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Old June 17, 1999, 12:19 PM   #1
Oatka
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Got an NEF Youth Model 22" bbl .243 for my 13-year-old grandson and find that the recoil and muzzle-blast seem to be pretty stiff with 90-100 gr bullet factory loads.
I have a box of 65 gr Hornady VMAX bullets and would like to try them out at around 2200
fps. All the handbooks I have seen have belchfire loads and velocities. I am tempted
to take some old Lyman cast-bullet loads and use the VMAXes, as they are in the 2200 fps range. Suggestions?
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Old June 18, 1999, 03:51 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Always avoid reduced loads in such as the .243, if you are loading with IMR powders such as 3031. Blowups have been known to happen, and nobody knows why.

My only reduced loads in a centerfire rifle have been in the .30-'06, with 20 grains of 2400 behind a 169-grain lead gas-check, and five grains of an unknown shotgun powder behind a round lead ball.

I would not fear 15 grains of 2400 in my .243, behind a 60- to 100-grain bullet...You're just gonna have to go exploring. Start "too low" and work up, with a slow-burning pistol powder, I'm guessing.

But watch for other responses...

(They oughta make that Youth Model in .22 Hornet or .218 Bee...Or even .222.)
Have fun! Art
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Old June 18, 1999, 09:38 PM   #3
Oatka
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Thanks Art, I figured the fast powders would be OK. I've got a can of Alliant 2400 that will get a tryout first. 50 gr of FFG?, Hmm. [g]
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Old June 19, 1999, 12:27 AM   #4
Mal H
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There has been some experiments to try to explain the kabooms Art mentioned when using reduced loads of slow powders. The effect is called "secondary explosion effect" or SEE. SEE is usually experienced with a long leade or a worn throat but not always. What happens is the powder is ignited and the bullet starts moving. The increased capacity (lower pressure) caused when the bullet is in the throat slows the powder burning for a few 10000th's of a sec. and the bullet itself may stop in the throat. Then the powder starts up again and the pressure escalates to explosive proportions.

Charles Petty wrote an excellent article on SEE in the June 1997 issue of Handloader. Ackley and others have hypothesized about it for years.

The long and the short of it is - the minimum powder weight is just as important as the maximum. You should not go below or above the min/max.
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Old June 19, 1999, 07:55 AM   #5
flatlander
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Oatka: You were joking when you included the "50grs of FFg", right? Black powder fouling is easy to clean up, but I don't have any experience using it with jacketed bullets. And the cases used with black probably shouldn't ever be used with smokeless loads again. I have a feeling that using black in a case with as much bottleneck as the 243 wouldn't work at all. My old Speer#9 manual shows from 17grs. to a max of 19grs. of 4198 with a 90grFMJ for about 1800 to 1993fps. These loads were intended for small game or pelt hunters. There were also some reduced loads listed for IMR4064, but I'm not real comfortable with that idea. But I'll bet you that some loads with the new light(55-60gr)V-Max bullets loaded to only 3000-3200fps would do fine for a smaller shooter.
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Old June 19, 1999, 01:41 PM   #6
Oatka
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Flatlander -- Oh yeah, that was just a joke -- I would have used Pyrodex (bigger [g]).
I've got some 4198, which I figured was the slowest powder I would use. I'll try the 2400 first and see what happens. NEF advertises the .243 as "low recoil" but that has not been my experience, especially in a 22" barrel. Thanks to all.
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