
    This rifle has a horrible trigger (Nagoya Arsenal, 7th series, late war production) and the original sights. I use the 300 meter setting for loads like this. I’m happy if I can keep ten rounds on a paper plate at 100 yards. I’ve been reading up on trigger jobs on these old milsurps, and plan on changing the trigger spring and doing some polishing. But for now in my hands it is a “minute of paper plate” rifle.
    JM

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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