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Old February 17, 2009, 12:14 AM   #1
GuitarXM
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RELOADING .308 winchester

Have a question about reloading data for 308 winchester.

I was looking at different websites for reloading and still can't find the one site that has it all.

I have IMR 4064 powder.
I was reading that Lapua brass is the best, but that winchester brass is very good for the money.

Now I want to try Sierra Match King bullets in the 150-168 grain range.
On the IMR website, they show data but have no manufacturer of primer or case. They also don't have a case trim to length. They also don't list the test rifle. My rifle is a remington 700 sps varmint which has a 26" 1:12 twist barrel. I am not sure if barrel length is important for reloading data. (24" vs 26")

The sierra manual, has everything except that they use federal cases, and I heard that federal cases are not good for reloading because they are too soft... I am not sure if I can use that data and substitue for another case such as say Winchester or Lapua.

I also checked out, Hodgdon reloading manual. It shows winchester case and federal primer, but has a 24" barrel test.. Since I have a 26", not sure what to make of that. It also has a max load of 45.9C. Not sure what the c is for. Also does not have trim to length.

I still didn't check out the SPEER manual. Anybody have that one?
I am basically trying to find load data, that has all the data, and manufacturers listed.
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Old February 17, 2009, 12:44 AM   #2
Antihero47
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Quote:
Have a question about reloading data for 308 winchester.

I was looking at different websites for reloading and still can't find the one site that has it all.

I have IMR 4064 powder.
I was reading that Lapua brass is the best, but that winchester brass is very good for the money.

Now I want to try Sierra Match King bullets in the 150-168 grain range.
On the IMR website, they show data but have no manufacturer of primer or case. They also don't have a case trim to length. They also don't list the test rifle. My rifle is a remington 700 sps varmint which has a 26" 1:12 twist barrel. I am not sure if barrel length is important for reloading data. (24" vs 26")
The difference in cartridge does not matter when it comes to how much powder to use. They all pretty much have the same volume inside the cartridge. The only cartridges that do not have the same capacity are military cartridges. Where you should either drop your charge about a grain and a half, or just start up from starting load and work your way up. Military has a smaller capacity due to being thicker, which increases pressure.

Use the data that is provided by the manuals, as they are not actual blueprints to follow, they are guides. I would recommend that you load your rounds to the specified C.O.L. for the load your looking at for a bit, until you got everything down. You seem like you are ready to just jump in a little too fast. Reloading is all about patience and attention to detail.

2" of greater length to the barrel is not a bad thing, the longer the bullet has in the barrel the greater velocity it is able to achieve. So expect your velocity to be about 50 - 90 FPS faster then the data says.



Quote:
The sierra manual, has everything except that they use federal cases, and I heard that federal cases are not good for reloading because they are too soft... I am not sure if I can use that data and substitue for another case such as say Winchester or Lapua.
The only real difference is that lapua brass comes a little more iniform when it comes to brass weight and it has been said that they last a bit longer, but I believe that has to do with how your loading it.

Quote:
I also checked out, Hodgdon reloading manual. It shows winchester case and federal primer, but has a 24" barrel test.. Since I have a 26", not sure what to make of that. It also has a max load of 45.9C. Not sure what the c is for. Also does not have trim to length.
Using any Large Rifle primer should be fine. Match primers are also available. Do not use Magnum Large Rifle primers unless a load calls for them. When changing loads make sure to change one thing at a time... if you change primers, drop back your powder charge and work back up. Look for excessive pressure signs.

The 'C' next to powder charge weight means that when you charge a case with that much powder and seat a bullet, the bullet will actually start to sit on top of the powder and compress the powder. Usually you see the max loads compressing. Just be careful.


Quote:
I still didn't check out the SPEER manual. Anybody have that one?
I am basically trying to find load data, that has all the data, and manufacturers listed.
Like I said, loading data is not instructions, you do not follow them to the 't'. You use the amount of powder usage, and the seating depth and you use that with your brass and your primers. Match ammo is much more complicated.
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Old February 17, 2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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I load for muliple 308 rifles, bolt and semi auto. My ammunition has to function in all (except the 190 grain bullet loads, that is bolt rifle only)


I size my brass to cartridge headspace gage minimum. I use a small base die, ensures interchangeability between rifles and improves function in the semi autos.



I use mostly LC, but any good commerical brass (W/W, R/P, IMI) will out shoot me. I don't worry about the type of brass. Except at 600 yards where I use the same make of brass, reloaded the same number of times.

Federal brass has much softer case heads than any other brand, I use free Federal brass until the primers fall out of the pockets, about five reloads.

I trim my brass to 2.0" plus of minus the small amount of varience due to brass spring back. Two inches is easy to remember.

I prime all my brass by hand. Since I am not using maximum loads, (except for the 190's) I use any darn primer I want to use. WLR, Fed 210, CCI, all primers shoot fine. Just buy the cheapest.

As for IMR 4064, it is an excellent powder. Below is a target I shot using AA4064, which is also an excellent 308 powder. AA4064 is a little slower than IMR.

Currently I have an ammo can loaded with 168 Match bullets (probably Nosler, but could be SMK) 42.0 grains IMR 4064, LC brass, CCI #34 primers, OAL 2.750".

This load will clean the 300 yard target. As long as I stick to 42.0 grains, I can change cases, primers, bullet make, and it all shoots good.

If you have a maximum load, a change in everything and anything will blow primers.

What you will find is that accuracy is a skill game. The human is the greatest source of error in the system. So don't fret about making "perfect" ammo. As long as you have good bullets, good bedding, and a good barrel, what you need to improve on most, is you!

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Old February 17, 2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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To address your inquiry, go to Hodgdon's web site. They now distribute IMR, too. Go through the steps to get .308 load listings up. Then, in the upper right there is an option to print the results. When you print them the case and primer and case trim information are included.

Lapua cases weight about 172 grains. Winchester weighs about 156 grains. That is a difference of 16 grains. Divide that by the density of 70:30 cartridge brass, which is 8.53, and you find you have not quit 1.9 grains difference in water capacity. IMR4064 has a bulk density of about 0.87, so this is just over 1.6 grains difference in powder capacity. It is enough extra volume that you can add around one extra grain of IMR4064 powder to the Winchester case so it will reach the same peak pressure as a load developed in the Lapua or Federal case will.

The length of the barrel affects velocity, but peak pressure occurs after the bullet has only moved maybe two inches, so as long as your barrel is longer than that, you won't have an issue with affecting pressure. The extra length will let the lower pressure present near the muzzle accelerate the bullet a little more. You might gain an extra forty fps from the extra two inches of barrel.
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Old February 17, 2009, 09:11 PM   #5
bfoosh006
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GuitarXM,
This doesn't answer your question, but this site does have a bunch of fellow shooters loads,http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...517#Post323517 maybe it will help.
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Old February 18, 2009, 04:09 AM   #6
GuitarXM
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Federal case?
I thought federal was much lighter than Lapua.
I thought that you would have to add to a federal case to match a winchester's pressure?
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Old February 18, 2009, 06:47 AM   #7
Tim R
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Nope Winchester brass is normally the light ones. This dosen't mean it not good brass because it really is. Lapua is about as heavy as it gets. I have not shot a lot of Federal 308 brass so I have no opinon on it....I'm shooting mostly Lake City match.

I do have expirence with Federal in 223. I made a mistake of thinking I could get some once fired Federal brass to work at Camp Perry in 07. I will not make that mistake again.
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Old February 18, 2009, 09:15 PM   #8
Apache6
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What is your intended use? Hunting? Precision shooting? The IMR4064 and Sierra 168 recipes are basically the Federal Gold Medal Match load with Fed Match primers. The "c" indicates a compressed powder charge. I personally don't load compressed charges.
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Old February 18, 2009, 09:17 PM   #9
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SlamFire-
Nice group- 10 shots...impressive. M1A? Even more so.
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Old February 18, 2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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The Lapua I have isn't especially heavy. About 172 grains, about like the Remington. Winchester averages about 156 grains. Lake City runs more like 180 grains. IMI runs about 185 grains.
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Old February 18, 2009, 10:58 PM   #11
rn22723
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308 Winchester Pearls of Wisdom:

Get it thru your head that Federal Brass SUCKS!

Brass:
Lapua, Winchester, or Nosler
Bullets:
Sierra, Berger, Nosler, or Lapua
Powders:
IMR 4064 and 4895
Varget
RL15
N140/150/540
Primers:
IMR powders-WLR
Varget-BR2
RL15-210M
N Series-210M
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Old February 19, 2009, 01:21 AM   #12
hardhit
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What is your intended use Precision shooting as in the smallest groups possible,or general hunting ammo
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Old February 19, 2009, 03:43 AM   #13
GuitarXM
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precision shooting.

Also...I recently found out that I cant get Winchester brass until june. I know Obama had probably nothing to do with it, but I hate him anyway lol.
Rn...What do you think about Remington brass?

I think that's pretty much the only thing available now at a reasonable price.
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Old February 19, 2009, 07:16 AM   #14
hardhit
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I found rem as good as Winchester but rem has a little more room for powder, I neck size mine with comp redding dies, also I uniform primer pockets and debur the flash holes seat the bullet into the lands.
The 308 with 168 gr SMK 44.5 of varget and CCI BR2 primer (bench rest) is a none load for super accuracy in my rifle it shot a .276 @ 100 for 5 shots just last week.

Last edited by hardhit; February 19, 2009 at 08:15 PM.
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