Reloder-16, Reloder-22, Reloder-26 Q&A

Prerylyon

Very Active Member
Apr 25, 2016
921
14
Cedar Rapids, IA
I'm about to start a load development for my .280 Rem 22" bbl featherweight using RL-16 pushing the 145 gr Speer 7mm BTSP. Goal of this work is keeping the accuracy of my current AA4350 based load, but with increased velocity.

Based on a lot of conversations, research, and empirical experience last year using RL-19 (my experience with it in this specific rig is documented in some prior threads), RL-16 seems like a good choice for my specific situation. Due to my shorter barrel, I wanted to mess around with a faster powder this time around.

A good buddy of mine shared some really good results he achieved in a 30-06 this spring using RL-26. RL-22, 26 to my understanding are supposed to be slower than RL-16, 19. However, it seems that some folks are able to consistently get some great results in non-mag .270 to .308 rifles that defy a simplified view of the slower burn of RL-22, RL-26.

Curious to get a read on anyone's recent experiences working with RL-22, RL-26. They seem to be some interesting powders with intriguing properties.
 

Micah S

Member
Jan 11, 2016
141
1
Sandy Oregon
I've used reloder-22 in magnum cartridges mostly 300 win it was extremely accurate and fast with 180 grain bullets. But I've moved away from it recently because it has huge velocity changes with temperature.

I use reloder-16 in the 6.5 creedmoor that I hunt with. It has been a very fast powder. I'm getting 2880fps with a 143 grain eld x. I don't think that reloder 16 is right for longer cartridges but it should work good in .243 6.5 and 7mm-08.
 
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Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
5,852
16
Dolores, Colorado
Basically burn rate in the Reloader Powders decrease as the number gets higher. RE 19 is slower that RE 16, etc. I've played around with this series of powder and really like the results, just have to find the right combination.
 
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280ackimp

Member
Jul 4, 2017
131
1
New Hampshire
Ive been using RL-22 in the 280 Improved (AI with 40 deg shoulder) for a few years. I have used Imr-4831, AA-3100 (no longer available) and RL-19 they were all pretty good with 150gr BTBT. I wanted more weight and more velocity. I tried RL-22 after reading good things and I am happy I did. The 280 AI with 160 gr Partitions and RL-22 does give me 3,050 fps and 1/2" 3 shot groups at 100 yds. I loaded for a 7x57 last year and used 140 AccuBonds with good velocity and accuracy. It was a buddies rifle and worked for him ,however it was "ok" as an elk load, it worked but not as good as hoped.
What are you using 145 gr BT Speers for and why SPEER? As a part of the equation the RL-22 should give you more velocity. Also the Nosler AB in 140 gr would help gain more velocity and you my want to look at the Barnes as the bearing surface is less and should add to velocity as well as an aid to get higher velocities. I would also suggest looking at re-chambering to 280 AI and you would add 200-300 fps with most loads, even with a 22"bbl....
Its interesting that many gun shops no longer carry 280 Rem (7mm Express) rounds but now they almost always have 280 AI ! Go figure !
 
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Prerylyon

Very Active Member
Apr 25, 2016
921
14
Cedar Rapids, IA
'280,

I came across the 145 gr Speer BTSPs in some old literature as I was messing around with some newer Nosler and Hornady bullets the other yr and not quite getting results I liked. I had gotten some good results with Sierra bullets, but got geeky with it and wanted something between a 140 and 150 gr pill, based on crunching some ballistics numbers. Sierra doesn't make a 7mm pill that's 145 gr. That old Speer bullet worked really well for me at the range (just slower than I hoped) and gave me a 1 shot kill on a doe antelope last fall. I know they're soft and an older design, but for deer and lopes I think they will work fine.
 

alaska2go

Active Member
Oct 20, 2012
220
2
Palmer, AK
He uses Speer bullets because they are awesome !!! I have killed a lot of critters with Speer Bullets. Most of them with 145gr 7mm either BT or grand slams in my 7-08's .. My profile doesn't lie !!!

Might try winchester 760 in the 280 Rem. or RL 17
 
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bdan68

Active Member
Nov 13, 2013
261
3
51
Rochester, Washington
I've tried both RL16 and RL26 in my 270 Win. and my 30/06. Either powder will work in either cartridge, but the 16 Is best in the 30/06 and the 26 in the 270, in my opinion. Actually with lighter bullets in the 270 the RL16 might be the better option, but I haven't tried it, since I only shoot 140 and 150 grain.

So with the 280 Rem. being right between the 270 and the 30/06 I'm not sure which would be better with 145 grain bullets. I would probably try RL16 first.

A good rule of thumb seems to be to use RL16 in place of 4350 and RL26 in place of 4831.
 
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Prerylyon

Very Active Member
Apr 25, 2016
921
14
Cedar Rapids, IA
Yep, RL-16 is where I'm gonna go next as I work this load up. Basically, I will be picking up where I left off last summer/fall.

RL-26 seems to have some interesting properties in heavy for caliber bullets in the non mag .270, .284, and .308 calibers. I don't have the inside scoop on the accuracy of the loads involved, but heard of guys getting good high velocities in .270, .7mm-08 and 30-06 with RL-26 with less pressure problems as with other powders when approaching max loadings.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,386
54
Gypsum, Co
I have most of my loads down pat. They might not be the fastest loads but they are very accurate and they work.

I could put a few more grains into the case and get another 100+ fps out of the load but why? I did some calculation with faster loads and found that they were not really worth it.

So just find a good load that works and stick with it.
 
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Prerylyon

Very Active Member
Apr 25, 2016
921
14
Cedar Rapids, IA
I have most of my loads down pat. They might not be the fastest loads but they are very accurate and they work.

I could put a few more grains into the case and get another 100+ fps out of the load but why? I did some calculation with faster loads and found that they were not really worth it.

So just find a good load that works and stick with it.
No argument, Jim; but some of us-me-are stil new to reloading and figuring it all out for their rifles-and others, with dependable loads, like to tinker for fun; its all good! 👍
 
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JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,386
54
Gypsum, Co
The problem that I found with reloading is that it can get expensive fast when you by a pound of this powder and then a pound of this other powder and only use very little of it before you switch to another powder. I still have powder from 30 years ago that I need to get rid of because of this problem.

Then again I have gotten lucky with a lot of the powders that I have chosen. Before buying most of them I have done research to find the better ones and settled on a load that suits my needs. I'll then start buying the powder that I use in jugs instead of the 1 lb bottles. Bullets are the same problem.

However you have to figure out that for most hunting rounds if you can shoot a 1" group at 100 yards that is enough accuracy to kill just about any animal out there. Even at 800 yards that group is still just 8", well within the kill zone of deer and elk. The only rounds that I expect to do better with are my 22-250's. I expect those rounds to shoot into a 1/4" group at 100 yards.

Then you have to figure bullet performance and the only real way to test that is to shoot animals and see how they do. Just about any bullet out there will kill a deer, but use that same bullet on a elk and there is a possibility of the elk giving you the horse laugh and heading out of the country.
 
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alaska2go

Active Member
Oct 20, 2012
220
2
Palmer, AK
I have most of my loads down pat. They might not be the fastest loads but they are very accurate and they work.

I could put a few more grains into the case and get another 100+ fps out of the load but why? I did some calculation with faster loads and found that they were not really worth it.

So just find a good load that works and stick with it.
speed is interesting BUT accuracy KILLS !!!!!!!
 

alaska2go

Active Member
Oct 20, 2012
220
2
Palmer, AK
The problem that I found with reloading is that it can get expensive fast when you by a pound of this powder and then a pound of this other powder and only use very little of it before you switch to another powder. I still have powder from 30 years ago that I need to get rid of because of this problem.

Then again I have gotten lucky with a lot of the powders that I have chosen. Before buying most of them I have done research to find the better ones and settled on a load that suits my needs. I'll then start buying the powder that I use in jugs instead of the 1 lb bottles. Bullets are the same problem.

However you have to figure out that for most hunting rounds if you can shoot a 1" group at 100 yards that is enough accuracy to kill just about any animal out there. Even at 800 yards that group is still just 8", well within the kill zone of deer and elk. The only rounds that I expect to do better with are my 22-250's. I expect those rounds to shoot into a 1/4" group at 100 yards.

Then you have to figure bullet performance and the only real way to test that is to shoot animals and see how they do. Just about any bullet out there will kill a deer, but use that same bullet on a elk and there is a possibility of the elk giving you the horse laugh and heading out of the country.

As for engineers, home builders, commercial construction, or what ever we like the to design & build things. Structures, a table, a arrow, a bullet, a stereo whatever it might be.

As for me I am a home builder & like "building" bullets like i build homes. Its ALL the little details that goes in to have a great turn out. Its the journey to get to where you "build the perfect bullet" for your weapon or for a friend's weapon.. It is like building a home where you can offer a 5 year warranty knowing that you may be back 2 times in that time frame for some really minor stuff..

It like a chef, do you cook with just salt & pepper or do add a variety of spices to your food to make it spectacular ???? Ya don't add cumin to Italian food and you don't add basil to Mexican food...
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
5,852
16
Dolores, Colorado
I agree with JimP on almost everything he has said. I use a .30 cal bullet that was designed over 50 years ago. It shoots sub moa and kills. (Nosler Partition). The load I use in my 30-06 & 25-06 I developed then 40 years or so ago. I do like to play around with my .220 AI Swift, fun to work with different loads and bullets. The newest load I use is about 10 years old for a gun that was given to me, a .300 Wby. I do use Reloader 25 powder in it, but the same old school Nosler Partition.