Go Back   The Hunter's Life > GUNS & AMMO > RELOADING
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

One, or two "good" powders?
  #1  
Old 06-02-2006, 11:34 AM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default One, or two "good" powders?

I wuz up 'til the wee hours of the morning paper-whipping some ballistics using QuickLoad, and made an interesting (at least to me ) observation. Looking at the .308 Win. and the .338 Mauser Ackley Improved , I3031 comes out as the "best" powder in almost ALL bullets. In the .257 Roberts Ackley Improved it was I4350. Of course I need to define "best", so here it is:

QL provides a table of potential powders based the specs of the cartridge and some initial input parameters. Some of the specs are:

SAAMI max pressure;
Cartridge OverAll Length;
case capacity;
specific bullet, and so forth.
Some of the input parameters are:
seating depth;
load density (percent of case filled);
barrel length, and so forth.


The output is a table with columns that show:

the the name of the powder,
the charge,
the load density,
the resulting muzzle velocity (MV),
the max pressure,
the % of the charge that burns before the bullet leaves the muzzle,
barrel 'timing' (bbl harmonics related to departure time of the bullet), and
pressure at the muzzle when the bullet leaves.


Often, there are more than 100 resulting powders that have 'potential' based on the input criteria and cartridge specs. While thorough, it's tedious to sort through those, and many of the powders are either European or Australian powders. Some offer high velocities, but use load densities up to the max I allowed (110%) AND burned as little as 60% of that powder before the bullet left the muzzle. Sorting through what was "good enough" was tough under those circumstances. So... I decided to 'contrive' an objective method for scoring the various suggestions.


First, I'm not interested simply in the powder/charge that gives the highest MV. Neither am I obsessed with "efficiency" (defined below), but each of those components have some value to me. So... I calculate the muzzle energy (ME) for each powder selection in the table. Next, I divide the ME by the charge. This results in what I call "efficiency", (units are ft-lbs per grain). To come up with a 'score', I add the, muzzle velocity and % of the charge burned before the bullet leaves the muzzle, subtract the charge weight, and multiply that result by one one-hundredth of the "efficiency". The resulting value is the "score". I then sort the data by "score" ranking them from highest to lowest, and eliminate those powders (foreign) not available to me. I also eliminate all powders whose MVs were not within 100 f/s of the max MV.

What I found interesting, was that for the .338 MAI, I3031 was the top choice for all bullets selected. In the .308 Win, I3031 was also the top choice or within the top three. Furthermore, I3031 didn't even show up in the list of possibles for the .257 RAI. In that cartridge with one exception, I4350 was always the top choice. In that one exception, it was still only down to third place.

"So what?" you might legitimately ask. Well, the "what" is that with literally hundreds of powders available today, and all the hoohah spewed by "gun writers", it is often difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. I had no predetermined favorite powder chosen for any of these cartridge/bullet selections. In fact, for the .338 MAI, the powder I used to do the actual real-world load workup, didn't even make the final cut. It wasn't within 100 f/s of the top MV.

So... I'm gonna try some I3031 in the MAI and .308 Win., and some I4350 in the .257 RAI. AND, I'm going to do this little exercise for some more cartridge/bullet combinations.

7x57 (100, 115, 139and 165),
8x57 (125, 150, 175, 185, and 196),
6.5x55 (90, 100, 120, 130, 140 and 160).

Then I'm gonna start looking at the wildcats I've "designed" on the 8x56R case.
.323 (125, 150, 175, 185, and 196),
.330 (150, 175, 205, and 220),
.338 (160, 175, 185, 200, 210, 225),
.358 (180, 200, 225, and 250),
.366 (250, 270, 285, and 300).

It'll be interesting (at least to me), to see if a consistant "good" powder is ID'd for each or any of these cartridges, AND to see if "efficiency" goes up or down as bullet weight increases.

Paul

Oh yeah; in the .338 MAI, "efficiency" goes up with each heavier bullet:

160g-63 ft-lbs/gr,
175g-64,
185g-66,
200g-67, and
210g-67.

As it does in the .308 Win:

110g-59 ft-lbs/gr,
130g-62,
150g-63, and
180g-65.

In the .257 RAI, it goes up and down:

75g-48 ft-lbs/gr,
85g-46,
90g-47,
100g-49, and
115g-51.

Last edited by gitano; 06-02-2006 at 11:58 AM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #2  
Old 06-02-2006, 12:35 PM
English English is offline
Moderator - Hunting w/ Dogs
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Near Saginaw, MI
Age: 54
Posts: 412
English will become famous soon enoughEnglish will become famous soon enough
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

Man Paul do you ever sleep? I was gonna say "get a hobby" but it appears you already have one!!! lol

I'm curious how close the same would hold true to other calibers based on the same case as the .308...ie the Rem .260, .243 win, and the 7mm-08?

Mike
__________________
BAD RIVER FIEST
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #3  
Old 06-02-2006, 01:53 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by English
Man Paul do you ever sleep? I try not to.

I'm curious how close the same would hold true to other calibers based on the same case as the .308...ie the Rem .260, .243 win, and the 7mm-08? Good question. I'll 'run a few numbers' and see what I get.

Mike
Paul plus 5
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #4  
Old 06-03-2006, 07:49 AM
LLANOJOHN's Avatar
LLANOJOHN LLANOJOHN is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Castell, Texas
Age: 78
Posts: 1,865
LLANOJOHN will become famous soon enoughLLANOJOHN will become famous soon enough
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

Paul,

Well, that to me is some interesting info! Over the years I have used a number of different powders for various cartridges. My most used powders are AA4350 and H-4831sc and VV150 as the new kid on the block. Have some 4064 somewhere ..... never used it however! For the little .223 Remington...well, got such good accuracy with BallC-2 I just never tried anything else.

Look forward to posting of your results, my friend!

Ol' John
__________________
Life Member-NRA-TSRA
Riflesmith-Bolt & Lever Centerfires Only
Left-Hand Creek Rifles
Mark Twain was right-"There is no such thing as too much good whiskey!"
My best advice.."Best to stay outta trees and offa windmills!"
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #5  
Old 06-03-2006, 01:01 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

John,

I need everybody, (including myself), to keep in mind that this is a "paper" exercise, and as such may not resemble reality when it gets right down to it.

The author of QuickLoad has had to make some assumptions, and we do not know what those assumptions are. What I DO know is that with the loads I have run through QL for the cartridges for which I have chronograph and pressure data, QL cannot "get" to the velocities I get without exceeding the pressures I measure. In other words, it underestimates both velocity and pressure. Not terribly, 50-100 f/s and 10% of pressure.

Getting the pressure and velocity numbers to match requires significant manuipulation of the powder characteristics. Since I'm not a powder chemist, and don't even play one on the internet, I don't know if those manipulations are reasonable or not. What that means is that when I move to other cartridges and perform other analyses, I don't know how the author's assumptions effect those results, since I don't have measurements (chrono or pressure), with which I can verify them.

"So", you might ask, "Why bother if the numbers might be voodoo?" Because... I'm assuming that the assumptions made by the author effect all the powders similarly. Therefore, while the absolute values, especially for velocity and pressure, aren't likely "real", the relative differences between powders should be. That assumption - that the authors assumptions affect all powders the same - is one that cannot be tested, and means that these "results" of my QL analyses need to be taken with a healthy grain of salt.

One powder that has yet to show up is 4831. That concerns me a little, because 4831 has been my "go to" powder for the better part of 30 years. It's just a very versatile powder. It's absence in these analyses is suspicious.

Also, I have tried (meaning actually loaded and fired), I3031 is several of the milsurp cartridges I have, and it has never proven to be as good as several other choices - N-135 and N-150 as prime examples. I3031 is alway touted as one of THE powders to use in milsurp cases (BL-C(2) and 4350 being the other two), because it is supposed to so closely resemble actual milsurp powders. While I have had good luck with BL-C(2) and 4350, I haven't had such good luck with I3031. I woudl note that 4350 shows up in the QL analyses as much as I3031, and usually in the top three choices.

Finally, the reason I'm really performing all this analysis, is that I'm trying to get a handle on barrel timing. QL predictes the exit time of the bullet, and based on Chris Long's theory regarding the barrel "shock wave", I could use the QL timing information to select potential powders and starting loads. I DID NOT include 'timing' in my figure of merit equation (the selcetion criteria I mentioned above), because I haven't had time to figure out how to incorporate it yet. When I do, it might change the outcome significantly. WE'll see.

I've figured out a way to post the data better, but it'll take me a bit to format it. When I get it presentable, I'll post it here.

Paul

Last edited by gitano; 06-03-2006 at 02:45 PM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #6  
Old 06-03-2006, 02:48 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

6.5x55 Data

mc - charge in grains
fill (%) is load density - percent of case capacity used by charge
vel(fps) - muzzle velocity
Pmax(psi) - chamber pressure in pounds per square inch
Z(%) - percent of powder burne dbefore bullet leaves muzzle
t(ms) - timeit takes bullet to exit barrel in milliseconds
Pmuz(psi) - pressure at the muzzle in PSI
ft-lb/gr - "Efficiency" = muzzle energy divided by charge
Score = -mc -((maxMV-MV)/2)+Z+"Efficiency"

Paul
Attached Images
File Type: jpg QL 6.5x55 LP 120 Barnes TSX.JPG (25.0 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg QL 6.5x55 LP 85 Sierra HP.JPG (28.2 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg QL 6.5x55 LP 100 Barnes X.JPG (20.6 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg QL 6.5x55 LP 130 Barnes TSX.JPG (23.6 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg QL 6.5x55 LP 140 Barnes X.JPG (21.2 KB, 34 views)

Last edited by gitano; 06-07-2006 at 08:17 PM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #7  
Old 06-03-2006, 03:10 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

7x57 Data

Paul
Attached Images
File Type: jpg QL 7x57 139 Hornady.JPG (49.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg QL 7x57 100 Sierra HP.JPG (52.6 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg QL 7x57 115 Speer HP.JPG (51.1 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg QL 7x57 162 Hornady BTSP.JPG (49.7 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by gitano; 06-13-2006 at 08:37 PM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #8  
Old 06-03-2006, 03:18 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

8x57 Data

Paul
Attached Images
File Type: jpg QL 8x57 125 Hornady.JPG (22.9 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg QL 8x57 150 Hornady.JPG (35.5 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg QL 8x57 185 Reminton.JPG (37.8 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg QL 8x57 195 Hornady.JPG (39.7 KB, 35 views)

Last edited by gitano; 06-08-2006 at 02:26 PM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #9  
Old 06-03-2006, 04:02 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 70
Posts: 19,639
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

.257 RAI Data

Paul
Attached Images
File Type: jpg QL 257 RAI 90 Sierra BTHP.JPG (52.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg QL 257 RAI 75 Barnes X.JPG (52.1 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg QL 257 RAI 85 CTBS.JPG (46.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg QL 257 RAI 100 Barnes TSX BT.JPG (52.8 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg QL 257 RAI 115 Barnes TSX FB.JPG (48.8 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by gitano; 06-13-2006 at 08:39 PM..
Reply With Quote

Re: One, or two "good" powders?
  #10  
Old 06-03-2006, 07:14 PM
Hunterbug Hunterbug is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play, Colorado
Age: 51
Posts: 4,324
Hunterbug is on a distinguished road
Default Re: One, or two "good" powders?

The 3031 does seem to do quite well. I am most interested in the 8X57 and 257 AI. I guess that it's time to start playing and see what I can do with this new data.
__________________
Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask how your government can go away and get out of your life.


The unarmed man is is not only defenseless, he is also contemptible.
Niccolo Machiavelli
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
.257 ai, .308 win, .338 mai, .338x56r, 6.5x55, 7x57, 8x57, fom, math, quickload


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Wednesday Coffee" with a "Warranty" buckshot roberts THE CAMPFIRE 3 08-03-2006 01:53 PM
WHY IS THE 2 3/4 " SHOTSHELL NO GOOD ANYMORE? m gardner FIREARMS & OPTICS 19 07-21-2005 11:45 AM
Comparing a "standard" to a "magnum" CAfrica RELOADING 20 12-08-2004 09:12 AM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:19 PM.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.