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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy ya'll,

I am curious as to the use of RL-15 in the .308 wcf for accuracy and long range loads. Have any of ya'll tried this powder and if so how did it perform for you? I checked the burning rate chart and it is right next to Varget. Also checked the Hornady reloading manual and RL-15 and Varget are almost interchangeable as far as charge weights go with the 168 grain bullet.

En-lighten me if you can.

Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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I have used both Varget and RL-15 and found them to be almost identical. I do get slightly higher velocities from RL-15 than I do from Varget out of my 700P with all components and charge weights being the same except for the powder.
 

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I use Varget in my .308 and have been very happy with it. In fact it's the powder I've used from the very beginning with that rifle! Is there much of a price difference between the Varget and RL-15?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The RL-15 powder is now made in Sweden for Alliant. Also, on Alliant's web site, the say that RL-15 is the powder that Lake City arsenal uses to load the M118 Special Ball Long Range ammo that the Marine snipers use in the field and on their rifle teams at matches.

Price difference may be a dollar or so. I gave $20.95 for a pound of RL-15 at the Stockade in Westminister, California yesterday. They were out of Varget and weren't sure when they would be getting any more. Also, their web site says to use 45 grains of RL-15 with the 168 grain bullet in the .308. CCI-200 primers, IMI cases all out of a 22" barrel for a velocity of 2710 ft/sec. That seems like a lot of ft/sec for a 22" barrel. I would settle for 2650 ft/sec out of my 26" barreled 700 vsf.

This past weekend I shot some Lake City M118 Match ammo with the 175 grain SMK bullet. It wasn't accurate in my rifle, 5 shots at 100 yards in a 1.75" group.

Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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I've found that RL15 is the better powder out of my M700 - it hates Varget - but my PGWDTI Coyote is fine with Varget but I've found that to get decent loads with it, you tend to go a couple of points overcharge.

The current M118LR is 175gr SMK
43.1gr/RL15.

The original M118LR load was an overcharge as stated on Alliants web site. I will not publish this load.
 

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M700, that's interesting about Varget. I run 45 grains of Varget in my .308 and I get good groups out of my SPS Tactical. Maybe my gun likes whatever I through at it. However, I haven't tried any other powders. I do seat my bullets .131 beyond factory specs, so maybe that has something to do with my results?
 

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FWIW I use small base dies and load all of my .308 to 2.80"

I messed around with seating depths and found that I got great results at 0.020" off the lands and at 2.80" OAL.
 

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Big RL-15 guy here. I shoot 44.5gr in my 178 load and it is a hot mother but it shoots good.

Less than 1 minute shift from 90degrees to -30.


dom
 

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hypno said:
Big RL-15 guy here. I shoot 44.5gr in my 178 load and it is a hot mother but it shoots good.

Less than 1 minute shift from 90degrees to -30.


dom
There's no way you could get me to shoot groups at -30*!
 

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RL15 IS temperature sensitive.

I chrono'd a load in May and the same load (from the same batch) and got a velocity increase of 56fps.

The US Army found this out when they first went to Iraq.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have 2 containers of Alliant RL-15. The newer cantainer states that this powder is consistant at all tempatures. The older container has no such statement. Both containers say that RL-15 is produced in Sweeden. The older container says it was produced for New River Energetics. The newer container says it was produced for Alliant powder.

Is it possible that the newer RL-15 underwent a change such as some of Hodgdon's extreme powders that caused this powder to be insinsitive to temperature changes?

The newer container was purchased 2 weeks ago. The older container was purchased about 6 years ago.

Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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thornblom said:
Is it possible that the newer RL-15 underwent a change such as some of Hodgdon's extreme powders that caused this powder to be insensitive to temperature changes?

You mentioned Hodgdon's powders underwent some changes. I'm curious to know what changes they made since I use Hodgdon powder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SemperFi said:
thornblom said:
Is it possible that the newer RL-15 underwent a change such as some of Hodgdon's extreme powders that caused this powder to be insensitive to temperature changes?

You mentioned Hodgdon's powders underwent some changes. I'm curious to know what changes they made since I use Hodgdon powder.
Certain of Hodgdon's powders are now a part of their EXTREME series of powders. 4227, 4895, varget, 4350, 4831 etc, have somehow been changed so that they are not temp sensitive. Possibly some type of coating.

Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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Thanks for the reply Dave. I know they offer some of those powders with an "s" after the number of powder it is. I think all that means is that the kernels are a little shorter for better metering through a powder measure.

It's good to know that these powders are now not temp sensitive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
FWIW, I tried the load that M700 listed above and my 700 VSF .308 loves it.

I loaded it like this:

Case: .308 Federal Military (FC 08)
Primer: Factory primed with Feds gold colored 210-GMM primer
Powder: 43.1 grains of RL-15
Bullet: 175 grain SMK (Sireea)
COL: 2.810"
Muzzle Velocity: 2609 ft/sec

1/2" groups at 100 yards, accurate all the way out to 1000 yards. I shot a 12" five shot group at 1000 yards with my rifle. Not as good as a lot of people do, but good for me and a box stock rifle.

Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
 

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thornblom said:
FWIW, I tried the load that M700 listed above and my 700 VSF .308 loves it.
I loaded it like this:
Case: .308 Federal Military (FC 08)
Primer: Factory primed with Feds gold colored 210-GMM primer
Powder: 43.1 grains of RL-15
Bullet: 175 grain SMK (Sireea)
COL: 2.810"
Muzzle Velocity: 2609 ft/sec
1/2" groups at 100 yards, accurate all the way out to 1000 yards. I shot a 12" five shot group at 1000 yards with my rifle. Not as good as a lot of people do, but good for me and a box stock rifle.
Sincerely,
Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
Dave:

I see that you are only getting 2609fps from that load. I'm getting 2655fps, but I'm using Norma cases and my OAL is 2.80"

Nice shooting.
 

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I have used different powders and plan on doing some test in the ne'er future. I have tried h380👎I have used varget 👍 I have used benchmark 👍 I plan on testing r15 imr4064 h4895 as soon as I get a conagraph and re test the others. With varget I got 2550 with a 175 Sierra match king and 2630 with 168 smk. Benchmark gave me 2560 with a 175smk and h380 was lower so I don't use it.
 
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