AR-10 Loads?


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moonzapa
December 1, 2013, 12:58 PM
I just got around to handloading for my Armalite AR-10 which is in .308Win/7.62x51mm NATO caliber. (My rifle barrel is marked 7.62x51mm NATO).

I decided on starting to use the Hornady 150 grain SST bullet. I chose this bullet because it has a cannelure that I can crimp to and should have plenty of "oomph" to knock down wild pigs.

The Hornady reloading manual has two sections, one for the .308 Win and the other for the .308 Win Service Rifle. I chose the .308 Winchester section of the manual to develop a load. After much debate with others on THR, I decided to take their advice and will load the Armalite AR-10 with bolt action loads, mind you - nothing extreme.

I loaded 50 rounds of Hornady 150 grain SST's using Winchester WLR primers and 44.2 grains of IMR-4895 powder. I backed-off .5 grains of powder from the Hornady non-max load of 44.7 grains IMR-4895 due to substituting Federal G210 primers with the WLR primers. I used a moderate crimp on the cannelure of the bullets.

I would appreciate your keen insights and comments and will hold off going to the range until I get a good amount of feedback from you all.

Thanks!

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redclay
December 1, 2013, 06:26 PM
You should never start at a near max load, start low and work up. That said, what is your COL.
I use 42 grn. IMR 4895 and 165 grain SP in my DPMS LR308b and it shoots 1/2 groups all day, but my velocity is below published data by 200 fps.

steve4102
December 1, 2013, 07:31 PM
Hodgdon data list a "Start" of 42.7gr and a "Max" of 46.5gr with 150gr Bullets.

Start low and work up.

mtrmn
December 1, 2013, 08:29 PM
I think you should use the service rifle section. MY "AR10" which is not a "real" Armalite AR10 gives pressure signs with 145 gr FMJ's when I get over 42 gr IMR4895. Mine is a Bushmaster BAR10 which is the predecessor of the RRA LAR8. It uses FAL mags. It has a 20" bbl 1/10 twist. 42 gr 4895 with ~150 gr bullets is the magic number for acuracy and max pressures without signs of excessive pressure.
As others said, start low and work up. And the bolt rifles will usually take higher pressures than the ARs without pressure signs. Stick to the basics and be careful. Do some research on loading for semiautos. You will run across a lot of talk about the M1A/M14, M1, etc. You'll have to weed out a lot of it, but all gas guns share a lot of these traits.
Only load 10 rounds of each load for testing, Test all loads from min to max until you find the most accurate load or you run into pressure signs. I wouldn't load 50 rounds of anything until I had a proven good load nailed down.

steve4102
December 1, 2013, 08:45 PM
MY "AR10" which is not a "real" Armalite AR10 gives pressure signs with 145 gr FMJ's when I get over 42 gr IMR4895.

What "Pressure" signs are you seeing with a Below Minimum charge?

LightningMan
December 1, 2013, 10:09 PM
Don't know if this helps but, I've used the same IMR 4895 but with 44.5 grs. in my M&P A-10 and using Hornady's 150 gr. FMJBT holding my OAL at 2.700 min. also using standard winchester large rifle primers which I've had no issues so far. FWIW, I have reloaded a few of the same cases of brass more than once with this load. LM

BillB204
December 2, 2013, 10:38 AM
I've been loading my 308s with H4895 behind 168SMKs (24" RRA) with sub-moa accuracy. I just bought a box of 175SMKs I'll be trying soon. I don't have any I4895. But I've seen I4895 mentioned several times in this thread. Has anyone done a comparison test between I4895 and H4895 in 308 for accuracy and/or extreme spread?

redclay
December 3, 2013, 04:04 AM
There are a lot of folks that say they are the same. They have different burn rates so to me they are different. When I was still using "H" I didn't own a Chrony so I can't address the velocity difference. As to accuracy I can tell no difference at all. I am using the same zero with no perceivable difference. I lucked on to an 8lb. jug of 'IMR" while looking for "H" last March and I have been very happy.

PowderMonkey
December 3, 2013, 07:13 AM
I have rung the 900 yard gong at Rayner's with my handloads from my 'real' AmraLite AR-10 20" Stainless. Prone bipod/rear bag.

168gr SMK HPBT
43gr Varget
2.820" COAL
Remington Brass trimmed to 2.005"
Federal Gold Medal Match Primer

Hodgdon data is 42-46g Varget with 168 SMK.

Fairly stout recoil - 24 of these day before match to warm up and 36 more of these over a long range match and you will feel it Monday AM. Not bruised or anything, maybe tenderized is the right word. : )

USSR
December 3, 2013, 09:28 AM
The brass being used in .308/7.62x51 is critical in load development. If using milsurp 7.62x51 brass and say Hodgdon's .308 load data which uses Winchester brass, you will have serious high pressure. Always list the brass being used when listing .308 load data.

Don

HKGuns
December 3, 2013, 10:56 PM
The brass being used in .308/7.62x51 is critical in load development. If using milsurp 7.62x51 brass and say Hodgdon's .308 load data which uses Winchester brass, you will have serious high pressure. Always list the brass being used when listing .308 load data.

Don

Alright, better to ask than not......308 Lake City M80 brass, 150gr Sierra MatchKings and 43gr of Varget, 2.775 COL as per the Hornady manual. Is this load safe with this brass?

Sommerled
December 4, 2013, 12:38 AM
Guns and Ammo magazine published a very informative article this year on loading for a 308 AR. Check out their website.

steve4102
December 4, 2013, 04:37 AM
Alright, better to ask than not......308 Lake City M80 brass, 150gr Sierra MatchKings and 43gr of Varget, 2.775 COL as per the Hornady manual. Is this load safe with this brass?

Hodgdon lists Start=44gr, Max=47gr (C).

Lyman Lists Start=42.5gr Max=47gr.

I would have no problem with your load. In fact 43gr is where I would start my load work up and work up towards 47gr.

If you are going to shoot Military brass it's a good idea to know the internal case capacity and compare it to your Civilian brass. Then you can determine if you need to adjust your load data.

Weigh a fired case and record, fill with H20 and weigh again, subtract and that is your internal case capacity.

USSR
December 4, 2013, 07:37 AM
Alright, better to ask than not......308 Lake City M80 brass, 150gr Sierra MatchKings and 43gr of Varget, 2.775 COL as per the Hornady manual. Is this load safe with this brass?

That load is fine. Also, no reason not to load them to the normal 2.800" COL.

Don

GW Staar
December 4, 2013, 10:21 AM
My Remington R25 (DPMS AR10 clone) is marked .308 Winchester.

Leads me to a question. Why would Remington chamber theirs for the .308, rather than the military chamber? Is there an advantage from their point of view? And what's the advantage of other companies chambering for Nato?

moonzapa
December 4, 2013, 03:42 PM
Thanks for the responses. FYI...I was hammered by the THR folks in the Rifle section. Most of the comments were that as long as you don't exceed the commercial load max pressures you don't have to worry gas guns loosening up or having any excelerated wear. I disagreed vehemently, however it does make sense that Armalite recommends commercial loads only, no handloads. The load I selected is not a hot load, but is a middle ground power load. My COL is: 2.800". I appreciate everyone's comments :-) Thanks.

ArchAngelCD
December 5, 2013, 01:15 AM
While there is nothing wrong with IMR4895 or H4895 I have found almost every 308 I've shot really likes IMR4064. I would and do use 4064 in all my 308 loads... Note, Varget is a close second but try and find that these days!

moonzapa
December 5, 2013, 02:57 AM
I agree on IMR-4064 being a real good powder for the .308. Years ago I owned a Ruger M-77 Ultra Light and it shot 165 grain Noslers with IMR-4064 very well. It was my go to powder then. In a gas operated semi-auto, IMR-4064 is on the edge for suitable powders to use because of it's slower burning rate. Thanks for the comments.

ArchAngelCD
December 5, 2013, 03:34 AM
I agree on IMR-4064 being a real good powder for the .308. Years ago I owned a Ruger M-77 Ultra Light and it shot 165 grain Noslers with IMR-4064 very well. It was my go to powder then. In a gas operated semi-auto, IMR-4064 is on the edge for suitable powders to use because of it's slower burning rate. Thanks for the comments.
Hodgdon lists IMR4064 just under 4895 and they list it faster than Varget and RL-15 so I didn't think it was too slow a powder for a semi-auto AR-10.
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

steve4102
December 5, 2013, 09:23 AM
Most of the comments were that as long as you don't exceed the commercial load max pressures you don't have to worry gas guns loosening up or having any excelerated wear. I disagreed vehemently, however it does make sense that Armalite recommends commercial loads only, no handloads.

Your rifle was built to withstand 308 pressures whether they are handloads or factory loads. I agree with the guys in the rifle section. Your rifle will NOT have any accelerated wear if you do not exceed max pressures and max load data. If it did, it would be a POS and unsafe no matter the ammo.

Armalite is not alone in their "commercial Loads" only policy, it is SOP in just about every gun maker in the world. I know of only one that recommends handloads and even published load data for his rifles and that would be Alexander Arms, all others will void their warranty if handloads are used in their guns.

Gage
December 5, 2013, 11:18 AM
tag for later
:cool:

moonzapa
December 6, 2013, 10:15 AM
Thanks Steve for your wise and sage comments. You have always been very helpful in the past. Good to see that you are still online, offering good information and assistance.

moonzapa
December 6, 2013, 10:30 AM
Arch Angel...

My Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading does list IMR-4064 for use in .308 Win Service Rifles. That being said, I'd say go ahead and use it. Let me know how it performs in your rifle. I get a lot of e-mails from shooters that like to offer their comments and share their experiences; "nothing slower than IMR-4064". I simply stated it was on the edge. Hope I didn't confuse or mislead you into thinking anything else. Please, let me know how this powder works in your semi-auto rifle. :)

popper
December 7, 2013, 10:30 AM
moonzapa - where in DFW? I use H335 & 4895 for carbine; 4895, varget, ARcomp, LeverE with cast or 168 Amax in my 24" LR308. Drop down a gr or 2 for LC (mil) brass. SST may be too thin a jacket for piggies. Once you size either 7.62 cases, they are the same.

ArchAngelCD
December 7, 2013, 11:27 PM
Arch Angel...

My Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading does list IMR-4064 for use in .308 Win Service Rifles. That being said, I'd say go ahead and use it. Let me know how it performs in your rifle. I get a lot of e-mails from shooters that like to offer their comments and share their experiences; "nothing slower than IMR-4064". I simply stated it was on the edge. Hope I didn't confuse or mislead you into thinking anything else. Please, let me know how this powder works in your semi-auto rifle. :)
No confusion at all, just a good discussion on the ammo and powders... :)

Actually, it's not my AR-10, it's my son's but since we both live in the same house I "borrow" it from time to time. Hey, it's only fair, he's "borrowed" my guns for a very long time!!! :p

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