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Reloading with Superformance

09 Jul 2020
@ 02:37 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Load development in the 30-06. While Superformance is indicated and recommended, I see nothing on temperature stability. After some bad experiences with other ball type powders, just wondering how SF stacks up to temperature differences.


09 Jul 2020
@ 08:56 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Reloading with Superformance
Hi Paul, there is some sensitivity but the problem is a bit more complex than temp alone. Ideally, the case needs to be full to obtain consistency along with a low ES.

Regarding the 195 to 208 grain bullet weights:

There are two ways to fill the case. The first is when the COAL has been dictated by magazine length. For example, if we are loading for a Tikka, the bullet will be way down in the powder column, taking up any empty space.

The second condition occurs when the COAL is set, for example, to 87mm so that the bullet body / boat tail junction of the 208gr is flush with the case neck shoulder junction - but that the throat of the gun is so long that bullet jump is still around 1.5mm (.060) or more. In this instance (a max SAAMI spec throat of 88.5mm or longer), the powder charge can be increased by a good margin without raising pressures to unsafe levels.

So far we have dealt with a short OAL and a long OAL. A third condition is when the rifle has a middling max OAL. In this instance, if the rifle does not have a sweet spot at 56.5 grains or higher, SF may prove useless as the ES will be too high and the burn uneven with major temp changes. Each rifle is different.

Another way to increase the powder charge is to simply drop from 208gr to 195gr bullets.

So we need to put some powder charge examples around this. I cannot condone the following as being safe. There is no actual published data for Superformance powder with heavy (greater than 180 grain) bullets. This is not advice, it is merely my experience.

FMR Reamer, max OAL for 208gr ELD-M 87.4mm. Bullets seated to 87.1mm OAL (.3mm jump). Hornady brass, Federal 210 primer, SF powder.

At 56 grains, the 208gr goes around 2600 to 2630fps (26" barrel / FMR reamer) but the ES can be poor. But again, each rifle will vary. A short OAL from a Tikka can help drop the ES. Differences in head space and bore dimensions will also have an effect.

The ES starts to settle from 56.5 grains onward. There is much to investigate in that 2630 to 2700fps area.

My current FMR rifle hit near max at 59 grains (208gr ELD-M) for 2790fps. I do not recommend that anyone loads this high.

Using a 195 grain ELD-M or TMK, sweet spots were found in the 57 to 58 grain range where velocity was around 2700 to 2780fps.

A magnum (215) primer was equivalent to 1 grain powder. Therefore if you move from a standard primer to a magnum primer, remove 1 grain of SF.

I have seen several rifles go extremely well with SF powder but not all are long range custom built rigs. Some have been basic 24" sporters and such, some old, some new. But in this current test rifle I have here, the very best results were obtained with 59 grains RE 22 behind the 208gr ELD-M. In this rifle, SF worked better with the lighter 195 grain bullets along with the heavier 220gr SMK which was accurate and with a low ES at 2674fps. I believe it would work well with the 220gr ELD-X and 225gr ELD-M but I have not tried these combos. Instead, I have been focused on intensive studies of the effects of throat length and geometry along with powder types and volumes, neck tension, changes in primers, crimping, harmonics and so forth which has been highly exhaustive without adding a pile of different projectiles into the mix. So much so that I realize how futile my life's efforts (the KB) are in light of the parameters one can explore for one cartridge alone.

RE 22 powder has never been known for high temp stability, but it has a unique burn rate akin to being halfway between H4813sc and H1000. I can live with the temp issue via click rules. My pet load is the 208gr ELD-M at 87.1mm (.3mm jump), 59gr RE 22 for 2636fps. Velocity would be a bit higher had I not cut the barrel down an inch to investigate an aspect of harmonic timing that I wanted to pursue as an isolated factor.

I would like to offer a conclusion to your SF question but I can't as the load density and other variables will depend on the rifle you have on your bench. Ultimately, you will need to run some tests to see where the rifle is at. I do however suggest that you start out with a magnum primer for the sake of BC winter temps. Therefore, if I were starting over again, I would start at 55gr behind the 208gr, 55.5 behind the 200gr ELD-X or 56 behind a 195 grain pill.

Again, I cannot condone any of this as being safe. I am speaking of my experience only, my scales, my brand of brass (Hornady) and the rifles (factory and custom) I have worked with over the past so many years along with the FMR reamer which is via its dimensions, is devoid of any extremes.

Hope that helps a bit.

09 Jul 2020
@ 11:22 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Reloading with Superformance
I think that helps more than "a bit". That's way more than I expected, but one should always expect the unexpected.

I was also toying with the 195 TMK, the 208 and 225 ELD-Ms. I will let you know what I come up with. The main focus was to be the 195 and the 225, especially the 225. I was going to try to find a load that would be acceptable for the top round in the mag. Slow, heavy, and deadly. So far, it shows possibilities as velocities are in the 2350 - 2375 range, to my thinking almost perfect for the up close to 100y shot.

I talked with the tech at Alliant Powder regarding the temperature stability of the Reloder line. And while he said that they were not "stable" he did indicate that they were not radical either. We hashed things over and basically what was said was that a shooter should try his best to develop his loads at close to the expected temperatures of the hunt.

Looking at my notes, I see that your numbers and mine are pretty close for the 208. The difference between two loads was only .2gr, but it lifted velocity by a good 40fps. The downside, ES was anywhere from 16 to 23fps, but I have not experimented with COALs or heavier/lighter crimps.

The loads I've done with the 195gr TMK, so far, have all been finding max pressure and are thus not of any consequence. I will definitely look into the use of the magnum primer to see what happens there.
12 Jul 2020
@ 08:59 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Reloading with Superformance
hi Paul it might be worth looking into wincherster 6.5staball to, there's data for it on hodgdon website
14 Jul 2020
@ 01:49 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Reloading with Superformance
Thanks, Thomas. i found some locally. have to pick some up this week.


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