Best powder of these listed for 308 147-168 grain loads.


November 22, 2009, 02:03 PM
Looking for a good accurate powder for 308 loads for a Rock River Lar-8. I have used Tac and Varget so far with the edge going to Tac. What have you guys had good accuracy with?

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November 22, 2009, 03:56 PM
C'mon guys 2 votes for other but no posts stating what they are.

November 22, 2009, 04:11 PM
Name the one you think is most accurate and you can be sure someone will outshoot you with ANY of the others, or with several others not listed.

November 22, 2009, 06:19 PM
Rel-15, VVN150, IMR4064 are all being used in competition with great accuracy.


November 22, 2009, 07:33 PM
Varget has been my go to powder for 168SMKs, but limited testing with RE-15, is looking very good also.

Redneck with a 40
November 22, 2009, 07:55 PM
In my experience with 168 gr Nosler HPBT's, IMR-4895 is where its at.:)

evan price
November 23, 2009, 02:46 AM
Varget, H335, BL(c)2, 4895... there's pluses to all of those powders. The problem is you need to work up a load that works the best in your rifle with your bullets and brass. So there's no "best powder", there's only the "best combo" with your gun. Welcome to precision rifle loading...!

November 23, 2009, 06:42 AM
I don't see a significant of difference between the H4895 and IMR4895 on grouping or placement on target. IMR3031 is not much different from the other two.

Varget is just the H-version of IMR4064, and its 'short cut'. Maybe its just me, but my 7.62x51 Garands have shot better with 168 Sierras and either 4895 than they have with anything else. Try 41.5gr of either 4895 with the 168 in an LC case. I used Federal primers once upon a time, but switched to Winchester because of availability issues.

November 24, 2009, 12:48 PM
Tried them all. Ended up RL 15 hands down. TAC close second.

November 24, 2009, 12:56 PM
AA2460 has treated me very well.

November 25, 2009, 04:26 AM
Out of my three I have used, varget, IMR4064, and IMR3031... Varget has been the best so far especially with the Horandy 165 gr SST's I use for Hunting.


November 25, 2009, 11:47 AM
Sierra 168 gr gamekings over IMR4064 works very well in my Savage 110.

I've loaded a variety of loads using the same bullet over IMR4895 but have yet to test them.


November 25, 2009, 12:49 PM
You need to add IMR 4064 to your list. There seems to be a consensus that IMR 4064 is what's used for Federal Gold Medal Match and related military sniper rounds:

November 25, 2009, 01:20 PM
I've had excellent results using RL-15 with a 168 grain SMK.

This load duplicates the Federal Gold Medal Match rounds, at least in my rifle it does. (Savage 110 with 26" bbl)

Outstanding round, actually. It uses Federal Match primers, although I haven't tried it with other primers.

November 25, 2009, 02:09 PM
Real Mags (The) - 42 to 43 grains of RL-15 under a SMK 168 or Nosler CC 168 with launch sequence started by a Federal GM primer works VERY well for me. RL-15 might be a bit slow as you move to a lighter bullet, so for a 155 Nosler CC I have used 43 grains of Benchmark with excellent results.

This is all for a bolt gun with a 24" barrel. I don't know if your semi auto platform has different powder needs. For example, having the gas port half way up the barrel might indicate the need for a faster powder, rather than a slower one.

November 25, 2009, 03:34 PM
I really love Win 748 in 7.62x51/.308 loads. Very accurate!

November 28, 2009, 09:53 PM
let me start by saying I haven't used any of tge powders you listed. I have a NEF 308 a nd a FAL battle rifle and in both I use 150 and 165 gr hornadys. I load using rl 10x and love it. versitile clean burning great grouping and damn good velocities( accuracy doesn't me blazing speed as I'm sure you know). I use various brass and I use a powder measurer for volume not so much grains. I load 36 grs of 10x and run about 2800-2900 fps. damn good powder and also great in 22cal rounds.

dagger dog
November 29, 2009, 12:41 PM
Varget, Re15, Win. 748 in that order

November 29, 2009, 01:18 PM
RL15 and Varget IMHO are THE .308 powders for accurate shooting. 4064 would be in there as well if it wasn't so damn hard to meter reliably.

RL15 seems to meter better than Varget, and Varget's not bad. RL15 will get me a little more velocity for the same charge but Varget is temp insensitive.

For the bulk of my shooting I use RL15, but I keep a pound or two of Varget for shooting in very hot/cold.

Redneck with a 40
November 29, 2009, 03:57 PM
Since 4064 and Varget are extremely hard to find right now, I bought 16 lbs of IMR 4895 when Widener's had it in stock. This powder is working very nicely for me, in my Remmy 700 SPS Tactical, 20".

I was in serious need of .308 powder and I bought what was available, which was IMR 4895.:D

November 29, 2009, 04:12 PM
BLC-2 has worked vary well but down to last container. Now to find more or try some from the reply's above.

December 2, 2009, 08:45 PM
Just picked up a pound of Reloader 15 for the 168 grain 308 loads. Anyone have 55 grain load data for 223 using Reloader 15. I have 308 data and 62 grain 223 data but I can't find 55 grain data for Reloader 15.

December 2, 2009, 08:59 PM
Here's a site showing 223 loads using Rel-15. Reloader 15


December 2, 2009, 09:08 PM
Thanks Smitty!

December 2, 2009, 09:12 PM
RL-15 with 168 a-max from a T/C Encore handgun 15" prints just under a inch groups at 100 from a bench. Best thing I have found so far.

December 3, 2009, 12:45 PM
the 15 is only for the heavier bullets. if you load them and shoot it will leave alot of crap in your barrel. fyi

December 4, 2009, 04:13 AM
IMR-4064. I have it on good authority that Federal loads its match .308 with it. The agencies that originally requested the load asked for a stick powder , single base for reliable ignition at low temperatures.

December 4, 2009, 04:45 AM
VV N140 or VV N150. But Varget is a very versatile powder.

December 4, 2009, 08:31 AM
IMR-4064. I have it on good authority that Federal loads its match .308 with it.

Not likely. Since Federal is owned by ATK, which also owns Alliant, why would Federal use a competitor's powder? That would be like Chevy using a Ford motor. More than likely, a noncannister grade of RL15 is used.


December 4, 2009, 09:35 AM
I use only varget and 168gn Hornady BTHP match. It's a slower powder and I can use in my old M1 and AR10.
Over the past year Varget has been hard to get locally until yesterday. I was in the local gun store buying an old Winchester 94 and spotted and 8lb'er on one of the shelves while waiting for my number to be called. It took me about 30 seconds to grab it, beating two other guys heading for the same thing. :)

Ky Larry
December 4, 2009, 09:41 AM
My CZ-550 Varmint likes IMR-4320, AA#2520, and any -4064. However, as was stated above, one size doesn't fit all. Every rifle is a study in ballistics in and of itself. Even 2 identical rifles with consecutive serial numbers will shoot the same load differently. That's why these "what's best" polls are pointless.

December 4, 2009, 12:59 PM
Not to get too far off the subject, but that was an interesting comment about Federal's .308 match load being loaded with 4064, and the following responses. Being curious I pulled a bullet and checked it out. The load is 42.3 grains of what is quite similiar to 4064 and could be easily mistaken for it. However, I compared both types under stereo microscope and there unmistakable differences. Also, for the record, it is definately not any of the Alliant RL series. Most likely it is a Canadian IMR product, non-cannister of course. Ammo makers such as Federal routinely change their loadings of any caliber as a given lot of propellant is used up and switch to another lot. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that inspections of subsiquent lots of ammo will reveal different different charges and somewhat different propellants. Which is a big reason why some lots of ammo are often found to be more-or less-accurate than other lots. I also pulled a Federal .223 round, and guess what! Was loaded with spherical propellant, most likely made at St. Marks.

December 4, 2009, 01:29 PM
Another vote for RL-15.

December 4, 2009, 02:24 PM
Lake City, which is operated by ATK (owner of Federal and Alliant), uses RL15 in the .308 M118LR sniper ammo they produce for the gov't. Therefor, I think it is reasonable to expect that Federal uses a similar powder for their .308 Gold Medal Match ammo.


December 4, 2009, 02:36 PM
Isn't RL15 a faster burning powder than Varget?

December 4, 2009, 03:23 PM
AR10 asked Isn't RL15 a faster burning powder than Varget?

According to the Reload Bench burn rate chart ( RL15 is slower than Varget. It's slower than 4064. More like Ramshot Big Game, H380 and W760.

December 4, 2009, 03:44 PM
It's often amusing how some people will disagree with a simple statement of well informed fact if it does not agree with their own ill-informed preconceptions. As posted earlier, I pulled a Federal .308 Match load and examined the propellant under a microscope. Attached is a micro photo of the propellant used in the sample Federal cartridge compared to RL-15 propellant. Even an amateur can easily see the difference. After all, this isn't rocket science.

December 4, 2009, 04:10 PM

You cannot identify a noncannister grade of powder by comparing it to a commercial cannister grade of powder. While we may never know what the powder they used is, it is highly unlikely that it is a competitors powder.


December 4, 2009, 04:23 PM
USSR, just trying to help you and others. Read my last post again, and the earlier one. I never attempted to identify propellant in the Federal load, as you seem to imply. What I did say is that it is not 4064 or RL-15. This was easy to do simply by microscope inspection. Look at the photo and you'll get the idea,

December 4, 2009, 05:07 PM
According to the Reload Bench burn rate chart RL15 is slower than Varget. It's slower than 4064. More like Ramshot Big Game, H380 and W760.

Both are very close with RL15 being 79 (faster) and Varget 81 (slower). It shouldn't make much difference as to which powder someone picks as long as they're happy with it.
The Reload bench site needs to be updated because when I checked the Hogadon site Varget was slower

December 4, 2009, 09:37 PM
The Reload bench site needs to be updated because when I checked the Hogadon site Varget was slower

I haven't looked at the Hodgdon chart for a long time. I was surprised to see BL-C(2) listed as slower then 4064.

I shoot an M1. A rule of thumb for the M1 is to use no powders slower than 4064 to protect the operating rod. I always thought BL-C(2) was in the 4895, H335, TAC, RL12 speed range.

I checked the burn rate charts for Reloaders Nest which had BL-C(2) near 4895, faster than 4064. It also had RL15 slower than Varget. had BL-C(2) as a bit faster than 4895 and RL15 as slower than Varget.

I understand Hodgdon ought to know about the burn speed of it's own powders, but I really find it hard to believe BL-C(2) is slower than 4064. I also think RL15 might be too slow for an M1, but now I don't really know.

Who to believe?

December 4, 2009, 10:41 PM
Who to believe?
No one. :) I get advice, mostly from THR, but the decision has to be your own.
I liked Varget because it works in the M1 and AR10B. IMO using a slower powder in a semi auto rifle keeps the wear and tear down on the rifle, bolt guns are a whole different ball game.
I also think that what ever powder, (any brand), a reloader is happy with and works with your gun then, by all means, use it. Powder loads are just like the guns you shoot, every one is different.

December 5, 2009, 08:58 AM
Another vote for RL15.

On the tangent topic of FGMM powder, I pulled a couple of rounds from some 175 grain FGMM that I bought from MidwayUSA a month or two ago. I realize that the blend may in fact be different, and there's really no way to know for sure without getting employed by Federal Cartridge Company, but the powder looks and measures like RL15:

The FGMM powder measured at .031" wide by .061" length for the average sized powder grain chosen at random, and the RL15 that I had handy measured at .030" wide by .061" long. I only measured a few pieces. Charge weight was 42.5 and 42.6 grains.

I also pulled some older 168 FGMM last night and found a similar but larger grain length powder than RL15; I have no idea what it is. Charge weight was 44.4 - 44.6 grains. These rounds blow primers like it's cool in my LR-308 about fourty percent of the time. The cases come out trashed as well, with the case head so damaged by brass flow into the extractor hole that they cannot be used again. Velocity averages at 2,680 fps, which is higher than advertised.

I'm going to start into some new loads with about 42.5 grains of RL15 and mate it with some 175 grain SMKs in some FGMM brass.

December 7, 2009, 12:01 PM
Ctone, while all rifles are different, I have found the exact load with fed. match primers produce some very, very tight groups out of my completely OEM Rem. 700P PSS.

December 8, 2009, 12:50 PM
Thanks gonna give that a try.

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