RL-17 (Alliant) for 6.5 Creedmoor

VKC

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Due to the lack of availability of H4350, I've been trying Alliant RL-17 for my 6.5 Creedmoor DTA SRS 26" Bartlein 1 in 8" twist rifle. I've searched this forum and multiple other forums about reloading data and found that most people are quoting a max load of 41 to 43grains with problems with popped primers etc.

I loaded 142 smk with CCI BR2 primers and Hornandy once-fired 6.5 Creedmoor brass with RL-17. I started at 40grains and worked my way up to 43.8grains and did not have any indication of overpressure or primer problems, no sticky bolt.

I used a RCBS chargemaster and seated the bullets 0.01" off the lands.

It seems like I still have room to work up my charges, but I wanted to check with others to see what the consensus is as my charges are higher than what has been stated by others.

Please comment on your barrel length, RL-17 charge, bullet, seating length, brass, primer, etc. if you use RL-17 for 6.5 Creedmoor.

I very much appreciate your help and input. Thanks.
 
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sab9259

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FWIW- I have been running RL17 in my .260 for a while. My previous load was 43gr of H4350 running 2850fps with a sticky bolt. Im now running 44.5gr of RL17 at 3000fps with NO pressure signs. Again, this is in a .260 not a 6.5CM but from my experience the RL17 runs faster with less pressure than H4350--YMMV
 

shoot4fun

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    Due to the lack of availability of H4350, I've been trying Alliant RL-17 for my 6.5 Creedmoor DTA SRS 26" Bartlein 1 in 8" twist rifle. I've searched this forum and multiple other forums about reloading data and found that most people are quoting a max load of 41 to 43grains with problems with popped primers etc.

    I loaded 142 smk with CCI BR2 primers and Hornandy once-fired 6.5 Creedmoor brass with RL-17. I started at 40grains and worked my way up to 43.8grains and did not have any indication of overpressure or primer problems, no sticky bolt.

    I used a RCBS chargemaster and seated the bullets 0.01" off the lands.

    It seems like I still have room to work up my charges, but I wanted to check with others to see what the consensus is as my charges are higher than what has been stated by others.

    Please comment on your barrel length, RL-17 charge, bullet, seating length, brass, primer, etc. if you use RL-17 for 6.5 Creedmoor.

    I very much appreciate your help and input. Thanks.

    I have been shooting the 6.5CM for about four years now. My gun was built by APA on A Badger action with Bartlien 26" barrel with 1 in 8 twist. I found the load really quickly and have not ever changed it. My gun came in shooting sub 1/2 MOA to 500 yds (my longest available locally) with 42.7 RL17, FGMM primer and 142SMK. I get 2850 FPS which is a bit more than factory. I recently added a TC Icon PH in same caliber and this load also shoots very well in it. So you are most definitely on the right track and may not go back to H4350 later.
     
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    shoot4fun

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    NO. I don't take anything in the thread to mean that.
    As for sab9259, he is quoting 260 instead of 6.5CM and THEY ARE NOT compatible. You are pushing hard at 43.8 for my environmental conditions. Remember that your climate is probably much different from others. Maybe you will be able to get away with more in NV than I can in AL.
     

    biffj

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    I was loading 41gr of RL 17 in my 6.5X47 with 140gr SMK's and no signs of pressure in my SRS with a 26" PacNor barrel that I built for my rifle. I would sure think the creedmore would handle more than that????


    Frank
     

    dk-1

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    Check out RL22 as well. In my .260 I'm pushing a 140 VLD at 2875 from a 23" Kreiger with 46.4 grains (.2 grains UNDER book max), no pressure signs at all to 90* temps.... So far out to 600 yards is has been shooting in the .3's. I tried 4350 and 4831sc but the accurracy and velocities were not there. I'm planning to take it to 1000+ this weekend for some groups, latelty I have been focused on first round UKD hits to 1k.
     

    Jedi

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    Just load until you get sticky bolt and primer wipe
    back it off .3 thats max for your rig

    It does not matter what others use, your concern is what your rig will handle pending barrel/chamber etc etc all specific to your rig
    My normal load practice is find max and work backwards, if you dont ID max then you never know how much fps your losing by loading lower
    You need to ID max for combo in your rig, not hard to do.
     

    VKC

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    image_zps9dd2e963.jpg
     

    VKC

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    Okay I posted some pics of my fired cases to make sure I'm not missing any subtle evidence of overpressure. The top row is 43.8grs, and each row below that is 0.2grs less, etc. So please take a look and let me know if I'm missing something, as I don't see any cratering or problems. Thanks.

    Next step would be for me to work up 0.1grs in increments from 43.8grs.
     

    VKC

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    NO. I don't take anything in the thread to mean that.
    As for sab9259, he is quoting 260 instead of 6.5CM and THEY ARE NOT compatible. You are pushing hard at 43.8 for my environmental conditions. Remember that your climate is probably much different from others. Maybe you will be able to get away with more in NV than I can in AL.

    Noted, I don't mean to give the impression that I'm going straight to an estimated max load. To clarify, I will work up 0.1gr increments from where I left off.
     

    shoot4fun

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    There seems to be no visible difference in your brass. Do you have a way to measure case head and primer pocket expansion?

    I will relate that I have noticed some load data getting backed off more. I had a 7MM08 load from Hodgdon website printed out. It was 47.2 H4350 with 168 SMK and I have been shooting it in my gun for two years. The other day I was back on that load in the site and printed the data again. The latest data shows the same bullet at 44.2 grains now. That is a pretty big change. What does it really tell us though? Is the change due to latest pressure data for most recent lots of powder? If so that means there could be big changes lot to lot that could be dangerous. Is it just lawyers telling them to back off even more? I have been told by a tech there that they post top load at 93% of the max SAAMI pressure.
     

    VKC

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    I've also noted that the reloading books have come down on their max loads charges.

    I also think that custom rifles with tighter chambers and strong bolt lock-ups has something to do with why certain rifles can tolerate a lot higher max loads.
     

    VKC

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    So here's an update. Loaded up more rounds at 0.1gr increments from 43.8 to 44.8 grs. Still no pressure signs at all.

    My accuracy node very clearly starts at 44.2 and goes to at least 44.8grs.

    Estimating from my prior accuracy nodes, I'm thinking that my next accuracy node won't be until more than in the mid-46grs. I am of course not brave enough nor stupid enough to try to work up that high.

    My prior accuracy nodes stayed for about 0.8-1gr, accuracy deteriorated for the next 1gr, and then came back for 1gr etc.

    I think I'm going to settle on 44.7gr of RL-17 with pointed 142smk in factory Hornady 6.5cm brass and CCI BR2 primers.

    Next step is to load those up to confirm.

    I also hope to do temperature testing at extremes if time permits with submerging the rounds in ice vs boiling water at goal temperatures that would estimate my extreme weather shooting conditions.
     

    VKC

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    Zeroed my rifle at 100yds with my new load. Then shot at 200, 300, 400 and 650 to back calculate my velocity. Last of all jumped to 960 yds.

    I assumed a 4% increase in BC7 from Litz's numbers with pointing my bullets. My velocity was right at 3000fps which is up from 2820 fps for my near max H4350 load.

    See below for my 10-shot group at 960 yds. Now admittedly it took me 5-shots to get on target and back calculate an accurate velocity because I just kept underestimating my velocity. But I was fairly pleased as this was a new load.

    Gotta love the 6.5 Creedmoor, huge increase in my hit probability from my 308win at the same distances and conditions.
     
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    8nbait

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    glad the rl17 is working good for you. I did not have the same results in my CM but going to try it in the 260 when i gets here.
    gary
     

    idaho1

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    I just bagan a load work up for my new 6.5 CM 26" 1:8 Lilja barrel.
    42 gr RL-17 got me 2955 fps. with 140 Bergers.
     

    VKC

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    Nice catch on the ejector swipe. I was thinking that could be the case but did not get any cratered or popped primers so I was too worried. Any advise on backing down my load or not?
     

    demolitionman

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    I'm kicking myself for not stocking up Rl17 thinking I could find h4350 or Varget. Argh....down to 1/2 lb of it, the first half I played around too much with and never developed a solid load; just a bunch of barely ok loads.
     

    turbo54

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    Nice catch on the ejector swipe. I was thinking that could be the case but did not get any cratered or popped primers so I was too worried. Any advise on backing down my load or not?

    Do some snipergoogling for Reloder 17 testing done by [MENTION=11748]sandwarrior[/MENTION], whose been using it a lot for several years. He seems to think (and his reasoning is sound) that when RL17 shows pressure, your'e WAY over.

    Your current load (though it seems to shoot nice) doesn't pass a simple "sanity check"....

    A 142smk @ 3000fps from a 26" 6.5CM???

    This should seriously raise some eyebrows.

    I haven't used too much RL17, only about a pound, and that was in my 284, so it's not apples/apples comparison, but I found charge weights between H4350 and RL17 to be pretty much interchangeable. If you can safely run 50gr RL17, you can safely run 50gr H4350 and vice versa...

    I'm not hating, and I'm not saying your approach is fucked, but I would definitely proceed with caution, especially when temperatures go up.
     

    VKC

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    Turbo54, I understand what you are saying. Makes sense.

    However, with the new website when you search the forum and find the topic on google it just brings you to the main forum page rather than the topic.

    Could you post a link to sandwarrior's post(s) on RL-17? Thanks
     

    turbo54

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    You can search the new snipershide on google.

    Type into the search field:

    site:forum.snipershide.com YOUR SEARCH QUERY

    Here are some RL17 threads where Sandwarrior chimed in:

    http://www.snipershide.com/shooting/snipers-hide-reloading-depot/29726-6-5-x-284-rl-17-a.html

    http://www.snipershide.com/shooting...r-ballistics/24338-308-win-208-amax-rl17.html

    http://www.snipershide.com/shooting/snipers-hide-reloading/78112-260-remington-r17.html

    After reading through a couple of those, I'm not seeing his post about noting pressure only after you're way over. Hopefully he'll chime in.
     

    capreppy

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    I live in TX (north) and heat during the summer is the bane of my existence.

    I looked at RL17 and everything I saw said stay away if you live in TX due to the heat sensitivity. With that being said, NV isn't that much cooler (depending on where in NV, probably as bad if not worse than TX). Should VKC be worried about temp sensitivity during the summer months? Do you avoid this by creating two loads: one for summer and one for all the other months?
     

    JGorski

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    A 142smk @ 3000fps from a 26" 6.5CM???

    Does 3211 from a 115 Moly coated Berger sound too much from a 31" kreiger in 6 Creed?
     

    JGorski

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    I live in TX (north) and heat during the summer is the bane of my existence.

    I looked at RL17 and everything I saw said stay away if you live in TX due to the heat sensitivity. With that being said, NV isn't that much cooler (depending on where in NV, probably as bad if not worse than TX). Should VKC be worried about temp sensitivity during the summer months? Do you avoid this by creating two loads: one for summer and one for all the other months?

    I lived in Vegas for 8 yrs and never saw any issues with powder sensitivity, I used IMR4350, 760, H380, 296, 2400, not one "Extreme" powder ever.
     

    VKC

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    Okay so I did a test to check for over pressure concerns with my 44.7gr RL-17 load for higher temperatures. I understand that it is a hot load so I wanted to do the following test to check.

    What I wanted to avoid is developing a load and then going to lower altitude and higher temperatures and then running into trouble.

    I boiled water and put loaded ammo into the water and left them there for several minutes for the temperature to equilibrate. I used a thermometer to get the water and ammo to some goal temperatures. 110F, 120F, 140F, 170F and 200F.

    At 110F, no difference in case appearance. At 120F, a few faint ejector swipes. At 140F, ejector swipe but no cratered primers. At 170F, ejector swipe and crated primers. At 200F, popped primers on several but not all cases.

    So it looks like I'm okay for within reasonable environmental conditions? Even with altitude changes, the extreme temperature tested should make up of that.

    Thoughts?
     

    JGorski

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    Im not going to tell you I told you so, hahaha

    says right on the can, "Consistent max velocities in extreme weather conditions". Never did believe the naysayers when they talked bad about RE17 being temp sensitive. It shot good in my 6mmREM and 30-06, hopefully it does in my 6 Creed.
     

    turbo54

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    So it looks like I'm okay for within reasonable environmental conditions? Even with altitude changes, the extreme temperature tested should make up of that.

    Thoughts?

    Your test methodology seems sound to me. Your results seem "perfect" with increasing temperature increasing pressure signs, with no anomalies...

    Good job!

    Doesn't seem like you should have any issue running that load. I'm seriously impressed by your 140gr @ 3000fps with SANE pressure results.
     

    VKC

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    I decided to back down to 42.8grs since I was getting more ejector swipes with 44.7grs as the weather got warmer. I chose 42.8gr since it was right in the middle of my next accuracy node down and I wanted to have a good load that worked well with a suppressor as well as without.

    Still getting 2920fps and reached out to 1320 yds with 10.9mils and good results with hits on chest-sized steel plate when I called the wind right.
     

    Aimsmall55

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    42.7 r17
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    210m primers
    2.212 to ogive (2.800)
    Gap Crusader w/ a 27" Bartlein 8.5 twist 6.5 Creedmor
    2900 fps + a few

    Very good load.... But just my experience ... Was a little dirtier than h4350. But man... It had them hauling ass and popping 3" circles at 975 yards with relative ease
     

    BlisterSix

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    Anyone know where to get either RL-17 or H4350?

    Im just getting into the 6.5 Creedmoor and can't seem to find either of these powders anywhere. I've got 10 lbs of Varget and 16 lbs of 8208 XBR, but nothing suitable for the 140 amax in 6.5CM.
     

    bornhunter04

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    I tried some RL17 with 130gr Bergers yesterday. Don't have any chrono data yet. But I'm guessing the 40.6gr would put me around 2720 or so out of my 22" barrel. Gonna load up a few more 40.6gr to see if that's a fluke or not. 41.8gr shows a lot of promise too and should get me close to 2800fps. Was starting to get a couple ejector swipes at 42.2 and 42.5gr Temp yesterday when shooting was 50* with a strong swirling cross wind.

    IMG_20140112_202112_049_zpsmrzkwsij.jpg
     

    darrindlh

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    Man this is exciting. Nice job and good shooting. Buying a creed here very soon.
     

    bornhunter04

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    When i tested 140gr amax's I hit pressure signs with RL17 pretty quick, 41.2gr i started to see ejector swipes. But with the amax's i have to seat them deeper due to chamber dimensions. Only jumping them .005". My go to load with RL17 was 40.4gr w/ 140amax, and that netted me 2659 from a 22" barrel but my ES was pretty high and SD was in the double digits. Of course that's over a cheap chronograph. My h4350 load with the 140's is 41.2gr and that gets me 2601. These were tested in 80* weather too.
     

    BGE541

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    I run the 120 Scenar with RL17 outta a 24" barrel getting 3,130fps... OCW'd the load at 30* and it shoots great at 90* as well.