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Posted: 6/14/2009 6:09:56 PM EST
Has anyone noticed the new lots of varget being more dense that older ones.
A newely purchased lot is making a compact case with my load. Loads from several years ago are not compact.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:25:49 PM EST
I noticed the exact same thing two days ago while loading some 77 gr SMK for .223.

I have not fired them yet to see if they are safe.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:40:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By jhud:
Has anyone noticed the new lots of varget being more dense that older ones.
A newely purchased lot is making a compact case with my load. Loads from several years ago are not compact.

You sure you don't mean less dense than older powder?
If you're compressing loads now and weren't with older powder, then the newer powder is less dense, and the older powder was more dense.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:19:34 PM EST
I was wondering much the same.

I just loaded my first .308 cartridges and was compressing the powder. I am concerned if this might cause a kaboom. Another reason for concern is that I started w/ 42.2gr which is just about the min. starting load. I don't have calipers so I loaded using factory ammo as a guide. Loading 168 bthp sierras.

any advice or comments ?

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:33:11 PM EST
Your compressed load shouldn't be a problem, unless it pushes out the bullet.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:36:31 PM EST
Reloading without calipers is bad juju. The reloading gods will be angry. Mechanical or electronic digital versions are available cheap. Look at Home Depot, Lowes, better automotive stores. etc.

Smokeless powder is relatively safe compared to primers, black powder, etc. Crunching randomly stacked small cylinders of powder grains such as varget, in the case, with bullet insertion is not a bad thing unless you go crazy with it. One problem that surfaced recently with another reloader, related to this situation, was when he lost control of the neck "tension" and the compressed powder slowly pushed the bullet back out after the initial seating.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:18:15 PM EST

Thanks for the info I will run out an get a set of calipers. I just have not wanted to spend the money as I'm (like many) between jobs right now. I suppose if I load up near max COAL some of the "compression" will go away Do you think I'll be able to do proper work - up's with VARGET? I'm not to sure I would be able to get 4 more grains int there, even with a little more room. On that note is there a better powder choice? Something a little denser that burns as clean or maybe even cleaner? (It is a direct gas gun after all).

Thanks Again for the input
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 4:45:10 AM EST
My opinion is don't worry about it. Many of the max loads in the reloading manuals have a C next to them indicating compressed loads. My varget loads for the AR are a full grain under max and are still compressed. NO signs of pressure anywhere. Like I said, it is in my opinion that if you are loading in between MIN and MAX you are OK if it is compressed. Now, on the other hand if you are past max and its compressed, that could be a very bad thing indeed. Just do like anything else, if you are concerned about it, load up a few in .5gr increments from min to max, start low, shoot them and look for pressure signs.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:20:08 AM EST
I've never had any problems with compressed loads with Varget. As long as it's a sane load, it's fairly forgiving. Other powders are not quite as forgiving though. Stay within max, and your OK. That said, I have used it in cartridges other than .223, and I am always a bit more leary of compressed loads in them, so I simply won't use 'em. There are lots of HP shooters using compressed .223 Varget loads regularly though, so I wouldn't worry about it based on their results.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 10:17:42 AM EST
Just for sanity sake I bumped my charge down to 24 gr, compared to the previous load of 24.5 gr.

Having the bullet back out is not a concern, neither is pressure. At 24.5 the load was nowhere near max, and my necks are holding a good bit of tension.

If the new varget is not as hot as previous lots.. that is where my problem may be. I have yet to test the new loads. If they need more powder to meet the prevous lot of ammo's velocity, It might not happen with the lack of case space.... this probably wont be the case though.
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