It has five solutions. The only real solution of this equation is 5. Instead of returning an infinite set of periodic solutions, the solver picks these three solutions that it considers to be most practical.
To do this we carefully measured muzzle velocities of meticulously loaded ammo over a huge range of temperatures. This test was conducted by Patrick Middlebrook. Patrick is passionate about the art of precision rifles. He is also a 5-star handloader.
We collaborated on some ways to approach it, and Patrick took it from there. Patrick is a meticulous guy, and he put in the work on this test. I hope you find it as interesting as I did. While those powders may not always produce the fastest muzzle velocities, veteran shooters have learned to trust that Extreme powders will provide consistent muzzle velocities across virtually any environment.
Using an exclusive extrusion process and exacting quality standards, Hodgdon has created a line of propellants that performs better at hot and cold temperatures than any other powder on the market.
These new powders should compete directly with the Hodgdon Extreme Series, which gives shooters more powder options to consider. So I decided to test 4 different powders that are ideal for the majority of calibers used in long-range, PRS-style matches: Hodgdon H — This is an overwhelming favorite for mid-sized cartridges like the 6.
Some shooters have told me IMR allowed them to squeeze a little more velocity out of their rifles, compared to H Hodgdon Varget — If you have been to any rifle match and talked about reloading, it would be hard not to hear about Varget. While you may not have seen this powder in person, because it seems to fly off the shelf faster than any other powder … it does really exist!
When Varget was first introduced, it quickly gained popularity among predator hunters and benchrest shooters shooting the and Remington. It has also became a favorite powder for those shooting Win, 6.
IMR — This powder has very similar burning characteristics to Hodgdon Varget, and can be used in the same array of calibers. The good news is this powder is easy to find and seemed to have great results in my test. The same increase in temperature also causes the nitro cellulose based powder inside the cartridge to burn at a higher rate, producing approximately four times the Point of Impact POI shift than just air temperature alone.
Just how much does an increase in temperature affect the powder burning-rate? Some powders are more susceptible to temperature effects than others and will burn faster than others.
Some powders are more affected by changes in temperature than others. So if your goal is first shot hits and you may shoot in a variety of conditions … you should care about temperature stable powders.
When you have temperature swings like that, the muzzle velocity of your bullet could increase by 50 fps or more … which could be enough to completely miss a target.
There are so many variables involved in hitting long range targets that we need to always be looking for variables to eliminate.
At the Applied Ballistics Seminar in March, Bryan Litz gave his rule of thumb for how muzzle velocities may vary with temperature for different types of rifle powder: He also made it clear that no powder is completely insensitive to temperature.
Your muzzle velocity WILL vary based on ambient temperature, regardless of what powder you use. So while we can seek to mitigate that variance … at this point, no powder allows you to completely eliminate it. But, you can minimize the effect by making a wise powder selection.
But, many have found those powders to be very sensitive to temperature. They lose confidence in their dope, question their rifle or scope, and generally just spiral into frustration.
But, many never make the connection that it could be a poor powder selection that caused their trajectory to change so dramatically. If they were already close to max pressure when they developed the load, then any increase in temperature can turn into a dangerous situation.
But when you do that, it likely eliminates any muzzle velocity advantage those powders may have provided over those that are specifically formulated to be temperature stable.
Let me quickly run through the setup of how the test was conducted. There are a multitude of shooters using H and Varget in their 6. There were also more PRS competitors within the top finishers using the 6. I was fortunate enough to perform the test in style, with a full TS Custom rifle build that a friend let me borrow.
So if our muzzle velocity is 2, fps, the measured velocity should be within about 2 fps of the true muzzle velocity. It actually tracks the bullet out to about 80 yards, taking numerous velocity readings along the way.When this occurs, the system of equations does not have a unique solution.
In fact, any a and b replacement that makes one of the equations true, also makes the other equation true. For example, if a = –6 and b = 5, then both equations are made true.
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