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Old January 28, 2013, 07:05 PM   #1
VegaSSG32
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1000yrd load???

Can anyone tell me if this load out will produce an accurate .308 1000yrd round? first time loading, a friend told me this combo works great for him... Can anyone confirm?

175gr Berger
lapua brass
federal match primer or CCI bench rest
Hodgdon Varget powder
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Old January 28, 2013, 07:08 PM   #2
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Work from 42gn till you start to see pressure signs.You should see two different nodes.

If its the Berger VLD then you might want to try .010 off the lands.You want be able to mag feed but they should offer great accuracy.
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Old January 28, 2013, 11:15 PM   #3
Bart B.
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Yes, but I'd use 43 grains of IMR4064 and a Wolf primer.

Winchester cases will shoot just as accurate as the Lapua's will.

Be sure your barrel's groove diameter is a few 10 thousandths smaller than that Berger bullet, otherwise, accuracy won't be excellent to marvelous. And a 1:12 twist rifling is also about the best for such bullets shot from .308 Win. cases.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Varget seems to be "hit or miss" with some rifles. I couldn't get it to work and moved to IMR4064 which gave me an immediate shrinkage in group size (from around 1.5 to 2 MOA down to .75 to 1 MOA).

That was using CCI-BR2 primers and Winchester brass with a 168 SMK. I've been very impressed with the Wolf SRM primers I use in 223 that I'm thinking of ordering a sleeve of LR primers next time I make a mass purchase (if they are available).

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Old January 29, 2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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Good info, thanks for all in the input guys...
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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Varget is an excellent powder in the 308. My F class friends, some of whom are National F Class champs, one of which is on the USA F Class team, they are using 185 Bergers with Varget. The CCI benchrest primer is very popular. Lapua brass is very popular and as you have found out, hideously expensive.
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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42.3 gns RL-15 and 175 Serria work for me, And i use GM210M primers
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Old January 30, 2013, 12:39 AM   #8
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Bart B is correct. 175s work best all around but you can go to 190 gr. If you are rebarreling you don't want anything faster than 12 twist which will stabilize 190s to 1000 no problem. 168s will be stable to 900 and at 1000 they will show yaw but will still shoot well.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:09 AM   #9
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Eye herd ifen you load a .308 w/ varget the bullets will bounce-off a paper target @1000 yards.
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Old January 30, 2013, 08:23 AM   #10
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warningshot, your bouncing bullets off targets reminds me of what happened in the early 1970's when .223 Rem's and 5.56 NATO's were first used in competition. Folks handloaded their ammo with 52-gr. match bullets and didn't put much powder in the cases. When fired at 600 yard targets pasted on 1/2" thick hard cardboard backers, the slower ones stuck in the cardboard like tiny tacks. This was at a local club rifle range north a ways from San Diego, CA, as I remember.
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Winchester cases will shoot just as accurate as the Lapua's will.
And a whole lot cheaper.

Different guns like different components, should try a bit of everything to see what works for your gun.

A couple things that are constant, regardless of what components your rifle likes,

Case prep and bullet seating are critical in long range shooting.
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Old January 30, 2013, 12:01 PM   #12
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VegaSSG32,

If these are Berger's secant ogive VLD's, then read this note from Berger about finding the best seating depth. There is no one magic number; this depends on your individual chamber and throat dimensions and other load components.

The Lapua cases may or may not help. I believe it depends on how sensitive your particular rifle turns out to be to bullet tilt, as case neck thickness variations can cause runout on the concentricity gauge. Bart's proven empirically that this made no difference in Palma rifles using the Sierra Palma bullets. He also noted (IIRC; Bart, please correct me on this if I'm remembering incorrectly) that 0.003" bullet tipping didn't make a difference for those rifles on paper, either. But the secant ogive bullets seem to be touchier about this than tangent ogive bullets are, just as they are touchier about seating depth (see the Berger note; I think the two are related, but don't have hard proof at this time). This is why Berger introduced their new "Hybrid" design, with tangent ogive that transitions to a secant ogive beyond the point where the ogive meets the rifling. This improves self-alignment while still achieving reduced drag from the secant profile.

One thing for sure about the Lapua cases, if you run them through a standard sizing die with a standard expander, you are just as likely to pull their necks off axis as any other make, and at that point they don't help you fight bullet tilt any better than anyone else's case does. See this video on the Lee Collet die. You will need something like a separate Redding body die to size the case body down if you use the Lee collet die for the neck.

An alternative to the two-die sizing approach is to buy a Redding S type full length seater die, remove the expander (decap separately or put an undersized expander on it so it misses the inside of the neck) and then select a neck bushing that leaves your necks the right size inside for seating your bullets without an expander being necessary. Lapua brass is very good for this method as the neck thickness is very consistent.

If you have a chamber that is insensitive to bullet tilt, you may want to switch to Winchester brass because it has a little more powder capacity than Lapua for a little bit of added velocity.

If your chamber turns out to be bullet tilt sensitive, you will want to consider the Redding Competition Seating Die. It really does reduce runout. Some have claimed the same result with the less expensive Forster sliding sleeve die. The main difference is the Redding has a floating seater stem to encourage bullet self-centering where the Forster does not, but I have never done a side-by-side between them to compare results. The half sleeves, as are in the Hornady sliding sleeve die are reported not to work as nearly as well as either.

Before you invest a lot in expensive brass and special sizing and seating tools, frankly you would get a NECO gauge or an RCBS Case Master or other gauge system that would let me sort good cases out of new Winchester brass or I would get just get one box of the Lapua cases so you don't break the bank, then use them for initial testing. Get your best seating depth and load established, then drill a hole in your bench the size of the bullet. Stick maybe 16 cartridges. bullet-down in the hole and use your thumb to bend them until your runout setup on your gauge gives you 0.008" TIR (Total Indicated Runout; the range of swing of the indicator hand). This is twice the actual tilt off the case axis. Mark the high reading side on the case head with a Sharpie. Then use the hole to get another 16 rounds as perfectly straight as you can.

At the range, put up two targets. Alternate between them from the bench, putting the straight rounds into one target, and the bent rounds into the other, using the Sharpie mark to index each bent round 90° further around the clock in the chamber than the previous one fired was. Then look to seed if the group fired with the bent rounds is bigger than the one with the straight rounds. Pretty much, it's that simple. If it turns out your gun doesn't care how straight the ammo is, put the gauge away until you start working on a load for your next rifle.

Per what Hummer70 mentioned, I would stay away from 168 grain match bullets with 13° boattails. I have had the Sierra's go unstable in as little as 700 yards out of a 24" barrel and be unable to connect with a human silhouette popper at a measured 748 yards. At Mid Tompkins's long range firing school one year, a whole bunch of us, not knowing any better, brought those and none could even stay on paper at 800 yards with them. All it seems to take is a bit of crosswind, and that bullet's trajectory comes apart below about 1400 fps. Great bullet to 600 yards, but that's really all you can count on getting out of it.

Varget has been an excellent .308 and .30-06 powder for many, but I have to say I see occasional reports from someone who just never finds a sweet spot load with it for a particular bullet. I don't know why, but I do know that I don't see similar reports for IMR4064 in either .308 or .30-06. There always seems to be a good load that powder in those chamberings for bullets in the 150 grain to 200 grain range (assuming the gun is in good shape). IMR4064 seems to be more immune to charge weight error and temperature change in those two chamberings than other IMR powders I've tried, and is often better than many of the more modern formulations for temperature immunity.

The Tula primers Bart suggested are terrific and inexpensive. I've had some ridiculously low velocity SDs using them with IMR4064 and Varget, both. I'm talking single digits even into low single digits in a couple of test runs. A little harder to seat than average, but if you set your primer seater up to seat them about 0.004" deeper than where the anvil feet first touch down in the primer pocket (hard seating) they can be astonishingly consistent. I think Slamfire has a post showing the Wolf primers do much the same. I've seen it suggested they are made by the same plant, but haven't got verification of that.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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I've used Varget with different charge weights for 155's in four different .308 Win. case makes/types ranging in weight from 150 grains up to 170 grains with both large and small primers. Accuracy's been about 1/2 MOA at 600 with all of them in two different Palma barrel contours. Therefore, the sweet spot with Varget is more like a sweet range; it's pretty wide. It's been my experience with IMR4064 in .308 Win. cases that it also has a sweet range, not a spot. So did folks shooting it in 30 caliber handloads with new cases in their Garands; 'twas much more accurate than IMR4895. With the right powder, most any round will have a sweet range in my opinion.

I've found that powders with the lowest change in muzzle velocity for a 1/10th change in charge weight give the best accuracy. One way to find one is to look at the velocity change between the 100 fps velocity colums in Sierra Bullet's loading data, or any other that lists loads in 100 fps increments. Some powders cause 50% more increase in veocity with a 1/10th grain increase in charge weight compared to others 15 fps versus 10 fps. Do some comparisons between IMR powders 4895 and 4064; it's interesting.

And yes, stay away from both of Sierra's short tailed 30 caliber match bullets in 168 and 180 grain HPMK styles. Sierra originally made their 168 Int'l bullet with a short, 13 degree boattail for 300 meter free rifle use. It was great for that as well as match rifle use up through 600 yards. Sierra's first 180-gr. FMJBT match bullet had the longer 9 degree boattail as did their first 200-gr. FMJBT match bullet. These were great and when both were changed to hollow point HPMK versions, they shot even more accurate. A favorite use the 180 was to replace the 172-gr. bullet in 7.62 NATO match ammo with it then shoot matches winning them and setting records with M14's on the US Army Rifle Teams. Sierra changed their 180's boattail back to the 168's short one as a cost saving method. The US Army Team (and nobody else, either) no longer got good 1000 yard accuracy and contracted Sierra to go back to the old long boattail making special order bullets for them. Ever wonder why Sierra's 175 HPMK has a long tail? The ballistic engineers at Lake City Army Ammo Plant knew what boattail shape was best so that's what they asked for in replacing the Sierra 168 in their M852 match ammo.

Yes, Unclenick, runout under 3 thousandths is good enough to shoot 1/2 MOA all day long from good .308 ammo in great rifles fired by even better shooters.

Regarding Berger's secant ogive bullets compared to Sierra's tangent ogives on their match bullets and where they rest in the leade when chambered. I don't know if Berger did any tests with leade angles over a wide range to see if one enabled best accuracy compared to a short jump to leade distance their secant ogived bullets often need. I've a gut feeling that a leade angle less than 1 degree might work well with them seated into that leade. Reducing the 7.62 NATO chamber's leade angle is one reason that round shot the same bullets more accurate than the 30 caliber's leade angle; 2.5 degrees down to 1.5 degrees really worked out.

Kraig, case prep, other than turning necks to a .001" spread in thickness and sorting by weight to a 1% spread, in my and that of many other long rangers' opinions, isn't needed. Uniforming and deburring flash holes, sorting to exact weights and trimming to exact lengths has never proved to be mandatory. But it does make some folks feel better and nobody shoots better than they feel.
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Old January 31, 2013, 01:08 AM   #14
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Everything you want to know about shooting the 308 at 1000yds can be found here.
http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/
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Old January 31, 2013, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
The Tula primers Bart suggested are terrific and inexpensive. I've had some ridiculously low velocity SDs using them with IMR4064 and Varget, both. I'm talking single digits even into low single digits in a couple of test runs. A little harder to seat than average, but if you set your primer seater up to seat them about 0.004" deeper than where the anvil feet first touch down in the primer pocket (hard seating) they can be astonishingly consistent. I think Slamfire has a post showing the Wolf primers do much the same. I've seen it suggested they are made by the same plant, but haven't got verification of that.
Shush, there is a primer shortage on. If we keep on telling folks how good Tula primers are, there won't be any left for us!
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:21 AM   #16
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Bart,

You reminded me that the throating reamer I have for .45 Auto also stretches the leade angle out. My Goldcup's factory barrel, once fit by the old weld-up and scraping method and throated with that reamer, shot very well. This, despite the bore being half a thousandth out of round at the muzzle.



Also, Harold Vaughn made his own chamber reamers with just 0.75° throats, which he felt helped with accuracy.

This appears to be an example of the hole and cone principle, complicated by the softness of the bullet jacket relative to the barrel. Using a conical pin to force centering in a hole is an old geometric principle for locating and indexing things, like the tool head turrets on lathes, but they use hardened pins and hardened conical inserts for that. When you look at a soft bullet hitting a throat with a steep leade angle, you can just imagine the contact is too abrupt to steer the bullet to center before deformation occurs. A more gentle steering slope will meet with less inertial resistance. So it seems, for the secant ogives, that the ogive's angle of departure from the bearing surface may be too steep, like using a steeper throat angle, except it's on the bullet. That may be why the hybrid shape is better.

Walt Berger also opined that the reason moly-coated bullets would often exhibit slightly higher ballistic coefficients at long range than their uncoated counterparts had to do with the lubricant helping the bullet center before deforming. That BC gain, typically just a digit or two in the third decimal place, was never really been enough to matter on paper, but it can be measured. The idea is that a bullet that enters the bore more straight exits more straight and thus has lower initial yaw and attendant slightly lower drag in the first hundred yards or two while coning settles into the yaw of repose.

What interests me in Berger's seating depth testing is their finding seating depths with VLD bullets set back as much as 0.15" off the lands that get better accuracy than when touching the lands. It matches the Somchem experience in item 3. of this old page. There may be a number of explanations for this. I have some experiments in mind for this with throat design. I'm going to start with a .30-06 bolt gun on seating depth and maybe hit it with an experimental throating reamer later to check the effect. But the reamer has to be designed and made so it will be some long term exploration.


Slamfire,

OK. I'll be more careful in the future. I'm down to my last two slips of those things, and not the same size. Scary.
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