Hodgdon is always a little hot, but the fact is that most data is always going to be different from one manual to the next because they all had different test chambers and different ways of doing things. Keep in mind also they all could have been using different bullets that had thicker or thinner jackets, and larger bearing surfaces. I would take 37grs as minimum and 50grs. as maximum. Start where you feel comfortable from there.
I use the Hodgdons exclusively, this way my loads are consistent. Not to confuse the point more than it is, but if you look at he hodgdons info, the bullet diameter is .308, where most MN shooters use .310 - .311 bullets ; which will run higher in pressure. For the purposes of safety, the correct reply is to give Hodgdons a call (913) 362-1307 or email@example.com and ask for a specific load for their powder, using your components.
Personally I run with the numbers that Hodgdon's has on their website, the sweet spot is usually a few grains short of max.
Also as you may know, it is good to have a notebook and log your workups, as you are loading, and then the results. This way you can go back in a couple of years and not have to redo the same work-ups.
Just for the MN alone I have worked up 123, 148, 150, 180, and 200gn bullets using: Trailboss, IMR4895, H4895,H 380, Varget, and H4350. That would be a lot of powder and bullets to redo again.
For all four calibers I currently load for, Sierra is on the ridiculous side of conservative. Their max loads are often less than the starting loads published by Hodgdon.
Since Hodgdon makes Varget, I'm gonna (and do) use their numbers...usually starting a bit more than minimum load and working up. Max load rarely means maximum accuracy for me, anyway.
I load 48 grains for the 150 grain Prvi boattails, and 43.5 for what I shoot most- the 174 grain .311 SMK's.
I have spoken with Sierra reps many many times. They are terrific and dedicated to the science of shooting. Call them and describe your situation and they will relate "history", loads, powders and bullets. Would you expect a mfr rep to advise you to shoot a competitors bullet for one specific diameter and weight.... Someone must be telling these guys to give the very best advice they can. I have gotten the very best advice and have learned many things from those calls and I urge anyone with a question on just about anything to ring them up. Oh, and I note that S now makes that bullet with the diameter and weight I needed. God knows there are more than one highly skilled bullet Smith out there. I just have a long and running history with Sierra. No stock, though.
They might even share what the MAX load really is LOL
Every reloader knows that published data is going to generally be conservative, and the pressures and velocities are subject to variation dependent on barrel lengths, primers, even environmental conditions.
That's why we all know to start low and work up...
But, it is a conundrum when one's starting load, is greater than another's max load...just doesn't make sense, no matter how you might try to rationalize it.
I also don't understand why all the 7.62x 54R data is based on .308 bullets, when far as I know (mebbe with the exception of some Finn Mosins, perhaps- I don't know too much about them) the ammunition should be designed around .312 groove barrels, and no one in their right mind shoots .308 bullets out of them...
"Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 18.5 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.62 mm (0.300 in), Ø grooves = 7.92 mm (0.312 in), land width = 3.81 mm and the primer type is Berdan or very rarely Boxer (in large rifle size)."
I too was going to point out that the Hodgdon data was for .308" bullets....which I don't use.
Hodgdon also doesn't mention what the groove diameter was on the test barrel. Since this was shot in a pressure gun, I'll bet the barrel was .308" as well. This would be a good question to ask if someone calls them. All things being equal, the data for .308 bullets in a .308 barrel should be very close to .311 bullets in a .311 barrel. For this reason, I tend to trust Hodgdon's data more than the others as long as one is matching the bullets to the grooves.
My old Sierra 3rd edition has data shot from a Westinghouse M91 (certainly a .311" or greater groove diameter) with .308" bullets. NOT the best combo in my book.
The Hornady 150 gr. data was probably with their .312" bullets so I can see why the powder recommendations would be conservative. A .312" bullet in a .308 barrel on an old Finn might spike pressures a bit.
I believe you really need to watch the details very closely when loading for 7.62x54R. There are tons of variables to consider, especially with groove diameter, throating and bullet diameters.
Now officially collecting Mosin M38s!
Last edited by Ken in Iowa; 09-26-2011 at 06:20 PM.
Clark, where does one get bulk or surplus 4895 these days. Also is it more like IMR 4895 or H4895?
Last bulk surplus 4895 I ever saw was Radway 4895. It said to just use the recipes for IMR4895. Seemed to work real well, but I only saw it for sale once and I got two 8 pound jugs.
Been long time used up, never seen the stuff again.
Jeff Bartlett sells what is called Russian 4895. Here's what he says about it.
Russian This powder was made in Russia to load the Russian 7.62x54 round. It is new
4895 manufacture, and is a single based extruded type. This powder looks similar to
IMR4895, but is slightly slower than IMR4895, and can be loaded using IMR4064 data.
Excellent in .30-06 and works great in the M1 Garand rifle.
This is new powder.
People think I'm paranoid because I own guns. If I own guns, what do I have to be paranoid about?
What the gent said was that Sierra doesn't have a pressure gun, but they work up until they see pressure signs (though I can't imagine them seeing pressure signs at 47grns unless the rifle had something wrong with it).
He didn't know about Sierra.
He did assure me that they come in under max pressure, which is about 4700CUP for the 7.62x54R.