30-06 using RL 17 powder
Hi fellow members,
I noticed several posts that discussed 30-06 loads using Alliant's Reloder 17 powder. I recently kicked off a ladder test using RL 17 and thought I would share my experiences so far. I am not a top quality rifle shooter by any stretch, but I have had really good success with RL 17 so far. I am still in the testing process, but let me share what I have learned so far. I shoot a Tikka T3 stainless 30-06. I use Sierra GameKing bullets, a variety of Federal and Springfield cases (from spent factory ammo) and CCI primers. My first ladder test was a pressure test at 100 yards. I loaded in .2 grain increments from 55 to 58.4. Between 55.8 and 56.4 I had a noticable accuracy window. Incredible groups at 100 yards. The holes were literally touching. At 57.0 grains of RL 17, I noticed my first flattened primer. CCI primers are notoriously tough, so flattened primers are definitely signs of pressure. At 57.6 I had an ejector mark as well and stopped the test. So my practical maximum is 57.0 grains. Btw, I am using a 165 grain bullet. As soon as the weather in the Pacific Northwest improves (I am from Snoqualmie, WA), I will conduct phase II of my ladder test, looking specifically for a good accuracy windows at 200 yards. The published max load for RL 17 is 56.5, so I suspect my final OCW will be close to that, but I am keeping my options open, really focusing on accuracy over velocity. At 57.0, I had a velocity of 2812 fps. That is below the velocity of the published max of 56.5 where 2874 was the velocity. Could be the moist air and conditions here in the Pac NW winter, but anyway, pretty close. Share your thoughts, and I will continue to post to this thread as I progress.