View Full Version : Pull 40 gr V-MAX from ss196, replace with Berger 30gr ???

07-28-2005, 04:29 PM
I was thinking about pulling the 40 gr VMAX from a few ss196 rounds and replacing them with Berger 30gr.

My questions are:

Would/could this be dangerous?

Is there any way to predict what kind of velocities this swap would produce given
what is known about the ss196 load?

After reading all the bad reviews of the ss196, I kinda hate to waste my time even shooting it. I 'm hoping a bullet swap would salvage the 2 boxes I have.

Any help would be appreciated.

07-28-2005, 04:42 PM
I don't think that would be such a good idea as there would be a bit more free air inside the cartridge.

07-28-2005, 05:59 PM
Go for it! While they are apart, weigh the powder and report findings here, please.

Since you will be going to a much lighter bullet, the powder charge has been reduced accordingly to accomodate the 40 grain. My guess is your velocity will go up some, but not as much as a factory ss192 (I don't think).

The concern of free air space is insignificant. Detonation is a problem with ridiculously low powder charges which is not the case here. A 40 grain vmax doesn't intrude on the case any more than a factory bullet, and the 35 grain vmaxes we've been using only go in as far as the length of the neck. Your bergers will probably be inbetween.

Some of us have swapped the heavier 35 grain vmax for the factory ss192 bullet, which should generate more pressure than what you propose, and lived to tell about it.

That's a good experiment, and if I had any 196s I'd do it myself...

07-28-2005, 08:41 PM
sulafool, as luck would have it my 2 boxes of Berger 30gr. bullets arrived. The projectiles are quite long .616 vs. .520 for the Hornady 35gr. VMAX slugs. I'm willing to bet that the Berger 30gr. is just about as long as the 40gr. VMAX.

07-29-2005, 05:26 AM
The 40 grain V-Max bullets are .686" which is still less than the factory bullets.The factory 195LF bullet I pulled is .8135" and weighs 27.3 grains. I have been loading the 40 grain v-Max bullets with an OAL the same as factory which allows more room in the case since it's not seated as much. Can anyone tell me what difference this would make.

07-29-2005, 09:57 AM
There's no way of knowing what difference seating depth would make unless you are using factory powder to compare. Each powder (and weight) will have its own preference. Plenty of experimentation is called for while searching for the perfect load! I use a stony point comparator to set bullet depth so the ogive of whatever bullet will be located the same as a factory round. At least that eliminates (or minimizes) one variable, and provides some consistency when comparing loads. Tweaking seating depth is the last thing I mess with, after finding a good powder/primer/bullet combo that is reasonably accurate. Sometimes it helps and sometimes not.
Is this an interesting hobby or what??

07-29-2005, 02:35 PM
Is this an interesting hobby or what??

I say it is interesting to say the least!!!!

07-29-2005, 04:11 PM
Thanks for all the input. My Hornaday bullet puller will be here Monday and I've already got some 30gr Bergers (regular and moly). I'll pull the bullets Monday and report back on the powder charge weight. I'll also re-tension the case necks and load both bullet types.

Had shoulder surgery (right arm, shooting arm) in June, so it may be a couple more weeks before I get to shoot. But my curiosity will get me there ASAP.

Thanks again for the input.

08-04-2005, 01:59 PM
Hey Guys, I'm trying to work up loads too. What's all this talk about factory powders? What is it (IMR, Hodgdon, etc...) or something we can't get? I've been working with vitavorhi or however you spell it powders and have gotten some slight overpressure indications on the brass when I get the velocity, and boy do I get the boom and the flash, but I would really like to know what they use at the factory or the equivilant. Seems to be a very small ball powder. I'm using 35gr Berger Mollys and 40gr V-maxs. When I have some solid stuff I'll pass it on. With the boom and the flash I'm getting 1800+ over the chrono. Anybody know what they use at the factory? I've tried every tiny ball powder that seems to fill the bill. Wish I'd have waited on the dies, I bought them about 6 months ago from Huntington, as a special order. Great dies, just 195 bucks..... My loadmaster will kick them out really fast as soon as me and my Rockcrusher settle on a load and a bullet. Any info appriciated....

08-07-2005, 07:38 PM
I finally got to pull 5 40gr VMax bullets from some SS196.

The powder charge is a very consistant 4.6 grains of a very fine gray powder. I've never seen anything like it before. The case is only abount half full. The bullet is sealed in the case with some kind of sealer or adhesive.

As for the Berger 30 gr vs. the 40 gr VMax:

VMax measured .683 and the Berger .615. The difference of .068 is mainly in the sharper plastic tip of the VMax versus the blunt hollow point of the Berger.

bullet picture

I set my seating die using a SS196 round which had an OAL of 1.583. My reloaded Berger round measured 1.493, a difference of .090. Again, much of the difference being the sharpened VMax tip. Actually, the Berger may take up the same or more space in the case than the VMax because the Berger is flat based vs. the beveled base on the VMax.

Picture of loaded rounds

My feeling at this point is (like someone else here said) that FN may have been a bit conservative and this round has more potential than what we've gotten from the factory so far. That goes for the SS192/SS195LF as well as the politically correct SS196. Just gotta find the right powder/primer. I also think the Berger 30 has great potential for this round. Still have to get to the range and check out these reloads.