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Varget not working for me in my 550b

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by XDRoX, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,317
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    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    After reading all the good things about Varget we loaded up some 223 tonight.
    Here was the problem. Every now and then as the powder fell through the die it would get stuck. Upon the down stroke it would unstick and fall out and make a mess. It metered pretty good, but this problem of course sucked.
    95% of the time it fell correctly, but of course when it didn't it was a hassle.

    Am I doing something wrong or is this just the nature of the beast (stick powder).

    BTW, we also loaded some with W748 and it worked great. I really like W748. I'm just glad I didn't buy a keg of Varget.
     
  2. dudel

    dudel

    5,043
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    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Make sure the powder funnel (part that slides up and down in the powder die) is clean and degreased. I ran a patch of bore cleaner through mine. Some like to polish the inner surface of the die (although I've not found it necessary to do that for Varget/223). I have seen that some of powder dies have a rougher finish than others.

    Your problem was a concern when I went tried Varget in 223. However I have no problems with it. Varget is a stick powder; but it's a very short stick. It was designed to meter well. The drop hole in the 223 funnel is pretty small. That's where I'd start working the problem.

    HTH
     


  3. Varget in 223 is what I use, loaded on the 550 ....What is happening is called powder bridging and the way I combat this is to first clean and polish the inside of the powder funnel a little bit and then when running your 550 at the bottom of the stroke bump the bottom stop just enough to shake the bridged powder loose and wait for it to drop ... Yes, it still happens about 3 times in 700 loaded but when it does the shell plate needed a little clean up anyway .....
    You will see an example of powder bridging when checking charge weight notice how slow the 25.3g of Varget pours out of the case into the pan, that is the how long you need to wait or hold at the bottom of the stroke ..... I found its a little technique different than straight walled pistol cases or larger necked case …….
     
  4. dudel

    dudel

    5,043
    567
    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Good tips and a good example on bridging.

    There is a difference dumping 5gr of powder in a straight walled case; vs droppping 25 grains of powder through a bottleneck case. P+P had an excellent point. Take a .223 case full of varget and dump it into the scale pan. Do the same with a 9mm/45ACp case with a ususal load of powder. Notice how much longer it takes the .223 case to empty? It takes the same amount of time to fill.

    I had (have) to force myself to a slower pace when doing rifle rounds. I'm dumping about 5 times the powder through a smaller hole.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  5. n2extrm

    n2extrm

    1,925
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    Feb 24, 2009
    XD,

    I never had that problem with Varget. I was not happy with the .2 .3 charge weight variance, but I got passed that worry quickly.

    Clean the powder funnel if you did not already. Some polish it as well mine is pretty smooth, so I did not. I have 2 45 funnels (one from the 550 and one from the 650) the one that I got with 650 is very rough and has surface rust, so I never opened it up. I would look yours over inside and out.

    You need to go slower when loading rifle then pistol. First the powder is much larger in size and the charge is 5 or 6 times larger give it some time to flow. Some users say they give it the 5 second or 5 Mississippi count to make sure of the flow.

    Some people claim to have put a fish tank air pump on the measure the vibration is supposed to help the powder settle and flow. I don't personal like the idea, but desperate times desperate measures I guess. I wonder of the effects of the vibration on the powder coatings.

    I personally believe there are better measures for stick powders, but maybe not as convenient. Dillon makes a couple of dies or adapters that allow you to use other measures like the Redding or RCBS bench style measures. You will of course have to activate the measure by hand it will not be case activated. I think this is a forced slow down and may help in that way alone.

    For a while there I was using the RCBs Charge Master and a powder funnel to load all my rifle stuff. In reality it is just too slow, at least for a gun like the AR. It is great for stuff like 6mmbr and 308 in a bolt gun. I am loading those on a single stage 100 or so at a time, I shot 60 or 80 at a clip on a given day. The AR is just too hungry for that.
     
  6. jmorris

    jmorris

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    I don’t use extruded powders in progressive presses any more. I had 20#’s of 3031 given to me and I even picked up an LNL because all of the owners said how great they worked with extruded powders. The LNL didn’t like it any better than the Dillon’s. Stick (no pun intended) with ball powders like 748, Ramshot TAC and Xterminator.
     
  7. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,317
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    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Thanks guys. I will check out the inside of the die. Probably in the future I will just use a ball powder instead, unless someone can convince me that Varget is in some way superior to Tac or W748.
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Chris, I have never had great results w/ any stick powder in the Dillon or RCBS powder measure, LNL too. I only load 308 on my 550B for my M1 & switched to TAC, AA2520 or sim ball powder. Just makes life sooo much easier.
     
  9. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    I don't think it help that i was seating bullets with the powder die..oops. My Lee Powder thrower works with any powder.. Ask XD. Its feels really cheap and is cheap, but it throws big stick powder, such as 3031 without a hiccup.

    Oh ya fred says trim, i am trimming.
     
  10. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Conifer, CO
    There's only one type of 'trim' that I'm interested in and it has nothing to do with rifle brass.

    To each his own I guess.


    Jack
     
  11. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    Jack You sick old man. You mean this trim.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  12. If you like Varget, consider IMR 8208 XBR for your .22 cals. I have been playing around with it with great results. However, as mentioned above by several of the guys, TAC is my go to powder with the .223 and the Dillon.

    Good Luck!
     
  13. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,317
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    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Good to know Fred. I'll try some Tac next. The good thing about buying rifle powder by the pound is it's gone before you know it. We went through a pound last night in just over an hour.


    I wanted to get Justin comfortable loading on my 550 so he loaded 200 rounds of 223 last night. Twice he forgot to index and used the powder die to seat a bullet:rofl:
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  14. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    You need psychiatric help... lot, and lots of psychiatric help. :faint:


    Jack
     
  15. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    What, psyc help..No way. To expensive, i could not afford all my top of the line gear if i did that. Besides i just Googled Gioajack's ex wife's and that's what popes up..:dunno:
     
  16. :shocked:ouch!
     
  17. n2extrm

    n2extrm

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    Feb 24, 2009
    That is just wrong! :shocked: Didn't hear he just suffered a heart attack? You are gonna kill the man! :faint:
     
  18. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,800
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Well, I guess we know who Dewey, Cheatem and Howe is going after next...

    Get on the phone Jack.. that's slander!
     
  19. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Revenge is best served cold... as soon as I take care of Little Stevie for the kidnapping El_Nino is next.

    Lawyers are for wussies, I don't need no stinkin' lawyers. :whistling:


    Jack
     
  20. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

    1,615
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    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    I am no match for you Jack. I am a inferior flat lander infidel. I would have no chance against your Kimber (though i like springfields better.). You can hit the wings off a fly at 100, so I'm to easy of a target. So excuse me sir, i will get back on me cheap red horse i rode in on "LEE" And ride off into the smoggy CA sunset..