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280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

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Unread 02-21-2010, 05:02 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,618
Re: RL17 in 280 RCBS Improved 30 Degree Shoulder

Found some Alliant RL17 and am headed out to give it a whirl now with 168gr Berger VLDs. Will add my MV data to this thread as collected over dual chronographs - with an update.


28" Brux Barrel
Lapua 30-06 brass fire-formed to 280 RCBS Improved.
Federal GM210M primers.
168 gr Berger VLDs seated into the lands 0.012"
Two shots fired at each powder charge.
Temperature = 38F

52.0 gr 2834 fps ES=29____2 shots in 3/4" @300yd____Mild Load
53.0 gr 2864 fps ES=8_____2 shots in 1 7/8" @300yd
54.0 gr 2945 fps ES=10____2 shots in 4 3/8" @300yd
55.0 gr 2957 fps ES=14____2 shots in 1 1/2" @300yd
55.5 gr 3007 fps ES=7_____2 shots in 3/4" @300yd____About Maximum Load.

55.5 grains RL17 is about maximum in my rifle. Starting to see and feel plunger mark on Lapua case heads at 55.5 gr.

I've obtained higher MVs (~25 fps higher) with maximum loads of Hodgdon Retumbo powder. ES/SD with RL17 is similar to Retumbo, with both powders yielding higher ES/SDs than I prefer for LRH.

Maximum loads of Hodgdon H1000 in this rifle run about 80-90 fps slower than RL17 & Retumbo, but ES and SDs with H1000 are reduced by about 50% in my rifle.

I'm not seeing 200 fps gains in MV with RL17. RL17 MV is ~25 fps less than I get with Retumbo. RL17 accuracy is similar to what I've experienced with Retumbo. H1000 yields less MV, lower ES/SD, and a little better accuracy. I'm leaning towards settling on H1000.

I'll be shooting some more RL17 to confirm these intial MV & accuracy data, and then to collect MVs at different temperatures.

Yesterday I talked to a guy who's purchased 20 lbs of RL17. He says in his rifles (30-06 class cartridge capacity) that he uses 1/2 grain less RL17 than IMR 4350, and he gets about 70-80 fps additional MV with the RL17 compared to IMR4350. He noted that he gets better consistency (reduced ES/SD) with RL17 compared to IMR 4350.

Last edited by phorwath; 03-02-2010 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Revised post based on further RL17 Testing
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Unread 02-21-2010, 09:48 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Sage California
Posts: 40
Re: 280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

Thanks MR.
I guess I got to try to get me some!
I'm stoking up my .270 for hogs as we speak.
Sounds like I'm in the ballpark with this rifle?
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Unread 02-21-2010, 11:30 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: 280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

Originally Posted by jeffersonv View Post
Thanks MR.
I guess I got to try to get me some!
I'm stoking up my .270 for hogs as we speak.
Sounds like I'm in the ballpark with this rifle?
I think it should work well in the 270 which is basically a necked down .06 as I have read good reports with it in the .06 and it gave me 200 fps more velocity in my 25-06 than either H1000 or Retumbo, and Retumbo is by far the fastest powder listed on Nosler's web site (55 fps faster than Mag Pro, the next fastest). Having said that, it doesn't always seem to produce earth shattering velocities for everyone but usually as good or slightly better than, as in phorwath's case. My experience in the 25-06 and 300 WSM is an additional 200 fps, in the 300 RUM it matches H1000 and Retumbo with a lot less powder, which in the case of the 300 RUM isn't really a good thing. I like as close to 100% case capacity as possible.
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Unread 02-21-2010, 11:36 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 6,068
Re: 280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

Thanks for the post Paul, interesting data. I'll be interested in the temp testing.

If my memory serves me well, I was getting about 3000 fps with 63 gr of IMR4350 and 160 NP's out of my 24" Ruger 7mm RM. I'm going to be testing RL17 in my S&W 7mm RM mag before too long. I want to give it a break-in first. I might try some Retumbo as well.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 08:41 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 211
600-49X with RL17 in 6.5X47 and 139 Lapua Scenars!

Well, no doubt Reloader 17 works well in a 6.5X47 Lapua. I shot a 300 yard F-Class match yesterday and shot a new range record at Bayou Rifle Club using RL17 and 139 Lapua Scenars. I shot a 600-49X, so no doubt RL17 can be accurate!

My 66 shot group (60 for score plus sighters) measured 2 inches, and at least 49 of them inside of a 1.5" group (size of the X ring).

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Unread 02-23-2010, 06:58 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,995
Re: 280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

My vote is for the 6.5-06 but AI it.
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Unread 02-28-2010, 08:47 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Shangri-La
Posts: 948
Re: 280 AI replacement for 270 Win.

Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
Originally Posted by woods View Post
This thread inspired me to try RL17 in my 280AI. I have loaded some at 52 gr, 52.5 gr and 53 gr and will shoot for velocity, not this weekend but the next.

Will let you know.
Some of the earlier members posting impressive MV never sounded back in. So they either aren't currently active on the Forum, didn't pursue it any further, or did pursue it and don't have anything earth shattering to report. If I can get some RL17, I may try it. Still working with a few powders that I currenlty have - Retumbo, H1000, IMR 4831SSC. Coming by gunpowder in Alaska can, at times, be difficult.
280 AI results today:


ACCU 160 RL17 3.347 52.0 0.030 2873
ACCU 160 RL17 3.347 52.5 0.030 2892
ACCU 160 RL17 3.347 53.0 0.030 2913

I am having real good luck with RL17 in my 30-06 but I am not sure I am going to pursue it in the 280AI since RL25 is doing a bang-up job, accuracy is great and velocity is right where I want it at 3000 fps. Perhaps I could get another 50 or 100 fps but..........why?
If you can read this, thank a teacher.......if you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.
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