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New Reloading Strategy

Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    I have to admit...the current situation has me rethinking some things...

    In the past, I have always striven for ultimate accuracy available from every load, even 55gn & 62gn FMJ's for my 223's. But now, I'm thinking a bit different. Now I'm considering two paths.

    On the one hand, thinking of just loading everything up to within about 1% or 2% of max, seating to SAAMI length, in order to feed through any magazine. The goal being to achieve desired velocity parameters with whaterever primer I happen to cap them with.

    On the other hand, thinking of finding the minimal load that will cycle reliably and save powder.

    Also thinking of just how viable otherwise "unsuitable" powders can be.

    Example: 4831 or slower powders in something like a 308 or even 223. Or...fast efficient powders, like pistol powders in larger cartridges. I've used Unique and Red Dot to load 223 55gn FMJ to about 2,200fps in the past.

    Anyone else thinking about this stuff?
     

    toxic

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    I've been thinking along the same lines, instead of wasting a few rounds finding what may be the "best" load for a bullet, use a commonly used charge weight and call that good enough. Or like you said doing maybe half grain off max for .223/5.56. I've also thought about a fairly mild load as well to conserve powder and get more rounds loaded per pound. And yes I've been thinking about trying different powders as well that I have on hand, that may not be ideal for the weights but can work. My biggest hurdle will be primers as I only have like 3k SRP left and of course the supply is non existent. Without the ignition source everything else is useless.
     
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    DarinC

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    I’m right there with you. I hate having rifles built for accuracy and feeding them anything but a custom Load, but I also don’t want to burn components looking for That load either.
    If I knew this would be nicer in a year or two, It would be business as usual, as I dont shoot as much as I’d like, but the fear of never seeing another primer on the shelf again has me nervous too
     

    Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    Also finding powders that work over larger range of cartridges.
    I'm very heavily invested in various rifle powders from AA2230 burn rate to the 4350's.

    I came across an old 8lb jug of AA3100 (4831 burn rate) the other day for $160. I didn't buy it, wonder if I should have.

    Also came across a case of WLRM primers, which I don't need at all...but wondering again if I should have bought them.
     

    Tchitcherine

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    Agree that shortages will force switching components, including less than optimal ones, so more frequent work-up and need for efficient process.

    Interested to hear and learn what people are finding as useful substitutions, and what the trade-offs come with. Are WLRM not a reasonable substitute for WLR? I was poking around on the Hodgdon reloading site, and was surprised to find a listing for .308 with 168gr. Sierra HPBT and ... 8 grains of Titegroup!?

    Also thinking about how to make more efficient use of what is available -- more deliberate intention for each range session, and each shot, milking it for data, feedback, improvement; identifying and working on what needs work vs. easy gratification. And more fitness, rucking, and cardio.
     
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    GMZ

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    We should all have hard copy burn charts and load data.

    Look for less popular powders that have good history. While people are fighting for 4 lbs of Varget you can sneak in the back and grab jugs of 4064 or 8208 or 100V etc.

    I’d say in addition to finding powders you can shoot, which is good practice, also find rounds that have a wide latitude of usable powders ie 223/308 or rounds that can use both SRP and LRP.
     

    isofahunter

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  • Jun 11, 2010
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    As with all hard time innovation occurs. Saving a grain or two does not add up to me. You might get a couple more loads per pound. However the use of different materials is key IMO. Pistol powder, subsonic, light or heavy bullets.
     

    Carlos Danger

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    Jan 29, 2019
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    I'm buying up all the talcum powder and wooden matches I can get my hands on. I'm not going to be left high and dry.
     
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    Skookum

    Jack Booted Thug...Crushing the American Dream
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  • May 6, 2017
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    As with all hard time innovation occurs. Saving a grain or two does not add up to me. You might get a couple more loads per pound. However the use of different materials is key IMO. Pistol powder, subsonic, light or heavy bullets.
    This is exactly the reason I came around to 300Blk after resisting it for so long. I had always viewed the 300Blk as an answer looking for a problem to solve. Then it hit me one day...

    The 300Blk is a "garbage disposal" of a round.

    I can use brass that I can literally find laying about for free. It will use small amounts of just about any pistol powder I can find, and it will shoot any random 30 caliber bullet I happen across.

    Since small pistol and small rifle primers are exactly the same size, I can even break down small pistol ammo and scavenge primers from them if I have to.

    Will it be 1/2moa accurate? Nope. Will it have the penetration or reach of a 308 or other caliber? Nope. Will it reach and poke holes in soft targets out to 200+ yards with any reasonable amount of accuracy?...All day long...and do it from an 8" semi-auto with a 20-30rnd magazine.
     

    CavScout85

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  • Jan 22, 2018
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    This is exactly the reason I came around to 300Blk after resisting it for so long. I had always viewed the 300Blk as an answer looking for a problem to solve. Then it hit me one day...

    The 300Blk is a "garbage disposal" of a round.

    I can use brass that I can literally find laying about for free. It will use small amounts of just about any pistol powder I can find, and it will shoot any random 30 caliber bullet I happen across.

    Since small pistol and small rifle primers are exactly the same size, I can even break down small pistol ammo and scavenge primers from them if I have to.

    Will it be 1/2moa accurate? Nope. Will it have the penetration or reach of a 308 or other caliber? Nope. Will it reach and poke holes in soft targets out to 200+ yards with any reasonable amount of accuracy?...All day long...and do it from an 8" semi-auto with a 20-30rnd magazine.

    That's some right headed thinking. I got a 300blk upper and just threw it in the safe. Maybe time to dust it off.
     

    Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    Anyone remember these:


    1610284066982.png

    The major problem with them in the past was that 30 cal barrels didn't have enough twist to stabilize them. Then, if you got them fast enough to stabilize, the sabots failed. But in a 300Blk, you can shoot these at relatively low velocity and have enough twist to do the job. If it worked, then you would increase the usability of the 300Blk even more by being able to use 22 cal bullets.

    I got curious enough that I ordered a couple hundred from E. Arthur Brown just to try out.
     

    spife7980

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    Feb 10, 2017
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    Anyone remember these:


    View attachment 7524524

    The major problem with them in the past was that 30 cal barrels didn't have enough twist to stabilize them. Then, if you got them fast enough to stabilize, the sabots failed. But in a 300Blk, you can shoot these at relatively low velocity and have enough twist to do the job. If it worked, then you would increase the usability of the 300Blk even more by being able to use 22 cal bullets.

    I got curious enough that I ordered a couple hundred from E. Arthur Brown just to try out.
    I was given half an old box of them for my 3006. Shot like crap but the recoil was amazing
     

    isofahunter

    Get Tough or Die!
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  • Jun 11, 2010
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    This is exactly the reason I came around to 300Blk after resisting it for so long. I had always viewed the 300Blk as an answer looking for a problem to solve. Then it hit me one day...

    The 300Blk is a "garbage disposal" of a round.

    I can use brass that I can literally find laying about for free. It will use small amounts of just about any pistol powder I can find, and it will shoot any random 30 caliber bullet I happen across.

    Since small pistol and small rifle primers are exactly the same size, I can even break down small pistol ammo and scavenge primers from them if I have to.

    Will it be 1/2moa accurate? Nope. Will it have the penetration or reach of a 308 or other caliber? Nope. Will it reach and poke holes in soft targets out to 200+ yards with any reasonable amount of accuracy?...All day long...and do it from an 8" semi-auto with a 20-30rnd magazine.
    I was same way, why in the hell do I need a 300blk. I bought one cheap as a toy years ago and discovered it is a neat round that is very versatile. Your point of being a garbage disposal is spot on. I have run bullets from 90 to 200 grains all with satisfactory results combined with a broad range of powders.

    I haves several 1k of the sabots. Experimenting with them in a couple platforms now.
     

    Skookum

    Jack Booted Thug...Crushing the American Dream
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  • May 6, 2017
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    I was given half an old box of them for my 3006. Shot like crap but the recoil was amazing
    I experimented with them in 30-30, 308, 30-06, and 300Win back in about 1999 or 2000. I never got them to shoot.

    But then again, I never shot them in a 7 twist barrel at 2,000-2,500fps either.
     

    brianf

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    Apr 8, 2010
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    Anyone remember these:


    View attachment 7524524

    The major problem with them in the past was that 30 cal barrels didn't have enough twist to stabilize them. Then, if you got them fast enough to stabilize, the sabots failed. But in a 300Blk, you can shoot these at relatively low velocity and have enough twist to do the job. If it worked, then you would increase the usability of the 300Blk even more by being able to use 22 cal bullets.

    I got curious enough that I ordered a couple hundred from E. Arthur Brown just to try out.

    Very interested in your AAR
     

    TripleBull

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    Feb 13, 2017
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    In the last few months, I've spent time to find all of the small town gun stores within 2 hours of home. It's been good therapy to meet more store owners and just shoot the shit about fun stuff with like-minded people and not think about a fucked up political world. I've broken the bank on all things ammo. I've found so much powder, I'm about to build a new locking cabinet to hold it all.

    Yesterday, I dropped $400 on factory ammo, powder, primers, a die set and I really couldn't afford it but I'd asked a shop owner to let me know if he could hold a thousand large rifle primers for me the next time he got a shipment. He was just stocking shelves when we got there so I grabbed a few boxes of 9mm, 45, 223, 308. Everyone is busy but lately, I am enjoying just getting out for a drive and seeing what's in stock here and there.

    Along the lines of the OP, I'm spending reloading time trying powder and primers that are not my pre-Covid go-to choices. The process has been a good learning experience.
     
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    Cascade Hemi

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    Feb 9, 2019
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    Anyone remember these:


    View attachment 7524524

    The major problem with them in the past was that 30 cal barrels didn't have enough twist to stabilize them. Then, if you got them fast enough to stabilize, the sabots failed. But in a 300Blk, you can shoot these at relatively low velocity and have enough twist to do the job. If it worked, then you would increase the usability of the 300Blk even more by being able to use 22 cal bullets.

    I got curious enough that I ordered a couple hundred from E. Arthur Brown just to try out.

    The problem wasn't twist, it was the projectile slipping in the sabot under acceleration.
     

    rustyinbend

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    Dec 9, 2018
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    All good strategies for defense and plinking ... but I started reloading (when I retired on Nov-1) to play and compete in ELR stuff out to and through 1-mile. Spent the last two years doing that with factory ammo with "just OK" success. Reloading gives me that extra advantage to tune components for long distances. So with that as context ... I'm doomed to have to search and pay extortion prices for components that serve that purpose, and to use these to "try, test, and tune". I'm well-supplied for the next shooting season for now, and I continue to stock up when the opportunities allow it. Squeezed supplies sucks ... but it's life and we all have to figure out how to deal with it (for now).
     

    nksmfamjp

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    Feb 10, 2006
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    Try this...shoot 10-20 shots in to separate bullseyes....ladder loads....shoot low to high...look for pressure and velocity

    Then with all acceptable velocity and pressure, find groups of 3 bullseyes that are closest. Shoot a 3 shot OCW on those.

    OAL.....0.050” off lands or max mag length

    Then with best group shoot 5 groups of 5 shots to get good velocity average, Sd and understanding of group consistency.

    I’ll bet you are happy in 65 shots.
     

    Skookum

    Jack Booted Thug...Crushing the American Dream
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  • May 6, 2017
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    Not being in survival mode myself, if I were in survival mode, don’t I want an accurate load?
    Ideally it would be one you worked up in times of plenty for the times of famine. That is not what is being discussed. Lots of other threads for OCW conversation.
     

    GMZ

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    I’m liking the 300 blk for these reasons. It was on my short list but never got round to it. Maybe I’ll change my grendel over.

    a 30 cal ar silent thumper sounds pretty slick.

    what’s a good 16” barrel?

    also anyone use cast in a 300 blk? Hope it doesn’t come to that but just curious.
     
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    Darkside-Six

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  • Oct 8, 2013
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    For me it’s business as usual. Thankfully I did not shoot a whole lot of handgun and 5.56 over the last year. Normally I spend the winter bulk reloading for all my hand guns and AR’s. It’s times like these I’m also glad I don’t use Varget in my .308

    My top priority is making sure I can shoot my regular amount of PRS matches this year. I have enough CCI 450’s to get me through end of July/mid August. So as long as I can find another box by then I’ll be fine. Otherwise I have enough powder and bullets to last me for a while.

    I don’t really load my 5.56 for accuracy so much, they’re more of a battle rifle and for plunking so I load up a mild load and go. They don’t shoot 1 hole groups but easily group well enough on a man size target at 200.
     

    Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    I don’t really load my 5.56 for accuracy so much, they’re more of a battle rifle and for plunking so I load up a mild load and go. They don’t shoot 1 hole groups but easily group well enough on a man size target at 200.
    This is my thinking as well. Most of my carbines are easily minute-of-man out to 600 yards or so. They might be better...I would never know, I'm not that great of a gas gun shooter.

    Even so, it has been my experience that loads on the lighter side tend to group easier. They might be a bit slow, or even a bit sooty, but a charge that is about 3%-5% off of max will very often group as well as the rifle itself will.
     

    DarinC

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    Also curious about running cast in a blackout. That would really stretch my supplies
     

    Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    Also curious about running cast in a blackout. That would really stretch my supplies
    I have never run cast bullets in any gas operated semi-auto.

    Having said that, I would fear lead deposition building up in the gas port and gas block. Maybe gas checks would prevent that, but then what about the suppressors. It would suck for a gas check to come off and baffle strike.
     

    6.5SH

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    I'd think you'd want a coating on a cast bullet. Also a fully broken in barrel where any burrs around the gas port have been worn down.
     

    DarinC

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    I should have clarified a bit. I was thinking cast subs in a bolt gun and use hi-tek on them. I hadn’t thought about how the lead would work in a can though.