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Reloading Berger Bullets


300 WSM / RL19 / Scirocco 165 Gr.

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Unread 07-07-2008, 07:37 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19
300 WSM / RL19 / Scirocco 165 Gr.

New bullet powder combination for me. Worked up a reloading ladder from 67.0 grains to 71.5 grains as recommended in Swift reloading manual. By the time I got to 68 grains I had stiff bolt handle and unable to open bolt.

I called Swift to ask if they had problems with this recommended load and they could not comment. Basically I talked to 2 people who new little about reloading. They recommended I call Alliant Powder the source of the published information in the Swift reloading manual. Called a number of times but have not received a call back yet.

I am using Winchester Cases, WLRM primers, and overall length is at maximum 2.860". All powder for the work-up was weighed electronically.
I eventually extracted the case after lots of problems. Primer totally cratered. Obviously the load was hot. Don't believe my reloading protocol was at fault. Also pulled the bullets and weighed other 68 grain loads and they were fine. This is basically a compressed load of 105% at 72.0 grains. Therefore it would be diffilcult to exceed recommended powder load recommendations.

Wondering if any of you have experience with RL19/300WSM/165 gr Scirocco. By the way I am shooting this load in a Kimber 8400 which implies a generous chamber.

Thanks -


Last edited by Williamb; 07-07-2008 at 07:40 PM.
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Unread 07-07-2008, 09:25 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,630
William, first off welcome aboard, it's a great place to come visit but i gotta warn ya. it gets addicting!

you've got everything you need to know.the only true and consistant way to tell pressure is a sticky bolt. when the brass starts flowing into the extractor hole, the pressure is probably in the 70K range. some brass takes a little more pressure than others, but a sticky bolt means you're about 2 or 3 gr of powder too much. simple as that. the biggest variable is usually the temperature. this is the hot time of year. most shoot their gun enough to know what is hot for what time of year.i realize this is a first time load for your gun.i usually compare a new powder with a powder a know in a couple of manuals and then start out conservatively. also i assume you don't have the bullets very close to the lands. that's not a good thing for a new load.

personally i wouldn't use rl powder, it seems to be very inconsistant these days. the bench crowd has all but thrown it to the dogs. hopefully someone with 300wsm experience will jump in help out.

bottom line, 63 to 66 would be the range of powder for a ladder with your gun.
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Unread 07-07-2008, 10:17 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
I tried the 165 swift and Reloader 19, don't remember what the charge was, but I do know that I wasn't satisfied with the results. I have since switched to 180 AB's and H4350. I agree w/ dave on the inconsistancy problem, but I load for a 325 that does do well w/ R19 albeit a lighter load. I like the 4350 for the 300 wsm 180, I ran out of Room for RL 19 and was compressing loads w/ 180's. I wanted the swift for the higher BC, but I and glad that I switched to the AB's due to the fact I had a hard time getting groups w/ the swifts.
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 07-08-2008, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Memphis Tn
Posts: 408
I have shot a great deal of RL-19 in my two 300 WSM'S with a great deal of success. With that being said I also know that RL-19 varies a great deal from one batch to another, so when reloading with it you must be very careful!

First, I have not shot the Swift bullets, but I have shot many 165 to 168 grains bullets. The first time I worked up a load with RL-19 I used 165 Nosler bullets. I found these bullets to shoot great with 69.5 grains of RL-19, WW cases and WLR primers (I have always used WLR primers). I later lower the amount of powder to 67.5 and used Sierra 168 Match bullets. This load shot great. In fact I found that RL-19 was close to the most accurate powder that I have used in my Winchester Model 70.

With my Ruger 77 Mark II in 300 WSM I have used more N550 than RL-19.
I think what happened to you is that you got a batch of RL-19 that was hotter than the batch that was used to produce the data in the Swift Manual. It you look at a number of manuals you will find that the amount of powder listed varies a great deal from one manual to another with the same bullet weight. This has led some gun experts to not use RL-19.
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Unread 07-08-2008, 03:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19
Shortmagman -

Interesting that you use WLR and not WLRM. I talked to Alliant today and they recommend not using magnum primers. Since posting this yesterday I have found a number of people who recommend not using magnum primers with both RL 19 and 22.

I also talked to the senior person at Swift at length. He will be talking to Alliant and getting back to me on Wednesday.

I am wondering when you buy a new lot of RL19 do you work it up again until you reach the same velocity as the prior lot of RL19.

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Unread 07-08-2008, 03:36 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Memphis Tn
Posts: 408

I have always used standard primers with RL-19 because I was following the data. If my memory serves me correctly I was using Alliant data.

The answer is yes. When I buy a new supply of RL-19 I start over and work up the load again. This has led me to buy RL-19 in 5-8 lb containers, so I don't have to do it often.
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Unread 07-08-2008, 09:34 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 63
Different bullets, different manuals, same powder/R-19.

Alliant 165gr Speer Hot Core 73gr Max
Alliant 165gr Speer TBBC 70gr Max
Sierra 165gr Bullets 70.1gr Max
Lyman 48 165gr Nosler BT 68.5gr Max
Nosler 165gr Bullets 68gr Max
Hornady #7 165gr Bullets 70.1gr Max
Speer 165gr Bullets 73gr Max

It seems as though it is entirely possible that your 68gr load is indeed max in your rifle. What did the loads Chrony at?
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