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Thread: RL17 300 WSM Lack of Data

  1. #1

    Default RL17 300 WSM Lack of Data

    Maybe I am not looking in the right place but I searched on here as well as the internet and did not see very much data on this subject.

    This is my plan. Alliant's website lists the following information for RL17 and 300 WSM. Speer 180 Grain BTSP, Federal Case, Barrel Length 24", Fed 215 primer, and 66 grains of RL17 for 3082 fps. This is the only manufacturer load data I have been able to find. In the fine print before entering their reloading data page they state that all loads listed are max and you need to subtract 10% and work up.

    In my case, working up is going to be new to me and reading through here and other places I have learned some of the things to look for. Mainly, cratered primers, ejector marks on brass, and snug bolt lift. Also, an increase in powder weight with no increase in fps.

    Here are the loads I just finished using 180 grain accubonds with winchester brass and CCI 250 primers. Barrel length is the same at 24". I plan on shooting these over a chronograph and checking the cases very carefully after each shot. Anyone see any problems with the plan?

    60 grains 5 rounds
    62 grains 3 rounds
    64 grains 3 rounds
    65 grains 5 rounds
    65.5 grains 4 rounds
    66 grains 4 rounds

  2. #2

    Default Looks Like a Good Plan to Me

    Your load and shooting development approach is exactly identical to the one I have been using. If I am pulling the trigger well, I rule out loads with poor groups. I note each shot on graph paper, and if I know I have flinched or jerked the trigger on a shot, I note that and leave it out of the group size for judging.
    After the original round of shooting, if none of the loads has the accuracy or velocity I am looking for, I try another bullet without changing any other parameters.

    I think you are going to get good results with the Reloder 17.

    Let us know how it shakes out.

    Regards,
    Jim

  3. #3

    Default Thanks Jim

    I will hopefully post a range report in about 2 weeks!

    I like the idea of calling your shots before checking the bullet placement on target. I will be shooting off a Caldwell Fire Control rest and hopefully it will be a calm day at 100 yards.

  4. #4
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Default

    Since it's testing and no one is rushing you don't squeeze the trigger if the wind is gusting or you are not settled on the recital. Go to the range at first light, nice calm day. This will minimize your chance for bad shots if you do your part right.

    You may also load at 66.3gr, 66.6gr and 66.9gr with the intent to shoot if your data collection supports that decision. I have ran into pressure issues at less than published max load in some applications and in others I haven't seen any issues at published max loads. If you hit the wall don't shoot higher loads just take them apart when you get home.

    Once your best group is found further development can be done with seating depth changes. I generally start with the loaded bullet at .010 less than max mag length or .020 off the lands, which ever is shortest. Next adjust the bullet deeper in .020 increments if your charge will allow it. One load will diffidently out shoot the others by a noticeably margin. Further testing can be done by adjusting the best load .010 shorter and .010 longer and you will have the absolute winner.

    I have found in my testing that the winning seating depth is unique to the bullet design. If you're not happy with the velocity obtained with RL-17 the winning seating depth with the bullet tested will hold true with other powders in your rifle. All you will need to do is work up loads with different powders using the winning seating depth until you find a powder that satisfies you at the already determined best seating depth.

    I just reread your post. They used Federal brass you selected Winchester. Federal is fine but I like your decision. Winchester brass weighs less and has more capacity. That supports the higher than published max load possibilities.

    Cheers

  5. #5

    Default

    Looks good. I'd do something similar, but don't be surprised to see pressure signs before you reach 66gr. 66gr of 17 is a rather stout load for a 180 out of a 300wsm. . I've noticed that Alliant has hot loads listed for RL17, to try to show big gains over other powders. As I said before, 66gr of 17 is a pretty stout load for your bullet/chambering. Work up and post the results!

    Quote Originally Posted by 58D View Post
    Maybe I am not looking in the right place but I searched on here as well as the internet and did not see very much data on this subject.

    This is my plan. Alliant's website lists the following information for RL17 and 300 WSM. Speer 180 Grain BTSP, Federal Case, Barrel Length 24", Fed 215 primer, and 66 grains of RL17 for 3082 fps. This is the only manufacturer load data I have been able to find. In the fine print before entering their reloading data page they state that all loads listed are max and you need to subtract 10% and work up.

    In my case, working up is going to be new to me and reading through here and other places I have learned some of the things to look for. Mainly, cratered primers, ejector marks on brass, and snug bolt lift. Also, an increase in powder weight with no increase in fps.

    Here are the loads I just finished using 180 grain accubonds with winchester brass and CCI 250 primers. Barrel length is the same at 24". I plan on shooting these over a chronograph and checking the cases very carefully after each shot. Anyone see any problems with the plan?

    60 grains 5 rounds
    62 grains 3 rounds
    64 grains 3 rounds
    65 grains 5 rounds
    65.5 grains 4 rounds
    66 grains 4 rounds

  6. #6
    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Default

    I worked all of the way up to 66 grains last fall and didnt have any pressure problems. I was shooting a 24" barrel as well, the only difference is my bullets were 180gr Barnes TTSXs. I dont have my books in front of me but I remember pushing close to 3300 (I dont recall the exact numbers but its on the site here somewhere). It was a fast load but I dont think it grouped as well as the RL19.

    edit*, I found the link here: http://http://forums.outdoorsdirecto...highlight=RL17

  7. #7

    Default Report

    I made it to the range Saturday and today. I made some rookie mistakes with my new chronograph (first time using one) so I did not get all of the data I could have the first day.

    Speaking of Chronographs. I read through here and other places trying to decide which one to get. I ended up buying the CED Millennium 2. I am very happy with it, especially the USB port which makes it simple for me to save my shot strings to the computer for reference later. The chrono exports the data with a click of the mouse directly into Excel. My version is not updated so when I edited it, it saved in notepad format.

    I am attaching a file to this for anyone who is interested in the velocities I got with RL-17. Someone please let me know if it was readable!

    I learned a lot about my rifle this weekend. It is back to the bench for me to try and refine these loads and shrink some groups together.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8

    Default 165G Bullet Load Results

    Here are the pictures with velocities and grains of powder.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1652.jpg   IMG_1653.JPG  

  9. #9

    Default Seating Depth / Huge Difference

    I made it back to the range today to experiment a little more. First off, my rifle won't shoot Accubonds! The good news is I think I found a winner with 168 TSX's. At the range I fired each shot with a five minute wait before the next.

    In the first picture, the 3 groups on the right are at the same powder weight with different seating depths. It is dissapointing because I have read very good things about Accubond's, so I may experiment some more with different powder.

    The second picture is the 168 TSX. Due to the max magazine length limitations of my rifle it was suggested that I try Barnes because they like a lot of jump to the lands. (Thanks Stid) As soon as I fired the workup group I had a good feeling about it. Notice they are stacked vertically. Again, the two far right groups it is the same powder weight with different seating depths. The closest I can get to the lands and have the cartridge fit in the magazine is .075 off the lands. (Bummer) but that top right group is 4 rounds and tight enough for me!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 180 Accubond.jpg   168 TSX.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Default

    58D
    What brand rifle are you shooting? I have a Tikka T3 300 WSM that will shoot one ragged hole with factory Federal 180 grn. I am fixing to start loading for it hot and heavy when the weather clears. Hope I can find a match with 165 grn.

  11. #11

    Default

    58D,
    Interesting, my Tikka T3 Lite in 300 wsm wouldn't shoot 180 Accubonds better than about 1.5 inches at 100 yds.

    My gun shoots 180 Sierra Gamekings very well (1" or less) with RE 19 and that bullet has performed well on big game for me.

    I just worked up a load for a Kodiak BB hunt. 180 gr Barnes TSX, 69 grains of RE 19, COAL 2.825, Fed Mag primer (load data right from Barnes website). That load resulted in a 5 shot group at 100 yds of .75" with 4 of the shots in 1 hole = YAHOO!

    My target from a few weeks ago:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=73665

  12. #12
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Looking good 58D, I would try some 180 grain bullets before I gave up. IMHO a 180 grain bullet is the sweet spot for a 30 cal.

    Steve

  13. #13

    Default

    JPOST and 450Hunter,

    It's a Tikka T3. Thanks for the heads up on the combination for the 180 TSX's JPOST.

    The plan right now is to compare 180 TSX and 180 TTSX burning RL-17 and RL-19. So far I have only loaded with the 17 so it is time to try a different powder and compare accuracy/velocity.

  14. #14

    Default Sweet Success!

    I had a great day at the range yesterday. 180 TTSX at 3000fps looks like what my rifle likes. So far I have good loads for RL-17 and 165g Sierra GK, 168TSX, and 180TTSX.

    Today was also my first day shooting once fired brass, neck sized only. My next range trip will be with the 180's TTSX/TSX and I am going to call it good! Now I just need to compare drop charts on the 180's vs. 168.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Gameking,Accubond.jpg   Barnes.jpg  

  15. #15
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Looks like it is all coming together....Well done.

    Steve

  16. #16

    Default

    Shot my 300 WSM Win 70 24" today with 200 Gr Nosler Partions,

    Loaded 3 shots with CCI Mag Pr & RL 22 67 Gr 2759, 68 Gr 2816 &
    69 Gr RL 22 2868 FPS. 66 Gr was around 2700 FPS.

    With my test loads of RL 17 & 168 Barnes TSX I worked up to
    3250 FPS reduced one grain to 3150 FPS.

  17. #17
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    I have used RL-17 a over the past year or so and one of the better performances was with the 300 WSM and 180 grain Nosler ballistic tips and partitions. The B-tips were the fastest with 66.3 grains at 3051fps for five shots, the partitions were 3021 fps with 66.0 grains. This was from a 24 inch barrel and a strain gage average pressure of 65,400 psi. That is a maximum load!! I did see good accuracy but H4350 gave near equal velocities with about the same pressure. This is typical with those two powders and those are my findings. I did not try heavier than 180 grain bullets in the 300 but did shoot 165 grain Sierra MK's, with good results.

    I have burned almost five pounds of RL-17 in the 308, 30-06, 300, 325, and 338 WSM's and the 338 Win mag, as well as a couple wildcats. I think it is well suited for the '06, the 300 and 325 WSM's and the 338 Win mag. It shows some improvement over other powders in the 338 Win except for the 500 series of VihtaVouri. Vihta N550 is very close to the same burn rate but will give higher velocity before pressure peaks.

    RL-17 is a good powder and fills a gap in the Alliant line-up. RL-19 was a little slow for many applications in the 338 Win,mag and RL-15, a great 308 Win powder, was a little fast for most bullets weights in the 30-06, 338 Win mag and 300 WSM. The new 17 was needed if we for Alliant but like many new propellants, it gets elevated much too quickly to something it isn't. I don't think Alliant is marketing it beyond its capabilities. I think they are proud of it and should be, but it is not capable of giving velocities well above what we were getting, just a little boost in certain calibers and that is all we wanted.

    I think the test you making are good and typical of my results with the cartridge/powder combination. It is a good powder for 165's to 180's in the 300 WSM. Compare it with H4350, H450, N550 and IMR4350 in charge weight and velocity and you'll find them very close in velocity, and possibly in accuracy.
    If you had only RL-17 for you 300 WSM you would be in good shape.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  18. #18

    Default

    Murphy, your experience with RL17 and H4350 in the 300 WSM is interesting. Mine was a little different and I was shooting E-Tips vs B-Tips. Norma brass, GM215M primers out of a M85 Finnlight.

    I dont have any pressure equipment so all I can go by is the pressure signs as pressure indicators for comparrison. Using the same signs, which were a slightly sticky bolt and slightly cratered primers, I bcaked off 1/2 gr with both powders until there was no sticky bolt. The difference in velocity was about 200 fps. The RL17 pushed the 180 E-Tips an average of 3193 fps while the H4350 pushed them about 2990 or so. This is using the same pressure sign indicators that my reloading manuals tell me to look for when working up a load. I assume that the pressures with both loads must have been close to produce the same pressure signs, using the same lot brass, same lot primers, same lot bullets, seated to the same COAL out of the same rifle, fired on the same day within about an hour of each other.

    I am in no way suggesting that your reporst is inacurrate. In fact, I fully believe it. Just saying my experience was different. just different experiences. I had the same experience with my 25-06. Almost exactly 200 fps faster than Reumbo and H1000 with two differnt bullets, and same pressure signs.

    Now with 168 TTSX's out of the 300 WSM it was a little dfferent story. Actually a lot different. With 66 gr of H4350 I was able to get about 3010 - 3020 fps. Chrony reading were spotty due to weather and light conditions. With 65.5 gr of RL17, I was only able to get 3071 fps which was surprising since I was able to get much more from the 180 E-Tips.

    For the details of my experience with the 300 WSM and RL17 see post 6 and following in the linked thread. I have shot the same RL17 load with the E-tips several times since with basically the same results.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...highlight=rl17

  19. #19
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    I think that differences from gun to gun are just part of the program. Different lots of powder may contribute to this. I have purchased only two lots of RL-17. One lot of I think I had four pounds in Alaska and I bought five more down here in the lower 48, of a different lot. I did not pressure test the first lot but got essentially the same velocity with like charge weights in the three test calibers. The 30-06, 338 Win mag and the 358 Nukalpiaq were fired with both lots but the 358 was a different rifle.

    I have found it common for the TSX's to be slower than some other bullet types such as BT's and partitions. The A-frame is slower and must be loaded with lighter charges also. For comparisons I stick with the same type bullet in all calibers when testing a powder. The standard cup and core Sierra bullet is a good inexpensive test standard.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  20. #20

    Wink Testing out my Reticle

    So I tested out the 180TTSX with 66.5g RL-17 moving 3000 fps. I wanted to see how that worked with my Leupold B&C reticle out to 300 yards because that is as far as I can shoot at the range here. I made scope adjustments based on the picture and recipe in my last post. 2 clicks right and 6 clicks up should have put me dead even at 200 yards, and 1.5 inches high at 100 yards. As you can see in the first picture (200 yards) it worked out for me! Not sure what was going on with shot number 2 but I will know more next range trip. All shots were fired with 5 minutes wait time in between.

    The suprising thing is the second picture of the coyote. This was 300 yards and the group is actually smaller! I shot these using the second reticle on the ladder per Leupold's instructions. Looks like I will have to do more experimenting to get it where I want it but I can work with that. Now I just need to find a 400 yard range.

    *I didnt mean to put that wink in the post title*
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 200YARDS.JPG   300YARDS.JPG  

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