375 Ruger and Alliant Reloder 17

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sandman0921, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    I purchased a Ruger M77 Hawkeye African (pre-muzzle break) with the express purpose of turning into something akin to the Ruger M77 Hawkeye Alaskan to hunt moose, brown bear (hopefully), coastal black bear, etc.......a true wet weather, coastal gun.

    The rifle has a 23 inch barrel, and is chambered in 375 Ruger. I have posted about the rifle before on here including pics. I've modified the rifle from the original replacing the LC6 trigger with a Timney, upgrading the firing pin spring to a stronger one, changing the fiber optic sight pin to a fluorescent green (which I can see better over the factory red) , Cerakoting the rifle and bolt, and having it stocked in a nice laminate (weather resistance and weight) stock to the correct LOP by Wes at Accurate Innovations...

    It was a very fun project to play with, and I learned a lot about the rifle while installing the fiber optic sight bead, trigger, and firing pin spring. The coating and stock turned out great as well. I topped the rifle with a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x24 scope with the German #4 reticle and amber dot fitted in a nice pair of Talley detachable scope rings.

    The rifle then got put up in the safe for a couple of years unfortunately with the plan to work up hand-loads one day utilizing the 300 grain, Barnes TSX 0.375 bullets. I finally decided to start that process in earnest a few days ago, as I am thinking of taking it with me to the NWT to hunt the big moose there this September. I'm still mulling that over however, and may inevitably take my 338 Win Mag for a little more range.....

    In searching my reloading manuals, looking over trusted internet sources, and e-mailing with a couple of guys who have loaded for the 375 Ruger, one powder that started to become a common theme in the research, if you will, was Alliant Reloder 17. I have never loaded rounds with it before, but it is a temperature stable stick powder that meters pretty well, and is designed for those short, fat cases, that defines the short magnum genre. It is CLOSE to the same burn rate as IMR 4350 and H4350, but not the same. One guy from AK, on another forum had great success with it, and Barnes TSX 300 grain bullets, so having all the data in hand, I decided to see what the fuss was all about. Needless to say, I am very please with the results.

    I have been using the Optimal Charge Weight (OCW) method touted by Dan Newberry now for 3 years or so, after getting frustrated with the Audette (Ladder) Method. I think it gives you a good, stable load over a fairly broad range of powder charge variance, and in less shots than I was using with the ladder method looking for nodes. For hunting purposes, I feel it is a good method for determining a very consistent load.

    Anyway, I feel like I've found a great load for the 375 Ruger using this method, and as there are a lot of 375 Ruger shooters on this forum, I thought I'd share the info in case someone was looking for loading data. There really isn't a lot of data out there utilizing Alliant Reloder 17 in the 375 Ruger.

    Of course I temper this with the statement that what worked in my rifle, may be unsafe in yours. I went very slowly, starting with very mild loads, and working up, being very diligent in checking for any signs of pressure. One anecdotal piece of advice. Those with a lot more experience using RL 17 have said that this powder builds it's pressure slowly and consistently, especially with heavier bullets, and if not careful someone could have a very bad day in going from one powder charge to the next. In full disclosure, I have not measured pressure with a strain gauge, etc., and while I sometimes use QuickLoad to predict pressure, I've found that I'm not savvy enough yet with it to fully trust it.

    RIFLE/CARTRIDGE SPECS:

    Rifle: Ruger M77 Hawkeye African (customized)
    Barrel: factory Ruger barrel @ 23 inches
    Twist: 1:12 (according to factory specs)
    Brass: Hornady (fully prepped, trimmed, and F/L resized)
    Primer: Federal 215 (Lg Rifle Magnum)
    Bullet: 0.375 Barnes TSX (300 grain)
    Powder: Alliant Reloder 17

    CONDITONS @ TESTING (OVER 2 Days)

    Altitude: appx 725 ft ASL
    Temp: avg. 90 deg F
    Humidity: avg 60%


    LOAD DATA/RESULTS:

    Powder: Alliant Reloder 17
    Brass Trim Length: 2.570 inches
    COAL: 3.398 inches (for my rifle)
    Optimal Charge Weight: 81.0 grains
    Starting Seating Depth: 0.050 inches off lands (as measured with a Sinclair Intl Bullet Seating Depth Tool and bullet comparator)
    Avg. Velocity: 2694 fps
    S.D.: 6.88
    Extreme Spread: 15
    Muzzle Energy: 4835 ft. lbs.


    This load exhibited absolutely no signs of pressure, even in a 23" barrel and with an ambient temp of appx 90 deg F. As I said, be careful if you try this, as it is over book max (although it is in line with H4350 data which is a little faster). As an aside, i went all the way to 82.0 grains with and average velocity of 2725 fps with absolutely no pressure signs, but I felt like the velocity gains were starting to drop off, and I got the feeling I was getting very close to the limit. I didn't want to play with fire....

    This load is already sub-MOA, but I think I can improve a little with tweaking the seating depth a little, so I'm gonna play with that before I finalize everything.

    Needless to say, I am very pleased, and I have to say that someone looking for a good powder to try in the 375 Ruger, ought to consider Alliant Reloder 17.
     

  2. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,943
    Video/Photo:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2,228
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(2) New Zealand
    Thanks for the info. I have one that I have not yet fired. Need to look at for a possible buffalo hunt in the future. You are correct that RL 17 seems to be a great powder. Nice velocity. Should do fine for moose out beyond 300 yds if you needed. Plus great for bears and lots of other critters. Bruce
     

  3. Eddie P

    Eddie P AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    32
    I'm waiting on cases, but all of my research says that RL17 is the powder to use with the .375Rug.
    Research also finds that the pressures generated are less than predicted due to the unique method of flame retarding treatment.

    I've got a tub and will be trying it once my cases arrive.

    I will ignite with a CCI250.
     

  4. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,279
    Video/Photo:
    20
    Likes Received:
    742
    I would like to see pictures of your rifle please post .
     

  5. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    That's exactly why I decided to change rifles. Originally I had intended on taking my elk rifle which is a 338 Win Mag shooting 0.338 Barnes TTSX bullets (225 grain) at 2850 fps. Again, a marginally hot load, but absolutely no pressure signs, even in southeastern US summertime heat....And it hits like Thor's hammer. I took a big-bodied, bull elk (700+ lbs) in UT a couple of years ago, and when he was hit by the Barnes TTSX it absolutely "pole-axed" him. He stammered, then fell, after only 5 steps. The bullet broke both shoulders, and going through wrecked both lungs, as well as the heart. It exited, and we never found it. It left a half-dollar size exit hole on the opposite shoulder and obviously expanded as designed...I've always had respect for Barnes TSX/TTSX bullets as far as accuracy, but when I saw the results on that huge UT bull, I gained a lot of confidence in their performance as well, as big bull elk are not the easiest animals to bring down.

    However, I was perusing one of hunting magazines the other day, and a story caught my eye about a mountain caribou hunt in the Mackenzie Mountains of the NWT (Canada) which is where I will be heading in September for the Alaska/Yukon moose and mountain caribou. The article started off with a very ominous tone describing how the author found out that the previous week or so before (September 2014), a moose hunter from my home state had been killed in a sudden attack by a mountain Grizzly while he and the guide were field dressing a downed moose. It was the author's same outfitter, and the guide who it happened to, was supposed to be their guide, but understandably had been sent home. It turns out, it's the same outfitter that I am going with this September for moose, mountain caribou, etc., during the same week, and hunting the same concession. It appeared to be a freak accident, but then I read another story about a moose hunter last year (2015) during the same week, who was glassing and calling for moose in the Mackenzie Mountains in the NWT with his guide when a bear attacked suddenly, and drug the hunter down a ravine. The guide was able to get a shot off into the dirt, and scare the bear off, but not before the hunter received a very brutal mauling by the bear. He was Medi-vac'd out of Norman Wells to Yellowknife, NWT for hospitalization. I don't know anymore about that situation. The more I've read about the mountain Grizzly, and especially the bears of the Mackenzie Mountains, the more nervous it made me. Apparently, the mountain Grizzly is a lot more temperamental than it's larger, coastal cousin, and because their food supply is much less readily available and harder to find, and the environment they live in is so much more harsh than the coastal browns, they tend to be more aggressive. Also the bears of the Mackenzie Mountains apparently haven't really been hunted much for 30 years or more (no non-resident permits available and only a lifetime tag per resident) and so they've lost all fear of humans as well as being a lot of them up there. There are no roads into the concession I will be hunting (truly remote), and so no real resident pressure. Some of these bears may have never seen a human being, and view them as just another potential food source. I've read forums from some of the hunters, and guides that frequent those mountains, that say those bears are very aggressive, and it was just a matter of time before something like this happened there.....

    I say all this to say it got me thinking really seriously about my firearm choice. While the 338 Win Mag is a proven bear killer cartridge, and has been used by Alaskan guides for 50+ years for that very purpose on the big, coastal browns of AK, it is not as effective a stopper as say the 375 H&H Mag or 375 Ruger. I know a lot of AK guides have switched to the 375 H&H Mag, 375 Ruger, 416 Rem, 458 Win Mag, etc. for just that very reason. If you are tasked with going into the thick Alder brush after a client's wounded brown bear, I can certainly understand wanting a DGR rifle in a DGR caliber....there is certainly no overkill in those situations if you can deploy the weapon effectively.....

    I have no doubt my 338 Win Mag could take a mountain Grizzly in a controlled situation at a distance of up to 100-200 yds, but it is set up as an elk rifle with a Swarovski Z6 2.5 - 15 x 44 scope in non-detachable Talley rings. I would not want to try and shoot a Griz coming quickly into a moose kill at 10 yds wth it. The Ruger on the other hand has a Trijicon Accupoint 1 - 4 x 24 scope in detachable Talley rings with iron sights. If a Griz were to surprise us on a moose kill, my thought is having a rifle with almost 5000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy with the scope off, and shooting irons, is potent bear medicine. Of course I'm going to have a big can of bear spray with me at all times as well, but I like having options. My only hesitation is that I would give up some range potentially over the 338 Win Mag when I'm hunting mountain caribou, or if I get a crack at a big Timberwolf at distance as a target of opportunity. However, I rarely shoot over 300 yds if I can help it, and like you pointed out gillette hunter, the ballistics of a 300 grain bullet traveling at close to 2700 fps is pretty damn impressive. When zeroed at 200 yds (1.75 in @ 100 yds), there's only around 11 inches of drop at 300 yds. Hold on the top of the back of a mountain caribou at 300 yds, and certainly a moose, and it should hammer them. Yes it's way overkill I admit, but I'm thinking it will give me a lot more of a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when standing over a moose in thick brush, and having a stopping rifle (at least for bear) with iron sights versus a scoped 338 Win Mag. I still haven't made the decision totally yet, but that's the way I'm leaning......

    The rifle is surprisingly very comfortable to shoot. For one it fits me well with a stock made to my correct LOP, second the laminate stock gives it some heft, and third it has a nice Limbsaver recoil pad to cushion some of the recoil. All in all, it is more comfortable to shoot than my custom 338 Win Mag. I plan to practice with it at both distance (200 - 300 yds), as well as some snap shots at 10-25 yds with the irons once I get my load finalized, scope zeroed for 200 yds, and the iron sights adjusted for 50 yds.

    Anyway, I didn't mean for this to turn into a long diatribe on my choice in rifle. I wanted to pass along the info on the reloading data as there really is no official data out there with Reloder 17.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
    Bren7X64 likes this.

  6. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    Let me see if I can find some, and I'll definitely post them. It's not a pretty rifle by any stretch, but it's gonna be effective I hope.....
     

  7. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    The load data I referenced from someone experienced at reloading for the 375 Ruger using RL 17, also used CCI 250's as well......
     
    Eddie P likes this.

  8. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    bassasdaindia,

    Here you go, and please forgive the quality of the pics. The first two were sent to me by the stock maker prior to delivery, and show the rifle without the scope mounted. The flash made the metal coating (Cerakote) on the bolt handle appear almost white, but it's more of a silver grey color in real life. The last few pics are ones I took of the rifle, and show it with the scope. The are not very good, but you get the gist.....


    12015061_426934970828555_4464675195808706160_o.jpg 10491386_269313089924078_4783628835551044632_o.jpg IMG_3720.jpeg IMG_7780.jpeg
     
    bassasdaindia likes this.

  9. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,820
    Video/Photo:
    181
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA, DSC
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, Canada (Yukon)
    Sandman:

    Thanks for sharing the load data! I've posted these links before, but in case anyone with more than a passing interest in the 375 Ruger might like to reference these articles. Re17 was not listed, as Re15 was. Your Re17 load is a hotter load for sure.

    Dave


    http://www.loaddata.com/articles/PDF/LoadDevelopment2LowRes1.pdf

    http://www.nhrifleman.com/2014/06/27/the-375-ruger-cartridge-a-handloaders-dream-cartridge/

    375 Ruger Handload Data
    http://www.realguns.com/loads/375Ruger.htm

    Real Guns - The CZ 550 FS Goes 375 Ruger Part I
    http://www.realguns.com/articles/212.htm
    Real Guns - The CZ 550 FS Goes 375 Ruger Part II
    http://www.realguns.com/articles/214.htm

    Real Guns - The 375 Ruger Story - All Guns & No Ammo Part I
    http://www.realguns.com/archives/134.htm

    375 H&H Vs 375 Ruger Part I
    http://www.realguns.com/archives/143.htm

    375 H&H Vs 375 Ruger Part II
    http://www.realguns.com/archives/144.htm
     

    Attached Files:

    Eddie P likes this.

  10. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    375 Ruger Fan,

    Thanks for sharing those again. I've read most, or all of these articles and they are great.

    When I being load development for a new rifle, I always check the Real Guns source for data as part of the research. Joe D'Alessandro and crew do a great job laying out the data for so many cartridges....

    Like I said, my powder charge with RL17 is no doubt a stout load, but appears to be safe in my rifle. I am going to start working on the seating depth variations from my baseline (0.050 in off the lands as Barnes technicians suggest) and see if the groups tighten up any.
     

  11. Eddie P

    Eddie P AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    32
    As I mentioned above, there is some witchcraft going on with rl17 that generates great velocities at lower than expected pressure. I'll find some links when I'm back to my pc and not on my phone.
     

  12. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Messages:
    929
    Video/Photo:
    32
    Likes Received:
    865
    Location:
    Adirondack Park, NY, USA
    Member of:
    NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
    Hunted:
    USA, Canada
    I am a RL 17 believer for .375 as well! I use it in the H&H and I can go right up to 2800 FPS with a 270 Hornady interlock with no signs of pressure. Recoil does go up noticably. My current load is about 2650 because there isn't an animal alive that would feel the difference of 150fps. It also isn't worth the extra 2" at 350 yards of trajectory that it give me. I love RL17 and I also use it in my 6.5x55 even though it doesn't give peak velocity, it is good enough for me at 2500 fps. It is worth it to just have one powder for my rifles so I don't have a bunch of reloading space taken up by canisters of powder. and 5lbs of the stuff takes a while to burn through.
     
    sandman0921 likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice