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Old October 12, 2002, 08:40 PM   #1
Join Date: January 18, 2002
Location: Minn-eh-soh-ta!
Posts: 41
New 550, need 7.62 NATO/.308 loads

I'm picking it up on Monday!

Looking recommendations on loads and dies.

Need a deer load for Browning BLR in .308 win.

Also accurate target/blasting load for SA M1A with NM barrel. I don't do serious competition, but I like to shoot an accurate gun. Using iron sights (NM aperature and front sight), I'm grouping 2-3 in at 100 yds with Lake City M118 special ball. Would like to maintain or improve on this.

Any tried and true loads you can recommend?

Also- What dies should I buy. I've heard Redding stuff is great, but really have no clue. Thanks!
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Old October 13, 2002, 04:06 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,122
By and large, most any 150-grain SP bullet will ruin Bambi's day.

Most of the target shooters are using 165- or 180-grain boat-tailed bullets. Generally, the more accurate loads are a grain or so less than max.

I doubt that somebody's pet load is more than a starting point for a different rifle, which is why most folks work up their own.

I've never found that any particular brand of reloading die is better than any other. However, I prefer all-steel to anything using aluminum. (Other than the lock-ring, maybe.)

A lot of my reloading stuff was bought used, at gunshows. Heck, I'm still using "old" dies given me when I got started reloading in 1950.

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old October 13, 2002, 11:40 PM   #3
Cain R
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Join Date: August 23, 2001
Location: Peoples Dominion of Kanada
Posts: 288
So far I've found near max loads in IMR-4895 and RL-15 to be the best in my rifles in the 155-165gr class.

As for dies, Redding, Lee, and Hornady are my favorites.
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Old October 14, 2002, 10:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: September 7, 2001
Posts: 325
For 600yd and out, try 42.0-44.0gr / IMR 4064 / 175 SMK / LC brass / Fed 210M primers

If you use WLR primers, tiptoe up to 44.0gr and watch for pressure.

These loads (below) print MV at 2575-2600fps in my M1A, just a little slow for 1000yd, but they're plenty good for <600yd. (I use'm for long range anyway when pressed. Just increase the comeup. Only the 168 is sloppy.):

42.1 gr / RL-15 / 175 SMK / LC brass / Fed 210M

42.3gr / N140 / 168 Nosler J4 or Sierra MK's / LC brass Fed 210M

If you substitute WLR's for any of these recipes, reduce the loads by 3% and watch for pressure as you increase the powder charge weight. These loads are definitely warm.

Just for my own peace of mind, I vented the gas cylinder for 1000yd shooting, and I'm not worried now about bending the op rod with warm loads. And don't believe what some will tell you; Varget is a fine .308 powder, but don't use it in an M1A. It's too slow.
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