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Discussion Starter #1
Last year in Canada a fellow hunter says he loads his 30-06 with hotter primers because he says they work better in very cold weather. Is there anything to this? He works the load up in the summer with a Federal 215 instead of a 210. He says he has never had a problem. This seemed a little weird to me. Thoughts

Buckfever
 

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Is there anything to this?
You bet. Hotter(Magnum) primers are used all the time for non magnum cartridges, especially in cold weather or when using ball powders, as a matter of fact it is preferred by many . Working up loads in the summer and hunting with them in the winter is just fine. Pressure problems can occur when working up loads in cold weather and shooting them in hot weather.
 

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Yes a hot standard or magnum primer can be an advantage in cold contions.

Another thing to consider is powder choice. I like the Hodgdon Extreme series for cold weather. I have chronoed some loads at -20F that were developed at 35-60 (+) F and found considerable drop in velocity for some powders and a decrease in bullet performance as a result - from some NON extreme powders. Some powders are more sensitive than others.

I think WW 630 could act strangely at extreme cold too and was part of the reason it was DIScontinued. I was never clear on WHAT the action was but once I read about it I made sure to burn up my supply in warm weather.

One other thing - in extreme cold weather, use a dry gun or only the high tech lubes. I have had oiled guns fail to fire at -20 to -50.
 

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besides the magnum primers, I would try to develop my loads using Hodgdon extreme powders too. There is supposed to be less pressure variation between temperature changes.
 

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For sake of discussion:

If you need a hotter primer and a 'special' type of powder to make ammunition perform in Canada....then why does .22 rimfire ammunition still work there? I'm pretty sure that when I was working at Remington Ammunition plant in Lonoke, Arkansas we didn't do anything different to load ammunition going to our friends in the North.
Does factory change the way ammo is loaded for Canadian customers.....nope.


My conclusion is a hotter primer is only necessary for igniting a larger column of powder and has no/minimal effect during colder temps. As I doubt that anyone could accurately dope-the-scope for a 1-5fps change in velocity. But it does have a nice sound to it....hotter primer for colder climate.



Scott (looking for article about this) B
 

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sdb777 said:
For sake of discussion:

If you need a hotter primer and a 'special' type of powder to make ammunition perform in Canada....then why does .22 rimfire ammunition still work there? I'm pretty sure that when I was working at Remington Ammunition plant in Lonoke, Arkansas we didn't do anything different to load ammunition going to our friends in the North.
Does factory change the way ammo is loaded for Canadian customers.....nope.


My conclusion is a hotter primer is only necessary for igniting a larger column of powder and has no/minimal effect during colder temps. As I doubt that anyone could accurately dope-the-scope for a 1-5fps change in velocity. But it does have a nice sound to it....hotter primer for colder climate.



Scott (looking for article about this) B
Scott

Your right about the ammo companies not changing the loading for colder places BUT that does meam that it will give the best results in extream cold locations .

1-5 fps may not make a bit of diffrence but 100-200 fps sure will shift POI and may also change how the bullet reacts on impact .

stimpy
 

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The only real issue here is whether the cartridge will reliably fire at colder temperatures. It should if the data was prepared by a modern ballistics lab that has experience with environmental testing. If you want to shoot in colder temperatures, just call the tech support line of one of the bullet companies and you will get expert advice.

Personally I like the Hodgdon Extreme powders because they work as advertised and loads don't vary much from extreme to extreme in temperature condition. The ball powders, like Winchester, I've tried vary quite a bit more, but still not enough to significantly effect trajectory or other performance unless fine precision shooting is being done, as with prairie dog shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys thanks for the detailed information. I have H-4350 as my powder to work up. For now I think my Federal 210 primer will be just fine. If there is a better primer please inform. Thanks again! Buckfever
 

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Buckfever said:
Hey guys thanks for the detailed information. I have H-4350 as my powder to work up. For now I think my Federal 210 primer will be just fine. If there is a better primer please inform. Thanks again! Buckfever
When you want the most consistent primer, always opt for the 'match' type primer. Over the long term, you will find it to give better results in SD and ES numbers over the chronograph.




stimpy,

If your hand loaded stuff is giving 100-200fps deviations, then I would say it's not just the primer? But a combination of powder/primer/bullet seating depth..... Or possibly the primers that are being used have been mixed, and at that point....I'd toss them and start with a know good quantity.
This is a great topic, and I'm hoping for more input from you.


Scott (what are you loading for Buckfever) B
 

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Questor said:
The only real issue here is whether the cartridge will reliably fire at colder temperatures. If you want to shoot in colder temperatures, just call the tech support line of one of the bullet companies and you will get expert advice.

.
How would this tech know what is the best choice for my particular rifle? Wouldn't it be more accurate for me to do my own cold temperature test using my rifle and components?
 

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Buckfever,

I have loaded quite a bit using the Win-WLR primers and found that over a major temp range that they preform more consistant than most others. They are generally a bit hotter or have more brizialance(sp). I have also found that in most cases other than a custom match rifle you will generally not tell a lot of differences in groups either. I have used them for 99% of all my standard loads for over 20 years with no problems related to temp except one. That was a compressed load of RL-22 under a 165gr Nosler. Worked up fine in 85-90 degree temps but went off like a squib once the temps hit 30.

Other than that one load, most everything else has been within around 50 - 100fps of the initial load, and easily predictable. One other thing about cold weather loads, if you have the chance to keep them in an inside jacket pocket, or slid inside the palm of one gloved hand, and above freezing and you should not have a problem at all. Unless your stalking or still hunting you should have time to drop a round into your chamber.

If you want to test them out while working them up all you need is a little cooler and some dry ice. Simply drop the loaded rounds into a rag sitting atop of the dry ice. Have a small thermometer laying in there which is removed each time you swap loads. This way you can halfway predict at which point your loads will start to head south and you will need to adjust for it. Bear in mind however, if you work up a toasty cold weather load, it should not be used for temps rangeing much above 40 degrees hotter than the temp you load it for. This will more than likly result in having to hammer your bolt open. It is generally much better to load when it's hot than when it's cold, however both ends of the scale have a purpose and reason for doing so.
 

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Just did a search for the average temps in Saskatchewan, Canada.......interestingly it averages 18*F during the winter. Not what I'd consider 'extreme cold'. Could you possibly tell us what your experiences are with 'extreme cold'?


41 said:
That was a compressed load of RL-22 under a 165gr Nosler. Worked up fine in 85-90 degree temps but went off like a squib once the temps hit 30.
Have you reproduced this result with this load more then once? Or was this an isolated incident?





Scott (contaminated powder?) B
 

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sdb777

There is a lot of difference between a .22LR that has a small amount of fast burning easy to ignite powder and a large case with a compressed load of slow burning powder. The slower burning powders have deterrents on them to slow the burning process (it's how they work). Those deterrents also make them harder to ignite. Ball powders are well known for this trait as are the real slow burning extruded powders. It's the reason magnum type primers are most often recommended for use with them. I found out years ago when I moved from the temperate Willamette Valley to NE Oregon. Had a M700V .223 with a real sweet load of BLC2 and a CCI 400 primer. Worked perfectly until I hit the sub freezing temps of NE Oregon. Had severe hang fires. I swithed to CCI 450s and never had another problem. Found the same thing with ball powders in the .308 Win. Had to use CCI 250s in them for consistant ignition. I've had Oehler chronographs since '74 so I know what "inconsistant ignition" is. Since WLR primers became more available I've used them as they are made to ignite ball powder. However, for the mondo magnum cases Winchester also makes a WLRM primer. Using the hotter primer in cold weather is a proven necessity with ball and slower powders, especially in compressed loads.

Larry Gibson
 

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Larry,

Interesting read you have given. Can you provide links to these facts, or is this just your experience? Not doubting your hang fires with the Rem700, but my M-16 just kept firing while TDY in the Arctic(dew-line support winter of 1987). I wasn't packing any special ammo there? Why did my weapon go bang? It had been outside with me for quite a few hours, so I'd have to say it was as cold as the surroundings....


Scott (trying to get to the facts) B
 

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Steve:

Those techs know a lot. They can save you a lot of time and money. And they can spare you the risk of getting bad advice on the internet from people with no credentials. Face it, if you're asking for advice in a place like this, you're not doing your homework.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Most of my hunts have been at 0 degree F. A few days were -10 below without figuring the windchill. Sitting in a tree all day with a 20 mph wind takes a special type person. Maybe a little bit like a sniper. 20- is not out of the question.

Buckfever
 

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Buckfever said:
Most of my hunts have been at 0 degree F. A few days were -10 below without figuring the windchill. Sitting in a tree all day with a 20 mph wind takes a special type person. Maybe a little bit like a sniper. 20- is not out of the question.

Buckfever
Hey Buckfever, When the temps get down below zero I bring along a red sleeping bag. I take my boots off, climb into the bag, pull it up to my arm pits and I can sit in my stand all day if needed. Give it a try, it works great.
 

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sdb777 said:
Just did a search for the average temps in Saskatchewan, Canada.......interestingly it averages 18*F during the winter. Not what I'd consider 'extreme cold'. Could you possibly tell us what your experiences are with 'extreme cold'?


41 said:
That was a compressed load of RL-22 under a 165gr Nosler. Worked up fine in 85-90 degree temps but went off like a squib once the temps hit 30.
Have you reproduced this result with this load more then once? Or was this an isolated incident?


Yes I tried this load out several times and had the same result. In fact when it got down to about 40 degrees the velocity had fallen off almost 300fps and as I dropped them more it fell down to almost 1800fps from the initial 3000 it started out at. The load was worked up to 63grs of RL-22 in a Win case which had to be put in using a drop tube, then there was a 165gr Nosler BT seated to an OAL of 3.250 on top of it. The problem wasn't contaminated powder but the compressed powder and not enough to light it off once it got cold.

As for colder temps, I have hunted here when it was in the teens as well as in the 20's with plenty of wind chill. Most every other load has worked just fine. That particular load was something that I worked up for a particular buck we were hunting which only ran a certian area of our farm. There was no way due to the prevailing wind to set up for anything closer than a 300yd shot. After the spring and summer working on the load and shooting at 400yds with that load I was very disappointed that it preformed that way, however, was glad I found out on a lesser buck rather than on the one we were after. Not long afterwords I purchased a Sendero in 7 mag and have not worked with compressed loads since.


Scott (contaminated powder?) B
 

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My highly scientific contribution is I have hunted in the Rockies when it was cold enough to freeze the pee can inside of a double walled tent at night (no heater) and I was using a 30-06 loaded with standard CCI primers and IMR 4350 pushing a 200gr Speer Hot Coor bullet. I got a shot at a 4x4 elk and I took the elk and 19 bullets home.
I never hunted up high again with a non-magnum rifle so I don't know if my example of one means anything or not. I think the magnum primers might be like chicken soup, they can't hurt. I don't believe they are the do-all, be-all, is-all some folks would have you think.
 

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sdb777 said:
Larry,

Interesting read you have given. Can you provide links to these facts, or is this just your experience? Not doubting your hang fires with the Rem700, but my M-16 just kept firing while TDY in the Arctic(dew-line support winter of 1987). I wasn't packing any special ammo there? Why did my weapon go bang? It had been outside with me for quite a few hours, so I'd have to say it was as cold as the surroundings....


Scott (trying to get to the facts) B
The fact is the military arsenals do not load with "standard" primers. They use primers made for ball powders. They also test the ammunition at various temperatures including arctic temperature if you mean cold. That's why your M16 went bang with issue ammo. Now if you'll bother to check the facts magnum primer are made for ball powders in particular. BTW; I was just up on the Dew Line (not much left of it these days) in September and it wasn't all that cold so you might mention how cold it was when you were there. I was also up there on a "Brim Frost" in '86 (I think, a Canadian C130 crashed there at Wainwright) when the temp went to an honest 80 below zero. Our M16s still went bang, must have been them magnum type primers LC loaded the ammo with. Here's what I suggest you do. Load some .223 with CCI 400 primers, 26 gr H335, a 55 gr bullet and go somewheres where it is below 0 degrees and with the ammo and rifles at ambient temperature fire 10 rounds. Then come back and tell me you didn't have a hangfire. You'll have the facts then.

Larry Gibson
 
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