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Loads for 16" barrel .308

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 686+, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. 686+

    686+ Well-Known Member

    Need to find some loads for a 16" FAL. Since the barrel is short I figure loads in the 150gr or 135gr (or so), since it is a short barrel and will need faster powders.

    Suggestions? I have Varget on order and have Win748 available, but open to all powder/load combos.

  2. NuJudge

    NuJudge Well-Known Member

    Why don't you try normal loads first. If set up right, the gas port is a good bit bigger than those on full-length barrels, and will function with normal loads.

    I have no experience with barrels that short on FALs, but do with ones shortened a bit less. If anything, they cycle with excessive vigor.

    Blast will probably be . . . memorable.

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    Use the same powder recommended for other gas-operated .308's.
    The Hornady manual has a chapter devoted to the M1A.

    As there is no "load for short barrels" commercially available, the rifles gas system is tuned to handle standard pressure loads.

    As for velocity?
    Believe it or not, whatever powder gives the highest velocity in a longer barrel will also give the highest velocity in a short barrel.

  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "As for velocity? Believe it or not, whatever powder gives the highest velocity in a longer barrel will also give the highest velocity in a short barrel."

    Quite true. But the muzzle blast from that barrel is going to be a real treat to everyone within 50 yards!
  5. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    W748 works great in short 308's...I have a T/C with a 14" barrel (handgun)...W748 will push a 168 grain bullet 2,465 fps from that gun. That load is a bit hot for the FAL though...but the powder will work better than most, even with lighter bullets.

    Varget is not all that great with light bullets...its at its best with 175 grain and heavier bullets.
  6. waffentomas

    waffentomas Well-Known Member

    665 nailed it, WW 748 is a fairly fast powder and works well in the shorter barrels. I use it for everything, even 180gr in .308, but it shines in my AP4.

  7. 686+

    686+ Well-Known Member

    That's why I am asking. I want to reduce the muzzle blast or at least make it less then memorable. Not too worried about cycling, as this is the para version and has the gas block moved back, the gas adjuster should take care of the umph.

    My Speer manual puts Varget and 748 close together, and leaves out Varget at the higher bullet weights, and drops 748 in favaor of 760. Do you have a good source for more info?
  8. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Sierra's manual, and Hornady's manual (in the service rifle section), and past experience...Varget is best with heavier bullets.

    If you want to reduce muzzle blast...IMR 3031.

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