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Discussion Starter #1
Let's see... I guess since this is specifically for the AR's, I'll try here instead of the Ammo can. I already discovered a nice load for non-AR .223's that isn't my Varget load but it won't cycle the AR.

Varget is always out of stock everywhere here. When it is in stock, everybody sells out real fast.

Anybody got a good fairly clean and accurate substitution for Varget? I hear Benchmark is good. Same with some of the Winchester powders.

My usual place only has Winchester, IMR and Hodgdon so I'm open to suggestions for a second choice backup powder. Been too long since my last reloading session and running out of factory ammo. Running out of .22LR, too. They so cheap that a brick goes real fast! :p
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Vihtavuori is the cleanest stuff available. It's metering qualities assure consistancy. Vihtavuori N120, N130, N133 for 40-69 grain bullets and Viht 540 for heavier hotter loads.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I use IMR 4895 in darn near everything.

I buy it by the 32 lb case (4x8# kegs), so it usually lasts a week or two :rolleyes:

I don't screw around with fancy, hard to find powders. I like to find something available in bulk that is proven to work, that's why I LOVE IMR 4895
 
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Discussion Starter #6
winchester 748, hodgen 335, both meter consistantly. IMHO, varget meters horribly, not worth the extra hassle.
I haven't tried it yet but there are a lot of loads using 4895, at least it's smaller than varget
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ramshot Tac or Exterminator work great, meter perfect every time and are extremely accurate with bullets 55 grains and up. I concentrate on 55,62,and 69 grain bullets. Varget works well AA 2520 also works well AA2230 is another. For the 69 grainers I prefer Reloader 15 but it doesnt meter as easily.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Reloader 15 is very similar to Varget. I prefer Reloader 15, but it's never in stock here, so I just buy a keg of Varget.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I reload my AR to 23.5 grains of IMR-4895 for my 55 gr. V-Max rounds.....replicates (our on-duty carry) TAP ammo & shoot great.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tips guys. When my guy opens on the 3rd, I'll see if he got some 748, 335 or 4895. I heard lots of praise for the 4895 so if he has some, I'll give that a try first. I'll have to ask how fast that powder moves off his shelves. If it moves as fast as Varget, I'll try the Winchester since most every place has it in stock.

As for Vihtavuori, I heard lots of praise for all of their powders, even for handguns. Unfortunately the only place that gets it is hard to get to and doesn't sell enough so its a special order.

For those who also love using Varget.... obviously we aren't the only ones who love the stuff the way it flys off the shelf and out of my supplier's inventory! :(

Just got off of the AR15 site and TFL and some other places. I guess I'll go with the Winchester for my backup-when-Varget-is-out-of-stock powder since it's always available and the lower temp might just get those lead bullets to cycle as well.

Left out some vital info, though.... How would it do for a 55gr Hornady bulk SP with 1:9 twist in a 20" chrome-lined barrel?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Scored 4lb of Varget and 1000 Hornady bulk FMJ's today! YAY!!! :twisted:

Thanks for the opinions on a backup powder. Will try some of those before I run out of this batch of Varget in case it get's hard to find on the shelf again.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the tips guys. When my guy opens on the 3rd, I'll see if he got some 748, 335 or 4895. I heard lots of praise for the 4895 so if he has some, I'll give that a try first. I'll have to ask how fast that powder moves off his shelves. If it moves as fast as Varget, I'll try the Winchester since most every place has it in stock.

As for Vihtavuori, I heard lots of praise for all of their powders, even for handguns. Unfortunately the only place that gets it is hard to get to and doesn't sell enough so its a special order.

For those who also love using Varget.... obviously we aren't the only ones who love the stuff the way it flys off the shelf and out of my supplier's inventory! :(

Just got off of the AR15 site and TFL and some other places. I guess I'll go with the Winchester for my backup-when-Varget-is-out-of-stock powder since it's always available and the lower temp might just get those lead bullets to cycle as well.

Left out some vital info, though.... How would it do for a 55gr Hornady bulk SP with 1:9 twist in a 20" chrome-lined barrel?
My Armalite Middy 16" 1in9" loves that bullet with the Ramshot exterminator 1" or less at 100 yds
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I am going to try some RE7 with some Hornady 55 FMJ BT bullets.

Supposedly it's a pretty good load.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the tips guys. When my guy opens on the 3rd, I'll see if he got some 748, 335 or 4895. I heard lots of praise for the 4895 so if he has some, I'll give that a try first. I'll have to ask how fast that powder moves off his shelves. If it moves as fast as Varget, I'll try the Winchester since most every place has it in stock.

As for Vihtavuori, I heard lots of praise for all of their powders, even for handguns. Unfortunately the only place that gets it is hard to get to and doesn't sell enough so its a special order.

For those who also love using Varget.... obviously we aren't the only ones who love the stuff the way it flys off the shelf and out of my supplier's inventory! :(

Just got off of the AR15 site and TFL and some other places. I guess I'll go with the Winchester for my backup-when-Varget-is-out-of-stock powder since it's always available and the lower temp might just get those lead bullets to cycle as well.

Left out some vital info, though.... How would it do for a 55gr Hornady bulk SP with 1:9 twist in a 20" chrome-lined barrel?
Just FYI - I've done a comparison in performance between my reloads using 4895, 335, and some Lake City XM193 ammo using 55gr FMJ. For me, the performance between the 335 and XM193, with respect to POI, were very comparible. The 4895 was different (not by a large amount) but I don't recall the specifics. As expected, the reloads were more consistent with tighter groups in both cases - 4895 and 335.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
In 1999 I started using an AR for High Power matches and tested a bunch of powders. Reloader-15 is the best one I found. Easy to find, meters great in my RCBS Powder Pro and is stable over a wide range of temps.

I've used it with 65 grain to the 80 grains. No problems, no malfunctions.

...and if you really want great accuracy, and easy cleaning, moly coat the bullets; NO WAX!!!! The was holds in moisture and will pit your barrell.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
IMR 4895 is great if you are planning on loading sub-60 gr. bullets. It aint the best thing after that, tho. I switched to H335 for most of my .223 loads and have been very pleased (it burns a tad cooler and meters a hell of a lot better).
 
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