April 5th, 2021

New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 Powder — Outstanding Test Results

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Outstanding New Powder from Alliant — Reloder TS 15.5
New Product Review by DasherDude
Alliant has devloped a new temperature-stable powder for long range applications. According to Alliant, this is a “slower burning version of the popular RL 15 with TZ technology” and brings some significant advantages over RL 15 and powders in the similar burn rate range (like Varget). The powder is named “Reloder TS 15.5″ (RL TS 15.5) and is created using the same TZ technology used in Reloder 16 (RL 16) and Reloder 23 (RL 23) whereby it manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. That makes RL TS 15.5 extremely stable across the full temperature range a shooter may encounter.

When Can You Get This New Alliant RL TS 15.5 Powder?
Alliant tells us that new RL TS 15.5 should start arriving on dealer’s shelves by the end of the month. Officially: “We will be putting it into distribution probably in April 2021 sometime”. Remember you heard about this powder here first.

The burn rate of RL TS 15.5 lies between RL 15 and RL 16 making it ideal for loading heavier bullets in .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .223 Rem, and 6mm wildcats such as the 6mm Dasher or 6 BRA (BR Ackley). Being a bit slower than RL 15, new TS 15.5 offers higher velocities for the same charge weight as well as ability to load heavier charges for additional velocity without generating excessive pressure.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Testing Reloder TS 15.5 in 6 Dasher and .308 Winchester

I got a chance to test a pre-production powder sample of RL TS15.5 from Alliant. In my own tests with my 6mm Dasher and .308 Win, I extensively compared it with Varget that I normally use in these cartridges. In both cases, the results were nothing short of spectacular.

Powder Characteristics and Metering
This is an extruded powder and looks and feels similar to RL 16. The kernels are about 0.03 – 0.04 grains each (with the resolution of A&D FX 120i scale). RL TS 15.5 meters very well, although I had to slightly adjust the AutoTrickler to get it to meter perfectly.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

As I found, later in the testing, that the powder compresses before it can generate excessive pressure in the Dasher, a drop tube helps to fill the case more efficiently if higher charges and velocities are desired.

6mm Dasher Test Rifle and Load
For testing I used my 6mm Dasher benchrest match rifle. This has a BAT 3L action, 28″ Krieger barrel, and McMillan stock. I use Lapua brass with CCI 450 primers to propel Berger 105gr Hybrids and this combination shoots quite well.

Test Firearm: 6mm Dasher, Bat 3L, 28″ 6mm HV Krieger Barrel, McMillan Stock.
Components: Lapua fire-formed brass, CCI 450 primers, Berger 105 grain Hybrid
Powder: Alliant Reloder TS 15.5

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Load Testing and Velocities

Test in 6mm Dasher — Excellent Velocity, Low ES/SD
The testing comprised of shooting groups at 100 yards with increasing powder charges (OCW method) and then selecting a node. That node was found at 33.4 grains. The accuracy was excellent with remarkably low Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD)

My usual load is 32.9 grains of Hodgdon Varget which runs 2925 fps with an ES of around 12 fps and SD around 5 fps. For comparison, 32.9 grains of RL TS 15.5 delivered a velocity of 3022 fps. That is 97 fps greater than Varget for the same load weight (of RL TS15.5).

When used in the 6 Dasher, RL TS 15.5 had ES of 13 for 28 Shots — Remarkable!
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

More Velocity Plus Consistent ES/SD
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacementWith the Dasher since the new node (the sweet spot) was found at 33.4 grains, that resulted in a velocity of 3050 fps (a 125 fps velocity increase) from the same rifle setup. Not only did the velocity increase, but the SD was lowered to 3.6 with an ES of 13 (calculated over 28 shots). You read that right… 13 fps ES over 28 shots!

At 34 grains without any drop tube, the load was compressed. However, there were no pressure signs. That indicates that the 6 Dasher cartridge can be loaded with a higher charge, if a drop tube was used.

.308 Winchester Velocity Results
Similar results (velocity gains) were obtained from my .308 Win with Berger 200.20X bullets. For the same charge of 44.2 grains, I recorded about 100 fps higher velocity with RL TS 15.5, compared to Varget.

Accuracy Results at 100 and 300 Yards — Very Impressive

How does RL TS 15.5 shoot on paper? Very well indeed.

6mm Dasher Load Testing with Various RL TS 15.5 Charge Weights
The groups on paper told similar stories. For the OCW method, I shot groups of increasing charges at 100 yards and then selected 33.4 grains as the optimum charge (incidentally, it was one ragged hole).

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

While testing at 300 yards, the conditions were very windy but since I was testing for vertical, the point of aim was kept the same for every shot. No attempt was made to correct for wind, so the groups spread horizontally (15 mph, 3 o’clock wind) but the vertical spread of all the groups was under 0.3 MOA. That gives me great hopes for the long-range capabilities of the powder.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Thoughts and Conclusions

For the past year, Alliant powders have been a welcome surprise for this tester and they have found a home in my reloading room. I struggled to find a load for my .284 Win with H4831sc and H4350 before trying out Reloder 16 and voila, it was perfect.

I have used Hodgdon Varget powder for a long time in both my 6mm Dasher and my .308 Winchester. With the .308 Win I’ve used various bullets from 168 to 200 grains. Varget has served me well. I do always need to keep the powder charge in check and so the velocities are held back a bit. Now RL TS 15.5 looks like a very impressive competitor to Varget.

With Reloder TS 15.5, Alliant seems to have delivered a harmonious mix of great accuracy, higher velocities, and lower SDs without creating excessive pressure. All of this is delivered with a very temperature-stable package. The higher velocities may allow some shooters to hit a new, better-performing node. These qualities are highly sought after by long range shooters. Accordingly, I have no qualms in saying that Alliant has created a winner here.

Alliant Official Load Data for Reloder TS 15.5

Along with the cartridge types shown below, Alliant has also released load data for .30-06 Springfield, 7x57mm Mauser, .270 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, .257 Roberts, 22-250 Rem, and 224 Valkyrie. CLICK for all data (larger format).

CLICK HERE for PDF with ALL Reloder TS 15.5 Load Data »

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 5th, 2021

Bargain Finder 289: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto SA — Complete PSA Lower with Adj. Magpul FDE Stock — $249.99

ar16 ar rifle sporting MSR palmetto .223 5.56 lower upper receiver sale discount bargain
Good assembled lower with nice stock — add upper and you’re good to go

Get that AR lower while you still can. This complete Palmetto State Armory lower with Magpul stock is fully assembled. It will take a standard upper, which you can build or purchase later without an FFL. The lower is the section that much be purchased through an FFL with a background check. This lower features polished hammer and trigger components with nickel-plating for smoother trigger action. This lower is finished with a Magpul MOE Carbine Stock, Magpul MOE Trigger Guard, and Magpul MOE Grip.

2. MidwayUSA — Lee Breech Lock 50th Anniv. Press Kit, $199.99

Lee Breech lock single stage reloading press scale powder measure priming tool kit
Good press, powder measure plus many tools for crazy-low price

Though reloading tools are in high demand, right now you can get this very complete Lee 50th Anniversary multi-component kit for $199.99. The main attraction is the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press with quick-change bushing. (We’ve used this press and it functions well.) In addition, you get a Lee Perfect Powder Measure, Safety Scale, Powder Funnel, and Safety Prime. The kit even includes variety of Case Prep tools: Case trimmer, Chamfer Tool, Primer Pocket-Cleaning tool.

3. EuroOptic.com — Vortex Riflescope Close-outs, Save Hundreds

Vortex optics scope sale close-out euro-optic
Great Value on Vortex Viper Series Close-outs

Vortex riflescopes offer great performance for the price with models suited for all shooting disciplines. Right now you can save hundreds on Vortex Viper scopes at EuroOptic.com, such as the 6-24x50mm Viper PST model. If you are looking for a good scope for varminting or fun matches this is an excellent option. And the Vortex Lifetime Warranty is one of the best in the business.

4. Midsouth — Hodgdon 2021 Annual Reloading Manual, $9.99

2021 hodgdon reloading manual cartridge loads IMR Winchester
Current Data with 5000+ loads, good modern resource

The Hodgdon 2021 Annual Reloading Manual contains data for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester smokeless propellants. There are over 5000 loads listed in the 168-page manual. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2021 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by leading gun and outdoor industry writers. Shooting Times magazine, the 2021 Hodgdon Annual Reloading Manual is now available on newsstands everywhere, or directly from Hodgdon. This edition has updated data for 33 cartridge types plus NEW data for 6mm ARC, 6.5 WBY RPM, 27 Nosler, and 458 SOCOM.

5. MidwayUSA — Leupold Mark IV 8.5-25x50mm M1, $999.99

Leupold 8.5-25x50mm Mark 4 tactical M1 Scope
Great value on superb Second Focal Plane scope with great glass

Here is an excellent optic for varmint shooting and local fun matches. This Leupold Mark 4 Long Range Tactical M1 offers optimal 8.5-25X power range for varminting, along with excellent low-light performance. NOTE: This has a Second Focal Plane reticle which we prefer for varmint hunting. The 1/4-MOA clicks are handy. Save $400 (28%) right now on this deal. This scope enjoys over 91% five-star reviews from actual purchasers. Here’s one review: “I purchased 2 of these at the sale price MidwayUSA has on them. At that price they are unbeatable in terms of toughness, clarity, repeatability. Excellent scope for the money!”

6. Cabela’s — BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod, $149.99

Bogpod black aluminum deathgrip PRS tripod hunting

Versatile tripod mounts quickly, securely — use for PRS/NRL or hunting.

This is a great tripod for long-range hunters and PRS/NRL competitors. The Clamp-type head quickly secures to your rifle’s forearm for a secure shooting solution. The BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod is on sale now at Cabela’s for $149.99. If weight is critical, Cabela’s also a lighter carbon fiber BOG model for $249.99. Either can be purchased online with free shipping to a Cabela’s store. NOTE: Natchez also has the BOG Aluminum Deathgrip Tripod for $149.95 (ADD to cart to see price).

7. MidwayUSA — RCBS MatchMaster, FREE Dies + $100 Gift Card

RCBS Matchmaster dispenser free dies $100 Gift Certificate
Buy MatchMaster, get $186 Free Dies plus $100 Gift Certificate

The RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser is a high-tech, programmable scale/dispenser that combines speed and excellent load weight accuracy. And right now, with an RCBS Promo, you’ll get both FL sizing die and micrometer seating die for FREE if you buy the $899.00 MatchMaster. The retail value of the die set is $185.95. But wait — it gets even better. If you purchase from MidwayUSA you get a $100 MidwayUSA Gift Certificate. So, with this deal you pay $899 but get $286 worth of product value. To qualify for the Free Dies deal, the MatchMaster must be purchased 4/1/2021 through 4/30/2021.

8. Sportsman’s WHSE — 12-gun Steel Security Cabinet, $189.99

tactical safe cabinet
Great Value on versatile security cabinet — good secondary safe

In addition to a heavy, primary gunsafe, many gun-owners can use a smaller security cabinet for another area of the house, for the garage, or even for an RV. If you’re looking for a good basic gun locker, check out the SnapSafe Premium 12-Gun Tactical Cabinet. It has a simple key-lock system and can fit in most closets. Purchasers praised this unit given the low cost: “For a gun case below $200 you can’t get much better than this” and “More of a light-weight gun locker … it is well made and sturdy though, and is much better than I expected for the price.”

98. Amazon — MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale, $16.99

powder scale
Great price for nice hunting rifle; many calibers, coated action + barrel

Having a good compact utility scale is great for weighing bullets, primers, and brass. Everyone should have a small battery scale for loading at the range or sorting bullets by weight. Right now you can get a decent digital scale for a mere $16.99. Despite the low price, this MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale has earned good owner reviews. The scale reads up to 771 grains and comes with batteries, check weight, and powder pan.

10. Amazon — 10000mAh Dual USB Battery Packs, $19.99

battery charge pack
Recharge your smartphones and tablets — good for Labradar too

Do you have a cellphone, tablet, LabRadar, barrel cooler or other device that needs mobile power? If so, we found a killer deal on a pair of Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Chargers. Yes you get TWO (2) charging packs for just $19.99 total! Featuring USB and USB-C ports and fast 2 amp charging capability, this pair of portable power banks is one of the best deals we’ve seen.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 5th, 2021

Sako Marks 100th Anniversay of Manufacturing in Finland

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

Sako Ltd. was founded on April 1, 1921. So this week Sako celebrates its 100th birthday. Now part of the Beretta firearms family, this prestigious Finnish firearms manufacturer has a rich history of producing quality rifles constructed by skilled master craftsmen.

The original Sako factory was established as part of the Finnish Civil Guard and was designed to meet its gun repair needs. The workshop became an independent financial unit on April 1, 1921. Sako marks that date as its moment of establishment. The workshop was initially called Suojeluskuntain Ase-ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö (Civil Guard Firearm and Engineering Co Ltd). In 1927, it became a limited company with its name abbreviated to the acronym Sako.

The company then moved from Helsinki to a factory site in Riihimäki, where it continues to operate to this day. In Riihimäki, the assembly of a new model of rifle, the M28, began. Nicknamed ‘Pystykorva’ (the dog breed ‘Spitz’), this rifle proved to be of even better quality than similar weapons being used by Finnish defense forces. Simultaneously, the company also began to manufacture cartridges.

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

During the 1950s, Sako entered the U.S. market. The Sako L46 rifle impressed American hunters. The L46’s build quality and excellent performance quickly drew loyal American customers, and exports of Sako products to the USA steadily increased year after year.

Sako 100th Anniversary 100 years Finland

One Million Tikka T3s Have Been Sold
For the past 21 years, Sako has seen major growth in yearly product volumes. In 2020, Sako manufactured and sold the one-millionth unit of the Tikka T3, a rare feat for any bolt action rifle. 2020 also saw the launch of the revamped Sako S20 hybrid rifle. This versatile rifle allows the user to switch between hunting or precision shooting by simply exchanging the fore-end and stock.

Also, Sako reached its all-time production record at more than 113,000 rifles produced in a year and broke its record for cartridge production with more than 11 million cartridges made. Additionally, Sako launched its first copper bullet designed and manufactured in-house, the Sako Powerhead Blade.

In 1996, Sako saw a huge success in their Sako 75 range of products, which was Sako’s first model to be designed as new from the very beginning. This success launched Sako into its next step with major international sales. In 1999, Beretta Holding Group acquired all the company’s shares. “At Beretta USA, we are proud to partner with the highly skilled and experienced men and women of SAKO as they continue to innovate and deliver top-quality, high-performing, precise, and reliable rifles to our demanding American customers,” Francesco Valente, GM and COO of Beretta USA, said.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News No Comments »