Arsenal Molds 30. Cal HVTH1

Spindrift

Active Member
I recently got this mold

In the photo below, you see a trio of bullets- the HVTH is on the right. Long bearing surface, small lube grooves, meplat slightly larger than the XCB- bullet (in the middle). HVTH is an acronym for High Velocity, Target, Hunting.

I have a 4 cavity mold, that works very well. I have shot the bullets a couple of times, I started with water quenched bullets BHN27, and Viht N-110 powder; pan lubed with 666-1, tumble lube top coat; 19 grs worked well in my Howa .308. 27 grs Vectan TU-3000 also worked well with these conventionally lubed bullets.

I shoot from prone position at 100m. Front support on a bag. Rear support on an old gym sock filled with rice (really should get a better rear bag). The circles on the target monitor represent 1 MOA increments. With this set-up, my shooting skills and experience level with cast bullets (intermediate-ish), I consider 5- shot 100m groups better than 2 MOA «good», 1,5 MOA «very good» and sub-1,5MOA makes my day. Sub-MOA- groups I consider a fluke, until proven otherwise (still waiting for consistent sub- MOA load).

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Today, I tried powder coated bullets, BHN 14. Intermediate loads with Tu-3000 gave disappointing results (3 MOA). However, jacketed-level starting loads with Tu-5000 (quite similar to IMR4064) were interesting. I shot groups from 36- 38 grs. The hottest load gave 4 hits really close together, and one flier (un-called, but might be me anyway.... dont know). Will shoot this load some more, and try to push it a bit further.

Powder coating is still a bit fresh territory for me, but I must say it is a facinating tool to have in the box.
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Spindrift

Active Member
Thank you! I have only limited experience with this bullet. But it seems relatively easy to work with. Thought I could keep track of my progress with the load development in this thread.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
We'd love to see it. I've had my eye on that hvth bullet for a while as a candidate for PC experimentation. So far I've had good luck using very soft alloy with powder coat, so don't think you have to use water-quenched Buckminsterfullerine as an alloy for success. 12-14 bhn did well to 2900 fps in the 5.56 (maxed out pressure with the heavy bullets without seeing groups deteriorate) and .30-caliber has worked in a couple of rifles as soft as 10.4 bhn and nearly 2400fps. 14 bhn and powder coated with the 4064 certainly looks like it deserves more investigation.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Thank you, Ian!
I have two alloys in use currently. Nuclear medicine lead with 2% tin (measuring bhn 14 with my newly aquired Lee hardness tester). This alloy is quite useful for typical mid- and low intensity loads. In the other pot, I have added 2% antimon, which gives a seemingly disproportionate increase in air-cooled BHN to 18, and water quenches to 27. I use this for conventionally lubed bullets where circumstances call for harder alloy. My supply of antimonial lead is limited at the moment, one of my motivations to try PC. Before I started PC, I have read what I have found on the subject, including your many excellent posts :)
For now, I use the BHN14 alloy for powder coated bullets. And so far it seems to work well.

For my next range trip, I plan to shoot some more tu-5000 loads, try some imr 4064 and maybe viht n-150. Will keep you posted.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
When I recently started powder coating, I quickly discovered the challenge of moving a tray of neatly balanced bullets into the oven.... The bake-in-a-pile method has not worked for me either. My solution was to glue a bunch of cardboard plates together (the massive kind, without air channels), make 10mm holes with a punch. A string/loop on either side, they must be balanced so you can lift it, holding the knots, without any wobbling (fix the string with a little glue).

I place the cardboard «matrix» on the baking tray. Drop the powdered bullets into the holes. Place the tray halfway into the oven, carefully remove the cardboard and insert tray fully into the oven. I am sure there are more clever ways of doing this, but it works for me at least.8689
 
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Spindrift

Active Member
Shot some more groups today, Vectan TU-5000 38-40grs, imr4064 38-40 grs, Vihn N-150 39-41 grs. Chronoed a few loads (single shots only). The Vectan loads were disappointing. The 4064 and N150 loads were all quite good; i shot with my moderator fitted, and had some trouble with mirage (many loads to test, limited time). My barrel is 18,5in, so limited potential when it comes to velocity.
Some chrono data:
Vec Tu-5000 38grs: 2030 fps
Vec Tu- 5000 39 grs 2100 fps
IMR4064, 39 grs 2285 fps
IMR 4064 40 grs 2275 fps
N150, 40 grs 2220 fps

The two best 5-shot groups today were imr4064/38grs (1,3MOA) and N150/41grs (1,5 MOA). The rest of the 4064/n150- groups typically had a flier opening to 2 MOA; some called fliers, some disturbing mirage from the moderator. Will try to push the N150 a bit further. No bug holes yet, but making progress.87388739
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
18.5" .308 Winchester? Is a "moderator" what we call a silencer or suppressor here in the US? You're doing great especially considering those limitations. Nice round groups count for a lot.

The most recent trials with my 18" suppressed LR-308 produced a 5/8" five-shot group without the suppressor-mounted chronograph and a 1-1/4" group with it mounted, will be doing more tests of that same load to make certain it isn't a freak thing. The reason that seems particularly relevant to your thread is similar barrel lengths, big "can" on the muzzle, and powder coated spitzers. I had been using IMR 4320 for most of my .308 shooting because I have a lot of it on hand, but after looking at muzzle pressure levels with Quickload I went against my gut instinct and tried Reloder 7. It was giving me 2464 fps average and 9.3 SD for five shots at 36.0 grains in Remington brass. All three of the powders you were using are pretty slow for the cartridge under most any circumstances and with a short barrel will have quite a lot of muzzle pressure and excess heat in the can. I say all this to mention that a faster powder may be to your advantage in this rifle. Accurate 2200 or TU-2000 may be worth a try.

Typically we WANT slower powders with cast bullets due to high loading density and gentle launch due to relatively slow initial burn rates, but the powder coating seems to make the gentle launch less important, particularly with a good, self-aligning bullet such as what you are using.

Heat mirage is not fun to shoot through. To me it's worse than mirage downrange because the scale is much larger. Five rounds with Reloder 7 is about all I get before it's time to let it cool off for a few minutes, but with 4320 I get mirage after just three shots and it takes much longer to cool.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Thank you for your feedback!
Yes, by «moderator» I mean silencer, sorry (the brits call them «moderators», which by the way is a word that sounds much less scary to legislators). In Norway, silencers are sold with no licence/regulation of any kind. My 10 year old daughter could walk into a gun shop and buy one. The one I use on my Howa .308 is a bit heavy (1 ibs), but very rugged and quite afforable. I have silencers on all my hunting rifles/barrels.

I have read (and recently re-read) your thread on HV PC shooting, lots of useful information and great results!

The powders used this time (N-150, IMR4064, TU-5000) is what I typically use with jacketed bullets (150-185 grs) in the .308, with good results. I have tried a few loads with TU-3000 (3031- territory) with PC HVTH1, but accuracy has been dissapointing so far. I have a few other powders that I will try, eventually (H322, Benchmark, N120, imr4198). Reducing the mirage- problem would be great.

By the way, I am using epoxy- based coat. I also have a polyester- based coat, but the epoxy- based coat works better for me. This seems to go against the experience of others. I cleaned the gun upon returning from the range, after 50 nearly full-power PC shots. It required almost no cleaning, the third patch was clean- amazing. Found no trace of coat fouling.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Epoxy, interesting! Its really good that we're using different things and making them work. The reason I have kept using Polyester tgic powder is because I started out with it and it just keeps working, same reason I do a lot of things. I set out to test and find failure points and haven't had to change yet. Looks like you are finding the same thing with the epoxy which is outstanding!

The faster powder wont solve your heat problem but will help a little. Reduction in muzzle pressure will reduce the moderator boost somewhat and may settle down the groups a little, just something to think about.