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MSteven
02-03-08, 17:11
I'm new to AR's, having just purchased an Armalite M15A4C carbine.

I plan on buying a case or two of Prvi Partizan 55gr, but I'm a reloader at heart and plan on loading my own on my Dillon 550B.

My question is about suitable powders for AR15 application.

My primary bullet weight will probably be 55gr.

I have a large amount of IMR 4895 and Varget, some H322, and H335 that fit in the suitable for 223 burn range.

I'd like to use the IMR4895, at least till I use up the 16lbs+. It seems to burn a lot cleaner than either H322 or H335, and about the same as Varget. Is powder residue a major reason for selection for AR use?

Thanks in advance.

Mark

skyugo
02-03-08, 17:36
i just started another thread about H335. DIRTY! compared to IMR 3031 and IMR 4320 anyway.

i'm kind of confused by the ball powder obsession many people here have. :confused:

i know the army uses ball powder, and it caused some serious issues in original M16's back in vietnam.

granted a lot of that has been taken care of, but the basic design of the ar15/m16 is still the same, and IMR is what it was made to use...

all imho of course.

i've heard some good things about varget...
worst thing i've heard about IMR is that it's hard to meter accurately. i find i can get it within about .2 grains. not "match grade" but fine for me.

Scattergun
02-03-08, 19:37
I have loaded AA 2230 for years with no problems..

MSteven
02-03-08, 22:23
scattergun, I will certainly consider AA 2230 when I buy more powder. But for now, I could use some recommendations regarding the powders I have right now.
Thank, Mark

UVvis
02-04-08, 01:02
Ball powder meters well and is consistent. It's just easier to work with and flows into casings easily.

I haven't used the H332, but in regards to the others:

I feel that 4895 is slow of a powder for .223, especially in the short barrels. You get a noticeable blast, especially when it is getting darker out. It works though and burns clean. I tried this for a while when I shot high power, and it seemed like my zero would drift. For 100yard and in blasting ammo it probably wouldn't be a problem though.

H335 is one of the go-to powders for .223. It works about everywhere but has just seemed very consistent and is a pretty good performer in my 55-64 grain loadings. If it is that much more dirty, well, I haven't really noticed, but I haven't been paying attention.

I like varget for heavier bullets. I seem to use a good amount of powder for lighter bullets to get the velocities up. Varget seems to shoot better for me with hotter loads anyway.

jmart
02-04-08, 08:17
I'm kind of confused by the ball powder obsession many people here have. :confused:

i know the army uses ball powder, and it caused some serious issues in original M16's back in vietnam.



It works a hell of a lot better through as measure when loading on a progressive. Extruded powder can bridge and hang up at the mouth, and when you lower the ram, the powder spills everywhere. It's a mess and a royal PITA. Ball flows smoothly.

If loading for .30 caliber case mouths I suspect it wouldn't be as big of a problem, but for .22's it's a problem.

If charging cases of the press and charging in batch mode, it doesn't matter.

MSteven
02-04-08, 09:56
Thank UVvis, that's what I was looking for.

Last night I metered 10 charges of IMR4895 and had around .1 grains of variation. Not too bad through the Dillon powder measure. I agree about Varget, it's been a super performer in everything I've used it in. I'll figure on using the 4895 up, and switching over to Varget after that.

You mentioned muzzle blast with 4895, I haven't seen larger balls of flame than the ones I got using H335. They were visible even in daylight.
Maybe it was the cartridges/amounts I was using, it was in 22-250 and 35 Whelen.

One of the things I didn't ask about was pressure curve issues (or non issues as the case may be) in the AR gas system. I seem to remember reading about this in the past.
Is this something to even care about?

Mark

skyugo
02-04-08, 12:36
It works a hell of a lot better through as measure when loading on a progressive. Extruded powder can bridge and hang up at the mouth, and when you lower the ram, the powder spills everywhere. It's a mess and a royal PITA. Ball flows smoothly.

If loading for .30 caliber case mouths I suspect it wouldn't be as big of a problem, but for .22's it's a problem.

If charging cases of the press and charging in batch mode, it doesn't matter.

i have a single stage press. i wasn't really thinking of progressives.

i was just kinda shocked yesterday at how bad the h335 gummed up the works.

Kurt Reifert
02-04-08, 14:27
Ramshot TAC is a superior powder for use in .223 with 55 grain bullets.
Clean, inexpensive, meters perfectly and provides excellent accuracy.

You might also look at Vhita Vuori N133 with lighter bullets and N140 for anything over 69 grains.
VV powders are the cleanest burning I've ever seen. They are made with cotton cellulose rather than wood cellulose which is why they are cleaner and also a little more expensive.

Varget is a great powder, but it doesn't meter consistently. Great if you tricle your charges or use a Lyman 1200dps.

UVvis
02-04-08, 15:57
Mark,

I've been told (2nd hand info, I have no way to verify it) by some shooters that 4895 is still seriously building pressure by the time the bullet leaves the muzzle, and that it was designed for heavier calibers (.30-06?). I have no idea about that, but I just didn't find it all that great and moved on. I'm sure it will work fine. Just work your load up, and see how it does.

Skyugo,
Are you meaning the dirty nature of H335? What type of load are you using it with?

Kurt,

I also have found I like Ramshot Tac. Cheap and works well. I've shot VV powders a bit and liked them, not so much for the cost, but they did well. Plus Varget was more available locally when/where I was and I tended to use it more often.

skyugo
02-04-08, 17:11
Mark,

I've been told (2nd hand info, I have no way to verify it) by some shooters that 4895 is still seriously building pressure by the time the bullet leaves the muzzle, and that it was designed for heavier calibers (.30-06?). I have no idea about that, but I just didn't find it all that great and moved on. I'm sure it will work fine. Just work your load up, and see how it does.

Skyugo,
Are you meaning the dirty nature of H335? What type of load are you using it with?

Kurt,

I also have found I like Ramshot Tac. Cheap and works well. I've shot VV powders a bit and liked them, not so much for the cost, but they did well. Plus Varget was more available locally when/where I was and I tended to use it more often.


i use 24.5 grains of h335 with 55 grain hornady fjmjbt bullets.
i had been using IMR before. i was just really surprised how much it crudded everything up. it was noticeably harder to pull the charging handle back. this was on a freshly cleaned gun after just 100 rounds.
no malfunctions though.

i'm thinking i might just buy 8 lbs of TAC and go with it. pretty cheap, and it gets RAVE reviews.

dodge
02-06-08, 10:44
Have you tried 748. I load 27gr behind the Sierra 53 gr HP Match and it works real good. Meters very nice and seems to be very clean burning.

chadbag
02-08-08, 12:41
When using a Dillon powder measure with 22 caliber bullets, here are some things you can do:

-- polish the inside of the powder funnel.
-- dremel the inside of the powder funnel to give a longer less drastic curve to the funnel part and then polish it
-- whack the powder measure with your hand when the ram is down after each round

The problem with extruded powders is that they do not consistently form their air pockets. A secondary problem on small diameter cases is that they jam up in the powder funnel itself.

When you whack it (does not have to be that hard) when the ram is down after each round, you help settle the powder inside the powder measure chamber which gives you a more consistent set of air pockets and hence a more consistent charge weight. Ball powders are consistent as they don't exhibit a "pick up sticks" effect which causes varied air pockets and lack of consistency.

A small whack when doing 22 type cases (223, 204, 22-250, etc) when it is up in the powder die will help break the log jams that may appear.

The polishing and opening up and shallowing out the funnel angle in the powder funnel itself helps with the extruded powders jamming up.

Chad

jmart
02-08-08, 20:56
Mark,

I've been told (2nd hand info, I have no way to verify it) by some shooters that 4895 is still seriously building pressure by the time the bullet leaves the muzzle, and that it was designed for heavier calibers (.30-06?). I have no idea about that, but I just didn't find it all that great and moved on. I'm sure it will work fine. Just work your load up, and see how it does.



Negative. All powders achieve max pressure in the first few inches of bullet travel. A slower powder just achieves a tad farther down the bore than a quicker powder.

4895, either variety, has been popular in HP circles for heavier bullets. I just hate loading extruded powders in .22 caliber case mouths. No fun.

MSteven
02-08-08, 23:46
eguns, I'll look into those Dillon powder measure mods, although I haven't had a problem so far, it wouldn't hurt to make it better.

The information I'm getting agrees with my previous experiences in other calibers, This is my first try at loading for an AR and I wanted to make certain I wasn't missing some important information.

Mark

UVvis
02-12-08, 20:30
Negative. All powders achieve max pressure in the first few inches of bullet travel. A slower powder just achieves a tad farther down the bore than a quicker powder.

4895, either variety, has been popular in HP circles for heavier bullets. I just hate loading extruded powders in .22 caliber case mouths. No fun.

Right, which is why I thought this to be goofy.

What I can see is a particular powder having higher than average pressure at the point the bullet leaves the muzzle, and still having a lower max pressure (slower burning powder...). Meaning that the load's pressure at the point of the bullet passing the muzzle would be higher than some other powders. This would make it easy to have more velocity spread in fired rounds.

But still, lots of people like 4895.

markm
02-13-08, 08:42
Ramshot TAC is a superior powder for use in .223 with 55 grain bullets.
Clean, inexpensive, meters perfectly and provides excellent accuracy.


Indeed. I've gone through a few pounds of this stuff with 55 gr bullets, and I like it. I get the same velocity that I was getting with W748, but I use about 2 grains less powder.

Add the fact that it's cheaper than 748, and I can really reduce the per round cost of my practice ammo.

toddackerman
02-16-08, 10:11
I used to use 4895 in my .308's years ago and abandoned it for WW748 because it flows much better. When I started on AR's I used WW748 in my 550B, again because Ball flows so well. In looking for a cheaper powder that I could use less volume and save $$$ I found Ramshot TAC, and won't go back to WW748.

TAC flows just as well, is cleaner, and you use about 10% less for the same velocities with a 55 Gn. bullet.

Too bad you have 16lbs. of 4895. It's just a pain to work with unless you're going to Trickle Charge highly accuarte Bench Rest types of loads.

heston911
02-17-08, 13:00
Use Your 4895 on Your 55 gr. loads. But IMHO try Ramshot Xterminator. It burns super clean and is dirt cheap. Tac is OK as well, but it's slower burning than Xterm so it works better on projectiles 62 gr. on up.

My pet load for 55's is 24.8 grs. of Xterminator w/ cci# 41 primers. :)

Slinger
02-24-08, 12:09
Have you tried 748. I load 27gr behind the Sierra 53 gr HP Match and it works real good. Meters very nice and seems to be very clean burning.

I've used WW-748 in the min-14 & ar way back and never had any problems. As you said it meters well and give decent accuracy. I just bought 16 lbs. of it and 5m 55 gr. fmjs.

Bret
03-28-08, 14:25
I have loaded AA 2230 for years with no problems..
About ten years ago I bought a pound of AA2230 and worked up to a 55gr FMJ load that was about half way between min and max according to a couple of manuals. When I ran out, I bought another pound. I immediately started getting high pressure indications. I was very perplexed by this because I wasn't near the max. I examined the bottles of powder and found one was made in the Czech Republic and the other was made in Israel. I later saw another bottle that had been made in Australia. In my opinion, it's kind of hard to have consistent QC and results if it's being made in various locations. Of course, things may have changed now.

I like W748 because it performs and meters well.

joe139
03-28-08, 18:11
I got a deal on some 2015 and it works well for me with 55 gr fmj bullets. It is probobly not the best but it works good for me.

Ridgerunner665
03-28-08, 18:32
I like Reloder 15...it isn't temp sensitive, it fills the case nicely, burns clean, and most importantly...its the most accurate in my gun.

26 grains will drive a 62 Barnes Triple Shock at 2,900 fps (16 inch chrome lined barrel), and groups 10 rounds in just under an inch...but that load is BARELY mag length...it can be shortened, but its more accurate at mag length. This is a hunting load BTW.