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Old August 9, 2015, 11:25 AM   #1
Wendyj
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Trying to replace Varget in 308

Have never been able to get Varget to do well for me in my other 308s. Yesterday I loaded up 20 178 Amax with 41 grains of Varget. It done great out of the new Savage. I had enough to load 10 more and can't find any now. Of course. Is it powder , bullet weight, length as I'm going to have to use something else. Do I try and keep same velocity with different burn rate? I'm lost on this one. I've got IMR 4064. IMR 3031. IMR 4831. Reloader 15. H-414. H-4895. Reloader 22 and IMR 4064. No chronograph but Hornady shows about 2400 fps in 22 inch barrel and I'm shooting a 20 inch. Any suggestions.
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Old August 9, 2015, 11:48 AM   #2
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I use IMR3031 in the grandson's short barrel 308. Shoots 150 gr bullets great at about a mid level load.
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Old August 9, 2015, 03:20 PM   #3
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RE15 is what I started using when I couldn't find Varget. Has worked out very well, I've founds even better loads for .223 and 7mm-08 than I was making with Varget and pretty much stopped trying to find it.
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Old August 9, 2015, 03:29 PM   #4
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Hello Wendy, Say IMR just came out with 3 new powders. I just tried some IMR4166. I must say, I was impressed. I did lose some MV with it, but man did it shoot nice. I went with 6 loads, 40.0, 40.5, 41.0, 41.5, 42.0, 42.5. I did 10 rounds in each wt. While 40.0 was ok, the next 4 in a row ( 40.5, 41.0, 41.5 and 42.0 ) all made one hole at 100 yards off a rest. Now so far what I have been able to find on it ( not mch for load data or reports yet) 43.0 and up is where it started to shine with a 168 gn bullet. I found that once I got to 42.5 the groups started opening up some. It runs about $4.00/lb most exspensive.
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Old August 9, 2015, 03:57 PM   #5
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I quite like imr4895.

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Old August 9, 2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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I've seen the 4166 and started to buy some for the 243 and 260. Anyone shooting the 178 Amax with any of these powders. I've got some H4895 which done well with 243. I'm trying to figure out if I should match the powder to manuals fps from Vargets
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Old August 9, 2015, 05:15 PM   #7
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Imr4064 is about as close as you can get to varget
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Old August 9, 2015, 05:31 PM   #8
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I haven't been too impressed with Varget. Was going to use 4064 in the grandson's 308, but was running low on it, so tried the 3031 just to see how it would do. Shortest work up on record. I went with the middle load, shot a cloverleaf, decided to go with that load. Keeps shooting clover leafs. I'd like to chalk up the load to skill, but luck is far more likely.
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Old August 9, 2015, 06:02 PM   #9
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1stmar- IMR4166 was develped to be a replacement for Varget is what they say.
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Old August 9, 2015, 06:27 PM   #10
1stmar
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Correct, I haven't tried 4166 yet, but I have used both varget and 4064 in several calipers with very similar results and charges. 4064 is pretty available and since the op was looking for a varget replacement, 4064 seeks to fit. 4166 may as well, just personally don't have any experience with it.
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Old August 9, 2015, 10:31 PM   #11
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Varget

+1 for IMR-4064 it has long been known as the accuracy powder for the 308 for IMR's powder lineup.
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Old August 10, 2015, 01:30 AM   #12
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Yea 178gr A-Max and IMR 4064 is my best combo . 40.3gr is my go to load but found that early in my loading carrier and never looked for another node at a higher charge . I bet I could find something around 42.5gr that would shoot pretty well if I tried . That 40.3grains pushing a 178gr A-Max having consistent sub moa 10 shot groups and many .5 moa 5 shot groups is good enough for now .
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Old August 10, 2015, 03:26 AM   #13
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Wendy....you already have four powers that I have uses so I know they will work of the 4064, 3031, 4831 and H414 which do you have the best supply and resupply of? For me it has been H414 which I have used for cartridges from 25-35 to 30-06.
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Old August 10, 2015, 05:55 AM   #14
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Of the powders I listed I can usually find all but the H 4350. But IMR 4350 is usually there. I did have good results with H414 and 180 grain Barnes.
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Old August 10, 2015, 01:33 PM   #15
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Varget

I've used IMR 4064,Varget,Hog. 2520,Win 748,in my .308's and like IMR 4064 best.It doesen't meter as well as some of the others but it seems more consistent with tighter groups.It also works well on my 30-06 with 150 grain bullets and the 30-30 Win rifles.my opinion only hdbiker
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Old August 10, 2015, 02:09 PM   #16
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IMR4064 is your friend. Slightly higher velocities with a tiny bit more powder. Like .6 more. Pressures are higher too though.
"...if I should match the powder to..." Not much point since you'll have to work up the load anyway.
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Old August 10, 2015, 05:23 PM   #17
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I use IMR 4064 in a Rem 700 308 cal for benchrest shooting only, my rifle never liked Varget. RL 15 also worked well.
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Old August 11, 2015, 08:58 AM   #18
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+1 on the RL15.
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Old August 11, 2015, 10:11 AM   #19
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My goto powder in .308 sized cases is IMR4064.
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Old August 11, 2015, 01:14 PM   #20
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I've had some good to very good results with N135 and N140 if you can find it.
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Old August 11, 2015, 01:33 PM   #21
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I've had great success with Varget with 130-168 gr bullets. It is my go to powder. I've also used 3031, 4064, 4895, TAC, and RL15. They have all shot almost identical for me. I choose Varget simply because it is the least temperature sensitive. If it isn't working for you there are plenty of other options. I've found 308 to be the easiest chambering to load for. Every powder and bullet I've tried so far has given very good results.

The loads I've chronographed average about 10-15 fps difference for each inch shorter barrel length compared to published numbers in loading manuals. There is far more difference than that between barrels of equal length. I wouldn't give the 20" barrel a 2nd thought, it could well be faster than another gun with a 22-24" barrel.
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Old August 11, 2015, 04:44 PM   #22
Wendyj
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I'm not having a problem with Varget in this load. Just can't find any. No other loads were much success. I did get a store with 10 cans coming next week to hold me 3.
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Old August 11, 2015, 06:15 PM   #23
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Wendy,

The RL15, IMR 3031,4064 are known good powders to use with the 308.

Other options would be Ramshot Big Game(again hard to come by).
The new IMR4166.
Hogdons CFE223.
Alliant AR-Comp, and Power Pro 2000 MP.

Best of luck, stay safe!!

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Old August 11, 2015, 06:51 PM   #24
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IMR 4064 would be my choice.
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Old August 11, 2015, 07:36 PM   #25
Metal god
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Wendy :

I have said among many others that IMR-4064 or RL-15 would be a good alternative . You how ever have said you have tried these powders and it appears they are not worth your time to use again . Assuming you've done quite a bit of testing with these other powders and found they will not give you your desired results .

My question to you is . How much testing have you really done with these other powders ? I would understand if you never got the A-Max to shoot well but I believe you have indicated the Varget and 178gr A-Max shot quite well . My thinking is if your rifle likes the A-Max bullet those other powders should produce exceptable results .

I remember you saying in one of your threads 40.5gr of IMR 4064 and 178gr A-Max shot pretty good . How much more did you explore that load ? Did you try different seating depths or maybe adjusting your action screws to a different torque . That is also A mid charge load . How far did you push that load ? 42gr or 42.5 grains . I know that's over book max but when you look at the bullets that data is for . You will see that includes the 180gr interlock RN bullet . When you look at the profile of that bullet . You can see the 180gr interlock RN bullet has quite a bit more baring surface compared to the 178gr A-Max .

I would not push the interlock RN any higher then the 41.3gr in the book but I'd not have a problem working my way up to 42gr and 42.5gr using the 178gr A-Max .

I just went and looked at my notes and I in fact have pushed that combo to 42.5gr once . It was almost 3 years ago and it appears it was around the same time I found the 40.3gr load I use now .

My notes show .
42.5gr IMR-4064
178gr A-Max
Win LR primer
Remington case
Avg 2620fps
with a 1.12moa 5 shot group .

Now I don't bother with any groups over 1 moa if I found a charge using the same components that shoots better . I did with the 40.3gr so that's likely why I never tried working with the higher charges .

Anyways my point and question is . How hard have you tried to get these other powders to work ?
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