Unlike our man Nick, I’m a bit of a Johnny Come Lately to the whole 300 BLK thing. He got in early and has been preaching it since day one. I sat back and waited, but now that I’ve done it the right way, I see the value. To truly maximize the cartridge, you really do need a short barreled rifle and a silencer.
Those two items checked off, you can happily get to plinking away with subsonic ammo, freed from the constraints of onerous hearing protection devices. But if you wanted to hunt with your new rifle, you would have needed to move up to a much zippier round. Zippier = louder. Louder = less fun.
To this point, only one other company has tackled the problem of creating reliably expanding bullets meant for low (~1000 fps) velocities. With the introduction of the 220 gr Ballistic Tip from Nosler, you can now make that two companies.
The Nosler 220 gr RNBT was previously only available as a cobranded Noveske product at $2.00+ per round. Handloaders stamped their feet and made enough noise (my words not Nosler’s) that the Bend, Oregon based company decided to introduce the bullet as a standalone item. Nosler claims that at 1000fps, the RNBT, “reliably exhibits controlled, double-diameter expansion, 90% weight retention and 18” of penetration in ballistic gelatin.”
Color us skeptical for a host of reasons, but Nosler has promised us a case or two of projectiles for some thermal pig hunting this spring so we can do some real world testing.
The other “new” announcement at the 2017 SHOT Show was the introduction of Nosler’s Reduced Drag Factor (RDF) line of bullets designed for the precision rifle shooters of the world. The RDF line is designed as a pure match bullet with a sleek shape that promises to deliver high ballistic coefficients. As you know, higher ballistic coefficients mean less drop and less wind drift.
Nosler’s man on the ground, Zach, tells me that the RDF line is designed with a compound ogive that is insensitive to seating depth allowing for much easier load development. The other major differentiator, and one I was actually able to see on the show floor, is the consistently shaped meplat which Nosler claims is both smaller, and more consistent than any other bullet on the market today.
Both of these points should please match shooters as the cost of high BC bullets seems to be laborious load development, and for the really serious, meplat pointing and trimming. In case you want to read up on the topic, 6mmBR.com has an excellent article on the merits of pointing meplats. Read through it and you’ll understand why the factory taking care of this is such a big deal.
The RDF bullets are in stores now and being offered in the following calibers and weights.
- 22cal – 70gr.
- G1 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.416
- G7 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.211
- 6mm – 105gr.
- G1 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.571
- G7 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.280
- 6.5mm – 140gr.
- G1 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.658
- G7 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.330
- 30cal – 175gr.
- G1 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.536
- G7 Ballistic Coefficient – 0.270
All of the Nosler RDF bullets claim higher BCs than their equivalents from the Target line over at Berger. Given what I know about advertised BC, I’ll withhold judgement until I see some real world results, but if the claimed benefits of easier load development along with higher and more consistent BCs are true, this looks like a great product. Stay tuned for our review.