Rounds in the last four months

I kept forgetting to make a post about my reloading activities. Partially because there hasn’t been much. But it was greater than zero and I intended to make my usual posts. Oh well.

March

80 rounds of match grade .223. This was four sets of 20 using various weights of CFE 223 powder. Even the hottest loads, showing some minor high pressure signs, were almost 20 fps slower than previous loads with Varget which showed no pressure signs. Varget is one of Hodgdon’s Extreme Rifle Powders which is extremely consistent from lot to lot and extremely temperature stable (actual test with 308 Winchester):

VargetExtreme

CFE 223 is not part of their Extreme product line.

April

125 rounds of match grade .223 using the previously tested Varget loading.

May

216 rounds of match grade .223 using the previously tested Varget loading.

2509 rounds of .40 S&W.

175 rounds of these were a load which tested hotter than expected. They resulted in a Power Factor of 182.7. My previous tests indicated this load should result in about a 175 PF. I was quite perplexed at this until I looked at my data closely. This velocity measurement was done when the temperature was 80F. My previous velocity measurements had been at a lower temperature. I verified this by cooling some of the ammo to 35F. The velocity was over 25 fps slower which was equivalent to a powder charge of 0.1 grains less. I put these rounds aside for a match in Idaho on a cold day.

The remainder of the .40 S&W rounds were of the load I wanted to use for USPSA matches when the temperature is 60 F or warmer.

June

61 rounds of match grade .223 using the previously tested Varget loading.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 7,439 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 2,126 rounds.
300 Savage: 50 rounds.
40 S&W: 100,872 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 134,891 rounds

Over 100K rounds of .40 S&W! That’s kind of cool.

6 thoughts on “Rounds in the last four months

    • I don’t mind you asking but I’d rather not say. The bullet manufacture says I’m 0.8 grains over the maximum. Other manuals say I could go another 1.5 grains higher and still be well below maximum pressures. I’ve convinced myself the reason the bullet manufacture specified the maximum they did was because the case is at “108% of capacity” with their load. I’ve measured the fired cases and primers every way I can think of and can’t find any indication of over pressure. My reloading process involves “doing some things” to get more powder in the case without it pushing the bullet back out.

      I’m not going to publish a load that is over the recommended maximum by even one source.

  1. It’s pretty hard for any powder to match Varget in any cartridge it is suitable for. Unfortunately when powder gets scarce it disappears first.

  2. Fascinating. I think it’s safe to say that you’re in the “one percent” when it comes to hand loading. In the leftist mentality it means that the rest of us, who load far less and have thus less knowledge and abilities in the craft, are supposed to hate you, I guess,…you low down One Percenters, you. We’re supposed to hate you so the government can have pretext to redistribute your carefully-made ammo to us, for if you’re better than someone it means you’re deliberately holding that person back.

    Nice chart there too (I assume the temps are in Fahrenheit).

  3. Dang, my 39k round count is so puny.

    A couple years ago I went through an 8# jug of H322. this was the most consistent velocity 55g bullet velocity so far. I need to do it again. Double base ball powders have nothing on stick like varget. it’s pretty fast burning and may not be appropriate for 75/77gr.

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