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Thread: Cold weather load development.

  1. #1
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    Default Cold weather load development.

    When I lived in California, I worked up a couple of loads in Dec/Jan. Temps were 30-45*. Then I shot some of the in spring (temps in the 70's) and got some pressure signs. that was only 30-40* different. Back then, I went to Varget and had no more problems.

    Now I'm getting ready to work up loads for my .325 WSM and .45-70's. Powders will vary, but there are very few in the load books for Varget. I'm concerned about working up loads now (0 to -20*) and then seeing presure signs come spring.

    How do you folks handle this up here? Do I need to either back up for no possible pressure issues or wait until spring?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1buba View Post
    When I lived in California, I worked up a couple of loads in Dec/Jan. Temps were 30-45*. Then I shot some of the in spring (temps in the 70's) and got some pressure signs. that was only 30-40* different. Back then, I went to Varget and had no more problems.

    Now I'm getting ready to work up loads for my .325 WSM and .45-70's. Powders will vary, but there are very few in the load books for Varget. I'm concerned about working up loads now (0 to -20*) and then seeing presure signs come spring.

    How do you folks handle this up here? Do I need to either back up for no possible pressure issues or wait until spring?

    Thanks!!
    Buba, Hodgdon now makes a whole lineup of "Extreme" powder that isn't temperature sensitive! They even have it in H4350 which is about as good as it gets for the 325WSM. http://www.hodgdon.com/extreme.html

  3. #3
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    That can be a real problem as some powders are very temp sensitive. Several of the new powders are advertised to be temp stable but I haven't actually tried them. One of the problems you are dealing with is the 325WSM as it is already a very high pressure round. If you load it to the max in cold weather, you may experience over pressure when it heats up. The 45/70 shouldn't be quite as much problem unless you have it loaded to the max. To be safe, I would test in temps as hot as you are expecting to shoot in. You can see temp spreads up to 100 degrees or more in North Pole

  4. #4
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    EKC and rbuck351,
    I need to get out more. lol Thanks, didn't know about the "Extreme" powders. But to be honest, I haven't bought a new caliber and gone on a powder search for a long time. :-)

    Thanks for the help!

    steve

  5. #5
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    What others have already said...and Varget is one of those powders more temperature tolerant than others (at least according to manufacturer claims). I've used it without problems with several caliber applications spanning our temperature extremes in AK.

  6. #6
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    A little reading material regarding the Extreme powder claims...

    http://www.hodgdon.com/smokeless/extreme/page2.php#top

  7. #7
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    All my cold weather load work has been with H4350, which is part of Hodgdon's extreme line. I was shooting at about 20 below and in the spring loaded up a single round each of 1 and 2 grains less, to shoot first just to be on the safe side. However, there where no issues pressure, groups, and point of impact were unchanged. So I guess the advertising is not just hype. However, the load in question was about a grain below pressure pressure signs to begin with.

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