The Home Armory: Powder Selection

The Home Armory: Powder Selection

This is a discussion on The Home Armory: Powder Selection within the Reloading forums, part of the Sniping Related category; As I keep saying, the Democrats are coming. But what should we do in order to build up our powder stocks? It's quite obvious that ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    The Home Armory: Powder Selection

    As I keep saying, the Democrats are coming. But what should we do in order to build up our powder stocks?

    It's quite obvious that without gunpowder, we have no ammo. So we need lots of gunpowder in order to prepare for what may come.

    But what's the most efficient way to build up one's powder stocks? I suggest that each handloader buy powder by the 8 pound container. And when you buy powder, you want the most versatile powder possible. And with planning, a prepared handloader can get by with only 2 or 3 powders.

    Suppose you shoot the following calibers: .243, .260 Rem, 7m-08, 6.5x55mm, .30-06, and .270. In this case you could get by with only one powder--IMR-4350. ( Of course you could use H-4350 or AA-4350.) But with one powder you could load ammo for all these calibers.

    Suppose you have a .223, a .30-30, a 7.62x39mm, a 8mm Mauser and a .308. For these calibers, you could get by with IMR-4895, IMR-3031 or Benchmark.

    Suppose you have a 9mm, a .45, a .40, .357 Magnum and a .44 Magnum, you could get by with only one powder. You could get by with Unique or HS-6. Of course with the two magnums, you would be well off if you could get some H-110 or 2400 powder. But with Unique or HS-6, you can load up some serious magnum loads.

    So try to maximize your loading ability by buying a few versatile powders in bulk. You can get much more bang for your buck.

    In the example above, we could load for 16 calibers using only 3 powders. You will notice that the above list does not include some of my favorite powders such as IMR-4064 and IMR-4831. But it depends on one's situation. If you had only a .308 and an 8mm, the first powder to choose would be IMR-4064. But look at your battery and rationalize your powder stocks.


    Mad.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
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    Mad,

    So far, I'm only loading 30-06 and .308 Win, but I may want to load 7.5 Swiss if I get another milsurp, or maybe 8mm if I get a mauser. I'll have to start on 5.56 for my Bushmaster, soon, too, I guess.

    Is there one powder you'd recommend for that lineup? You know I don't understand the reasoning yet. I just listen and obey! :lol: I've used IMR-4895, but then tried Varget and found it meters (very slightly) better. Should I stick with IMR-4895 for this spread of cartridges for some reason? Is Varget OK? I notice you did not mention that one.

    Whatever you suggest, I'm buying it by the 8 lb. And I don't mind having a smaller cache of IMR-4064 because someone here discovered that's what's in the Federal Gold Medal Match. But I would like to simplify my stocking to just two powders if I can.

    Also, do primers make that much difference? I'd like to settle on one large rifle primer even for match loads, and I'd like to go for Winchester or CCI, unless there's a reason to standardize on something else.

    Thanks, Mad!

    edit Also, best places to get 8Lb. cannisters? I understand the shipping charges make a big difference. Anywone know the best delivered cost supplier?

  3. #3

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    I think that Varget would cover as many or more caliber choices as IMR 4895. For me, it's a matter of cost. IMR 4895 is a military powder, and can be bought surplus. The last 8lb. jug of 4895 powder I bought cost me $80 instead of $120 for 8 lbs. of IMR 4350, or Varget.

    Jeff

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  5. #4
    Senior Member JCinPA's Avatar
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    Boo-yah! Sold! Where'd you find that surplus powder?

    John

  6. #5

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    I bought it at www.wideners.com about 4 months ago. They get surplus powder in all the time, but they do occaisionally sell out of it.

    Jeff

    I mispelled in my link, and have repaired it to work.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Longshot38's Avatar
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    Like Mad said, powder selection is all about what you load for. But I will give my two cents on the subject. If you keep these powders around you can't go wrong:

    IMR-4350
    IMR-7828 (This only applied if you shoot big magnums)
    Unique
    IMR-4064

    Between the 4350 and 4064 you can load for almost any rifle round around. The 7828 only applies to those of us that shoot BIG magnums or larger calibers such as 50 cals. And unique is an awesome powder for 45's and works well for most common defensive handgun calibers. With these powders one can load for most common calibers
    Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you.

    Sum dominus fati: sed sum princeps meae.

  8. #7
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    John:


    For the calibers you have, IMR-4895 is what you should use. This powder will work very well in your AR-15. It will also work very well with the other calibers you have in mind.

    I have not noticed much of a difference with primers. I currently use Winchester primers and these work well. I like Federal Match primers, but I can't shoot well enough to see much of a difference. I have used CCI primers and these worked well too. Just buy as many primers as you can afford.

    Longshot's powders are also a fine choice for certain calibers.

    I really like Unique not only as a general purpose handgun powder but also as a shotgun propellant.



    Mad.

  9. #8
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    I like to keep at least 8 lbs of RL15 on hand. Its usable for anything from .223 to my 6.5-284 (with light bullets). I've found it to be one of the best .308 Win powders, too.
    Kamrad Tylov


    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

  10. #9

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    What powder is recommended for my 7mm rem mag? I like to get several kinds so I can make some light/medium loads as well as some big heavy hitters. Is there any ways to tell how much "bang" one powder has over another?

  11. #10
    Senior Member Longshot38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless
    What powder is recommended for my 7mm rem mag? I like to get several kinds so I can make some light/medium loads as well as some big heavy hitters. Is there any ways to tell how much "bang" one powder has over another?
    I like IMR 4350 for my 7mm. It works really well. Now 7828 is another possibility but I prefer the 4350 in 7mm Rem Mag.
    Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you.

    Sum dominus fati: sed sum princeps meae.

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