Q: I have a Howa 1500 varmint with heavy 600mm barrel in .22-250 that I have been reloading for with excellent results using AR2208, but recently I bought three canisters of BM 8208. Can you suggest some loads with the Barnes 36gn Varmint Grenade, Hornady 40gn V-Max, Nosler 50gn Ballistic Tip and Hornady 60gn V-Max? How does this powder compare with AR2208?
A: BM 8208 is a small, short-grained stick powder specifically developed for varmint and benchrest cartridges. I have used it in the .204 Ruger, .223 and .22-250, but not as yet, in my .220 Wilson Arrow. It looks like BM2 but exhibits a slower burning rate, i.e., more like AR2208. In all of my test loads , I found BM 8208 provided near-maximum load densities for each bullet weight tested.It doesn’t meter as smoothly as a spherical propellant, but it comes close.Metered charge weights varied no
more than +/- 0.1 grain about 98 percent of the time.None of the dozens of charges I checked varied more than 0.2 gn and less than 1 percent of the charges I threw varied that much. My working loads developed up in a Remington 700 Varminter are: Barnes 36gn VG, 38.5gn for 4295fps; Hornady 40gn V-Max, 38gn for 4120fps; Nosler 50gn Ballistic Silvertip, 35.5gn 3725fps; and Hornady 60gn V-Max, 34gn for 3475fps. Velocity taken as the average of 20 shots from 3 metres and accuracy ran from .55 to .70 MoA. These loads were safe in my test rifle, but you should reduce them by 5 percent in your gun and work up.