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.30-06 208 Amax Powder Choice?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JLutty3, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. JLutty3

    JLutty3 New Member


    I have been loading several bullet weights and powder types in the '06 and am currently working to get more accuracy within the upper middle velocity range (2450 fps??) with the Hornady 208gr. A- Max. The latest load I kinda like is the 208 Amax with 52.5gr RL-19. But it's not as tight as the gun is with 46 gr. IMR4064 and 168gr. Berger VLD's.

    I have a Fiocchi case, Federal 210 Primers, and the following powders have been tried: IMR4064, W760, RL19. I am open to new ones.

    I seat the bullets .015" off the lands in my Howa 1500 and shoot 3 shot groups off the bench every 15 minutes. I always neck size, trim, chamfer, and crimp my reloads. All my primer flash holes are checked for burrs, etc. The gun is cleaned only between visits to the bench. No copper fouling in barrel.

    This rifle is a 22" barrel, 1 in 10" twist.

    Any load suggestions? Am I missing the boat on an obvious go- to powder for this HEAVY slug?

    Any powder/ load which gives velocity of about 2450 without crazy pressure would be awesome.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
  2. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    Perhaps if you went a hair faster with your powder, like RL-17 or 4350. 2,400 fps should be possible if worked up carefully. Mantuas Optimal Game Weight (OGW) formula predicts this load would be good for game animals up to 900 lbs, which would include moose. Recoil energy would be a pretty stout 18.9 ft-lbs. Zero at 200 yds and you'll be about 31" low at 400 yds. Bowman Twist Rate formula says 11:1 would stabalize, so you should be good with your 10:1.
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR, JLutty3.

    You may be able to take advantage of some of the new "wonder" powders that are coming on the market.

    www.alliantpowder.com is showing Rel-17 getting 2552 fps with a Speer 200gr, and their newest powder, 4000MR at 2595 fps with the 200gr Speer.
    That compares with Rel-19 which gives 2335 fps with the 200gr Speer in the '06.
    So the potential to get your target velocity with the 208gr A-Max. is well within the realm of possibilities if you are able to get some of the new powders, especially the 4000MR.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Sierra shows a 220 gr MK at 2500 fps with 4350, Re 19, either 4831, AA 3100, and MRP.
  5. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    Alliant's R-17 load assumes a 24" barrel. With your 22-incher you probbably won't see 2,550 fps (or even 2,500 fps). Not sure about Sierra, but looking at their published velocity posted by Jim, I'd say it's likely they also based their loads on a longer barrel. Bottomline, if you use a chrony for load development, due to your shorter barrel, work up and keep it UNDER those published velocities.
  6. Heavies

    Heavies Well-Known Member

    I have used RL-22 under the 208amax with a velocity of 2620 avg. out of my 22" rem
    700. I have also used rl-17 with similar velocity, h4350 was a little slower.
    Kicks like a MF, if your rifle is light. Bucks wind very well though.
    You should be able to get 2450 with rl-22, rl-17, or 4350 with out much pressure at all.
    Work up to your desired velocity.
  7. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Send an email to Hornady,they will send you some load data for the 208gr AMax bullets. I just got some load data from them for 308 and 300WM for that bullet.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    You will get better results with IMR or H4350 with a heavy bullet in the 30-06.
  9. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Yep! RL22 is THE powder for heavy bullets in the '06. I have been launching 190SMK's at 2900fps out of my 26" barreled Tactical Rifle for 8 years now. You should be able to reach 2600fps out of your 22" barrel. Would suggest making the OAL as long as possible while not touching the leade. I would start at 59 grains and work up towards 60 grains.

  10. JLutty3

    JLutty3 New Member

    I just picked up some IMR 4350 to try with the 208's. Although it looks like I should have picked up some RL22. My books have no load for the 208. I guess i will try the IMR 4350 and if not jazzed with results, I will buy some RL22.

    TXHB- I will do that.

    To calm down recoil, (The rifle is Howa 1500 in a plastic camo stock (for now).) I filled the butt with a concrete of fiberglass resin and #4 shot to balance and dampen it a bit. Then I built a 1" spacer and added a limbsaver grind to fit pad. Recoil is hardly noticeable. And the gun balances perfectly on your hand if you hold it by the floor plate.

    I also adjusted the factory trigger lighter, floated the barrel, and bedded the action in JB Weld paste, because I could not see a way to make bedding pillars matter in such a soft stock. I plan to pick up an Axiom stock for it when I get a little ahead work wise (commissioned sales).

    I have Hornady's 7th edition, Lyman's 46th, Lee's that came with the dies, and various spots on the web.

    I will post what I get from Hornady.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    As for load data for the 208gr bullets, you can safely use the data for 220gr bullets on the Hodgdon site. You can also buy (or look at) the Hornady reloading manual. It will have load data for all their bullets. (just make sure they list the powders you want to use)

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