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Old October 10, 2017, 12:42 PM   #1
jrinne0430
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Stick powder fro 5.56

Who here uses stick powder fro 5.56 and what are your experiences? I have tried both IMR4064 and H4895 (using RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure) and the results are not too good. These powders don't appear to meter well through the small neck resulting in different charge weights. Is there something I am doing wrong or should I move on to ball or flack powder?

Last edited by jrinne0430; October 12, 2017 at 11:50 AM.
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Old October 10, 2017, 01:03 PM   #2
ShootistPRS
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Ball powders will always flow through powder measures better than stick powders. Varget isn't too terrible but H335 and W748 are better powders for metering. 748 is pretty good for maximum velocities but powders that work are easy to find.
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Old October 10, 2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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Thanks, I have some Winchester 748 I will give a try.
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Old October 10, 2017, 02:17 PM   #4
hounddawg
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what grain bullets are you shooting? TAC works great with 55's and it flows like water from a throw. For 69's up to 80 grains I like Varget which I either measure by weight or throw low and trickle up.

This was the best node I found when doing some range development and breaking in a new barrel. The load thrown on a Lee Perfect and trickled up to 24 gr of Varget. AR 15, 20 inch ER Shaw barrel (Wylde chamber), 69 SMK

max spread .95, group height .8, group width .5 and the lower right shot was clean bore, cold barrel

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Old October 10, 2017, 06:28 PM   #5
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Very happy with Varget. 25 to 25.5 gr (magnum/standard primer) ... thrown from a Lee Measure and trickled on a scale. 55gr FMJBT, Very consistent
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Old October 10, 2017, 06:47 PM   #6
jrinne0430
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I plan on using 62gr fmj.
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Old October 10, 2017, 08:10 PM   #7
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I've had really good results with IMR4064 in the heavier bullets for my AR, but that's using my Lyman 55 powder measure which throws very consistently. The knocker on this powder measure loosens up any of the log jams caused by stick powders.
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Old October 11, 2017, 02:46 PM   #8
Metal god
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I have fantastic results using stick powders in AR's both 5.56 and 223 wylde chamberings when it comes to accuracy . In fact it's the only type of powder I'd recommend for accuracy but that's only because that's what I use for match loads .

As for how long stick powders throw , not good but short stick powders still shoot well and meter better . Varget , AR-comp and IMR 8208xbr all come to mind as powders that meter OK and have great accuracy .
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Old October 11, 2017, 03:19 PM   #9
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I prefer ball for 5.56, but I've loaded a lot of AA4064. It is a very short stick and loads just fine. Accuracy is fair to quite good, but not the best.
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Old October 11, 2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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Have used a lot of w-748 and h-335 and find the 748 to be dirty and needing extra barrel cleaning. The 335 has done much better and gives good groups. Good enough for prairie dogging.
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Old October 11, 2017, 05:28 PM   #11
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I have good luck using IMR3031 in .223 / 5.56. I think it would be considered a short cut extruded powder.
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Old October 11, 2017, 05:35 PM   #12
surveyor
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I use varget with 77 smk's and have been pleased, but I meter it with a chargemaster.
Ball powders meter better through powder measures, that's certain.
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Old October 11, 2017, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have good luck using IMR3031 in .223 / 5.56. I think it would be considered a short cut extruded powder.
Something has changed with IMR 3031. My last two cans, which were estate sale IMR 3031, and from 60's and 70's based on can design, the powder grains were long. Like IMR 4064 long. Looked like this:



Picture from: http://www.ilrc.ucf.edu/powders/samp...?powder_id=164

Just opened a new bottle this week, this stuff is a short cut extruded powder. This is all to the better. I never tried IMR 3031, it is a little faster than IMR 4985, so it ought to work just fine in the 223, especially in a gas gun.

I used a lot of N140 which is a short cut powder. If you can get your H4985 in the case the round will shoot outstandingly with that powder. I used a lot of AA2520, a ball powder, in the 223. Works very well, but leaves more residue in the gas system than the stick powders. One of the staples with the 223 is Varget, but it won't meter much better than H4895.
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Old October 12, 2017, 03:34 AM   #14
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Just finished loading some rounds using AR-comp and 69gr SMK in LC-14 cases . I only loaded 50 but threw them all and weighed each throw . I also used check weights before I started and once again at the 25rd mark to check my Redding beam scale .

With out actually running the numbers I'd say I averaged +/- .1gr with an ES of +/- .2gr . I came up with that average by observing the actual weights of each charge . I had several dead on , Many +/- .1gr and a tad more then a few +/- .2gr . If I had to put numbers to those I'd say 15 , 25 , 10 . Not to bad for plinking but these were some good loads so after weighing each charge I then trickled or removed when needed . I worked this load up in .3gr increments so throwing an ES of .4gr may push me out of my OCW ( optimum charge weight ) or OBT ( optimum barrel time ) so I went ahead and made sure each charge was dead on before finishing each cartridge .

Oh and I had one bridging of the powder in the powder measure ( Hornady ) That took a light tap to dislodge and drop the rest . That throw weighed .1gr more then the intended weight . I was actually surprised I had that bridging with such a short thin cut powder but it did happen .

I'll need to keep an eye on that with this powder . I throw a lot of IMR 4064 & 4895 and can't remember the last time they bridged but most of the time I'm using the larger funnel on the powder measure with those powders . so that's likely why I don't see that much with those much longer powders .
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USg3NR76XpQ&t=3265s or a picture of Mohamed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VwpwP_fIqY

Last edited by Metal god; October 12, 2017 at 03:41 AM.
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Old October 12, 2017, 09:50 AM   #15
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AR comp, 8208xbr, benchmark are all stick powders that have metered well for me and shoot great. Im throwing from a dillon powder measure on an xl650.
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Old October 12, 2017, 11:41 AM   #16
hdwhit
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Most of my 223 cartridges are loaded with IMR-4198 and IMR-3031.

I use an RCBS Uniflow meter.

Do you have a baffle for the powder reservoir?

Extruded powders will not flow the same way as ball or flake powders, so you have to make up for the difference with technique. I currently load small batches on a single stage press where I throw charges light and trickle them up to the proper weight, so the vagarities of the meter don't matter to me. When I did try to consistently throw IMR powders from the Uniflow, I would lower the handle (raising the empty chamber), robustly (but not violently) tap the reservoir, then raise the handle (dispensing the powder). This rhythm of "down, slap, raise" resulted in very consistent charges.
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Old October 12, 2017, 11:55 AM   #17
jrinne0430
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Don't have a baffle for the reservoir. I used to perform the tap method when I used the Lee Perfect Measure but not with the RCBS Uniflow.
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Old October 12, 2017, 03:08 PM   #18
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If you want single based velocity stability, decent metering, clean burning, and very low ES on you hand loads....Benchmark.

But! It will not give you comperable velocities to varget or ball powders until you get to heavy bullets. It is faster burning than varget, and it almost catches varget in velocity up around 75 gr pills...but bullets around 55 gr or 62, H335 or the like will blow it away by upwards of 200fps. However, if you don't like counting more than 1 hole in the target, and you don't like needing to clean your rifle...Benchmark.
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Old October 12, 2017, 06:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
if you don't like counting more than 1 hole in the target, and you don't like needing to clean your rifle...Benchmark.
Well when you put it like that , I gotta get me some a dat Cause I hate counting more then one hole , it just seems like a waste of good energy to do that
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Tolerate- allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with , without interference.
If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USg3NR76XpQ&t=3265s or a picture of Mohamed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VwpwP_fIqY
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Old October 12, 2017, 08:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Well when you put it like that , I gotta get me some a dat Cause I hate counting more then one hole , it just seems like a waste of good energy to do that
yeah he has sold me on it too, I am going to pick up a pound this weekend
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Old October 12, 2017, 08:43 PM   #21
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In my match loads in 223, my ES is 9 fps with this lot so far with 77 gr smk's. 2713 fps, 20" barrel. OAL 2.280 ..tip drags on the mag a little. BR-2 primers.

In my bulk 147 gr fmj 308 plinking loads for my AR-10, 43 gr Benchmark holds moa with cheap Winchester bullets..... not an easy feat to be sure
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Old October 13, 2017, 01:49 AM   #22
armoredman
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I started loading .223 again recently, and I've used IMR 3031 to good effect, but often the grains will hang up in the Uniflow, requiring extra pressure to break them and complete the stroke. Measuring shows very little effect on the charge weight with that so far. Results have been good. Having said that - Winchester 748 seems to do everything I need now, and meters SO much nicer in my old Uniflow!
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Old October 13, 2017, 08:09 PM   #23
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I've used Varget, 4064, 3031, H335 and a few others. Finally I just went with H335 for all 223 loads (40 and 55 gr BTs, 65 gr Sierra GKs, and 64 gr Nosler BSB). If I had no H335, I'd probably try Benchmark.

I did have bridging with the stick powders. H335 pours like water.
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Old October 13, 2017, 08:22 PM   #24
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Maybe it's the guys being frugal, but I just change throwers.
When stick didn't want to throw through Lee charge bar throwers, I simply broke out the RCBS rotational drum which broke sticks just fine.
When Dillon charge bar thrower gave me fits with stick powder, I simply bought the adapter for the drum thrower and switched.

Just as a side note, the current crop of 'Short Stick' (extruded: Varget, Benchmark) powder seems to do fine in the new style Dillon charge bar throwers, while Lee throwers don't do so well with it.

Lee charge bar throwers have always given me fits, between plastic parts with about zero quality control and shaky mounts I just never had any luck with then.
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Old October 14, 2017, 03:14 PM   #25
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Ball powder is of course the easiest as far as using a measure; most of my .223 loads use BL-C(2), W748 or H335 thrown with the Lee PPM. Really speeds things up (vs trickling) and very consistent drops. As a bonus, ball powders tend to cost a little less also. For my heavier match loads I prefer a stick like RE15 or Varget, neither of which would measure as consistently as I wanted with the PPM but both do acceptably well with a Lyman 55 I was given. As much as I like 4064 for other cartridges, the long grains and small case neck make it a bit frustrating for the .223.
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