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Thread: HELP!, How do I pick a powder?

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    Question HELP!, How do I pick a powder?

    I posted (in the wrong place) asking about looking for a receipe for my 7mm and almost no response. I did find on my own that Barnes makes a bullet for my desires, it is a solid brass 140 gr made just for doing what I want, poking holes in fur bearers. Now I need to pick a powder. What is the criteria for picking a powder other that experience? Any of you out there have a suggestion on where to start?
    I can't afford to buy a bunch of differnt powders just to try out.(I am new to this game of reloading)

    thanks

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Well, Saltwater, you're in the right place now, for sure,

    Others will chime in this with more experience than mine, but I'll start
    One thing I look for is in some manuals, they actually list (have small asterisk by) the "most accurate powder" from their testing,
    that's hard for me to ignore,

    second, I try to look for one whose load numbers have the potential to fill the case to a high degree toward that cases capacity,
    usually listed in manuals also, on the far right, how full the case will be at max, that also makes sense to me and I've read it's "desirable" to get close to capacity if you can (hopefully an oldtimer will chime in on that here)

    and if you are loading for more than one caliber, or even several different bullets for your rifle,
    I try to look for the powder "Most Applicable, to all my plans for future loading" (to keep it simple, for now)
    For example, If it says H4831sc on this one, "Can I use the same for all the different bullets, I plan for, or is there one powder that will cover more bases for me than others.

    As for the whole "Slower Burning, Faster Burning, Spherical, or Flake, etc. that's a bit over my head at this point,
    I am reading up on it all in a good book "Propellant Profiles"
    Seriously excellent book, answers a tremendous amount of questions like those
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My approach is to look at data from as many manuals as possible, and then research various shooting forums to see what most folks are using. With that approach, I've typically been able to find a perfectly useable powder right off the bat. Once I've chosen a powder, I'll go the manual from the bullet maker to see what is an appropriate charge weight. I've generally been disapointed when I try a powder I happen to have on hand that is not recomended.

    Unfortunately I don't load for the 7mm, so can't provide any guidance.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Salty Tom,

    I load a 7mm RM for my Uncle in Homer but he hunts meat and doesn't mind the hide damage. The Barnes Solid that you have found should be a winner. It should punch right through with ZERO expansion.

    Barnes recommends Retumbo 68-73grs or RL-22 60-66grs. They recommend Fed 215M primers but Fed 215 will work. CCI 250's can be substituted but don't start with a max charge in any combination. Winchester primers are hotter than the above mentioned choices.

    Barnes recommends Winchester cases trimmed to 2.490" and a loaded COAL of 3.240" with your bullet choice. The information above is on their web-site.

    Of the two powders I like Retumbo. I've used both and find the Retumbo more consistent and that generally means better accuracy.

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    I'm so out of date on powders with the 7mm Rem Mag I should just keep my yap shut, but that's not in my nature!

    For over 40 years now I've been using the old surplus 4831 with my succession of 7 mags. All have loved it in all bullet weights.

    That doesn't do you any good because you won't be able to buy the powder, and in truth I will run out this year or next. I'm real interested in what folks have to say about the slower RL powders, but if I was to change powders today the first I'd try is the latest H4831, then add other tests from there. I'm not saying it would be the best powder, but I'm sure it will be a dandy reference point for comparing anything else you try.

    BTW- My "do everything" bullet in this round is the Nosler 160 grain Partition. I've never hunted off the continent, but everything I've stuck with it on this continent was DOA and right now.

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    Right now the best and most consistent powders on the market are the RL series and the VN powders. Start there

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    Thumbs up thanks

    Thanks guys, this is great education!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltwatertom View Post
    I posted (in the wrong place) asking about looking for a receipe for my 7mm and almost no response. I did find on my own that Barnes makes a bullet for my desires, it is a solid brass 140 gr made just for doing what I want, poking holes in fur bearers. Now I need to pick a powder. What is the criteria for picking a powder other that experience? Any of you out there have a suggestion on where to start?
    I can't afford to buy a bunch of differnt powders just to try out.(I am new to this game of reloading)

    thanks
    In a 7mm RM it'll be tough to improve upon RL 22 fror general duties, say 140-162 grain bullets. I've also had excellent success with IMR 7828 in the 7mm RM with the same weight projectiles. As Wildalaska suggests, the Vihatouri series is also very good with N160 probably the best of their choices for the 7mm RM. While the Vihatouri series is very good it was pricey ( I haven't bought any in several years). Normally 50-100% more per pound than Alliant's various Reloader powders, though Wildalaska is in a better position than I am to comment on their current prices.

    If you decide to load lighter or heavier weight bullets then others will work perhaps better, but with a 140 grain bullet RL 22 or IMR 7828 will provide as much velocity as any and their consistency (accuracy) is well known. Also in their favor is their general availability.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    There might not be anything new and exciting with the IMR line of powders, but I've had really good luck with them. I might also add that doing some homework by going through and comparing some different reloading manuals to one another and of course searching fine forums such as this one will help you in the decision making process.

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    I forgot to add that Hodgon's website you can get load information on a variety of different bullet manufacturers and powder company's for the caliber you are looking for.

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    Thanks again, what a weath of good information!! It is greatly appreciated.

    I just found this too http://www.barnesbullets.com/wp-cont...MagnumWeb1.pdf

    Recomended is the RL22 and Retumbo. Barnes says the Retumbo is the "most accurtate" choice but the RL22 gets good press here too.

    What do you all think of substituting CCI primers for the Fed GM215M?

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'm so out of date on powders with the 7mm Rem Mag I should just keep my yap shut, but that's not in my nature!

    For over 40 years now I've been using the old surplus 4831 with my succession of 7 mags. All have loved it in all bullet weights.

    That doesn't do you any good because you won't be able to buy the powder, and in truth I will run out this year or next. I'm real interested in what folks have to say about the slower RL powders, but if I was to change powders today the first I'd try is the latest H4831, then add other tests from there. I'm not saying it would be the best powder, but I'm sure it will be a dandy reference point for comparing anything else you try.

    BTW- My "do everything" bullet in this round is the Nosler 160 grain Partition. I've never hunted off the continent, but everything I've stuck with it on this continent was DOA and right now.
    Brownbear, I found that RL22 is the best load for my Ruger No. 1 7MM Mag and the 160 Partition. The Federal 215 Primer is key to that as well for me. I experimented with 4350,4831 Retumbo and others. Each time I used the Barnes TSX and the Nosler Partition and after several months of shooting various loads at .5 grain intervals the Nosler won out at .75" groups @ 100 yards. I'm working the 175 now to see what the deal is there. I might be able to get about the same velocity from the 175 Partition, just checking. Very happy with RL22 when others showed pressure.

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    FWIW, I use Varget for my .22-250. So far so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltwatertom View Post
    What do you all think of substituting CCI primers for the Fed GM215M?
    No way to know which will work better in your gun without trying both. As always though, I'd start 5% or so below max and work up the scale as pressure signs allow for simple safety sake.

    Hey Armymark. Thanks for the feedback on RL22! I was guestimating that might be a good one, but the voice of experience carries more weight. I'm curious what works out with the Nosler 175. I've never felt that prior powders let the 7mm reach it's potential with any 175, though I really like its downrange ballistics.

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    It's been a long time since I've loaded for the 7mm Rem and many of the newer powders were not out yet. I had very good luck using both IMR and H 4831 in bullet weights from 115 through 160. The 175gr bullets didn't work out as well with 4831 and I would think IMR 7828 or RL 22 would be a better choice. There are IMO three main criteria for choosing a powder and they vary in importance depending on what you are trying to do. Velocity, accuracy and cost. The lee Manual is very good for velocity as there data is listed by highest velocity first to lowest last and ther data is compiled from everybody elses loading manuals and has pressure for most of the loads. Lyman lists there best accuracy results as well as a factory duplication load. If I'm going to shoot a lot of a certain round then price per round becomes important to me.

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    No way to know which will work better in your gun without trying both. As always though, I'd start 5% or so below max and work up the scale as pressure signs allow for simple safety sake.

    Hey Armymark. Thanks for the feedback on RL22! I was guestimating that might be a good one, but the voice of experience carries more weight. I'm curious what works out with the Nosler 175. I've never felt that prior powders let the 7mm reach it's potential with any 175, though I really like its downrange ballistics.
    RL22 seems to balance the velocity/pressure better. I could get half inch groups with IMR 4350 once I got them going fast enough, but by then the cases didn't want to eject. When I started slow with RL 22 they were loose groups until I hit 61 grains and it was like magic, and still plenty of room to go by the manual. With 26" barrel on the No.1 I'll bet there going about 3000FPS. Never timed them with a chrony. Looking at the 175 loads with the same powder I could probably start at almost the same load. Wouldn't that be something to get 2800 FPS or more with 175 and have it shoot straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armymark View Post
    Wouldn't that be something to get 2800 FPS or more with 175 and have it shoot straight.
    Amen to that! My current 7 seems to do it's best with any bullet on top of fairly hot loads. That might be good news. I'm currently chronoing almost 2850 with a near max load of my old surplus 4831 (24" barrel), so I think that bodes well. If I could up that much at all I'd be real happy. Idle speculation till I put together some loads and get to testing. Of course, I have to clean off my loading bench first! Sheesh.

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Amen to that! My current 7 seems to do it's best with any bullet on top of fairly hot loads. That might be good news. I'm currently chronoing almost 2850 with a near max load of my old surplus 4831 (24" barrel), so I think that bodes well. If I could up that much at all I'd be real happy. Idle speculation till I put together some loads and get to testing. Of course, I have to clean off my loading bench first! Sheesh.
    Well, the Nosler manual says with 24inches of barrel, a fed215 primer with their brass, 58.5 grains went at 2810 and the max which was the most consistent was 2970fps over 62.5 grains RL 22. I have that loaded at .5 grain intervals and am trying to find some time to get out.

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    saltwatertom, didn't mean to pirate your thread. I'm no expert by far but I recommend you get a reloading manual that has your bullet in there. I have the Barnes Number 4 and it looks like your bullet is the BND SPIT(banded Spitzer?) The manual says Retumbo was the most consistant starting at 68 grains and 2965fps. Thats where I would start.

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    Smile

    NP Armymark, I am here to learn and observe. I do believe I will start with the Retumbo, I have that and RL22 on the way.

    Thanks to all for the info.

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