Nosler 85gr RDF

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by JBT, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. JBT

    JBT Gold $$ Contributor

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    Anybody used any of these bullets yet? Curious if there is a real gain over 80gr VLD’s.
     
  2. Bigguy1951

    Bigguy1951

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    I have not used them yet, but I do have a box of 140gr RDF, 6.5, in the closet. After reading extensively about them I am both excited and concerned. First I am excited as the bc from Nosler appears to be underestimated on some of the RDF's, not sure about the 85. Worried because they are becoming know for Random Damn Fliers. It does seem that they like a good jump. Let us know if you shoot them.
     
  3. JBT

    JBT Gold $$ Contributor

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    I most likely won’t try them. I’m building a .223 on a Broughton 1-7” and throating it for the 90gr VLD. I hope I can get it to shoot with the 90’s.
     
  4. Evlshnngns

    Evlshnngns Silver $$ Contributor

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    Anybody? Bueller....
     
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  5. bullseyeshtr

    bullseyeshtr

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    I have fired them in a RRA NM service rifle. Just did load work up will fire in a match in 3 weeks. They shoot great. Same load as 80VLD and set them 0.020 off the lands.
    I will give you feed back from what I see at the match.

    Garth
     
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  6. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    According to the numbers, they look about the same as Berger 90s. Probably gain some speed as well.
     
  7. bullseyeshtr

    bullseyeshtr

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    I got out and shot them at our High Power Regional in North Dakota on Saturday. They shot very well. I fired a 192 (94 and 98. 3rd highest 600 score for the day) with them at 600yds with a RRA NM A2 detachable carry handle with a Konus XTC on top. I was very impressed and they had less wind drift for sure. I shot them in the leg match as well on sunday and shot very well again in the wind only had 5.5 minutes on for 15mph full value wind.
    My load is 23.0 grs of IMR 4895, Rem 7 1/2 primer, WCC-69 brass, and OAL set to 0.020" off the lands.

    Hope this helps.

    Garth
     
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  8. McFred

    McFred

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    All of a sudden I'm interested in the 85gr RDFs (there are cosmetic blems on sale for 15.66¢ each right now). I ran the numbers and it appears that at my native elevation I can easily stabilize them in my 8 twist .223 Rem. So I'm looking for more data if anyone else has used them lately. Hopefully they're easy to get shooting well.
     
  9. mike mccormick

    mike mccormick Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have been wanting to try them in the valkyrie, but cannot find any. Did they quit making them??
     
  10. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    MIke - go to ammoseek.com, select "reloading", then specify .224" cal, "any" type bullet, 85 gr, and Nosler. It should pull up several sites that have the 85 RDFs in stock. As far as I can tell, Powder Valley, MidSouth, Vizards, and Natchez all appear to have them in stock.
     
  11. butler12

    butler12

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    Just wondering what twist rates are you shooting them with? I have a 22 dasher with a 1 in 8 twist I was hoping it might stabilize them.
     
  12. mao0720

    mao0720 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Their BC is not great for the weight when compared to good 80gr bullets like the hornady a-max, and good 90gr bullets like the sierra and berger. Also, the bearing surface is very long (I forget what the actual dimension is, I got it from nobler when the first came out). This tells me I probably cant get them to the same speed as I can 80gr or 90gr bullets and will most likely have lower performance due to the lower BC and lower top velocity. Good to hear that some of you are getting good accuracy results with them. Ill probably be sticking to the 90gr Sierra, and the 88gr Hornady in my 223 rem.
     
  13. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    Actually, the BC of the 85 RDF is substantially better than most 80 gr offerings available. With an estimated G7 BC of ~0.245, it is about 8 to 10% better than most 80 gr bullets available, which typically run around 0.227 to 0.230. That is a substantial increase and is almost on par with Sierra's 90 gr SMK. In fact, after pointing they might even equal the BC of the 90 SMKs, which come pointed from the factory. Of course, being a lighter bullet, you can also probably push them noticeably faster than the 90s and gain a slight bit more performance as well. The real keys should be in how easily/well loads using this bullet can be tuned in, and how consistent it is.

    Edited to add: MidSouth has them on sale, so I just ordered a couple boxes to try out. This thread was the motivating factor; thanks for helping me spend more money LOL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  14. McFred

    McFred

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    I got mine from what appears to be a sort of Nosler outlet shop: Shooter's Pro Shop. Looking forward to trying them at the price point.

    At 1.135" published length and my elevation I should be able to stabilise them in one of my 9 twists. If not I have an 8 or 7 to test too.
     
  15. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    McFred, unless you're at well over 1000 ft elevation and/or 3000 fps velocity, you're going to want an 8-twist at the very least, a 7.5- or 7.0-twist would be even better in order to achieve the full intrinsic BC of this bullet.

    I received a couple boxes today and did a number of measurements. I'm pleasantly surprised at how consistent they seem to be. At 1.124" (avg), this Lot is a tick shorter than the reported OAL. FWIW - this bullet has a fairly long bearing surface, in fact, the bearing surface is slightly longer than that of the Berger 90 VLD. In addition, the meplats are absolutely TINY, even though the bullets are not yet pointed [by the manufacturer]. Nosler seems to have done a very, very good job with QC on the bullets in the Lot# I have. If they shoot as well as they measure up dimensionally, I will be very happy.
     
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  16. McFred

    McFred

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    I'm looking forward to testing them when I return from travel for work. I hope my lot are as dimensionally accurate as yours appear to be and that they shoot well.

    I typically shoot between 5250'-8300' and have the ability to get 85+ gr projectiles to 3400 or more. I have a 7tw Krieger that's tearing apart 95SMKs past 3300fps. I chamber my own barrels and have 7, 8 and 9 twist barrels to play with. I'm sure I'll find something that will work.
     
  17. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    At that elevation and velocity, you most likely can get away with a much slower twist than I can (~1000 ft elevation, 2900 fps). I didn't realize you were that far up in the clouds ;). I was pleasantly surprised at the consistency of the Lot of 85 RDFs I received. If they shoot well, I'm hoping that is also the rule of thumb with other Lot #s, as I'll probably buy a substantial number of them. I was also surprised to see how tight the meplats on these bullets are. I'm not even sure whether pointing them will be of any use, they're already so small.

    With respect to your jacket failures with the 95 SMKs, do you recall at what velocity you first began to observe that phenomenon? Was that the 3300 fps you referred to? I recently worked up a load for F-TR with the 95 SMKs in a rifle I have with a 6.8-twist barrel and a very long freebore. One of the reasons was because I've had an issue with jacket failure during a match using 90 VLDs in that rifle at approximately 2850 fps. I figured the much slower velocity I can get with the tuned 95 SMK load (~2750 fps) should alleviate the potential for jacket failure, even with a 6.8-twist barrel. Hopefully that turns out to be true. Once you've had a jacket fail during a match, shooting with that setup becomes a big confidence issue.

    Good luck with the 85s. Not sure when I'll have an opportunity to test them, we just had a big snowstorm blow through yesterday. I'll try to post my results here whenever I do, though.
     
  18. McFred

    McFred

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    RE SMKs, I don't have my data with me but all of my test loads were more than 3100 fps. I'm not sure when I started vaporizing them but it got worse with more velocity as you'd expect. I wanted to get the 95s up to 3200fps for cheating the wind at my local steel matches, but it's beginning to look like that won't work as intended. On the hottest summer days I might be able to get away with an 8 twist on the 95s but I have not yet tested them for accuracy or velocity on that barrel.
     
  19. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    FWIW - I just noticed something else yesterday about these bullets when estimating distance to touching the lands/CBTO/COAL. The bearing surface/BTO on this 85 RDF is LONG!!! At "touching" in a rifle with 0.220" freebore, the boattail/bearing surface junction is not very far above the neck/shoulder junction. Many have used PTG's 223 Rem ISSF reamer for shooting Berger 90 VLDs, which cuts 0.169" freebore. That is nowhere near enough throat for this 85 RDF. I would estimate that even 0.250" to 0.275" freebore would not be too much.
     
  20. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    Got out to do an initial QuickLoad calibration with the 85s today. IMO - this bullet most definitely shows some promise. Groups weren't bad, even with completely un-tuned charge weight or seating depth.

    I also carried out a little experiment where I pointed some of the 85s above and beyond the tiny and beautiful meplats that come from the factory. As it turns out, it wasn't an improvement. Below are the BC prediction results for unpointed and pointed 85 RDFs. G7 BCs were predicted from LabRadar velocity data for 10 bullets (each) at 0 and 55 yd using JBM Ballistics with the appropriate atmospheric inputs. Values shown are the mean of 10 determinations +/- SD.

    Un-pointed - 0.250 +/- .005
    Pointed - 0.248 +/- .005

    Given how good the points appear, I really didn't expect much from further modifying them. However, the more important reason for carrying out this test was really to determine how close the BCs in my hands were to Nosler's advertised G7 BC value of 0.245. I'd say their advertised value looks pretty good.
     
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