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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 5 Comments »
September 1st, 2020

Can’t Find Varget for Sale? Then Try IMR 4166 Powder…

IMR 4166 Enduron Varget powder Hodgdon

Can’t find Hodgdon Varget on dealer’s shelves? then consider IMR 4166. This Enduron series powder is temp-stable and accurate. It also offers good load density and meters reasonably well. Importantly, it seems to be a good substitute for “unobtanium” Varget powder. On the official Hodgdon/IMR burn rate chart, IMR 4166 is between H4895 and Varget. Some of our Forum members have reported excellent results with IMR 4166 in cartridges that work with Varget, such as the 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, 6.5×47 Lapua, and .308 Win. One member wrote: “in my 6.5×47 … IMR 4166 gives speeds and accuracy pretty much exactly the same as Varget.” And other shooters have observed reduced copper fouling with Enduron series powders, so IMR’s Enduron anti-fouling chemistry does seem to work.

IMR 4166 Enduron Varget powder Hodgdon

IMR Enduron powder 4166 Varget RL15Where to Find IMR 4166 Powder
Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) and Midsouth Shooters both have plenty of IMR 4166 in stock right now. IMR 4166 performs well in the .308 Win (for bullets up to 175 grains) and in 6mm cartridges running the heavier (95-107gr) projectiles. IMR’s press release states: “IMR 4166 [has] a perfect burn speed for cartridges like the 308 Win/7.62mm NATO, 22-250 Remington… and dozens more.”

IMR 4166 is one of IMR’s Enduron family of propellants. Enduron powders are formulated to reduce fouling and to be stable across a wide temperature range. If you commonly use Varget, Alliant Reloder 15, Norma 203B, IMR 8208 XBR, or Vihtavuori N140, you might want to try IMR 4166. It is available right now at Midsouth Shooters and Powder Valley in both one-pound and 8-pound containers:

Midsouth IMR 4166
IMR 4166 – 1 LB. — $29.01
IMR 4166 – 8 LBS. — $208.34
Powder Valley IMR 4166
IMR 4166 – 1 LB. — $28.50
IMR 4166 – 8 LBS. — $206.00

For more information and LOAD DATA visit IMRpowder.com and navigate to the Hodgdon Reloading Center. You’ll also find official load data in the Hodgdon 2020 Annual Manual.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, News, Reloading 2 Comments »