I've been working up a load in my buddy's .30-06, and it's been interesting to say the least. It's supposed to be a deer and antelope load, but after what happened last year with 125 Ballistic Tips, he wanted to try a tougher bullet. So we're going to try some 130 TTSXs. Before I got too far, I wanted to test whether or not I should try a magnum primer, so I loaded up a near max charge of Big Game (only ball powder I was planning on trying).
I don't have many fast burning powders on hand, but had a handful of powders faster than 4831: Varget, IMR 4064, Big Game, 760, IMR 4350, H4350, RL 17, IMR 4007SSC, RL 19, Hunter, RL 17, N160, Hybrid 100V. I eliminated the two 4350s and Hunter because they were on the slower side and we would be looking at pretty compressed charges. Same thing with 100V, N160 and RL 19. But I had to try RL 17 becuase I had heard some pretty outrageous velocity claims. I ditched the 4007 because I couldn't find any data with velocities approaching the mid 3200s. Ditched 760 because Big Game seemed a more modern version of the same thing. I used IMR 4064 last summer in the 125 gr loads and 100 gr 270 loads and knew I could get good velocity and accuracy out of it. So I settled on Varget, RL 17, Big Game and IMR 4064.
This is in a Ruger 77 Stainless, 22 inch barrel.
61.6 grs, winchester cases, 130 TTSX, 3.3 inches
Fed GM210M:3198 3199 3236 3215 3207
Fed GM215M: 3188 3274 3263 3276 3198
Decided to go with the standard primers due to the weird inconsistencies in the magnums.
Anyway, took Big Game up to 63 grains, but saw no real velocity improvement over 62 or 62.5 grains at 3260. The IMR 4064 was already showing pressure signs at 56 grains and 3230 fps. Varget seemed excessive at 58 grains and 3230, but 57.5 grains and 3200 fps seemed fine. However, despite having to seriously compress the charges, RL 17 seemed to blow away any published velocities with any powder in any 125-130 gr bullet listed in any manual. Now, that's supposed to mean dangerous things, but RL 17 is working on a different playing field due to the retardant technology (from what I understand). I had seen people report up to 67 grains (no published data yet for 130 grain bullets), but I got a little scared to go beyond 65.5, which is extremely compressed. But get this: velocity was 3390 and NO pressure signs! Although there wasn't much improvement in velocities from 64 grains at 3360, so I will probably use that for my accuracy testing load.
This was just yard testing with the chrono, I'll take the gun to a real range for the accuracy test in a few weeks. I think I've settled on 62 grains of Big Game, 57.5 grains of Varget and 64 grains of RL 17. I'll load up 6 rounds of each, for two 3 shot groups before I settle on a load. The 130 grain bullet is so short that I'm not gonna try to play with seating depths to further refine the load.
So that's how I do it for anyone curious about one person's thought process on load development.