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powder buying formula debate?


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I was wondering if there is formula to know how many rounds an 8 lb keg of powder will fill a given cartridge? I'm trying to figure out how much money different cartridges will cost to shoot. I'd like to order 1 training days of factory loaded rounds(all from the same lot) more than what an 8 lb keg will reload(because I've heard the same powder from a different batch may burn differently) so by the time I have enough fire-formed brass to start developing a load and handloading I still have an emergency reserve available. Any constructive criticism you have is welcome. Thank you.

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7000 grains per pound X 8 lbs = 56000 grains divided by whatever your charge is.


A 8# jug using a 40gr charge will load 1,400 rounds

Edited by Jman
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Just look in a reloading manual and pick a median load for each desired cartridge. Of course, the median load will vary with each different powder selection. You should be able to come up with a decent average overall.

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I've heard there is a company that publishes load data for individual cartridges. Is this true? Otherwise, it looks like amazon reviewers say the lyman and the lee manual are the best buys.

On my shelf are and I bet there are many on this board with lots more titles and multiple editions of each title:

Lyman's 49th

Sierra V

Speer 14th

Lee 2nd

Hornady 7th

Vihta Vuori 4th

Every freebie Powder Valley has

Zediker Handloading for Competition

ABC's of Reloading 8th

Ammo & Ballistics 3rd

You can't have too many guns or too many reloading books.

Edited by aviatrix
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It's always a good idea to get a similar recipe from two sources because a typo in published load data can lead to a bad day. It's also from the days before reputable sources of Internet load data.

I would buy the Hornady and/or Lyman books along with the ABC's of Reloading. If you can only buy one book, buy the ABCs.

That said most of the load data I actually use comes from Hodgdon, Alliant or Vihta Vuori's website.

Also, not every source will have the same powder, bullet, cartridge combination.

Lastly, with reference to the 8lb jug idea. Since you are new to reloading, don't buy any 8lb jugs or a powder with enough variance that you can't reproduce a good load based on published load data. (Stay away from Solo 1000 until you've run a couple thousand reloads and know what to look for.).

Winchester 231, Hodgdon HP-38 (same powder as 231), VV N320, Alliant Unique, Alliant Bullseye are all good beginner powders for almost any pistol cartridge. 1lb should make well over 1000 rounds in any typical caliber. VV N320 is probably the best all around powder but it is hard to find and expensive in the best of times. The rest are generally cheap and easy to find but we live in interesting times. The Alliant powders I listed tend to be a little smokier but are good pistol powders. Those powders won't vary much from one lot to another, not enough to matter unless you are shooting for 50 yard accuracy.

Hodgdon Titegroup is another popular pistol powder but I'd stay away from it for your first loads. The volume required generally doesn't come close to filling a case so a double or triple charge of powder could go unnoticed until you try to shoot it and blow something up.

Edited by blind bat
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