May 20th, 2012

.284 Shehane for Long-Range Competition

7mm has become the caliber to beat in F-Class open division. The dominant performances of UK shooters with 7mm cartridges at the 2009 F-Class World Championship, following the South African team’s success with 7mms at the previous Worlds, has shown the strength of 7mm chamberings for long-range competition. After losing to the Team Britain, the U.S. F-Open Team decided to switch to a 7mm for the next World Championship. While most of Britain’s top F-Class shooters were using WSM-based 7mm cartridges, you don’t need a short magnum to enjoy the wind-bucking abilities of a 7mm.

High-BC 7mm BulletsWith a standard .284 Winchester, or better yet, a .284 Improved, you can drive the high-BC Berger 180gr bullets to competitive velocities. A .284 Improved will shoot well inside a 6.5-284, and you’ll probably get 40-60% longer barrel life (at least 2000 rounds vs. as little as 1200).

The straight .284 Win is a good cartridge, but in most barrels, it can’t push the 180s at 2900-2950 fps velocity levels*. A lot of barrels will top out at about 2850. That’s where the .284 Shehane comes into play. The .284 Shehane is a slightly modified wildcat that retains the same 35° shoulder as the parent case. However, by blowing the sidewalls out 0.010″, the .284 Shehane picks up about 3.3 grains of extra case capacity. That enhancement makes a BIG difference. The extra boiler room is enough to drive the 180s at 2900-2950 fps with H4831sc. With N560 or Reloder 17 you can go even faster.

Scotland’s Grant Taylor used the .284 Shehane to finish 3rd overall in the 2009 individual F-Class World Championships at Bisley, England. Grant reports: “I have a .284 Shehane and it’s very accurate with superb vertical spreads at 1000 yards. I have to thank Jim Hardy for putting me onto the caliber, it has awesome accuracy. I’m getting 2930-2950 fps with spreads in the 3-5 fps range. I use Hodgdon H4831sc powder, CCI BR2 primers, and pointed 180gr Bergers.”

7mm .284 Winchester Shehane

Forum member Jim Hardy has shot the .284 with great success. He tells us: “In my humble opinion, the .284 Shehane is the best balanced long range round there is — bar none. I (perhaps_ have shot more of this chambering than anyone else, and it has proven better than I ever expected. Here is why:

You have to shoot a 30 Cal magnum with a 240gr bullet to equal the performance of most 7mm chamberings with the 180 Berger VLD. With the .284 Shehane, you have a .308 bolt face, medium action, and Lapua brass. You use less powder than the 7 mags, and have great accuracy and ballistics even while fire-forming. The .284 Shehane shoots inside the 6.5 AND the straight 284, the 300 WSM, and the 300 Win Mag with less recoil. The .284 Shehane offers twice the competitive barrel life of the 6.5-284, an easy 2950 fps with H4831 SC, [and it] can run 3000+ with N560 and Reloder 17, which is right there with the 7mm WSM. What is not to love about the 284 Shehane? It is a no-brainer for long range — F-Class or Prone or 1000-yard Benchrest.”

*Some exceptional barrels chambered in straight .284 Win can reach 2900 fps with the 180s. Ryan Pierce, who recently set a 450-24X Pending F-Open record, has a 32″ Brux barrel that is delivering 2900 fps with the straight .284. However, Ryan acknowledges that his velocities are not typical: “A lot of .284 Win barrels top out at around 2850 fps with the 180s.”

Permalink Competition, Reloading 3 Comments »
January 22nd, 2012

SHOT Show: New Reloder 33 and Power Pro 1000 from Alliant

When Alliant’s Reloder 17 was introduced, it represented a real break-though in propellant technology. In some cartridges, Reloder 17 delivered significantly more velocity than any other propellant on the market. The secret was a new method of impregnating the powder kernels with burn-controlling compounds. This delayed the initial pressure spike, allowing a longer, more constant powder burn. This effectively delivered more energy over the powder’s full burn cycle, and the extra energy produced higher velocities than could be attained with conventional powders. READ Reloder 17 test report.

Alliant Reloder 33New Reloder 33 Delivers More Speed in Big Magnums
Now Alliant is introducing a new powder, Reloder 33, that uses the same kernel-impregnation technology first pioneered in Reloder 17. Alliant Reloder 33 is a new powder created by Rheinmetall Nitrochemie in Switzerland (Nitrochemie also makes Reloder 17). Like Reloder 17, Alliant’s new Reloder 33 powder employs a proprietary process by which the powder kernels are impregnated with burn-rate controlling elements. This delays the peak pressure spike and smooths out the pressure curve. Effectively, this allows the powder to deliver energy at a more constant rate, producing more overall velocity for the bullet — as much as 150 fps more than with any other powder. Reloder 33 was designed for the .338 Lapua Magnum but it is suitable for other large magnums and ultra-magnums.

In this video, Allliant’s Dick Quesenberry explains the properties of Reloder 33, noting that it should “raise the bar” of velocity for the .338 Lapua Magnum and other ultra-magnums. Outstanding velocities have been achieved in initial tests with the .338 LM. This has attracted the interest of the U.S. Military, which has already placed orders for Reloder 33 in bulk. Reloder 33 should hit the consumer market in mid-April to mid-May, the actual release date depending on DOT transport certification. Expect vendors to have the new powder in stock by the end of May, if not sooner.

Power Pro 1000 for High-Volume Reloaders
In addition to Reloder 33, Alliant is introducing Power Pro 1000. This is a new spherical (ball) powder with a burn rate similar to Alliant 10X. Power Pro 1000 is designs for varmint shooters and .223 Rem shooters who load large quantities of ammo on progressive presses. Power Pro 1000 meters exceptionally well through progressive press powder measures, and it should provide good load density in cartridges such as the .223 Remington. Alliant hopes to release Power Pro 1000 in early- to mid-April.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »