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Old May 28, 2008, 11:44 AM   #1
Bonehead Baker
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Best "All Around" rifle powder???

I'm trying to get stocked up for tuff times ahead. What rifle powder do you think is the best to work for almost all rifles? Right now I am looking for a good powder for .223 as I just bought my first AR. I would be loading for:

7mm Rem Mag
300 Win Mag
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Old May 28, 2008, 11:46 AM   #2
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I'm not sure if there are recipes for all of those calibers using it, but I've found Varget is pretty well used in the rounds I fire.
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Old May 28, 2008, 11:51 AM   #3
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IMR3031 will work in almost any rifle cartridge. Not always the best, but works well in a lot of calibers. I use it in my 7.62x39, 45-70, 30-06, and 30-30. Looking at my Lyman reloading book shows them using it in the 223 also.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:04 PM   #4
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I figger at some point this will get moved on over to the reloading dept. Not positive, just a guess.

I would recommed that you don't try to get settled on one magic powder. Just don't work that way- you may get all the ctg's to fire, feed, and extract. But that don't mean you'll reap the benefits of reloadin. Superb or improved accuracy and cost savings are nearly always at the top of the lists of why folks reload. Different rifles like different recipes. You may whittle it down to two or three- but I just don't see one powder working out.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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Oh, sorry I'm pretty new here. I didn't realize there was another area for reloading. I just found it. I realize the great benefits of reloading as stated above. I am probably looking for something that doesn't exist, but I am just trying to get a supply stored for tuff times ahead. I have limited storage area and limited $$ and was just wondering if anyone had done some research on this to get by in a pinch and keep things simple.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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There are a couple of powders I use to cover the range you are trying to cover with just one powder. In the past, I used IMR3031 and IMR 4350 to cover that range, but since I use ball powders almost exclusively now, it has changed to WW748 and WW760. WW748 is the faster of the two, and will work well for 223, 243, 30-30 and 45-70, where the WW760 will work well with 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 7mm RemMag and 300 WinMag.

I have not used Varget, but everyone I talk to who does use it has a great deal to say about it, and it covers the range from 223 to 30-06 (maybe even the 7mm RemMag, but I haven't spoken to anyone who uses it for that).
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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Two Powders

You would be better off with two powders for
these cartridges. Using just one powder would
severely limit the performance of some no matter
what powder you chose.

.223 4064
22-250 4064
30-30 4064
45-70 4064

.243 4064 or 4350
.270 4064 or 4350
30-06 4064 or 4350
7mm Rem Mag 4350
300 Win Mag 4350
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Old May 28, 2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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H380 will also work with most of the cartridges on that list. For the rest try some IMR4350 or IMR4831 and you should be set. I have never used the H4350 or H4831, bu those would probably work too. Just be aware when looking up recipes in reloading manuals that they are NOT interchangable.
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Old May 28, 2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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I seriously doubt you will find one powder to to it all as well.

In my .223 I like ball powders like H335 because it meters well and I'm not weighing each individual charge when I load in bulk for the .223 Rem. The .243 I like IMR 4064 gives me the best groups of any powder out of my .243. The .270 you can't hardly go wrong with either IMR or H4831, that powder is just about perfect with 130 grain bullets. The .30-06 I've been using H4350.
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Old May 28, 2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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+1 to the DR! You will not be happy with just one powder and you will not get the results you would want with just one. Varget will work in all but Varget does alot of things it just does'nt do them well. I like IMR stick powders and, at least for me they are more accurate. You can duplicate them with some VV but you will pay more. My 2 cents and you got it for free
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Old May 29, 2008, 01:24 AM   #11
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Varget would be great for reloading your .243 and .22-250 For the .223, Reloader #7 is excellent.

For the .270 and .30-06, Hodgdon 4831 would work well.

You should just keep the above 5 guns, and throw all of the other calibers you have away. You don't need anything more than the above 5 to hunt anything in North America ( unless you plan to go Grizzly hunting ).
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Old May 29, 2008, 01:39 AM   #12
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H380 for the two .22s. H4831SC for all the rest of them. H380 being the ideal powder for the 22.250 and workable for the .223. H4831SC being an outstanding powder for the two magnums.


Imr 4064 for the bottom up to the .243 with overlap up the the .270 and 30.06. And Imr 4831 for the ..243 up to the top.

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Old May 29, 2008, 05:30 AM   #13
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I load most of the cartridges you mentioned, and I use Varget for all of it. The one big exception may be that I don't shoot magnums. You can go to the Hodgdon website and get data for each powder and each cartridge... print 'em out and you've got your own homemade data book.
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Old May 30, 2008, 09:51 PM   #14
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Don't forget about 4895 either H or IMR

Sneaky Pete here; I load .223 55gr Vmax and 69grMK with IMR 4896 regularly geting sub 0.5MOA @100yds, 6.5x55 Swed with 108 &123gr scenar, 30-06--IMR 4895 is CLOSE to the mil-spec powder for 150gr ball ammo, and my 8x57 Mauser w/150>170gr. I've heard that Varget Is CLOSE in burning rate to 4895 but I haven't tried it yet. THANX--SNEAKY
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Old May 31, 2008, 06:59 AM   #15
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VarGet or IMR 4064

I don't shoot all of the calibers you listed, but I can add a twist to some of the replies already posted. If you are considering VarGet, you might want to look at IMR4064 as well.

I've tried both extensively, and they seem to give about identical results. The difference is that IMR4064 is usually cheaper.
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Old May 31, 2008, 07:14 AM   #16
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Best all around rifle powder would be something in the middle burning range. Varget, RE15, and IMR4895, 3031, and 4064 would be good choices. There are other powders that are also good but these are the powder I use for most of my rifle cartridges. I now stick with just Varget or Re15 depending on which is available at the time. It seems Varget is so popular many places can't seem to keep it stocked.
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Old May 31, 2008, 09:59 AM   #17
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Bonehead, assuming you properly have two or three reloading handbooks, browse through their data and see what powders are used for the cartridges you have. I'm guessing you'll find a couple of powders which seem to be common to several of your cartridges.

Some things you might consider: Which of your rifles will you use the most? From which ones do you want the best accuracy in terms of MOA? Find the powder/bullet combinations which work best for those. I'd bet that the same powder(s) will be adequate for the others.
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Old May 31, 2008, 06:37 PM   #18
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My favorite powder is IMR 3031. It works very well in .30-06 with bullets weighing 150 grains and less. My best .308 groups ever were shot with IMR 3031. IMR 3031 is also a great .223 powder: My CZ 527 makes the the bullet holes touch at 100 yards when using 25 grains of 3031, a CCI primer, an LC case and a 55 grain Remington PSP bullet.
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Old May 31, 2008, 07:03 PM   #19
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You might want to try looking at IMR 4007SSC (Super Short Cut). From what I am seeing it works well in many different cartridges. I seen loads for 223, 22-250, 308.
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Old May 31, 2008, 07:13 PM   #20
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Sneaky Pete nailed it. IMR 4895 is pretty good for many loads. I never could get varget to work for me, but if I could only have one powder for rifles, it would be 4895.
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Old June 1, 2008, 06:41 AM   #21
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Varget has worked well for me in several calibers, but the IMR 3031 may be the more versatile. However, no single powder will perform the best in the list of calibers you have to work with. I'm thinking your going to need at least two different powders to be happy with your loads.
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Old June 1, 2008, 08:40 AM   #22
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I like IMR 4895. meters well and is very flexible. some cylindrical pwders can be tricky to meter accurately.
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Old June 1, 2008, 12:30 PM   #23
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IMR 4831 and 4350 are the most flexible, but will not give you optimum performance in the smaller cartridges. They are relatively slow powders, performing well where 20-26" barrels and 45 to 70 grains of powder are used. Smaller rounds like .223 that burn around 25 grains like fast powders such as H335. Cartridges like the .22-250, .220 Swift and others using 35-45 grains like such powders as H414 and Reloader 15. Bigger rounds like the .300 WM and up like really slow magnum powders such as IMR 7828 (though I've used IMR4350 with good results in .300 RUM and .375 RUM).

There really isn't a one for all powder. But I stock the most IMR4350.
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Old June 1, 2008, 04:33 PM   #24
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It has been said already, but, semi autos and Bolt actions prefer different powders.
My ar15 eats 25.7 grains of H335 by the pound and loves it.
If i used my Bolt action rifle powder, - IMR 4350, my M1 garand would have a bent oprod and it would surely tear up the bolt or somethin on my ar-15 and M1 carbine.
Its kinda wierd but slower burning powders tend to give higher velocities and higher pressures than fast burning powders. This is because the powder burns for longer. keeping the pressure up in the barrel as the bullet moves down the barrel. In asemi auto, you want the powder mostly burned up and the pressure lower as the bullet passes by the gas port. If you used say, Imr 4350 in a semi, the powder would still likely be expanding as the bullet passed the gas port would would cycle the weapon way too hard. Just a few things to think about.

I have used H335 in a bolt action. the results where not wonderful.
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Old June 1, 2008, 04:52 PM   #25
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Smart man. The times are a changing and things could get out of hand. Be ready, all of you!
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