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Old February 27, 2013, 06:54 PM   #1
nate45
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Post your favorite 175 grain BTHP .308 Win loads

I'm loading for my new Rem SPS Tactical .308 with the 20" barrel. I want to get 2500+ fps and good accuracy with the 175 grain Sierra Matchking. So post you pet loads please.

Which ever load I pick, I'll chronograph and post pics of the groups.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:56 PM   #2
Bart B.
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Nate, if the following load doesn't shoot 1/2 MOA from your rifle, it's not the ammo's fault:

New or properly full length sized case.

Wolf large rifle primer

42 grains of IMR4895 or 44 grains of IMR4064

Seat that bullet out to where it just touches the lands.

Verify the bullet's got less than 3 thousandths runout.

Shoot a 15-shot group to get meaningful data.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:32 PM   #3
Dan Newberry
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I shoot Winchester brass and like 42.4 grains of IMR 4895 with the 175's.

In Lake City cases (or equivalent) 42.0 grains with the 175's is awesome (and was the old M118LR load recipe when DuPont had the military contract).

Varget at 45 grains (Hodgdon's max) is a stiff load, but should work well in your rifle, and likely give 2600 fps, if you're interested in the most velocity you can get there...

In Lake City or Remington brass, folks are getting very good results with 43.0 grains of RL15.

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Old February 28, 2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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I tested H4895, which is an “extreme” powder in my bolt rifles and M1a’s. An M1a has a 22” barrel and is closer to your 20” barrel than my bolt rifles. I tested with the old 174 FMJBT, because I have them and they are cheaper than SMK’s. I think any charge between 40.5 and 41.5 will shoot very well. I am using 41.5 grains with a 175 SMK at 600 and 1000 yards. I consider this a maximum load in my LC cases. The load shoots well and I shoot HM scores at 600 with it. My best with it was a 199 and a high X count.

Code:
   M1A Super Match  22" 1-10 6 groove Douglas
				
				
174 FMJBT 40.5 grs H4895 wtd, lot 4501 LC mixed WLR 
	 	OAL 2.800" 	
18 May 2008 T =  71 °F			
				
Ave Vel =	2524			
Std Dev =	36			
ES =	90			
High =	2587			
Low =	2497			
N =	5			
	good group			
				
174 FMJBT 41.0 grs H4895 wtd, lot 4501 LC mixed WLR 
	 	OAL 2.800" 	
18 May 2008 T =  71 °F			
				
Ave Vel =	2594			
Std Dev =	14			
ES =	30			
High =	2609			
Low =	2579			
N =	5			
				
				
			
174 FMJBT 41.5 grs H4895 wtd, lot 4501 LC mixed WLR 
	 	OAL 2.800" 	
18 May 2008 T =  71 °F			
				
Ave Vel =	2593			
Std Dev =	15			
ES =	42			
High =	2613			
Low =	2571			
N =	5			
	Best group			
				
174 FMJBT LC79 Match M118 White Box 	
18 May 2008 T =  71 °F			
				
Ave Vel =	2550			 
Std Dev =	16			
ES =	41			
High =	2564			
Low =	2523			
N =	5			
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:03 PM   #5
pbcaster45
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I've posted this load before but it shoots great. I know Bart, shoot more bullets in the group.

Ten shots at 100 yards.



Bullet: Sierra 175 gr. HPBT
Powder: Hodgdon Varget 43.0 grs.
Primer: CCI-BR2
Case: Lapua
LOAL: 2.805 (2.230 Base to Ogive with Stoney Point)
Velocity: 2582 fps

From my Savage 10FLP. The old girl is getting pretty old, may have to get a new barrel soon (sniff!)


Last edited by pbcaster45; February 28, 2013 at 05:08 PM.
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:11 PM   #6
5R milspec
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I just got through working up a load for a friends SPS 20' barrel rifle.I went with 42gn-44gn of 4064 with a 180gn SMK.The case over all length started at 2.800,but to get 44gn in the case safely I had to go to 2.840.( reason for not going long is that he wanted to be able to mag feed )With his rifle now having 200 plus rounds down the barrel the 44gn and 2.840 load worked great out to 300,the last five rounds came in at 2 1/2".I know this isn't really that good of accuracy,but its just the start,and not the bullet I really wanted to test.I wanted to test with a 175gn or the 178gn BTHP,but buying bullets right now is hard to do.I could have let him used some of mine,but then I would have run out.

As soon as he can buy some 175-8 gn bullets,I'll test all over again for him.I'll too add that this is the first time ever that he has shot from a bench.I have always done the loading and shooting,but he wanted in on the testing so I let him shoot.I think that if was the guy behind the rifle the load would have did better,but hes willing to learn so why not teach him.
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Old February 28, 2013, 07:00 PM   #7
Bart B.
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5R, that Sierra 180's not all that great for ranges past 600 yards from a .308 Win. case. Back in the '80's, Sierra changed that bullet's longer boattail (exactly like their 190 and 200 HPMK's) to the shorter one like their 168's. The new version never shot well at the longer ranges just like the 168 HPMK. All the competitors cheered when Sierra used their longer boattail on the 175 HPMK bullets.

That aside, it's still a great bullet for use up to 600 yards. I've still got about 800 or so left from a box of 1000 I got some years ago. These are a select lot that tested at 100 yards in the ones (under .200") at Sierra's California plant. In my barrels, they easily shot 1/3 MOA at 300. I probably ought to sell them as I don't use 'em any more.

One can put 44 grains of IMR4064 in a case with a 180 HPMK if they use a drop tube or jiggle the charged case a bit to settle the powder lower.
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Old February 28, 2013, 07:10 PM   #8
Dan Newberry
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pbcaster...

Rifle magazine (or was it Rifle Shooter)... ? ... a few years back did a barrel life test on an HS Precision .308 win.

edit... here's a link discussing the test: http://www.longrangehunting.com/foru...regulars-8770/

It began the test averaging 1/2 MOA with various types of 168 grain match ammo... and after 10,000 rounds (ten THOUSAND)... it was still shooting well under 3/4 MOA.

So it's not likely you've gotten close to wearing out that barrel...

One of the things I really love about the .308 (over the necked down various barrel burners) is barrel life. Add to that the forgiving nature of the .308 win cartridge where reloading is concerned, great inherent accuracy... and it'll remain my top choice for years to come, I'm sure.

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Old February 28, 2013, 07:16 PM   #9
pbcaster45
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It's got over 3000 rounds down the barrel, guess I should quit worrying and just shoot it!
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Old February 28, 2013, 08:21 PM   #10
Bart B.
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Dan, thanks for the link to that test. I've been predicting those results for the .308 Win. for over 30 years.

It pretty much confirms my being told by lots of top competitors, they don't want to take a .308 Win. match rifle to the Nationals with more than 1,500 rounds through it. And it helps explain why Sierra Bullets rebarrels their 30 caliber bullet test barrel chambered for the .308 Win. at 3000 rounds.

Regarding the following table from the link, I think (hope?) the group sizes are averages for 3 shots:

# OF
RNDS ______ 3-SHOTS
1000 _______ 0.288
2000 _______ 0.206
3000 _______ 0.349
4000 _______ 0.408
5000 _______ 0.200
6000 _______ 0.553
7000 _______ 0.444
8000 _______ 0.541
9000 _______ 0.636
10,000 _____ 0.713

It's interesting that the 2000 and 5000 round group's smaller than the 1000 round one. That sort of contradicts reality in my experience. Those other dips in group size, as well as these, may be due to variables in the ammo, too. But it shows that barrels degrade in accuracy; one chooses their own limits of acceptable accuracy.
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Old March 1, 2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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Bart,

That test was run with factory match ammo... but I wonder, with handloads could someone have gotten that barrel to continue even longer...

I don't know how clean he was making it after each session... but it does mentioned that it wanted a few fouling shots to get back on its game, especially as the 10,000 round mark was approached.
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Old March 1, 2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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Bart B. the only reason why I have the 180gn SMK's,is that my dear friend gave them to me before he passed away.If I'm not wrong the date on the boxs is 1998,and I got them 5 years ago.I love a 175gn SMK in my 308 and only have 100 left for my rifle only,but having the 180gn SMK's around I offered them to test with.

Yes,getting 44gn of 4064 in a 308 case is a task,but I knew not to load them short for I checked Quick Load first.I'll have to say for a new rifle and shooter they are working pretty good.I learned really fast that the 180gn bullet wasn't really the best of choice.So now when and if ordering bullets ever comes up again we both will be buying some 175gn bullets.Bad thing is that I have 300 of the 180gn SMK's all same lot.

I'll even add that I knew that there was a reason for the 175gn SMK,but wasn't to sure to why.So thanks to saying why.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:43 PM   #13
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use winchester brass and 44 grains of Varget and CCI 200 primers (or BR-2's) with those 180's and it'll do you very well... work up from 42.5 grains or so.

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Old March 2, 2013, 11:56 AM   #14
Bart B.
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5R, the reason Sierra developed their 30 caliber 175-gr. HPMK was Lake City ammo plant asked them to 'cause the Sierra 168 HPMK often went subsonic before getting to 1000 yards. Such is life with M852 ammo shot in M14's 22 inch barrels. So, 'twas only business sense to sell the 175's at retail.

Their BC's almost exactly the same as the old 172-gr. FMJBT match bullet that was designed in the mid 1920's after tests with them at the seashore in Daytona Beach, FL. That bullet in M118 match ammo easily stayed supersonic through 1000 yards in 22 inch barrels.

Dan, I think handloads would have had a longer accuracy life in that barrel. Even if they used the same load but kept seatting the bullet out to contact the lands, that would reduce the bullet's tendancy to enter the rifling crooked when it had further to jump from seated position. But probably not more than 10% longer barrel life.

.2 to .3 inch average at 100 yards is about the best one can get with the rifle shoulder fired. Even with a rifle that shoots .1 inch from a machine rest. Us humans are not all that repeatable holding a .308 Win. rifle into our shoulder and having it recoil exactly the same for each shot. My guess is if the rifle had been fired from a machine rest, the groups would be .1 inch smaller on the average. And they would also probably be more linear from small to large; that's how the bore erodes.
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Old March 2, 2013, 12:37 PM   #15
nate45
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Well, I got two hundred Sierra 175 grain HPBT bullets, one hundred of which are pictured above. I have a lot of Winchester .308 brass, so I'm going to try it first. I'm going to load them with 44.5, 45 and 45.5 grains of Varget and use Winchester primers. Then see which groups the best, then chronograph that load. Won't be able to shoot till next week.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:41 PM   #16
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Arlington Ord. SA M1 T26 7.62mm 1:10 twist likes 44gr. RL15 under the 174gr. LC M118 FMJBT in Hornady Match, WLR, sized to 1.6250" HS and 2.820" OAL Have yet to try same charge with the SMK 175 but soon.
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Old March 2, 2013, 02:15 PM   #17
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I have had very good luck with RL-15 and CCI BR primers

Win Brass
42.3 gn RL-15
175 SMK
2.81 COL
MV--2640

Golf ball at 300 yards is easy. I have also shot this load at 1000 yards with good luck. Last year I tried it at 1 mile and well--I think it was more me than the load,but all in all it did ok. Not as well as I wanted it to but again I think it was the rookie behind the trigger and my scope ran out of adjustment.
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Old March 3, 2013, 06:23 PM   #18
nate45
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I just got done loading 50. 15 each of 45 grains, 45.5 grains and 46 grains of Varget and another 5 with 45 grains for sighting in. I used some R-P once fired cases I didn't know I had and used Winchester large rifle primers.

I'm going to shoot 15 shot groups out of the lead sled and shoot over the chronograph while I'm doing it. Probably all three loadings will shoot well, but I hope the 46 grain one is best, because I'm fairly certain it will be the fastest. I hope I get 2600+ fps, we'll find out for sure next week.
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Old March 4, 2013, 07:21 AM   #19
5R milspec
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you guys and your fast tail bullets.I'd rather shoot my 42.0gn of Varget and a 175gn SMK all put into a Lapua case.
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Old March 4, 2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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I shoot a Savage MDL 10 PC, 20" barrel. I'm getting right at 2620 with 175SMK, 44.8 Varget, BR2 primers in Hornady match brass. Touching the lands in my chamber with 2.236 to the ogive. It shoots 1/2 to 3/4 5 shot groups at 100m all the time.
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Old March 4, 2013, 06:47 PM   #21
nate45
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Just fired a few rounds earlier I couldn't resist. I stopped by the range on the way home. I didn't have my target stand, targets etc, so I drew a black dot on a card board box. I put it at 100 yards, shot high, turned it down 1.5 Mils hit the black, moved it one click left and then shot and hit a half full coke bottle. I used the 45 grain extras I loaded fror sighting in.




Not bad shooting just off the bipod, with no other support. It moved down 1.5 mils accurately too.



45 grains of Varget and the 175 grain SMK is a nice load. I hope 46 grains turns out to be the most accurate. Even if it isn't, if I get 15 shots in a sub-MOA group, I'm going with it.
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