Originally Posted by trapnbow
Have any of you had any experience or do you have any recipes for 30-06 loads using magnum primers. I have tried a variety of powders but have yet to achieve near factory velocities with Hornady SST's in 150, 165, and 180 grain bullets. The reloading guru at one of the local firearm shops suggested the magnum primers and told me that some bench rest shooters use them all the time. Any information would be appreciated.
Powders used to date are Varget, H4350, IMR4350 and I usually use CCI large rifle primers. All my cases for this experiment are new Remington manufacture.
First of All I shoot bench at +800yards with a 30-06spring. Second of all !!!STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!! If you want to try something new that is not published chances are you're eventually going to kill your self with out the right equipment. 30-06 is rated for 50K CUP or about 60K psi. Just because your velocity is under what manufactures rate there ammo at does not mean your load not going to blow up in your face and kill you. I've seen a bolt hanging out the back of some guys skull because he didn't know what he was doing when he handloaded his own ammo.
Reloading can be very rewarding and done safely, but you need to know more then reading recipes and working the equipment. Get a Lyman reloading manual to start. Not all guns like the same primer. My Rem 700 happens to like Winchester. I use IMR 4895 with the WLR (regular) primer and working up a new load using IMR 4350 with the WLRM (Mag). Magnum primers not only burn hotter, but longer. The caps are normally the same. Pressure sensitive primers are used in semi autos and those have a bit thicker cap. Normally you don't use Mag primers unless you're using a ball powder, very long barrel, and over 95% cartridge load (known as a compressed load). Not all brands of primers put out the same. CCI run cold compared to Winchester. So CCI will require a little more powder then Winchester to get the same pressure. Long barrels (26-42 inches NOT A TYPE (check out the 20mm sniper rifle)) require a longer burn. There for you need a longer burning primer and to go with that you will need a longer burning powder and usually more of it.
!!!This load is only an example designed for my rifle. Your gun may not handle this load so consult a reload manual!!!
Now in our case loading for the 30-06 with the 168gr BTHP this bullet fly's best at 4000fps. Not chance we will get this velocity with out a +32 inche barrel. To get the best performance of a standard 24" barrel we normally will use a mid rang burn powder (burns up in about the first 1/3 of barrel) with a regular primer. Now that we are talking about long range bench shooting we need to make up for that loss of compression as the bullet travels down the barrel by using a slow burning powder with a longer burning primer to keep it going. This will help us establish the best performance of our barrels. The down side about the 30-06 is the small cartridge size. This is why most comp shooter use at least a 300 WM and even a 300 RUM in the .308 cal. You don't get much improvement with the 30 cal once you are looking at a 30-06. If you want more your next step is going to be the 338 lapua (2000 yard range). Now we only want to use 80-95% of the available space in the cartridge. Since 4350 at 59 grains with a regular primer is a compressed load you are at 100% depending on you bullet seat depth. I can actually use 59.2 gr based on my bullet seat because I don't seat as deep due to my chamber. To reduce the powder to make space available for best ignition we use a magnum primer to make up for the loss of charge. Since they say on AVERAGE you get a 10% charge increase I'll drop down to 75% on my minimum charge giving me 41.25gr that puts my cartridge at 69% full. I'll work up from there until I've reached 10% under 59gr totaling 53.1grains of powder(IMR 4350)MAX load and this puts my cartridge at 89.7% full (with in the limits we are wanting). I'm going to load a box of 50 with increments of five rounds, inching my way up from 41.25gr and work my way up to 53.1gr. Keep in mind you need to take up that dead space using polyfil that you can get from Wal-Mart in there fabrics department. Make sure you weigh each fill that they are all exactly the same for each sets of charge. Once you are in the 80% full you won't need the polyfill.
Take a look at your load data. Each maximum of different powders give a different velocity. This is why you can not go off of velocity to get an idea of how much powder to use. If you want to get real technical about it get a universal chamber with a 30-06 test barrel and all the computer hook up's to test your ammo working up from the minimums until you reach the 50K cup or 60K psi. As you range test your ammo with out this equipment check each brass of every load just after you fire for distortions, ect. Check your primer pocket and make sure the primer doesn't fall out. Mark each brass with a sharpie pen what was loaded in it. So when you re-prime that brass you can see if the primer falls out. If the primer doesn't hold in then you've reached 120% of the safety limit of that brass and you need to back off with your charge.
Remember Just because you can fill up the brass doesn't mean the gun can handle the load. It also doesn't mean that powder will be put to good use or just blown out of your barrel unburned. With some and most bullet faster is not always better. Slow velocity high energy is great for big game. Bullets start to wobble when they've exceeded there designed velocity based on your barrel length and twist. This reduces your chances of hitting your target little alone hitting your mark. This is why us comp guys use longer barrels so we can establish that high velocity giving us a flat trajectory, but enough spin on the bullet to maintain it's stability.
Keep in mind that reloading is a science. Any changes will give you a different result. If you want faster with out blowing your gun up then use a slow burning powder and a Mag primer with the right charge. Keep in mind that if the powder is too slow then you've only wasted powder. The only way to fix this is to lower the charge or get a longer barrel. You also need to remember that heavier bullets need less powder since they take longer to build up speed. If the pressure can not be equalized fast enough due to too hot of a load using a heavier bullet your gun WILL blow up.
I hope this was useful and not too late.
CPt. Coughtry out