OK.....I am a believer. 308/RL-17/208 AMAX = sweet spot

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Michael Eichele, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    WOW!

    After all the buzz lately about RL-17 in a 308 and me being the 308 nut that I am just could not resist the temptation to go out and see what it is all about. I loaded up some 168 AMAX's, 200 SGK's and 208 AMAX's for testing the other day and went to the range today to see what would become of this. Well all I can say is that I am encouraged.

    First the 168's. I loaded up 3 groups of 3 + two foul shots for the clean barrel. Loads were as follows. 48.0, 49.0, 50.0 grains of RL-17 under the 168 AMAX loaded to 2.840 OACL and .020" off the lands. The velocity for the 48.0 load was right around 2800 FPS. Velocity for the 49.0 charge was just over 2850 and the velocity for the 50.0 charge was 2903. Yes you read that right. 2903 with absolutely NO pressure signs whatsoever. The bolt lift was if there was a virgin case in the chamber and the primer had no crater, no excessive flatness and there were no marks on the base whatsoever. This load also group 0.3 MOA. It gets even better.

    Next I moved on to the 208 AMAX. I only loaded 3 bullets total just to test velocity. After the test, I could make a decision as to where to go from there. I started low with 45.0 and jumped to 47.0 and then jumped to 49.0 grains. The first (45.0) was a dissapointing 2484 FPS. After the second shot things were looking up with 2609 FPS. The extraction and cases/primers were all flawless so I opted to torch off the 49.0 load. Jenny belched out that dag gum 208 grain AMAX at an astounding 2714 FPS. After seeing the chrony I thought "Oh boy....this bolt is going to be sticky...." Much to my utter amazment, the bolt lift was just as easy as with any other normal load I have ever fired. No case markings and no primer crater ZILCH! The amazing part about this is that all 3 of those 208's that were 2 grains between them for a total of 4 grain from start to finish, repeat after me......4 grains of difference, the group was under 1.200 MOA. UNDER 1.200 MOA! This opens a whole lot more possibilities.
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Wow

    I have a pound sitting on the shelf but the only 308 win I got left it my M1A and R17 is no go there. I have 260 rem but I don't know if R17 fits the bill. To say I'm impressed at the speed you got is a down right lie I'm blow away. I cant wait to see what is in store for you.
     

  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I think RL17 would do very well in the 260 Rem. From my own experience and from what I'm reading from others, it is an all around good powder from the 223 WSSM to the 300 WM and 375 Ruger, in a variety of bullet weights.

    Only one way to find out... try it.
     
  4. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of you guys talking about RL-17, sounds very impressive. I remember quite a few years ago when Hornady and Federal came out with their light magnum loads. They advertised them as an additional 100-200 fps (or something along those lines) without the added pressure. They also said it was due to some new types of powders that were unavailable to the general public as well as new loading techniques. I wonder if this is a similiar type of situation that the reloader is now able to take advantage of.
     
  5. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    One more thing. Does anyone have any idea as to the temp stability of the RL-17?
     
  6. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    And where does it sit on the burn rate chart?

    Steve
     
  7. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    I just found this on their site. It says it's a similiar burn rate to IMR-4350 and states that it provides maximum velocity even in extreme weather. Still not sure about the temp sensitivity in hot weather though.



    Alliant Powder - Reloder 17
     
  8. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Anddd who on the forum was messing with this before you?? :D :D

    glad it works for you too. 1000yard deer capabilities from a 308.... Finaly!
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I have not got that far with testing it but I have with RL-15 in 308 and RL-25 in 300 RUM and both were ALOT less sensitive than what you typically read about. Some of the least amount of velocity swings I have seen were with RL-15 and 25. I imagine 17 is not that much different but that is just a guess.
     
  10. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Ya, ya, ya.................

    All I know is that 1 year ago I would NEVER have believed that a 308 with a 26" barrel could deliver 1000 foot pounds of energy at 1000 yards. At least not at sea level in standard air. Running numbers at 2700 FPS even with Litz's BC of .633, it delivers well over 1000 pounds of energy at 1K with enough remaining velocity to easily open up the AMAX on game. At 5000' in 50 degree air where I hunt dall rams, the numbers are simply unbelievable with nearly 1300 foot pounds and less than 56" of drift in 10 MPH winds is a dream come true.

    From a hunting standpoint this is awesome. From a match standpoint it would certainly do well, however the repetitive recoil would sure suck. The recoil is very managable but I can see where after 20 rounds or so, it would start to suck as I did note a sizeable increase in recoil going from the 168-190 bullets.

    The next day or two will tell the tale when I actually shoot some groups. Untill then, it is good to dream a bit..........
     
  11. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    I am going to Texas in a week and will test how the 208 A-max does on some pigs (hopefully).

    I agree for matches the recoil gets slightly annoying. After a 60 round-ish F-class match I bet your shoulder would be rather sore.

    Have you noticed how fast your barrel heats up from RL17? I have a 1.25" dia barrel and it gets smokin hot after 5-6 shots...
     
  12. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    What was your COL and barrel length?

    Thanks
    Fitch
     
  13. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    I have no experience with R17, but seem to recall reading that it has pressure spikes very quickly with out any warning. Thought I read it on 6mm BR, but anyway, be careful, and keep us informed on your progress.
     
  14. sniperjwt

    sniperjwt Well-Known Member

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    i think RL 17 is living up to its hype. I tried it in my custom built 243 Super Rockchucker one week back in Jaunary when it was not too cold to shoot and shot a 95 grain Berger bullet over 3500FPS and with sub MOA accuracy. The load i was shooting before was with H4350 with a 87 grain V-max and i was only getting a little over 3400fps. Its starting to warm up now a little so i am going to do some testing with the 90grain with the RL 17 would have stayed with the 95 but im not sure that my barrel would stabelize it i have a 1-10 it reccomends 1-9. We will see but i am impressed so far with the RL 17 myself.
    Good post Michael.