reduced loads for North America

matt85

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i was reading this (http://www.chuckhawks.com/reduced_400_loads.htm) article about reduced loads for 40 cal rifles. seems like these type of loads could make our African big bores into suitable North American hunting rifles. my curiousity is whether you could get a double to regulate with these lighter loads. i was thinking about trying out a Speer 350gr hot-cor bullet at around 2000-2200 fps in the 500/416 NE im buying. this would make the double into a fun and "cheap" plinking and North American hunting rifle.

has any one here tried created reduced loads for their double rifles with any success?

-matt


Reduced Recoil Loading Data for the .400-.416 Big Bores from Nyati Inc.
By Edward Hammond

The .400 Jeffery Nitro Express or the .450/400 3" Nitro Express was designed by Jeffery in 1902. This fine cartridge almost faded into oblivion, but thanks to some sports writers and small manufacturers like BELL, and now Hornady and Ruger, it still lives. John “Pondoro” Taylor considered the Jeffery up to snuff for any beast that walks the Earth. Elmer Keith once said the .450/400 would be his first choice in an Alder thicket hunting brown bear in Alaska.

Elephant or buffalo, the new .416 Ruger is the boss with the hot sauce. This round was designed from the ground up to be everything that a DGR is supposed to be. The Light Alaskan is my favorite big bore rifle to carry, but to shoot from the bench, oh my! On foot after Cape buffalo, day after day, it would be a pleasure to carry and bring to the ready. It has it all, including fierce recoil with full power loads.

The .416 Remington Magnum is the perfectly proportioned .416 cartridge. It’s like a giant .30.06. It was designed by Remington in 1988, at a time when there was a reawaking of the African big bores. The only other .416 around was the Rigby and it was fading, because no major ammunition company was loading it. Thanks to the .416 Rem. Magnum, we now have an assortment of .416's from which to choose.

".416 Rigby," just the name of that caliber brings to mind the golden age of African hunting and the names of African hunters and sportsmen like Jack O’Connor, Commander David Enderby Blunt, John Taylor and Harry Selby. The Rigby Company designed their .416 in 1911. Not many .416 rifles were manufactured by Rigby, about 600 total during a century of building exquisite firearms. Today, 1,000 rifles were made by Ruger in ten years and the fame of the Ruger Magnum rifle is still spreading, with no end in sight.

The .500/416 is a new cartridge designed by Krieghoff a few years ago, based on a necked-down .500 case. It is similar to the .416 Rigby in power, but with lower pressure and a rim for ease of extraction in a double rifle, for which Krieghoff is world famous. It is an excellent combination that can only do great things in the African field. Time will tell if it will become a commercial success.

The powder used in all of these reduced power loads is Accurate 5744. Check the amount of powder in your cases and then check again before seating a bullet. Low density loads such as these can be inadvertently double charged, with serious consequences.

The bullets that I have found to work well with these low recoil loads are Barnes Solids for practice and the Barnes TSX for the 2,000 fps intermediate hunting loads intended for CXP3 game.
 
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AkMike

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Use the tried and true "75% Rule" for plinking and reduced loads.
 

matt85

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75% rule? ive heard of a 40% rule but not a 75%.

reduce the bullet weight by 40% and the charge weight by 40%. not sure if that actually works but someone told me that once.

-matt
 

matt85

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oops I think I misquoted the 40% rule. I believe it was reducing the velocity by 40% not the powder charge. my memory is a bit fuzzy on this rule... been a long week.

-matt
 

AkMike

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75% bullet weight and full powder load.

But why reduce for NA hunting? Dead is dead. No matter if you go squirrel hunting with a 450/400 or a 22.
 

matt85

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not sure how well a 350gr speer bullet will hold up to full velocity. even if it did, that extra velocity will be wasted on what ever is behind the deer, elk, bear, or pig.

the light load I have in mind will cost a lot less by consuming less powder and a MUCH cheaper bullet. this would get me more time behind the trigger and get my more recoil sensitive friends to shoot.

-matt
 

Velo Dog

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Hi again Matt85,

I have no experience loading reduced power/light bullets in double rifles however, the following is what I have learned from some of my fellow DR shooters here in Alaska:

My understanding of how doubles regulate with their harmonics issues and such is that, if one wishes to make less than full power loads, he should begin with a lighter projectile, as close to the same shape/profile as the heavier DG bullets that his rifle "likes".
Load them as close to exactly the same velocity as the DG load shoots the heavier bullets.
Any faster or slower and you risk flinging bullets all over the target, instead of in the center where they belong.
"Barrel time" usually if not pretty much always, is critical to regulation in doubles.
Urban legend has it that O/U rifles are not quite as finicky about such things as the SxS rifles are but, I would not know.

No doubt you will have to put a spacer over the powder with reduced loads, to keep it pressed against the flash hole or you will surely have hang-fires (no doubt those would be pretty sporting in a .500/.416).
In my .450 No2 NE, I needed a spacer with full loads because today's powder are more dense than Cordite/Axite and etc. was and the No2 case is huge, even compared to the other two most common .450 NE cartridges in the World (.450 NE from Rigby and .500/450 from H&H).

Not sure if those two need spacers with full loads or not but it seems like they would need at least a short spacer perhaps.
I used foam ear plugs in the No2 full loads (102 gr IMR 4831 / 480 gr bullet) as they worked absolutely perfect and there was no lost time pulling tufts of cotton and hoping I got all tufts exactly the same volume/pressure against the powder.
I will guess if I had tried any sort of reduced loads, I would have had to use a longer spacer than just a foam ear plug.

The following has zero to do with reduced loads but, I feel it is worth mentioning:

All 4 of the DRs I have owned so far have put their shots closer together, barrel to barrel (full loads) when I gripped/grip the barrels very tightly with my support hand to fire (harmonics again no doubt).
For that reason I always raise one eyebrow when I see a DR with a big clunky "beavertail" forend.
When firing several groups in one session, I wear a thin leather glove against the barrels heat and I let them cool every 6 rounds (3 each barrel).

"Walk softly and carry a big stick" (such as a .500/416 NE perhaps.)

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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AkMike

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You'll find the what Velo Dog said is right on and you can try your light load but you'll discover that it will not regulate. Other fillers are backer rod and teddy bear guts (Dacron)
You are $pending a bunch on the rifle, why try to waste powder on light cheap loads that will not pan out?
Have you ordered the book Shooting the British Double Rifle ? You need to read and understand it.
 

enysse

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I'm thinking what Matt wants to do, can only be done in a bolt action rifle.
 

matt85

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thanks for the advice Velo Dog, seems like all the most knowledgeable gents live up in Alaska. (y)

as for using filler, I contacted the guy who wrote that article on reduced loads and asked him if he used filler. interestingly enough he said filler was not needed (and should not be used) in the loads he posted. he seems to know what hes talking about since he works with Nyati Inc. which produces reduced load ammunition. (his contact info is on their website)

enysse you may very well be right. however, I cant see the harm in trying. if it doesn't pan out then ill be glad I used cheap bullets to try it. ;)

priority list:
1. find a full house load that regulates and shoots accurately
2. practice, practice, practice (with full house loads of course)
3. try and find a reduced load to play with and hunt local critters with.


thanks all
-matt
 

AkMike

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Make sure that you ask them if these loads will regulate in a DR or if they are for single shots. It'd be interesting to know what powders he's using that fill a case w/o needing fillers.
5744 is a powder that cannot have filler and it hasn't regulated in my DR's. 4198, R-15 need filler to hold the powder against the primer.
 

matt85

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on another interesting note, I contacted Speer and asked them what the recommended velocity for their .416" 350gr bullet was and they said "a MV in the 2350 fps to 2650 fps range". if that's correct then the bullet probably wont perform well at the lower velocity any way. :( (this just means I need to spice up the loads for local critters)

I also got a response back from Mr. Hammond at Nyati Inc. he said they have successfully gotten their reduced loads to regulate in double rifles.

-matt
 

Velo Dog

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thanks for the advice Velo Dog, seems like all the most knowledgeable gents live up in Alaska. (y)

as for using filler, I contacted the guy who wrote that article on reduced loads and asked him if he used filler. interestingly enough he said filler was not needed (and should not be used) in the loads he posted. he seems to know what hes talking about since he works with Nyati Inc. which produces reduced load ammunition. (his contact info is on their website)

enysse you may very well be right. however, I cant see the harm in trying. if it doesn't pan out then ill be glad I used cheap bullets to try it. ;)

priority list:
1. find a full house load that regulates and shoots accurately
2. practice, practice, practice (with full house loads of course)
3. try and find a reduced load to play with and hunt local critters with.


thanks all
-matt

Matt85,

Some days, I'm not too sure how knowledgeable we Alaskans are but, for sure many of us are a bunch of smartasses up here.

Your idea of searching for / experimenting with reduced loads might prove interesting and even rewarding.

There surely is one way to find out but, I am too lazy to go through all that for my own purposes with my double rifle any more.

Seems like Champlin Arms at Enid Oklahoma, used to have something on their web site back before this last Ice Age about reduced loads that they developed to regulate fairly well in some double rifles.

I wish you well with it all and many of us will be very interested in your results.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

AkMike

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You can always load cast bullets for N/A hunting. The gas checked bullets work very well.
 

matt85

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that isn't a bad idea AkMike, but i imagine those would be even tougher to get to regulate since lead bullets generally don't do well over 2000 fps. my thoughts are to try the Speer 350gr bullets at 2000-2300 fps since the gun is regulated to shoot at 2300 fps with a 400gr bullet im hoping to have some luck in that range.

i will look into a nice 400 to 450 grain mold though.

-matt
 

AkMike

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Funny I run cast bullet over 2K w/o any leading. Why are you having problems?

Besides cleaning lead out isn't hard to do.
 

matt85

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i admit i havent tried pushing lead that fast. what little i know about shooting cast bullets at those speeds comes from other people. my cast bullet shooting has been limited to black powder cartridges. i have been told time and time again that unjacketed bullets had trouble at high velocity. (but as when anything else online it could be incorrect information)

-matt
 

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Have you looked into Trail Boss loads? I'm loading Trail Boss in my 450NE using 350 gr Hornady bullets, 405gr cast and 480gr Hawk bullets all exiting the gun around 1200fps(could push them a bit more) and in a 10.5# gun feels like shooting a .22 great for finishing your shooting session POI is about 3"s low but ok for practice and would be fine on soft skin animals like deer. Go to the IMR web site they tell you how to load it, but NEVER compress Trail Boss. If you want some thing more go with the 75% rule I run 350gr bullets over the same charge as my 480gr load shoot to the same POI a couple of 100fps faster recoil a bit less a bit snappier.
 

AkMike

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Zephyr, Is that a single barrel or a DR?

DR's shouldn't regulate with a combo like that.
 

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