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260 Rem and RL17 load questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by biologicole, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. biologicole

    biologicole Member

    I've been trying to develop some loads for my 260 Rem in a Savage model 11 long range hunter 24" barrel with 1:8 twist using 140gr and 142 gr SMK's and WLR primers. Using near maximum published charges I've found that H4350 is more accurate then H4831sc with similar velocities and no pressure signs.

    Then I started playing with Reloder 17. I loaded some 140 SMK's with 40.0gr and quit after the second shot because of major pressure signs.

    I've heard lots of good things about RL17, but right now I'm wondering if I should pursue testing loads with it or abandon it. I'm definitely going to pull the rest of this batch apart and re-evalute this powder.

    My questions are:

    Is anyone else reloading for a 260 using RL17?

    Is anyone else having pressure issues, or heard of pressure issues, with RL17?

    If you're using RL17, what are your loads/charge weights?
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure why you're having issues with Rel-17, but after studying the load charts from Alliant and Hodgdon, it looks like you should stick with H4350 or H4831, especially if you're getting decent accuracy, with no pressure signs.
    Even Alliant is showing more potential with Rel-19 or Rel-22 than Rel-17. It seems that Rel-17 works better in the short mags like the WSM cases.

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Lyman #49 doesn't even show any loads with RX17 in the .260 Rem.
    Nothing in the RX line faster then RX-19 when you get to the 142 grain and heavier.

    They do show several with RX-19 & RX22 though.

  4. biologicole

    biologicole Member

    I found it on the Alliant website.
  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    I've used RL17 in my Rem. Mod-7 in .260.

    With the 142gr bullets, you are stomping over max. imo.
    With a 140gr flat-base bullet (Speer/Hornady), max in my rifle is 41.0gr for 2,700fps (20"bbl).
    A max load of H4350 is 41.0gr likewise. Best accuracy is at 39.0-40.5gr. Ditto RL17.
    FWIW; I've found RL17 better with the lighter bullets. (120-129gr).
    RL17 is one of my favorite powders. With the .30/06 and 165gr bullets, it's even more amazing than H4350.
    I consider RL17 to be "IMR4350" with H4350 velocities. Hence, use IMR4350 powder charges and expect the velocities of "H4350", but accuracy of IMR4350.
    In my experience RL17 is a tad faster burning than either IMR4350 or H4350, but; very, very close to IMR4350..... My experience suggests that H4350 isn't the best comparison for RL17.

    IMO you'll do better with RL22 from the .260. My rifle likes it best, followed by RL19. I've found that my rifle will tolerate 42.0gr of IMR4350 for over 2,700fps but is much more accurate at 40.5gr for 2,600+fps. Fwiw; RL19 has never gotten the speeds I've seen given for it from various data. I'm on my 4th lot#, too.

    fwiw, it (.260) kills just as quickly with 140gr at 2,600fps as with anything. My youngest daughter took her first deer with the above mentioned load of 45.0gr of RL22. Doe was bang-flop and 2" exit wound out far shoulder.... Mild recoil, mild muzzle blast, light charge weights. Whats not to like!!!!
    This load gets at/under 1moa for 5-shots. Nothing else will match this except 43.0gr of IMR4350 under 120gr bullet.
    I've found that 43.0gr of RL22 is most accurate from my rifle with the discontinued Sierra 160gr RN. It too is MOA at 100yds. Not bad for a 6+lb rifle...... And gets over 2,400fps. and feeds through the magazine.....But I've only got ~50 of these left....

    Sounds to me like you're seating those bullets to touch the rifling. The faster twist and these long bullets seated to touch the rifling WILL run the pressures up. And, in my experience, the Savage action will show pressure signs sooner than a Rem M700 or Howa/Weatherby due to lack of camming action on extraction. That, and other variables.

    I suggest you seat the bullets a little deeper. You'll likely see just as good of accuracy and lower pressures by allowing the bullets a little "jump".... My Remington M7 has a short throat and 1/9" rifling. I do seat my bullets to "lightly" touch the rifling. Not a "hard" seat, though. Even at this, they'll fit/feed through the magazine... (ie: the 140gr Speer's are seated to 2.810"oal..., Hornady's at 2.815"....) And, I'm using Federal 210Match primers, with reformed .243 brass....
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  6. biologicole

    biologicole Member

    I'm 0.020" off the lands which seems to work well with the H4350 and
    H4831sc. Once I use up the 140gr SMK's I'll probably use only 142gr SMK's because I can drive them a little harder and they seem to be more accurate at 600-800 yards. I may look into RL19 or RL22, but I don't think the RL17 is the answer, although it is o.k. in the 30-06 with 155gr Nosler custom competition bullets.

    Also, I agree that the published velocities for RL17 are a bit exaggerated. Even though I almost never see the same results in my own loads what is shown in the published data, most are in the ballpark. In the 260, if I reduce the RL17 to accommodate for pressure, I will be well below the velocities I can achive with other powders.

    I still have a bunch of RL17 left, if anyone has good recipes and/or success stories I would like to hear them.
  7. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    I would think RL17 to be way too fast burning for the 140gr 260, hence your pressure signs at only 40gr. Get a slower burning powder like N560, IMR 7828, RL19 or H4831sc which the folks at the Nosler Lab found to be the most accurate powder in their rifle. N560 is the fastest powder I can find published data for, 140gr bullet at 2830fps.
  8. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    IMO the 4350 is much better for the .260. I have been experimenting with my Savage LRP in .260 and really like the 142SMK's and H4350
  9. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Well-Known Member

    130gr Berger VLD, 0.010" jump
    43.5gr RL-17
    RP, Norma, or Lapua brass (all three perform equally)
    WLR primers

    3000fps+ from 26" 8 twist barrel, absolutely zero pressure, consistently 5 shots 0.5" @ 100yd

    Same recipe, except substitute 42.2gr RL-17 and a 140gr A-Max...roughly 2850fps and again, no pressure.

    While H4350 is a "go-to" powder for 260, I've found I have to run 1.0gr more H4350 to duplicate the velocities I get with RL-17. I tried H4831SC...140 A-Max with 46.0gr loaded @ 2.90" OAL only got me 2760fps from my 26" barrel, which I can get with 38.0gr Varget. Any more than 46.0gr and compression was so great I couldn't maintain seating depth.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  10. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    I'm using 4831 short cut in mine.
  11. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Re17 will produce 200 fps more than any other powder at the threshold of long brass life.
    That for me, is at one temp and in 270 and 7mmRem.

    After all these years, that little 270 rifle kicked me.

    But the temp stability is not good enough to compete with H4350 or H4895 or Varget.

    So I am not using my Re17 any more, unless I get in a velocity contest at one temperature.
  12. bama1

    bama1 New Member

    Is there that much difference in accuracy between H4350 and IMR 4350? I see alot of people using H4350 but none of the books i have even mention it. The IMR 4350 data is listed in all three.
  13. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR, bama1.

    You'll find that savvy reloaders know that H4350 is, for the most part, not temperature sensitive like IMR4350. If you load a heavy IMR4350 load in the cool temps of winter or early spring, that same load in the heat of summer can produce excessive pressures. That's true of most of the older IMR powders, and why Hodgdon extreme powders are so popular.

    www.hodgdon.com has the most up to date data base compared to printed manuals. It's my go to information page, and I have a bunch of printed manuals to choose from.


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