Tested another .308 varget load today...mediocre results


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Redneck with a 40
June 7, 2009, 05:16 PM
Bottom line, these suck.:( The load was 44.7 grains Varget, Remington case, CCI primer, Nosler 168 gr HPBT. (4) groups of 5 rounds each. The first group was good, everything after that, garbage.

I don't think I'm going to have any luck in the 45 grain range, so I'm going to bracket my 44 grain load with 10 rounds at 43.7 grains and 10 rounds at 44.3 grains. Last week, I averaged 1.25" across five groups with the 44 grain load, which isn't bad. It seems to be getting worse, the closer to 45 grains I get. I'm not interested in getting above 45 grains, too close to the max load, hard on the rifle, more recoil.

Velocity was good, about 2625 fps average across 15 rounds.

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L.Puckett
June 7, 2009, 05:46 PM
RN40,

In my experience with many different .308W and Varget loads, I seem to get lazy and take a 168 SMK and load 43.5 grns and get very good results.

I've worked up loads for many friends and seem to find the node around 43.5 +/- .3 grns for a 24 inch barrel. A little less on a 26 inch barrel and a little more for for a 20 incher.

Your 44 grn group looks definetly the best with very little vertical dispersion.

I have had very few good results with the Nosler 168's. Try a handfull of Sierra 168 SMK's. For long range use the 175's.

Sounds like you maybe just slightly above the sweet spot.

FYI
LP

JDGray
June 7, 2009, 05:49 PM
Your scope mounts arn't working loose, are they? Your rifle may not care for the bullets your feeding it. If the reman UltraMax, is shooting .75" still, that would rule out scope and mounts. I'd find out what bullets are in the UM ammo, and start there.

Keep at er, it'll come arround for ya:)

Redneck with a 40
June 7, 2009, 06:50 PM
JD, its not the scope mounts, as the previous owner used locktight on all the threads. I hope the Nosler's perform ok in the future, I bought a box of 1000 of'em, price was right.:uhoh: I don't need to be sitting on a box of 1000 junk bullets. We'll see how the 43.7 gr charge works next weekend.:) I'm thinking it will be a significant improvement.

By the way, my SKS didn't shoot worth a s*** either, it usually does 3-4" goups at 100 yards, it was 8" today.:barf:

It was just a bad day, lol.:(

Puckett, my longest shot in the future will probably be 300 yards, so the 168's will be fine.

USSR
June 7, 2009, 09:02 PM
Redneck with a 40,

FWIW, I did quite a bit of load development with both Varget and RL15 in .308. What I found was, Varget was pretty picky about the load it liked. If you found a good load with it, a slightly heavier or lighter charge weight did not produce good accuracy at all. With RL15, on the other hand, you could vary your charge weight and find numerous accuracy producing loads. YMMV.

Don

Redneck with a 40
June 7, 2009, 09:42 PM
USSR, I can tell that finding the "sweet spot" with Varget is a PIA. It seems to be a finicky powder, when it comes to charge weights.

tjj
June 7, 2009, 10:30 PM
Many .308 shooters like Varget but I haven't found the magic load yet either for my 168 gr bullets. I've gone up and down from 41.5 up to 45.0 grns of Varget and can't fine anything consistent. Maybe my shooting skills weren't that good.

I use currently use 42.0 grns of RL15 behind the 168 Nosler competition bullet and do better than MOA out to 300 (our max range available for now). Two weeks ago I managed a .496 five shot group at 200 and last week a 1.560 at 300. Not stunningly good groups but my Rem 5R isn't a custom built either.

I still have a jug of Varget so I will still revisit some loads with that since after year with that rifle and over 1700 rounds I might have gotten a little better than when I started load developing.

FlyinBryan
June 7, 2009, 10:31 PM
sometimes i string out vertical like the 2 on the right with varget.

in my case i think my powder measure just dont like varget.

i can switch to a shorter cut extruded like 322 and it seems to do better.

when im shooting tight left to right like that and they string up and down its usually inconsistent drops.

you said you were averaging 2625fps, but did you notice much variance from low to high?

well at least they aint just all over the place. when mine go verticle like that it dont bug me too bad cuz i know its the load, and not the rifle.

how does it do when you use shorter cut extruded powders like 322?

better?

Redneck with a 40
June 7, 2009, 11:52 PM
My .308 powders are H-4895, Varget, and IMR 4064, I don't have any "short cut" powders.

1858
June 8, 2009, 01:03 AM
I hope the Nosler's perform ok in the future, I bought a box of 1000 of'em, price was right. I don't need to be sitting on a box of 1000 junk bullets.

If you don't like them, I'll take them off your hands for a fair price ... assuming they're the custom competition variety. :) That's what I shoot in my .308 with very good results. I've already posted my last 12-shot match group at 200 yards so I won't do that again, but suffice it to say that it was 0.86 MOA prone/bipod with no rear support so there's nothing wrong with the bullet. I use Reloder 15 but will be switching to Varget soon since I can't get any Reloder at the moment. Don's comment about Varget being "finicky" has me a little worried. I know that Don isn't a fan of the OCW method so hopefully that's why he had problems with Varget. I've never had a powder yet that didn't produce accurate loads at the OCW and was "finicky" at OCW +/- 0.3gr but you never know.

As for your groups, kind of looks like shooter fatigue to me. Sometimes you just need to take a break. Go shoot something else or better yet, don't shoot for a week or two. Load development is tough if you do it right. Finding a load that will shoot well ALWAYS under a wide variety of conditions takes a lot of work. Remember, nothing easy is worth doing.

:)

FlyinBryan
June 8, 2009, 02:08 AM
not that it has anything to do with it, but how much time do you give between shots?

if you can get control of the vertical stringing that is gonna be one bad motor scooter.

does it string like that with 4895?

i have noticed that 4895 seems to yeild less variances from charge weight to charge wieght.

then again, i dont shoot anything in 30cal that will hold groups like your rifle is probably capable of.

the only 30cal i load for is a 70 year old garand.

with my garand if you load rounds that should shoot 5moa, it shoots them 3, and if you load rounds that should shoot sub moa,,,,,,,,,it shoots them 3, lol.

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