Jump to content
UKV - The Place for Precision Rifle Enthusiasts


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About Laurie

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/05/1949

Contact Methods

  • AIM
  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    F-Class, BR, and any form of target shooting that involves a scoped rifle, but doesn't require shooting offhand

Recent Profile Visitors

3,497 profile views
  1. Laurie

    .260 120 grain load

    https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/rifle-reloading/?cartridge=13 Viht gives N140 data for the 120 Barnes TTSX in this table. (32.9gn starting load and 37.8gn maximum.) I'd personally prefer a slower burning grade that fills the case more, but as the powder manufacturer has tested and listed it, the combination will undoubtedly work OK.
  2. No. Lilja is saying that a fluted 5lb barrel that weighed 6lb say pre-fluting will be stiffer than its same weight equivalent in a non-fluted thinner profile. eg a fluted heavy Palma profile barrel is stiffer than a same weight and length light Palma. However, it is less stiff than it was in its original unfluted form - as a 6lb straight taper in this hypothetical example.
  3. Laurie

    UK Distributors too greedy?

    Also, there is no proof law in the USA - the rifle is sold as received. Our distributors often have to proof imported rifles and shotguns depending on their origins.
  4. Laurie

    Magtech primers

  5. Laurie

    Ammo from 1960s compared to today.

    There are a lot of positive reinforcement loops in play it appears. I hadn't realised how much the improvements in affordable optics have driven changes affecting every factor in US varmint shooting, especially open landscape prairie dog 'hunting' until I read an article some years back looking at cartridge choices in the field especially super high velocity 20s. As the saying goes .... 'If you can't see it, you can't hit it!' .... so huge improvements in riflescopes in recent decades saw people able to see small targets further away and increase the desire to shoot at and hit them. This in turn created demands for greater precision, higher MV bullets, higher velocities and so on and so forth.
  6. Laurie

    Ammo from 1960s compared to today.

    What has changed since the 1960s is a huge expansion in the number and type of sporting bullet designs. Back then nearly all expanding bullets were relatively simple cup and core designs, usually with an interlock ring/groove to hold them together, and with either exposed lead at the tip or a large hollow-point. Since then, we see two section (partition type) designs, all copper, bonded core types, hollow points plus plastic tips driven back into the jacket to initiate expansion, Hunting VLDs ..... etc, etc. Many of the premium or 'boutique' bullets have been designed to cope with the much higher terminal velocities encountered with shorter distance shots using very powerful cartridges which are MUCH more widely distributed and used than in the 60s, especially in the USA. The 30-06 and 270 were big game mainstays then and most 0.308" hunting bullets were designed for expansion at 30-06 terminal speeds in 50-150 yard shots for example. They were often inadequately robust for magnum velocities on large animals. That is how the first of the modern 'boutique' bullets came into being - John Nosler was a very successful road haulier in the 1950s and could afford an Alaskan elk and moose hunting holiday each year using a .300 H&H Magnum. A whole series of short-distance hits on a moose heavily covered in dried caked mud in a swamp that failed with bullets failing to penetrate after over-expanding on the skin saw him design the two-section partition on the back of an envelope and make up experimental examples in the company workshops. (This eventually led to the sale of the haulage business and the setting up of the family owned bullet manufacturiung business.) With improvements in rifles, bullets, and especially optics and much greater affordability since the 60s, there has been a trend to longer shots whether in varminting or larger quarry. So, there has been an injection of match bullet qualities in external ballistic abilities into the sporting field. (Or even a blurring of categories and abilities given sporting use of the Hornady A-Max and similar in recent times.) So, all this means that irrespective of calibre / cartridge choice the 'hunter' has to know a great deal more today about his or her ammunition's ballistics and expansion characteristics to obtain the desired expansion characteristics reliably than was the case 50 odd years ago. None of this changes 'the basics' as in user-competence as others have pointed out, arguably in fact may have provided yet more traps for the unwary / ignorant / incompetent.
  7. Laurie

    K98 8x57 Mauser

    That (cheap surplus) was an important attraction of 7.92 rifles of that time, the rifles themselves as WW1 and 2 German and east European / Persian / Turkish etc Mauser designs aside. I bought a few hundred surplus Portuguese rounds in Annan when on holiday in Dumfries & Galloway back in the late 80s. Again, £10 or some such low price per 100. I always remember the gunshop proprietor saying words to the effect of: 'You know, only a few years ago, we had an offer where if you bought 200 rounds of this ammo we gave you a K98 free.' I was astonished at this amazing generosity and said so. 'Not really' came the reply 'We didn't promise any rifling would be included in the deal.' (Companies like Parker-Hale had bought thousands of similar shot-out Mausers a few years previously and paid a few shillings each for them, solely for the actions as the basis of new builds, and no doubt a few other parts had some value. Numrich Gun Parts in the US built its business up too on the basis of buying and breaking vast numbers of these scrappers from the literally millions of surplus bolt-action military rifles that went onto the international arms market in the sixtiest to eighties.)
  8. Laurie

    K98 8x57 Mauser

    Yes, on my second (of three) 7.92X57 - many, many years ago - I set out to finally have a centrefire rifle I didn't handload for and opted to shoot PPU FMJ ammo from it. (This was the old Berdan primed military spec sS PPU whose Cyrillic lettering on the case-head appeared to print 'nny'. It was excellent ammunition and cost £10 / 100, which was very good value even after knocking inflation effects off.) That determination to avoid handloading lasted for one very hot summer outing afternoon session only, its first, in no-jacket / sweater conditions and a four-inch diameter collection of bruises on the shoulder. IIRC the rifle was one of the DWM Portuguese Mauser-Vergueiro rifles that started as 6.5X58P but were shortened and rebored / rechambered to 7.92 in the 30/40s - a very nice piece that recoil aside I really enjoyed shooting. Plan B was to pull the bullets on the PPU ammo and reduce the charge by 10-15%. This didn't work and it was found that anything greater than 5% reduction gave dismal (and dirty) results from the very coarse square-flake propellant. 5% off still kicked like the proverbial mule! So ........... Plan C saw dies, bullets, and boxer brass bought and a mild and reasonably accurate 130gn Hornady PSP / Viht N140 handload adopted, the remaining milspec rounds given away to one of the many 7.92 IS shooting masochists in the club.
  9. Laurie

    Implications of case fill percentage

    ................... and which couldn't find any correlation between fill ratios and ES/SD results. In general though, a faster burning powder is usually required for low fill-ratio when allied to lower pressure / performance loads to work consistently. So go a step faster burning for 'downloaded' cartridges as well as choosing grades known to burn consistently at low pressures. Over the years, I've found many combinations using smaller charges of faster burners that gave surprisingly good results. There is nothing new in this. Read Ken Waters' 'Pet Loads' articles of a generation or two ago and relatively fast burners were widely used in the USA in 30-06 short-distance match rounds with the 168gn Sierra MK, this practice carried on in the 308 after it replaced the old Oh-Six. IIRC Waters has one of his best 308 Win accuracy loads from the long discontinued 190gn Winchester HPBT Match above Hodgdon H322, a powder we'd regard as far too quick for this combination these days and which will come nowhere near filling the relatively large case. In fact mentioning the Oh-Six, its standard M2 military ball loading of a 152gn flat base FMJ over bulk-lot IMR-4895 must have produced very low fill-ratios, especially as this '4895' varied enormously between lots in its actual burning rate, some lots equivalent to IMR-3031, and had to have charges reduced accordingly in the ammunition factories.
  10. Laurie

    Norma powders

    As I said, it is the same chart, but has the important explanation of what it tells you and how it was obtained tacked on the end if you scroll down. As this is a unique way of producing such a chart, it's useful - if not essential - to know how it varies from other burning rate charts and what it's trying to tell you.
  11. Laurie

    Norma powders

    This is a better chart than that provided by RUAG UK - it's the same thing but has an explanation of how the values were obtained attached underneath. https://www.norma.cc/en/Ammunition-Academy/om-handladdning/brinntider-for-krut/ If you look at this, you'll see that a unique method of obtaining burn rate values is employed. Instead of the standard industry 'closed bomb' experiments, it uses a single cartridge and load combination in a test barrel reading both pressure and MV and taking IMR-4350 as the baseline with 100 ascribed to both values. The cartridge is 308 Win with 43.2gn of whatever powder under a 143gn FMJ bullet. This has pluses and minuses: plus in that it uses a real life cartridge loading in a real barrel; minus in that many (most?) of the powders are at best marginally suitable for the cartridge / load, so you've got to wonder how reprsentative their values actually are. It is also an old chart as I first saw it in Norma's Reloading Manual 1st edition which was published in 2004 and so may predate that. Comparing the two, it has not been updated except for the inclusion of N217 and URP. So, in addition to the usual caveats about burning rate charts, some of the propellants in it may have changed a little, or even a lot. XMR-4350 no longer exists for instance in that form, (but we can actually still buy it as Lovex SO70).
  12. Laurie

    Norma powders

    I know that Brian Fox ordered a selection, so it would be worth enquiring with him / Simon.
  13. Laurie

    Norma powders

    Apparently so. The word I hear is that RUAG tried to get premium prices initially and generated little interest among retailers as a result, but has now dropped its prices enough to persuade a fair few outlets to stock them. 203-B grade which appears to be identical to Alliant Re15 now sells for a bit less than its US sourced equivalent, so is a good buy for any users of that grade. I've looked closely at the current Norma range (but not tried anything in actual loads to date) and it does have a lot going for it although it is more or less as it was many years ago with one significant addition. They are very 'competent' propellants that combine high specific energy values with good density so allow a great deal of energy to be packed into the case where space is at a premium. All grades are double-based, but with three exceptions the nitroglycerin content is under 10%, and in many cases down at around 4 or 5%. Norma 204 is an excellent replacement for the now gone IMR and Hodgdon 4350 grades and will match or more usually improve on their performance in suitable applications. So this is one that users of the popular mid-size 6.5s ought to look at, as well as 'traditional' 4350 users (30-06, 7X57mm, short 300 magnums etc). The sole recent addition to the range, Norma URP (Universal Rifle Powder), is a little faster burning than H4350 / N204 but is one of the three grades with higher nitroglycerin levels and is an impressive performer in its bracket, so is an alternative to Reload Swiss RS60 / Alliant Re17, H4350, Viht N550. I've not seen anybody say so to date, but I suspect that being a little faster burning than N204 / H4350, it may be extremely well suited to the 6.5X47 Lapua. The downside of the older Norma powders - can't comment on newer grades - is that they have a reputation for being temperature affected. Norma 203-B / Alliant Re15 is notorious in this respect. Bofors in Karlskoga, Sweden which manufacturers these powders and is part of the same industrial group as Norma, has introduced some apparently very impressive high-performance and as good as Hodgdon / ADI temperature stable grades, but which have so far been restricted to the Alliant range, notably Re16. I'm hoping we will see this bofors product whether in Alliant or Norma form soon as it is getting rave reviews in the US particularly from high performance 6mm and 6.5mm smaller cartridge users.
  14. Laurie

    K98 8x57 Mauser

    QuickLOAD also says 2,500 fps or thereabouts for 47.8gn SO62 under this bullet in a 23.5 inch barrel (actually 2,540 fps from 49,728 psi, right where you want to be). However ........... I was dipping into the 1,000 plus page compilation of the late Ken Waters' Handloader magazine articles over some 30 or so years of his handloading tests and lit upon his 8mm Mauser IS article originally published way back in November 1975 and mostly using the then Dupont IMR powders including 4064. (SO62 used to be called AAC-4064 in its old Accurate Arms persona and was sold as an alternative to the venerable US manufactured product. QL confirms this with 47.8gn of IMR-4064 computed to produce 2,549 fps / 50,950 psi PMax.) Now, Ken Waters found using two different K98s (1933 DWM and Czech VZ-24) back in 1975 that his actual results were WAY down on what loading manuals prediced from their maximum loads - as much as 200 fps with 150 grainers for instance. On the other hand RWS sporting ammo chronographed very close to what the manufacturer claimed - and at much higher MVs than his handloads produced. Waters was so concerned by this he paid for the H.P. White laboratory to independently chronograph the RWS ammo and some of his handloads and they confirmed his findings. He worked loads up to higher levels than in any of the manuals to reach the expected MVs (and what the German commercial stuff gave) and with the US IMR version of the powder got up to 50.0gn 4064 with the 196gn Norma RNSP for 2,539 fps MV. Waters did warn this was absolute maximum based on measuring case expansion! (QL predicts an over-CIP max pressure result from both SO62 and IMR-4064 for this with the 196gn S&B. For SO62, it says 2,654 fps and 58,065 psi) There is then an addendum to the Handloader article saying Dupont had got in touch after it was published advising some of his loads were over-pressure in their pressure test barrel, so he warned readers about being very careful in using his data. But he couldn't explain the dicrepancies between the loading manuals / Dupont loads / MVs and his findings, finally putting it down to maybe throat wear on 40 year old used military rifles. I suspect it is more to do with how barrels were throated. The Germans developed the 7.92X57mm IS heavy bullet loading during WW1 as an MG cartridge, but it was marginally unsafe in rifles. When the WW1 era rifles/carbines were redesigned into the KAR98k in the late twenties/early 30s a decision was made to use the 198gn sS (Schwerer Spitzgeschoss) MG round as the universal German military loading and the rifle chamber was redesigned with a long tapering throat to reduce pressures - 1 3/8 inches according to Waters. (Wow! That IS a 'freebored' chamber!) Those countries / factories that produced K98 type clones were also designed around the sS round and presumably copied the German chamber. I suspect the powder manufacturers' test barrels do not have anything like this degree of freebore. QuickLOAD's equations rely too on the bullet being at the rifling at whatever COAL is input and its results overstate pressures and velocities for those that have been 'freebored'. (To use a now out of fashion term in its original sense of having a massive designed inbuilt jump to the rifling. It was also an integral part of Ken Weatherby's 'magic' to achieve his cartridges' claimed MVs within high but acceptable pressures. My first ever loading guide was ICI Nobel's little paperback and I remember wondering what this 'feebored chamber' was in relation to one of the Weatherby cartridges. Nobel warned the data was only applicable to 'freebored rifles' and had to be significantly reduced for those with 'normal' chambers.) So, all this leaves you just where? Where you are is that you need to beg borrow or steal a chronograph and see what you are actually producing in your barrel / chamber. If, like Ken Waters' findings, you're a couple of hundred fps down on what the loading guide says, you can carefully work loads up a bit using a chronograph throughout the process. Without such data, you have to stick to Explosia's maximum for safety.

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy