Question on reloading for a 221 fireball

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by John1 S, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. John1 S

    John1 S New Member

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    Has anyone tried IMR 3031 power in a 221 fireball rifle . I have a lb of the IMR 3031 and was thinking about trying it with a 45 gr bullet. I know it is a slow power but they use it in 223's.??? What do you thank?
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    John1 S:

    The place to determine what is acceptable for your 221 Fireball is the Hodgdon Reloading web page since they distribute IMR powders. But to shorten the cycle, the answer to your question is NO, 3031 is not the right powder for 45 grain bullet in your 221 Fireball cartridge according to Hodgdon.

    In fact, it is not the right powder for any bullet weight for your 221 Fireball cartridge. Hodgdon, who ought to know, suggests H335, H322, H4198, H4227, and Lil' Gun. These powder are fast rifle powders or slow pistol powders. 3031 is really for mid sized (think 30 caliber) mid-level rifle cartridges, like 30-30.

    The bottom line is you should be looking in reloading manuals or on manufacturer's web pages for reloading data or powder recommendations. There is no one that reports here who knows more about reloading than the totality of the manufactures. Data given by friends, acquaintances, or on the internet is not viable as a source of reloading data. Requesting and using data obtained this way is a sure fire way to reloading trouble or hurt. But I'm sure you were only looking for a generalized answer, not details of others loads. Right?

    LDBennett
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I agree with LD. Hodgdon is an ideal source of data on what cartridges that 3031 will work in. Any other of the published manufacturer data will work as well (Hornady has a section on .221 rifle data, and they don't have 3031 listed either.)

    Even though 3031 does fall into the range of acceptable powder burn rates for the Fireball, I'm sure there is at least one reason why it didn't make the list. Inadequate performance, erratic performance, poor accuracy, etc...there are many reasons why it wasn't included in the published data.


    If you have RL-7 on hand, give that a try.
    That is pretty much the go-to powder for the Fireball whether in a rifle or XP/Contender with the Fireball shooters that I know around here.
    Data is available on the Alliant site, plus several manuals.
  4. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    3031 is entirely too slow. I am experimenting with this cartridge for my XP-100 (10.75" barrel), and am using H110, 4227, and L'ilGun. I also plan on buying a Cooper Model-21 in that caliber and will be trying those same powders.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  5. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    According to Hodgdon IMR 3031 is faster burning than H-335 so it is not to slow for the fireball. It is however very bulky with large rat turds not well suited for the tiny fireball case.

    There is data out there for IMR 3031 in the fireball, Lee and Rifle Mag. #30-1973.
    Lee data list 17.8gr IMR 3031 with a 45gr Jacketed bullet at 2015fps. Poor velocity equals poor performance.
    Quickload calculates 17.8gr as 100% case capacity. Bottom line is that IMR 3031 is to bulky for the fireball resulting in poor performance. You can try it, but it is a poor choice.

    I have tried a lot of powders in my 221 Fireball and I have found nothing better than 2400. Top velocities and outstanding accuracy. Give it a try, you may find it an outstanding powder for your little peashooter.
  6. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Really? What velocities, bullet weights, and barrel lengths?
  7. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    CZ 527 American, 21.9 inch barrel.

    This was back in 06 when my son was 12. Not bad for a 12 year old at 100 yards.

    It says 15gr 2400, 40gr Custom Comp/Ballistic Tip, Rem 7 1/2 primer, 5 rounds. Velocities on that target were, 3297, 3314, 3301, 3279, 3294.

    [​IMG]

    He also shot this one the same day. Same load.
    [​IMG]
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I gave L'ilGun a try. It worked well as did all the other powders I tried. I found that it heated up the barrel a lot more and a lot faster than 2400. When my boys were younger they liked to shoot and keep shooting, so waiting for the barrel to cool was an important factor for me back then. 2400 delivered and still does outstanding accuracy and velocity with the added feature of a cooler barrel.
  9. John1 S

    John1 S New Member

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    Thanks all for the in put, but just had to try the IMR 3031 in the fireball. Shot it at 50 yds. with 3 shot groups. I used (15.5, 16.0, 16.5,17.0 gr of IMR 3031) Shot it out of my CZ . The best group was .513 ".. and had no troubles .All so tried it in a 22-250 and work go there all so. I will try the 2400 power. To me the fireball is a very unique cal.. I have worked up a reduced load, 4 gr. of Unque power , 40 HP. It is going 1450 fps. Very good for squirrel and at 50 yds a .500 are under , 3 shot group. This is in my CZ. Thanks all.
  10. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Did you get a chance to run these 3031 loads over a Chrony?
  11. John1 S

    John1 S New Member

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    No I did not . It sounded good .
  12. the wolf

    the wolf New Member

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    I used H 4198 power.. and CCI small rifle primers.. with 55 vmax bullets.. damn sweet.
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