Who's got Varget? What to use instead?

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
I know the stuff is in high-demand, but just wondering if anyone has a source they'd be willing to share for Varget powder? I know - long shot!

Or any clues if there's a seasonality to it's availability?

For 5.56/308WIN, what do you all use as second choice to Varget? H4895, 4064, CFE223? Considering for an AO that has wide temperature variations.

EDIT - I should've stated that I was looking to push heavier pills - 168-178g .308 - my bad.
 
Last edited:

bobke

Sergeant
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2010
786
141
49
67
Bandera, Texas
8208 works very well in both, especially so with 68-77gr 223 and 155’s of any variety in 308. AR Comp and CFE223 both excellent in 6.5 Grendel and in similar speed range to 8208, but no experience-yet-in 223/308, but other feedback here would indicate worth a try. CFE meters very well fm Redding throw.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Belligerents
Aug 10, 2001
6,943
2,289
219
73
Arizona, good place for me...
For 308 (and 30-06), I use IMR-4064. It's not Varget. It's accurate for me; but the Varget temp insensitivity, it ain't got.

For 223/5.56, I use Varget, period. It'll probably take a long time to shoot up the Varget I've already got loaded.

Greg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

longgunJR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Apr 8, 2019
154
82
34
Central Texas
I’ve been on the lookout for Varget for months! Hopefully we’ll get some soon. I sourced a pound from someone that had a little extra
 

want2learn

Private
Belligerents
Sep 7, 2013
365
66
34
Bass Pro lists Varget in stock and that seems to work very nicely for both 5.56 and .308

i've also had good luck with Vihtavuori N 133 for both 5.56 and .308.

I'm told N540 works well I have a container of it but haven't yet had the opportunity to try it.
 
Last edited:

Supersubes

Snafu
Belligerents
Sep 6, 2006
3,677
1,917
219
Rural Nevada
I know the stuff is in high-demand, but just wondering if anyone has a source they'd be willing to share for Varget powder? I know - long shot!

Or any clues if there's a seasonality to it's availability?

For 5.56/308WIN, what do you all use as second choice to Varget? H4895, 4064, CFE223? Considering for an AO that has wide temperature variations.
Are you really in Lake Tahoe? How many pounds do you want?
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
IMR 4320 is a close stand-in.
I just checked out Hogdon's load data for the IMR4320, very similar for both 5.56 and 308. Thanks for the heads up.

I know there's a lot of powders that will work for 5.56/308, but I'm cheap and if I can use one powder for a variety of loads, it's always preferred. I'm fairly new to reloading with less than 5000 rounds through my press, so, always looking to the experts for their opinion.
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
Bass Pro lists Varget in stock and that seems to work very nicely for both 5.56 and .308

i've also had good luck with Vihtavuori N 133 for both 5.56 and .308.

I'm told N540 works well I have a container of it but haven't yet had the opportunity to try it.
Vihtavuori N540 might be what I'm looking for, if it does as well with the temperature swings that the N133 seems to.

I should've stated that I wanted to push 168-178g pills with all of this... my bad.
 

sinister

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 16, 2002
1,684
119
169
College Station, Texas
VV N540 is a good powder, just be aware it's a little more expensive and is a double-base (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin) that burns a little hotter. Makes it a little harsher on your chamber throat and leades.
 

Nimothy

I’m trying
Belligerents
Minuteman
Nov 14, 2018
119
23
22
Dallas Texas
I’ve used h4895 one 4064 instead the last time you couldn’t get it. Also have had good luck with tac rifle. Plus that meters well
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
VV N540 is a good powder, just be aware it's a little more expensive and is a double-base (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin) that burns a little hotter. Makes it a little harsher on your chamber throat and leades.
See... I have so much to learn. That's why I joined up here. Thanks for the heads up.
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
I’ve used h4895 one 4064 instead the last time you couldn’t get it. Also have had good luck with tac rifle. Plus that meters well
Seems those are the two "go to" alternates for Varget. Thanks for adding to the discussion and helping me out.
 

sinister

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 16, 2002
1,684
119
169
College Station, Texas
4064 is a little tough for 5.56. The longer sticks can bridge at the case mouth and make things messy and inefficient. IMR and H4895 are both longer than Varget kernels. 4320 and 8208 are nicer, but 8208 burns a little hotter/faster than 4895 and 4064, 4320 slower.
 

OLD308

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 8, 2018
476
272
69
8208XBR over Varget for me. Lot to lot consistently preforms the same. Just make sure your scale is accurate. Hope this helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sinister

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
4064 is a little tough for 5.56. The longer sticks can bridge at the case mouth and make things messy and inefficient. IMR and H4895 are both longer than Varget kernels. 4320 and 8208 are nicer, but 8208 burns a little hotter/faster than 4895 and 4064, 4320 slower.
8208XBR over Varget for me. Lot to lot consistently preforms the same. Just make sure your scale is accurate. Hope this helps.
All of the real world experience that this site brings is invaluable, really appreciate everyone adding to my knowledgebase. All of the researching and chart comparison and data crunching and "conclusions" start showing holes once people with actual experience add to the conversation.

I knew this hobby was going to be challenging and fun, just had NO idea how much....

Thanks again for everyone's input!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sinister

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Belligerents
Feb 19, 2012
871
252
69
Charlotte, NC
IMR-4064 is what I use in 308 with a 175gr. Accurate, good es/sd and gives me the speeds I want.

As someone mentioned its not as temp stable as varget though. If you input the data for the kestrel to account for it then you should be fine.

As a comparison
4064 in 308: 0.7 fps per degree
Varget in 6.5x47: 0.15 fps per degree

Cartridge difference may account for some of the difference but not all of it.
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
Shooters world precision powder has loaded about identical to varget and I have actually had better SD's. This is with the Berger 200 20 x.
Ah HA! Thank you for that - real-world results. I guess i'm stuck on Varget for the temperature sensitivity thing being at altitude and having 60-70 ambient temp. swings, as I shoot during all seasons.

Probably time to do some real-world testing on my own.
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
IMR-4064 is what I use in 308 with a 175gr. Accurate, good es/sd and gives me the speeds I want.

As someone mentioned its not as temp stable as varget though. If you input the data for the kestrel to account for it then you should be fine.

As a comparison
4064 in 308: 0.7 fps per degree
Varget in 6.5x47: 0.15 fps per degree

Cartridge difference may account for some of the difference but not all of it.
Thank you! Where do I find/derive those correction numbers, i.e. 0.7fps/degree?
 
Last edited:

Kopfjager1

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Feb 12, 2017
472
79
34
Thank you! Where do I find/derive those correction numbers, i.e. 0.7fps/degree?
Hornady 4DOF is a good source for those numbers along Modern Advancements series from Applied Ballistics.
Hornady 4DOF temp stability fps/F*
Varget: 0.16
IMR 4166: 0.73
I would also consider IMR 4166, I have not used it, but if it is anything like 4451, as an alternative to H4350, it would be a decent alternative.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
That is my real world test in my two rifles from 95 degree weather down to 40 degree weather. In NC we are lucky (?:unsure:?) enough to experience these temps in a day or two.
Wow, sounds like I should order up some Shooters World!
Hornady 4DOF is a good source for those numbers along Modern Advancements series from Applied Ballistics.
Hornady 4DOF temp stability fps/F*
Varget: 0.16
IMR 4166: 0.73
I would also consider IMR 4166, I have not used it, but if it is anything like 4451, as an alternative to H4350, it would be a decent alternative.
I should'a joined this site years ago! One day I hope to be able to contribute this type of information to the new guys like me asking these questions.

Thanks guys!
 

XLR308

Old Salt
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2018
2,625
2,343
119
Grand Junction, Colorado
AR-COMP ended up being my go to powder in the 308win and 223rem.
My stash of Varget was collecting dust for a few years until I built a 6.5x47.
I got a little better accuracy but slightly less velocity with AR-COMP as it's a bit faster powder but retains the temp stability characteristic of Varget.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Belligerents
Feb 19, 2012
871
252
69
Charlotte, NC
AR-COMP ended up being my go to powder in the 308win and 223rem.
My stash of Varget was collecting dust for a few years until I built a 6.5x47.
I got a little better accuracy but slightly less velocity with AR-COMP as it's a bit faster powder but retains the temp stability characteristic of Varget.
Does it? Honestly asking because I have 24#s of it and been hearing nothing but its not temp stable. Just havent had the time to work up a load then tempt test it.

Youd make me one happy fellow if its true.
 

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
The list is growing, my wallet is shrinking.

I'll look into AR-COMP as well, having one powder that does 223/308 well is definitely a bonus for my situation.
 

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Belligerents
Feb 19, 2012
871
252
69
Charlotte, NC
The list is growing, my wallet is shrinking.

I'll look into AR-COMP as well, having one powder that does 223/308 well is definitely a bonus for my situation.
MR2000 and RL15 then also. Again...not like Varget but if you track the fps/deg in the kestrel chart it shouldnt matter much (unless you dont use a kestrel)
 
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

XLR308

Old Salt
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 22, 2018
2,625
2,343
119
Grand Junction, Colorado
Does it? Honestly asking because I have 24#s of it and been hearing nothing but its not temp stable. Just havent had the time to work up a load then tempt test it.

Youd make me one happy fellow if its true.
The peeps that told you that were probably allready switched over from Varget to AR-COMP and running a disinformation campaign 🤣🤣
I would definitely give it a work up but it is a great performer in the 308 and surprisingly is majic in the 68spc with the 120sst bullets.
Here's an older Hide thread on the subject if you care to read through it.

 
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

FUNCTIONAL

Dirty Civilian
Belligerents
Feb 19, 2012
871
252
69
Charlotte, NC
The peeps that told you that were probably allready switched over from Varget to AR-COMP and running a disinformation campaign 🤣🤣
I would definitely give it a work up but it is a great performer in the 308 and surprisingly is majic in the 68spc with the 120sst bullets.
Here's an older Hide thread on the subject if you care to read through it.

I've been searching for months on its temp stability but always hear the same crap. Wont be using it in a 308 but short barrel 6xc or 6x47... gave me great test velocity in a 6creed but not enough density. Figured smaller cartridge with faster powder will give me what I want with a good burn % so I dont F up my suppressor too quickly. Waiting for quickload to get here to get a bit more confirmation before live testing.

But thank you...can finally (hopefully) work down them 3 big ass containers.

sorry to derail a bit...I got excited.
 

lte82

Shooter
Belligerents
Mar 12, 2013
1,584
683
219
I had some weird ignition stuff going on with AR Comp in my 6x47. Almost felt like it was slightly delayed if that makes sense. The case fill was only 80-82% with a 105 hybrid. It does however work well with the BR based cases (over 90% fill with dasher), 223/308, and quickload says it has decent case fill with the 6.5x47 and lighter bullets like the 123 Scenar. It’s very temp stable, and over 5 years of shooting it lot to lot consistency has been great. Accuracy is also incredible when it’s paired with the right case like 223. The only downside to it is limited velocity & higher pressure with the heavy-for-caliber bullets and lack of case fill in the non-br based 6mms.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FUNCTIONAL

clcustom1911

Non Sibi Sed Patriae
Belligerents
Oct 23, 2017
2,229
2,790
119
Southern Kommiefornia
Probably time to do some real-world testing on my own.
Exactly.

I enjoy doing my own thing, even if it somewhat goes against the grain of what others say. For example, when talking about Reloder 17, people sometimes dismiss it out of hand because its not temperature stable like H4350. I've had great success with it in the various temperature swings of 40's to over 100 degrees here in southern California. I definitely learned a thing or two about pressure signs!

But, it was fun to learn, document, and experience all of it. Plus, I have load data for 5 different powders with 6 different projectiles ;) in case one powder goes away temporarily, I have backups.

To answer your question about a Varget replacement for 223/308: Ramshot Tac, Reloder 15, BL-C(2) could all do well.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
Exactly.

I enjoy doing my own thing, even if it somewhat goes against the grain of what others say. For example, when talking about Reloder 17, people sometimes dismiss it out of hand because its not temperature stable like H4350. I've had great success with it in the various temperature swings of 40's to over 100 degrees here in southern California. I definitely learned a thing or two about pressure signs!

But, it was fun to learn, document, and experience all of it. Plus, I have load data for 5 different powders with 6 different projectiles ;) in case one powder goes away temporarily, I have backups.

To answer your question about a Varget replacement for 223/308: Ramshot Tac, Reloder 15, BL-C(2) could all do well.
I am so glad I posted this question to this forum, the input from y'all has been amazing. I'm fairly new to the reloading game, and learning everything that goes into making SAFE and consistent rounds to shoot has been humbling and fun. I tend to err on the side of caution with things that go boom, especially when it comes to my face getting permanently re-arranged. Since I started with Varget and I still have my face, such as it is, thought I might stick with it, but these answers are encouraging enough to start the "experimenting" that reloading entails.

My FFL tells me to stay off the internet and stop reading so much, but I gotta tell ya, this forum proves that notion wrong over and over again.

But man, this site is BAAAAD for my work hours productivity!
 
  • Like
Reactions: clcustom1911

clcustom1911

Non Sibi Sed Patriae
Belligerents
Oct 23, 2017
2,229
2,790
119
Southern Kommiefornia
Ive learned A LOT from this forum mainly, and a couple others. Your FFL who says stay away from reloading, etc doesn't know shit about it... or they dont know how to use deductive reasoning, or cant separate fodder from good info... in my humble opinion. They may have been stung in the past so thay shy away, and that's ok.

I've done a shitload of experimentation with this reloading gig. Scroll through my threads I've done on my loading shenanigans.... surplus powders with unknown magnum cartridge data was fun and kinda unnerving simultaneously. Talk about leap of faith with a real possibility of catastrophe!

I'm not perfect or as OCD as some on here, but it can give you a something to wrap your brain around and marinate a bit....

Like when I fucked up some great brass on this thread 😂😥

Surplus Powder in this thread.

It's all about learning (by fucking up here and there) and having fun....
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: HiDesertELR

HiDesertELR

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 20, 2019
113
96
34
America
Ive learned A LOT from this forum mainly, and a couple others. Your FFL who says stay away from reloading, etc doesn't know shit about it... or they dont know how to use deductive reasoning, or cant separate fodder from good info... in my humble opinion. They may have been stung in the past so thay shy away, and that's ok.

I've done a shitload of experimentation with this reloading gig. Scroll through my threads I've done on my loading shenanigans.... surplus powders with unknown magnum cartridge data was fun and kinda unnerving simultaneously. Talk about leap of faith with a real possibility of catastrophe!

I'm not perfect or as OCD as some on here, but it can give you a something to wrap your brain around and marinate a bit.
He didn't say stay away from reloading, just for me stop "researching" so much. He's a great resource, and very knowledgeable, but like most people that have to put up with newbie questions and theories gleaned from "researching", I think he gets a little tired of me sometimes. Hell, I get tired of me sometimes.

Unnerving? Yeah, my last batch of 208ELDMs for my 300WM at the upper range of powder loads had me standing up, rifle on the ground, turning my face away and pulling the trigger to make sure I didn't do something wrong. Living and learning at it's finest.

I'll definitely check out your threads, thanks man.
 
Last edited:

DMP

Mike
Belligerents
Minuteman
Aug 10, 2018
109
28
34
Northern Utah
I know the stuff is in high-demand, but just wondering if anyone has a source they'd be willing to share for Varget powder? I know - long shot!

Or any clues if there's a seasonality to it's availability?

For 5.56/308WIN, what do you all use as second choice to Varget? H4895, 4064, CFE223? Considering for an AO that has wide temperature variations.

EDIT - I should've stated that I was looking to push heavier pills - 168-178g .308 - my bad.
TAC was the only powder I used for these calibers.