The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 5, 2013, 11:26 PM   #1
Death from Afar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2004
Location: Living the dream in Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 1,610
.308 168 grain loads for long range...

Team, my Sako TRG 22 has arrived. Will be using for long range varminting and up too 1,000 metre matches.

I will be using 165 grain sierra game kings on game and 168 grain match bullets for competition. I expect to be using the rifle in a wide range of ambient temperatures so want powder that will be pretty consistent. Also, since we are at the end of a long supply chain here it will have to be pretty easy to find. Any suggestions of what to start with?

Thanks ever so much.
__________________
"Beware of the Man with one gun...he probably isnt into guns enough to be safe with it".
Death from Afar is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 05:51 AM   #2
LE-28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 384
I would think IMR4895 or IMR4064, with 4064 probably being the better choice, but there are a lot of powders out there to choose from.

I have used IMR 4350 but it is a little slow for that light of a bullet.

Strictly my opinion.
LE-28 is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,467
Sierra's 30 caliber 168 has a notorious record for long range competition. It's boattail shape isn't right to keep the bullet super sonic through 1000 yards unless it leaves the barrel at least 2650 fps. With normal, safe, peak pressures, you'll need a 24 inch barrel; 26 inch in some instances. If yours has a 20 inch barrel, forget it. Slug your barrel and if it's groove diameter's bigger than .3080", Sierra's probably won't produce best accuracy anyway. You may have to find match bullet with a larger diameter, such as Lapua's D166 at 200 grains and a .3095" diameter, especially if the groove diameters as big as .3085" or more.

44 grains of IMR4064 was "the" standard match-winning record-setting load for 168's in M14NM rifles when the .308 was popular in high power competition. Worked great up through 600 yards, but the M14's 22 inch barrel sometimes didn't shoot it fast enough to remain supersonic through 1000 yards. Which is why Sierra's 180's were the favorite of the Army's team for long range loads. In rifles with 24 to 26 inch barrels, that load for 168's usually shot them fast enough to stay supersonic through 1000 yards

I suggest Sierra's 175-gr. HPMK bullet; much better for 1000 yard matches. Stays supersonic all the way even from 22 inch barrels.

Also, if your Sako has a muzzle brake, that'll have to be removed for NRA competitions; they're not allowed. Besides, they cause accuracy problems when it's raining.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 08:10 AM   #4
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 6,180
Varget and RL-15 will give you a bit more velocity and both are very temerature tolerant. I don't shoot long range, but these are my prefered 308 powders. H4895 is more temperature tolerant than IMR4895 or 4064. Other than any of those are good powders. Lots or good choices for a 308 really.

I've only used it with light weight (130 gr) bullets, but Ramshot TAC is supposed to be a very good 308 powder as well.

It depends on what is available in New Zealand.
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 08:38 AM   #5
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,424
Some US 1000 yard ranges don't even allow the 168 gr Sierra MK because of instability.
I saw a shooter doing well with an old production lot, but when he bought new, he could not hit anything.
Better to get the 175 SMK or perhaps a 155 Scenar.
Berger bullets are good, and shooters are loading heavy; a friend really likes the 185 gr Hybrid.

ADI powders seem to be the most available in NZ, likely because they are made in Oz.
I load Varget, which is the Hodgdon US sales version of AR2208.
AR2206H, our H4895 would be ok. Original AR2206 is probably too fast burning for best ballistics.
If you can get Alliant, Re 15 is good; and, as said IMR 4064.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,774
jmr40,

source for this data?

Quote:
Varget and RL-15 will give you a bit more velocity and both are very temerature tolerant. I don't shoot long range, but these are my prefered 308 powders. H4895 is more temperature tolerant than IMR4895 or 4064. Other than any of those are good powders. Lots or good choices for a 308 really.
Death from Afar,

175 SMK's are a good bet, although if you are shooting fullbore you'll probably have to use 155's.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 12:19 PM   #7
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,467
Jimro says 175 SMK's are a good bet, although if you are shooting fullbore you'll probably have to use 155's.

I agree, if his barrel will shoot 155's fast enough to remain supersonic through 1000 yards. The Tika's factory barrel's 26" at the longest. That's typically a bit short to get 2950+ fps with 155's at normal, safe peak pressure. In fullbore matches around this planet, most of the time one has to use issued arsenal ammo. Handloads have not fully caught on in fullbore around the world based on the long standing philosophy of the organizing groups. Issued ammo is said to "level the playing field" and therefore lets only the quality of the shooter determine who's the best shot.

Lots of overseas fullbore folks would like to get away from that and do things like the folks in the USA do; bring anything safe to the firing line for a given cartridge (or sometimes any cartridge) then do your stuff.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 01:36 PM   #8
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,774
Bart is correct, you need to run those 155's fast. The folks I know using 155s are putting in an above max charge of IMR 8208 in rifles with custom chambers to get those velocities.

Here is the data for 8208.

155 GR. SIE HPBT IMR IMR 8208 XBR .308" 2.775"
41.0 2619 47,300 PSI 45.3 2854 60,900 PSI

But it looks like Varget/AR2208 is a good option as well.

155 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Varget .308" 2.775"
44.0 2759 41,300 CUP 47.0C 2909 49,400 CUP

Although with the published data, it looks like a ball powder is your best bet for velocity, CFE223.

155 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon CFE 223 .308" 2.775"
49.5 2846 50,900 PSI 51.0 2966 60,500 PSI

I'd get all three powders and see which gave me the least vertical spread at 300 meters for load workup.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 01:53 PM   #9
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,467
Jimro, your data on IMR8208 is interesting.

It's peak pressure with 45.3 grains under a 155's claimed to be 60,900 psi; that's a normal max load. Nothing over max at all.

It's velocity of 2854 won't cut the supersonic mustard past 900 yards. It's gotta leave at least 2950 fps and 3000 is better when in cooler weather at low elevations.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 05:08 PM   #10
Death from Afar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2004
Location: Living the dream in Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 1,610
This is a great thread- you guys really know your stuff! I have been long range shooting with .223 for years, but I just cant get the accuracy "way out yonder" obviously. There is a sniper pair competition I am building up for in October, and temperatures could be about anything so powder stability is vital.

Varget and ADI 2208 are probely the most easy powders to get.

I have shot a lot of TRG's in both .308 and .338 and they shoot pretty darn well with just about anything, so the transonic issue I think is the big one. So you agree I should be looking at 175 grains and a fairly hefty load?

I will be using Lapua cases and Federal match primers. The TRG's have generous magazines so will be seated quite long. The problem we have , frankly, is getting the decent projectiles. AMAX's are usually the easiest to get, and Sierras are quite hit and miss. Its a real problem getting supplies consistantly.


Finally, we are allowed to use both brakes ( or as I call them "loudeners") and supressors here. A supressor would be nice, but the rifle would be a monster by the end of that. As an aside, of course, please PM me if you are in New Zealand and we can shoot some stuff.
__________________
"Beware of the Man with one gun...he probably isnt into guns enough to be safe with it".
Death from Afar is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 06:16 PM   #11
Dan Newberry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Wytheville, VA
Posts: 216
If you must run 168's, see if you can find Hornady AMAX's... they have the edge on Sierra, Nosler, and Speer for 168 match bullets.

I like the 175 grain Matchkings, but no one seems to be finding any of those anywhere. 178 Hornady bullets are great (either AMAX or Traditional Match), but once again, scarce as hen's teeth right now.

If you have a 10 twist, try some 200 grain Sierra Matchkings with 41.5 grains of Varget (or equivalent) in Winchester brass. They may even work in an 11 twist, which is more likely what you have. They're right near 2500 fps from my Savage rifle's 26" barrel... and man they are super accurate. I shot a 2.5" 7 shot group at 615 yards last week with that bullet, pushed by 41.5 grains of AA4064 with *thrown charges*... it meters well, that AA4064, and burns seemingly just like IMR's version.

With a 12 twist, 185's from Lapua or Berger, or 190's from any of the good bullet makers might be a good option.

Dan
__________________
www.BANGSTEEL.com
Practical Long Range Rifle Courses...
Optimal Charge Weight handload consulting
Dan Newberry is offline  
Old May 6, 2013, 08:01 PM   #12
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,467
I would never use "hefty" loads in any cartridge when accuracy's the main objective. Such loads have never shot consistantly the best accuracy wise in bolt guns. Especially when you test with 20-shot strings. Normal, max safe loads have always shot the most accurate but a few reduced loads do as well.

43 grains of IMR4064 or 42 grains of Varget under a 175 should do very well.

Your barrel has a 1:11 twist according to the rifle's web site. It'll do well shooting 200 grain Sierra's; I've shot a few hundred 200's from my 26" 1:11 twist barrels. The favorite load was 48 grains of IMR4350 and it won a lot of matches and set a record or two.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 08:29 AM   #13
Jimro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 5,774
Bart B., the guy I know who goes above max charge is using a GAP Templar based rifle with a "cheater chamber" that seems to have been headspaced on a "Field" guage. He only gets about 4 shots before his brass is done, but after the first firing he'll neck size. I've seen his F/TR scores so I am convinced he is doing something right, at least as far as accuracy is concerned.

Jimro
__________________
"Gorsh" said Goofy as secondary explosions racked the beaten zone, "Did I do that?"

http://randomthoughtsandguns.blogspot.com/
Jimro is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 08:49 AM   #14
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 5,467
Jimro, folks have been doing all sorts of things with a given cartridge pushing its pressure way over safe pressure limits to get supercalifragilistic velocities satisfying their power and speed egos for decades. It's human nature for them to live close to the edge of the safety cliff secretly hoping something doesn't push them over it.

Best part about it for everyone else is listening to their excuses while they're falling down off that cliff hoping there's something down below that'll cushion their fall. That way, everyone else may learn from their mistakes.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master
Bart B. is offline  
Old May 7, 2013, 05:30 PM   #15
Death from Afar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2004
Location: Living the dream in Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 1,610
Bart you are clearly an expert and trust me- i will never go anywhere near that red line- i value my eyesight and Sako too much for that silly nonsense!
__________________
"Beware of the Man with one gun...he probably isnt into guns enough to be safe with it".
Death from Afar is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09777 seconds with 7 queries