Range Report: .308 Load Testing for Savage Hog Hunter


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primalmu
January 8, 2013, 09:32 PM
Finally got out to the range today and put some holes in paper. These are my first reloads and I still have less than 150 rounds through my Hog Hunter. Given that I'm very new to centerfire shooting (notwithstanding the Mosin I had in the past and my SKS), I'm quite impressed with ALL of these loads.

I loaded all the rounds to a COAL of 2.79". Bullets used were Nosler 150gr Ballistic Tips.

Without further adieu...

Group Sizes (Varget powder)
44.0gr - 1.16" @ 100 yards
44.5gr - 0.9" @ 100 yards
45.0gr - 1.0" @ 100 yards
45.5gr - 1.41" @ 100 yards
46.0gr - 0.63" @ 100 yards
46.5gr - 1.5" @ 100 yards
47.0gr - 0.87" @ 100 yards

Now, I'm sure a lot of those big groups are due to my abilities and not the load. However, I think I'm going to stick with 46gr of Varget for now while I get more trigger time in.

Some pics...

Varget 44gr (this started as my sight in group but the group was so good I just kept it):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget44gr.jpg

Varget 44.5gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget445gr.jpg

Varget 45gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget45gr.jpg

Varget 45.5gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget455gr.jpg

Varget 46gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget46gr.jpg

Varget 46.5gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget465gr.jpg

Varget 47gr:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/insignia100/01-08-13Varget47gr.jpg

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Jasper1573
January 9, 2013, 10:01 AM
Looks as if 46 gr Varget load is the sweet spot for your rifle with that combination. Do you have any idea what the velocity of that round is?

primalmu
January 9, 2013, 09:43 PM
No clue. I haven't invested in a chronograph yet.

Col
January 12, 2013, 11:55 AM
looking at quickload that load is in the red and over pressure, 2899 fps if using 24 inch barrel

Cartridge : .308 Win.
Bullet : .308, 150, Nosler BalTip 30150
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.790 inch or 70.87 mm
Barrel Length : 24.0 inch or 609.6 mm
Powder : ? Hodgdon VARGET ?

Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
incremented in steps of 2.0% of nominal charge.
CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !

Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
% % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms

-20.0 88 36.80 2337 1819 32177 5836 89.0 1.424
-18.0 90 37.72 2393 1907 34355 6017 90.2 1.384
-16.0 93 38.64 2449 1998 36678 6193 91.3 1.346
-14.0 95 39.56 2505 2091 39173 6363 92.3 1.308
-12.0 97 40.48 2562 2186 41840 6527 93.3 1.269
-10.0 99 41.40 2618 2283 44697 6685 94.3 1.232
-08.0 101 42.32 2674 2382 47760 6836 95.1 1.197
-06.0 104 43.24 2731 2483 51041 6979 95.9 1.163
-04.0 106 44.16 2787 2587 54585 7113 96.7 1.130 ! Near Maximum !
-02.0 108 45.08 2843 2692 58370 7239 97.3 1.098 ! Near Maximum !
+00.0 110 46.00 2899 2800 62424 7355 97.9 1.067 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+02.0 112 46.92 2956 2909 66792 7461 98.4 1.038 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+04.0 115 47.84 3012 3021 71506 7556 98.9 1.009 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+06.0 117 48.76 3068 3134 76600 7640 99.3 0.981 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+08.0 119 49.68 3124 3250 82116 7712 99.6 0.954 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+10.0 121 50.60 3179 3367 88102 7771 99.8 0.928 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Results caused by 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
+Ba 110 46.00 3022 3041 73758 7228 100.0 0.999 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
-Ba 110 46.00 2736 2493 51468 7149 92.2 1.157 ! Near Maximum !

Craigman
January 12, 2013, 12:08 PM
looking at quickload that load is in the red and over pressure

those charges are right within Hodgdon online data spec. 44-47gn max

Dave P
January 12, 2013, 12:30 PM
46 is a hot load - be careful. Not recommended for a new reloader.

If you re-size your cases incorrectly, it would not take too much more pressure to cause a head separation.

If you stick with FL re sized new brass, you should be OK.

gamestalker
January 12, 2013, 02:03 PM
According to Hogdon that load is at 66.6% of the load range and is not above maximum. Maximum with that powder and bullet is 47.0 grs. which is a compressed charge. So as long as you are not seeing any excessive pressure signs on the primers, such as primers filling the entire pocket and cratering, or if the bolt opens without excessive resistence or drag, I think your fine.

And yes, it appears you ahve found the sweet spot for your rifle and that load combination.

GS

primalmu
January 12, 2013, 02:11 PM
Yes, I used Hodgdon's load information for the 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets that I used. As I shot each round I inspected the cases looking for signs of overpressure. They all looked good to me.

Jim Watson
January 12, 2013, 02:21 PM
I haven't shot any Noslers but a 28" .308 with 46 gr Varget and a 155 gr Lapua Scenar is doing 2900 fps and is a working maximum in my rifle.

climbnjump
January 12, 2013, 02:26 PM
For what it's worth, the Nosler #6 manual actually lists 48.5 gr of Varget as the max for that bullet (Fed 210M primer, 2.81 COL).

vujade
January 13, 2013, 02:15 AM
Hello there. I frequent and read a lot but don't post but I couldn't resist. 308 is my FAVORITE caliber to reload. and I my favorite rifle happens to be a Savage 10FP in 308.

Anyway, I've had great success with Varget. I found that there seems to be (2) sweet spots during load developments. Usually at the high point (looks like you found that). There is also a corresponding sweet spot on the low end. (I'm a wuss so I tend to use that one (except for my hunting rifle/rounds; I go on the higher end)).

In my Savage, I found 42.1 to be the sweet spot on. Easily .25 to .50 inches at 100 yards benched (5 shot groups). I shot a 2 inch group at 300 yards with that same load with a sling (no bipod) in the prone position.

One thing I noticed at least in my rifles are that OAL plays a big part in accuracy. I was getting .5-.75 inches regularly but only got into sub half MOA once I started to load pretty close to the lands (my bullets are pretty long at 2.880).

(I should add: Hornady Match Brass or Federal Brass + 168 grain Hornady AMAX + cci 200 primers. 41.9 grains of Varget)

What a fun hobby; few things are as rewarding as finding that sweet spot!

primalmu
January 13, 2013, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the tip vujade. I might try out some lower charges in the future. My plan right now is to use the 46gr load and once I get some more trigger time (and improve my shooting skills with my new .223) I'll revisit working up a load for my rifle. I have no doubts that most of the cause of my large groups were due to my shooting and not the rifle or the loads. I wouldn't be surprised if ANY load that I tried would produce sub-MOA groups if I do my part.

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