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Old March 22, 2013, 01:32 AM   #1
Habaz72
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Reloading for Rifles

Earlier I made a post about my coming home present but didn't really ask a question. When I get home from Afghanistan I should have a Lee Classic Turret press waiting for me and I'm starting my homework now.

I've been reloading .45 ACP ammo on a Lee Hand Press and have been having fun with it. With the new press I expect to increase my volume (after becoming familiar with the operation) for .45 ammo. With the turret press I"m also going to add 9mm and .308 Win to my lineup of handloading. I am buying the Lee deluxe rifle dies that can resize full length or just the neck and I'm getting a case trimmer. I already have safety glasses, a beam scale, primer pocket cleaner, case tumbler, lee dipper set, bullet puller, and a set of calipers. With the press I'm getting a kit that includes the Lee Pro Auto Disk and double disk kit, rifle powder charging die, and the safety prime.

My intent is to make quality hunting ammo for our bolt rifles. Our most likely game will be hogs and deer in GA. I have a Ruger Gunsite Scout (16" Barrel) and my wife has a Remington 770 (22" Barrel). I realize I'll probably be working up two different loads due to the large difference in barrel lengths.

My questions are:
Am I missing anything that I'd need to start in on .308?
Any good powder recommendations?
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:57 AM   #2
A pause for the COZ
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I would suggest a powder trickler for the 308 loading.
Pistol loading the Auto disk is great, But for rifle powder loads.
The dippers dumped into the scale then trickled up to weight, may be better.
Esp if you going with stick powder for the rifle.

I have done many many rifle loads with the dippers. But I still check them with a scale. Depending how close you want to get to the actual weight.
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Old March 22, 2013, 10:06 AM   #3
Jimro
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16 inch barrel and 22 inch barrel. Honestly you really just need one load, unless you want a lower recoil load for your wife.

Hogs and deer in Georgia, quality hunting ammo.... Search for Dan Newberry's "Optimal Charge Weight" load workup and use that method. I would make a load for the 16" barrel first, then see if that load shoots in the 22" barrel as well. If it does I'd call it good and stop.

I recommend a 165gr boat tail soft point, I like Hornady but any brand will do. The boat tail makes seating easier. If recoil is a concern, go with a 150gr bullet for your wife.

For powder I recommend a ball powder like Win748, it will meter through a Lee Auto Disk Pro much better than a stick powder, and with the double disk kit you'll be able to get consistent charges. You could also try a bunch of different powders if you really like. My personal experience running IMR4064 (a stick powder) through a Lee Auto Disk Pro was that I was getting +/-0.2 gr spread, which is fine for accuracy from most factory rifles.

I like Lake City brass for how tough it is. Initial prep is a pain, anneal, resize/deprime, decrimp, trim. But once you go through that once the brass lasts a long time in a bolt gun. Of course any brand of brass will do.

Primers, I like CCI and Wolf or Tula.

Good luck. My deployment present to myself last rotation was a Lee Pro 1000 press. I've cranked out a lot of 223 on that thing. Some may hate it but I've been well served.

Jimro
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Old March 22, 2013, 02:49 PM   #4
Habaz72
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Quote:
I would suggest a powder trickler for the 308 loading.
Thanks, adding that to the list.

Quote:
16 inch barrel and 22 inch barrel. Honestly you really just need one load, unless you want a lower recoil load for your wife.
I figured I'd get suggestions on faster powders for the 16 inch and slower powders for the 22 inch. Recoil isn't really a concern for my wife, she does fine with the factory ammo. She even shoots the 12 ga like a champ.

Thanks for all the other suggestions, all are noted and will be put to use. Really appreciate the input.
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Old March 22, 2013, 04:18 PM   #5
Jimro
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A 308 operates with a wide range of powders. For hunting you aren't exactly looking to shoot five bullets into one ragged hole with lightweight benchrest bullets, nor are you looking to keep MOA out to a thousand yards with a HPBT match bullet.

Hunting ammo is accurate enough, fast enough, with a bullet designed to provide enough expansion and enough penetration. Every single one of these factors seems to work against each other to some extent.

The good news is that the boilermaker on a deer or hog is pretty big, and modern manufactured hunting bullets are high quality as far as consistency (and therefore accuracy) goes. Someone with Quickload might recommend a powder that gives you max velocity out of the 16" barrel, and I'd expect that powder to work just fine out of the 22" barrel as well. Really that is the same difference as a 20" and 26" barrel.

My experience with my handloads is that if it shot good out of one, it shot good out of the other. I'm hoping your experience will be similar.

Jimro
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:14 AM   #6
Habaz72
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I will definitely supply updates when I get back to the states and start working on this. I am excited to try it out.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:12 AM   #7
Fire_Moose
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Re: Reloading for Rifles

Quote:
Originally Posted by A pause for the COZ View Post
I would suggest a powder trickler for the 308 loading.


OORRR

Use a 308 casing almost full of powder (off to the side if course) and roll the powder into the pan. Bam! Almost free trickler.
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