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R*stricted said: Hi all, I am new to reloading and was wondering if there are any powders that would work equally as well in both 303 British and in smaller handgun calibers such as 9mm? I have both and would like to simplify the process of reloading by using only one powder to start with. Later I would like to experiment with powders for my specific uses, but for now it would be great if one powder would work for both. Thanks in advance Ryan
*TOM said: You might find one that will do a half-butted job for both, but it's akin to a mechanic looking for a combination hammer and micrometer. The 9mm requires fast-burning powders and the .303 slow-burning powders. Expecting one powder to do both is a tad unrealistic. Powder's relatively cheap - check your reloading manual (you do have one, I hope?), select two appropriate ones and go for it. You'll get better results.
*EM said: Depends on what you want to do with the 303. If you're running reduced loads for cheap plinking, sure, you can use a fast powder in the 303. Bullseye and Unique are two of the most common ones that will do quite well with your 303 at reduced loads, and can be worked up to a good load in the 9 mm. If you want full velocity with your 303, you have to go with what Atom said and run a slower powder. I've had good success with Varget and am working up a load with RL15. There's tons of choices out there.
B*omer said: If you are content to shooting cast bullet loads in your .303, Unique can be used for both the .303 and the 9mm pistol cartridge. The caution here is to work out a loading procedure which prevents double charging the rifle cartridge with pistol powder. Should that occur, the event will prove memorable, and could result in damage to the rifle and injury to the shooter and to anyone near him. As Atom has said, the cost of powder is not that restrictive, and IMR 3031 is a good rifle powder for the .303, as is IMR 4895, 4064, 4320, or W 748. Depending on your load, at $35/lb, the rifle powder cost for each .303 cartridge will run from 20 to 25 cents or $20-$25 per 100 rounds.
R*stricted said: Thanks for the info, guess I will be using two different powders. Anyone know what powder Winchester uses in their Super X? And does it really matter what manufacturer of primers I use?
G*nderite said: Make of primers does not matter. each of the 70,000 memebrs of Gun Nutz will give you different favourite powders for each caliber. Assuming you are shooting jacketed bullets in 303, my suggestions for a newby are: 303 3031, 4895, 4350, RL15, Varget. Buy whatever your dealer has on hand. I use RL15. For 9mm. I suggest buying cast lead bullets of 125 or 135 round nose. For powder, buy 231, Tightgroup, or Clays. I suggest 231 and the 135 gr bullet. There is a type of powder called "ball" powder. Grains of powder look like tinly black ball bearings. If one of your powder choices is ball powder (none of my suggested rifle powders is ball) it is critical you do not buy both a pistol and a rifle ball powder. They look almost identical and pistol powder in a rifle will take it apart - every time. I have a small collection of rifles blown up by the accidental use of pistol powder (none by me). It was either left in the thrower or dumped back into the wrong can. One of the ammo techs at a major bullet maker did this with the boss's personal Reminfton 700 in 270. It can happen to the best of us. Easy to avoid. don't own both powders.
*agleye said: Ganderite gives great advice here. I am having good success in my new Ruger #1 303 British, using IMR 4320, but 4064 and 4895 both work well also. Reloder 15 is a great choice, and I am experimenting with Reloder 17 as we speak. Eagleye.
R*stricted said: Thanks for the great advice
B*ribal said: To all those powders, I would add H335 and H380. Ball powders with Magnum Primers and neck resize only.
G*ry D said: Varget, (which is very similar to IMR4895, but tends to be a bit more consistent, and a tad more expensive) is very popular in the Enfield community. 40gn Varget under 180gn Sierra matchkings is a very popular load with very similar performance to the later ball ammunition. For 9mm I have my Inglis BHP shooting to point of aim with 5.7gn of Unique (which I got originally for my .455's, but started using in my 9mm) under 124gn FMJ
G*nderite said: A very good powder for most handguns is IMR7625. It meters like water and is in the unique speed range.
Ch*ckbuster said: Buy a copy of the August issue of Handloader magazine. John Barsness has a good article on reloading the .303 British.
R*stricted said: I have recently used IMR 4064, but have not had a chance to get to the range with the loads. I loaded multiple charges ranging from 36 grains to 40 grains, moving up in 1 grain intervals. I will post my results once I make it to the range later this week
R*cket Surgery said: My tests with H380 didn't work that well in 303british, so try to stay away from that one. I'd highly recommend getting a LEE collet neck size only die for this caliber, along with some dental floss. For powders, go with the medium-fast ones like Varget, RL15, etc. It's fairly similar to what you'd use for 308/223 so they're not going to sit locked up for 9 years if you don't find them useful in 303.
n*nuk said: I'd highly recommend getting a LEE collet neck size only die for this caliber, along with some dental floss. Hmmm... does necksizing get stuck in your teeth?
sm*llie said: My test load for the .303: 38 grains of IMR-4895 with a Sierra 180 Pro-Hunter flatbase, seated to the OAL of a Mark VII Ball round. It is a bit slow (2250 ft/sec from an SMLE, 2350 from a Ross) but it doesn't kick a lot and it is accurate: 1/2 MOA if you can hold it. Another good load for the .303 is 40 grains of IMR-4064 with a Hornady Spire-Point 150, seated so the cannelure shows. Rather zippy but still safe, about 1/2 MOA in my P.-'14. I have recently been converted and am ordering that nice new Lee Collet Die for my .303s. Most of my brass is WW2 stuff (Defence Industries, of course: best brass ever made, anywhere) so it's just as ancient as I am. I want us all to last a while longer and a die that doesn't stretch brass at ALL is a good idea. Now, if I can just do something about these legs....... .
R*stricted said: Another good load for the .303 is 40 grains of IMR-4064 with a Hornady Spire-Point 150, seated so the cannelure shows. Rather zippy but still safe, about 1/2 MOA in my P.-'14. . This is the exact load that I ended up with for accuracy in my No4. I worked up the loads from 36 grain to 40 grain in 1 grain intervals. The 40 worked the best for me at 100 yards I was at 3 inch
mwj*nes said: If you're shooting cast bullets in the .303, I have had moderate success with 700x. I use 12 grains of 700x with a 170gr gas checked wheel weight bullet in the .303, and 17.5 grains for 1 1/8 12g trap loads. While i've not done it, you can use 700x in 9mm as well. The info i'm finding is 4gr min, 4.7gr max, with 115 fmj and oal 1.1
D*UGLAS D said: I'd highly recommend getting a LEE collet neck size only die for this caliber, along with some dental floss. The only thing Lee on my bench is 2 sets of green box shellholders so please explain how dental floss gets used with the .303 and a Lee collet die.
T*rgetNorth said: For my Lee Enfields I use 1cc of reddot behind a 32 cal cast lead pistol boolit, sized to .311. I have to set the range for 400ish to shoot 25-50m or so, but it's good for practice shooting from hunting positions. This is from memory so look it up before trying it out!
J*hnn Peterson said: Now in 303Br. I'm shooting a Jungle Carbine but in the various 303's I've had, there are three powders that have given me good results, IMR 4064, Imr 4320 and IMR 4350. This is using primarily three jacketed bullets, the Hornady 174gr, Sierra 180gr and Woodleigh 215gr. Cast bullets and the powders required is another chapter. From Ken Waters Pet Loads in his tests with the cartridge he states, "On this premise then, my choice of a single all-round powder for the .303 would be IMR 4064 on the basis that it has given the best combination of accuracy and velocity". Each rifle may have it's own preference but the experiences of and info gained by people like Waters would be a good starting point if nothing else.
R*stricted said: thanks for all the info