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300 Raptor, first results....

 
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:42 PM
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300 Raptor, first results....

Well, I know many of you have been waiting for some numbers on my new Raptor wildcat family. Its just been a heck of a summer and I have not been able to get the time to get test rifles built and loads developed.

Well, this weekend I was able to put together my Raptor LRSS in 300 Raptor.

I had very high expectations for this wildcat. Just to recap, my goals for the 300 and 338 Raptor chamberings was to offer the highest level of performance possible in a conventional sized receiver, namely my Raptor receiver. I was hoping to get 125 to 150 fps more velocity then my 300 Allen Xpress and 338 Allen Xpress wildcats with same barrel lengths and same bullet weights.

My basis for these goals was that my projections for case capacity for the 338 Raptor wildcat were nearly exactly half way between the 338 AX and 338 AM. My only question was how the Jamsion made 338 Excalibur case would handle chamber pressure. Since the 300 Raptor is also based on this case, I was looking to see 125 to 150 fps over what the 300 AX could produce.

One reason I decided to start testing with the 300 Raptor over its 338 brother were two fold. 1. This would be the new largest 30 cal magnum in my families of wildcats. 2. I was asked to test a very special new bullet with my new magnum which is always alot of fun. Details of this new bullet will not be included in this report in any detail. That data will come down the road once the company that makes this new bullet decided on a finalized design. All I will say right now is that they are onto a very good bullet design.

I started the test by simply getting some brass in my hands. With 98.0 gr Retumbo under a 180 gr SP Sierra bullet in 338 Excalibur brass necked down to 30 caliber, 15 cases were formed up for velocity testing. The 300 Raptor is not just a simple improved version of the 300 Pegasus, the shoulder location is relocated significantly farther forward which siginificantly increases case capacity over the parent case.

The case design is the same as all the other APS wildcats with same shoulder angle, similiar neck lenth of around 0.300" in length and as min body taper as is possible with good extraction with these large surface area case designs.

Once I had the brass formed I processed them by FL sizing, repriming, chamfering case mouths and we were ready to see what this new round would do.

I decided to see what Retumbo would do with this new bullet design which has a 230 grain weight. I started at 104.0 gr with an OAL of 4.100". Here are the velocity results:

104.0 gr.............................3172 fps
107.0 gr.............................3296 fps
109.0 gr.............................3313 fps
111.0 gr.............................3345 fps
112.0 gr.............................3410 fps Primer pockets loosened noticably

Even at 112.0 gr, load density was only around 80% so obviously this powder was far to fast burning for the 300 Raptor. Next test.

I decided that the best powder to test next was H-50BMG. With this powder I started at 115.0 gr and worked up from there with a slightly shorter OAL of 4.085".

115.0 gr.......................................3155 fps
116.0 gr.......................................3188 fps
117.0 gr.......................................3193 fps
118.0 gr.......................................3328 fps
119.0 gr.......................................3352 fps
120.0 gr.......................................3401 fps
121.0 gr.......................................3501 fps Loosened primer pockets, TO HOT!!

Looking at case head expansion and mainly primer pocket tightness, I came to the conclusion that anything over 120 grains was just to hot in this 1-9 twist 3 groove Lilja barrel in 80 degree temps. Velocity spreads were also a bit wider then I like to see but there was around a 40 thou jump to the lands so I decided to slide the ogive up to the lands and seated them to 4.115" which was roughly 5-8 thou off the lands.

Knowing that pressures would jump significantly moving the bullet closer to the lands I decided to retest velocities starting at 117.0 gr but stopped at 119.0 gr.

117.0 gr........................................3328 fps
118.0 gr........................................3366 fps
119.0 gr........................................3391 fps

Any of these loads would work for a good top end working load in temperatures typical of big game hunting times of the year here in North America. After three firings, the 119.0 gr load did start to loosen primer pockets. By 5 firings per case they were quite loose but would still hold a primer well and no gas leakage of any kind. At 7 firings, primer pockets were even looser but still would hold a primer and again, there was never any gas leakage. Still, I would probably toss the cases after 7 firings with this load in this rifle and in these temps, again 80 degrees. In my opinion, the 117 gr load may well be the best all around load with H-50BMG. Velocity spreads were not amazing running in the high 20 to high 30 fps range but for big game hunting, even at long range, if the rifle likes these bullets, it will work extremely well.

At first I was a bit unimpressed with these numbers. Not sure why but that all changed when I looked back in my load development notes on the 300 Allen Xpress. In my Raptor LRSS with 30" barrel, the 300 Allen Xpress clocked 3250 fps with max loads but when loaded to similiar pressures as the 117 gr Raptor load, the AX produces right at 3150 fps. Now this is an estimated pressure comparison comparing ejector ring marks and case head expansion. Certainly the Lapua cases will show less pressure signs with higher pressures then the Jamison brass so I am very confident the Raptor is working at lower chamber pressures then the Allen Xpress.

Also, the Allen Xpress produced its highest performance numbers using Hodgdons US-869. I have not been able to test that powder in the Raptor YET but I suspect it will be a steller performer in this new wildcat as well, perhaps even better then H-50BMG in velocity results but it will not be as stable over wide temp changes so I may still opt for the H-50BMG loads.

I do not have alot of pictures yet but wanted to post this one to give you all a look at the new wildcat.



Left to Right: 300 Win Mag, 300 Allen Xpress(338 Lapua based), 2 fully formed 300 Raptors and finally a 338 Excalibur case necked down to 30 cal with the secondary shoulder located properly for fireforming. The difference in case length between the Allen Xpress and Raptor are dramatic. In fact the Raptor is very close in case length to the 408 Chey Tac case, just with a similiar diameter as the Lapua based wildcats.

Looking at the numbers on my 300 AX, My accuracy load with this new 230 gr bullet was 3180 fps. Comparing that to the 117 gr load for the Raptor at 3328 is right at that 150 fps increase in performance.

One concern with this new bullet design was if it would survive the velocity poential of this new wildcat. Since all of my velocity testing was done right at the shop I decided to load up four rounds at the 119 gr load which was just shy of 3400 fps. I walked out around the corner of the shop and lined up at my 20" gong which was set up at my backstop at 352 yards. I bore sighted the rifle dead on using the gong and the first shot landed on the bottom third of the gong with some impressive authority. I then held op the top third of the gong and sent the next three down range. I was not overly worried about groups, just wanted to make sure these bullets were surviving the launch and they all slapped the steel VERY HARD!!!. Obviously the new bullet design will survive 3400 fps velocity in a 1-9, 3 groove barrel, at least in a new barrel!!!

So far, very impressed with the new 300 Raptor. I will get some pics of the Raptor LRSS test rifle here in the next couple days. Just wanted to get you guys some numbers to read over.

Much more to come on this new wildcat and then onto the 338 Raptor development.
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Kirby Allen(50)

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Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

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Old 09-13-2011, 07:54 AM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

Great read Kirby my father in law will be quit pleased when he hears about this. Sounds like a good case for some 290g wildcats. I look forward to hearing more.

Jon
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:39 AM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

Is Paul still making the 290 gr Wildcat? I know the original ones did not perform very well, at least not at the velocities I tested them at in a 1-8 twist barrel. In fact I donated a chronograph to the testing !!!

If they were built on a new thicker jacket, they would certainly be a good choice for this chambering as it appears to have plenty of HP to drive a bullet of that weight to good velocity numbers, I would think easily into the 3000 fps range.

I am also going to do some testing with other bullets. The 200 gr TTSX looks very attractive, especially seeing how the 265 gr 338 cal version expanded when shot to 3500 fps in my 338 AM. I should easily be able to top this with the 300 Raptor in velocity with the 200 gr so if someone wanted a bullet for all around big game hunting out to a bit over 1200 yards, I think this would be a great choice.

Much more to come, stay tuned.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:40 AM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

I am also getting ready to make a VERY large announcement from APS here in the next couple weeks. Something that has been nearly a year in the works and just about ready to bring out of the shadows!!! Very excited about this new project as well, stay tuned for that coming very soon.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:14 AM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

Wow...this will be fun to follow. When do you foresee the 338 version appearing?
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:33 PM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

Kirby, do you have any intentions of doing a 7mm version of your Raptor as well????
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:42 PM
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Re: 300 Raptor, first results....

I was on the site the other day and they still looked like they were for sale maybe not though.

I have some TTSX on the shelf waitng for my remodeling to be done then I can finaly get to them. I will be very interested to see how they hold up to the speed we are talking about.

I cant wait for the announcement I think I know what it isI have to hurry up and get my submittion in.
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