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Old November 9, 2017, 01:03 PM   #1
Skarekrow88
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Thinking about getting into reloading with the .308

I recently bought a M1916 Spanish Mauser and luckily did some research before shooting it to find that common consensus is modern 7.62x51 and .308 is higher pressure (~55k-60k psi and ~62k psi respectively) than the "small-ring, soft-metal" rifle can handle. I read that it will operate safely at 40k-45k psi which was what the 7x57 clocks in at so it makes sense. I thought that shooting only 7.62x51 would be safe enough but according to some its still not. If this is not accurate information feel free to correct it.

I've been meaning to get into reloading and I figured this would be a good opportunity to start. I think I'm going to grab a lee loader and just make the rounds for it by hand and probably use it to reload for a more modern .308 rifle later. My question is once I get the Lee Loader, brass, primers, and bullets where can I get the information I would need in order to load .308 at 40k-45k psi so I can safely shoot my M1916 (i.e. amount/type of powder etc). Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old November 9, 2017, 01:37 PM   #2
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http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/rifle

There are endless resources available. This particular one is from the Hodgdon powder company. If you look around that website, in addition to the link I posted, there are also two documents you can download under the heading: "Reduced Rifle Loads".......https://www.hodgdon.com/resources/data-sheets/. Most powder companies have online loading data. I just used this one as an example since it was up in my browser because I was using it.

I would probably do a web search for low pressure .308 loading data or something like that.
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Last edited by 444; November 9, 2017 at 01:43 PM.
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Old November 9, 2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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The Spanish FR7 rifle used 7.62NATO ammo with no fuss. The 7.62 CETME just used a lighter bullet than 7.62NATO. NATO spec is up to 50,000 PSI. However, low to mid range .308Trail Boss, Benchmark and Win 748 loads are about those pressures.
Plan 'B' is to use .300 Savage data in .308 cases and you'll be fine.
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info 444. Probably going to see what powder is available locally and go from there. I’ve got a couple boxes of Monarch .308, does anyone know what the pressure those fire at? I’ve always heard that Monarch and Tulammo are generally lighter loads. Would they be safe to shoot out of the M1916 or would it still be risky?
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:19 PM   #5
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My Lyman manual has many charges with LEAD bullets that start under 20,000. A lot of the powders max out between 30,000 and 40,000 PSI.

Some of the JACKETED loads go down to around 30,000 PSI.

My biggest concern would be using the Lee Loader... I can't imagine using that thing on a bottle necked rifle cartridge. A cheap single stage press can be found for under $100. If you shoot much it will be worth investing in a real reloading setup. If you don't shoot much I'd just try and figure out who's got the weakest/cheapest ammo and use it. How much did the rifle cost $175?
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:31 PM   #6
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I wouldn't trust any commercially loaded ammo in that rifle. If you do, please upgrade your life insurance policy.

The only way to go would be to get a couple of loading manuals, load reduced loads with H4895 and possibly shoot some handloads using cast bullets.

Hodgdon has reduced load data listed on the website.

Last edited by Dufus; November 9, 2017 at 02:40 PM.
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Old November 9, 2017, 02:48 PM   #7
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I agree with reddog81, forget the Lee Loader for .308, I loaded a few thousand .38/357's with one but I imagine sizing a bottleneck cartridge would be just plain awful. I did a full resize on a couple of .223 cases one day using a Lee hand press and it was stressful to put it mildly

You can find a Lee Challenger kit for about 130 or for another 100 or so get a RCBS kit. Midway has them on sale for about 250 and there is a 25 dollar rebate

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/93...tage-press-kit
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Old November 9, 2017, 03:51 PM   #8
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The Lee Loader neck sizes.
Loading bottle neck cases is no problem.

There is nothing wrong with a Lee Loader
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You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old November 9, 2017, 11:40 PM   #9
hounddawg
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Quote:
The Lee Loader neck sizes.
thanks for the correction, and in that case you are right.

A Ruger Blackhawk was my first centerfire pistol and I spent most of one summer's evenings sitting on the back porch stuffing bullets for it using a Lee Loader. Would load up 100 - 200 Mon - Fri then shoot em all up Saturday morning.

I don't know why I jumped to the conclusion it was doing full length resizes, but once again thanks for the correction.
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Old November 10, 2017, 08:30 AM   #10
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I too started reloading with a Lee Loader in .38 Special.
I owned 100 cases and a S&W Model 14 with an 8 3/8" barrel.

At the time, I still lived at home with my parents and I used to load those 100 cases every night, and shoot them all the next day; rinse and repeat.

Years later, when milsurp rifles started being imported in droves, I wanted to reload for them but I knew I wasn't going to be shooting thousands of rounds of ammo. And sort of just for nostalgia sake, I bought a couple Lee Loaders.

I admit, that I very seldom use a Lee Loader, but I think they are under appreciated. They do everything any other reloading process does (other than full length resizing bottle necked rifle cases). It's a very neat little set up with a complete reloading kit in one little box. After reloading for close to three decades and as the owner of mountains of reloading equipment I don't see anything at all wrong with a Lee Loader.

In fact, I load for my long range rifles using LE Wilson hand dies and an arbor press. Which is basically the same thing as using a Lee Loader but, since they cost a lot more, they get respect. In fact, I might try using a Lee Loader with an arbor press just for the heck of it.
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You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old November 10, 2017, 10:13 AM   #11
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Loading to 7X57 level pressures (46,000 CUP, 51000 PSI) in that firearm is prudent. (For reference, the pressure limits for the 308 are 52,000 CUP, 62,000 PSI).

Care is advisable in a search for reliable reduced pressure data for the 308. Most reloading sources do not list the pressures developed by the loads. Hodgdon and Lyman do list the pressures developed for most of their loads, but the bullet maker data I'm familiar with does not list the pressure generated by their loads (except perhaps to say that their loads are within SAAMI limits).

Another issue is that the velocity developed by a particular load is not a reliable indicator of pressure. Just because a published load with one powder generates only 90% of the velocity of another powder does not mean that pressure developed by the slower load is less. A careful look at Hodgdon's reloading data for the 308 illustrates that.

A quick look at Hodgdon and Lyman data indicates that there a number of bullet and powder combinations for the 308 that develop 7X57 level pressures, especially among the starting loads. Enjoy and be safe.
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Old November 16, 2017, 12:23 PM   #12
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After going over some online reloading data (primarily Hodgdon since I plan on using H4895) I noticed that two different types of bullets of the same weight result in very different pressures even when using the same amount of powder. In some cases using the same weight bullet but different type results in more pressure from one even when using less powder. I would've thought that as long as the bullet weight was the same then the resulting pressure would be about the same as long as the exact same amount of powder was used. Why is this? Also some data only lists the pressure in CUP while some data only lists the pressure in PSI. A little confused as to why that is too.

I simply want to lightly load 145gr-150gr FMJ into .308 brass casings but Im not seeing any data for that.
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Old November 16, 2017, 01:50 PM   #13
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Bearing surface of the bullet is a huge factor in pressure. Best example is Barnes X data vs Barnes Triple shock data. Virtually the same bullet with altered bearing surface.
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Old November 17, 2017, 07:20 AM   #14
Skarekrow88
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I got this data off handloads.com and so far its the only data I have found that actually uses the bullet I intend to.

Bullet: 147gr FMJBT

Powder: Win 748

Powder Weight: 45.2gr (irrelevant I assume since I will be using suggested starting load?)

Suggested starting load: 40.7 gr

Velocity: 2,730 fps (velocity for 45.2gr not starting load?)

Pressure: 45,500 PSI

Source: Winchester

Would anyone feel uncomfortable firing this out of a Spanish M1916?
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Last edited by Skarekrow88; November 17, 2017 at 07:35 AM.
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Old November 21, 2017, 01:14 PM   #15
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https://www.hodgdon.com/wp-content/u...ifle-loads.pdf

I have some 180 grain Speer Soft Point bullets and plan on getting some 147 grain FMJBT to load. I am not concerned with ballistic performance as I simply want to plink.

According to Hodgdon online data the maximum load for 180gr SPR SP is 42.5 grains of H4895 which would result in a pressure of 49,700 CUP. The maximum load for 150gr NOS BT (closest thing I could find to 147gr FMJBT) is 45.5 grains of H4895 resulting in a pressure of 51,000 CUP.

The provided formula would call for 25.5 grains of H4895 for the 180gr Soft Points and 27.3 grains of H4895 for the 147 grain FMJBTs. My question is will this lower the pressure enough? Will there not be too much space in the casing from reducing the amount of powder by 40%? If so could I just use a filler?

Anybody have any experience with reduced loads like this? I called Hodgdon but they couldn't tell me anything about the pressures on reduced loads using this formula other than that reducing the amount of powder by 40% does not necessarily mean the pressure would be reduced by that amount (which I already figured...)
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