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Reloading Question

Bottom GunBottom Gun Member Posts: 233 ✭✭

Can load data for H4831 powder be used for H4831SC powder? My charts show them having the same burn rate.

My Lyman manual (49th ed) shows .243 Win loads using H4831SC for bullets up to 70 gr but specifies H4831 for bullets 75 gr and heavier. Does anyone know why?

Mechanical engineers have their moments.

Comments

  • varianvarian Member Posts: 2,253 ✭✭✭✭

    in my 2017 basic reloading manual by Hodgdon in their powder description section it states "H4831SC ballistically this extreme extruded powder is the exact copy of H4831".

  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭

    I haven't used H4831 in several years since the advent of other powders which show better performance in multiple cartridges.

    In your .243 Win. example, while you might believe the burn rate to be the same, the actual powder volume in the case does not all burn even in barrels up to 26" in length. In essence, H4831 is significantly too slow to use in the .243 Win. This is good for Hodgden because you use more powder yet achieve nothing more than wasting about 10% of every shot when the case is full. Pick a new powder for the .243...


    The real difference should be obvious in that the labels state SC (short cut) which is shorter in length. This allows for more kernels to be added to get to a full case of powder. Empty the case then add the same weight of powder for H4831, you will overflow the case mouth since the kernels are longer, taking up more space.


    Hodgden is addressing the burning energy released when ignited but they fail to recognize the difference in volume.


    If you want powders to perform in the .243 Win. I suggest Re-16 and H-Hybrid 100V. 100V is is a cooler burning powder suited to the lighter bullets and Re-26 for the heavier bullets.


    Best.

  • Bottom GunBottom Gun Member Posts: 233 ✭✭

    Thanks for the good info. It makes sense. I’ve had incomplete ignition before using slow powders, especially in handguns.

    This .243 is a new cartridge for me. I’m in the learning stages of .243. I had to retire my .30 and .33 caliber rifles and move to .243 after my shoulder replacement.

    I recently lucked out and found a nice 60 yr old .243 Sako on Gunbroker that turned out to be an excellent shooter. No surprise there, I’m a huge Sako fan.

    I don’t have too many choices of rifle powder available at this time. I have H4831SC, H335, Win 748 and IMR4064. I’ve been getting sub-MOA accuracy with 85, 95 and 100 gr bullets with H4831SC and H335. It also shot well with IMR4350 but I have very little of it left.

    I couldn’t get Varget powder to work well for me in .243 or .223. I was surprised by that since I hear it works so well for others.

    So, I guess I’ll have to wait for a calm day to set up the chronograph to check some of these loads. If I’m getting incomplete ignition with H4831SC, hopefully the numbers will disclose it.

    FYI, I sent an email to Hodgdon customer service asking my original question. If they reply, I’ll post it.

    Thanks again for the good info and advice.

    Mechanical engineers have their moments.
  • OkieOkie Member Posts: 982 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    nononsense has some good info about the SC (short cut) vs non SC H4831

    Of course every gun is different but:

    about the 243 and reloading different powders and H 4831:

    I've had good accuracy results with H4350 powder in several different makes of 243 HUNTING rifles with the 85 grain bullets. Actually 70-100 grain bullets. Winchester, Remington, Ruger, to name a few.

    H4350 is not as critical for accuracy vs grain weight or temp changes as the IMR4350. The gun usually either likes it or don't like it whereas with IMR4350 the grain weight is more critical for consistent accuracy.

    Some 243's rifles just don't consistently group 100 grain bullets due to their twist rate or barrel vib's. 100 grain is considered a heavy bullet in most 243 hunting rifles barrel twist rate.

    When I say accurate hunting group I'm referring to a consistently cold bore to warm bore groups of ! !/2 inch or less at 100 yards.

    Also when consulting RELOADING manuals, I also go on-line and compare the latest reload data to what is listed in the printed manuals. (and use the on-line data, especially for max loads)

    AND H4831or SC is not a good choice for a 243 even though a few 243's will produce a good group with such.

    Also using a long drop tube on your powder funnel is a good thing for the small caliber guns and slow burning tublar extruded powders. (lets the grains stack like wood instead of just piling into the case and less crushing of the powder as the bullet is seated)


    Heads up notice:

    About H4831: It was my favorite powder for several years for several different calibers of rifles and all at once I found that several different caliber brass hulls were corroded, necks eaten away, brass bullets when pulled had corroded bases and the powder inside some was actually wet and some clumped. some of the ammo would hang fire and some of the primers would not ignite. This was with ammo that was stored inside house in a controlled environment, never been outside and some of the ammo was less than 5 years old. I posted about such on GB and others had seen such and was reported that most likely the powder stabilizer had gone bad. Very dangerous situation due to bullet possibly lodging in the barrel due to weak ignition and another fired behind such.

    I reported my findings by email to Hodgdon's along with lot numbers of the powder and offered to send them some of the brass cases/bullets/etc and also the powder lots numbers but never got a reponse. (even gave them my full contact at home info) They might have been concerned that I had spilled a hot cup of coffee in my crotch due to such.

    One guy chimed in and said that Hodgdon sent him several pounds of new H4831 due to such and that Hodgdon indicated it was due a bad powder stabilizer.

    I did not want anything in return, just wanted to report the issue as a NRA member and was thankful I did not have a accident with such, therefore I do not trust any of the H4831 powders and have no reloads of such now days and will not ever use any ever again.

    Was quite a long drawn out winter project task pulling bullets and doing away with the H4831 that was being used in several different calibers.

  • OkieOkie Member Posts: 982 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    You wrote this:

    I couldn’t get Varget powder to work well for me in .243 or .223. I was surprised by that since I hear it works so well for others.

    So, I guess I’ll have to wait for a calm day to set up the chronograph to check some of these loads. If I’m getting incomplete ignition with H4831SC, hopefully the numbers will disclose it.


    I've seen the same thing with Varget powder., but you have to let the gun tell you what it wants instead of what you want it to like.

    AND

    A chronograph is not the answer. (in your case)

    I've found that the chronograph is a waste of my time when first looking for a very accurate reload for a hunting rifle.

    When first reloading for accuracy I leave the Chrono in the house and reload until I get a accurate recipe that THE GUN LIKES, then later I use the chronograph to check the data, mainly velocity.

    I've seen the chrono indicate that a reload should be very accurate and not so when the bullet hit the target and a really accurate on target reload that would have been rejected just going by the chronograph data. (the non accurate reload would have less shot to shot deviation on the chronograph than the accurate reload)

    Only thing I could figure is the chronograph does not see the gun's barrel vib's.

    Go ahead and chronograph the accurate H4831 load and save the data and then later when you find another accurate reload, especially one that is more consistently accurate with another recipe, powder/bullet combo do not be surprised if the chronograph's data indicates that it should not have been more accurate.

  • Bottom GunBottom Gun Member Posts: 233 ✭✭

    The chronograph is something I also use last and then it’s usually out of curiosity although it has alerted me to incomplete ignition in the past when I was developing a light bullet load for .357 Sig using slow powder.

    When I’m developing a hunting load, I first test bullet performance. When I’m satisfied with the terminal performance, then I work on accuracy. Once I have an accurate load that performs, I’ll sometimes check my velocity estimates against the chronograph just to satisfy my curiosity. If I'm satisfied with the accuracy, I seldom bother checking velocity deviation.

    Mechanical engineers have their moments.
  • OkieOkie Member Posts: 982 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    Bottom Gun 

    The chronograph is something I also use last and then it’s usually out of curiosity although it has alerted me to incomplete ignition in the past when I was developing a light bullet load for .357 Sig using slow powder.

    When I’m developing a hunting load, I first test bullet performance. When I’m satisfied with the terminal performance, then I work on accuracy. Once I have an accurate load that performs, I’ll sometimes check my velocity estimates against the chronograph just to satisfy my curiosity. If I'm satisfied with the accuracy, I seldom bother checking velocity deviation.


    Okie's comment about at first reload testing a rifle:

    When I'm first reloading for testing for accuracy a new to me hunting rifle I do not shoot the expensive hunting bullets at paper, such as the Nosler partitions, Barnes, Grand Slams, etc. (these can get into the range of $1 per shot or more)and no need to test their terminal performance on paper targets and most generally the major factors for accuracy out of a hunting rifle is not the bullet by itself, it's the SHOOTER, properly glass bedded gun, trigger pull weight, powder type, consistent brass weight, bullet weight to mention a few, therefore no need in test shooting a very expensive hunting bullet at first.

    I start paper accuracy testing at 80-100 yards using the cheaper bullets, flat base bullets such as Sierra Spitzers which cost less at 100 per box than 50 per box of the hunting bullets. After I find a consistently accurate combo powder/bullet weight/etc, I then accuracy test the more expensive hunting bullets of same weight or close to same weight as the less expensive accurate bullet. I do not expect the more expensive HUNTING BULLETS that are designed for good terminal performance to be quite as consistently accurate as a silhouette bullet or a flat base less expensive Sierra Spitzer bullet because the bullets designed for good terminal performance when hunting are really not designed for MAXIMUM accuracy. I do expect them to not average more than 1 1/2 inches at 100 yards starting from a cold bore test to a warm bore. I've seen several rifles that would shoot a good warm bore group, but the first shot from a cold bore be out. Your reload is not quite correct for the hunting rifle.


    When you can shoot one shot from a cold bore hunting rifle at a paper target at 100 yards on different days and the average of YOUR shots are less than 1 1/2 inches you have a hunting rifle that will make you look like you are a good shot.



    As Bottom Gun indicated:

    as a final I might dig out the chronograph and check velocity and just out of curiosity and I usually find that it's somewhat less than reloading manuals indicate and I pay no attention to shot to shot deviation when I'm satisfied with the rifles accuracy.

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