Breathe new life into your 308, it’s a winning combination of Farther, Faster, and Flatter shooting bullet. The Warner Tool Flat Line Projectiles gave my 20″ 308, 24″ 6.5 ballistics ! See for yourself and be amazed.
I have a fair amount of experience shooting solids, mostly in the 338 variety as I have been using them for several years. With solid projectiles you usually run into a series of problems, the advanced designs normally need an exotic twist rate, they usually cannot be mixed with jacketed bullets. Instead you have to clean the bore so no jacketed copper is mixed with the metals from the solids. When Warner Tool ask me if I could give them try, I was hoping to see a different approach, they did not let me down.
The Flat Line Series of solid copper bullets released by Warner Tool Company are a great step forward. They use standard twist rates and are designed for National Level competitors coming in popular calibers and weights like the 155gr Palma design. I opted to try out the 180gr Flat Line Projectile as this was a great balance of weightand speed that I could pushed from a standard 308 rifle. Not crazy twist rated needed.
Farther, Faster, Flatter, is the tag line for these projectiles and early testing by others seem to lend credence to this claim. I was looking forward to trying them in my Accuracy International AX rifle. It’s a 20” 308 with a standard 1-10 twist rate.
I originally began testing the Flat Line 180 using my proven 185gr Juggernaut load. This is loaded to magazine and out of my 22’ AI AE I am able to push them to 2690fps. Here would be my starting point with the Flat Line series. The AX and AE are very similar as both have a 1-10 twist rate. The AE is just 2” longer.
Starting off with 46gr of 2000MR, loaded to 2.94” which fit my mags, I had a muzzle velocity of 2660fps which was a good starting point for a mag length load. I knew I could go faster and harder as max load for the 2000MR powder in a 308 is 48grs give or take.
After posting my results online Dan Warner noticed the tips on my 180s had small amount of deformity showing. I was using a Forster Competition Micrometer Seating Die and it appears that die might not have been set up for the extra length.
Warner Tools does have a warning on and their site and some initial load data to start you off with so be sure to follow the directions provided.
Switching dies to a set of RCBS Competition dies, this fixed the problem.
With a velocity of 2660fps and the small deformation to the tips, my measured BC for this bullet was right around .625.
The Applied Ballistics Team did test this bullet and posted their results on Sniper’s Hide, so moving forward I could look at their data which showed the 180s to have a G7 BC of .342. It should be noted most were shooting these out of a magnum and getting much higher velocities. Using a 300WM they were getting 2950fps with the 180s.
Applied Ballistics Thread on Sniper’s Hide
Moving to the RCBS die and upping the powder charge I was now looking at much higher velocities. It was time to settle on one.
I tested two loads,
- 47.6gr of 2000MR
- 47.3gr of 2000MR
Both had great accuracy out of my 20” AX, with each being over 2700fps.
(Imaged flipped 90 degrees on it’s side)
- 47.6gr 2740fps with an SD of 8fps
- 47.3gr 2705fps with an SD of 12fps
Instead of loading mag length I went longer and had no issue single feeding. I did not have a large enough sample size to play with seating depth so I wanted to go with what worked for both speed, SD, and Accuracy. That number was 3.040” just a tick longer than my AX magazine.
Loading up the remainder of the solids I decided to go with 47.3gr because of the summer heat. Near the end of the string of fire, I was getting a heavy bolt lift with my 47.6gr load. I felt to be safe in the 90+ degree heat, this was a better choice.
Doping the Rifle to distance
Everything loaded up, it was time to hit the range and dope the rifle to distance. The plan was to take the rifle out beyond 1000 yards.
Checking zero, my cold bore for the Flat Line was pretty good,
I immediately went to doping the rifle, 600 yards was my first stop.
- 600 yards – 3.3 with .5 mils of wind
- 900 yard – 6.2 with 1.0 mils of wind
- 1000 yard – 7.3 with 1.5 mils of wind
- 1125 yard – 8.8 with 1.5 mils of wind (corrected dope off impact)
- 1250 yards – 10.5 mils with 1.6 mils of wind
- 1440 yards – 13.1 mils with 2.5 to 3.0 mils of wind
Condition for the shots
- Baro – 25.15
- Temp – 85 degrees
- Humidity – 40%
- Wind – 8mph to 12 mph
This essentially turned my 20” 308 to a 24” 6.5 rifle if you compare the numbers.
Consistency is key and every after loading up my last batch of bullets, the numbers trended almost exactly with my first test. The LabRadar recorded 25 of the shots taken and my muzzle velocities recorded were
- High – 2740fps
- Low – 2681fps
- Average – 2711fps
- SD – 13fps
Solid data and I am by far the least anal retentive reloader out there. I don’t play with seating depth and charge weight to the “N’th” degree, I get a load that works and run it.
Results on steel were outstanding. Without any initial data, I had first round hits out to 112 yards, at 1250, I was low in my estimation, but windage was dead on. In fact, I had it figured well enough to hit the T Post my target was sitting on. Unfortunately, I was .2 mils low.
Groups out of the AX were well within ½ MOA out to distance. Only the wind play havoc with me, and for a 20” 308 at these distance it’s damn good stuff.
Calculating my BC
With my data in hand it was time to figure out the BC of the Flat Line 180s, and using the actual data I have calculated it to .715 using a velocity of 2711fps. I can’t think of a bullet available for the a 308 that is even close to this ?
At the higher velocity of 2750fps when playing with the 47.6gr load, I had settled on .725 which is super close what I recorded with the 2700fps speed.
Pushing these out of magnum will most certainly give you a higher velocity.
The Warner Tool Flat Line Projectiles are not cheap. They are not designed for guys going out on a Sunday plinking with their rifles. They are National Level competition winners, so if you plan on shooting an even, especially a 308 only type match. This is the direction you want to go.
F Class – F/TR Division, PRS in the 308 Division, it’s these type of matches you would use these. Figure on 25% of your competitive shooting would be well served using them. When the money or big win Is on the line, this is the Ace you pull out of your toolbox.
I do know guys who are shooting them on a regular basis, but again, at over $1 a round it’s not easy on your pocket book.
Still if I can get these numbers out of a 20” 308, image what you can do at 24” or 26” ? The possibilities are limitless when it comes to 308 only divisions.
We did a little calculating to see and believe this sums it up nicely:
I am super impressed with this design. Like I have said, I have played with a lot of solids and these by far exceed the rest.
They trended correctly, they were consistent and accurate, without a lot of fuss. My results on target were outstanding, without switching rifles to something else, I see no way I could have gotten these results with my AX otherwise. Certainly no other bullet would give me the same performance under the same conditions.
Cost aside, this is precision rifle, we spend money, from $7000 rifles to $3500 scopes, running the very best bullet through the system seems like a small price to pay. Even my plinking / training ammo is over $30 a box, if you move up to some of the semi-custom loads out there, you are talking $45 to $52 a box. That money spent you will not get the same results, that requires a new rifle in a different caliber.
There are other calibers available, 7mm, 338, and 375, so if you are interested in great ELR Results, where guys are used to spending a little extra to get the performance they need, check out the site for details.
Thanks to Dan Warner, Josh Kunz for making these available, really nice job.