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About Laurie

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  • Birthday 10/05/1949

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

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  1. Norma powders

    I don't know that Ian - out of sheer curiosity I've been looking around to see if I can find any online price listings to get a handle on this, but haven't seen any to date. However, let's just say I was approached by a well known northern dealer whom you'll know too about my views on the Norma range when RUAG was sounding retailers out a few months ago. He wanted to know if these powders would offer any significant benefits over other post-Reach alternatives. I suspected price was behind the query and asked if this was so which was confirmed. He said they would have to be something really special and I'm quoting him verbatim here, before he'd take them at the prices he was quoted. It may be of course that Norma something or other will be the new 4831 shortcut for 284 / 7WSM match shooters and therefore justify a price premium, so we'll have to see.
  2. Norma powders

    They're made by Bofors in Sweden (which also makes many of the Alliant powder range). This bit of Bofors is a company within the Eurenco explosives and propellants multinational alongside the Belgian P B Clemont which manufactures Ramshot powders. http://www.afems.org/partner/sweden/eurenco.html Norma has eight rifle grades. All are relatively mildly double-based as per Alliant and half the Reload Swiss powders. http://normapowder.com Norma 203B and Alliant Re15 are the same product and Norma MRP and Alliant Re22 are very close, probably were the same thing at one time, but Norma fans in other countries say that they're now slightly different and MRP will give usefully higher MVs in suitable cartridges. The range as it then was was on sale here until some time in the 90s before the importer withdrew it almost certainly because it didn't sell in large enough quantities as it was considerably more expensive than Vihtavuori and a bit dearer than Hodgdon / IMR / Alliant at contemporary prices. With most Hodgdon and IMR now gone, RUAG Ammotec UK is trying its hand again, presumably in the belief that there will be shortages and handloaders are going to be willing to pay Norma prices - I'd doubt it! They are excellent powders and I've burned a good few pounds when they were last here, but they don't offer anything extra worth a considerable price premium, and I don't believe there is going to be such a shortage that price considerations will go out the window. Still, who knows?
  3. 30-06 Dies and brass

    I should be able to help you here - I've sent a PM
  4. 6.5 Creedmoor Cases Large or small primer pocket

    Yes, you'll see a reduction in MVs for any given charge weight, or to turn it around you'll need to use slightly higher charges than shown in the manuals or you previously worked up to with standard LRP brass. The difference in terms of equivalent charge weights for the two types depends on the cartridge, the powder used, and the bullet weight. For a long time, I reckoned on a half grain difference in 308 Win between the case types with IMR-8208XBR and H4895 with 155s, but in a SR primer test series I ran with small primer 'Palma' 308 brass that started with a like for like comparison between Lapua standard and Palma brass with a 167gn Scenar and Viht N150 load combination, the difference now turned out to be 1.4gn to get the same velocities. Use SR magnums or BRs, or to put it another way, avoid the CCI-400, Rem 6 1/2, PMC SR / Murom KVB-223, and possibly the Winchester WSR. They have 0.020" thick primer cups (WSR 0.021") while others have 0.0225" (Federal 205 and 205M) and better still 0.025" (everything else). That 5 thou' cup thickness is the difference between a primer that copes with 60,000 psi + pressures and one that craters badly or worse 'blanks' the primer. The other issue that may arise is that some rifle actions simply cannot cope with a full-pressure modern cartridge with SR primers due to firing pin thickness, profile, and its fit in the bolt-face aperture. I have an FN SPR that is fine with LR brass, but will produce serious cratering and some blanking 2-3gn shy of Viht's not exactly hot maximum loads in 6.5X47L, and that would apply equally to the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6BR etc. It is a 260 now and lives happily with 60,000 psi with the LR primer type (don't ask me why!), but it means I can't use the Peterson Cartridge Co. SRP version when it gets here. The corollary of all this - my leitmotif and risking becoming boring to me as well as those I pontificate at - is that if you have worked up a 'hot load' in SR brass, (or one anywhere near maximum levels) DO NOT TRANSFER IT TO AN LRP TYPE CASE WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT CHARGE WEIGHT REDUCTION.. You WILL produce significantly higher pressures in the LRP type, and moreover you've moved to a case-form with a weaker case-head less able to withstand very high pressures.
  5. reloader swiss 52

    Use Hodgdon VarGet starting loads as a guide to the RS52 starting load and work up from there. You usually find you can use the VarGet maximum and sometimes a little more. I'd say you're starting to become marginal with this burning rate powder with the 85/87gn weight. At 95, it is too fast burning. It'll likely still work using H. VarGet loads which some sources quote, but you are by then running with such low charges that the case fill-ratio is in the low 80%s and you lose more than 100 fps compared to slower burning powders better suited to this bullet weight in the 243. To give an idea of starting loads using the Varget figures, the new Lyman 50th edition manual loads are as follows: Remington brass / Rem 9 1/2 primer 70gn Sierra MK HPBT match ..................... 37.5gn starting 3,301 fps 47,900 psi (Max VarGet 41.7gn 58,700 psi) 85gn Sierra HPBT Game King .................... 35.2gn starting 2,991 fps 46,800 psi (max VarGet 39.0gn 58,900 psi) 95gn Nosler Partition ................................ 32.0 gn starting 2,714 fps 50,200 psi (max VarGet 34.5gn 56,400 psi) I've quoted the VarGet maxima to give an indication of where you might end up, but you'd have to decide exactly where that is with RS52 through pressure indications on the case and primer. Work up in modest charge increments - 0.4gn initially, 0.3gn or 0.2gn as you approach the VarGet maximum. (With the 95 Nosler, Ramshot Hunter, Alliant Re19/22, IMR-4831, Viht N160, H4831 all give 120 fps or thereabouts higher MVs, a lot!) Also, 243 is said to be very case sensitive, different makes having a large range of internal volumes and hence producing significantly different pressures from any given charge. Remington (used here) and Winchester are pretty thin. If PPU, Lapua, Federal, Norma, or Sako brass is used, drop these loads by 1.0gn. (Speer is so exercised by this issue that it says its loads are only valid in Winchester brass and mustn't be used in any other make.) Normally, I'd give a QuickLOAD based suggestion, but unless the new QL v. 3.9 upgrade changes its base properties' values for RS52, I would suggest being wary of its results. My (v. 3.6) version often overstates safe loads of RS52 by 1.5-2gn in cartridges of this size. I've blown a few primers and scrapped a few cases with QL and this powder, and now always use VarGet instead as a safer option.
  6. There is a difference between 6.5-284/140gn and 284/180gn maximum loads in favour of the latter. (As the two cases have near identical capacities, the larger bore of the latter will reduce pressures with equivalent weight bullets and 180 is the rough equivalent to a 140 in 6.5mm.) So, this particular gem of wisdom should be safe although it will likely produce modest pressures, but I'd never, ever, ever recommend anyone put a cartridge together on this sort of transposition basis. For my last (and definitely final) attempt at getting 6.5-284 to work for me I ended up with the 139gn Moly'd Lapua Silver Scenar over 51.8gn N165, in Lapua brass - not a super-hot load, in fact rather mild. For 284 in F-Class and occasional 'Heavy Gun' benchrest, I use three loads: 1) Winchester brass, Murom KVB-7, 160gn Sierra TMK jumped, 51.7gn N160. (short-range load) ~2,930 fps from 30-inches. (But I prefer my 7mm-08 with the same bullet 100 fps slower also using N160 - this (284) one comes out when the Diggle weather forecast is really bad for 300 yard matches and doesn't see much use.) 2) Lapua (reformed 6.5-284), Murom KVB-7, 175gn Sierra MK jumped, 55.5gn N165, (a standard pressure sort of load neither unduly hot or mild - ~2,830 fps). 3) As 2) above, 180gn Sierra MK in the lands, 57.0gn N165 - no pressure issue in my rifle / chamber but getting 'hot'. I have seen people blow primers with this charge weight of N165 with 180gn Bergers in their rifles / chambers. When I can get a little range time, I intend to do a bit of testing with reduced charges to drop this one to the node below - it shoots very well and is my 1,000 yard load, but is a bit faster (and heavier recoiling) than I want or need at 2,855 fps. Brass life is so far good with all of the above and annealing every few firings. 284 is widely regarded in the USA as having the major weakness of short brass life due to case-head / primer pockets expanding even in Lapua brass. IMHO, that might be a result of their habit of stuffing them with too fast burning H4350 allied to serious ambient and barrel temperatures with string shooting in US F-Class. The usual caveats on using others' loads data apply, and charges should be dropped by 10% or so to get starting loads.
  7. CCI-450 is thicker, as shown in the table you put up. 25 thou' v 20 thou' for the 400. It does make a difference, but any primer will crater / blank if the firing pin fit in its bolt aperture is poor and the pressure is high enough. The 6.5X47L has already brought out problems with certain makes and models of rifle / action, and the advent of the small primer variant of 6.5mm Hornady Creedmoor will undoubtedly bring out many more, but at least in the Creedmoor you can buy a set of good quality LRP cases and use them instead if SRP brass causes primer problems. For the 6.5X47L, it's a bolt bushing job or a replacement calibre barrel, or a rechamber to 260 Rem. I spoke to a gunsmith recently who said that from never doing a bolt bushing / firing pin reprofile job, he has done over 20 in the last year or two, (at somewhat over £300 a time) every one through people specifying 6.5X47L barrels on a model that was traditionally offered and used in 308 only. This issue is going to become more acute as more manufacturers offer the option of an SRP version of cases that have always been LR primed. Peterson Cartridge now offers 243 Win, 260 Rem, 6/6.5 Creedmoors, and 308 Win in both forms. Both retailers and customers have to be aware of the differences and their implications, and any potential pitfalls. I also worry that with SRP Lapua brass (we'll have to see about Peterson in due course) able to take serious over-pressures without distress, or often even any visible symptoms, the opportunities for dangerous overloads through transfer of SRP loads to standard LRP cases, either through ignorance or a mistake on the bench by one who has both types in use, will rise. Not only is the LRP form weaker, but the substitution of the large primer can be equivalent to adding a grain or more of powder to the charge in terms of pressures generated. Be warned!
  8. Sooted cases due to low pressures / 'funny' ignition produce a weird range of symptoms, and yes I've seen soot in the extractor groove alone on occasions. It may not be simply overly low pressures loads that's the issue here. You may need to change primer to get one whose characteristics suit the powder / internal ballistics relationships better. For some reason, 6.5mm cartridges seem to be more prone to this issue than others. I first came across it with N150 and 160 in 6.5X55mm many, many years ago and moved from the CCI-200 primer which was the most widely available at the time to the 250 magnum - which cured it. There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the appearance of the problem - same load shot on the same range in apparently same temperatures would soot brass up on one weekend and not the next, alongside to the amount of soot and its nature / location being equally variable. Despite being called a 'Magnum' that Murom primer is a mild example and has seen problems in its Wolf and Tula brand name guises in US XTC with some ball powders, even with the 223's small charges. That's why Murom introduced the thick cup, but 'hotter' brisance SR 223 REM model.
  9. Action advice - dual bolt face

    Yes, quite so. Eliseo tube gun stocks come in one or two single-shot action forms (eg the B1 for the Barnard 'P') where the front of the receiver butts up against a collar on the tube body, or in a different version for the more common Remington 'footprint' models in either single-shot or magazine forms. The latter require a (supplied) large machined disk like a thick washer inserted twixt action and barrel that then butts up against a collar ..... and the Remy recoil lug is discarded. Eliseo has increasingly moved to actions such as Pierce and Borden that fit his stock better than Remingtons and not all 700 clones fit anyway. As Catch-22 says, any external features that change the action's external profile dimensions from the Rem 700 such as scope rails and inbuilt recoil lugs will mean the action won't fit the tube, and would have to be machined off (if feasible). Eliseo's Competition Machine Savage S1 stock for the Savage PTA single-shot action is a great design, IMO better than the B, R etc models for prone F-Class type shooting. Despite appearances, it is not a tube stock as the action sits on a chassis, not inside a tube and the Savage recoil lug is used. (I assume that if an existing Remington barreled action is used, this substitution throws headspace way out and a rebarrel or set-back/rechamber job is also required.)
  10. BSA Martini

    Pete Walker (Walker Rifles) did a conversion to .22K Hornet for the well known West Yorks shooting dentist Simon Austin maybe 20 years ago. IIRC it was Pete's first job after setting up as a gunsmith. He says of the job .......... Never again! It's the rimfire to centrefire conversion that's the hard part. Also, rimfire .22 barrels are both a bit 'soft' and 'tight' for .22 centrefires with their 0.224 bullets - many early .220 Swifts in the US utilised easily obtained .22LR barrels or even complete rifles and barrel life was very poor with this hot number. (Winchester 70s made as 220s were fitted with a special steel barrel to cope.) American gunsmiths imported large number of Martini Cadet actions and rifles at one time to build single-shot varmint rifles out of them, even the rather too large full-size actions from surplus .45 Martini-Henry military rifles. I should think this practice has nearly died out now. They were very well suited to handling the rimmed varmint cartridges that were in vogue from the 1940s for a few decades.
  11. new .223 time

    The 69gn TMK is a bit longer (0.982" v 0.900") than its older SMK sibling, so whilst it'll shoot OK in most atmospheric conditions in a 9-twist, its Sg is down around 1.3 at 3,000 fps MV. That'll see it group OK in most conditions, but BC is degraded by around 5%. (As the TMK's BC as measured by Litz is 7.7% higher than that of the SMK, the stability/BC issue will wipe out most of the gain and you're buying a more expensive product for potentially marginal benefit in external ballistics terms anyway - assuming it's being used on paper, not live quarry as many regularly do with these acetyl tip designs.) Interestingly though, Sierra shows 10 twist or faster for both the SMK and TMK, Strange in that this company is usually very conservative on twist rates often advising considerably 'faster' ones than are essential in 'normal conditions'.
  12. IMR 4451 for 260rem

    I've not tried it in 260 as yet, but IMR-4451 is usually an excellent alternative to H4350 in the small / mid size 6.5s. It works fine in the slightly lower capacity case Creedmoor for instance. N150 is a good choice for 120/123gn bullets. N160 is better for 136-142gn, and for 130s, it could go either way but I'd lean towards N160. Reload Swiss RS62 is another excellent replacement for H4350, in some cartridges quite outstanding and it should be such in the 260 as gave best results for me in the not too ballistically different Creedmoor. Lovex SO65 and SO70 both work. IMR-4955 which we don't have yet but should soon hopefully, is the next slower burning powder in the IMR 'Enduron' range and will be a likely IMR/H4831 alternative post-Reach. Hodgdon has some 260 Rem loads listed, but it gives slightly lower MVs with 140gn class bullets than 4451.
  13. .308 Target rounds

    Which 180 and 190gn bullets are used in the ggg loads? If Sierra MKs, the 180gn is (like the 168gn SMK) a short-range bullet. The 190gn SMK is an 'old-fashioned' rather blunt match design, but a good one nonetheless and which like the original 155 model is very trans and sub-sonic transition tolerant making it a good long-range choice for those whose rifles are unable to produce optimal velocities due to barrel lengths. If it is that bullet, your 11.5 twist barrel is fine. At 2,600 fps MV in an 11.5 twist rifling pitch rate, it has an Sg value of 1.52 - absolutely optimal - in standard ballistic conditions. (Bullet OAL in relation to calibre has a greater effect on the required spin rate than weight and the elderly 190 is a relatively short bullet in comparison to many more recently introduced bullets in this weight bracket.)
  14. Hogdon H1000 availability

    It's not only Re26. Unless there is something I've missed, the last new Alliant powder that the company bothered to obtain CE certification for was Re17 sometime around 2009 (in its pre Reload Swiss days). Since then Alliant has introduced three European manufactured propellants in addition and prior to Re26, which by definition will be Reach compliant, but has shown no interest in getting EU import certification despite requests from Edgar Brothers which is not only our importer, but also that for the rest of Europe. AR-Comp introduced c.2011, a modified slightly faster burning version of Re15 which is said to be one of the least temperature affected powders around. It is a head-on competitor to H. VarGet. Manufactured by Bofors in Sweden. Re16 another Bofors product using new technology to reduce temperature sensitivity (and it apparently works - independent tests show it is at least as good as equivalent Hodgdon grades, possibly better) and a head-on competitor to H4350 and IMR-4451. On sale in US gunshops since mid 2016 and with growing popularity among users of cartridges such as 6.5 Creedmoor. Re23, announced in 2014, but like Re16 not widely available in US gunshops until 2016. This is also a new generation Bofors manufactured powder with a similar burning speed to Re22, but like Re16 and AR-Comp, it is largely temperature unaffected. As we are much less affected than our American cousins by large temperature changes, its absence here is of less concern as we have Re22 and (I'm told) Bofors manufactured Norma MRP available, neither the same thing as Re23, but all three doing a similar job in the same group of cartridges. All of these new Bofors manufactured grades have other enhancements, primarily anti-copper fouling agents in the formulation. I can understand Alliant ATK not bothering to introduce AR-Comp and Re16 in Europe, even if I can hardly say I'm happy about it. As direct (and reportedly, very competent) competitors to H. VarGet and H4350 respectively, and being as good as or even better than the Hodgdon / ADI varieties in resisting temperature changes, it finally gives Alliant ATK credible products in two key powder burn rate segments for the US market, moreover at a time when Hodgdon has been often unable to supply demand. The temperature sensitivity issue has become so toxic in North America that many handloaders won't consider Re15, 19, 22, or 25, and the word getting around that the US Army demanded a change away from the (Re15) propellant in the M118LR 7.62 sniper round a few years ago after pressure problems in Iraqi and Afghan summer conditions didn't help much either.
  15. .308 Target rounds

    The fact that as of this (next?) year, the NRA is reducing the ring sizes on the standard target is I would say an endorsement of the GGG Match version. Scores in last year's Imperial Meeting were extraordinarily high especially in the shorter distance matches. At 2,800 fps MV, the old Sierra MK (the 2155 model) will shoot OK out to 1,000 yards being a very well-mannered bullet and tolerant of trans and sub sonic transitions, but will be a bit 'short of legs'. With a G7 BC of 0.214 average, speeds / wind drift at 600 and beyond are calculated as: 600 .............. 1,645 fps / 3.5 inches 800 ............. 1,327 fps / 6.9 inches 900 ............. 1,182 fps / 9.2 inches 1,000 .......... 1,068 fps / 12.1 inches under standard conditions (29.92 inches mercury pressure and 59-deg F air temperature). The wind drift is per 1.0 mph change in a 90-deg crosswind. So, no problems at 600 and even 800. At 900 you're well into the worst of the trans zone speed range which usually increases dispersion overall, also bullet movement in any wind shift. At 1,000 you'll be subsonic on any low lying range in any UK weather conditions, but might just see them stay supersonic on Diggle and Blair Athol in heatwave temperatures. In any event, the old 155 SMK behaves well going subsonic so you'll stay on the full-size NRA target frame OK - but you'd be blown around a lot with any wind shifts going. You'll also need 39-40 MOA adjustment available on the scope from a 100 yard elevation zero.

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