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Subject Topic: The "Full Case of Powder" Theory Post ReplyPost New Topic
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turbo1889
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Posted: August 07 2018 at 4:55am | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

This came up in the 221 thread without really being
fleshed out so I figured I would start a thread on the
basic theory.

Long story short, the thery being that more often then
not the best accuracy of a reloaded will most likely
occur when selecting a powder that 95%-100% fills the
case capacity without producing overpressure with the
selected bullet.

The logical result of this theory being that accuracy
will more often then not suffer when you use a powder
that only fills the case up a little bit and not full
up. Thus the often reported issues with getting as
high of accuracy out of a reduced load in a large case
compared to just using a cartridge of the same caliber
with a smaller case capacity.

By this theory 221 should usually be more accurate
then 223 or 222 with reduced loads that equal 221
performance. Which is what a number of posters on the
221 thread pointed out their experience had been not
only with 223 or 222 downloaded to 221 performance but
also when downloading to 22-hornet levels as well
compared to just using 22-hornet.


So does the theory hold water in general across a
large span of different calibers and cartridges? Does
using fillers change this? How about using full case
compressed loads of slower burning powders (such as
using a full case compressed load of cheap surplus 50-
BMB powder in 30-06 for 200-gr. cast bullet loads)
rather then using something like 12gr. of Blue Dot for
the same load which is less then 50% case fill.

I have my own views and experience in this area but
will state them a little later on, want to start this
discussion and hear from a few others first!

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RT58
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Posted: August 07 2018 at 2:03pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

While the "higher load density" thought does have merit, it will not necessarily give the best results in every situation.

Accuracy depends on a number of different things and is a lot deeper than your post suggests.




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Buffalogun
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Posted: August 07 2018 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

After handloading and shooting for over 30yrs. I've learned that nothing is carved in stone.

Each firearm is an individual and you won't know about the accuracy until you shoot it.


Mike

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JD45
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Posted: August 08 2018 at 1:20pm | IP Logged Quote JD45

Buffalogun summed it up. Stuff is accurate when it decides to be accurate.
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LAH
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Posted: August 08 2018 at 1:54pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Across the board in bottle neck cartridges that theory
will probably work. Like they say nothing cut in stone &
I'm no expert on this as I've not owned a varied enough
selection of rounds.

I do know by 30-06 does good with slightly compressed or
highly compressed loads. The last time I checked an '06
case would hold about 61-62 grains of IMR4350. I used 60
grains with a 150 Speer. The load was hot but safe & it
would put 3 of them under an inch at 200 yards.

Then there is the .22-250 which seems to do good pretty
full. Like I said: The theory may hold some water.

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RT58
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Posted: August 08 2018 at 5:08pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

The theory behind the full case is that if the powder moves around, even a little, it can change the burning rate of the powder. This would affect the velocity from shot to shot which would affect accuracy and increase the deviation from shot to shot. I've seen a lot of loads that did well even though they were not at 100% or more.

There are a lot of things that affect accuracy and sometimes you will get lucky and not have to do everything you might have to in other cases.

There is nothing wrong with using a case full of "too slow" powders. If it is way too slow you may get unburned powders in your barrel and nitrate deposits that will suck moisture out of the air like a sponge, so make sure you keep them clean. If your load consistently burns the same amount of powder at the same rate you can still get good accuracy from it.

Fillers can be tricky because they add weight and take up space in the expansion chamber and this must be taken into account when working up a load. Reduced loads are usually made using powders that are faster for your cartridge. They will burn completely and result in lower velocity but they can also easily be loaded too high for your firearms maximum pressure level and adding a filler will increase that even greater. That is why it's best to use powders that are less position sensitive and skip the filler. Most modern reloading manuals only care about the highest velocities and the most cartridges and don't give information about reduced loads so the handloader doesn't have pressure data to start with. Older books and manuals that do talk about reduced loads have mostly older powders that are no longer made so while you can learn about them you are still pretty much on your own. Having your own pressure testing equipment is a great help here, but very few people have it and a lot of reduced load data on the internet isn't pressure tested.

I haven't seen much about the relatively new field of Transitional Ballistics but hopefully information will come out about how fillers affect bullets as they leave the bore. I would think heavier fillers hitting the bullet as it leaves the bore could really mess with lighter bullets accuracy.

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joed
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Posted: August 08 2018 at 5:19pm | IP Logged Quote joed

My observations have been based on the .25-06 which I have
loaded and shot for 40 years and that statement does not hold true
with this cartridge.    

I was always concerned because most powders tend to fill the case
to about 87 to 90%.   It has never given me anything but great
accuracy.    

Maybe accuracy is fine between 87% to 100%, I can't answer that
though.   But I will say the .25-06 is somewhat finicky on what you
feed it.

The .308 is a cartridge that I have fooled with for about 15 years.
Most powders fill that case between 93% to 110%.    This cartridge
is not finicky with any powder I've fed it.   Also very accurate so
maybe there is a benefit to being around 95% or more.

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RT58
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Posted: August 09 2018 at 6:22pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

One thing I forgot to mention on the case full of the slowest powders.

If you look at the chemical composition of powders many of them are the same but their burning rates vary across the charts. This is because of the size and shape of their webs and some of them also have deterrent coatings to slow them down even more. You will note some powders often have warnings to not compress them and this is because the grains will get broken or crushed and if they have coatings the base grain is exposed, all causing the powder to burn at a faster rate. This can lead to unexpectedly high pressures and should be avoided. You can load them to 100% of available space but should not compress them.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: August 17 2018 at 6:39am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Back when cartridges were loaded with black powder,you had to fill the case.

There are lots of loads listed as most accurate in the manuals that are not "full case" loads. Those loads may not produce the best accuracy in your gun.

It comes down to going to the bench, shooting and keeping good notes.

As I have gotten older, my idea of acceptable group size, has increased.



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RT58
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Posted: August 17 2018 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote RT58

There are a lot of things that affect accuracy, some affect it a lot while others not as much. The full case theory isn't a theory, it's a fact, but it's one of those "not as much" facts. Finding a powder with the ideal burning rate for your cartridge and firearm is much more important.

What one shooter thinks is accurate may not even be "good" to someone else. There are a lot of steps some shooters will take to get their groups a little smaller while others are happy with a lot less accuracy using a lot less effort. Like everything else with shooting, it's up to the individual.
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Buffalogun
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Posted: August 18 2018 at 9:32am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

These "theories" remind me of a few years ago when Browning introduced their "BOSS" system for their rifles.

Some folks automatically assumed the BOSS was the end all of accuracy searches. Get a BOSS rifle and you can shoot very small groups.

They found out the BOSS system only adjusts the barrel harmonics. And, does nothing to correct bad chambers, bad rifling etc.


Mike

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