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Thread: So what do you do when ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    So what do you do when ?

    So what do YOU ( as I you individually) do when can't find the powder the book says to use for a load ?
    A wise man will try to learn as much from a fool as he will from a master, for all have something to teach- Uncle Iroh
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    Boolit Master trails4u's Avatar
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    I start with Quickload if I'm getting off in uncharted waters.....find something that might show promise, then hit the interwebs to see if others have tried, and what success they might have had. I usually like to have an idea that it MIGHT work before I just start randomly asking, 'Hey...how many grains of xx is safe in xx'?

    I also pay pretty close attention to burn rates. If it's way faster/slower than recommended loads.....I'm very leary.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Find another load reference that lists a powder that you CAN find.

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    Without knowing specifically what you're trying to load, I'd just make the observation that all my reloading manuals give multiple loads for any common weight bullet, jacketed or cast. Be specific, and we might have an alternative loading for you from a manual you don't have.

    DG

  5. #5
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    Wolfdog. Many times powder makers load up their info with their powders and give little room for others. Especially if they sell components like bullets, primers, brass even. Go to the more generic books. Like Lyman or Lee who offer a little of everybody. No matter what powders you have you can after a long search find something if its doable. When you can't find something, avoid internet recommendations not backed up by some form of official testing. You hear it all the time, I know "SAMMI" is just a recommendation!!. You just line up a burn chart and go for it!! No No No. There have been upteen shortages through the last few decades and if there were an easy answer, we would have all known about it by now.


    Final Thought: Things are scarce right now, when they lighten up a bit, one of the first things to come back are shotgun powders. Get you a 8lb ( or 2 ) caddy of Red Dot. I load 14 different calibers and Red Dot has seen me through many a pinch.
    Last edited by Electrod47; 08-10-2022 at 10:55 AM.
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    He smiled. “Men do not learn from history. Each generation believes itself brighter than the last, each believes it can survive the mistakes of the older ones. Each discovers each old thing and they throw up their hands and say ‘See! Look what I have found! Look upon what I know!’ And each believes it is something new.

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    Consult a few burn charts, you can pin a load down pretty easy.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


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    I only had that issue once.

    Many years ago, I wanted to try AA4100 in my S&W500. It was no where to be found. So, I worked up a load of Unique. Then about 6 months later, I found a jug of AA4100. Then I worked up a load for that. I preferred the Unique load. So now I have a half a jug of AA4100 that I'll probably never use.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  8. #8
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    Lets get the parameters straight ...
    What do I do when I can't find the "powder" the "book" says to use for a load .
    Okay ... let's just say we are lookinf at 30-06 150 gr. SP ...my book has more than one powder.
    In fact it is showing 18 different powders that I can use . Plus I have another 8 Books that probably have a few different powders .
    Lets say the powder we can't find is Varget ( Varget is always hard to come by) .
    In the Hornady Manual the powders are listed from fast at top to slower at bottom .
    I look at where Varget sits ... then write down the 3-4 powders above it and 3-4 powders below it and start going to all the reloading supply places in Baton Rouge and towns within a 30 min drive .
    If I'm lucky I find one or two powders and buy them . I did see a pound of Varget in Cabela's but it looked like bait for a trap of some sort ... I didn't touch it . I haven't seen Varget for 12 years ...
    I wasn't falling for whatever trick some one was pulling .

    When you can't find what you want ... just look for something else close ... look on the Burn Rate Chart and find something close to the subject power's burn rate ... that's usually a good place to start and/or cross reference a possible selection .
    Also ask the question ... I can't find Super Whoopie powder ...what's a good powder to use with ...

    I got to thinking , in the 2012 powder shortage , I was getting into loading 9mm Luger ... I wrote down all the powders I could use / had data for and took the list with me and would buy what few I found on shopping trips .
    I got to know a lot of new powders ...not just Unique and Bullseye that I had mostly used since 1967 .
    Gary
    Last edited by gwpercle; 08-09-2022 at 02:37 PM.
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    Burn rate charts are your new best friend when there are limited powders available.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Create a wanting to trade post in the swapping and selling forum. Perhaps someone close to you has the same issue with a different powder.
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Yep, a combination of burn rate charts and Quickload lets me come up with something pretty easily.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Lets get the parameters straight ...
    What do I do when I can't find the "powder" the "book" says to use for a load .
    Okay ... let's just say we are lookinf at 30-06 150 gr. SP ...my book has more than one powder.
    In fact it is showing 18 different powders that I can use . Plus I have another 8 Books that probably have a few different powders .
    Lets say the powder we can't find is Varget ( Varget is always hard to come by) .
    In the Hornady Manual the powders are listed from fast at top to slower at bottom .
    I look at where Varget sits ... then write down the 3-4 powders above it and 3-4 powders below it and start going to all the reloading supply places in Baton Rouge and towns within a 30 min drive .
    If I'm lucky I find one or two powders and buy them . I did see a pound of Varget in Cabela's but it looked like bait for a trap of some sort ... I didn't touch it . I haven't seen Varget for 12 years ...
    I wasn't falling for whatever trick some one was pulling .

    When you can't find what you want ... just look for something else close ... look on the Burn Rate Chart and find something close to the subject power's burn rate ... that's usually a good place to start and/or cross reference a possible selection .
    Also ask the question ... I can't find Super Whoopie powder ...what's a good powder to use with ...

    I got to thinking , in the 2012 powder shortage , I was getting into loading 9mm Luger ... I wrote down all the powders I could use / had data for and took the list with me and would buy what few I found on shopping trips .
    I got to know a lot of new powders ...not just Unique and Bullseye that I had mostly used since 1967 .
    Gary
    This is how I would approach it as well. But I have never had esoteric calibers that would only work with a handful of powders.
    Don Verna


  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by 36g View Post
    Find another load reference that lists a powder that you CAN find.


    I have been reloading for a very long time and never had the problem. I have several old and current reloading manuals. I have always kept a good inventory and variety of powders on hand (when shopping I often bought one extra pound of powder or brick of primers, resulting in being able to reload during panic shortages, but not much help today though). One thought; I always find a load in my manual(s) before I assemble components for a load. And I ain't smart enough to try and extrapolate a load for ABC powder from XYZ powder data.....
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Burn rate charts and data for another cartridge with similar case capacity and bullet weight are tools I use for such enterprise.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Burn rate, close to each other, just start with a lower powder charge, may be 10% less, just be safe> have had to do many times, that is where a cronagraf comes in handy?

  16. #16
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    I have the one caliber books here for most of what I load nice in that they have most data in them from manuals and makers. You can get specialty data from sierra also by contacting them. ( how I got my 80 grn load data for the 22-250 fast twist when I built it.).

    When wandering of the grid into uncharted waters be absolutely sure to start low enough and work up. Water capacity of your case and others can give an idea as will burn rate charts

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I look to both the burn rate charts and the "accuracy " load from the Sierra manual. I try and find a similar velocity as shown by the Sierra manual that is produced by the other powders. Then I add a little scrutiny to the volume to volume loads shown. If a load has (for purposes of this discussion) 50 grains in the accuracy load, I look for something close to the velocity and grain amount to use instead of my preferred powder.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I adapt to what is available within the loading parameters of the manuals for the cartridge I am loading. Where I once used Unique and Bullseye I am now using CFE Pistol and Autocomp. For rifle I used 4895 for most everything I shoot but now I am using 3031, BL-C2, 5744, Buffalo Rifle and H335. If the originals come back I will go back to them but the alternatives have worked quite well.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    Wolfdog91: It has become painfully obvious to us old timers that shortages of ammunition and reloading components usually occur in cycles. During favorable times it is always advantageous to stock pile things like powder, primers, brass, etc. I still have lots of supplies, but decided last year that when things do come back into stock, from now on I'll only buy powder in 8 pound jugs. This is a good plan because I think I'll have a lot of time between now and then to save up for it! Also, if I casually buy a brick of primers every month, in a year I'll have 10,000 primers set aside, (because I'll have shot the other 2000). By the second year I'll have 20,000 primers, and that should see me through the next shortage. I have some primers that are 40 years old - I bet that if they found some primers in King Tuts tomb they'd still work. Long story short; Learn from this shortage because there will be more of them in the future. "Buy cheap, stack deep."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfdog91 View Post
    So what do YOU ( as I you individually) do when can't find the powder the book says to use for a load ?

    One thing to do is be preemptive in your reloading hobby. For instance..i maintain a few powders that have very very wide reloading uses..for instance... Trail boss. Not fantastic for auto loaders..but for manual actions.. It will pretty much load anything using the 70-100% of free case space under projectile, with absolutely no compressed loads. You can load 25 acp up to 470ne. Using that formula and be safe pressure wise for nitro proofed guns. That's one thing you do...have a last ditch fall back powder.

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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