New Nosler RDF Bullet Initial Testing Begins by Jason Hale

In my previous article, I explained my intent with regards to load testing I wanted to complete in my current economy match rig, which is a Savage 10 repeater action, re-barreled with a Criterion 28” Stainless Select Match bull barrel chambered in .308 Winchester

Nosler supplied us with some brand spanking new .308 caliber 175 grain RDF bullets to review. Nosler intends to make this bullet a premier Competition bullet.

Quote from Nosler website

RDF Bullet – ( Reduced Drag Factor )

Flattest Shooting Match Bullet On The Market

For those wanting to squeeze the most performance from their competition rifle, Nosler’s new RDF (Reduced Drag Factor) match bullet line is the ideal choice. 

Nosler’s RDF line was designed from the ground up to provide exceptionally high BCs, which create the flattest trajectory and least wind drift possible. The keys to the RDF’s outstanding performance are Nosler’s meticulously optimized compound ogive and long, drag reducing boattail, which make handloading a snap and create an incredibly sleek form factor.  RDF bullets also have the smallest, most consistent meplats of any hollow point match bullet line, so there is no need to point or trim tips. 

Highest B.C.’s, smallest meplat, tighter groups – Nosler RDF.

Unquote

 

I was excited to see if the bullet would fit seamlessly into my current loading diet of Varget powder.  The accuracy results were pretty good, but at velocities that were a bit on the slow side unsurprisingly; great bullet, but as the data demonstrates, the bullet/powder combination choice may not be as accurate in my barrel.  I’m pretty sure that if I continue to experiment with powders that I would find one that would be extremely accurate with the Nosler RDF with my barrel.

175 Nosler RDF with Hodgdon’s Varget

Charge Weight Group Size Velocity
40.0 0.784” 2445
41.0 0.435” 2491
41.5 0.756” 2546
42.0 0.943” 2591
42.5 0.851” 2629

Bullet distance to rifling: 0.015”

Following this first test I decided to back off further from the rifling and at 0.045” off and way off loaded at mag length, and repeat some of the testing.

There was no discernible increase in accuracy. But what was missing here was speed! I needed a faster bullet to buck the wind. I an searching for a combination in my rifle to deliver a faster bullet too.

Testing with other powders is needed to fine tune the bullet and barrel combination and that is getting under way. Case in point, I had a bullet from another top manufacturer and was having a tough time getting sub-moa or better groups when I tried a certain powder it was like magic and the bullets grouped extremely well.

 

More to Come!

This entry was posted in Bullet Tests and Reviews., Competition, Rifle Tests by Ed Hale. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game
such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.

3 thoughts on “New Nosler RDF Bullet Initial Testing Begins by Jason Hale

  1. Interesting results with the RDF. In the earlier post you mentioned trying to run the Berger 185 Juggernaut. For builds running 185+ gr. bullets I normally recommend looking into Criterion’s .308 Win F/TR reamer. It offers a slightly longer freebore (.168 vs. .090 on the SAAMI reamer) allowing you to seat the bullets a bit further out. The standard .308 Win reamer tends to limit case capacity a bit with the heavier, longer bullets.

    • I purchased the barrel from Northland SS with the standard reamer dimensions and as demonstrated in the article, had sub optimal results with Varget, however, once I changed powder selections the groups shrank drastically (IMR 4064) to 1/4″ groups. The barrel is fantastic BTW.

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