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Thread: Help me choose a powder for a 308 Win/200 gr. Accubond load

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Help me choose a powder for a 308 Win/200 gr. Accubond load

    After realizing that I won't get the 200 grain Accubond double tap ammo before my trip, I'm going to have to load it up myself. All throughout my various reloading manuals I've seen reloader 15 used for 200 grain bullets, but after reading some online stuff, it appears that guys are getting better results from reloader 17 for their match competition ammo shooting 208 grain A-max.

    Which should I go with?

    Reloader 15 or Reloader 17?

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    mainer,

    I use RL-15 in Hornady match and Lapua brass with 175gr bullets in my 308. One combo holds .4gr more powder and both are compressed loads.

    I say the above because your question involves a slower burning powder that would require more charge and a longer bullet that would occupy more case space. That combination doesn't jive when looking to optimize velocity which is what the Double Tap you're looking at would do.

    If you're loading a long COAL you may be able to gain some case space but the longer 200 grain bullet may use it up.

    I think a faster powder in the neighborhood of IMR-4064 would be a better selection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    After realizing that I won't get the 200 grain Accubond double tap ammo before my trip, I'm going to have to load it up myself. All throughout my various reloading manuals I've seen reloader 15 used for 200 grain bullets, but after reading some online stuff, it appears that guys are getting better results from reloader 17 for their match competition ammo shooting 208 grain A-max.

    Which should I go with?

    Reloader 15 or Reloader 17?
    I'm hoping this is for the Savage 99 you picked up...Did it all come together fairly easy?

    If I want maximum velocity in the 308 I always give Winchester 748 a try. BL-C(2) and H380 are very similar and are also top performers in the 308. I know you didn't list it as an option, but it would be worth a try with that long 200 grain bullet where powder space is a precious commodity.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Here is a thread where some competition shooters are getting 2700+ fps from Reloder 17 and 200 gr SGK and accubond in a 308. Good reading.

    http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...37#Post2194537

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    Yes Cor, I'm slowly reviving this 99 from the dead. It's missing about half the springs when "bubba gunsmith" took it apart. I have a friend from back home who is a gun smith that specializes in keeping 99's in tip top shape. He's sending me a care package with EVERY spring just in case it's worse than I think. I put a set of sights on her because it had no open sights. I went with a heavy/tall front bead, and a Wilson Combat Ghost ring rear on the tang. I only had to drill/tap one hole on the tang and used the existing rear scope base screw hole. The picatinny rail is almost done. I chose to go with a scout so I could retain the wilson combat sight, and the nice carrying ability of a 99 with that smooth/rounded bottom of the receiver. The scout mount will use the front scope base screw holes, and and on more hole drilled into a big front sight plug. I've been checking my work with a caliper, and the rail will set true to the bore by using a bore sight laser in combination with a laser level atop the scout base. Thanks for the powder preference marshall, and Cor. I'm still up in the air about which powder to use because of the actual info online from guy who use rl-17 with "supposedly" such good results with velocity in stock chambers and stock throats. It confuses me, you would think that rl-17 would be too slow?!

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I've found Marshall's recommendation to try IMR-4064 to work very well in my 7mm-08. I'm not shooting heavy for caliber bullets (120 and 140g), but since I'm shooting a sister cartridge to your 308, I thought you might like to know.

    I tried H414, RL15, and IMR-4350 before I went to IMR-4064, and I haven't looked back. Good luck. That's a pretty heavy bullet for the 308.

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    Also good reading here. I think these guys know what they are doing. Note the strain gauge equipped rifle they used to test pressure.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/reloder17.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by cessna308 View Post
    Also good reading here. I think these guys know what they are doing. Note the strain gauge equipped rifle they used to test pressure.

    http://www.6mmbr.com/reloder17.html
    Wow!

    Thank you so much for sourcing this article. I was weary of going with such a slow powder but according to that very thorough article, reloader 17 is definitely the way to go with heavy bullets in a 308 Winchester based on real tests that were performed by professionals with high-end equipment. I like the velocity results at the bottom of the page.......impressive to say the least. I was also enthused by the detailed description of the properties of reloader 17 and it's relative burn characteristics. I think everyone who owns a 308 should take a look at that article.

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    Take a closer look an see that they are shooting a compressed load of RL-17 with a match grade moly coated 185gr Lapua bullet. They are only getting 2701fps out of a custom built match grade weapon with a 30" barrel.

    Those numbers may be good at first glance but with a full case and a bullet loaded out to the lands in 100 degree weather they are getting all they can. Your results with a 200gr hunting bullet at sea level in cooler weather from a shorter barrel and a typical chamber and throat won't be close to those results.

    Also notice that they mention a full case, slightly compressed and below max pressure. That's because the powder is to slow. Also take a look at their disclaimer about moly.

    I have used BLC-2 with success in the 308 as Cor mentions. That powder meters as good as any powder on the market. I used it with 155gr bullets with great success.

    Hodgdon data shows Varget, IMR-4064, BLC-2 and IMR-4895 with the fastest velocities at your weight. I mention speed because when several powders are compared in test data the optimum powders rise to the top of the speed chart. All of those powders are faster burn than RL-17 and the Hodgdon data was tested in a 24" barrel. The above mentioned extruded powders were listed as compressed loads and the spherical was not.


    The following is from your recommended reading:

    Testing Reloder 17 in the .308 Winchester
    Our testing continued with the .308 Winchester. As you can see in the table, RL17 is really too slow for the 155gr bullets, with a 48.0 grain charge yielding 2880 fps at 50,900 psi. By contrast, 45.5 grains of H4895 gave 3050 fps at 59,900 psi and 46.0 Varget gave 3036 fps at 59,400 psi. Both of those reference loads were clearly a better combination for the 155. However, when we switched to the world famous, industrial grade, Lapua 185gr D46 FMJ match bullet (you might notice that I have a soft spot for this bullet) RL17 once again showed a real advantage. At a maximum load of 47.0 grains of RL17, we saw 2701 fps at 54,400 psi. This was a fairly full charge with a bit of powder compression so we didnít go further although the pressure was still well below max.

    (NOTE: these loads are all with moly-coated bullets--you should reduce the load by at least one full grain for "naked" bullets".)

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    Mainer,

    I meant to add this comment but my time ran out on the edit function.

    There is nothing wrong with trying RL-17 in your application. It is a slow powder for your caliber and will not damage your rifle. Even with a full case of charge you will be below max SAAMI spec for the 308Win as noted in the article.

    The point I was trying to make is there are better selections available for you.

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    I hate to be nosy but I will. What in the world are you going to hunt that requires a 200 grain bullet out of a 308? Why not drop back to the 180 grain and simplify your situation?
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    I hate to be nosy but I will. What in the world are you going to hunt that requires a 200 grain bullet out of a 308? Why not drop back to the 180 grain and simplify your situation?
    I like heavy for caliber bullets and with todays diverse selection of powder, why not give it a try? It's not too difficult and is very simple, choose a powder after consulting some of the more experienced forum members who routinely venture outside the realm of reloading manuals, and load a great heavy-hitting and multi purpose load for a 308 Winchester. It'd be a unique experiment to be able to successfully develop a load larger than 180 grain in a 308 since there is so much doubt about the stability of a 1:12 twist, case capacity, and any other minor doubts about going above 180 grain in a 308. This gun will be used for bear, moose, and caribou.

  13. #13

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    " why not give it a try?"

    My attitude also. I have a 308 that I have tried a few things with. It has a 1 in 11 twist rate, and 220 grain partitions shoot great! Less than .9 in at 100 yds. Heavy bullets kick more, but that is their only drawback that I can think of. A 200 grain Swift A-frame at 2600-2700 fps from a 308 would be an absolute hammer against bears, even big browns. Phil Shoemaker, one of the the top brown bear guides in Alaska, says that for someone that can stalk and shoot, a 308 with a 200 A-frame or Barnes should be more than adequate for large brown bears.

    The new 2000-MR powder from Alliant is worth looking at for bullets lighter than 200 gr. From the website below, for the Federal Fusion bullet, they show 3060 fps for a 150 grain, and 2760 fps for a 180 grain. That's very high. Word is the new Speer Deep Curl bullet is the same as the Fusion bullet.

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...1&cartridge=80

    I don't believe there is more to be had from any of the old powders in a 308 or 30-06. These 2 rifles have had way too much load development over the years for there to be anything more to be had. However, as time goes by, new powders have been developed that can get a little more performance, SAFELY. Re-17 and 2000-MR costs the same. Why leave 100-200 fps more velocity on the table when it is readily available. All that said, If I could only have one powder, it would be either IMR4064, Re-15, or W748.

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    I would try w748 for the 308 and a 200gr bullet. With a 45.0 gr charge you should be able to reach 2550+ FPS.

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    Just my .02: Varget and 168 grain TSX's go together like peas and carrots. I would have to say that a fast moving TSX would kill anything a 200 grain power point, or partition, or accubond or whatever it might be will kill. Cleanly at that.

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    does alliant mr-2000 set between 17 and 15 with it's burn rate? It does claim to be the ideal powder for heavy 308 loads. It appears that 2600 fps. from a 200 grainer is not out of the question with that powder.

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    A little info on the MR-2000.

    http://www.westernshooter.com/2010/0...o-2000-mr.html

    I have not been able to find relative burn rate data on this new powder.

    One thing to consider, it is a spherical powder and will fill the case with more powder than an extruded powder.

    That being the case, if it is the same as RL-17 and a full case of RL-17 is less than SAAMI max pressure this powder would be an alternative to allow more charge if that is your goal.

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    BAM!

    MR-2000 it is.

    This spherical powder should fit well with a 200 grainer. Both the powder, and the bullets are available here in Anchorage. Thanks for the final decision on this powder guys, I didn't even know it existed, and it's obviously designed for a 308 Winchester with maximum results. We've got some darned genius and well-informed handloaders on this forum.

    I spent about 2 hours disassembling this model 99 and treating her with respect, making sure that the proper screwdriver was used for every screw, and that every part was inspected. The culprit that turned this rifle into a hunk of useless junk was: Misaligned lever bushing, missing firing pin return spring, a missing cartridge stop spring, and a buggered up trigger near the end where it releases the sear, it needed some work with a polishing stone because of the delayed release of the sear. My good gunsmith friend set me up well......it's now in perfect condition because of his detailed advice and care package of springs n things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    My good gunsmith friend set me up well......it's now in perfect condition because of his detailed advice and care package of springs n things.
    Glad to hear it all worked out for you. Look forward to hearing about the results with MR-2000 and the 200 ABs.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I'm shooting a little 20" 308 with 175's and getting 2595fps with RL-15. If MR-2000 work for you I may give it a try.

    Getting 24" velocities out of a 20" tube would be nice if accuracy holds up.

    four shots:

    Click image for larger version. 

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