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bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
10487 posts

308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
I figured asking the OB would be the best way to get some good advice.

I've been reloading pistol and rifle rounds for a while but am just starting to delve into 308 since I am finishing up an AR10 build.

Any advice for good powder/bullet combinations? I really like Barnes TTSX bullets for hunting and will likely start with the 150s and 168s to work up some loads. I am also open to some general accurate loads that may not be hunting-focused. My desire is sub-MOA accuracy.

TIA


ArkBengal
LSU Fan
Benton, AR
Member since Aug 2004
1321 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Most seem to think the 168 and 175 grain pills are best for longer range accuracy


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Timmayy
LSU Fan
Baton rouge
Member since Mar 2016
1159 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
My hunting load that I am piggybacking as my range load due to the sale that I got on the round and wanting to not have to switch between multiple sets of trajectories.
Gun: 20" tikka t3x lite with omega attached
165gr accubond
46gr of varget-max load (by and large the best powder for 308)
Lapua brass
2760fps standard deviation of 6fps
.77" @ 100 yards averaged over 10 3 shot groups.

This load and gun combo have taken 2 pigs one being over 200 lbs. 1 220lb buck, 1 160lb buck at 288 yards, 3 does. No animals have taken a step.

The go to load for most people is 44-46gr of varget.

Ramshot TAC is a comparable powder where you might get a little higher velocity but it's rumored to be pretty temp sensitive whereas varget is not.

Varget can be hard to find but definitely worth it.

If you are shooting out of 18" ar-10 I would debate shooting 150gr boolits to help get a little more velocity out of the shorter barrel and maybe gaurentee a little better expansion. I was debating until I finished my load development with the 165gr and saw the velocity I was getting.
This post was edited on 2/28 at 6:17 pm


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kengel2
LSU Fan
Team Gun
Member since Mar 2004
12538 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
168,175 Sierra match king is going to be the favorites with the most data online. It's almost like we could pick a load and hit at 1000 first shot there is so much data.

Can also try the 185 Berger juggernaut.

For powder I used h4895 and varget.

I don't remember my powder weights, varget is very temperature stable so you shouldn't see a whole lot of shift between summer and winter months. Pretty good for hunting loads.




bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
10487 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Sounds like Varget is the go-to for 308. I prefer an extruded powder anyway so that’s good to hear. Most ball powders I’ve loaded in 223 have been a bit messy even if they meter a bit better than extruded ones.

I’m hoping my rifle likes some type of 150gr so I can keep velocity up. What interests me about the TTSX is that since it’s all-copper it will be longer and add to the accuracy despite the twist rate favoring heavier pills. I guess every rifle is an individual so I just gotta get out there and see.

Thanks for the suggestions.


bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
15627 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
What’s the twist rate on your barrel?

Faster twist is needed to stabilize heavier, longer bullets.

Barnes TSX all copper bullets are longer than their copper jackets counter parts. For hunting they are amazing.

I got the best groups with 42g IMR 4895 and Hornady 168 SST for hunting loads. For target I had the best with 155gr AMAX and I thin 43.5 gr of imr 4895


bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
10487 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
1:10 twist. But I’ve seen with some barrels that they shoot well regardless of bullet weight. For example, rock river ARs are known for excellent accuracy with heavier bullets despite being 1:9 barrels.

Overall I realize every rifle is an individual so I just gotta do some experimenting.


cdogwinn
LSU Fan
Prairieville, LA
Member since Mar 2016
114 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
I reload the ttsx for several rifles and they all like a lot of jump to the lands so make sure you play with seating depth when working up a load.


NASA_ISS_Tiger
LSU Fan
Huntsville, Al via Sulphur, LA
Member since Sep 2005
6622 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Following this thread.


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bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
15627 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
I have used Varget and get very good results but the barrel that I had preferred 4895. I had really good accuracy but I know that the barrel could have done better.

That’s the fun thing about reloading to me. So many variables effect the accuracy. Just gotta get out there and shoot.

I switched that gun to a 6.5 cm and it’s just stupid. At 100yds I can easily hit a dime.


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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
4747 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Congratulation on a new project, bapple.
The 308 Win is a very good gun to load for. As long as one's using the appropriate barrel twist, bullet and powder, it's hard to get a bad load. I load for two 308's, my son's Savage bolt action rifle and my Savage Striker handgun (14" barrel). I use different bullet/powder combinations for each gun. All my loads shoot MOA or less w/ acceptable velocity. The rifle loads use 2 different bullets, the 150 gr Sierra flat base spitzer and the 150 gr Nosler AccuBond, both w/ Reloder 15. The handgun loads are the 125 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (Reloder 15), 125 gr Hornady SST (H4895), 125 gr NAB ((Reloder 15) and 150 gr Horrnady SST (H380). If you're going to be deer/hog hunting and have a 20" barrel, I'd suggest loading a 150 gr bullet. I'd prob first try the 150 gr NAB. As far as powders, it's hard to go wrong as long as you're using medium-fast burning powders like H4895, RL 15, H380 and Bl (C)-2. A recent Hornady load manual says" "The 308, as a rule, is not finicky as to the type of powder that works well in int_another reason for its popularity. In our test rifle, all powder listed, gave more than acceptable results, with IMR 4064 and Varget providing the rest results through the range of bullets." I'd check out the loading manuals (many have load data online) for specific load data for each powder.

Start w/ an appropriate powder, bullet, primer (I always use Rem 9 1/2. Personally, I've not found significant improvements in accuracy/velocity by changing primers unless changing to benchrest primers) and quality brass (I find myself using Lapua brass more and more. Yes it's more expensive, but the quality is vastly superior to everything else). Buy one pound of whichever powder you prefer and start loading. If accuracy is promising but not quite there, if not using Lapua brass, I'd next try using some benchrest brass preparation techniques (checking neck concentricity, deburring the flash hole and uniforming the primer pocket); if using Lapua brass, I doubt you'll get much accuracy improvements w/ these extra steps. Once you've settled on the powder, buy a 5# or 8# keg of powder, depending on how much you'll shoot. It can be an annoyance reworking up a load every time you buy a new 1# powder of a different lot from the prior can.
This post was edited on 3/2 at 1:14 pm


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Clames
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2010
8473 posts
 Online 

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
quote:

Sounds like Varget is the go-to for 308.


Varget is an easy answer but not the best. Have had way better results with IMR 4895 and AA 2520 (especially with 155gr Palmas).


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bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
10487 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
My seating depth is pretty much fixed since I am using AR10/SR25/LR308 mags. Just gonna vary the bullets and powder charges.

After a trip to Cabela’s here’s what I left with:

Hornady Black factory loads - 168gr A-max
Hornady Superformace factory loads - 150gr SST
Nosler 150gr Ballsitic Tip (x100)
Barnes 165gr TTSX (x50)
1 pound IMR 4064
1 pound Reloader 15

Image: https://i.imgur.com/4o1K7uI.jpg


And here is my broad work-up to try and narrow what my rifle likes:

Image: https://i.imgur.com/uQw6trC.jpg


Damn Tiger, you really like RL15! Happy that with Cabela’s limited supply of powder I was able to get some. And good to hear that IMR
4064 is a good powder as well.

I’m actually using some old once-fired range brass I picked up years ago and it’s nato spec so the walls are thicker. I know that’ll reduce my case capacity but I’m going for a broad range first and will narrow it when I find what my gun likes. For what it’s worth, the loads I make for my brother (Remington 700 in 30-06) I used old M1 Garand military brass from the 70s and it shoots lights out with Superformance powder and Swift Scirroco 165gr.

Image: https://imgur.com/sCk00hC.jpeg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/5kC7WLw.jpg
This post was edited on 3/1 at 10:42 pm


saintsfan1977
West Monroe, from Cajun country
Member since Jun 2010
3336 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
150s using Varget should be around 47.8

168gr bullets with Varget should be around 46.0gr

175gr bullets using Varget is 45gr.

These 3 have been proven in most firearms. Granted the bullets weren't likely Barnes, the powder amount should be close. I got these from the optimum charge weights. Good luck.




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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
4747 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Looks like you're off to a good start, bapple! That's a nice looking 30-06 load you've got. Yeah, RL 15's been a good powder for me having used it extensively since the early 90's. OTOH, I used H4895 and Varget a lot in other rounds, especially the 7-08. RL 15 and Varget both meter a lot better than H4895. But 4895 is a better to use for reduced and youth rifle loads. 6-7 years ago I bought what should be a lifetime supply (>20#) of a number of powders, including 8# of H4895, 5# of RL 15, 4# of Varget and 8# of H110.

Be sure and keep us updated!


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10
Timmayy
LSU Fan
Baton rouge
Member since Mar 2016
1159 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
I would just look at the temp sensitivity.

I do worry about it with the drastic swings we see


saltwaterdawg
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Nov 2016
203 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
My go to recipes for the 308 are as follows
308 AR 10, 42.5 grains of H4895 pushing a 168 boattail
308 bolt. 44.5 grains of Varget pushing a 150 game king


bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
10487 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
I’ll give this thread a bump for an update.

I’m slowly starting to find what my rifle likes and here are my findings so far:

1. Medium profile barrels heat up quickly so I’ve slowly been taking my time a bit more between load changes. It always seems I have two bullet holes touching and the third one flies out a bit.

2. The barrel seems to shoot more accurately as I put more rounds through it. A few posters indicated this would happen so it’s nice to see it come to fruition

3. My rifle seems to like lighter 150gr bullets versus the 165-168 pills I’ve tried. So far the best I’ve gotten is around 1” with Nosler 150gr ballistic tip over 44gr of Varget (pics at end of post). It also shot factory Hornady Superformance 150gr A-max rounds a little over 1”.

4. My rifle shot the 165gr Barnes TTSX decent (about 1.25”) but seeing that it favors the lighter stuff, I’m thinking of trying their 150s.

5. Any tips you guys have to streamlining this process is appreciated (when to clean, time between shots, working up loads etc.).

Image: https://i.imgur.com/PiKg85L.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/VHX7Oyg.jpg


ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
4724 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
quote:

Any tips you guys have to streamlining this process is appreciated

Shoot better


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20
TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
4747 posts

re: 308 Reloaders: Advice Needed
Looks like you're doing well! Do you have a chronograph?

ETA: Tell us a little about your gun. I'm interested in the specs.
This post was edited on 3/27 at 8:19 am


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