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Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

 
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  #1  
Old 02-26-2010, 04:21 PM
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Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Well, its been awhile since I have tried anything new and crazy and I have stumbled across some good stuff. In the past couple of months I have been playing around with Alliant Powders. As unstable as they may be, they seem to be consistent regardless. I have been playing with RL-17 for about 6 months. In my 300WSM I was getting decent results initially and things started heading south. I found out later that my barrel took a dump on me. That one is on the mends right now. Sooooo... this has given me time to get back to the basics and play with my 18" barreled .308.

Now I have never been none to impressed with its ballistics and have had a hard time finding really accurate loads for it. My initial accuracy load for that rifle was H335 with the 135SMK. This produced .5" groups when I did my part. It was designed specifically for terminal damage on deer at close range. Well I never got a chance to try it out because there are not to many deer in Pennsylvania anymore.... or where I hunt anyway.

So now that the seasons are over I have talked with some of you on longrangehunting.com about this subject. We were exploring the possibilities of RL-17 in other calibers other than long and short magnums. So I started playing with the idea of using it in my .308 with the short barrel. To date this powder has proved to produce 100+fps in my 300WSM over normal range powders (4831sc, H4350).

So I did a load work up using 168 A-max bullets. My initial starting point was around 39.0grns working up to 48.0grns in 1 grain increments. I found that 48grn.s is the top of the load for the case capacity, seating depth, and pressure being ignited by a Wolf LR primer. So I am currently at about 100+% capacity but seems to work without pushing the bullet out. This has produced accuracy of .75MOA or less at 100yrds at 2612fps (think it is a little high due to poor lighting for chronograph) avg. out of an 18" barrel. Now I haven't had calm conditions to test the load at long range, but to date in 10 to 15 mph winds it is holding right at 1MOA. I shot a 4"group with switchy winds at a perfect 90 degrees changing from 10 to 15 with each gust. My vertical produced the 4" and my horizontal held right at 2".

I was reading an article about a guy who wanted a do all rifle for competition and hunting. He decided on a GAP Hospitaller in a .308. He said he used the holy grail of .308 loads with Varget and a instead of a 210 primer, he found that the CCI 250 produced the best groups with the least amount of deviation igniting 43.0grns. So this got me thinking ??? I am using a magnum powder and my spreads are little wide.

This brings me to an epiphany moment. I have both F215's and CCI 250's in the basement. I go down and threw together the same load only changing up the primer. It produced a half inch or less group (haven't measured it yet, I just know it is tight). I did throw one and I am not saying it was the load. The first four out of five ripped a ragged hole. This is with the F215 primer. The spread over 5 shots was only 11fps which is better than the 25fps using the 210's. The speed dropped off to 2580avg, but it is more accurate. Because of the temp instability, I expect well over 2600fps this summer. Get this though, had some 175FMJ's laying around that I have played with, but could never get any consistency out of them.

Loaded the 175's with 46.5grns (known from a previous trial) I shot an avg. of .75" at 100 (best ever with this bullet) with a velocity of 2577fps. Hain't to shabby if you ask me. The best I could get out of this rifle prior to RL-17 was 2412 w/ a 175/168's and using RL-15 and 4064. I would expect with a long barrel you would get some serious velocity. I haven't been able to test that theory yet, but this powder was made for Short mags with short barrels. This is a comp chamber, so tolerances are tighter than a SAAMI spec chamber. This has kind of been the down fall of this rifle. I would expect a normal chambers compaction would be a little less. I want to try another powder which is made by Accurate powders. The Pro Mag is a ball powder and suppose to be temp stable. Now if I can just find some.

Blessings,
Tank
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Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach

arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!
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  #2  
Old 02-26-2010, 06:55 PM
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Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Thanks for the write up.

I tried RL17 once under the 190 SMK's. I dont remember what the velocities were but they were really good. I scrapped it because I was not getting the accuracy I needed. In fact I was not getting anything to shoot accurately. Come to find out, it was my scope mounts that were causing the problem. Now that the problem is fixed and the rifle shoots lights out, I cant wait to get back out there and try RL17 again. Using 44.0 RL15 I was getting 2690 out of my 26" Hart with the 190's. I hit 2750 with a compressed load of H4350. I bet I could that with RL17.

So far though, the best powder overall for it has been that dang expensive VV N540. It is worth the money though. She eats it and spits it out like there is no tomarrow.
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Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:03 PM
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Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Beat me to it! i was going to wait till sunday so i can get one or two more range trips in before i make my stand.

I am shooting 208gr A-maxs with 48grs of RL17 in a 1-11tw 28" Hart on my .308win.

I am getting 2820fps and most of the seating depths ive tried produced just at .5 MOA, at 400yards! I have a 5shot group under 2" and a 3 shot 1.5" group on the same target.

I will probably test again tomorrow and do drop testing at a variety of ranges to confirm my results. I will then post about my results aswell.

Oliver
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:06 PM
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Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Eichele View Post
Thanks for the write up.

I tried RL17 once under the 190 SMK's. I dont remember what the velocities were but they were really good. I scrapped it because I was not getting the accuracy I needed. In fact I was not getting anything to shoot accurately. Come to find out, it was my scope mounts that were causing the problem. Now that the problem is fixed and the rifle shoots lights out, I cant wait to get back out there and try RL17 again. Using 44.0 RL15 I was getting 2690 out of my 26" Hart with the 190's. I hit 2750 with a compressed load of H4350. I bet I could that with RL17.

So far though, the best powder overall for it has been that dang expensive VV N540. It is worth the money though. She eats it and spits it out like there is no tomarrow.
Is this in your .308 with the 190's? I was getting 2950fps and some up over 3000fps in my short mag in a 26" barrel with 208's and 210grn bullets at 65-66 grns. That was max load though. What primer were you using? I want to get a hold of some Mag Pro because it is a ball powder. Should be able to get better burn rates and better case capacity. My other problem is being a comp chamber, I can't load near that heavy w/ the RL15. The most I can load with a 175 is 41.5grns.

Tank
__________________
Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach

arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!

Last edited by liltank; 02-26-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:59 PM
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Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliveralan View Post
Beat me to it! i was going to wait till sunday so i can get one or two more range trips in before i make my stand.

I am shooting 208gr A-maxs with 48grs of RL17 in a 1-11tw 28" Hart on my .308win.

I am getting 2820fps and most of the seating depths ive tried produced just at .5 MOA, at 400yards! I have a 5shot group under 2" and a 3 shot 1.5" group on the same target.

I will probably test again tomorrow and do drop testing at a variety of ranges to confirm my results. I will then post about my results aswell.

Oliver
WOW!!! That is amazing. Making a short mag out of a .308 Winny. Maybe with this powder reviving the 308AI could prove interesting. That is quite impressive to be able to push a 208 A-Max with 48grns. in a 28" bore. Goes to show what is possible with a factory chamber. The comp chamber has been my nightmare.

Tank
__________________
Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you find your self in a fair fight, your tactics suck!- Marine 1st Sergeant Jim Ryfinger

Friends don't let friends develop canonitis!-chucknbach

arguing over the internet is like the special Olympics....even if you win, you are still...special!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-26-2010, 08:01 PM
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Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
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Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by liltank View Post
Is this in your .308 with the 190's? I was getting 2950fps and some up over 3000fps in my short mag in a 26" barrel with 208's and 210grn bullets at 65-66 grns. That was max load though. What primer were you using? I want to get a hold of some Mag Pro because it is a ball powder. Should be able to get better burn rates and better case capacity. My other problem is being a comp chamber, I can't load near that heavy w/ the RL15. The most I can load with a 175 is 41.5grns.

Tank
My 308? Yes. I am running BR2 primers. I will be testing some 168 AMAX's this weekend with 48, 49 and 50 grains of RL17. They should smoke!! I will take you advice and load them with CCI250 mag primers.

Have you concidered having the throat made longer so you can seat your bullets out further? Or is it some type of pressure issue that is holding you to such low charge weights?
__________________
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2010, 08:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: McLean, Virginia
Posts: 983
Re: Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

So far my drops have been consistent with 2830fps and also got that from a chronograph with witnesses. I was going to shoot a bit more before doing a full blown report. I think I will still post my finding Sunday because this is a combo that finaly makes the .308win viable for 1k deer.
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