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Best Handloads for Speer's New Impact Bullet

Speer's new Impact component bullet produced outstanding ballistic performance in handloads powered by IMR 4350 and Alliant Reloder 17 powders.

Best Handloads for Speer's New Impact Bullet

Speer’s new Impact rifle bullet is the company’s first polymer-tipped rifle bullet. The .30-caliber 172-grain component bullet performed exception- ally well in Lane’s .30-06 handloads. 

Speer has been in the bulletmaking business since 1944. HOT-COR, Gold Dot, Fusion, DeepCurl, Grand Slam, and TNT labels have described the construction and performance of many rifle and handgun projectiles developed by Speer. However, just recently the company introduced its first tipped rifle bullet. For now, the new Impact product line includes only three 6.5mm and .30-caliber SKUs, but other calibers are planned. Jeff Williams, the product engineer responsible for the new Impact bullet, said it’s essentially derived from Fusion technology, and as I said earlier, it is the first Speer bullet to have a polymer tip. It also has a prominent, 8-degree boattail. A less noticeable feature is the sleek, hybrid ogive profile. Measured ballistic coefficients are significantly greater for the Impact bullet, contributing to enhanced external and terminal ballistic characteristics.

new-speer-impact-bullet-loads-02
The new Impact bullet features a polymer tip, an ultra-sleek hybrid ogive profile, and an 8-degree boat-tail. Photo courtesy Speer.

These changes complement the proven scheme of electrodepositing pure copper on a swaged lead/antimony alloy core. The heat-resistant Slipstream tip is made from the same material used in Federal’s Trophy Tip and Terminal Ascent bullets; however, the actual design configuration is different. Williams tells me the leading section of the tip breaks free instantly on impact, leaving a hollow tube that channels the ensuing hydrostatic force to ensure immediate and controlled expansion. Testing has indicated adequate expansion can occur at 200 to 300 fps lower terminal velocities compared to other well-known hunting bullets. These new bullets are available as components for handloading and also in Remington’s new Premier Long Range rifle ammunition. Vista Outdoor acquired Remington ammunition three years ago, and it’s an integral part of the Federal, CCI, Alliant, Speer, and RCBS group of brands.

The three current Impact bullets are a 6.5mm 140-grainer and two 0.308-inch bullets weighing 172 and 190 grains, respectively. I obtained samples of the .30-caliber 172-grain Impact bullets and prepared the handloads listed in the accompanying chart. I used the recommended load data enclosed with the bullets and also consulted with Jon Langenfeld, Remington’s R&D manager. He suggested trying IMR 4350. I did so and also assembled and fired a few rounds loaded with Reloder 17. The reloading process was routine, and the boattail feature helped ensure each bullet was properly aligned in the case mouth when seated. I weighed each powder charge to enhance the ballistic results. I also received a couple boxes of .30-06 Remington Premier Long Range factory-loaded ammo, and I included those results in the chart as well. I adjusted the overall length of my handloads to match that of the factory rounds (3.32 inches).

new-speer-impact-bullet-loads-03

The Remington factory-loaded ammo recorded an average velocity of 2,764 fps with a standard deviation (S.D.) of 17. That’s excellent. I nearly duplicated that velocity with a handload consisting of 55.5 grains of IMR 4350, and it was even better ballistics-wise with an S.D. of just 3. Its accuracy was outstanding, producing a 0.78-inch group. The recommended Reloder 17 charge was close to 1.5 grains less; however, its recorded velocities were 100+ fps faster. And the accuracy results were very good. As you can see from the chart, the Remington factory-loaded ammunition with the new Impact bullet performed well, but it wasn’t as accurate in my rifle as most of the handloads. However, coincidentally, just before wrapping up this column, I was conversing with writer Bryce Towsley. He had tested samples of the new Remington Premier Long Range ammo, and his favorite .30-06 rifle produced the best results of any factory load he’d ever shot in it.




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