Help! Reloading for LR-308


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Lyinhunter
May 11, 2012, 10:28 PM
I've always said there is no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people asking questions...so here it goes.

I bought a dpms LR-308 this week and one box of winchester psp. Once I got the gun sighted in, I shot a five round group measuring .89. Then I tried to load my own bullets and I feel like I might as well be shooting a shotgun.

I am using redding dies, hornady bullets and have tried A2230 and TAC powders. Are these powders too fast? How do you know if the powder is too fast or too slow?

Here is the real kicker, After I seat the bullets in a 5 round group the COL will vary as much as .004 from the lowest to highest. Why am I not getting consistency in seating depth? The bullets never vary more than .05 of a grain. I have never used the redding die and don't have another 30 cal seating die to compare.

Anyone that can teach me about diagnosing problems with poor accuracy, I welcome a good lesson.

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Danco411
May 11, 2012, 11:31 PM
To me accuracy starts with case prep. Make sure your sizing die is set so your only setting the shoulder back .002. A case gauge is worth every bit of the $25 you'll pay for it. Next is neck tension on the bullet. If you don't have proper tension accuracy will suffer. Again die set up is critical. Next is proper length. .308 does not grow that much after firing but trimming them to proper length helps accuracy. You must camfer the case mount for consistent seating.

What bullets are you using? My LR308 with a Fulton barrel loves 168 BTHP and 165 SMK. Although I have not used TAC I hear it's great. I use Varget, RE15 and WC844 and WC846 for volume plinking loads with Hornady 150 FMJBT. My plinkers with surplus powder shoots less than MOA and my match rounds less than .5. The key is consistency and uniformity. I seat all my match rounds to 2.80 religiously. They fit in the mag and shoot great. I owe much to the Geiselle SD-E trigger though.:). Are you crimping? Over crimp will ruin your day. I started with a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Not any more. It's not needed if you have proper bullet tension. What load of TAC are you using?

Lyinhunter
May 12, 2012, 10:27 AM
I also am trying to make a plinking load with 150 gr hndy fmj. I have tried every charge from min to max with TAC. I have tried COAL from 2.5-2.8. I have tried full length resizing and neck sizing, ive crimped (very lightly) and not crimped. I'm out of variables. what is your COAL with the hndy fmj? Do you crimp?

I have no idea how far I'm pushing the brass back...more stuff to buy I guess.

popper
May 12, 2012, 03:19 PM
I usually use 168 Amax which gives good accuracy. I've used the H 150 SP without problem. I doubt if COL is your problem. I've used ARCOMP, Varget, XBR and H4895 with good results. Check your die expander plug for proper dia, you need a couple thou. neck tension. I just crimp to remove any bell, but use a TAPER crimp. Most die come with a ROLL crimp, which you do NOT want. You need to get a 308 case gauge (wilson works fine) to check your brass and headspace. I put in a better trigger, but if you got good groups with the old ammo, that is not your problem.

Strongbad
May 12, 2012, 08:59 PM
I did not have luck with 2230 the LR-308. It shoots superb out of my Brno 601 (also 308) but not so much in the DPMS. I did however load up some rounds with Varget for the 601 that did not shoot in the bolt gun but shot superb out of the DPMS. With 165 gr. Ballistic Tips with Varget, it's a consistent 1" gun at 200 yards. I was blown away, no pun intended. That's darn good for a bolt gun, much less an autoloader.

Jasper1573
May 13, 2012, 02:22 PM
I bought a dpms LR-308 this week and one box of winchester psp. Once I got the gun sighted in, I shot a five round group measuring .89.

I have a friend who has the same rifle and it is a consistent half MOA rifle with 168 grain Sierra Matchkings (SMKs). We also found it likes SMK 175s with 42.5 to 43 grains of Reloader 15. Surplus powder that is the equivalent of Reloader 15 performs equally as well at about $11 per pound. COAL is 2.800 and primer is CCI #34.

Hope this helps...

popper
May 13, 2012, 04:36 PM
I'd check the sizer and seater die for proper neck tension, headspace and runout. They supposedly test it with Rem 150 PSP. That is where I started and went to the hornady PSP and Amax for better accuracy. My cases (mixed) have ~ 6 reloads on them and none have ever been trimmed. I have the 24 and 18" uppers, both shoot better than me and a hi-power tack scope.

SlamFire1
May 13, 2012, 07:41 PM
I am using redding dies, hornady bullets and have tried A2230 and TAC powders. Are these powders too fast? How do you know if the powder is too fast or too slow?

I would follow the same advice given to Garand shooters, that is nothing faster than IMR 3031 and nothing slower than IMR 4064. Varget would be the slowest I would use.

The 308 cartridge was developed with IMR 4895. Therefore any of the 4895 type powders, that is H4895/AA2495/IMR 4895 should be your baseline.

Faster powders are better than slower in a semi auto. Slower will cause function issues.

This was a problem that got lots of GI's killed in Vietnam when the military used a "slower" ball powder in the M16's than the powder the weapon had been developed with. Cartridge rims were torn off jamming the weapon. Probably some other issues too.

Lyinhunter
May 14, 2012, 01:47 PM
Thanks to all, for the lessons. I found my problem(s). The Hornady 150 fmj has the cannelure way way too far forward, when seated to the C.O.L. of 2.780 as listed in the fifth edition of the Hornady reloading handbook (.308 Win) the cannelure was in the wrong location. Because both the book and the cannelure suggested the bullet be seated really deep I wasn't confident enough to back off my seating die and extend the COL past 2.790.

Another problem I had, is that when I was trying to see where the bullet made contact by coloring a bullet with marker and chambering it. The case would get stuck if I went past about 2.74, but no marking on the bullet would show. I was convinced I needed to keep the bullet seated deeper.

After so much frustration I cleaned the chamber with solvent and then went to a COL of 2.8. The case was very tight, but still no contact with the bullet (I was convinced against all evidence that the bullet depth was problem not case size(yes I am that stoopid, but the book said COL 2.78 and when I saw the cannelure sticking out so far I kept telling myself it wasn't just a typo in the manual)). I shot three rounds, perfect function, and all three fit under a Gatorade bottle lid. I then had enough confidence to believe what was actually happening, I then cam-ed over as far as the resizer die would let me and now the cases fit and the bullets shoot accurate using TAC.

I just didn't have enough experience and confidence to believe what I was seeing, I kept asking myself, "do you really think that you know better than all the people at Hornady?"

popper
May 15, 2012, 01:16 PM
Get a case gauge so you can set the HS accurately. Use a fired, unsized case to determine your HS. Set you die accordingly. Just cranking the die down isn't correct.

Jdillon
May 17, 2012, 12:13 AM
For setting proper head spacing for my gas guns, I have found the RCBS Precision Mic to work the best. I would bump a minimum of .003 off fired cases. One thing you will notice is that the headspace of fired brass will vary even when fired from the same rifle so set up your dies with a good number of cases and be prepared to trash quite a few in the process. My DPMS AR-10 with a 16" bbl likes SMK in 135gr and 168gr. behind Varget. Haven't tried the other powders listed but plan on giving them a try.

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