JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/11/test-report.html (15 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1195999170-584154  AughtSix at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 13:59:30 +0000

There is a feature that, once a charge has been dispensed and the empty pan replaced, it re-zeroes, then dispenses automatically. I think you hold down the enter key for about five seconds to turn it on. I did it once, and I've never tried to undo it, so I don't remember how I did it.

Also, if you're getting some inconsistency and having to toss back a few charges, stick a manual trickler tube in the bigger chargemaster tube and tape it in. (The RCBS manual trickler fits perfectly) It slows you down a bit, but I don't think I've had a single over-weight charge since I did that. (And I was having a *lot* of them before that)

jsid-1196003690-584155  Kevin Baker at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 15:14:50 +0000

Yes, I guess I should follow my own advice and READ THE FARKING MANUAL!

This thing is going to be fun to play with, I can tell.

jsid-1196008881-584159  Sebastian at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 16:41:21 +0000

Just getting into reloading myself. I've been using IMR 4198 in my .223 and 6.8 SPC reloads. I'm wondering about Varget powder. What are the advantages? Is IMR 4198 a decent powder for me to be using for these cartridges?

jsid-1196011261-584160  DJ at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 17:21:01 +0000

It appears I'll have to give serious thought to buying one. I've been using IMR 4350 for over 30 years, trickling every load along the way. My RCBS powder throw, despite being purchased used over 30 years ago, will meter WW 630 to a repeatability of better than 0.1 grain, but IMR 4350 meters no better than about 0.8 grain.

My loading technique is a bit different, so using it wouldn't save me as much time overall. I set up the cases in a loading block, charge them all with powder, then seat all the bullets. That is because some get charged straight from the powder throw and some by trickling, but all get seated the same way. My snafu level stays quite low with this method, so I'll stick with it.

Do you have any concerns about recalibration-on-the-fly during the loading process? Such would be mine if I had designed it.

Thanks for the report.

jsid-1196011880-584161  Kevin Baker at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 17:31:20 +0000


As far as I can tell, Varget won't get you the most velocity, but it is (supposedly) unaffected by temperature variation. This is very important in the desert where daytime temps can be 40ºF hotter (sometimes more) than dawn temps. Your point of impact won't shift due to the powder. I don't think you can say the same about 4350.

The main thing I like about Varget, at least in .223, is that I can't get enough of it in the case to cause an overpressure condition. Judging from what 43.5 grains in a .308 case looks like, I'd venture a guess that it's true for that cartridge as well, at least with the 175 grain SMK.

DJ, I've used a PACT electronic scale for about four years. Once it's powered up for a few minutes, I run the calibration routine on it and then start loading. It is occasionally necessary to re-zero the scale, but the accuracy remains dead-nuts on. I've checked this by weighing a projectile on a balance beam and checking it against the electronic scale at the beginning and at the end of a loading session. I never saw any error within the 0.1 grain limit of the scale's accuracy.

The RCBS scale seems to be working the same way. I checked it against my PACT scale when I was loading .45LC.

jsid-1196026824-584177  Chris Byrne at Sun, 25 Nov 2007 21:40:24 +0000


Varget gives just about the cleanest and most consistent burn in a small rifle case, outside of some of the DYanmit Nobel and VhitaVouri powders which cost twice as much.

It's become the powder of choice for a hell of alot of 5.56/.223 competitors, and those who compete with similar cartridges.

jsid-1196043749-584192  PETN Sandwich at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 02:22:29 +0000

If you are happy with the bang/buck ratio on this Chargemaster 1500, but it is slowing you down, you may want to get another one - that will open up the bottle-neck.

jsid-1196045834-584195  Kevin Baker at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 02:57:14 +0000

Ah, no. One was quite expensive enough.

jsid-1196075719-584203  Mike at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 11:15:19 +0000

I got one of these right after I took possession of my RRA NM AR-15. I wanted to work up loads for it, and I remembered the hell I went through working up loads for my model 700 PSS in .308 (44.2 grains of Varget, 175 grain SMK, and Federal GM210M primers) trickling powder into a beam scale.

To make matters worse, I'd bought 100 each of 68, 69, 75, and 77 grain bullets.

That would be enough trickling of Varget to send one off the deep end, so off I went to buy a Chargemaster, which I must say is expensive, but for working up a variety of loads just can't be beat.

If anyone has any pet .223 loads they wish to share (1:8 twist, wish to stay above 68 grains and use Varget, 200 to 600 yards), I'd appreciate it.

jsid-1196083629-584210  AughtSix at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 13:27:09 +0000


I use 25.3 grains of Varget under a 69 SMK in a 1-7. Or 24.3 under a 77SMK*. Something right around there seems to be a pretty common High Power load. For 600 I use a bit more than 24.3 grains under an 80. (Amax or Berger, the load changes, and so does the seating depth. Jump the Amax like an 80 Sierra, Berger goes into the lands)

That load doesn't shoot well in my 1:8 RRA NM (but does in my white oak upper), but a friend of mine shoots an almost identical load in his, and it's amazing how that one shoots.

jsid-1196085539-584212  Kevin Baker at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 13:58:59 +0000

I'd have to check my load data, but I believe my pet load is 24.5 grains of Varget under the Hornady 75 grain BTHP Match bullet. It's a compressed load, and the bullet is seated to magazine length. (I don't single-load anything.)

If you've got a long-throated target barrel, I doubt this would work well for you, though.

jsid-1196095165-584224  Chris Byrne at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 16:39:25 +0000


As I mentioned to you at Reno, I'm shooting the exact same load, but I'm using commercial Winchester brass, and CCI benchrest primers.

Out of my 24" extra heavy 1:8 with a Wylde chamber, and off a bipod, it'll keep under .5moa at 600.

jsid-1196098671-584228  Kevin Baker at Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:37:51 +0000

Using prepped and WSR primed LC brass out of a 16" Douglas Premium barrel with a standard .223 chamber and off a bipod, mine will hold about .75MOA out at 250 yards. I haven't shot it to see what it will actually hold at 500, but the drop is pretty significant at that range. I know that whacking a 12" gong out there is no challenge.

jsid-1196143769-584263  Mike at Tue, 27 Nov 2007 06:09:29 +0000

I should add that my previous .308 recipe uses Lapua brass.

And thanks, guys, for sharing your recipes.

You know, I really shouldn't complain. Having a multitude of good bullets to choose from is NOT something a rational reloader should complain about, but that's a whole lot of reloading (and a whole lot of shooting, so I guess there's the silver lining).

Can any generalizations regarding accuracy be made between the Hornady A-Max and Hornady HPBT Match bullets of equal weight? The A-Maxs appear to have a better BC, which is always welcomed.

And can any generalizations regarding accuracy be made between the Hornady 68 Match and the Sierra 69 SMK? Or the Hornady 75 Match, Hornady 75 A-Max, and the Sierra 77 SMK?

jsid-1196173490-584270  Kevin Baker at Tue, 27 Nov 2007 14:24:50 +0000

I will say, one bullet I have every intention of trying is the Lapua Scenar 155 grain BTHP. It's got a BETTER BC than the 175SMK, and is supposed to be the same length. Being 20 grains lighter, you can push it a lot faster, so there is less wind drift and less drop at range.

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