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Reduced Rifle Loads
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

I thought this might be an interesting topic.

I see a number of reasons for using reduced loads in rifles.
1. Reduced powder use hence cost.
2. Lower recoil.
3. Less time waiting for barrels to cool.
4. Enabling the use of cast lead bullets
5. Longer brass life.

I have used reduced loads in. 223 and found these fun for those days that all you want to do is plink away a steel target. I have never got serious about it though until I watched the youtube videos that are linked below while searching for information on the 6.5x55.

The big problem is finding reliable load data for pistol speed powders in rifle calibers other than a few pf the popular ones such as the. 223 and. 308. So do any of the Nuts have some wisdom or experience they want to share on this topic?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKDUBUWvBfU
m.youtube.com/watch?v=I5RLP8He8ok

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

As a sub sonic shooter, I shoot a lot of reduced load.
I think you may want to add #6 on your list, often reduced load could improve accuracy.

For powder, the easy one would be trail boss, although a lot of people uses Unique.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Mac, I think it's a great idea !!!
It's a lot of the same reasoning I got my 221Fireball Very Happy

Guys I've known that have done it have refered to it as a hobby within a hobby.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Mac you may want to read this www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm

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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Thanks Gelandagan. Going to open a beer and study some of those tables.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

I work up a lot of reduced loads. I can't always get to the 500 yard range plus without dedicated load development, its hard to hit a water jug at that distance for terminal performance testing. So I use reduced loads from 25 to 250 yards to replicate longer range impacts. I have found a that:
- Trailboss won't win any awards for consistent velocity so don't expect it to shoot accurately. Its hard to get velocities up to 2000 fps. I was stuffing as much into the case as I could including stopping every 5 to 10 grains to compress what was in the case (.243, .277, .300 WM) and its always shot fine.
- most bullets designed for high-speed rifles do not expand well below 2000 fps.
- you may need to use shorter bullets to compensate for loss of stability due to the lower launch velocity.

I just started using H4895 for reduced loads. Any of Hodgdon's published loads for H4895 can be safely reduced to 60% of max.

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

I have been loading cast bullets in centerfire rifles for decades using Unique powder. Reduced loads are useful for training new shooters and woods loafing while looking for small critters.

There are warnings regarding the use of certain powders being dangerous in reduced loads. I have had good results using IMR4895 in my rifles.

Good topic. All the best...
Gil

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

I load 7.62x39mm sub loads with trail boss. not looking to win any trophies for accuracy,minute of rabbit at 25yrds is any Gods amount enough for this Kiwi. main use I see for them is finisher rounds that dont cause big boom or wreck more meat than needed. and possums ,hares ,bunnies and cats while out after deer etc without disturbing area, through a suppressor they are just a phiiitttt, as quiet if not more so than subsonic .22 through moderator.
oh yeah other HUGE reason/advantage is for recoil shy person or one who has developed a flinch...they get you back shooting and used to big rifle again,when a normal load put in you have been "reprogrammed" by the gentle loads.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

I should have mentioned that I use Clays with a load right from the Hodgdon reloading guide. The load is for 55 grain jacketed but it works fine for tumble lubed cast around the same weight. It isn't a great accuracy load but it knocks over the spinners just fine. The cast bullets do no damage to the steel as they hit not much harder than 40 grain lr bullets. I must see if I can improve the accuracy as soon as a good weather day and my free time coincide.

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Aloysius
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:42 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Mac, visit www.hn-sport.de/en/pro...ading.html and see what they give for loaddata for their copperplated bullets. I normally use Vitha's N110 powder. Now here's the trick: don't do loaddevelloppement, use the data they give and only change COAL to get the best results.
I tried to get the same results with other powder, but that's not easy at all. In my opinion: start with N110 and afterwards try to improve these results.

Using lead bullets makes me chose between 2 kinds of powder: a very fast burning powder or a powder used for magnumloads in a .357 or .44 RM. I can never predict which approach will be the best without testing.
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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

MacD wrote:
I thought this might be an interesting topic.

I see a number of reasons for using reduced loads in rifles.
1. Reduced powder use hence cost.
2. Lower recoil.
3. Less time waiting for barrels to cool.
4. Enabling the use of cast lead bullets
5. Longer brass life.

I have used reduced loads in. 223 and found these fun for those days that all you want to do is plink away a steel target. I have never got serious about it though until I watched the youtube videos that are linked below while searching for information on the 6.5x55.

The big problem is finding reliable load data for pistol speed powders in rifle calibers other than a few pf the popular ones such as the. 223 and. 308. So do any of the Nuts have some wisdom or experience they want to share on this topic?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKDUBUWvBfU
m.youtube.com/watch?v=I5RLP8He8ok

I think the reasons you mention are ones often discussed but mostly bad:

1. The difference between a full power and a reduced load is usually just a few grains of powder. You're not going to save that much.

2. Lower recoil is the reason most people use reduced loads. Pretty silly I think. They go out and buy some fire spitting weapon and the first question is how they can reduce the load. Kind of like buying a Corvette and then installing a governor to limit speed to 35 miles per hour.

3. Maybe your shooting is different than mine. The only time my barrels get hot would be shooting a CMP match. Other than that, they never get so hot I need to let them cool.

4. Rather than calling cast bullet loads reduced loads, I would prefer to call them optimal loads and I fully endorse that concept. It's called loading appropriately for the bullet you're using.

5. I suppose with the price of brass, longer life would be advantageous but it's never stopped me from trying to get the most out of what I'm shooting.

If you want to load something with pistol powder, try contacting Seafire, the Dark Lord of Blue Dot Loads, at 24hourcampfire.com.

Subsonic loads have also been mentioned. I wouldn't call them reduced loads but optimal loads. You're unlikely to get optimal accuracy with a light bullet and a reduced load. You'll probably go with a heavy bullet (like a 220 grainer in a 300 Blackout) over a small load (say 10.5 grains of 1680); it's a load that optimally fits the purpose and not a light load.
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

What would you call it if you have an antique that you want to be careful of and still shoot but with less than full power? (Just curious about the semantics, don't want to offend anyone)


Suz

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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Only one answer for that question Suz...common sense. It's sensible to go easy on an old war horse 'cause they just aren't as strong as they used to be mate.

For all you Trail Boss users...give some thought to trying Alliant PROMO. I use it for my Clay Target loads in my 12g and also in my reduced power loads in my 30.30 because its more accurate by a long shot than TB.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments Grum. I should have given a more complete reasoning for my list so here goes.
1. Powder Savings
My goto powder for the. 223 is either CFE223 or IMR8208 if I can get it. Both cost about $45 locally. I get about between 250 and 300 loads respectively out of a 1# can. I use Clays for my plinking load which I can buy for $35 a pound and get over 2300 loads.
2. Lower Recoil
Not a biggy for me although it makes rapid snap firing with a bolt gun faster as retaining your aiming point is easier. I took my neighbour and his 14 YO out for his and her very first shooting experience and the mild recoil and report made it a good introduction to shooting for them both.
3.Less Time Waiting for Barrel to Cool
I perhaps should have worded this one better. On a warm summer day, even with my medium profile barrel, continuous shooting will eventually cause enough barrel heating to result in vertical creep in POI. Ever do transits? That is an exercise where you move through several types of targets and stances including spinners, shotgun clays hanging from a bar and sitting on the berm face and several other targets at varying ranges and elevations and then finish with 10 aimed shots at a 50 meter target. Usually 90 rapid fired rounds with your partner stuffing mags furiously and then one miniute for those last ten shots. Cool barrels lead to "kool" results.
4. Enables Shooting of Cast Lead Bullets
My Clays load gives me around 1000 FPS which is slow enough for even non-checked lead bullets. My regular loads for an equivalent jacketed bullet are all over 3000 FPS. As a bonus shooting lead costs me pretty well nothing for bullets. Using even bulk Hornady SP's at $18 per hundred puts me back $414 if I shot 2300 of them.
5. Longer Brass Life
Not so far an issue for my. 223 but my 35 Remington eats brass after only a few firings. I have had the rifle checked and only neck size the cases but the case design seems to limit brass life. These are also Remington cases which may be a factor. A reduced load would help me get more loads from each case and more range time with this rifle, a pump action. It took me several months and numerous emails and phone calls to find cases so I am a bit worried about using them up shooting paper and gongs. This is why Glenandagan's post got me all excited as it had load information for pistol speed powders in this calibre.
6. Optimum Loads
Not my reason but a good one that you also seem to see as a benefit. Haven't gone there yet but plan on it soon as my aimed shots at the end of a transit are not a pretty sight.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Reduced Rifle Loads Reply with quote

trail boss I can get in a 434grain container for $15
versus a 1/2lb for much more initial outlay and would last forever at 6grains a load.
if I can get a sample of that powder I may give it a whirl Vince.

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