Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winchester Autocomp

Ok, this one has been in the works for a while, just haven't taken the time to sit down and write it up. I got this powder thinking it would be a great option for 9mm loads, but have run into more issues than I can begin to describe here. My first problem with this powder is the near-total lack of reloading data for it. Outside of hodgdons annual reloading manual (and even then, the bullet selection is very limited) I can't find any data AT ALL. This doesn't bode well for the manufacturers confidence in this product, since if they aren't even willing to support it with a good amount of load data, then WTF are they selling it for?

Issue number two is more a gripe with all super fine powders in general, but this one is no exception. Its sticks in the powder drop, and after 30 or 40 measurements starts to reduce the total volume dropped into the cases. I have done my damndest to keep the thing clean, but at this point its just becoming irritating. I don't really want to spend my whole reloading session waiting on my RCBS electronic dispenser (all BS aside, the drop measure is twice as fast), but that's what I've been reduced to at this point.

Last, but not least I get the feeling from chrono readings and other Autocomp user experience that the Hodgdon loading data is significantly under-charged. I have enough powder to start exploring the real limits of this powder, but that's not what I bought it for. I just want clear, diverse, and accurate load data. Is that too much to ask?

At the end of the day, I suppose that with a little tweaking and a lot of range time I seem to have found a couple of better than average loads. But for the amount of shooting and tweaking and trial & error I had to do to get there, in retrospect I should have just bought a pound of Winchester 231 and never bothered with Winchester Autocomp

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