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Old October 5, 2012, 03:39 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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How does this .308 recipe sound?

It's essentially straight out of the VihtaVuori manual:

A 150gr SPBT Sierra (Gameking or Matchking) in a Norma case (Jaktmatch cartridges bought and fired) or similar sat atop 40.4-44-3gr of N135 or 42.3-46.8gr of N140. Primers will be either Fiocchi, Remington or CCI: they are the most commonly available!

The N135 generates better velocities and requires a bit less powder so should give more loads per tub.

Component choice is large based on availability and price. The Sierra bullets are available and relatively cheap. "Only" €35-40 per hundred...

Cheaper options are 150gr FMJBT PRVIs.

This is for just range shooting. 100-300m for now (although 100 only for the forseeable future), but given my experience with reloading so far being so limited, once I find a load that does the job, I just stick to it, hence why I want to find a good general, all-purpose load from the beginning.
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Old October 6, 2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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What?! No opinions?

The last time I bought components and found them lacking I was castigated for not researching before buying. So here I am, researching before buying.

Is this combination good or not if I want to shoot the ranges mentioned above as I build experience toward longer ranges?

Come on!!
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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Sierra makes fine bullets! I am biased toward the 165-168 gr weights,but that is preference.Norma brass is just fine,as are CCI primers,all great recipe stuff.
I have no experience with N-135 powder.For me,I find Hogdon and ReLoader powders to be excellent,available and reasonably priced.Where I live,Norma powders are only semi-available(often out of stock) and expensive.

Study the reloading data in the book,and see what is recommended.An uninformed guess,N-135 is a bit on the quick burning end of the scale.It may be that N-140 would be a more flexible choice,but,I do not have a book out.You might look at which powder is good for both 168 and 150 gr bullets.Could be your rifle may prefer one over the other.

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Old October 6, 2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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308 loadings

here (Texas) Sierra's are readily available, but my preference is Remington or Winchester primers. Varget is the powder of choice for 308 and similar cases. I too prefer the heavier bullets, i.e., 165-168 gr.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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3 here on heavier bullets
175 SMK. I am also prone to RL-15 and GM201M primers
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Old October 7, 2012, 12:13 AM   #6
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I'm with you mr pond

In a 308 I prefer the 150-155 grainers. Varget is ok but it depends on your barrel length. In a shorter barrel varget is not optimal, burns too slow. 4064 is decent for the 150s, gets decent velocities as well, right around 2950 fps in my rifle. ReLoader 15 is good stuff too. There are so many possible combinations out there that will work and each rifle is different so just try a few and see what works best for your set up. As far as the heavier bullets: just preference but I don't see the point in shooting a 165+ grainer in a .308 win. It is so slow and the energy is so bad, might as well lighten the bullet and get optimal velocity and energy. If you want to shoot heavier bullets; better off with a 30-06 or 300 win.
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Old October 7, 2012, 01:29 AM   #7
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So far I have just used my VihtaVuori manual as a guide. Since it only has VV powders and I can only buy VV powders, it is serving its purpose well.

I went for N135 or N140 for two reasons. One was the velocity. For that Sierra bullet both those powders seem to generate decent velocity. At starting loads the N135 gives 2558fps and N140 2548fps. The other option would be N150 at 2576fps

In the burnrate chart that comes in the manual N135 is in 71st place and N140 in 78th. By comparison, Reloader 12 is in 69th and reloader 15 in 80th. N150 sits in 85th position.
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Old October 7, 2012, 03:07 AM   #8
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Another consideration.

The Sierra I either have to mail order (P&P costs) or pickup from anothoer town (fuel costs). Or I can buy slightly more expensive Lapua FMJBT Lockbase bullets from a local shop. On top of that the Lapua have a BC of 0.434 (0.498 if I go 170gr) to the Sierra Gameking SPBT's 0.368. The Matchking 150grs would work out at about .398, tops, at my kind of velocities.

As I understand it that higher Lapua BC can only help with my accuracy and future long range shooting aspirations.

The Lapua and Sierra powder charges are almost identical...

Lapua the better choice?
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Old October 7, 2012, 08:18 AM   #9
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DeerSlayer--The 308 was designed around a 168 gn bullet
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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4runnerman-just my preferences bud. Thats what makes reloading fun, just about any combination of bullet weight/powders will work...especially in a .308, it's very forgiving
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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Deerslayer how true. The 308 is a very forgiving load. As was said me a long time ago.. The 308 is good at everything but great at nothing. It is just a all around caliber. Will shoot from light to heavy bullets very well.
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Old October 7, 2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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4runnerman, the 7.62 NATO round was designed around 147 to 150 grain bullets for the most part. Duplex loads put two lighter bullets in them to increase the number of projectiles goind down range for each shot. 172-gr. bullets were used for match ammo. No arsenal anywhere on this planet loaded 168's into this round until the 1980's when Lake City did in their M852 match ammo.

The commercial version called the .308 Win. was also designed around 150-gr bullets but Winchester (and later Remington, Federal and others) also put heavier ones in their factory ammo; none were 168 grains. The first commercial .308 Win. match ammo was loaded by Western Cartridge Company with either 197 or 200 grain bullets in 1958 and 1960. 168's were not loaded commercially until the mid 1960's.

168's were never put in these cases (as far as I know) until 1963 when a civilian did with his handloads to win the high power Nationals.

And as far as what it's great at or good for, the smallest series of 10-shot groups ever fired at 600 yards I know of were done with a .308 Win. back in 1971. Nobody, even with today's benchrest marvelous cartridges, has done that well with any other cartridge. 'Course with one's personal set of objectives, conditions and standards, any centerfire cartridge could well be number on on their list.

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Old October 7, 2012, 04:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for the Education Bart. I had no idea. One can learn so much in this place.That is why i love it
Again Thanks Bart
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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Use the powders you have, or are locally available. Here in the US a lot of us use Hodgdon Varget or Reloder 15 for the .308, but they're easily available. I couldn't tell you how far I'd have to drive to buy a pound of VV powder locally. It's not something we see much of. However, I find this chart useful when I'm comparing powders. It's produced by ADI, the Australian powder manufacturer. Based on that chart alone, I'd probably try VV-N140 in the .308, based purely on it's position in the chart.

If we go to the Hodgdon Burn Rate chart, we see VV N140 directly between Reloder 15 and H-Varget. I'd feel very comfortable loading that powder in the .308. However, VV-N135 isn't much faster, more in the realm of 4895, which is a powder I'm familiar with and use a lot of. N135 might do better with bullets in the 150 grain class. You'll have to let your rifle tell you what it likes, but I don't think you'll go wrong with a pound of N135.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:25 PM   #15
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On the Lapua bullet,I have never used them,can't say,other than they have a good reputation.My point in replying..BC can seem like an obvious advantage.It has been my experience that long,skinny ogive bullets may shoot great in your rifle,but maybe not.I'd suggest buy and try 100 maybe.

Sierra makes a Palma match 155 gr bullet with a great BC,but I could not get it to shoot out of a 2.800 mag length load in an AR.Not a bad bullet,just not a good application.The old 155 gr Palma,now the 155 gr Matchking,shoots good with less BC.

Another factor,as the bullet gets a long ogive,and a boat tail,in a light bullet,there is not a very long length of cylindrical diameter to ride the bore.

That can make it harder to get results.I typically use a boat tail with heavy bullets,but in a lighter bullet at closer ranges,a flat base may shoot better.

Twist?A 1 in 12,1 in 11,1 in 10,all might be possible.That may help select bullet weight.

Really,if 300 meters is going to be the limit for a place to shoot,some things diminish in importance,IMO.A .430 BC bullet vs a .490 BC bullet will matter some at 300,but not very much.Same with 2750 fps vs 2625.Yes,it helps some,but you certainly may find longer barrel life and perhaps better accuracy at the lower velocity.

I can't give a recommendation between N-135 and N-140 for you.Just choose and try,but,for myself,I think I would prefer 140 for the flexibility with a possible heavier bullet choice.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Twist?A 1 in 12,1 in 11,1 in 10,all might be possible.That may help select bullet weight.
I'm sure I can find out what my barrel's twist rate is (I found one ambiguous reference to 1 in 10), but so far I have not learnt what a different rate can mean, nor how that relates to bullet choice!!

Ideally, eventually, I want to shoot at longer ranges. One day I hope to try 1km!!
All that is a long way off, but one thing I understand is that practice is key.

On the one hand I'd like loads that I can affordably load, but that are also potentially up to that job. So do I go cheaper, lower BC Sierra or higher, more expensive Lapua? Do I even go for a heavier bullet to give better long range accuracy?

Those are the questions I am asking myself. I thought a 150gr bullet was heavy enough to stay on track at longer distances without the same degree of bullet drop of a heavier bullet, whilst also costing less and needing less powder per charge...
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Old October 8, 2012, 12:51 AM   #17
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My .308 loading recipe...

Select bullet of choice (155gr-175gr)


Varget


Fed 210m
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Old October 8, 2012, 04:17 AM   #18
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Can't get Varget here. The VV powders I listed are comparable to Varget in burn rate, in particular N140 and N135.
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:14 PM   #19
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If you have a suitable twist (e.g. 1-in-12 to 1-in-14), the Sierra 155 gr 2155 and 2156 HPBT bullets work well with Viht N140, and make for a versatile, cost effective and easy-to-tune target round that you can use back to 1000 yards.

Quote:
"Only" €35-40 per hundred...
You should be able to get them much cheaper than this, for example here at € 270/1000. I use them for Palma shooting from 300 to 1000 yards and for ISSF 300m shooting. The 2156 is popular with F/TR shooters, and is quite capable of being competitive at the highest level in Palma and F/TR. Viht N140 in 3.5 Kg tubs can be significantly more cost-effective than the standard 1 Kg, if you can find them.

..
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Old October 8, 2012, 01:43 PM   #20
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Nice link there, Rox!! Thanks!

That sure is a saving, but I'll have to trawl their shipping costs (those are what kill the dream avery time I find good prices in other countries!! ) and double check on my own state's import regs. I don't think just the bullets arerestricted, but I need to check.

There may be some nice options for my .44 too!
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:01 PM   #21
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According to the shipping page it should be about € 15.00 if you buy 1000. You might want to try 100 from a local supplier first to make sure you've chosen something that suits your barrel before committing to a larger order.

..
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Pond
Can't get Varget here.
Wha... Blasphemy! Ouch man, where is here? We use varget in just about every .308 based cartridge we have.
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:37 PM   #23
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€15?! Really?

Where was that?

I looked on that page for deliveries to Estonia and I calculated between €29 and €25.

Even so, that could still make for a cheaper buy than the local shop, provided I buy a 1000
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Old October 8, 2012, 02:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
€15?! Really?
Sorry, my mistake - you're quite right.

..
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Old October 8, 2012, 04:43 PM   #25
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If your intent is longer ranges,there is a lot to be said for the Sierra 175 MK.Sure,you start with a lower velocity,but the improved bc pays off with less drop and windage at long range.I'm siure Lapua makes a great bullet,too.

If you have access to them,Nosler and Hornady offer similar bullets.Whether there is much difference in performance can be weighed against any difference in cost.I'm suggesting IF extensive testing showed an advantage of one brand over another,I think it would be a small fraction of MOA
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