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Optimum powder range for .243


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I have begun loading for my Remington R-25 in .243. I'll be loading 87 grain Hornady V-MAX bullets for spring and summer varminting, not much to do here out in the plains on my day off but ring steel with my 308's and shoot prairie dogs which the .243 should be good for. It's usually windy out here, the .17 HMR's are fun but will get blown off a foot with a good breeze, and the .223's aren't much better. Once deer and antelope season comes I'll load up something like the 90 grain Nosler Accubonds. I thought I'd keep the bullet weights similar so as to not have to remember drop for two very different loads. A friend shoots the 55 or 58 grain varmint  bullets out of his bolt .243 and the velocity is up around 3700 fps. Accuracy isn't bad but I prefer to use a bullet that's not so stubby. I have loaded up some of the  87 grain V-MAX  with H-4895 and IMR-4064. I tried to get out and test the loads a few days ago, but by the time I got out to my shooting area winds had picked up to near 60 MPH. Mother Nature must have known it was my day off. Hopefully next week I can get out to test those loads. I do have some H-4831 SC I could try, as in a couple of my loading manuals H-4831 was said to have been the most accurate powder tested, as well as the highest velocities. I was just wondering if it's best to stay in the middle of the road powder burn rate with the direct impingement system and if the H-4831 might be a bit slow to be optimal/desirable in the AR.

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After posting I read this, I believe Sierra put his out. If you read down to "powder selection" it says use nothing slower than IMR-4320. But that is for the M1-M-14 rifles. I have not seen H-4831 or IMR 4831 in loading manuals being used for the .308 but it seems that the .243 likes the slower burning powders better. 

Loading for service rifles: http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/gasgunreload.cfm

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Doing some more searching, I read the topic pinned above, "Superperformance ammo in gas operated rifles". Hornady says that powder works fine in rifle length gas systems, but not so well in mid length or carbine gas systems, overgassing which causes the round to want to extract from the chamber too soon. Superperformance is right next to H-4831  H-4831SC on the powder burn chart, so I will give it a try in my rifle length system.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The H-4831 SC didn't do so well. Accuracy was good, velocity was on the lower end to reliably cycle the action ( 2800 fps.) but the recoil seemed harsh. The recoil shooting the medium powders like 4895 and 4064 is almost nonexistent, like shooting a .223. With the 4831 it was more like .308 recoil, so I stopped shooting those loads and pulled the rest when I got home. I finally settled on 36.0 grains of IMR-4895 with the Hornady 87 grain V-Max, velocity was just under 3000 fps. and accuracy sub inch at 100. I want to try some different bullets like the Nosler Varmeggedon or Sierra varmint line, would like to get under 3/4 groups for a varmint load.


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Love that FDE, and the little bit of green - makes the landscape in the background look pretty good.  <lmao>


I WILL convert Ron to FDE one day.  He will ultimately realize that it is the perfect color.  :banana:

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Thanks all. Unforgiven, the scope is a long eye relief Nikon 2.5-8x BDC Force Encore. The big gun store here has had NO powder for the last few months, but the little mom and pop store has a few dozen different powders, mostly Hodgdon. The guy got 30 pounds of Varget alone, and it was all gone in a day. I bought some H-380, Benchmark, Varget and BLC2. The Benchmark is only suggested for 55 and 60 grain bullets in the .243, but the other 3 I'll try in the Remington R-25. Also bought some Nosler 80 grain Varmint Ballistic Tips.

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