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Old February 4, 2013, 10:00 PM   #1
VegaSSG32
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Newbie here wanting to reload 308.

Im looking to start reloading target rounds for my .308 700SPS AAC-SD

I have never Reloaded before and looking for some good info from the guys who do this often about equipment, Dies, life of cartridges, how to clean cartridges, so on so forth. Im not looking at spitting out thousands of rounds at a time. So im sure a single press would work just fine. What im primaraly concered about is making the most accurate round for the buck rather than spending 30-40-50$ for a box of 20, for a distance from 100-1k (yards). I have done a little reading on this but would like personal advice from anyone who knows about it... Thanks guys
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:22 PM   #2
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Read read and when you are tired of reading read some more haha. But really when I was reading before I started reloading I almost second guessed doing it by how dangerous people made every step seem. Then I realized as long as you just use common sense and pay attention to every step you will be fine. I am fairly meticulous by nature so I discovered a new found relaxing hobby.

As far as parts get what you can afford. I got a single stage press and since November I've reloaded a couple hundred .308 but a couple thousand of pistol calibers. I'm sure a progressive would be nicer, in fact I know it would. But right now I'm fine with it.

Two big things to remember are don't start at max loads and don't substitute powder. Once you get a feel for it you can mess around but I'm not there yet, but if you want to do performance rifle rounds then you will need to at least do load testing.

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Old February 4, 2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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If you are going to get a single stage press than look at the Lee Challenger Breech Lock Single Stage Kit. It has almost everything you need to get started. Here is a link to look it over.
http://media.midwayusa.com/productim...121/121744.jpg
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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precision rifle

To do what you want and be good at it is like learning to skydive by starting off BASE jumping.
Reloading cheap safe rounds is easy but loading highly accurate rounds for load developement could be taxing.
What you need to remember is make every step and component the same.
Trim all casings the same length. weigh all powder loads the same. seat all primers with the same pressure(tricky). seat all bullets to the same depth. weigh brass and bullets culling those to heavy or light. turn casenecks to the same thickness.
Then there is the small stuff like deburing the flashholes, chamfering the throat and uniforming the primer pockets.
Then you are gonna want to seat the bullet just off the lands of the rifle.
this will get you to the first round you test.
Now try diffent primers to find which have the least standard deviation in the velocity. then move up and down in powder weight until you groups stop getting smaller and begin to open up. then move the bullet deeper into casing and see if the groups get larger or smaller.
At this point, pick another powder and start over again.
And don't forget to start all if you change lots of powder or brass.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:06 AM   #5
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Reloading cheap safe rounds is easy and loading highly accurate ammo is easy. Use good tools the correct way with good components and anyone with slightly above average mechanical aptitude and manipulative hand skills can do it.

What you need to remember is make every step the same with good components and you won't have to make sure each component is exactly the same; they're made good enough in the first place.

Trim all cases to the same length only if they get too long. Metering all powder loads for ranges up through 400 yards is just fine; 600 yards if you use the right powder; weigh them for use at longer ranges. Seat all primers to the same depth; easy with a little practice. All bullets will seat to the same depth after that depth's established; make the round's length as long as will feed reliably from the magazine. Weigh brass only for ranges past 600 yards and then to a 1% spread in weight; Good, accurate bullets don't need to be weighed. Turn casenecks to about the same thickness for use past 600 yards. Mass produced commercial match ammo (Fed. Gold Medal Match?) will shoot almost 1/2 MOA at 600 yards from good rifles and it's made to the above standards.

Then there is the small stuff like deburing the flashholes, chamfering the throat and uniforming the primer pockets, which, for even tiny groups at 1000 yards, is a waste of time. Federal's Gold Medal Match ammo cases ain't prepped that much.

Most any single stage press will do and it'll last for decades if good to start with and is properly maintained; those made of case iron tend to work best. The dies that have produced the best accuracy for decades are full length sizing dies without expander balls and neck diameters a couple thousandths smaller than a loaded round's neck diameter. Redding and RCBS bushing dies of this type are as good as one can get. You'll need a gauge such as the RCBS Precision Mic or Hornady Lock 'n Load to measure how much the die sets the fired case shoulder so best accuracy can be at hand. Then tools to deprime the cases before cleaning them for sizing, bullet seating die, powder measure and scale, and a good primer seating tool (don't use the one built into the press; 'tain't good enough for best accuracy). A tumbler or vibrator with media to clean cases and case lube and something to apply it to cases will also be used. Plus something to clean the case lube off sized cases without leaving a trace of that lube anywhere. And a case trimmer and deburring tool are also on the list. It's usually a good idea to resize new case necks with a Lyman M 30S die or a .308" diameter steel pin held in a bullet puller collet so they're all the same size and shape; that bullet puller can be used to break down bad rounds, too.

Your rifle's 20 inch barrel may not be long enough to shoot bullets out fast enough for good accuracy past 800 yards with ammo loaded to peak pressures not higher than SAAMI specs. Bullets a few ten thousandths bigger than the barrel's groove diameter will shoot best. If you rifle won't shoot under an inch at 100 yard with one of these loads in new cases with Wolf primers, IMR4064 powder and bullets seated to just fit the magazine, it's not the ammo's fault if put together right:

168-gr. bullet, 44 grains

175-gr. bullet, 43 grains

180-gr. bullet, 42 grains

190-gr. bullet, 41 grains

Shoot at least 20 rounds per test group to get reliable accuracy info.
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 5, 2013 at 07:22 AM.
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Old February 5, 2013, 06:44 PM   #6
VegaSSG32
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Guys thanks for all the feed back, great stuff, really appreciate it,,, If its not too much trouble would it be alright to message any of you for any further questions i may run into??? I understand this is trial and error, and understand it takes pratice. Again thanks for all of the feed back and info.


Bart B, i have one question for you about barrel length, i understand your point about the 20in barrel and accuracy out to 800, but would the suppressor help velocity to 1k?
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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VegaSSG32, I hope you live in a state that allows folks to have suppressors/silencers. There's an ATF $200 license that sometimes has to be bought.

I doubt there'll be any significant increase in velocity with the supresson on. Too much gas will escape around the bullet, in my opinion. Test with a chronograph to find out.

With or without a velocity increase, there's another problem. That extra mass on the muzzle changes the barrel's resonant frequency. Most folks think it makes barrels stiffer. 'Tain't so. That added mass on the muzzle makes the barrel wiggle at a lower frequency; it's now less rigid. As the muzzle axis is always on a vertical swing axis as the bullet exits, bullets will leave at two different angles; one with and another without the supressor. You'll need a zero at each range for both.

Accuracy may also be effected. Again, test both with and without the supressor.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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The second cartridge I ever loaded for was the 308. I found the 308 to be very forgiving to a new reloader. At least in my rifle it was. My favorite load was a 178 grn Hornady A-Max with a full case of Varget. This was a tad hot in my rifle at 2700 fps in a 24 inch barrel. This combo shot better than I could. BL(C)-2 was another good performer as was IMR 4064. You will love shooting your own home rolled ammo.
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Good thread

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Old February 5, 2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Can anyone explain "bumping the shoulder" and when to tell if its needed?

What's the long hand of BC(2)? Maker?

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Old February 6, 2013, 12:25 AM   #11
Bart B.
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Bumping the shoulder is a term used to describe what happens when a fired bottleneck is full length sized.

When the die's screwed down all the way to touch the shellholder when the press ram's all the way up and the handle 'cams' over a bit, that causes the die to push the fired case shoulder back several thousandths; typically.

If the die's set a few thousandths higher in the press so the shell holder comes close to, but doesn't touch the die bottom, the shoulder's slightly "bumped" back a thousandth or two. This is typically the best thing to do for both accuracy and long case life.

How much the shoulder's bumped back can be measured very accurately with a gauge; RCBS has one called a Precision Mic and Hornady's called Lock 'N Load Headspace Gauge. Each measures the distance from the fired case head to a reference point on the shoulder. The difference between that measurement made on a fired case to that made after it's full length sized is how far the shoulder's been bumped back.

Bottleneck cases have their shoulders a bit further away from the case head when fired compared to where it was after sizing it. Unless it's moved back a thousandth or two each time it's fired, it'll soon be forward enough to start making the bolt harder to close. And that hurts accuracy 'cause the bolt no longer locks up into the exact same position for each shot.

Bumping fired bottleneck case shoulders back a bit when resizing them ensures the case will easily chamber. Full length sizing cases to bump shoulders doesn't bump each case shoulder back the same amount. It varies depending on how much case lube's on the case as well as how much vertical spring the press has when sizing the case. There's usually a few thousandths spread in case headspace; the distance from case head to that reference point on the case shoulder.
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 6, 2013 at 12:31 AM.
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Old February 6, 2013, 01:30 AM   #12
Fire_Moose
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Thanks!

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Old February 6, 2013, 02:49 PM   #13
Bart B.
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Fire Moose asks What's the long hand of BC(2)? Maker?

I think it was first made by Winchester for their factory .308 Win. ammo but they had a different name for it. Hodgdon marketed it as ball C2 or BC2 for a while.

Should you be thinking about using it in a .308 Win. case, it'll do well for general use and hunting. But it's not all that great for best accuracy. 'Course, neither is any other ball powder for that matter.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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Your right ball powder is not the best but it meters so nicely in my cheap lee powder measure. Varget is much better in 308 but throws inconsistent. I have to trickle so much it drives me nuts. For a cheap plinking pest load I used TAC and Hornady 110 vmax. Accurate and screaming fast at around 3000 FPS. Minute of 8 inch steel gong at 300 yards. That load is cheap and does not beat up steel targets to badly.

AL
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Old February 6, 2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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Haven't decided on a powder yet. I have the most data for 4895, and 4064 but looking for h 380 since its the slowest. Then 748 after that. It'll just depend on what's available then which ever powder I get will dictate which bullets I get.

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Old February 6, 2013, 06:38 PM   #16
VegaSSG32
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Bart B, i live in Louisiana, last time i checked, a few months ago i was good to go for a supressor. But thanks for looking out, and all the info. Sure ill have alot more questions when i get to start pressing rounds...
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Old February 6, 2013, 06:40 PM   #17
Bart B.
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Fire Moose, are you looking for a powder slower than IMR4064?
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Old February 6, 2013, 08:02 PM   #18
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No, 4640 is just the powder that is 2nd most versatile through the weight range...at least from the books I have.

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