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.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
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