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FC .308 cartridges not "rattling", Winchester Does?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by momchenr, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. momchenr

    momchenr New Member

    Feb 20, 2010
    So I loaded up about 100 rounds of .308... 50 of them were Federal (FC) brass, and the other 50 were Winchester. It's somewhat of a "middle of the road" load for .308 using 168SMK's... 44.0gr Varget and CCI BR Primers.

    I'm excited to shoot them.

    So anyway, I'm used to the cases "rattling" after I load them up - you know, when you shake them back and forth you can hear the powder rattling around as long as it's not a compressed load...

    About 1/10 of the FC cases rattle, and ALL of the Winchester cases rattle. I tumbled them a little, maybe a half hour or so, just to get my hand grease off them. Are the case specs that different between manufacturers? I'm only 2gr away from this being a compressed load, but I just want to make sure that I'm not going crazy - last thing I want is a surprise at the range this weekend.
  2. dakotasin

    dakotasin Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    winchester cases usually have more case volume than other cases - so you'll need more powder in them to compress a given seating depth.

    did you develop this load, or just load some up? either way, keep your brass seperated by headstamp so you can see what, if any, difference headstamp makes on both group size and distance from zero. my experience is it can be substantial.

    federal cases are, well... federal cases. not highly regarded, though they'll work fine until you wear 'em out. i wouldn't intentionally look for more fc cases, though.
  3. medalguy
    • Contributing Member

    medalguy Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    In my limited experience with Federal cases the volume is about the same. If you're that concerned, take one that you can't hear the powder in, pull the bullet, and weigh the powder charge. Me, I don't reload Federal cases because I found that they have loose primer pockets and do ocasionally blow a primer. My Federal cases go in the scrap bucket. YMMV.
  4. JimKirk

    JimKirk Senior Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Nicholls,GA South Georgia
    According to Hodgdon's Web site, you're right in the middle of the 42 to 46 grain load listing for that bullet with Varget.

    If you are worried that they "rattle" or not, you should not be. I take it that you've just started reloading and if that is so you will find lots of loads that "rattle" and lots that do not. Don't worry, if the load is safe for your gun and is accurate go for it.

    If you are worried about compressed loads, then stay away from them until you are more comfortable with reloading. Compressed loads are just as safe as non, but there is too much compression just like there is loading too little powder in some cases.

    Stay with what your reloading manual gives as a safe load, you'll be fine.

    Jimmy K
  5. velocette

    velocette Active Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Ft. Lauderdale Fla
    Federal .308 cases are the heaviest of all the 308 cases I reload for. Heavier than military cases in fact. This means that they have the least internal volume. Fed cases should be reloaded using data for Military brass. Failing to do so will cause overpressure, flattened & loose primers & short brass life.
    Winchester cases are among the lightest, thus the most capacity & can use more propellant.
    By the way, I found that Hornady cases were the lightest of all .308 cases that I weighed.

  6. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    S. C. Florida
    Fire one of each and see if the primers get flattened or anything. Which I doubt. If not, then don't worry about it. And as you go along, try to stick with one brand. It'll just make life easier for you.
  7. USSR

    USSR Mentor

    Jul 7, 2005
    Yep. Your 44gr Varget load is on the heavy side for the Federal brass, and on the light side for the Winchester brass.

  8. 918v

    918v Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    It is not. You can stuff an additional two grains of powder into a Winchester case before the bolt gets sticky.
  9. redactor

    redactor Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    Huntsvegas, AL
    Primer flattening is not an adequate metric. Check the beginning of Ken Water's "Pet Loads" if you need convincing.

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