RL15 vs Varget

79M1a-texas

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Certainly not trying to create pissing contest vs. the two powders as it concerns .308. It seems that most of the recipes are for Varget rather than for RL15. Why is that? Is it a Chevy vs. Ford thing; a local availability; or is it more of a scientific thing? For me, when I started to reload the guys that I relayed on had a dislike for Varget therefore I have started with RL-15 and never changed.

Is there any really difference between the two powders??
 

jrpilot

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Re: RL15 vs Varget

I use RL-15, and my shooting buddy uses Varget. Both great powders, and we are both having great results. I already had RL-15, so I just started using it and have never tried another powder in my 308WIN. I have heard that Varget is less temp sensitive, but I havent had any problems with RL-15.
 

longebow

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Re: RL15 vs Varget

Both are great powders. Availability/price usually is a deciding factor. Varget tends to be temperature insensitive. VV N140 is also a great .308 Win powder.
 

madd0c

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Re: RL15 vs Varget

Not only is it a personal preference, it is a RIFLE preference. One of my 308s likes Varget much better than RL15. No matter what adjustments I make to charge weight and seating depth including matching the chrony velocity of both powders to within 30FPS, that particular rifle shoots tighter groups with Varget for some reason.
I am sure there are pressure curve differences that are affecting the accuracy one way or another, but personally I would (and did) try both powders with load workups and see which yours likes best.

madd0c
 

mdmp5

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    RL15 and Varget are almost interchangeable in my .308 and AR15. Slight edge for the RL15 in .308 and Varget in .223, but nothing substantial. VV N140 works just ok with 77s in my AR, but I have yet to try it with 155 Palmas. RL15 works excellent with them in my rifle.
     

    USMCj

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    The one think you will learn about Vargay if you use a lot of it is that it varries lot to lot way more than any other powder. RL15 on the other hand, not so much. I dropped Varget a long time ago in favor of RL15. There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant.
     

    MitchAlsup

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    There is nothing Vargay can do that Rectum Licker cannot?

    A long time ago, Varget may have had some lot to lot problems. I have not seen such a problem in the last 4 years.
     

    9sigman45

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MitchAlsup</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    There is nothing Vargay can do that Rectum Licker cannot?

    A long time ago, Varget may have had some lot to lot problems. I have not seen such a problem in the last 4 years. </div></div>


    I don't care who you are, that's funny!!!
    laugh.gif
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Slickrick0999</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have loads for both. I also believe availability / price is a factor.
    That being said, I lean towards the Varget. </div></div>

    I have to agree with Rick. I have some of each powder. But my friend's rifle likes one powder, mine tends to lean the other way. But the past couple of years has seen ANY KIND OF POWDER OR PRIMERS get hard to find at any price.
     

    Michael

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    Used varget to the exclusion of all else for years.
    Spent 2 years shooting nothing but RL15. Always had that 1 shot that went "over there" without explaination.
    Went back to varget and that stopped, as well as the temp swings experienced when using RL15 here in Texas.
    I have load data and 15 pounds of RL15 to serve as reasonable back up for my rifles but varget is 1st choice in my 223, 308, 338-06.
     

    Leaddog

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    I shoot both powders in a custom 26" 10 twist. (.308). Both powders function perfectly in all temps. To me, the two powders are interchangeable. I shoot 600 yards weekly.
     

    Falar

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The one think you will learn about Vargay if you use a lot of it is that it varries lot to lot way more than any other powder. RL15 on the other hand, not so much. I dropped Varget a long time ago in favor of RL15. There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    Actually there is.

    RL15, like the entire RL series of powders, is highly temperature sensitive.

    Varget, like all of the Hodgdon Extreme powders, is extremely insensitive to temperature changes.

     

    jr81452

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Falar</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The one think you will learn about Vargay if you use a lot of it is that it varries lot to lot way more than any other powder. RL15 on the other hand, not so much. I dropped Varget a long time ago in favor of RL15. There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    Actually there is.

    RL15, like the entire RL series of powders, is highly temperature sensitive.

    Varget, like all of the Hodgdon Extreme powders, is extremely insensitive to temperature changes.

    </div></div>

    Why do people always say that? When I used varget to work up some hunting loads in '08, I worked them up here in FL two weeks before I went to MN for my hunt. When I got to my cabin I re-zeroed my rifle as is prudent. Well what do you know, the 50deg temp variation caused a 3.65" drop in my POI @400yrd. Even after the change in elevation from sea level to +1864. Granted, with RL-15 I get a 4.87" drop in POI under the same conditions, but either way you need to re-zero. I suspect that those who claim varget is not temp sensitive, don't really test the theory.
     

    USMCj

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    Vargay may be a tad less temp sensitive, but it is not far from RL15. I've had poi change with varget if the temps were 10 degrees higher or lower.
     

    Leaddog

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    Alot of times folks blame the powder for being temp sensitive when that's not the case. Your zero is constantly changing due to temp/density altitude factors.

    Ever shoot a 600 yard match and start with 15.75 up elevation (for a .308) and by the 3rd relay, your elevation is now 15.25? It's the weather conditions, not the powder.
     

    XMC

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    And to think I still use 748. I guess I should not wait until it's all gone to start with a newer powder.
     

    Strickland

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Michael</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Used varget to the exclusion of all else for years.
    Spent 2 years shooting nothing but RL15. Always had that 1 shot that went "over there" without explaination.
    Went back to varget and that stopped, as well as the temp swings experienced when using RL15 here in Texas.
    </div></div>

    My experience was the same. Varget seems to be more stable across wider temp swings.
     

    Bacarrat

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    In all my guns, Hodgdon powders have shot better then the Reloader series of powders.
     

    usmcMT

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Strickland</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Michael</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Used varget to the exclusion of all else for years.
    Spent 2 years shooting nothing but RL15. Always had that 1 shot that went "over there" without explaination.
    Went back to varget and that stopped, as well as the temp swings experienced when using RL15 here in Texas.
    </div></div>

    My experience was the same. Varget seems to be more stable across wider temp swings. </div></div>^+1
     

    chpprguy

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The one think you will learn about Vargay if you use a lot of it is that it varries lot to lot way more than any other powder. RL15 on the other hand, not so much. I dropped Varget a long time ago in favor of RL15. There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    I've used alot of it and never had to change my loads from lot to lot
    but I have needed to change loads from winter to summer... it may be less sensitive, but the load still changes..... (from the same 8lb jug..)
     

    kombayotch

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    Re: RL15 vs Varget

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jr81452</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Falar</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: USMCj</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The one think you will learn about Vargay if you use a lot of it is that it varries lot to lot way more than any other powder. RL15 on the other hand, not so much. I dropped Varget a long time ago in favor of RL15. There is nothing Vargay can do that RL15 cant. </div></div>

    Actually there is.

    RL15, like the entire RL series of powders, is highly temperature sensitive.

    Varget, like all of the Hodgdon Extreme powders, is extremely insensitive to temperature changes.

    </div></div>

    Why do people always say that? When I used varget to work up some hunting loads in '08, I worked them up here in FL two weeks before I went to MN for my hunt. When I got to my cabin I re-zeroed my rifle as is prudent. Well what do you know, the 50deg temp variation caused a 3.65" drop in my POI @400yrd. Even after the change in elevation from sea level to +1864. Granted, with RL-15 I get a 4.87" drop in POI under the same conditions, but either way you need to re-zero. I suspect that those who claim varget is not temp sensitive, don't really test the theory. </div></div>


    I have. Not RL-15 specifically, but nothing I have ever tested from Alliant was even close to as temperature stable as Hodgdon Extreme powders.

    308_temp.jpg


    6mm_Crusader_T2.jpg


    X axis it in degrees F. And yes, I did heat them that high.

    Here is my test method (copied from another thread):

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What people notice based on air temperature isn't the best indicator of temperature sensitivity. Rounds brought from home in a plastic case, transported in a heated/cooled vehicle will often experience very little change in temperature internally. Unless the rounds are soaked in an exposed manner, at temperature, for at least two hours, you don't really know the powder is at that temperate. The first time I ran this type of test, I put a thermocouple inside a loaded round (without primer) through the primer hole to see how long it took for the internal temperature to be the same as external.

    The way the tests works is that you soak 3 batches of ammo at hot, cold and ambient temperature for at least two hours (5 rounds of each). I use a cooler with a heating pad for hot, the freezer in the clubhouse for cold (an icebox works too), and just sit the rounds out in the open for ambient. Temperature is measured with thermocouples and/or mercury thermometers.

    You then fire them one round at a time in a round robin sequence (ambient, hot, cold, ambient, hot, cold...). You let the barrel cool in between each shot. When you fire each round, you just transfer that round from the hot/room/cold storage to the chamber and fire it through the chrono as quickly as possible. You don't want to give the rounds any time to change temperature internally due to contact with the chamber. I set the scope on the lowest magnification and just make sure I'm sending the round through the sweet spot of the chrono (no groups here). You basically want to the Jerry Miculek of loading a boltgun and firing it through the chrono. This is best done on a short pistol range, close to the berm.

    If you're interested in the powder's temperature sensitivity, you don't soak the entire rifle, that isn't scientifically correct because you're mixing multiple effects. Thermal expansion/contraction of the barrel due to temperature is a different effect than powder temperature sensitivity. In this test, we are only interested in the powder's effect (primer too, as it cannot be isolated). By using the round robin sequence and letting the barrel cool in between shots, you are removing its temperature effect as a variable in the test. If you then wanted to take it to the level of testing it as a system, you would know how much the powder is contributing. Otherwise, you cannot isolate it from the barrel's effect. Then, you don't know how much each is contributing to the problem.

    It isn't a difficult test to run. However, if you don't have the ability to measure pressure (I do), I would advise putting the heating pad on a lower setting. </div></div>

    If you've performed similar a test of RL-15 vs. Varget, then by all mean, post the results and test method. I find it hard to believe that RL-15 is anywhere close to as temperature stable as Varget given that its double based.