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New to reloading.. be easy on me!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jmichael99, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. jmichael99

    jmichael99 New Member

    I know some of the basics.. im going to start with someone who knows the craft.. He said just bring the bullets, brass and primers. simple enough.. Im going to get a load going for 308. iv decided on a 175gr SMK bullet. But im drawing a blank on powder. Thats why im turning to you guys for help

    What brands should i look at

    What brands should i avoid

    What primers should i get?

    I think these are the only things i need help in, my cousin has been loading for a few years so he will be showing my the in's and out's

    FYI if it matters the gun is a 700p 1:12 twist
  2. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR and the wonderful world of reloading!

    My .308 barrel also has 1:12 twist rate and as a newbie to rifle loading I did the same as you, asked a lot of questions and read a lot of threads.

    For me, at the recommendation of various forum threads, I selected H4895/I4895 for lighter weight bullet and Varget/Reloader 15 for heavier weight bullet.

    I have used CCI BR2, Wolf and Tula primers with good consistency (I hand prime all rifle cases).

    Check out this benchrest shooting website that's chock full of information - http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com/p/articles-index.html
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Hard to go wrong with IMR 4895 in .308. It is a great powder for beginners loading .308.

    Welcome to THR
  4. jmichael99

    jmichael99 New Member

    Thanks for the quick replys from both of you!

    how is IMR 4895 with accuracy? Looking for under .5 or better at 100yards to start with.. I can go under 1moa with factory ammo right now. Looking to go to the next level
  5. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    If you are getting good groups with factory ammo, you should do better with handloads, depending on your reloading skillls and consistency.

    My groups with Hodgdon 4895 (not IMR 4895) more than reduced my groups by 50% compared to various factory ammo. However, YMMV.
  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Ooops, duplicate.
  7. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Well-Known Member

    Well, your friend didn't say to bring powder. Maybe he has some on hand that he's going to use. But for me, I got very good results with Varget. Then I switched to RL-15 and got even better results.
  8. Jeeping

    Jeeping Well-Known Member

    Well, your rifle will tell you what kind of powder it likes to shoot .5 moa with. Mine might shoot varget .5inches at 200 yards and exact same load will shoot 3 inches at 200 yards in your rifle. There is so much more to it than just the powder. Get a pound and work up the load that shoots best. Then change your head space a little, if that doesn't get you where you want then change powder, primer, bullet, brass, scale, dies, rifle and if after all that still no luck, change monkey behind the trigger.
    No pun intended.
    Seriously, just pick one ( I like Varget) and see what you get, if no luck; ask for help again.
  9. Cherokee

    Cherokee Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the reloading world !! Lots of good powders, I would probably start with IMR4895 or RL15 based on experience.
  10. brow_tines

    brow_tines Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned INR 4064
  11. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    You may buy anything on the shelves with confidence, IF there were any brands of anything to 'avoid' they would have been removed from the market long ago.
  12. Shmackey

    Shmackey Well-Known Member

    I also like Hodgdon 4895 (H4895) because it's happy to be downloaded for lighter rounds (training newbies or shooting at short ranges).

    For the full-on stuff, you can't go wrong with Varget or RL15. I would guess that 90% of .308 competition shooters use one of these two--and at least 95% of them use Varget, RL15, or a 4895.
  13. Damon555

    Damon555 Well-Known Member

    That's easy.....Varget
  14. slickshot223

    slickshot223 New Member


    You should buy two or three-READ THE BEGINNING PAGES----READ THE BEGINNING PAGES----never load max loads to start--always start at the lower end and work up---it is possible that max loads listed could be too much for your weapon!!!! Every weapon is unto itself!!!!! Make sure your brass is in good condition!!! Only the powder you are using should be on the bench!! Brass length and OVAL can have a drastic on pressures!! Did I tell you to READ THE BEGINNING PAGES IN THE MANUALS!!! Best of success , and welcome to the fine art of reloading!!!;)
  15. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for RL15 or Varget.
    I probably get just a hair better accuracy with RL15, but it's seldom available where I shop.
    Besides the deer will never know (or care).
  16. EMC45

    EMC45 Well-Known Member

    IMR 4064, IMR 4895, Varget.
  17. popper

    popper Well-Known Member

    Any of the above mentioned powder. PLUS a photographic memory and open ear. Some DO and some TEACH. Pay attention and ask questions when you don't understand what is going on.
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    You might want to rethink your bullet weight choice. IMO a 175gr bullet in the .308 is on the heavy side unless you're shooting at 1000 meters. Most reloaders I know use a 150gr bullet for range work and move up to a 168gr bullet for distance. Sierra's new 155gr Palma MatchKing bullets are reported to shoot extremely well in the .308 but I have not personally tried them yet. (Part #2156, not #2155)

    Powders have been covered above fairly well. IMR4895, H4895, IMR4064, Varget, BL(C)2, Benchmark, AA2495, AA2520, Ramshot TAC, RL15, RL17, Surplus WC846 and probably a few I missed are all in the burn rate range to work well in the .308.

    When loading for the .308 I use mostly H4895 as I do when loading 30-06 ammo for my Garand but be aware, AA2520 is called the "Camp Perry" powder because it's very accurate when loaded in the 308.
  19. jmichael99

    jmichael99 New Member

    Iv been told by a good many different people to use the 175gr. Im always open to ideas. Im going to start at 100yards and move out. right now the range that i live near goes to 250yards.
  20. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    175 grain is ideal for rifles with 1:10 Twist. Most US made rifles are that twist. So you should be golden with that weight in a good bullet. Another good weight for 300 yards or less is the 168 grain bullet. Note: Use premium bullet brands for the best results.

    I like Sierra Match Kings, but I shot a lot of high power very successfully with those and it's been ten years. Something better may have come along since then.

    Best Regards,


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