powder recommendation- 264 win mag

hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
I'd like to get some advice on people's favorite powder for the 264 win mag. I shot mine yesterday for the first time, with less than stellar results. I shot 20 rounds loaded with 55 grains of H4350, magnum primer, COAL of 3.320, speer 120 hot cor bullet. The rifle is a Ruger 77 Hawkeye. The barrel has been floated, the recoil lug rea and the first 2 inches of barrel bedded with pro bed 2000, the stock pillar bedded and the trigger reworked to 2 1/4 pounds. The smallest 3 shot group was at 2" and the largest was about 4". Not real impressive to say the least. My initial thought is perhaps I should try a slower burning powder. These were the first 20 rounds through the barrel, so I think I have some work ahead of me. Any advice will be muchly appreciated. Thanks.

Nononsense, the Hodgdon website is where I got my loading, however, in the Nosler manual, for a 120 grain b.t., 55 grains of H4350 is 2 grains over max. Go figure. I haven't used the powders you listed, however, I'm more than willing to experiment and try new combinations. I also read in Ken Waters' book, that in his opinion, the 264 was the most difficult caliber to reload. I traded my 6.5 Rem Mag for this rifle so I could use a wider variety of bullets, so I guess the experimenting begins to get where want to be. Thanks


  • asphalt cowboyasphalt cowboy Member Posts: 8,559 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You will get more responces posting this in reloading. That being said.

    I got acceptable results with H4350, but found a dacron filler helped tighten it up some. Switching to H4831 gave stellar results though the dacron still added that last little n'th.

    Mind you I was shooting 85's with a much slower twist in what I don't doubt is a bit longer barrel.
    The 264 can be a bit picky as to load developement.
  • nononsensenononsense Member, Moderator Posts: 10,575 ******
    edited November -1

    Your load is listed on the Hodgdon website as a starter load for H-4350 and the same bullet. Consider that the case capacity is 82.0 grains of water, then realize that you're testing a light bullet with fast powder in this cavernous case. I suggest using a heavier bullet and slower powder.

    I'm using the Nosler 140 gr. Partition over a near maximum load of Re-25 which is yielding good accuracy and delivering plenty of energy on target for a hunting load. If you don't like Re-25, try H-1000 as it will yield similar results. Hodgdon lists this load on their website. If H-1000 isn't your cup of tea, try the Retumbo as you will get similar performance at reduced pressure.

    While it took a little effort to get a few accurate loads for this cartridge, it wasn't significant. But I have to state that my testing was done with a custom barrel on a customized/accurized Mauser. Dime-size groups were the norm while testing preferred loads. I can't vouch for your Ruger even with all the work you've had done. You need a base line of accuracy for this rifle before you can do comparisons.

    Let us know how this works out.

  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,706 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a 1961 Model 70 with the origional 26" barrel. The best grouping has been with 120 gr. Nosler balistic tip and 65 gr. of H4831. Eight 5-shot groups averaged 1.38" @ 3322 fps. Second best was 140 gr. Speer spitzer and 72 gr. of H870. Six 5-shot groups averaged 1.87" @ 3026 fps. Remington 140 gr. CLPSP factory loads averaged 2.11" @ 2959 fps. I've also tried 64 gr. of IMR7828 with 140 gr. Hornadys and Speers. Velocity was good @ 3150 fps but groups averaged 2" and 2.47". When I get to it, I'm going to try the 129 gr. Hornady spire bullet. My .264 seems a little fussy. Good luck with yours.
  • HawkshawHawkshaw Member Posts: 1,016 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hadji---Just my thoughts. Is this Bbl. new, or just new to you? How long is it? I definitely would go to a slower Powder, if your Bbl. is 26", as it should be. Next, I have quit shooting 5 shot groups in any large cap. case, such as the .264. IMHO, the Bbl. get to hot, and you will start to loose the last two rounds. Looking at my load data from the past,(I have two of these guys), my best load is
    100 gr. Nosler ballistic tips, over 67.5 gr. RL-22. Both guns yield 1/2 to 3/4" groups at 100 yd. from bench. One of my guns is the REM stnls. syn. 700, the other is a custom 700, with PacNor 26" Bbl. Hope this helps. HAWKSHAW
  • hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hawkshaw, this is a brand new gun. I traded a Rem 673 in 6.5 Rem Mag for it because I was tired of being limited to an oal of 2.800" and the no. of bullets that I could shoot. I guess the only reason I loaded the speer 120's is because I have a couple of boxes laying around from the 6.5, and thought I would try them for a start. I think I'm gonna run to the local gun shop here in a few minutes and pick up some 4831. I'm not sure if he has a whole array of powders but considering it's memorial day weekend and I don't want to run 50 miles to a big store, he should have 4831 for sure. I think I will also switch bullets to some 140's I have and see what happens. Geez, I'd hate to think that after all the work I've done, the best I can do is a 2" group. I have two other 77 Hawkeyes that has the same work done to them, one a 257 Roberts and a 300 RCM, and they will both print 1-1/2" groups at 200 yards. I think it's just a matter of doing the ground work. I shouldn't expect to get lucky with the first loading anyway. It's gonna be fun trying to unlock the secret recipe to make this gun shoot good though. Thanks

    CapnMidnight, my rifle has a 24" barrel. Can't help that. I guess Ruger didn't get the memo about barrel length. I went out and bought a canister of H4831SC. I loaded up 3 rounds using 53 grains behind a Speer 140 gr. and loaded up 3 using 63 gr. behind a Speer 120 gr. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning, and I will post results. I'm gonna have to keep my fingers crossed on this one.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I have been a 264 shooter for many years, and have found 2 basic truths about that caliber. First, you must have a 26" barrel, others have stated this and it's true. Second, every one I've owned shoot 140gr bullets better than anything else. My model 70 does it's best with a 140gr Nosler Ballaistic Tip or AccuBond over 60.5grs H4831SC and Win LRP primers.
    Hope this helps.
  • hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I shot some experimental reloads this morning.. I wasn't sure what to expect because the wind is blowing a good 20 mph. One thing's for sure. This rifle doesn't like Speer 120 grainers at all, with either 4350 or 4831 powder. I loaded up 6 rounds of Speer 140 grain hot cor's, 3 with H4831SC, and 3 with H4350. Both 3 shot groups were practically identical. 2 of the 3 rounds were slightly less than 1" apart and the 3rd round was 3" off. The 120 grain hot cor's were all over the paper. Not really grouping at all. The one bright spot was with Hornady 140 grain A-Max's. With 50.0 grains of H4350. the 3 shot group was 5/8" from center to center. The 3 shot group loaded with 54.0 grains of H4831SC was 1 3/8" center to center. So, at least I'm making some progress. I may have to try the H4350 load again to see if it was just a fluke or a bonified accurate load with possibilities. looks like I need to experiment with a few other bullets that are long and boattailed as opposed to flat based and short.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682
    edited November -1

    As a general rule, I have found that shooting Speer bullets, most of the time does not get you great accuracy. Other's might have a different observation, but from experience this is mine. If I am looking for super accuracy, and hunting performance, I like the Nosler Ballistic Tips, and Accubonds, along with the Hornady A-max. Also a very new contender for me would be the Barnes Tipped TSX bullet. Had great results with those in a 130 grain 30-06 loading last year. Had 4 different 30-06 rifles shoot them to 1/2-1MOA at 200 yards. They were splendid performer's on our large Northern, New York whitetails.


    EDIT 1

    You have very good advice on powder's, and now, bullets too. You might want to try a barrel break in procedure, if you haven't already. 1 shot, clean bore, for the first 10 shots, then 5 shots, and clean the bore for the next 30 shots.

    Also, you mentioned of bedding the first 2 inches of the barrel, in front of the recoil lug. I would personally get rid of that, and make sure the recoil lug itself was not bottoming out in the slot for the bedding. I like to have the back of the recoil lug into the bedding, and not the bottom, especially if you have good pillars installed. I also make sure my action bolts are torqued to between 50-60 INCH POUNDS.

    Lastly, you mentioned taking the trigger pull to 2 1/4 pounds. The weight of the pull, to an extint, is not as important as the crispness. You can shoot better with a 5 pound pull, with very little sear engagement, than you can with a 1 pound pull, and lots of sear engagement. How much sear engagement do you have? How far does the trigger have to travel before the sear trips?

  • hadjiihadjii Member Posts: 971 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    tsr1965 thanks for the good advice and thanks everybody. It's probably a little late for the barrel break-in, however I shot it 19 times then did a thorough cleaning with pro-shot copper solvent. I then shot it 12 more times and repeated the thorough cleaning. Not exactly the recommended procedure, but better than nothing. The trigger has a bit of creep to it and a bit of overtravel. A little annoying, but still better than original. I would like to replace it with a timney as my other 2 rugers are, but with the struggles we're having at work, I better tolerate it as is for now.

    I did discover a mistake I made in seating the speers. I had both bullets, the 120's and the 140's into the rifling by about .010, so I did a redo on the loads tonight, but haven't shot them yet. I reduced overall length to 3.170, which gives me about .050 of freebore, so we'll see what happens now. I'm going to be anxious about trying swift scirocco's in the rifle. They shoot really good in my 300 RCM, so hopefully they will shoot good in the 264 as well. If I get less than acceptable results, then I will remove the bedding from under the barrel and try again. Thanks again.
  • DChrzDChrz Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Swift Scirocco II's are the absolute nutz in my 6.5-284 with a couple of different powders. Given the seating depth issue you had, your initial evaluation of the Speers is worthless, but I would probably look at heavier bullets anyway. When all else has been settled, if 140's work for you, you might give plain old 140 hot-cor Speers (yes, flat base) a whirl. I had a finicky 6.5-06 Ack Imp, and these were by far the best performers in that rifle. As a general rule, vertical groups are load, horizontal groups are shooter. I heartily second the revamped bedding suggestions offered in another post, as well as having the crown checked by a gunsmith.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,850 ******
    edited November -1
    You hit your ten posts but rather than lock it I am going to move it to the reloading Forum for possible continued discussion.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,886 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is a little known trivia item that the .264 Win Mag is one of the VERY few cartridges factory-loaded with a canister powder - at least initially.

    That powder was IMR7828. The current Short Cut version of that powder would still be an excellent choice.

    The reason data varies is largely due to the bullet, which has a tremendous effect on pressure - even with bullets of the same weight. ALWAYS use data from the bullet maker first, the powder maker as a check, and data from Lyman as the arbiter of any serious discrepancy.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've reloaded for 264 mag's for several years.
    I shoot both 120 and 140g bullets. I mainly use H4831, H1000 with both 120 and 140.

    When testing the IMR or H 4350 I found most guns very critical of the powder weight, just 1 gr would be difference between a good 1 inch group and a 4 inch group!

    The H4831 and H1000 powders and normally not as critical of powder weight, and I do not shoot over 3 shots in a string and let her cool between groups. Also when testing I have made 264 hulls from 7mm mag hulls. I usually use a sierra or horndy cheaper bullets until I find the powder it wants then final test with desired hunting bullets to save some $$'s. I also use the cheaper 6.5mm bullets as varmit bullets.
    I get very good accuracy from the 264's when I find what they want! It's one of my favorite long range calibers.
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