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Reloading Berger Bullets

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Reloder 17

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  #8  
Unread 08-19-2008, 02:55 PM
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Re: Reloder 17

I have loaded up some 300 wsm's with RL15 and RL17 and some 168 Berger VLD's. The RL17 happens to smell just like N550 to me. It smells nothing like any of the other RL powders.




In volume, I could get 66 grains of RL17 to fill up the case about the same as 63.5 grains of RL15 despite the kernels of RL17 being 1/3 again as long.:confused: The diameters of the two powders kernels are quite similar.
RL15 on left, RL17 on right:


I used a 6" drop tube to load the cases and the 168 berger vld is loaded to just clear a Rem box magazine by .020 or .030".


THe last row in this picture is 68.5 grains of RL17 in the 300 wsm case. The Berger bullet can be loaded into this case without the powder causing the bullet to seat inconsistent as long as a 6" drop tube is used. This is quite a bit more powder than I can get in with IMR4350 which is exactly what this case needs in my opinion.



Velocity and accuracy tests coming tomorrow.
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  •   #9  
    Unread 08-20-2008, 04:24 PM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    Ok, the velocity test is in. The verdict: mostly hype but still some things are possible. Why? Read on.

    Before I give out the results, I wish to give some background on the test and rifle. All loads are measured out to .1 grain accuracy and dropped from a 6" drop tube. The Winchester 300 WSM cases have all been turned and fully prepped right down to the last detail. Every bullet was measured for seating depth variance by an ogive to base checker and there was not more than .001' variation allowed. All primers were seated by hand. The 168 grain Berger VLD bullets used were measured for bearing surface length before seating and segregated.

    The chronograph used was an Oehler 35 on a 4' rod placed 10' from the muzzle to the first skyscreen.

    Air temp was 49 degrees with 40 percent humidity (quite humid for Utah but I was only 50 feet from a river). No wind, no mirage. Elevation 5150'

    Rifle was a Rem 700 CDL SF with a 24" barrel. A Tubb's Final Finish kit has been fired down the barrel previous to this test.

    Powders tried in this barrel are: IMR 4007ssc, IMR4350, RL15, and RL17 all with FED 215GM primers

    IMR 4350 never cracked 3000 fps with as much of it as I could get in the case and still seat bullets to fit the short magazine of a REm 700. When using this lot of IMR 4350 in other cartridges, I have found it is a tad slower than average for most IMR 4350 lots I've used.

    IMR 4007 data next: All three shot groups

    66.0 grains
    ES 30
    AV 3085
    SD 15

    66.5 grains
    ES 30
    AV 3089
    SD 15

    67.0 grains
    ES 26
    AV 3114
    SD 13

    67.5 grains (slight ejector marks)
    ES 21
    AV 3151
    SD 10

    Accuracy was under 1 moa with every load of IMR 4007 and some went to 1/2. The deviations were unusually high for this powder as I have used this powder in several other 300 wsm's and never had deviations over 10 fps with them. For whatever reason, this gun didn't like it as well.

    RL17 data next since it is the direct comparison with exact same charges of IMR4007

    66 grains
    ES 30
    AV 3009
    SD 16

    66.5 grains
    ES 42
    AV 3066
    SD 22

    67.0 grains
    ES 75
    AV 3077
    SD 42

    67.5 grains
    ES 26
    AV 3128
    SD 13

    68.0 grains
    ES 40
    AV 3150
    SD 20

    68.5 grains (as much as I could get to fit with 6" tube)
    ES 36
    AV 3177
    SD 18 (started to get a sticky bolt lift and small ejector marks on case head)

    Accuracy with this powder was worst of the four and the SD's were among the worst IN THIS ONE PARTICULAR BARREL of course!


    RL15 data;

    62.5 grains
    ES 20
    AV 3040
    SD 10

    63.0 grains
    ES 21
    AV 3074
    SD 10

    63.5 grains
    ES 12
    AV 3102
    SD 6 (still appears to be mild)

    I don't have to use a drop tube to get 63.5 grain of RL15 in the case and accuracy was 2nd best with this powder however it did shoot the smallest group of all at .310" at 100 yards CTC. It yields the best deviations, second best accuracy, and is the easiest to throw. I would bet the next grain of powder increase would give even better accuracy and velocities around 3150 to 3200. More testing is in order with this powder.



    OK, so that is how it played out between the powders. In order of burn rate, they would be RL15, IMR 4007 ssc, RL17, and IMR4350 a distant fourth. Grain for grain, IMR 4007 SSC provides more speed than RL17 in this particular gun and this particular cartridge. I must emphasize that this is just one gun and only one gun. Results may differ.

    Now I get to the point I mentioned earlier, "mostly hype but some things are still possible". By that I mean several things. One, if you look at the chart that Alliant has put out and 6mmbr.com has posted in their archives, it shows RL17 and the 300 wsm as gaining near the least speed of all the other cartridges when compared to IMR 4350. I believe it was somewhere around 50 fps or something. For the smaller more overbore cartridges, the increase was much more dramatic. So from my test, I would say that I agree. RL17 yeilded at least as much as 50 fps more than IMR 4350 when identical charge weights are used. Perhaps even more. So I have no reason to doubt (or believe) that RL17 will skyrocket a 243 wssm or a 6xc. However, the only reason I could see a serious boost in velocities over what IMR 4350 can offer is simply because I can get more RL17 in the case. SO is it a super powder? I doubt it. But is it quicker than IMR 4350? Yes! Is it faster than IMR 4007ssc? Nope.

    This brings me to my second "possibility". Whenever a Tubb's kit is fired through a barrel, I have noticed about a one to two grain velocity decrease (so these above loads should not be duplicated if fiiring down an UNTUBBED bore). SInce I could not get more than 68.5 grains in the case without it effecting the seating depth, I stopped there. In a non tubbed gun, the pressure I experienced at 68.5 may be closer to 66.5 grains. So if you loaded more than 66.5 grains in that non-tubbed gun, you might see a big velocity increase. Some powders kind of "ho-hum" along until they get near max and then you see huge pressure increases. RL17 could be one of those powders, I don't know. One thing I do know, I have not given up on it yet. I will try it in a 243 wssm and a dirty ought six next week and see if they can give me the famed 200 fps increase!
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      #10  
    Unread 08-20-2008, 04:41 PM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    I forgot to metion, thanks to Bill (BJ) Bailey at Gene Sear's Supply in El Reno, OK for the RL17 and great customer service and special attention. I hope this test result was interesting for you!
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      #11  
    Unread 08-20-2008, 06:22 PM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    GG,

    Interesting results, keep us posted on the 243 wssm test, I've got a 6.5 wssm that I was considering trying the Re 17 in.

    Chris
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      #12  
    Unread 08-21-2008, 03:14 AM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    Maybe I miss read some of the articles on R17, but I thought the great gains were for heavy for caliber bullet weights, like 140's in the 6.5mm and 190 and 210's in the 300wsm. I plan on testing it with 190's in my 300wsm as soon as I can get some.
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      #13  
    Unread 08-23-2008, 05:40 PM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    thanks for the Info GG
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      #14  
    Unread 08-25-2008, 02:58 PM
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    Re: Reloder 17

    Quote:
    RL17 data next since it is the direct comparison with exact same charges of IMR4007

    66 grains
    ES 30
    AV 3009
    SD 16

    66.5 grains
    ES 42
    AV 3066
    SD 22

    67.0 grains
    ES 75
    AV 3077
    SD 42

    67.5 grains
    ES 26
    AV 3128
    SD 13

    68.0 grains
    ES 40
    AV 3150
    SD 20

    68.5 grains (as much as I could get to fit with 6" tube)
    ES 36
    AV 3177
    SD 18 (started to get a sticky bolt lift and small ejector marks on case head)
    It sounds like you were at full case capacity and at or near max pressure. That tends to indicate this powder may not be as big a step forward as it was initially promoted. I do realize this is one gun and cartridge and does not mean this will always be the case.
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