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Old March 5, 2008, 10:39 PM   #1
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Is there a best .270 Win powder/primer combo?

I CAN afford to experiment, but can being able to afford means doing without other things (like tithing and beer).

That being said, I will probably shoot between 130 and 150 grains (more in the 130 -140 range than anything) out of a 19" barrel. Use mostly higher BC bullets, sierra match or the nice gameking or bergers. I read that H4831SC is as good as it gets for the .270 as far as all around. Does any experienced reloader have a better suggestion. (BTW, I will be studying a reload manual before I commit)

I would rather buy 8lbs of powder at a time instead of the 1lb. I don't want to burn through it in 6 or 7 months. BTW I may get into the realm of reloading .223 also if prices go up more, so if there is a real good compromise between the 2 I would consider, though I don't expect there to be one.

Thanks gang

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Old March 5, 2008, 10:43 PM   #2
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Is there a "best" load for anything? Yeah. But it's a secret and we ain't telling!

Well, acually, no there isn't. You just going to have to find your own best load. Sorry, there's no hidden short cut.
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Old March 5, 2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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3100 powder

When I picked up a .270 for my son I talked with the high power who use this round and the number one choice they expressed was 3100 powder. I used this with my sons 130 grain loads and got tremendous results.
As for how much..each gun likes different loads, it will take time on the bench to get that.
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Old March 5, 2008, 10:52 PM   #4
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come on guys throw me a bone

I'm not asking for the exact measurements of powder, moon position, time of year, and other astronomical data you use to make your perfect load. I understand a lot of these things rely on the gun...

all I'm asking is what is your "go to" powder for .270, if you have one.

Thanks Dave...
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Old March 5, 2008, 10:58 PM   #5
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Right now with someone I'm teaching to reload, it's IMR 4350 because we can also use it in his 30-06 and .308. Down the road, we'll be doing some serious experimenting with both 4831 and 3100.

As far as a compromise powder for both .223 and .270 . . . uh-uh.

And eight pounds at a time? You sure better like the powder you buy. Like, hell. You better buy that powder an engagement ring.

When I'm working up new loads, I buy powder a pound at time. Only after I feel really good about what I consider is the best load combo will I then buy a bigger bottle of powder. And even then, I rarely buy larger than a four or five pound baby keg.

If every single gun owner belonged to the NRA as well as their respective state rifle/gun association, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

So to those of you who are members of neither, thanks for nothing.
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Old March 5, 2008, 11:18 PM   #6
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I think I'll take your word for that searay. Thanks for the advice.

I don't know of anywhere to buy powder locally so I have to have it shipped. I'm trying to save on that 20$ "surcharge" for shipping dangerous materials. I also don't want to get a 130$ keg of powder that isn't worth crap. That's why I'm asking... I understand that alot of it depends on what the rifle likes, I just wanted to see if there was a "go to" powder that the concensus preferred for .270.

As for the compromise, that is ignorance speaking. I know just enough to be dangerous to myself (hence why I will be reading a reloading manual). Though I don't think that such a compromise exists it also doesn't hurt to ask as long as I'm willing to admit that I don't know S%$# concerning this topic!
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Old March 5, 2008, 11:38 PM   #7
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A tale of two pounds of powder,

I was working up a load for my 700VLS in 22-250. I started getting real good results with H380. so I worked it some more. I finally got a super group. 10 rounds with a .178 MOA. WOW MAN Just WOW. I got home to load some more. My H380 was riding on empty. I go to the store a buy another pound. I couldn't repeat the feat. Yes, it was a different lot of powder. still under .25 mostly but never that good again. Rifles are just that picky especially the 22-250. most other 22 whatever are also.

Sorry guy but each rifle is in a universe of it's own. My Winchester model 70 in 30-06 just loves R15 it's twice as accurate with it than any other powder I tried. go figure. oh this is with a 150 gr bullet.
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Old March 6, 2008, 12:45 AM   #8
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19in barrel? That's one short barrel.

For 270 Win, we have been using 130gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and 130gr Hornady SST with good success. This is for pig, deer, and varmint. Using IMR 4350 and Reloader 19 and 22. The 22 takes a few more grains to match the 19 in velocity in this caliber/bullet size.

Hornady light magnum 130gr in 270 is a screamer at 3200fps. But other factory loads are as slow as 2900 fps.

You listed match bullets. What are ya loading for?

Light recoil rounds you can use a faster powder. But a hot load will take a magnum powder like IMR 4831, or Reloder 22.

1lb of powder = 7000 grains. We use about 55gr of powder in 270. So ~127 rounds for 1lb of powder, 8lbs ~1000 rounds.

We are using Varget for .22-250. Which will work in .223 as well. Varget won't get the velocity as the magnum powders will in the 270. But it is pretty safe as you can load it 100% capacity in many cartridges without exceeding max. pressure.

There are several powders for .223 which run at 100% capacity or even compressed.
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Old March 6, 2008, 08:47 AM   #9
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You can get a lot of load data and some other insights from the following links:

Note that the Hodgdon site now has data for Winchester and IMR powders as well as Hodgdon powders.

Also, because Accurate 3100 was mentioned as a good powder for the 270 Winchester in a previous post, I should mention that data for it in the 270 was changed (reduced) by Accurate a while back. The load data on the website will be current, but some of the old printed "#2 Manuals" that are still floating around (e.g., mine) have the old data. Max loads were reduced by about 3 grains (58 instead of 61 for a Nosler 130 grain Ballistic Tip bullet). That is a big reduction, so I wanted to warn you about it.

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Old March 6, 2008, 09:27 AM   #10
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I have another question that I asked in the smith forum.

I'm shooting a savage with the barrel nut system. I switched barrels out last year, and turned a 7 remmag into a .270 win (magnum too expensive). The moral of the story is that now there is a very small gap between the bolt when it's locked and the rear of the breach. This has nothing to do with headspace, headspace from the datum line (or whatever you call it) and the bolt face is perfect. There's just a .100" gap where the brass isn't supported by solid metal near the base of the brass. This results in a very small swell in the brass after it's fire formed, showing the gap perfectly (that's how I know the width).

I've thought of reaming the chamber another .075 or so to fix this but the rifle shoots too good to break it down (yes I'm lazy) right now. Does anyone have an opinion on reusing this brass? When I start reloading I'm not gonna push loads hotter than the hinges of hell, but I want some decent speed also so it's not gonna be light loads. What I really don't want is for a case to rupture.

I just wanted your opinions. I am ignorant to the subject of reloading, but I am at least intelligent enough to ask prior blowing myself up.
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Old March 6, 2008, 11:03 AM   #11
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It is not clear to me where on the case the "unsupported 0.1" is located.

Using a sectioned 270 Winchester case (Federal), I measure 0.127" to the forward edge of the extractor groove and 0.212" to the flat surface of the web inside the case, both starting from the flat surface of the case head. Is your 0.1" of unsupported case IN ADDITION TO the dimension of 0.212" from the case head to the web surface inside the case? If not, then your chambering is not anything unusual. The head sticking out of the chamber by about 0.1" is typical, but usually not seen because the bolt blocks the view.

On the other hand, if you have the head sticking (0.212 + 0.1 =) 0.3" out of your chamber, then you do have a serious problem, because there is about 0.1" of unsupported case wall. If that wall ruptures, the hot gases escaping rearward can hurt you as well as the gun.

When a case is fired, its wall expand to contact the chamber wall from the mouth to a place on the wall back near, but still in front of the junction with the web. (The chamber wall typiclly extends a little farther back, but is not contacted.) The expanded brass seals the hot gases away from the breach opening. When the pressure subsides and the case wall springs back, there is typically a maximum diameter area left several hundredths of an inch in front of the web junction. Further back toward the case head, the case is thicker and did not expand enough to contact the chamber wall. The case wall may change color/texture at the point where contact stopped. The maximum diameter area of a fired case in this region is called the "pressure ring" and is normal on all brass cased ammo. On my sectioned case, this max diameter and color change location is 0.265" in front of the case head surface.

Another possibility comes to my mind as I try to understand your description of your situation. You wrote "This results in a very small swell in the brass after it's fire formed, showing the gap perfectly (that's how I know the width)." Maybe you are describing a nomal pressure ring. BUT, IF you mean that the case is sticking only 0.1" out of the chamber, AND A SHARP EDGE IS VISIBLE IN THE BRASS SURFACE AT THE POINT WHERE THE CHAMBER ENDS, THEN that means that the SOLID PART of the case head is expanding enough to be visibly obvious. That should not be happening. A few TEN-thousandths of an inch expansion in the solid head is acceptable in 270 Winchester brass when first fired at maximum loads. If you are getting more than that with factory ammo, I think either you got an ammo lot that has really soft brass, or your barrel set-up is somehow producing abnormally high pressures.

One more thought: Winchester (the company) has recently been using a "semi-balloonhead" case design for some of its cartidges to get more internal capacity. Are you shooting Winchester cartridges? If so, the web intersection with the wall inside the case is closer to the case head surface than my measurements, above. (I don't have any to measure, but I doubt it is as close as 0.1" from the case head outer surface.) That would make the normal pressure ring in the case wall appear closer to the base.

I hope this info helps you sort out what is going on with your rifle and brass. Provide more info and ask again if it is still not clear.

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Old March 6, 2008, 04:56 PM   #12
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different guns like different stuff

Wheeler, not trying to be evasive but my son's 24 inch barrel gun is probably going to like something very different than your 19 incher. make a long story here is how I determine what load a gun shoots. I picked this up from a co-worker who use to shoot long range competition and holds a high master rifle card, this is just what more experience and better shooters than me recommended and I like it and use this system. It takes a long time to really do this, normally at least a full day on the range, now and then two plus lots of cleaning gear.

Primer..I happen to like Federal, must my preference they always seem to go boom in hot or cold weather with all of my guns. Other primers work for many people I am not here to bash any brand.

1-Load a dozen or more loads at the low end of your range, this is your base to compare everything else from.
2-Load shells increasing in one tenth of a grain..toward the upper end load you are considering. Yes..this is a bunch of shells you need to have them labeled or some way to keep track of each one and which load is in it.

3-At the range, you need 200 yards, from the bench ya start shooting with a basic three shoot group from your gun with the low velocity ammo. I keep a target on hand and record each shot on my "bench target" with my spotting scope. When I say record I have a good pen, put a X on the postion of the shoot, record the load in grains and number shot, so it may look like a 23 with the load of 48.9 grains. I label grains to make sure there is no confusion between shot number and weight of powder. Why 200 yards, gives the bullets a chance to settle down and do there magic, you do not see the variation as much at 100. If you are cleaning between shots, three shots works, if you are going to shoot a dirty barrel you will need to shoot 4 times to see where your three go after you foul the barrel.

Oh...forgot, you need to figure out if you are going to clean between shots or how many shots between cleaning. The advantage of cleaning between each shot is it gives you gun a chance to cool and you always know the basic barrel condition. It is up to you but be constant in what ever you choose. Please note if you are going to shoot with a dirty barrel you need to foul your barrel after a good cleaning which is what I use extra low velocity loads (your minimal load) Oh, why clean ( I have been ask this) if you are going to shoot from a fouled barrel, cause over time you will get too much copper build up and that will effect your grouping. This is an attempt to control some variables. I an not even going to get into sun location and all of the other stuff the long range guys talk about. Hopefully your wind conditions will not change to much but the less wind the better.

Ok..once your basic pattern is set, start shooting each round increasing in one tenth of a grain increments and record every bullet with every shoot. You also have to let your barrel cool between shots. (hey this takes time)

As you shoot each round you will see shifts where each bullet flies. Some will be close, sometimes you will see a huge change where the bullet flies. BUT...what you are looking for is where three or more bullets impact the same place very close to each other and are consecutive loads. Say you are shooting away and suddenly you see 55.1, 55.2 and 55.3 grain loads shoot a inch or inch and half apart..THIS is what you are looking for..a node in the Harmonics (this is what I was told guys, feel free to correct me) Anyways...if you set your reloader up to load the 55.2 grains and if your powder varys plus or minus a tenth you will still be in your inch range. I have seen a tenth of a grain make a 8 inch movement for a bullet so it can make a difference. You may find one node, in my son's gun we found two, one at 55 grains and one at 60 grains. Needless to say he practices with the 55 grain load and hunts with the 60. My 30-06 has one major node and for a production gun shoot delightful groups till it heats up.

Anytime you change bullet weights you get to explore what that new bullet likes to do out of your gun but the results are very accurate loads that work for your gun.

I have done this probably ten times between my guns and friends, so far the results have always been excellent but again, it takes time and lots of loads. Bring a sandwich to the range.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 6, 2008, 05:02 PM   #13
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H4831sc is an excellent powder for 270.I load it near max with a 230 gr nosler ballistic tip.

H4831sc does not meter that great but I weigh each charge anyway for this caliber.
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Old March 6, 2008, 07:09 PM   #14
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I use 59.0 of H4831 and a 130 grain Hornady flatbase Interlock in WW cases that have been match prepped. 1 inch 3 shot groups out of a Remmy 700.
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Old March 7, 2008, 09:12 AM   #15
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RL 19 with 140 grain Sierra's has been sub MOA for 2 different guns for me.
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Old March 7, 2008, 07:49 PM   #16
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H4831 and WLR primers with FC Brass Nosler 130 balistic tips work very well.
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Old March 29, 2008, 11:15 PM   #17
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Loads for the .270 win

"Most .270 reloaders report excellent results with bullets ranging weighing from 100 grains to 160 grains. The range of 130-150 grains remains the most popular, however. I chose H4831 powder for the examples below because it is widely available, accurate and offers excellent performance in the .270 Win. Other good powders include IMR 4831, IMR 4350, RL-22, and H4350. The .270 is an easy cartridge for which to reload."

Those are the words of Chuck Hawks. I trust anything he says as a great starting point to test for best results. I am the student SeaRay spoke of. I am testing several powder loads. But from my research, the IMR 4350 is the powder for which the .270 was made famous. Wheeler, Ill keep you posted on the results of the test in case that may help you are your selection. That is if you havent decided yet. Ill be shooting the loads out of a REM model 700 BDL .270.

Hope this helps
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Old April 30, 2008, 11:43 PM   #18
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I bought two different powders to start off with the 270 and 7mm. I tried R22 1st and had like 4 to 5 in groups at 100 yds with sierra 150gr gamekings. Then I tried the 4831sc and groups shrunk down to 1 to 1.5 inches. The Sierra manual recommends R22 for both the hunting load and accuracy load, so I guess I would recommend either, but only the 4831sc shot good out of my Browning BAR. my 0.2 cents
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Old May 1, 2008, 09:37 AM   #19
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My personal favorite is 60 grains of H4831SC pushing a 130 grain nosler ballistic tip seated long. I think I use Fed 210 LR primers in win brass. 3 bullet touch out of a factory gun. You won't go wrong with H4831SC. Also 4350 is a nice powder for the .270. This load is near max or max.
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Old May 1, 2008, 11:37 AM   #20
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My best .270 load.....

.....has been 58gr of IMR 7828 behind a Sierra Gameking 150 grainer, w/a CCI LMR primer. I have also had good results with H414 for 130 grain bullets, and H4831sc, for 130's and 140's............. wait for it..........


that was out of a 24" barrel. A 19" barrel on a long action rifle in a cartridge that has a fairly large powder capacity? That makes as much sense to me as putting low profile Pirelli tires on a 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive pick-up truck...... You CAN do it, but WHY? You lose a lot of the potential (velocity, and by extension, RANGE- the .270 is known as a "flat shooting" cartridge because of that 3100 f/sec MV!) of the .270 with that short barrel. I'm guessing you will need a lot quicker powder in that, and lighter bullets would work better than heavy ones............. what velocity do you get out of that 19" barrel w/ factory loads, anyway?

As for you "unsupported case area", it seems you are playing with fire..... it's your fingers, and they'll be the ones to bet burnt......... unless you loan this gun out, in which case I foresee a GIANT lawsuit in your future.......
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Old May 1, 2008, 11:55 AM   #21
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Powder bullet combo

I have found that my .270 likes H4350 w/ 130 grn. ballistic tips and H380 for my 90 grn. HPBT. and as said above the ring around the brass does not sound good. I would have a gunsmith check it out, just my 2 cents, you can replace the gun, fingers and eyes are a different syory all together.
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Old May 1, 2008, 03:42 PM   #22
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Yep, the one that works best in your rifle!

For cases in this size class, I really like IMR 4064.

I've used it with great success in my .300 Savage, .243, and .30-06 over the years.

Doesn't necessarily mean that it will work for you in the .270, but I bet it will.
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