Loading Light

Cast Iron

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I put a post on the predator hunting and trapping forum about loading light for less fur damage. I have done this for years with .243 Win. and 6mm Rem. Was wondering how light is to light? Reloading manuals usually has a starting load and a max. load but I have never saw a minuim load listed. Anybody have any information on loading below suggested starting load? Is this the lowest you should load? I can't remember ever loading below starting load but was wondering if this is safe? A couple hunderd feet per second difference in bullett speed usually makes a big difference in the size of the exit hole.
 

marshall

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Loading below a starting load can actually cause an over pressure condition. A lightly filled case when laid flat in the rifle chamber can ignite erratically and cause issues.

I would suggest the slowest powder in your book, that's the one with the most weight of charge listed for your cartridge. Then use the starting load for that powder. That should result in a light recoil and a slow velocity.

Trail Boss powder makes really nice slow loads. I've seen .308 Win loads that are whisper quite when combined with a suppressor. It's donut shaped and fills the case nicely with a light charge since the flakes have holes in them. Basically you just mark your case to where the bullet base would seat and fill the case up to that level. Data shows a .243 Win shooting at sub sonic velocities, see link.

http://www.imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf

Another suggestion would be Hodgdon 4895 and using 60% of any published MAX load with that powder, see link.

http://hodgdon.com/PDF/Youth Loads.pdf
 

alaskabliss

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Hodgons has a section on in their load data website that talkes about redueced loads and gives a few loads for various cartiges. It explains how to use H4895 and reduce by 10%. Check it out. I used their tables for some reduced load 30-06 rounds for the wife but just havn't had a chance to test them.
 

Smitty of the North

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I put a post on the predator hunting and trapping forum about loading light for less fur damage. I have done this for years with .243 Win. and 6mm Rem. Was wondering how light is to light? Reloading manuals usually has a starting load and a max. load but I have never saw a minuim load listed. Anybody have any information on loading below suggested starting load? Is this the lowest you should load? I can't remember ever loading below starting load but was wondering if this is safe? A couple hunderd feet per second difference in bullett speed usually makes a big difference in the size of the exit hole.
This is the way I understand the issue of making light loads, for Bottle-Neck rifle cartridges.

Using a load below the minimum in the data, probably won’t work well, because it won’t burn well below that amount, in that cartridge, and it don’t ignite, right, either.

If it’s a Slow Powder, it can even be dangerous. By some unknown, and unproven FLUKE, people usta blow up their Magnum rifles by using very small amounts of a slow powder, like H4831

For reduced loads, a faster powder should be used. IMR 4198, or H4895 for example.

I don’t think it’s wise to use any load, for which you have no tested data. That’s the BOTTOM LINE for me.

You should verify by checking their Website, but H 4895 loads are safe, at 60% of any Maximum Load Data found in their manuals, using that powder.

At least some, of the Speer Loading Manuals have Data for lower velocity loads.

Trail Boss can be used without Data, providing you follow the rules, but you can find SOME loading data for it.

That’s using Jacketed Bullets. There is also, the option of using Cast Bullets, and Cast Bullet Data.

I don’t think you’re sposed to use Cast Bullet Data for Jacketed bullets, because Jacketed Bullets are NOT to be used at Very Low Velocities, lest the Jacket lets go of the lead core, and stays in the barrel, causing an obstruction for the next round.

My Speer Manual #8 has reduced load data for both the 243, and the 6mm Rem for Some, of their bullets.

The powder used is IMR 4198 and the Max Velocities are a bit under 2000 fps.

If you need this data, from me, send me a PM. I can let you borry the book. I think we live in the same area. Or, give you the info, somehow.

Smitty of the North
 

BrownBear

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I'm on the road and away from my logs, but I used to load SR4759 for light loads in the 243, data derived from the Speer #10 manual IIRC, using some 80-grain "solids" that the old Barnes company made up for me. Basically just jacketed spitzers with the nose closed up in the forming die and no lead exposed. I dunno what you'd do for solid bullets these days unless you got Hawk to make up some of the same for you. All I can say is that moving along between 1800 and 2000 fps, I never had any pelt damage or follow-up shots.
 

BrownBear

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Good catch, Smitty. It was a guess from 5k miles away, not to mention an aging memory! ;) I was in regular contact with Fred B at the time, and it could well be loads that he recommended. I won't be home for another couple of months, so I can't be much more help than that, other than to recommend going to the Hodgdon site for IMR data. I'd be surprised if they didn't have 243 data there.
 

Cast Iron

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Thanks to all. You have been a big help. Would still welcome more information if you have anything to share.
 

L. G.

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I've been working on a reduced load for my Fireball. Trying to load it down to Hornet velocities. I tried 7.0 gr SR4759. It basically shotgun patterned at 50 yds. Lots of unburned powder in a 20 bbl - something like 20-30 kernels visible. I've had SR4759 shoot very well in my .338 when duplicating 33 Win ballistics.

Just shot some with low-end 4198 loads this weekend. Very accurate with 45 gr hornet bullets and 55 FMJs. It's a 50 yd load for shooting grouse in the head/neck. I'm not trying to vaporize them!
 

Akheloce

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Loading below a starting load can actually cause an over pressure condition. A lightly filled case when laid flat in the rifle chamber can ignite erratically and cause issues.

I would suggest the slowest powder in your book, that's the one with the most weight of charge listed for your cartridge. Then use the starting load for that powder. That should result in a light recoil and a slow velocity.

Trail Boss powder makes really nice slow loads. I've seen .308 Win loads that are whisper quite when combined with a suppressor. It's donut shaped and fills the case nicely with a light charge since the flakes have holes in them. Basically you just mark your case to where the bullet base would seat and fill the case up to that level. Data shows a .243 Win shooting at sub sonic velocities, see link.

http://www.imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf

Another suggestion would be Hodgdon 4895 and using 60% of any published MAX load with that powder, see link.

http://hodgdon.com/PDF/Youth Loads.pdf




+1 for trail boss... I read about this first in either handloading magazine, or the hodgdon magazine, can't remember which. I loaded up some 168 gr with "up to the shoulder" full of trailboss for my light weight 30-06 to get my girlfriend introduced to high power rifles. I was highly impressed with results, as the kick was softer, and slower. The sound was significantly less, and accuracy excellent. I did not have the chrony with me, but I found the overall results highly satisfying. (and the GF really wants to go shooting again :) )
 

alaskabliss

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+1 for trail boss... I read about this first in either handloading magazine, or the hodgdon magazine, can't remember which. I loaded up some 168 gr with "up to the shoulder" full of trailboss for my light weight 30-06 to get my girlfriend introduced to high power rifles. I was highly impressed with results, as the kick was softer, and slower. The sound was significantly less, and accuracy excellent. I did not have the chrony with me, but I found the overall results highly satisfying. (and the GF really wants to go shooting again :) )


What grain bullet were you using for the 30-06? im in the process of doing the same for my wife. i loaded up some reduced loads with H4895 and Nosler 125gr bullet. Haven't tried them yet bbut would be curious in trying the trail boss.
 

Alangaq

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Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I thi
They make a powder designed for reduced recoil loads that might work for you. Here is a link that talks about it and gives loads for several calibers. I'm thinking about working up some for my 375H&H to practice off hand shooting.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/reduced_recoil_reloads.htm

Steve

Steve, for your "plinking" 375H&H loads, just use the Siera of Hornady flat nose bullets. 200 and 220 gr. Even loaded to max they are mild to shoot and are really craptacular when used against blocks of ice or jugs of water!
 

Akheloce

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Alaskabliss: 168 gr nosler CC's Heavier than necessary, but worked just fine
 
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