Since I started loading for .223 I have been using my supply of Vihtavouri N-140 to push the bullets down the barrel. This is all well and good for the 300yd & 300m slow fire details with 80gr bullets, but when I am shooting rapid fire strings it seems unnecessary to use such an expensive powder.
I have now acquired an 8lb jug of Accurate 2520, a much more economical powder (made in the USA rather than Finland) which has turned out to have other advantages.
The most significant difference between N-140 and A2520 is its shape. N-140 is an extruded powder whereas A2520 is ball.
The down-side to this is that it burns slightly dirtier than N-140, but the up-side is it meters much more consistently. In fact it meters so consistently through my new powder measure that I have stopped weighing every charge; which speeds up the reloading process wonderfully.
Once I got my powder measure dialed in, it consistently metered within a 20th of a grain either side of my target weight. Which is close enough for rapid fire and offhand (standing), and probably slow fire prone as well.
Loads made with A2520 appear to have a similar point of impact to my previous loads made with N-140 and they cycle through my rifle without any issue. There are no signs of pressure issues so far, in fact the primer was barely flattened so I could probably bump up the charge a little if I felt like it.
Anyway, so far I’m pretty pleased with it. I will be trying it with 80gr bullets for slow fire soon, then I will be able to better see how it compares to the N-140.