A month or so ago, I ordered powder. Haz-mat charges being what they are, I normally order several pounds at one time. The dealer had a new Alliant powder in stock, Power Pro 2000 MR so I decided to order a pound to see if it was any better than what I'm using in the .308 Winchester.
My .308 Winchester load uses Reloder 15 powder. Over the years I've gotten very good accuracy from RL15 and intend to keep using it. Indeed, one of the powders I ordered was a 4 lb jug of RL15. Still, I wanted to try the new powder because the Alliant company made some pretty fantastic claims about this new powder. When the powder order came in, I put the pound of the new powder on the shelf and forgot about it. This past weekend I decided to get it down and look at it. Alliant claims it's a spherical powder, but when I poured a little on a sheet of paper, it didn't look spherical. It looked like spherial powder that had been squished.
It's a shiny black color. I think that those gold-tones in the photo are artifacts from the flash. One of the claims that Alliant made is that new powder would push a 150 grain bullet to 2950 fps. Bullshit, I thought, that's .30-06 terrority. But, I had a box of 150 grain Hornady SST bullets and some match brass, so I prepped 24 cases. I loaded them in 0.3 grain increments from 49.3 to 51.4 grains and seated those 150 grain bullets to the SAAMI length of 2.800".
This morning I went out to the range and set up some 100 yard targets, then put the chronograph on the tripod. I sat down at the bench and started shooting. My Remington 700 has probably the longest lede in modern history. Bullets seated to the SAAMI standard length are no where near the rifling, so it's a pretty good jump to the lands, especially with those short 150 grain bullets. Group size wasn't quite as good as my Reloder 15, 165 grain load, but I noticed that as I increased the powder charges, the speed of the bullet increased quickly into what we normally see for .30-06 loads. I've made a handy-dandy table.
Then, when I got to 51.1 grains, something magical happened. All three shots touched. When I measured it later, the group size was just a tiny 0.58 inches.
Is that a fluke? Did all the stars align? I don't know. The following group, the fastest one I shot, measured a more rational 1.30 inches. You have to remember, this is a hunting rifle, just like it came from the factory. I haven't even floated the barrel.
That last 3-shot group sizzled across the chronograph at a smoking 2971 fps. The group opened to a classic 1.3" triangle. I looked at the primers and found nothing untoward. No flattening, no cratering.
I ran those numbers through my ballistics program. If I use that 51.1 grain load, and sight it 3" high at 100 yards, it will be dead-on at 250 yards and down just 4 inches at 300 yards.
Power Pro 2000 MR powder deserves another look.