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Old August 4, 2021, 12:00 PM   #1
BobCat45
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Trying to be prudent

IMR 4064 works great in the Garand and is usable in .223 Rem especially with 80 grain SMKs.

Could not find IMR but bought Accurate Arms 4064 which says it is "for" the Garand. I know they are not the same powder even if they share a numerical designation.

There is zero AA 4064 load data in the vendor's data sheets for .223 Rem but there is data for AA 2230, AA 2460, AA2495, AA 2520 and so forth.

Here is the burn rate chart from the Hodgdon website:
https://hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploa...rate-color.pdf

H335 is #85, AA2230 is #88, AA 2460 is #89, H4895 is #94, IMR 4895 is #96, AA2495 is #99, IMR 4064 is #101, AA 4064 is # 103, AA 2520 is #104, Reloder 15 is # 105, Varget is # 108, Win 748 is #109, BL-C(2) is #110, CFE 223 is #111.

Of those, I've used all but 2230, 2460, 2495, and 2520 in the .223 over the years.

I know that burn rate charts are not the whole story - and that many of them contradict each other depending on where/how the data was obtained.

I called Hodgdon and got no information - the fellow had nothing more than the same published data on their website.

So my question for y'all is, do you think it is an acceptable risk to pick a low "starting load" of AA 4064 to try, or do you think that there might be a real reason they have no data - like, it is totally unsuitable and dangerous?

I'm looking for informed opinions, not for "permission" to proceed - I know the consequences are on me if it is a mistake.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old August 4, 2021, 12:43 PM   #2
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Generally speaking, what you're looking at is generalities. The position rankings on various burn rate charts are approximate, and relative. They tell you this powder burns faster or slower than that one, but nothing else.

Generally speaking, if you can use a powder in the .30-06 you can use it in the .223. HOWEVER, optimal results will not be obtained with everything, both ways.

Again, generally speaking the slower powders that can be used in the 06 with good results MAY not give satisfactory results in the smaller .223 case. Med burn rate or quicker burn rate rifle powders generally give better performance in the smaller case, while still usable in the larger one.

Take a look at the data you have, find 2 or 3 similar type powders (stick, ball, etc) used in both rounds, and look at the listed charge weights. This will give you a ROUGH ballpark idea where to start with other powders when you have 06 data but no .223 data for that powder.

without someone's tested data, you're in the wilderness, all on your own. You're off the map and "there be dragons here!"
BUT that doesn't mean the dragons are guaranteed to eat you. Tread lightly, choose you path carefully and don't do things to wake up sleeping dragons and you could very well get through ok (and come up with a safe, usable load).

Good Luck!
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Old August 4, 2021, 01:17 PM   #3
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Thank you 44 AMP!

Clearly the burn rate charts are not "hard data" since they disagree with each other in detail, but most of them agree that Re 15 (which is my go-to for .223 Rem) is "slower" than either of the 4895s, both of which work well for me in .223 Rem. And so forth.

I did search around a lot for comparisons between IMR and AA 4064. One I found on TFL is https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=516631 - it is only 8 years old, and Slamfire is on my "Believe this Guy" list.

I just found it odd that there was no mention of AA 4064 in the AA .223 Rem load data, but there is data for AA 2520 (slower) and AA 2230, AA 2460 as well as AA 2495 (all three faster) - as if they skipped AA 4064 on purpose, maybe because of some kind of known (to them) problem.

Picking a load that is well under anything that could be considered close to max will not be difficult; I just don't want to get so conservative I stick a bullet in the barrel.

Working up a load from 'way low will cost more primers, bullets, powder, and time - but any trigger time is useful in improving the weakest link (my own skill) in the chain.
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Old August 4, 2021, 02:04 PM   #4
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CAUTION: The following post (or a page linked to) includes or discusses loading data not covered by currently published sources of tested data for this cartridge (QuickLOAD or Gordon's Reloading Tool data is not professionally tested). USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assumes any liability for any damage or injury resulting from the use of this information.

Ran this through Quickload for .223 and 80 gn Berger VLD

2.260 COL
28.8 gn case capacity
24 inch barrel
21.0 gn Acc 4064
99.8% fill
Pmax 41563 psi
Velocity 2562 fps
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Old August 4, 2021, 04:03 PM   #5
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Thank you hounddawg!

CAUTION: The following post (or a page linked to) includes or discusses loading data not covered by currently published sources of tested data for this cartridge (QuickLOAD or Gordon's Reloading Tool data is not professionally tested). USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assumes any liability for any damage or injury resulting from the use of this information.

I was going to start at 20 grains. Currently OAL is right about 2.500 +/- 0.005 - that is 1.980" from the comparator datum on the ogive, to the case head. It is much longer than mag length (2.260") and about 0.030" off the lands. So that gives some more room under the bullet base.

The Hodgdon book max for IMR 4064 with 80 SMK is 22.7 grains. I started at 21.0 and wound up at 24.0 with no primer flattening, then I got cold feet. Reloder 15, same bullet/case/primer, 24.2 grains shoots great but Re 15 is not IMR 4064.

It is odd, if you look at https://www.accurateshooter.com/cart...guides/223rem/ Sierra published two pamphlets for .223 Rem - one for gas guns and one for bolt guns. The bolt gun max for IMR 4064 is 24.8 grains; the AR max is 23.8 grains - so I think they are not worried about the case strength as much as the action.

Anyway Sierra did not list AA 4064 so that's why I'm out here off the edge of the map, trying to avoid dicing with dragons.

I'll give up velocity for consistency - just have to read wind better.

Funny this started with my running our of IMR 4895 for the Garand last winter, and buying an 8-lb can of IMR 4064 from a friend. Shoots great in the Garand and I got to thinking about using it in the Ar spacegun, and it worked like a charm, shot most of it up, went looking for more, and stumbled on AA 4064 in stock. And off the map as it were.
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Old August 4, 2021, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
The bolt gun max for IMR 4064 is 24.8 grains; the AR max is 23.8 grains - so I think they are not worried about the case strength as much as the action.
Possibly... but I think there is another thing that ought to be considered.

INDIVIDUAL TEST GUNS

can and do give individual results. And this is why ALL reloading data that isn't from YOUR gun and load combination should be considered guidelines, not carved in stone holy writ.

SO, they stopped and said max in the test AR was a grain less than max in the test bolt gun. Is this because of the action types? OR could it be because that's the way the individual guns used in their tests acted???

TO get their opinion, you'd have to ask them. To get confirmation, or disproval, you'd have to test enough examples of each type to be considered a representative sample, and the usual loading data does NOT do that.

The data tests in one specific gun, and the general assumption is that your gun and loads will give similar performance. USUALLY they do. All pretty similar, with the majority in the middle of the bell curve. BUT there are always combinations at both ends of the curve.

If you get exactly what they got, its serendipity. If you get close to what they got, its usual. If you get something significantly different from what they got, its unusual but not unheard of.
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Old August 4, 2021, 08:20 PM   #7
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One of the moderators in another forum has been actively involved in the powder buying and selling business, and he says AA 4064 is (at least currently) out of the same GD Valleyfield plant that makes the IMR version, and so is likely only different by lot variation. I have no first-hand knowledge about it, though.

As to the burn rate charts, they are not actual powder burn rates, but rather are relative burn rates. This is a sort of "behaves-as-if" number. The reason it exists is you can have two powders with the same burning rate, but if one is a single-base powder and the other a high-energy double-base powder, equal amounts won't produce equal peak pressure. To compensate for differing characteristics other than burn rate affecting peak pressure, they came up with the "relative" burn rates. These are established by choosing a reference cartridge and bullet and loading it with equal charge weights of all powders. It is then fired in a heavy-duty test gun to see what peak pressure each produces. The relative burn rate order from 1 to the highest number is then just the descending order of the peak pressures produced by that charge weight in the chosen cartridge. This is supposed to give the shooter some idea of what to expect by way of pressure from a certain powder for a certain charge, but, of course, there is no SAAMI or CIP standard for this and in most charts, the test cartridge and bullet and measured pressures aren't given. As a result, the charts aren't all created using the same cartridge and bullet combinations, and some charts handoff from one to another cartridge at some point, with the result they most often don't all have the same exact ranking order.

One exception to the limitations above is in Norma's 2013 print version manual, which, on page 89, details a Eurenco/Bofors chart generated using the 308 Winchester cartridge with a 143-grain bullet and a constant charge weight of 43.2 grains. They start with IMR 4350 and call the peak pressure produced 100%. Then all the other powders tested at 43.2-grains have peak pressures that are a multiple of that IMR 4350 load's pressure, also expressed as a percentage. So, 43.2 grains of N350 produce 949.8% of the IMR 4350 peak pressure. 43.2 grains of IMR 4064 produce 148.3% of the IMR 4350 peak pressure. The same charge weight of H4831 produces 77.3% of the IMR 4350 peak pressure. Et cetera.

The problem with that system is that several powders may be very close to the same then the next one significantly different, but if you don't have the pressures as the Eurenco/Bofors table does, you don't know how far different rank positions on the chart are. All you know is there is a pressure difference and what order it is in, but nothing about the magnitude of the difference. It's of pretty limited value.
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Old August 4, 2021, 08:34 PM   #8
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44 AMP,

You are clearly right, each gun/chamber/barrel is different.

I was influenced by the following quote from that website:

"With their multiple bolt lugs and rapid locking/unlocking, AR15s are more sensitive to pressure and bolt thrust issues than stout, modern custom bolt actions. There is also a risk of slam-fires in AR15s. Therefore, some high-end loads that may work in a BAT, Barnard, Borden or Stiller bolt action will be too hot for an AR15."

I understand it is probably absurd, but one thing I look for is where the case ejects, prone. Moderate loads, the cases all go into the pouch of my shooting stool positioned a foot or so away, at about 4 o'clock. Hotter loads go more toward 1 or 2 o'clock.

BTW looking at the data that hounddawg posted, it almost seems to me that AA 4064 is low enough energy that you can't get enough in the case to get really high pressures. It is listed as single-base on the label but many of the powders that work well in the AR - Reloder 15, the 4895s, 2520 - are double base.

Unclenick,

You posted while I was typing. This AA 4064 says it is single base, made in Canada. The blurb says it is shorter cut than IMR 4064 so it meters better.

I have to study and think about what you wrote - getting thick-headed in my old age - so I will leave it at that for now. Thanks!
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Old August 5, 2021, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
"With their multiple bolt lugs and rapid locking/unlocking, AR15s are more sensitive to pressure and bolt thrust issues than stout, modern custom bolt actions. There is also a risk of slam-fires in AR15s. Therefore, some high-end loads that may work in a BAT, Barnard, Borden or Stiller bolt action will be too hot for an AR15."
though it is mentioning specific rifles, this statement is just a restatement of the differences between manual and semiautomatic operation that has been known to many shooters, reloaders and gun makers since the introduction of semiautomatic firearms. IT's NOT a new thing.

OF COURSE the semi auto is going to be "more sensitive" to pressure than a bolt action (or any other manually operated firearm) because unlike manually operated firearms, the semi auto is using the pressure of the firing cartridge to DO MORE than just push the bullet out of the barrel.

Whether it is by direct gas pressure on parts to make them move or using the recoil energy generated by gas pressure, the semi auto works by having parts moved by the energy of the fired cartridge and, those parts have to move at the right speed, AND at the right time in order for the semi to work.

The Semi auto is a balancing act of pressure, mechanical force and TIME. Things are balanced so that each factor is enough, but not too much, and doesn't happen too soon, or too late. In order to do that, the mechanism is designed to operate within a certain range of both total pressure and pressure at a specific point in time. If you go too far over or under what the gun is built for, it doesn't work right, and sometimes can be damaged.
(bent op rod on an M1 Garand is a famous example)

Semis are "engines" built to run on a certain "grade" of fuel. Too high or to low an "octane" and the engine runs like crap (if it runs at all), or runs too hard and breaks

Bolt actions are more like a fireplace, anything that burns can work.

From the bullet that crawls out of the barrel and walks to the target up to the too hot load where you have to hammer the bolt handle to get the action open, the bolt gun handles them all the same.

Semis are simply not built to be able to do that. Though there are a few that can, because they allow the gas system to be shut off.

It is entirely correct to point out that a semi auto is more limited than a bolt gun when it comes to top end max loads.

In the example here, with the statement quoted, I am unsure if, in this specific case, the difference in max load is due to the difference between a bolt gun and semi autos in general, or a bolt gun and the AR design semi auto, or if its just due to the limitations of the specific individual rifles used in testing.

Quote:
some high-end loads that may work in a BAT, Barnard, Borden or Stiller bolt action will be too hot for an AR15.
I am not personally familiar with the bolt actions named here, which makes me curious why THOSE guns were named, and if those loads that will be too hot for an AR15 but ok for a BAT, Barnard, Borden or Stiller bolt action would be ok or too hot for a Mauser, Remington, Ruger or Winchester bolt action.

I find that a bit curious...
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Old August 5, 2021, 02:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobCat45 View Post
Thank you 44 AMP!

Clearly the burn rate charts are not "hard data" since they disagree with each other in detail, but most of them agree that Re 15 (which is my go-to for .223 Rem) is "slower" than either of the 4895s, both of which work well for me in .223 Rem. And so forth.

What weight bullets are you using with Reloader 15 in the .223? I've been trying to find some data for a 55g bullet with it...

Tony
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Old August 5, 2021, 08:52 AM   #11
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Unclenick,

You wrote:
Quote:
The relative burn rate order from 1 to the highest number is then just the descending order of the peak pressures produced by that charge weight in the chosen cartridge.
What I understand from that is that the lower the rank number ('faster', higher on the chart), the higher the peak pressure in the fixed-weight/cartridge test. So, e.g. H335 yielded higher peak pressure than BL-C(2). Is that right?
-------

44 AMP,

Agreed again, it is not a new thing. But none of the other reloading manuals I've seen made a point of it. Some might list "Ruger-Only" .45 Colt loads, but I've not seen "Bolt-action" versus "Autoloader" loads listed. My take-away was that they were less worried about whether the brass case could contain the pressure than about whether the autoloader would fail to cycle properly with the bolt-gun charges.

And I'm not familiar with those bolt action names either. All I want to do is keep from damaging the rifle, or embarrassing myself by getting killed or injured. I've gotten away with too much stupid stuff in my life - not intentional stupidities, just stupid actions as a youth - to make a mis-step this late in the game.
-------

Tony,

I shoot 69 grain and 80 grain SMKs.
The load is 24.1 grains of Reloder 15, based on the Sierra AR-15 pamphlet I referenced above. It is the max listed for 80 SMK and shows no pressure signs in my rifle. They list 25.7 grains Max for 69 grain SMK (2800 fps); the 24.1 grain load is supposed to give 2600 fps.

That pamphlet does not list Reloder 15 for a 55 grain or 52 grain bullet, but years ago I tried the same load with 52 grain SMKs (reduced powder charge and bullet weight to try to mitigate my standing flinch) and the rifle cycled and bolt locked back. No danger but not optimal.

You can get Alliant's book at: https://www.alliantpowder.com/resources/catalog.aspx and click the link to download the .PDF

It gives:

69-gr Sierra BTHP Reloder 15 Fed. 205M Win. 2.260 25.5 2956
77-gr Sierra HPBT Reloder 15 Fed. 205M Win. 2.260 24.1 2783

So nothing so far is over book max.

There is an older version of the Alliant manual at: http:/https://archive.org/details/19414423-alliant-reloading-manual/

It says 28 grains Reloder 15 MAX for a Hornady 55MJBT 3390 fps at 53600 psi To me that is scary hot and I would be very circumspect.

But I am timid and risk-averse which is why I started this thread, to see if anyone would point out a stupid mistake or assumption.
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Old August 5, 2021, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BobCat45
So, e.g. H335 yielded higher peak pressure than BL-C(2). Is that right?
Right. H335 yielded 125.1% of IMR 4350 pressure and BL-(C)2 yielded 120.0% in the Eurenco/Bofors table. They are numbers 35 and 42 on that table, respectively.
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Old August 5, 2021, 01:09 PM   #13
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Excellent! Thank you! You've taught me something about which I hadn't a clue - only knew not to trust "burn rate" charts implicitly, but no background on why not to take them at face value or on how they were derived or created or what they really meant.

At this point, looking at the relative positions of IMR 4064 and AA 4064, as well as the positions of suitable .223 Rem propellants above and below those two, I think my concern is laid to rest.

But it was not stupid to ask, it was indeed prudent.
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