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varget powder

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by IheartGUNS, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    Does varget meter well? I'm getting up to .5 over. Is it the powder or is it my powder measure? Using hornady lnl ap incase you're wondering.
     
  2. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I use Varget and the Hornady power dispenser as well (the handle mechanism is a little different). I have a problem every half dozen throws or so where the sticks of powder feel like they're trapped as I turn the handle, and feel as though the sticks literally 'cut' as I dump the charge. I figure that is pretty common with the stick powder, and since I weigh every load, I don't care enough to make it an issue (if anyone thinks that's wrong, please tell me). You may or may not feel this in the handle of your AP. Mine throws each charge consistently within .1gr any time it doesn't catch. When it does catch, I roll the handle back down and lift it back up, and I can get a full gr over my intended charge. I have had a problem with Varget where the complete charge may not drop all the way, and may get stuck up behind the throat insert - have you experienced that where maybe it's not charging one case enough, and the next gets over charged? Something to check maybe... To be honest, I weight everything for consistency anyway, but that has been my experience.
    When I tried TAC, which is a ball style powder, I didn't have any of these issues, and the consistency between each powder charge was great.
     
  3. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    I have experienced exactly what you typed, except I get up to .5gr over. I have never gotten a half charge though, what happens with mine is that i'll get a perfect charge and slowly it'll start to go up. I'll say about after 3-5 charges, it'll drop a perfect charge. Also no problems with ball powders.
     
  4. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I see... the method I use is when I set up for a session, I will load the unit with powder (I empty it back in it's carton so it stays fresh and doesn't settle in the powder dispenser), set the meter about where I believe it should be, then drop 5 or 6 full charges before I even take my first weight to see if it's set up where I want it. If adjustment is needed, on the 'dump' stroke, I hold it in that position while I adjust the meter, then I drop 5 or 6 more charges again before I take my first weight... It is only after I get those several 'charges' that I take the weight to make sure the fall of the powder in the dispenser has become consistent enough to fill the nooks and crannies in the meter, and I begin to get consistent throws (with my other issues mentioned above, not withstanding).
    Yesterday I was watching a video on Youtube where they were setting up a Dillon 650 (as I was drooling), and the guy did the same thing with his powder dispenser (sans cases) to make sure the metering block was calibrated properly. Because I don't have an AP, I didn't know about having to do that on there, but then I do the same thing, so why not, right?
    Hope this helps, I like what Varget does for me with my groups... but I am still saving up for a chargemaster. If I was pumping out quantity I would continue to work on getting to the bottom of your issue. .5gr difference in the charge can play hell on your groups downrange.
     
  5. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    Only problem I've had with Varget is as the hopper on my powder dispenser (Lee) gets lower, my charges seem to get heavier. With a full hopper I can throw 35-40 perfect 38gr or 35gr charges for my .243 and 22-250, respectively. But as it gets lower, it starts creeping up until it's throwing .2-.3gr more than when I started. That's when I empty out the dispenser completely, and refill it, dump 3-4 charges and put them back in the hopper, then check the next 3 for weight, and they are typically right on where I want them to be. But now I weigh the Varget charges every other case, and have seen it do this almost without fail. None of the other powders I use (all stick powders) have this phenomenom happen.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Varget is universally considered by Reloaders everywhere to be a difficult powder to "drop" uniformly. Most of it's bad press is brought about by it's popularity. All "Stick" powders have the same issue to a degree. The problem lies with the granules, being cylindrical, getting caught when the metering device tries to stop it's flow from the hopper. This leads to erratic movement of the mechanism thus erratic flow of powder. I posed the question "Which powder measure dispenses Varget uniformly". Even those who used the gold standard Harrell Measures stated that Varget was a difficult powder.

    For those that don't want to invest in a $300 electronic dispenser, just be prepared to get a good trickler to go along with your scale.

    To illustrate another reason why Varget is such a problem, take a pair of tweezers and add individual granules to your scale. Look at how many it takes to make .1 grain. Not many, so an error in the dispenser of a few granules will yield far greater error than smaller particle powders.

    The only way I've found to dispense Varget with total accuracy is to use a Chargemaster Combo (although other similar types may work as well).
     
  7. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    it does not meter well...

    when loading my .308 loads, I use an RCBS electronic dispenser and manually dump the powder into a powder through die...

    only way to get accurate loads... if accuracy is your concern, it's the only way to guarantee accuracy...

    if just for plinking, reduce your load to stay safe and being 0.5grains over won't be an issue...
     
  8. IheartGUNS

    IheartGUNS WaCo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    You know what the great thing is about Varget? It's pretty insensitive to charge variations and temperature changes. As long as you're not red-lining the load, just let it wander. Also, this powder seems to perform most accurately at minimum, not at maximum, I think I'm pushing a 150gr SMK with 44.5grs and it's a dream to shoot out of my .308... nice mellow load, and as accurate as I could ever want.

    Also, to the person talking about charge weights growing over time, that's called powder settling, that's why many powder measures have a baffle in them.
     
  10. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    I use a powder baffle in my RCBS measure... no issues. Throws fairly consistent. Also use a consistent "throw" technique on the upswing & down. Great on 30-30 and others.
     
  11. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    It's also a powder that's difficult to get in trouble with, especially in .308. Before you can get to that "Ka Blooey" load, the bullet starts to crunch powder in the case. Not like some other powders that will rattle loose in the case with max load aboard.
     
  12. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I use Varget in .30-06 M1 loads.
    Using a Redding measure, after filling the hopper, I tap it 25 times on each side with the handle of a screwdriver.
    A baffle helps, too.
    As noted above, all stick powders will always result in some "cutting".
    Different measures handle this with varying degrees of grace.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Why not just buy one of those "Personal Massagers (batteries required)" like they're selling on TV now. Tape it to the side of the powder reservior.:thumbup: Make those powder granules so "excited" they'll just do whatever you want of them.;);)
     
  14. e55komp

    e55komp tacoma Member

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    i load varget like its going out of style, i typically run about a 1/4 hopper through before metering to get rid of any static charge, and it seems to equal out pretty well. making sure you have a consistant amount of powder in the hopper helps with consistancy in my experience.
     
  15. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    +1 on this.

    Use a powder baffle and be consistant with your handling of the charge handle on the up and down stroke. The design of most powder measures will occasionally cut extruded grain powder granules. I don't have any problem staying within +/- a tenth of a grain using the powder baffle and a consistant even manipulation of the charge handle when using Varget. Powders like IMR 4350 on the other hand are a totally different story with thier larger kernels.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Lee has a good idea on how to stop this. The use a polymer wiper in the Perfect Powder Measure and the new versions of the autodisk powder measure. Too bad the rest of the measure is so cheaply built.

    Another approach for handling "stick powders" that with every new powder introduction seem to get closer and closer to that of rice, is the Omega Powder trickler.

    Ammo Reloading | Reloading Equipment | Omega Powder Trickler | Dandy Reloading Tools

    About $70 for the two speed manual. On slow it can dispense one granule at a time and on fast fill a case in short order.

    They even have an "Auto" model which uses your balance beam scale. A photo beam controls the cut-off when the scale beam passes the "center point". The Auto model is about $170 depending on where you purchase it.

    Because Varget is such an SOB for the old standby measures, lots of new solutions out there.
     
  17. tdocz

    tdocz Beaverton Member

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    In my xl650, Varget meters really well when loading .308 but is a mess and pita for loading .223.

    Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk 2
     
  18. tdocz

    tdocz Beaverton Member

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    More to do with the smaller neck opening in .223 casings, and the larger size Varget powder granules, I think...

    Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I too had this problem with my 650. The solution for me was to take the powder funnel (that moves up and down in the powder die) and polish the inside until it shined like one of Elizabeth Taylor's jewels. This makes sure the powder doesn't hang up at all in the funnel.

    For .223 with the small neck, I just hold the handle down for an extra count or two in the "rhythm" I use to get consistent loads. Some of the old time Dillon users on the Dillon Forum recommend that one count "one, two", when the case is up in the powder measure die. this allows time for all the powder to flow through the itty bitty hole in the funnel.
     
  20. tdocz

    tdocz Beaverton Member

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    Lmao! I think I may have to purchase a "personal massager" myself. I saw one that had adjustments for both European and Asian massage modes. I'd probably just leave the device on Asian massage, since I suspect firearms might shoot better with ammo that has been treated to a happy ending. :D

    Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk 2