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Old 02-18-2007, 12:39 PM   #1
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My .308 Match Load

My finalized .308 Match load:

-Lapua .308 Brass
-CCI BR-2 Primer
-46gr Varget
-Lapua 155gr Scenar (.505 BC mind you)

COL: 2.82"

Average Velocity: 2896 FPS
Extreme Spread: 7 FPS

100 yard 5 shot group with M700P: .5" (and I'm blaming my factory barrel entirely for this; Black Hills 175gr load shoots .52")

It should, in theory, be just barely supersonic and retain 390 ft/lbs at 1400 yards. That is something fierce for a .308 Win, methinks. The load will feed and cycle in an AR-10 carbine despite its .02" over length, but I haven't done any major tests with that setup yet. My friend wants to try it in his LTR, hopefully get a chance to next weekend.

My basic premise with this load was to have something that'd safely function and feed in any decent modern .308 (the major semi-auto guns and any bolt action) used for precise shooting without being gear and environment finicky. It has shown no over-pressure signs in the two guns it was shot in.

Also, I have to mention, typically my group doesn't reload fired brass unless we're really bored. This is an expensive round to shoot frequently ($0.91 per pop in just materials) with the brass being the killer. So, if anyone wants once fired Lapua brass just let me know. I'll take just about whatever I can get on it as long as its not an utterly ridiculous steal; I'll even prep it if you want.

I'll post my process while I'm at it. I have friends help me when we're loading bulk so we keep a station and checklist kind of routine going. I'm one of the few, if not only, teen that has sizable social gatherings mistakable for parties based purely off of churning rounds out. From start to finish for this load (other loads we're slightly less nazi about):

-A General Briefing (and ordering pizza, figuring out what music goes on, etc)
-Station layout
-Inspection and Calibration of equipment

Case Prep:
-Visual Inspection of Cases (any case with a dent/bump however small is removed, cases with odd oxidation are picked out, the usual)
-Case Tumble and very, very light lube
-Full Length Resize
-Trim to regular .308 Winchester Spec
-Neck Turn
-Neck Chamfer
-Primer Pocket Uniforming
-Neck Chamfer
-Case Weighing (+/- .5 gr Tolerance)
-Case Tumble and Polish (Two Cycles)

Case Priming:
-Primer Quality Control Check (no measurable weight difference from "normal" group and visually perfect)
-Primer Seating
-Primer Sealing

Powder Charge:
-Powder Filtration (Removing extreme size abnormalities)
-Individual Charge Weighing (which I always confirm from scale reading and visually; no tolerance for anything)
-Case Charging

The Bullet:
-Visual, Weight, Meplat, and OAL Inspection (no tolerance for anything)
-Precise Orientation over case (I used to have a bad, bad habit of ruining cases be being sloppy here. I have since resolved the issue)
-Seating

Final Quality Control:
-Visual Inspection
-OAL check (no tolerances, it has to be 2.82")
-Weight Inspection (only +/- .5gr Tolerance, same as the case)

-Boxing

Usually at this point with everything we load, everyone starts poi-dancing all over the place and I clean everything up after everyone leaves

thoughts?
 
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Old 02-18-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Well it could be the barrel but I'd think you ought to be able tog et tighter groups than that.

Have you tried the Sierra or Hornady bullet in that weight?
 
Old 02-18-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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Not in 155, the BCs are poor for the weight outside of the Lapua 155 (which has a higher BC than 175gr SMKs).

168gr and 175gr SMKs in the Black Hills and 168gr FGMM both produce groups ranging from just a tad over .5" to .6," hence why I think the barrel just needs replaced. I've registered for a small sniper-comp coming up, so I'll probably shoot off the rest of my BH stash in the next local benchrest meet and the competition, send the gun off to GAP to get a 5R thrown on it. Then I can start with new data and a barrel I know will last forever and shoot well.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRkWoLf
My finalized .308 Match load:

-Lapua .308 Brass
-CCI BR-2 Primer
-46gr Varget
-Lapua 155gr Scenar (.505 BC mind you)

COL: 2.82"

Average Velocity: 2896 FPS
Extreme Spread: 7 FPS

100 yard 5 shot group with M700P: .5" (and I'm blaming my factory barrel entirely for this; Black Hills 175gr load shoots .52")


I'll post my process while I'm at it. I have friends help me when we're loading bulk so we keep a station and checklist kind of routine going. I'm one of the few, if not only, teen that has sizable social gatherings mistakable for parties based purely off of churning rounds out. From start to finish for this load (other loads we're slightly less nazi about):

-A General Briefing (and ordering pizza, figuring out what music goes on, etc)
-Station layout
-Inspection and Calibration of equipment

Case Prep:
-Visual Inspection of Cases (any case with a dent/bump however small is removed, cases with odd oxidation are picked out, the usual)
-Case Tumble and very, very light lube
-Full Length Resize
-Trim to regular .308 Winchester Spec
-Neck Turn
-Neck Chamfer
-Primer Pocket Uniforming
-Neck Chamfer
-Case Weighing (+/- .5 gr Tolerance)
-Case Tumble and Polish (Two Cycles)

Case Priming:
-Primer Quality Control Check (no measurable weight difference from "normal" group and visually perfect)
-Primer Seating
-Primer Sealing

Powder Charge:
-Powder Filtration (Removing extreme size abnormalities)
-Individual Charge Weighing (which I always confirm from scale reading and visually; no tolerance for anything)
-Case Charging

The Bullet:
-Visual, Weight, Meplat, and OAL Inspection (no tolerance for anything)
-Precise Orientation over case (I used to have a bad, bad habit of ruining cases be being sloppy here. I have since resolved the issue)
-Seating

Final Quality Control:
-Visual Inspection
-OAL check (no tolerances, it has to be 2.82")
-Weight Inspection (only +/- .5gr Tolerance, same as the case)

-Boxing

Usually at this point with everything we load, everyone starts poi-dancing all over the place and I clean everything up after everyone leaves

thoughts?

dw when you seperate out the dinted and discolored cases all you are doing is costing yourself money for no real reason.

by not fire forming your cases to your rifle you are costing yourself accuracy.

by full length sizing cases you are costing yourself accuracy. when sizing cases for accuracy you should resize once fired brass and only neck size for consistancy. redding make a really good set of dies for this. buy using standard dies to size with any gains you can get from turning necks will be canceled out.

when you resize in a standard die the rounds can not be assumed to be straight and to function in semi-auto rifles, the dies to use for them are small base dies.

weighing cases to 0.5 gr tolerances is a waste of time if yopu weigh the finished round to the same tolerances. you are eliminating rounds due to tolerance stacking that will not effect accuracy.

as for priming and segregating by weight is a waste of primers, money and cci is not known for the gilt edge consistancy from lot to lot.

Powder Filtration (Removing extreme size abnormalities) is done by the factory and is a waste of time for the average target shooter.

-Individual Charge Weighing (which I always confirm from scale reading and visually; no tolerance for anything) a good thing, but it will be of no use if other accuracy problems are not addressed when loading.

-Weight, Meplat, and OAL Inspection (no tolerance for anything)
weight, meplat, and oal inspection will not gain enought extra 0.000" if other thing are not done. if you are shootng serria bullets you need to trim the meplat then weigh for load segragation. the base of the boatail needs to be checked for consistance and seperated for loading.

-Precise Orientation over case (I used to have a bad, bad habit of ruining cases be being sloppy here. I have since resolved the issue)
this issue can be resolved by using straight line dies. if precise orientation is causing accuracy problems then you need to check rounds for bullet run out. 0.001 to 0.002 " of run out will nat affect accuracy in the type of rifle you shoot.

OAL check (no tolerances, it has to be 2.82") the oal of the round will not effect accuracy in your case due to bullet jump to the rifling. your oal coud vary as much as 0.02 and it would not effect the jump that the bullet takes.

dw you seem to be trying to squeak out all the accuracy you can from your rifle. your on the right track but you need to get your left foot on the tracks also. as for not using brass more that once you are the one that is loosing out and spending more money than is necessary to accomplish what you want. i have rifles that will shoot factorie ammo really good but when you trilor ammo to the rifle it shoots just balls out. give youself a pat on the back for trying it more than a lot can say there trying when they reload. i hope what i have written helps out i know it won't hurt to try it.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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Neo- I think ha wants a load he can use in more than one rifle in a pinch. that's why he is FL resizing his brass.

Dw- You are probably right about the barrel. That's one of the 1st Remy barrels I've heard about that won't group under .5MOA with handloads though. Both Remmy's I had: A Sendero .300WinMag and a standard 700 .308 would both cut paper +/-.25MOA.
Freaky thing the .308 was doing close to that with SPEER 125gr "TNT" HP's.


BTW- I'll have to try some of those Lapua bullets too.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
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NH,

Thanks for the reply.

I take out the nicked/dented and odd oxidized (not just discolored but like a pattern indicating material dissimilarity) cases as I've found my ES goes way down when I do. My first loads that I ever made in my life had an ES of 36, now I'm down to 7 with this .308 load. The case discarding and the powder filtering has gone a long way with helping that as well. With the powder, there are some sizable pieces and a bit of ultra-fine powder in every container I've ever purchased.

With these scenars I'm running, I've never actually had to discard/remove anything. I'm really happy with the quality of these projectiles.

My thoughts for stacking tolerances is that I can pick stuff off my "assembly line" before I waste thought or energy on what's already a defect, and I also know where the weak link is.

My dies are the RCBS "Gold Medal" package.

As per fireforming, neck sizing, etc, I and a few select others intend use this load in multiple weapons, and it becomes a logistics issue with multiple loads or loads based on just one rifle. As long as we can keep accuracy at or below 1/4 MOA in the good barrels and at least 1/2 MOA in factory stuff, all we care about is it being consistent in the wind and reliable.

Also you mentioned sizing taking out the neck turning advantage. I start with
brand new just came out of the bulk box Lapua cases and then go through the routine so the turning is after the sizing. We don't reload these; hence why I've offered brass for sale at just about what anyone wants to offer me thats on the short side of reasonable.
Can you educate me more on loading for semi-autos and the differences and contrasts involved? The die I've got seems to be working fine but I haven't done any extreme testing yet that'd be conclusive of reliability.

Now, if I ever get serious into benchrest (we have local events every month here) you better believe I'll be fireforming and employing similar high-end techniques.
 
Old 02-18-2007, 08:15 PM   #7
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Ed,

You were getting close to 1/4 MOA with Speer TNTs? Damn... sweet. I bet your local small game population loved you. What were they chronoing out at?

I'm actually really impressed with the factory barrel putting out around 1/2 MOA with decent ammo. I've only ever personally seen worse. I've also learned more about shooting with this gun in its from the factory form than any other weapon I've ever had. I'm most pleased with the weapon as a whole.

Btw, you were correct in your comment to NH; and if you try some Lapua 155s please give us a report. I wonder how they work with others and what loads people have concocted for them. For such a promising projectile it seems so few people use them.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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ed if he is going to be using the load for different rifles his load of 46.0 grs of varget is on the high side for gas guns. most 7.62x51 and .308 factory gas guns are regulated for a load no matter what bullet weight for a 50,000 psi peak chamber pressure. his load is about 2 grains high according to the manuals. this is putting his chamber pressure in the 60,000 + psi range. ar-10's and m1a's are regulated for 50,000 psi. the higher pressures can cause really big problems in them. this can be from extreem wear to explosive failures. ballisticly a 155gr or 150 gr bullets should not exceed 2750 fps, which puts the load in the 42 grain area for varget. in my m1a's i shoot 41.5 grs of imr 4895 and a 168 gr bullet, it's not hot for these rifles, but only for these rifles, and it doesn't apply to all m1a's. dw the load your using is for palma type of bolt rifles to keep the bullet ballistic at 1000 meters. you would be better of to use a heaver bullet and less chamber pressure, than to try and push a palma style bullet in a gas gun. just my own thinking on the subject.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
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You were getting close to 1/4 MOA with Speer TNTs? Damn... sweet. I bet your local small game population loved you. What were they chronoing out at? DW- Out of that Rem 700 2900FPS out of a 22" barrel, these were not loaded to Max. . [ I was using them on coyotes at farly close range so I was not concerned with drop that much.]

I'm actually really impressed with the factory barrel putting out around 1/2 MOA with decent ammo.

Btw, you were correct in your comment to NH; and if you try some Lapua 155s please give us a report. I wonder how they work with others and what loads people have concocted for them. For such a promising projectile it seems so few people use them.[I think the main deal with that is lack of promotion of the product.]
 
Old 02-19-2007, 11:45 AM   #10
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NH,

Could my lack of an obvious problem be simply because I have a Noveske AR-10; hence a really top notch/durable piece? If we ran this in say, an M14SE clone (which we don't have, I'm just throwing this out there as a "top notch M1A" example) it would go kapoof? How about a tuned FAL?

I'm not even getting mild primer cratering or mild pressure signs of any sort. The AR-10 didn't seemingly lag or abnormally launch brass.

Its for tactical and sniper type matches, btw. I also think this bullet would yaw really nice due to the construction and sheer length if it hit a living target.
 
Old 02-19-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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DW the 7.62x51 AkA .308 winchester is famous for not overtly showing pressure signs. when i first started shooting the .308 i didn't believe what i was being told about it not showing pressure signs till it was to late. so i decided to see for myself i quit trying to get it to be hard to extract or give me primer extruding into the firing pin hole at 51 grs of 3031. i have no idea what the pressures were but i can gurantee that they were way up there past 60,000 psi. it never once showed any signs of pressure problems, even though i new the pressure was out the roof. the load was so compressed that if i left a loaded round on the bench after loading it for more than a couple of minutes the bullet would push out of the case and i couldn't chamber it. i don't mean to dis your ar-10 but it is no stronger than a like rifle made by another manufacturer. i just would like to see you not get hurt in the search for the ultimate load. when it comes to reloading it is better to error on the low pressure side then the high pressure side. if you had ever seen someone that had a rifle blow up in there face it would be easier to understand. lol, be safe and have fun.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRkWoLf
Also, I have to mention, typically my group doesn't reload fired brass unless we're really bored. This is an expensive round to shoot frequently ($0.91 per pop in just materials) with the brass being the killer. So, if anyone wants once fired Lapua brass just let me know. I'll take just about whatever I can get on it as long as its not an utterly ridiculous steal; I'll even prep it if you want.

How much brass do ya have? I'll take it!

Last edited by spurrit; 09-28-2007 at 10:14 PM.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 10:43 PM   #13
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I suggest that you take samples from the "good" brass and the "bad" brass and load them up equally, weighing and measuring everything about them. start a logbook for these test lots and chrono every shot. log the results and use the computer and compare all the different factors OAL, weight, discoloration, etc. You should be able to trend out which of those things are causing the most variance in accuracy from the load. Then you'll know what really matters to check and what doesn't.

I suspect you're overkilling some stuff and missing where the problem really lies with your ammo.

btw, my suggestion is more work that I'm willing to go thru at this time, but I'm confident you're a better long range shooter at your young age than I am at mine.

That's meant as a real compliment.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 11:12 PM   #14
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Aslan,

I can't believe I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks for showing me the light. I've been planning for some far out testing on some other things, though simply doing what you posted can make a massive tangible difference. When I have some solid data across various weapons and cartridges I'll post em.

Thank you as well for your compliment, I'm honored.
 
Old 09-29-2007, 05:39 PM   #15
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This thread, which I missed earlier, has been a real eye-opener for me. I don't have the time or money for real accuracy so I just learn from reading about it. Someday soon - maybe. Thanks to all.

RIKA
 
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