Sunday, September 10, 2006


I've heard good things about the Hornady SST bullet, so the last time I ordered from Midway, I took the opportunity to buy some SST bullets. These are the 150 grain .30 caliber bullets. I loaded them for the .30-06 with surplus 4895 powder.

IMR 4895 powder was originally a miliary powder for the .30-06 cartridge. While a lot of shooters say that there are better powders, this stuff came in my door as surplus powder, at a substantial cost savings. Of course, since the powder is an unknown variable in this rifle, I started the charges on the low side.

That is 25 cartridges with 5 of each load, and they go up in one grain increments, so I have five at X grains of surplus 4895, five at X+1 grains of 4895, five at X+2 grains of 4895 and so on. I mark the individual cartridges with a felt marker, either on the primer or on the bullet with a specific color, then put a cheat sheet in the box, so when I get to the range I'll know what cartridge holds which charge. When I shoot the targets, I'll transfer chrony data onto the target, then analyze that data when I get home.

Of course, while I'm firing, I'll shoot the lowest charges first and watch the primer for signs of pressure. If, for example, the X+3 load is showing pressure signs, I'll stop shooting. When I get home I'll disassemble the unfired cartridges and separate the components. There is no sense shooting something that might be unsafe.

I hope to find a load that will be sufficiently accurate that I can quit load developement and settle on a load for this rifle. The .30-06 has a reputation of being easy to load for. I'm betting that my primer/powder/bullet combination will yeild a good round.

We'll see.

1 comment:

ben said...

I have a very old takedown model 99 savage in 300 savage. This rifle is mainly why I wanted to reload and remember that 4895 is usually the preferred powder for it. I was in Oregon with my ship in overhaul and wanted to make an elk rifle out of it before I found a 1917 Enfield which I carried instead. Everyone who ever owned a 300 savage remarks what a great deer caliber it is so I know you do not have to get anywhere near max with your loads for them to be just fine. My 257 is a O3A3 sporter with a good barrel and Timney trigger and so accurate it is all I need for Texas deer especially since like you I hunt from a stand. The old 99 will shoot 1.5 inch groups with 150 grain factory loads and is a delight to carry. What I would take if I ever find a place to still hunt. I enjoy your comments on reloading, thanks.