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Adding The Right Powder

Which Powder for Which Cartridge

   Depending on what cartridge you’re reloading, determines what powder you’re going to need.  Each powder has different burn rates and therefore affects the pressure directly.  Some burn cleaner than others, while others fill the case better and you get more loads per pound.

   I personally like to find powder/loads that fill the case 90% plus.  However I don’t much care for compressed loads.  My thought is whenever you start to compress the powder, you’re crushing the powder and changing the burn properties.

Don't Be Misled

   Don’t be fooled by the numbers and think just because they are same between different brands that they are the same.  For example, the H4198 and IMR 4198 are great burning powders for the .223 and the bigger straight walls like the 444 marlin and 45-70.  Granted they are made by the same company which is Hodgdon and have similiar burn rates, the IMR 4198 produces slightly higher pressures.  This means the recipes are not interchangeable.

    Then there are some that are practically the same.  H110 and W296 are excellent powders for magnum pistol cartridges and are essentially the same and almost interchangeable.

No Two Are Alike

   Firearms are like people in a way, in that no two are alike and each have their own taste for what they like.  The great thing about reloading is finding that particular load you like.  What works for me may not essentially work for you.  I have a 44 mag in a bolt gun with a 1:20 twist.  With that fast of twist it should be able to stabilize heavier bullets however that’s not the case with mine.  I’ve talked to others with the same rifle and they have no problem with 300gr bullets but mine functions better with 210gr.  It is the same with every component of the recipe.  You just have to experiment some to pinpoint what works well for you.  When you find it, you’ll enjoy it that much more.

Until next time, enjoy.

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