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 Post subject: Varget vs 4895 vs 4064
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Mil-Surp Collector
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In another post I related my frustration at the velocity variations I was getting in my handloads when I chronograph them. Today was the worst with over 200 fps spread between my fastest and slowest rounds. These were not outlyer rounds either. The spread between my 2nd fastest and 2nd slowest rounds was 187 fps. I was shooting 7.62 x 54R, with a 180 grain bullet.

One of the range officers noticed me shaking my head and looked at my 18" groups I printed at a 200 yard target and asked me what powder I was using. I said IMR 4064. He told me that was a poor choice, and that I would probably do better with 4895 or Varget. He felt that Varget would be an especially good choice because it is less temperature sensitive. Never heard that before.

He asked me what primers I was using and I said Winchester. He said that was also a poor choice. He said Federal primers are far superior.

Now I wouldn't have paid much attention to him except this guy is a national championship rifle marksman, and he almost always wins our monthly rifle tournament at our gun club. And he has all the trophies to prove it.

From what I can tell, there isn't a lot of difference between the three powders as far as burn rate goes, indeed Varget and 4064 are almost identical.

What are your thoughts on this?


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:52 pm 
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4895 is an excellent choice. I have good results in my 30 caliber rifles. (Mosin nagant. k-31. british 303) I had a 22-250 that liked it the best. I don't know much about varget but I have been thinking about using it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:29 am 
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everyone has their opinions, I had heard that Varget was temp sensitive.

personally I use Mostly IMR 3031, and 4064. and I have a few pounds of varget and 4895 for a rainy day.

I have used a few different primers and had very little difference in ignition, my favorites are WOLF....

18" groups? did you slug your bore? and how does she shoot with mil-surp ammo? Ask your range officer to fire 3-5 rounds and see how his groups are.

187fps isn't bad, how do you measure your powder, are your case lengths equal, crimps consistant?

7.62X54r is my pet caliber....

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:54 am 
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>>>>
He felt that Varget would be an especially good choice because it is less temperature sensitive. Never heard that before.
>>>>

One of the reason's for Varget's popularity in the last 10+ years is that it is notably temp insensitive. For shooting High Power matches in CA, this is important, as 80 deg. F temp swings are expected in the course of a season.

>>>
He asked me what primers I was using and I said Winchester. He said that was also a poor choice. He said Federal primers are far superior.
>>>>

I'd never use Fed primers in a gas gun, I shoot M1 Garand's match prepped (full boogie NM prep) by Tom Luhmann, his recipe for my rifles was 46 gr Varget/175 gr SMK/WLR's in 3006.

If this guy shoots a match rifle instead of service rifle, it's moot what primers he uses, either that or he's got more $$$ than God and can buy factory Federal Gold Medal Match to practice and compete with.

Incidentally, Varget has proved to be an excellent powder for my handloads in a LOT of different calibers, including 8mm and 762x54R, as well as heavy bullet 223 and anything >150 gr in 308. Hodgdon has a whole line of "extreme" powders that are temp resistant, I've been moving from the IMR's to the H in 4198 and 4350 as well for this same reason. ADI in Australia is the source of these clever powders, they know a bit about temp extremes in Oz.

Regards,
Brian in CA


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:33 am 
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Sir, I've never used 4895 in anything, never felt the need. I use 4064 for the M1s, and M1A and couldn't be happier with it. To say that 4064 is a "poor" choice is just flat out wrong. Most people feel that 4064 gives a more consistent burn than 4895 and I seriously doubt I'll ever try 4895 UNLESS they quit making 4064. Varget is a great powder and I use it for the bolt guns. I feel it burns dirtier than 4064 though. As gar as primers go, I've always used CCI 200s or BR2s for LR and have never had a complaint. I use Rem. 7.5s for the AR and they also work very well. Part of the problem with your groups may be the bullet you are using. I'm assuming this is coming out of a Mosin Nagant? A guy in our club was shooting one and couldn't get more than a shotgun pattern with it at 50 yds until he messed around with different bullets. HTH


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:01 am 
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I to have been thinking of giving Varget a try, but there seems to be none to be had anywhere.
Old Charlie


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:22 am 
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I've expiremented with a number of different powders and found that I like the following for my rifles.

-H4895. Close to military powder, as is IMR4895. Can be used for reduced, and cast bullet loads. May not be the best powder for every application, but it works well with just about anything I shoot.

-Varget. Just started using it in my .243 Winchester varmint rifle, so I don't have a lot of experience with it, but it produces excellent accuracy. Similar to H4895 in a lot of ways, but published data indicates it is less sensitive to temp variations. Will be working up loads for other rifles as time permits.

-H4831SC. Use it for my K-31's. 48 grains and a 165 gr Remington Corelokt bullet produced a 5 shot .45" ctc group at 100 yards. See my avatar for the group next to a dime. Seems to work as well with metered charges as a lot of powders do with weighed charges. Works best with heavier bullets and large case capacities. Slower burning powder that produces more velocity with less pressure than most.

-2400. It's a pistol powder, but works great for low recoil cast bullets in the .30 cal range.

Hector

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:25 pm 
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turkey joe, this range officer's advice is not bad. But I think it has nothing to do with the actual problems you were having.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 2:00 pm 
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That's what I was thinking; I haven't been reloading for very long, but is it realistic that the wrong powder/primer combination could result in 18 inch groups out of an otherwise fine rifle? If anyone has seen that, please feel free to correct me, but it seems to me that the bullet would be the place to investigate.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:13 pm 
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Are you using Hornady bullets?

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:27 pm 
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I would not expect a different primer nor a different powder from the list of Varget / 4064 / 4895 to be the source of that magnitude of problems, no. There is something more dramatic at issue to make velocity variation and group size of the kind reported.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:19 pm 
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I use Varget for all my rifle loads. 30-06,8mm,308,and 223. HAVE ALSO USED IT IN 7.62X54 AND 303 bRIT. It is now the only rifle powder on my bench.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:42 pm 
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i use h4895 and cci 200 primers in almost all of my reloading...8mm 7.5x55 7.62x54 7.7japanese .303 british. and i've always had consistant results with it

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:39 pm 
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Yes, as Brian said, the standard powder out here in Cal for match shooting is Varget because of its consistency, and it's temperature insensitivity. I use it for match and hunting ammo in .30/06. .308 and 7x57.

Never had a problem with Winchester primers. I prefer CCI but will use Winchester if CCI is unavailable. I prefer

Quote:
That's what I was thinking; I haven't been reloading for very long, but is it realistic that the wrong powder/primer combination could result in 18 inch groups out of an otherwise fine rifle? If anyone has seen that, please feel free to correct me, but it seems to me that the bullet would be the place to investigate.


I suppose it's possible, but I'd investigate another cause. Does this rifle group well with commercial ammo? Do you weigh every charge or use a powder thrower? It's possible you have a bad lot of bullets. Have you tried weighing them? Did you check the seating depth for consistency? Are you using all one brand of case?

I think there's something else at work here besides just the bullet/powder combo.

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