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Everything posted by Laurie

  1. Laurie

    S070 vs RS62

    You could try both SO65 and SO70 in Creedmoor with 139/140gn bullets. QuickLOAD suggests that maximum usable loads are about 1-1.5gn apart; both give a near full case and MVs in the 2,700-2,750 fps range from a 24-inch barrel.
  2. Laurie

    S070 vs RS62

    Lovex's SO-series single-based extruded grades are excellent powders and can give very consistent results. Up to around 10 years ago, SO70 was better known as Accurate Arms-4350, but of the three 4350s on the market was the slowest by quite a margin. (Accurate 4350 is still around, but not here. It is made for Western Powders by General Dynamics in Canada the plant which manufactures most IMR grades.) Explosia's burning rate chart isn't very accurate unfortunately. It shows SO65 on the same line as Hodgdon VarGet which got people rather excited about it during the first great VarGet shortage. Excitement gave way to frustration as a VarGet substitute, it is not. It is slower burning, bulkier, and has less energy - well suited to 7mm-08, 7X57mm, 7X64mm and similar, but gave heavily compressed loads and low MVs in 308 Win. Even when accurately listed, as has been said many times before, burning rate is only one of several metrics that affect suitability and performance. IME, SO70 works well in applications that suit '4350-class' powders, so should be an alternative choice to RS62. However, it usually gives lower MVs than IMR or Hodgdon H4350, and as RS62 usually outperforms this pair, I'd expect a yet larger gap between it and the Lovex grade. With smaller cartridges like the Creedmoor, it'll also likely be limited by case capacity reaching compressed levels at modest pressures / MVs. (Nothing wrong with that if you don't need or want every last fps MV, of course.) In larger, roomier numbers such as 7X57mm, .30-06, and 6.5X55mm, it's well suited to them.
  3. Laurie

    Alpha munitions / Peterson brass

    Peterson is very good, .............. but how it compares to Lapua and Norma? We'll have to see on that one when people have got 10-20 firings in.. Their 6XC cases (in either primer form) and small primer brass for 243 and 260 are very new lines, so new that most Americans have yet to see any, so I doubt if it has come anywhere near reaching us yet. Bernie Montana of Extreme Performance in Lincs was importing / distributing Peterson brass and I assume he still is. 1967 Spud of UKV fame and Dauntsey Gun Company both retail Peterson cases that I know of, so talking to Mark (Spud) would be a sensible starting point. I've not heard of any Alpha brass here yet or anybody importing their products.
  4. Laurie

    .260Rem Load.

    I had very good results with 123 and 130gn bullets with N150. There is a downside though with this powder - pressures seem to peak rather quickly when you get to maximum. N160 is likely a bit (lot?) more tolerant. By coincidence, when I get back to shooting (convalescing after surgery right now) 260 is back on my 'play list' having had my old FN SPR rebarreled in it yet again, but this time in 'long throat' form for shooting 140s at around 2.95" COALs. I'll also use it to see how well Berger's impressive looking new 130gn 'Tactical AR-Hybrid' manages at magazine length and around 160- thou' jump. I'd more likely go 6.5 Creedmoor in SRP Brass form these days all other things being equal, but with the SPR being a b*gg*r for blanking SR primers and the cost of a firing pin turning / bolt bushing job being another £300 on top of the rebarrel, it was simply too expensive. There's nothing wrong with the old 260 anyway and plenty of good brass available for it.
  5. I was confusing the Rifleshooter test with a video piece from Johnny's Reloading Bench or some such that appeared some months back and claimed mis/hangfires with SRP Creedmoor brass with Viht N550 loads. It was almost certainly a temperature issue as this was during the winter. The methodology was crap because the tests involved different ambient temperatures for the differing case types as well as very small sample sizes. He thoroughly confused me too by apparently doing a flash-hole reaming job on the SRP brass using what was obviously a large diameter uniformer tool for the 2mm size hole. This left me wondering what size US made SRP Creeedmoor brass actually was. My memory may be letting me down again, but I think this was Peterson SRP Creedmoor - and this company assures customers its SRP cases have the correct 1.5mm flash-holes. This one is OK as far as it goes, but with large flash-hole SRP brass it's pretty pointless IMO. I like the Rifleshooter.com stuff - good down to earth nice builds without frills and they're genuinely pleased to get results under 1-MOA, and ecstatic to get half-MOA compared to the 'shoot quarter-MOA all day long if I do my stuff' pieces that have become the norm online it seems. A shame though about the images of the targets in this report - I tried making sense of them but to be honest gave up after a couple of minutes as I found them so hard to see. So far as actual MVs are concerned in the cartridge, nothing surprises me too much these days. Years back I had a Dr Geoff Kolbe designed and made chamber pressure measuring device for review - it used an accelerometer to measure recoil speeds and software that converted it into pressure. All you had to do apart from attaching the sensor was to input rifle all up weight, bullet and charge weight, and finally the bullet diameter, shoot a round or two and see what the machine said was being generated internally. Out of scientific interest I tried a standard Small Pistol primer in a pretty well mainstream 223 Rem loading alongside the SR magnum I normally used. The SP model gave higher MVs and according to the Dr Kolbe device. around 5,000 psi higher pressure. When it comes to cartridge ignition, nothing is as it seems ..... seemingly ☺️
  6. It needs a long action for repeater / magazine use with the 6.5-284 and you'd have to be happy the shorter / thinner body 308 rounds would still feed reliably. In a short-action, the 6.5-284 has to be a single-shot only option and depending on the action and size of its top-opening / port, you might have to remove the bolt from the action to unload a live round.
  7. To gain the benefits of SR priming, you also need the small (1.5mm / 0.059" dia.) flash-hole instead of the standard size (2mm /0.079" dia.). The Starline brass used in the tests has the large flash-hole in both versions. This alone almost certainly accounts for any odd findings on average MVs - the small flash-hole is reckoned to reduce MVs as much as, more likely more, than the primer size. I looked at this test a long time ago and although don't remember much about it now, do remember being distinctly unimpressed by its methodology and the numbers of cartridges fired. However, since IMHO there are no internal ballistics / accuracy benefits in using SRP Brass with a large size flash-hole compared to the standard LRP variety, I'd never buy any cases like this. The only potential benefit is that with a smaller pocket, the SRP version might last longer before pockets become slack and the cases have to be scrapped. There are a few cartridges around where you can get either primer size allied to the 2mm flash-hole - 7.62X39mm and 6.8mm Rem SPC being the two most common. When I had a 6.8 SPC AR-15 straight-pull, I did a side by side test between Remington (LRP) and Hornady (SRP) cases which fortuitously had very similar case capacities as measured using the water overflow method. With this small capacity case and powder charge - a great deal less than those of the Creedmoor, I expected to see the Remington variety produce significantly higher MVs, but there was nothing at all between them, likewise in ES and group sizes. It seems that if the powder is cleanly ignited, it's cleanly ignited when the only difference is the primer alone.(In the case of the 6.8, it seems Remington made a poor move in going for LRP with this smaller diameter case-head. The best, strongest, and longest lasting brass for the cartridge was Silver State Armory's SRP version when it was produced.)
  8. Laurie

    6,5mm Creedmore or 6,5x47L for F Open?

    Lapua alone loads factory 6.5X47L - four Scenar match loads and one Naturalis deer load. http://www.lapua.com/en/ammunition/calibers/65x47-lapua Unusually the small to mid-size US ammunition companies which produce boutique versions of 260 Rem and 6.5-284 largely or entirely ignore the cartridge too. The near complete absence of adoption by mainstream rifle and ammunition manufacturers contrasts with the Creedmoor situation where there is a Gadarene rush onto a near runaway bandwagon and suggests that the 6.5X47L is and will remain a specialist number mostly used by shooters who handloader
  9. Laurie

    New .243 load help

    I'd be a little wary with QuickLOAD. Having run several combinations and then compared them to published data in reloading manuals, some QL results are close, but in some combinations an apparently suitable QL result producing an estimated 57 or 58,000 psi PMax may be as much as three grains higher than the loading manuals' maximum figure - a lot in this cartridge to put it mildly. One possible reason for this is that there is apparently a great deal of variance in 243 brass capacity. The Speer manual uses Winchester cases and states in a general warning on the cartridge that its staff found unusually large variances between case makes and stresses that its loads apply to this one make of brass only and should not be transferred to any other. In the loads that I will work up in due course, I'm using several makes of case, but so far have no fireformed examples so have been using QuickLOAD's default capacity. Where there is a significant discrepancy with loads from manuals, I've used the latter and will see in due course which is closer to reality based on Labradar MV results.
  10. Laurie

    .308 Target rounds

    I'm not saying it's unsuitable, rather sub-optimal as it was designed for a lower bullet weight. But it's still a free country (just) and you're welcome to use any powder you fancy in the cartridge as long as it's safe, and N135 is safe enough as long as the manufacturer's loadings are adhered to. You won't find any serious long-range 308 shooting competitors using it though.
  11. Laurie

    243 powder

    Not that I've seen. Sierra Bullets (which has for years collaborated closely with the US Army) mentioned it in a loading manual many years back. The US Army did its research in the aftermath of introducing the 7.62X51 round / M14 rifle and deciding on a policy of ball powders only for non-specialist 7.62 types, so I'd assume it dates from the late 50s or maybe early 60s. Almost everything that the US Government and its agencies researches is available somewhere online unless it is 'classified', .... but finding it. With so many developments in propellants in recent years, it's dubious how much one would learn now anyway from 50 + year old research. People shouldn't get too worked up over 'double-base'. Most recent introductions have nitroglycerin in the mix somewhere - all of the new IMR 'Endurons' for instance; every Alliant 'Reloder' grade; all ball types. Viht N100 series, RS 30/50/62, and Lovex SO extruded grades are the only true single-based types left to us now. However, Viht N500 series aside and some of the older grades, the norm is 3-10% nitroglycerin content by weight and if loads are sensible, barrel life appears as good with these grades as with anything else. I bought a secondhand low round count Musgrave 7.62 TR rifle with a Maddco stainless barrel maybe 25 years ago, shot it regularly in TR matches all season for some five years and sold it to a fellow club member who still has it. The load was (and is) the old Sierra 155 MK and Alliant Re15. I passed the load on and the new owner still uses it. That barrel is still going well today, and the round count must be really something. As we never shot beyond 600 yards and more often than not at 300 only, the loading was mild. Some Viht N500s have very high nitroglycerin levels - N540 was reported as 45% on its introduction many moons ago and I assume it's still very high. What does kill barrels fast is the combination of a high-energy mix allied to advanced deterrents early burn modifying technology, in particular RS's 'EI' grades (RS 40/52/60/70/80 and some Alliant powders supplied by Nitrochemie). They will give a step increase in performance but the extension of the peak burning pressure and heat period increases the stress on the chamber throat rear end of the barrel. Don't load them up to peak pressures and performance and they should be fine. (I have an FTR rifle with a Broughton 5-groove that has had a lot of RS52 down it and its performance is holding up very well.) With the 243 being a known barrel burner, there is a good case though for the high round-count user to choose powders carefully. Viht N160 and N165 are obvious candidates for the heavier bullets. (John Whidden keeps winning US national championships with the 'straight 243' 105 Hybrids and N160 too - ~1,300 rounds barrel accuracy life he says and remember American prone competitors string-shoot, so rounds will go downrange as fast as the target is marked and a lot faster than our TR or F-Class.) For ball powder lovers, I imagine the Ramshots will give acceptable if not in fact very good life if pressures are sensible.
  12. Laurie

    .308 Target rounds

    Where have you seen Vihtavuori recommend N135 in this application? That a powder grade is quoted in loading tables means it can be used, but it may or may not be optimal. N135 is the canister version of Viht's bulk propellant for standard 7.62X51mm NATO ball rounds and is optimal for that cartridge in NATO STANAG spec barrels and chambers - ie a slightly undersize (compared to SAAMI .30's 0.300/0.3080" bore/groove ) bullet loaded into a heavy case and within the 143-146gn weight range. It is usable with a heavier 155gn bullet - but that is neither optimal nor recommended. As a short-range load it'll be fine and its slightly lower loads please the penny pinchers. One just needs to look at Viht's 308 Win data for the 155gn Sierra MK and the maximum loads shown for N100-series powders to see the internal ballistics relationships: N135 Max load gives 2,674 fps N140 Max load gives 2,712 fps N150 Max load gives 2,790 fps For bullet weights up to 150gn N135 generally gives higher MVs than N140, its faster burning rate better suited to this application. From and including 155gn, this is reversed and Viht doesn't show any data for N135 for bullets heavier than 185gn, and in this case for one bullet only out of several covered.
  13. See: http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2018/05/good-news-for-gunsmiths-major-itar-changes-coming/#comments The detail isn't available yet, but it looks like many of the things we buy from the USA may be exempted. If so, good news.
  14. Insofar as SR primers go, there is NO relationship between so-called 'magnum' primers and 'magnum' (hotter) performance. Magnum SR (and BR types) primers have thicker cups but often have the same pellet as the standard grade inside. Some individual models (including non-magnums) are slightly warmer than others. See first conclusion (commentary on Table 1) in: http://www.targetshooter.co.uk/?p=2662 What I increasingly see is the difference SR primers can make to performance - not in MVs but in matching the rest of the load and changing group sizes. This has two results. First some experimentation with primers may be necessary during load development to get best results, and 2) once you've settled on a primer model stick with it. Changing primer (sometimes even buying a new lot of an existing one) often requires the load to be fine-tuned again.
  15. Laurie

    New Brass prep and new load to develop

    I neck-size first then use the body die - no particular reasoning in this order and it'd likely give the same results if reversed. The Collet die doesn't need any case-lube at all, so my cases are decapped and cleaned first then neck-sized. They need lubing for body-die full-length sizing of course, this action often done at a later stage nearer to priming charging and bullet seating etc. For Forster Bushing-Bump sizing, I've always used the merest smear of Imperial Wax Sizing lube on the neck and shoulder. Whilst the Collet type presses inwards onto a now static neck, I don't like the idea of any unlubed sliding contact between a bushing and the neck. Whether the small amount of lube on the shoulder is really required is debatable, but I've found I get very consistent shoulder set-back between cases using this method. Lightly smeared finger / thumb application and small amounts of lube involved over a limited area make for very quick and easy application / wiping it off afterwards.
  16. For people who are thinking of trying the Czech Lovex powder range, I've found a new data source. (Exlosia's guide is good, but is heavily weighted towards European sporting rifle loads. So, many popular US originating cartridges such as the 6.5 Creedmoor are missing , and even where data is provided for popular US numbers such as 308 and 30-06, many of the bullets and cases used to generate data aren't common choices here. This guide can downloaded from https://explosia.cz/app/uploads/2016/11/reloading_Lovex_EN.pdf ) An American shooting supply company Shooters World (https://shootersworldsc.com) has been importing Lovex powders into the USA for some time and renaming / labeling them under its own 'Americanised' names. For example, Lovex SO65 becomes Shooters World Long Rifle and SO62 is renamed Precision. I've just noticed that Shooters World has commissioned proper loads pressure testing and has its own online reloading manual either available from the Shooters World home page or directly in pdf file form as: Shooters World Loading Manual Note the date of the latest version - last month. This is still obviously a work in progress and there are only four pages (15-18) of rifle loads data in a small number of cartridges, but they include 260 Rem and 6.5mm Creedmoor in addition to the usual suspects of .308 Win and .30-06 etc, not to mention the less usual suspect of .458 SOCOM! (There are also some BPCR loads bullet data for the old Accurate-5744, now known as Lovex DO-60, or in its Shooters World rebranding as Buffalo Rifle.) There are no data as yet for Lovex SO70 (SW4350 in Shooters World speak). Still, it's a useful additional source of information for those using or contemplating using Lovex powders which are very good indeed in some applications, and this reloading guide is obviously still being expanded
  17. Laurie

    Additional Data for Lovex Powders

    Thanks Bangbangman. It's difficult for us (or certainly me at any rate ) in our over-regulated situation to remember just how mainstream the AR-15 platform in the USA has become in its semi-auto form, and as much, much more than a range or plinking tool. Get a good AR-compatible cartridge and it taps straight into a large group of potential users including 'hunters'.
  18. Laurie

    Additional Data for Lovex Powders

    In the USA anyway. It'll still be labeled DO63 in our supplies brought in by Mike Pearson of Westlander. Is the 300 Blackout such a huge success in the USA? There are now two powders named for it - Hodgdon CFE-BLK ball powder and this one, both fast burners as you'd expect. (The BLK name confused me for a long time as Hodgdon does various black powder type propellants and I dismissed it as another such, not as a modern fast-burning smokeless grade. It is one of the few Reach compliant survivors in the Hodgdon range.)
  19. Laurie

    243 powder

    All ball type powders are double-based (nitroglycerin in the base-mix is an essential ingredient in getting the little balls to form in a 'distillation'' / precipitation process). Despite that US Army studies have shown no reduction in military rifle barrel life between those used with single-based extruded powders and those with ball types. (All standard US military ball ammunition have been designed to use WCC produced ball powders from the St. Marks Powder Co, plant in Florida since the 7.62mm M80 was adopted in 1952, sniper etc ammunition is different and the current M118LR uses IMR-4064). On top of that Eurenco P.B. Clermont which makes Ramshot powders and supplies military ammunition loaders in many countries having bought the production rights for the type from the Olin Corporation is credited with probably the best and most sustained R&D on smallarms propellants bar none, and it has put a lot of effort into developing cool and clean burning versions, also losing ball powders' original downside of temperature sensitivity. So, at equivalent pressures, I wouldn't expect Hunter to wear barrels out any faster than single-based extruded products with the exception of some very cool burning types such as Viht N165 and Hodgdon H1000 that are known to maximise barrel life in barrel-burning cartridges. I've recently started researching 243 Win loads, bullets, and performance for a project on making a Howa 1500 Varminter into a clubman's occasional F-Open rifle given the cartridge's and its rifles' widespread distribution. Because the 243 is a common off the shelf number many users fail to notice that it is a fairly over bore -capacity design which as a rule work best with slow burning powders. Despite that, the loading manuals give loads for a remarkably wide range of propellants including many relatively fast burners. So powders like RS52 and N140 will work in the cartridge, but at a little low (mid 80s to 90%) fill-ratios. My gut-feeling is to go to slower burning grades even for lighter bullets. I'll get the chance later this year to prove / disprove this hypothesis as my first bullet choice is the 70gn Sierra MK and I'll try a large range of types / grades with it.
  20. Laurie

    Plot-o-matic scoring strategy

    They have already been used in national level comps ........... BUT the tablets used as monitors are supplied to competitors by the organisers. They obviously have no ballistics etc apps installed and presumably cannot be communicated with by third parties. As well as meeting these requirements, there is the advantage to the line officers that everybody has the same kit, so any log-on or reception issues can be more easily resolved, unlike when every competitor is using his or her own kit. ICFRA will no doubt update its rules on this issue in due course.
  21. Laurie

    Plot-o-matic scoring strategy

    The last I heard Milcun (Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham, the Canadian range owners and marksmanship training outfit) owned the rights to the onetime Plot-O-Matic and sold it under another name, as well as using it in some of their training work. It was originally developed by a Canadian TR shooter. It's not shown on their website anymore as far as I can see. http://www.milcun.com/index.html It doesn't do anything that a good standard paper plot won't except maybe show things a little more clearly, and it exacerbates the main problem that plotting poses for most tyros in this activity - time and distraction. Some people never get to grips with producing a full plot as it adds too much workload with all the other things you've got to do in the 45 seconds allowed between target reappearance and taking the shot. On the use of personal phones and tablets with electronic targets, I don't see that lasting past the initial learning curve / familiarization stage. The Americans went to match organiser-issued tablets from day one with their F-Class Nationals at Lodi last year and on other ranges where they've since being used. They have really strict rules on no competitor owned electronic or communications device other than timers and earmuffs being allowed by competitors ahead of a line 30 metres or somesuch behind the firing line - having your phone ring whilst on your person whilst taking part in an major match (or club one for all I know too) is a DQ or points penalty job. This is presumably to eliminate possible distractions to other competitors, but primarily as I understand it to prevent the use of computed wind reading / shot analysing etc aids, illicit communications from a friend behind the firing line coaching etc - as BoltHead says that's what's in the ICFRA rule book.
  22. Laurie

    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.
  23. Laurie

    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?
  24. Laurie

    30-06 Dies and brass

    I should be able to help you here - I've sent a PM
  25. Laurie

    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.

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