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Old 08-15-2010, 12:46 PM
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im reloading 5.56 brass once fired with VVN140 and have got the limits as minimum 24.7 and maximum as 26.8, now while attempting to load 25.5 grains it over flowed.

Is this normal or is my Lee Perfect powder measured buggered? just how many grains can a case hold?
Old 08-15-2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jubbles View Post
im reloading 5.56 brass once fired with VVN140 and have got the limits as minimum 24.7 and maximum as 26.8, now while attempting to load 25.5 grains it over flowed.

Is this normal or is my Lee Perfect powder measured buggered? just how many grains can a case hold?
Two issues,
1) Are you sure you developed the load with the same headstamp brass? military and comercial brass has a different wall thickness and consequently a different internal volume.
2) did you establish the max charge with the same powder? Your powder will fill up a case different if the particle size and shape is different, plus it will pack more closely if dribbled slowly through a drop tube.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:23 PM
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1. yes

2. yes I am using VVN140 ONLY
Old 08-15-2010, 04:10 PM
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I am not familiar with vitavori powders but many of the powders I use pack much denser if I pour them through a long tube. I do this when trying to max load my 218 Bee using H322.

I have not had to do this my 223 loads, but then I load this caliber with H 4198. a max loading for me is 22 grains of H4198 in a military case with a 52 grain bullet.

If you decide to experiment, i would not buy a drop tube. Most people use a 12 inch piece of hard copper as a drop tube and it can make a real big difference for small cases.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:29 PM
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I couldn't find any load info on N140. But according to the books it's burn rate is comparable to Varget so min and max numbers sound correct. Case volume is different for each manufacture. PMC and other military 5.56x45 cases hold less powder. I drive a 53 grain matchking with 24.5C grains of IMR 3031, .1 grain away from the load max with Winchester and Remington brass. I have always wondered how anyone could get more than 25 grains of any powder into the .223 case I guess now I know.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:55 PM
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I couldn't find any load info on N140. But according to the books it's burn rate is comparable to Varget so min and max numbers sound correct. Case volume is different for each manufacture. PMC and other military 5.56x45 cases hold less powder. I drive a 53 grain matchking with 24.5C grains of IMR 3031, .1 grain away from the load max with Winchester and Remington brass. I have always wondered how anyone could get more than 25 grains of any powder into the .223 case I guess now I know.
I reloaded a bunch of Remington .223 with 25.9 grains of H335 for 52 grain Sierra match bullet heads last night. Full chat is 26 grains but there was room for another 2 or more easily. I can only assume H335 is a good bit finer than IMR 3031.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:22 PM
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I love these kind of threads. I've never used any of the VV powders but I may have to give it a try after reading this just to say I did it ... just in case.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:09 PM
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I reloaded a bunch of Remington .223 with 25.9 grains of H335 for 52 grain Sierra match bullet heads last night. Full chat is 26 grains but there was room for another 2 or more easily. I can only assume H335 is a good bit finer than IMR 3031.
I've not used H335 what speeds are you getting with the 52 grain?
Old 08-16-2010, 05:17 PM
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I love these kind of threads. I've never used any of the VV powders but I may have to give it a try after reading this just to say I did it ... just in case.
Me too Gallo, I didn't even know there were other powders other than IMR until becoming a member here. LOL that 24.5 compressed nets me 3265 + or - 10 fps and drop from 100yds to 200yds is 1.4 inches. 300 I'm down about 4.8 inches and at 400 yards cross deflection is worse than the bullet drop. But if another recipe can be found that is faster and bucks the wind better count me in.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:11 PM
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I've not used H335 what speeds are you getting with the 52 grain?
According to a guy's chrono I ran them through a few months back an average of 3350 ft/s

I'm not usually very adventurous on powders. I'm a Hodgdon man and only usually use two powders H4895 for my full bore rifles and HP38 for my pistol calibre under levers. I kind of stumbled on H335 when someone recommended it for reloading my pistol calibre rifles as being a good all rounder. It tended to be a bit smokey for our indoor range so I went on to HP38. I had this big tub of H335 doing nothing and wondered what I was going to do with it. Then I noticed on the label it'd do for .223 and figured I'd use that and save the H4895 for my bigger rifles - it's about $15 dollars cheaper per tub than the H4895 I was using beforehand.

EDIT. Looking at my reload data and notebook I'm getting pretty much the same velocity with 25.9 H335 as I was with 26 grains of H4895 The .1 grain saving in powder is negligible but the overall cost is much cheaper.
Old 08-16-2010, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchking Man View Post
I couldn't find any load info on N140. But according to the books it's burn rate is comparable to Varget so min and max numbers sound correct. Case volume is different for each manufacture. PMC and other military 5.56x45 cases hold less powder. I drive a 53 grain matchking with 24.5C grains of IMR 3031, .1 grain away from the load max with Winchester and Remington brass. I have always wondered how anyone could get more than 25 grains of any powder into the .223 case I guess now I know.
Max capacity on commercial .223 brass is listed at 28.5 grains. That'd be all the way to the top of the neck, obviously.

I actually load 27 grains of Varget as a standard load with a ~2.22 OAL (Hodgen list 27.5 as max on the bottle, although my book says the max load is lower and to use a longer OAL, so please don't duplicate this load). In several different gas operated rifles I have never seen any signs of pressure. It is a compressed load, but many of the mixed head stamp commercial cases I've tried will probably hold 28.5 grains.

Each and every case is a bit different, and military brass like Lake City is usually as much as two full grains lower in capacity, so 26.5 grains max. Only way to know for sure is to 1.) Weigh each of your empty cases and sort them, that'll get you similar volumes for each or 2.) Fill your cases to capacity with water, then weigh the volume.

That'll get you pretty close.
Old 08-16-2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
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Max capacity on commercial .223 brass is listed at 28.5 grains. That'd be all the way to the top of the neck, obviously.

I actually load 27 grains of Varget as a standard load with a ~2.22 OAL (Hodgen list 27.5 as max on the bottle, although my book says the max load is lower and to use a longer OAL, so please don't duplicate this load). In several different gas operated rifles I have never seen any signs of pressure. It is a compressed load, but many of the mixed head stamp commercial cases I've tried will probably hold 28.5 grains.

Each and every case is a bit different, and military brass like Lake City is usually as much as two full grains lower in capacity, so 26.5 grains max. Only way to know for sure is to 1.) Weigh each of your empty cases and sort them, that'll get you similar volumes for each or 2.) Fill your cases to capacity with water, then weigh the volume.

That'll get you pretty close.
I'm guessing that military bullet heads are a good bit heavier than the usual commercial reloads so the lower capacity isn't an issue.
Old 08-17-2010, 01:04 AM
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Powders vary by denisty. The weight versus volume. I never used any of their powders.

If you're new to reloading, run several trials on your powder measure. I won't reload until I weighed atleast 6 or 7 charges out.

Remember, it's accuracy over velocity. Most of my rifles are really accurate around starting charges.
Old 08-17-2010, 06:40 AM
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Powders vary by denisty. The weight versus volume. I never used any of their powders.

If you're new to reloading, run several trials on your powder measure. I won't reload until I weighed atleast 6 or 7 charges out.

Remember, it's accuracy over velocity. Most of my rifles are really accurate around starting charges.
True enough. However, accurate and consistent as my starting loads are, I find that they don't index with my military graduated sights until I start ramping them up. For example, last week I was shooting my Lee Enfield (fitted with traditional ladder sight) on the starting load for H4895 and although the groups were tight at 100 yards I had to set the sights at 200 yards to compensate for bullet drop. This isn't really a big deal on, say, a generic rough and ready unmarked sight as used on most under lever rifles. However, on a military rifle you want to be able to judge a range and then set your rear sight accordingly and quickly.
Old 08-17-2010, 06:42 AM
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Sounds like you might be trying a compressed load. Be careful my friend.
Old 08-17-2010, 09:11 AM
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What weight bullet are you putting over top of it?

The 140 powder really doesn't come off as really accurate load untill you hit the 69 grains and up bullets. Then it seems to run middle of the road.
Old 08-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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Problem is sorted now, was my screwed up scales.
Old 08-17-2010, 05:24 PM
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I'm guessing that military bullet heads are a good bit heavier than the usual commercial reloads so the lower capacity isn't an issue.
This may be true, but I'm confused by the statement.

The standard military load is M855, which is a 62 grain projectile with a lead base and steel core surrounted by a copper jacket. It is not only heavier than an average civilian loading, it is also much longer, comparable to some civilian 75-77 grain bullets.

I would say the most common civilian load is a copy of the old M193, which is a 55 grain projectile with a lead core and copper jacket.

While it is true that the standard military load is heavier, I'm not sure how one would think this plays into the capacity of the case?

I say this because neither the 28.5 grains capacity of the commercial .223 case nor the slightly lower powder capacity case for Lake City military brass (due to the thicker case wall) can not be approached by any civilian load I know of at safe, particularly SAMMI-approved, pressure levels.

The military would be using over-filled, compressed powder charges in their brass if it could without having them destroy the weapon they are fired in, as it would result in greater lethality, longer theoretical range and a flatter trajectory.

The non-canister grade powders the military uses and the NATO pressure ratings (and MPI / HP MIL-B-11595E barrels) do just that vs. civilian ammunition loadings. They achieve greater velocity than a standard commercial load. If they could go higher, they would. The cartridge is maxed-out with today's available powder and metallurgic technology.
Old 08-17-2010, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
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This may be true, but I'm confused by the statement.

The standard military load is M855, which is a 62 grain projectile with a lead base and steel core surrounted by a copper jacket. It is not only heavier than an average civilian loading, it is also much longer, comparable to some civilian 75-77 grain bullets.

I would say the most common civilian load is a copy of the old M193, which is a 55 grain projectile with a lead core and copper jacket.

While it is true that the standard military load is heavier, I'm not sure how one would think this plays into the capacity of the case?
The general loading rule of thumb is the heavier the bullet the less grains of powder required (see any reloading manual for the same powder with varying weights of bullet heads for examples). Because the military round's casing is thicker (due to higher pressures created) it tends to have a slightly lower capacity than the thinner walled commercial brass. However, because the military round is heavier (as you say it's steel cored) this isn't an issue because it'd be filled with less powder anyhow.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:18 PM
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I have reloaded many tens of thousands of 5.56/.223 rounds, so I do know a little bit about reloading but also still have much to learn.

It's possible I'm incorrect, but to the best of my knowledge, the reason the books show lower powder charges with heavier bullets are that they are physically much longer, therefore seat deeper and create higher pressures with lower powder volume because of that seating depth. Much like a "setback" in any bullet size will cause a pressure spike.

Also, steel is lighter than lead, that's why the M855 has to be so long to equal a 62 grain weight, while a full lead core bullet at 62 grains is shorter.
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