Range Report-RL17 in .308 Winny!

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by liltank, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Well, its been awhile since I have tried anything new and crazy and I have stumbled across some good stuff. In the past couple of months I have been playing around with Alliant Powders. As unstable as they may be, they seem to be consistent regardless. I have been playing with RL-17 for about 6 months. In my 300WSM I was getting decent results initially and things started heading south. I found out later that my barrel took a dump on me. That one is on the mends right now. Sooooo... this has given me time to get back to the basics and play with my 18" barreled .308.

    Now I have never been none to impressed with its ballistics and have had a hard time finding really accurate loads for it. My initial accuracy load for that rifle was H335 with the 135SMK. This produced .5" groups when I did my part. It was designed specifically for terminal damage on deer at close range. Well I never got a chance to try it out because there are not to many deer in Pennsylvania anymore.... or where I hunt anyway.

    So now that the seasons are over I have talked with some of you on longrangehunting.com about this subject. We were exploring the possibilities of RL-17 in other calibers other than long and short magnums. So I started playing with the idea of using it in my .308 with the short barrel. To date this powder has proved to produce 100+fps in my 300WSM over normal range powders (4831sc, H4350).

    So I did a load work up using 168 A-max bullets. My initial starting point was around 39.0grns working up to 48.0grns in 1 grain increments. I found that 48grn.s is the top of the load for the case capacity, seating depth, and pressure being ignited by a Wolf LR primer. So I am currently at about 100+% capacity but seems to work without pushing the bullet out. This has produced accuracy of .75MOA or less at 100yrds at 2612fps (think it is a little high due to poor lighting for chronograph) avg. out of an 18" barrel. Now I haven't had calm conditions to test the load at long range, but to date in 10 to 15 mph winds it is holding right at 1MOA. I shot a 4"group with switchy winds at a perfect 90 degrees changing from 10 to 15 with each gust. My vertical produced the 4" and my horizontal held right at 2".

    I was reading an article about a guy who wanted a do all rifle for competition and hunting. He decided on a GAP Hospitaller in a .308. He said he used the holy grail of .308 loads with Varget and a instead of a 210 primer, he found that the CCI 250 produced the best groups with the least amount of deviation igniting 43.0grns. So this got me thinking [​IMG] ??? I am using a magnum powder and my spreads are little wide.

    This brings me to an epiphany moment. I have both F215's and CCI 250's in the basement. I go down and threw together the same load only changing up the primer. It produced a half inch or less group (haven't measured it yet, I just know it is tight). I did throw one and I am not saying it was the load. The first four out of five ripped a ragged hole. This is with the F215 primer. The spread over 5 shots was only 11fps which is better than the 25fps using the 210's. The speed dropped off to 2580avg, but it is more accurate. Because of the temp instability, I expect well over 2600fps this summer. Get this though, had some 175FMJ's laying around that I have played with, but could never get any consistency out of them.

    Loaded the 175's with 46.5grns (known from a previous trial) I shot an avg. of .75" at 100 (best ever with this bullet) with a velocity of 2577fps. Hain't to shabby if you ask me. The best I could get out of this rifle prior to RL-17 was 2412 w/ a 175/168's and using RL-15 and 4064. I would expect with a long barrel you would get some serious velocity. I haven't been able to test that theory yet, but this powder was made for Short mags with short barrels. This is a comp chamber, so tolerances are tighter than a SAAMI spec chamber. This has kind of been the down fall of this rifle. I would expect a normal chambers compaction would be a little less. I want to try another powder which is made by Accurate powders. The Pro Mag is a ball powder and suppose to be temp stable. Now if I can just find some. [​IMG]

    Blessings,
    Tank
     
  2. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write up.

    I tried RL17 once under the 190 SMK's. I dont remember what the velocities were but they were really good. I scrapped it because I was not getting the accuracy I needed. In fact I was not getting anything to shoot accurately. Come to find out, it was my scope mounts that were causing the problem. Now that the problem is fixed and the rifle shoots lights out, I cant wait to get back out there and try RL17 again. Using 44.0 RL15 I was getting 2690 out of my 26" Hart with the 190's. I hit 2750 with a compressed load of H4350. I bet I could that with RL17.

    So far though, the best powder overall for it has been that dang expensive VV N540. It is worth the money though. She eats it and spits it out like there is no tomarrow.
     

  3. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Beat me to it! i was going to wait till sunday so i can get one or two more range trips in before i make my stand.

    I am shooting 208gr A-maxs with 48grs of RL17 in a 1-11tw 28" Hart on my .308win.

    I am getting 2820fps and most of the seating depths ive tried produced just at .5 MOA, at 400yards! I have a 5shot group under 2" and a 3 shot 1.5" group on the same target.

    I will probably test again tomorrow and do drop testing at a variety of ranges to confirm my results. I will then post about my results aswell.

    Oliver
     
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Is this in your .308 with the 190's? I was getting 2950fps and some up over 3000fps in my short mag in a 26" barrel with 208's and 210grn bullets at 65-66 grns. That was max load though. What primer were you using? I want to get a hold of some Mag Pro because it is a ball powder. Should be able to get better burn rates and better case capacity. My other problem is being a comp chamber, I can't load near that heavy w/ the RL15. The most I can load with a 175 is 41.5grns.

    Tank
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    WOW!!! That is amazing. Making a short mag out of a .308 Winny. Maybe with this powder reviving the 308AI could prove interesting. That is quite impressive to be able to push a 208 A-Max with 48grns. in a 28" bore. Goes to show what is possible with a factory chamber. The comp chamber has been my nightmare.

    Tank
     
  6. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    My 308? Yes. I am running BR2 primers. I will be testing some 168 AMAX's this weekend with 48, 49 and 50 grains of RL17. They should smoke!! I will take you advice and load them with CCI250 mag primers.

    Have you concidered having the throat made longer so you can seat your bullets out further? Or is it some type of pressure issue that is holding you to such low charge weights?
     
  7. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    So far my drops have been consistent with 2830fps and also got that from a chronograph with witnesses. I was going to shoot a bit more before doing a full blown report. I think I will still post my finding Sunday because this is a combo that finaly makes the .308win viable for 1k deer.
     
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, at 2600 FPS it is a viable 1K deer/sheep load. There you have more than 1K pounds of energy and enough velocity to open it up. Plenty for deer.
     
  9. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    It's pressure issue's. I have a comp chamber that I have to small body size all my brass and turn the necks to fit in the camber. It is a real pain in the butt trying to get brass set up for it. I have about 200 rnds prepped for it. 100 Norma's and 100 JC match. I can't believe your brass will hold more than 48grns and still seat a bullet. If I went to 50grns I would be over pressured and the necks would be full to almost level. Makes me wish I went with a normal spec chamber.

    Tank
     
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    What are your spreads? That would definitely be a 1K rifle for deer. This is exciting guys. Maybe looking to build an Ackley some day in this caliber. Less powder than a magnum with good energy and speed with heavy bullets.

    Tank
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Yup! I have played around with those super tight chambers including tight neck chambers. After one or two of those I will never go back to them unless I take up true BR shooting. As for long range shooting, I find SAAMI chambers are the ticket. You can have SAAMI chambers and have a good snug fit together.

    It is never too late to have it reamed out...........
     
  12. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the run on posts, but the Federal 215's gave me my best results. Can't wait to do it again.

    Tank
     
  13. SYee

    SYee Member

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    Michael Eichele,
    That comment about the SAAMI chamber makes me feel better.
    I tried R-17 under a 190SMK in my factory Rem SPS-V in .308. I was getting 2600fps with 47gr of R-17 out of the 26" factory tube using CCI 200 primers, didn't go any higher as I was crunching powder something fierce.

    Have since had the rifle rebarrelled and the smith cut a SAAMI chamber. It shoots lights out, but have not revisited the R-17 testing. Will be watching this post for results.

    SYee
     
  14. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Liltank, I have only chronoed the load once and had a ES of 20fps over 10shots. I have several groups with .5-1" vertical spread at 400yards. I will do some serious testing either tomorrow or Sunday, or both.