Hey all. Getting ready to load some 308 shells. Iím using CCI 200 primers and Sierra 168 Matchking Match bullets. My old Sierra book lists 48.6grn in the Winchester 748 powder as the max load. I bought The Complete Reloading Manual for the 308 as I wanted to see the newer powders the old book didnít list. This book lists the max 748 charge as 44.8grn of powder. The two books also show different loads for the same velocity. An example is 45.1grn in the old book versus 43.4grn in the new book for 2600 fps. Since I have 748 powder on hand, I had originally planned on using 47grn as a starting point. Well below max in one book but over max in the other. Since the new book arrived, Iím kinda at a loss at which data to go by. Has the 748 powder changed since Hodgen started making it or is this a liability issue? Any help would be appreciated.
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October 21, 2006, 05:45 PM
Got news for you, Hodgdon does not mfg any powder! They market powders!
I would consult the data on the web sites and pay attention to the components used, ie brass makes a big difference in the loading data! Follow up and then make your load development plans!
October 21, 2006, 10:02 PM
The brass is nickel plated police tactical rounds. They are some sort of law enforcement only round that a cop buddy gave me. Itís marked FC/WIN 308. I shot a few of it through my gun and it is much more accurate than the 70s military surplus I have at the house. The Winchester site says the max is 42gr of powder. Thatís less than the minimum in one book and .1gr on the other book Both of these are Sierra recommendations. The wide variation in load data has me concerned. Especially when I had originally planned to put 47gr as a starting point.
October 21, 2006, 10:28 PM
My 50th Anniversary Sierra manual lists up to 46.8gr of 748 with the 168SMK. I would start a couple grains below that and work up from there, looking for high pressure signs.
October 22, 2006, 11:13 AM
The funny thing is, if I wasnít thinking of swapping to a new powder, I wouldnít have even bought this book. People here seem to like Varget, so I wanted some load data for that. I even bought one of the books in 243. My favorite load for it was a 70gr Sierra Matchking with 37gr of powder. .9gr less than max in the old book. Now, 748 is not even listed for that bullet in the new book. Speer lists 46g max for their 168gr bullet and they use a CCI magnum primer for 748. Guess Iím going to have to cut back the load I originally planned to use.
October 22, 2006, 04:37 PM
Fav .308 load, loads easy and is very accurate, 48.5 grains 748 150 Nosler BT Remington M7 20" barrel, clockes 2773 fps at muzzle.
Same charge with 140 grain Barnes X bullet 2822 fps and shoots to same POI as the Nosler load.
This load does not seem excessive, no high pressure signs of any kind. Both these loads are 1 MOA out of my little pencil barrel.
October 22, 2006, 05:39 PM
Well, right now Iíve just loaded 100 rounds with 44gr. I went by the second book. Iíll have to see how they group when the weather clears up and it isnít so windy. 37gr in the 243 does flatten some of the primers, but not all of them. Iím pretty close to max on those cases. Iíll see what this load does on the 308. I like 748 as this stuff meters so consistently. The scale will barely point just a tad over or under the load setting. I keep hearing Varget is hard to meter. Not sure if I like that. Tried 3031 years ago in the 243. That stuff wouldnít meter worth a crap on my RCBS powder measure.
October 22, 2006, 06:13 PM
I use Win 748 powder on my 308 loads, here is my load data. It pretty much clones the hornady TAP ammo in 168gr.
I get roughly 2650 fps out of this load, I've found it to be highly accurate. (of course I weigh EVERY charge...I just dont trust the progressive presses for some reason....must be in my head)
October 22, 2006, 06:22 PM
Ball powder will always meter better than extruded powder. However, extruded powders will generally produce more accurate loads. If you're looking for accuracy, use an extruded powder like RL15, IMR or H4895, or Varget, dump your charge from your powder measure onto your scale and weigh it.
October 22, 2006, 11:43 PM
Well, Iím still using the single station press. I weigh every 10th charge and thatís what I like about the 748. It always comes in just about right on the money. Iíll try these rounds I have now. I donít have enough powder to load another 100 rounds. Hence the new book. I might try Varget, but Iím leery about how it will meter. Does the RE-15 meter pretty good? Sierra lists that as their most accurate load with the 168 Matchking in the new book. Trying to figure out the best powder to use is frustrating.
October 23, 2006, 07:48 AM
urr...Nickel plated cases are bad mojo. stick with the regular stuff...I have pulled off rims while resizing this stuff...and it was lubed. Standard federal brass is generally kinda soft and tends to stretch more than most on the first firing, but once trimmed and neck-sized to a specific chamber, you will be happy.
There will be some variation on reloading manuals...some more than others. What should you do? Get as many manuals as you can afford to. Then look at all of them when trying to find a good starting load...See if they put pressure readings for their loads, along with velocity and such...find where they meet and go from there...
You will also notice that some reloading manuals list ball powders needing a magnum primer to light them but a standard primer for the stick powders. I generally follow this rule. Stick powders use CCI-200's and ball powders get a Winchester Mag primer.
As far as powders go...748 is just fine. Varget and RL-15 is fine choices for stick powders. And they will meter fine. What most rifle shooters do is throw a charge shy of the desired weight.Then trickle up to the proper number.
But if you want to go with a good ball powder for 308 try some AA2520.
This stuff isn't called Camp Perry powder for nothing...out of my Mauser it is wonderful.
My hot-rod load is a Speer 125 gr HP flat base and 43 gr. of AA2520. That load will give me 1" groups at 130 yards.
My best load though is 39 gr. of 2520 under a Hornady 168gr AMAX moly. that load will put one ragged hole in paper at 100 all day long. Plus it won't stress the brass, rifle or shooter. :)
Both those loads use Hirtenberger mil-spec brass and WLRM primers.
October 23, 2006, 09:45 AM
I might try Varget, but Iím leery about how it will meter. Does the RE-15 meter pretty good?
Read this again, "Ball powder will always meter better than extruded powder". Varget and RE-15 are extruded powders, hence they won't meter as well as W748.
October 23, 2006, 01:09 PM
Well, I use IMR 4227 in the 44 mag and it meters pretty darn well. Thatís an extruded powder. That 3031 was like pencil lead. Thatís why I asked about the RE-15. It is listed for both the 243 and the 308. As is Varget. The AA 2520 is not listed for the 243. But then a friend talked me into buying 800-X for the 357 off of him as he buys in bulk for his shotgun. Itís a flake powder. It doesnít meter that bad. But no where near as consistent as the 4227. So I can meter extruded powder if the kernels arenít that big. Jeeze, I ask a few questions and end up with more questions. Is the Federal brass that bad? They went through the die pretty easy and Iíve trimmed it back. I have a bunch of 308 military shells. Only about 50 empty cases so far. I use that to practice trigger control though the rounds themselves arenít that accurate. Theyíre marked OFV 77. Standard primer but Iíd have to trim the crimp out of them. I did notice that all powders listed in the old book that are still listed in the new book have the loads cut back. But only one other that is cut back as drastic as the 748. Keep the info coming. I have less than a pound of 748 left and that wonít last long filling these shells. Then Iíll do a bulk buy on another powder. These hazardous shipping fees are killing me.
October 23, 2006, 02:31 PM
...I use IMR 4227 in the 44 mag and it meters pretty darn well. Thatís an extruded powder.
I'm assuming you are looking for an accurate .308 load. You get a little more or a little less powder in a handgun load (assuming you're not loading hot), no big deal. With an accurate rifle, you want a more precise load. If your measure throws an extruded powder well, Great. If not, then drop it into your scales pan and weigh it.
Is the Federal brass that bad? They went through the die pretty easy and Iíve trimmed it back. I have a bunch of 308 military shells. Only about 50 empty cases so far. I use that to practice trigger control though the rounds themselves arenít that accurate. Theyíre marked OFV 77. Standard primer but Iíd have to trim the crimp out of them.
The Federal brass is soft. Good for only a couple of loadings, and then your primer pockets will expand. Stay away from loading the OFV 77. It's Indian ammo, and not noted for it's quality, to say the least.
October 23, 2006, 04:02 PM
Ok, so the OFV gets pitched. Trigger practice only. Whatís a good brand of brass in 308? Right now, the best I can tell, the leading powder is Varget. Itís one of the few thatís listed in 243 and 308 in the bullet combos I use. Oh, and thanks for all the replies. I keep thinking I should just give the gang my credit card and order this stuff for me.
October 23, 2006, 04:34 PM
Whatís a good brand of brass in 308?
Lapua. It's a little bit more expensive than the others, but it's the best and lasts a long time. Other good ones are Winchester, LC Match, and Hornady Match. As far as powder goes, any powder in the same burn rate range as Varget will work. Reloading manuals don't list every powder, only the ones they tried. I have used Reloader 15, and actually prefer it to Varget. Since it's a little slower than Varget, any safe load with Varget will be safe with RE-15.
October 23, 2006, 04:38 PM
Winchester brass will be fine. Remington is a good second choice. Both are plentiful and easy to come by.
I also have good luck with some of the military brass. Watch your loads with this stuff, however as its thicker walled. This will cause pressure issues...so use starting loads and work up.
Federal isn't TOO bad...if you keep your loads off the max end of the spectrum, you will be fine.
And as far as the Indian brass goes, I can't say about the OFV stuff because there was good batches and bad batches. There are several threads on this here and over on Fal Files board. I DO have experience with the KF stamped Indian and it seems to be pretty good so far.
October 23, 2006, 05:13 PM
In Lake City US Military brass, 43.0 of 748 under any 168-gr HPBT match bullet looks like max in my experience. It also shoots 1 MOA or under at 200 yards out of a gas gun.
October 23, 2006, 11:03 PM
Man, you guys have a load of knowledge. Right now Iím looking at Varget as I have data for the bullets Iíll shoot. Iíll look in to the other brass. As far as accuracy loads go, well, the gun will out shoot me. That cop buddy that gave me the brass is one of the sniper dudes on the force. He uses some sort of Remington 700 police gun. He can out shoot me with my own gun. But Iím not far behind him with my Weatherby Vanguard in 243. For some reason I can shoot the 243 better then the 308. I hate to admit it, but I flinch with the 308. I donít know why but I do. Guess Iím a wuss. Thanks again for the info. Now itís time to scratch my head and figure out exactly what to order.
October 24, 2006, 07:44 PM
I don't really think its the recoil, tkcomer. Get yourself some snap-caps and work on your trigger pull. That would be my first suggestion. Make sure you use the tip of your finger and all the other yadda yadda yadda...(images of Charles Bronson telling pesant villagers "SQUEEZE!". Magnificent Seven)
Second work on your rest position. Cheek weld, hand position, barrel/vise position, etc etc.
It won't happen overnight but just by changing one or two things that your doing (and probably don't realize) you can shrink up your groups fairly reasonably.
Also wanted to add to the brass thing...
Federal brass is soft, yes. And others have said that they are good for a few loadings and no more. I need to mention that if your using a gas-gun (M1A, AR-10, FAL, etc) then the brass will be good for 3 or so loadings due to your having to full length size the brass every time. A bolt-rifle, however, can use neck-sized brass and you can get 5 or 6 loadings safely, and possibly more if your reasonable on the velocities/pressures.
October 25, 2006, 12:30 AM
The gun is a stainless Remington 700 varmint model. Heavy fluted barrel. The trigger has a heavier pull than the Weatherby 243, but I donít think that can be the problem. Itís just me. The copís police 700 has an even heavier pull, and I scatter bullets in that gun also. But one thing is for sure, I can print much tighter groups with his tactical rounds than those military surplus rounds that I have been using. Maybe, tomorrow Iíll get a chance at the reloads Iíve made. On a side note, how does one know when a rifle brass is worn out? My 243 brass is probably on its 4th reload with no visible signs of problems. And itís loaded heavy according to the ďnewĒ data I see. Thatís one of the reasons I need advice on these powders. The data no longer matches up with my old book.
October 25, 2006, 01:05 AM
Different test frearms are used. Max load means max safe load for the components in the test firearm! You use different brass, a different primer, a different brand of bullet (same weight) and you have just changed the max safe load, in their gun! In your gun things could be quite different.
Always work up your load from 10% below the starting load in the books. Anything else is borrowing trouble. You may get away with it for years, but if it bites you, it can bite hard.
Working up loads in small batches until you get to where you want is a small price to pay to ensure you don't damage a gun, or yourself. Think of it as an insurance cost. Some guns will take loads above "book"max. Others won't make it to "book max" safely. Every gun is different.
reloading manuals give you a starting point, and report their results as an indicator or guideline, your actual results may be quite different. They may not be different, but safety and the word "may" are poor companions.
October 25, 2006, 10:50 AM
Some people load the brass until it fails.
Then others keep all their brass segregated and a close count of how many loads has ran through them. After X number of loadings, it goes in a bucket and off to the recycle center.
44AMP speaks gospel, too. that kind of stuff can't be stressed enough when your working up handloads. one of the best safety devices is a reloading manual. the more you have, the safer you will be. I have Sierra, Hornady, Nosler, Lyman, Speer, and Vhitavouri...along with a computer to check loads on IMR and Hodgdon's websites.
Once you get comfortable with the handloads you have, I would also start looking into altering your COAL. Seat the bullet to about a 1/16th to the rifling lands. Stoney Point makes a gauge to check this, and you can also get some Cerrosafe to get a chamber cast done. Most gunsmiths can do this for you, however. Its kinda hard to do with a bolt-rifle so that might be a decent idea, too. This way, you know what the inside of your chamber looks like and its true dimensions.
October 25, 2006, 01:34 PM
I have owned two Rem 700s in .308 - the first was a 700VS and the second a 700P. Both 26" heavy barrels with HS stock. Win 748 was my main powder and gave me good results with Hornady and Sierra 168 match bullets. Loaded to 43.0 grains worked well for me.
Varget - I have started to use it for .223 and it has given me good results with the 69 Sierra and with all the posts here regarding it's use in the .308 I would try Varget as well if I ever get bit by the .308 bug again.
October 25, 2006, 02:01 PM
Well the cable went out and here I sit waiting on them to show up ďsometime in the afternoonĒ. Iím not sure if Iíll be able to test my loads today and itís supposed to rain the next several days. I bought a RCBS precision mic but had in my mind I need to fire the brass one time in my gun before I use it. Then Iíll attempt to neck size it for my gun and get the OAL. YodaVader, I have groups that look like that if you throw out the other 47 shots I fired. Of course my holes might be from the 3rd 6th or 10th 5 shot groups. Glad you like the Varget. Is it small grain or pencil lead like stuff?
October 25, 2006, 02:51 PM
Varget is more like the pencil lead type powder. Really does not meter too well in my old Hornady measure. I use the trickler method which is kind of slow but the powder does work well for the .223 69 grain bullet loads in my Savage and not too bad in the 700 LTR .223.
Can't say every group is like the one above , but the .308 with match bullets and 748 has given me great results in the past. Still have a lot of old targets where there are 5 shots at least in the dime or nickel size and I was a beginner with a rifle with my old VS. But I have switched back to the .223 these days. Still learning to shoot centerfire rifle to this day.
I let a friend shoot my old VS one day (former Marine) and he shot a dime size group with his first 5 shots and gave me this big grin afterwards! :D It was the 168 match with 748 loading as well.
October 25, 2006, 03:14 PM
I was afraid the Varget would have big kernels. Iíve been fooling with the RCBS mic trying to determine my OAL. I canít get it to work. One, the extractor wonít grab it. Instructions says ďifĒ that happens to hook it on the extractor and then shove it in. But if I tighten the set screw in too much, the top half sticks in the rifling. Loosen the set screw and I canít get a good reading. Or feel. Last reading was 2.723Ē. The gauge is sliding back as I chamber it. After about an hour of that, I gave up. Still no cable guys. Doubt Iíll get a shot in today.
October 25, 2006, 04:38 PM
The RCBS Precision Mic is great for measuring cartridge headspace for setting up your FL sizing dies, but for measuring cartridge OAL, the Stoney Point OAL Guage is a much better tool.
October 25, 2006, 06:37 PM
Well, I did get to test out some rounds today after all. Donít know how to post pics. You can see it here: http://www.pixagogo.com/8855594622 Click on the pic to make it bigger if you want. Iím no precision shooter by far, but I donít think I did too badly considering the wobbly table. If I get a better table I can probably tighten these groups up just a tad. One thing that frustrates me, I canít see clearly through that Tasco scope. No matter how I adjust it itís always fuzzy. Not sure if itís my eye or the scope, but it definitely is fuzzy. At least my handloads shoot better than those military rounds. I was getting worried about my trigger control again. The 44gr of 748 didnít do too bad. Canít blame the powder or the bullets. With a little more practice, I might be able to move up to 200 yards.
October 25, 2006, 09:07 PM
There is some of your problem right there...get rid of that Tasco scope.
At the very least, I would suggest getting one of those new Simmons Master series or a good Burris.
Glass isn't cheap, but you will see a diffrence.
And the table, of course. :) you can look around on the web and find some plans for a good shooting table and you don't really need alot of carpentry skills...just know how to use a tape measure.
October 25, 2006, 11:58 PM
One thing that frustrates me, I canít see clearly through that Tasco scope. No matter how I adjust it itís always fuzzy. Not sure if itís my eye or the scope, but it definitely is fuzzy.
It's the scope. If you want a decent scope and don't have alot of money to spend, I would suggest getting a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x40M scope. It's a straight 10 power scope with target turrets and a mildot reticle. About $180, maybe a little cheaper if you look around. For reasonably priced variable power scopes, Sightron scopes are a good buy at $350-$400.
October 26, 2006, 01:18 AM
Actually I was thinking of the 4200 series Bushnell scope. I keep reading good things on that one. And I keep reading bad things on the Tasco on heavy recoiling rifles. This rifle comes off the stand every time I pull the trigger. This is a 36 power scope that I back off to 24 power to see. And not that clearly. The Tasco scope (24 power) on the Weatherby is fuzzy at high range. I back it off to about 18. Then I can see pretty clearly. But still, I donít think my groups are that bad considering the poor setup I have. Iíll keep trying. Probably never get up to the standards on this board. But I wonít give up.
October 26, 2006, 02:25 AM
Actually I was thinking of the 4200 series Bushnell scope.
That one was also on my list as well. My Savage gunsmith said he highly recommends the 4200 Bushnells. I was considering the 6X-24X version. Having crisp clear optics will be a significant improvement over your fuzzy image.
A stable shooting platform should also improve this considerably. I don't know if you can do it comfortably but you might try shooting from prone position. You can really get remarkably stable shooting from prone position. You are correct , that table appears way too flimsy , lightweight with "storky" legs.
All things considered I think your targets are very respectable. With a solid shooting platform and some good optics things will only get better!
October 26, 2006, 02:01 PM
Yeah, the table has to go. Iím putting my free hand on the barrel under the scope and pulling down to steady things. I picked it because I was thinking of portability. Eventually Iíd like to step up to 200 yards. Maybe even longer if I can improve my equipment. Thatís why Iím leaning towards the Bushnell 4200 in 36 power. I want to see the crosshairs in the center ring, not shoot at it. As far as powders go, I may stick with the 748. It meters like a dream. Though I might switch to magnum primers after I use the 700 or so that I have. I hadnít reloaded in almost 15 years and the new data on powders had me nervous. Back in the mid 80s, it seemed to be one of the most common powders listed for the 223, 243 and 308. If I remember right, one article has it listed as the most accurate powder they tried for the 243 with the Sierra 70gr Matchking. Thatís why I chose it. But I never got around to loading the 308. Didnít realize at the time that HK 91 bent every brass it kicked out. Sold it to buy the 700. So with the gangís help, Iím confident that I can crank out decent rounds with 748 in 308. Already have a decent load for the 243.
October 30, 2006, 11:23 PM
I have a Ruger M77 Hbar, and it loves 45.5 gr of 748 and the CCI 250 magnum primers in federal premium brass behind 168gr Sierras.
That was my start and end point. I loaded up 20 like that, shot sub 1" at 200 meters. I said that's close enough. hehehe
Someday, I may try to improve on it, but for now, I'm pleased as punch.
October 30, 2006, 11:34 PM
Already have a decent load for the 243.
I got a few pounds of H4831 from a friend who had a huge tin of the stuff. I cooked up a hot little .243 load. 44.2 gr with 100gr sbt.
It's close to max load in my Sierra book (they list 44.9) but it exceeds the Hodgdon max on their website (42.0).
I had picked up a pre warning Ruger M77 because it had the most incredible piece of walnut for a stock that I ever saw. With this load, it's a tack driver.
November 15, 2006, 12:43 AM
I recently bought a new Bushnell 4200 6-24 with AO -of course I had to wait to buy it to just after they raised the price from $400 CDN to $569 Cdn .This was to replace a Leupold . You can get these with a 1/2 dot for targets . In a 36X BR scope I would use a 1/8 dot on fine crosshairs. The older B&L target scopes are great and seldom have any problems like others. Mount in Burris Signature rings or learn to lap your rings. Don't stress the optics.
Find a range that shoots Bench Rest and has proper concrete tables. Look at the bags and rests they use. You can make a good rest but buy the bags. Check out www.benchrest.com for ideas and Sinclair .Make a flat plate 3" wide 6" long to mount on the front swivel location out of nylon or aluminium - this will allow you to be more consistant on the bags. Make or buy wind flags- even a few weighted ribbons on metal rods will work.You need three for 100 yards range .
The Federal brass is soft -buy a box of Lapua -problem solved. Forster dies are benchrest quality at a very reasonable price and the people are fantastic.The last time I ordered parts they were in the mail in 16 hours from the original email and this included the phone call the next morning to confirm and discuss comments. Buy a set !
You will find a good .308 will shoot well with a lot of powders and loads.
I will look for some older books from Precision Shooting on Benchrest and varmint hunting that explain how to shoot from a rest -load ammunition and other good things. Two excellent ones are: "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy "by Glenn Newick in 1989 (Stoger ISbN:0-88317-159-7) and"The Accurate Varmint Rifle"by Boyd Mace (Precision Shooting 1991 Library of Congress card #91-0678070) are two of the best.
Buy a coated cleaning rod and Lucas boreguide to clean with ,
This should keep you busy for a while.
Try Imr-4350 in your .243 with 70 gr TNTor 75 Sierra HP @ 45 gr . with WW brass and CCI match primers .
November 15, 2006, 07:55 PM
I havenít shot the rifle since I figured Iíd wait until I put the 4200 on it. Probably will wait until after X-mass so I know how much money I have. I get hit hard in January as the vehicles, life and farm insurance all comes due then. Iíll also order new brass then. My 357 and 44 brass are old and starting to crack and burn through on my reloads. Plus the 44 is out of commission. The rear sight fell off last week and I canít find that darn screw. So Iím waiting on new screws to come in from S&W. And Iím still keeping my eye out for an old stout table thatís not too heavy to replace my wobbly card table. Iíll just keep practicing with that old Winchester 275 pump 22 mag. Got a cheap BSA 3X9 on it. If I can learn trigger control with that thing, I should be able to yank the trigger on any other gun out there. But at least I can see clearly through that scope. Oh, I do use the coated rods. Found some stuff called Tipton Truly Remarkable Bore Solvent. Man that stuff takes your breath away. But it gets the copper out with a lot less patches than the Hoppeís Bench Rest Copper Plus.
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