Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Location: Glendale, AZ
The issue came up on the 'Keeping busy til' fall' thread about loss of velocity in cold weather. Certainly important in late season pheasant hunting. I know many trap shooters go to 3 Dram loads in the winter. How cold does it have to be to matter? More of a problem with light loads? Fast burning vs. slow burning powder? Facts, thoughts, ideas?
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Yeah, keep 'em stuffed in your undies. That will keep them snug and warm and functioning very well. getting them out when your hands are cold is a problem though
Actually, the only real problems I ever had was with a slow ball powder called 580 made by Winchester, that is identical to HS-7. It would not fire up with standard primers in a 28 ga. load However Federal 209A primers improved the ignition in cold weather, but peak pressures also went up too. so I cut the load a 1/2 grain to 19 instead of 19-1/2 grains. I also deepened the crimp slightly.
Now I tend to keep all my hunting fodder at about 9300 to 9700 PSI. This pressure range helps the powder to burn well. I make sure only once fired cases are used, and set a very firm, slightly deeper crimp to ensure a good pressure rise. I use only flake or disc powders too and a midrange strength primer. The new CCI 209 primers are a tad hotter than Remington and Winchesters. I'll load up some cold weather loads with them this fall. It will do the trick for me.
A lot of it depends of powder type, primer selection and load selection for cold weather loads. As 16 GG stated HS-7 and 571 loose alot in colder weather, I have chronographed loads with HS-7 in 70 degree temps and then in 28-30 degree temps. Velocity losses in the 100 fps range are what I found in the colder temps with HS-7. Usually what I have found works best in the field,especially for those very frosty January snow goose hunts with wind chills below zero, is to use single based powders such as IMR 4756, 7625 and PB. For some reason the single based powders stay much more stable and give much more consistant velocities in very cold conditions. Another very good powder in colder weather is Alliant STEEL which we use for most of our waterfowling loads, I have shot reloads with STEEL powder in temperatures of -20 degrees and had no ignition or performance issues with it. Using the Federal 209A or CCI 209M primers also helps with cold weather loads, using a load recipe that calls for these primers that is at or near peak pressures also works well for colder weather shooting.
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