Reloading Alliant Varmint Powder?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by RKBA, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. RKBA

    RKBA Member

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    I usually use Varget or H4895 to load .223 and .22-250 but haven't been able to restock recently due to the panic buying. Last week I got lucky and found out that an acquaintance could get me some Alliant Power Pro Varmint - 8 lbs in fact, for a reasonable price. Of course I jumped on it, so now will be working up loads to replace my old Varget/H4895 standards.

    I'm curious what other users think of the Varmint powder?

    Accuracy? Velocity? Residue?

    In general, what do you think?

    Thanks -

    RKBA
  2. Darkker

    Darkker Member

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    SMP 739, or as you know it is Power Pro Varmint. Made in St. Marks, Florida by Defense contracting giant General Dynamics. Like just about all of GD's ball powder it has a (relatively speaking) cooler burning temp than most, so compared to 4895, or Varget, you will see much longer throat life.
    I have never found any of GD's ball powders to show any Hard Carbon fouling, that tends to plague the extruded stuff from Eurenco/ADI.

    Also like many of GD's powders they tend to show a loose "ashy" fouling unless run middle and up for pressures.
    I've been giddy with SMP842/CFE223, so abandoned my loadings with Varmint.

    Hope all works well for you!
    P7id10T and (deleted user) like this.
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    Nice to see someone else likes CFE223 too. It's replacing Varget in my .308 loads as well. More speed and less "crunch".

    Now if it would only return to the marketplace.
  4. RKBA

    RKBA Member

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    Thanks for the info Darkker - you really have some in depth knowledge of powder! :worship:

    The CFE223 was on my list but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to grab a keg of the Varmint for pre-panic price when I had the chance. One thing I've noticed is that they call for the use of magnum primers with it...

    RKBA
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    Typical suggestion for some ball powders depending on the cartridge and size of load.

    As an aside, I haven't seen the need with the CFE223, even when shooting on days far too cold for a sane person to be at the range:cool:
  6. Darkker

    Darkker Member

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    Standard suggestion for ANY ball powder... Old habbits die hard. This isn't 1950's ball powder, we ain't hunting in the mountains in the winter, WHILE shooting reduced loads in a 340 Weatherby(THAT specific reason is why they were invented by Federal originally)


    ....So you probably don't want to hear that I have 17# of it behind me right now, do you?:cool:
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    That would make you "underprivileged" compared to my "stash". I stocked up on CFE223 and a couple others back when a) it was available; b) Powder Valley had a "Free Hazmat on 32# purchase of powder" promotion. I had them stuff a hazmat container as full as they could get it with 32# of CFE223, H4350, and Primers. LOTS of Primers. My big problem right now is to make sure that I build a "Magazine" so I am in compliance with local laws for storing primers and powder. I should be able to hold out until either sanity or supply returns.

    My wife has since forgiven me and actually has accused me of being "visionary" in making that purchase, given today's insanity.


    BTW, people will never be able to accuse me of being a "Scalper" or "Gouger". I won't be selling any, it's all for personal use.:thumbup:
  8. RKBA

    RKBA Member

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    And I was proud of just finding 8 lbs...

    :wave:

    RKBA
  9. SIG383

    SIG383 Active Member

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    ...and I was happy with the 1# of Varmit I was able to get...
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 Well-Known Member

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    You all need to start listening to those voices that tell you things are going to turn to poop when you hear them.

    Feinstein has had her AWB bill ready to introduce for years. Just waited for the right monemt and when it did happen (Sandy Hook) she jumped for joy over her chance to bring "California" to the masses.

    Just like when Obama was first elected, we're again reaping the rewards of a panic. Aside from components, has anyone looked at the gun racks that used to be full of AR-15's?

    Heck, if the lunacy gets any worse, I may end up going to a Gun Show and selling one of my AR's for enough to retire on, again. That's just ONE, I'll keep the rest for a while longer.
  11. sabjork

    sabjork New Member

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    I was able to get ahold of the PowerPro Varmint. The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading 9th (2012) edition has very extensive load data on this versatile new powder. It seems that it is suited for .223 from 50 grains up to 90 grains. It is listed as a slower burning powder but the load data seems similar to the H4895/I4895. Don't rely on this though, check on the Alliant site :thumbup: Since it is very small spherical powder it meters very well.