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.308 hunting load work up

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Nature Boy, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    I'd probably go Nosler and Varget. In my albeit limited experience, I seem always to find a Varget load that works well.
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    RL 15 and Varget are more temp stable than the others. Especially Varget. It is hard to find a powder/bullet combo that won't shoot well in 308. I've gotten very good accuracy with all of them and both bullets but Varget is my go-to powder for hunting. I still have some 4064 and use it for loads that I will only shoot at the range. I'd probably go with the Noslers because they are cheaper than Bergers. Game probably won't notice.
     
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  3. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    Reloader 15 is not temp stable.
     
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  4. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    RL-16 is temp stable but not RL-15.
     
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  5. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I’ve heard that “however” I do not have personal experience testing the temperature stability of Reloader -15 perhaps you have and could share your findings.
     
  6. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    Reloader 15 used in the Military 7.62X51 M118 LR ammo gave pressure issues when used in the Desert heat. Load had to be reduced to reduce wear & tear on M-14 DMR's.

    This led to the Development of MK 316 MOD 0 loading in 2008 using a different, more temperature stable powder.
     
  7. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I could see the extreme temperature swings in the desert of perhaps 40 at night to over a 100 degrees during the day effecting a powders stability, my limited sample size living in the PNW has not displayed such swings yet’ therefore myself to make a determination based on that would be conjectural IMO
    J
     
  8. rsnell

    rsnell Member

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    I would start with IMR 4064 or Varget with a 168 grain bullet. All of your choices should produce good results.
     
  9. AFDoc

    AFDoc Member

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    So, @Nature Boy what decisions have you made? Where are you at in your load development?
     
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  10. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Man I’m behind. My goal is to test a load Friday morning on the way to work and one on Saturday.

    I’ve got my rounds made to test the Berger 168 and RL15. I’m currently finishing up some Nosler 165 and 4064. I also made some of the Noslers with their accuracy load using BL-C2 just to try

    I’ll post some data as soon as I have some to post
     
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  11. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Can’t wait!
     
  12. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    I found that 43-43.5 Grs. of Reloader 15 and a 168 A Max was a very accurate load.
     
  13. Skeptic13

    Skeptic13 Member

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    My vote would go to Nosler and Varget. I use a similar load for elk in Colorado.
     
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  14. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    did you do any testing?
     
  15. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Work always gets in my way
     
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  16. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Yes, got out there yesterday. I’ll post my results in a bit. Headed back out today with some more loads
     
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  17. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Here’s my target for the 168 Bergers and RL15

    2pWwuA9.jpg

    I’m using a modified OCW method where you load 3 rounds each at increasing charge weights and shoot them in order. To find the accuracy nodes you look for group centers that deviate the least from point of aim when compared to adjacent groups. No FPS data as my chrono was acting up due to the light at the range.

    In this case it looks like a wide node exist between 43.2 - 43.8. Normally my next step would be to adjust seating depth but I’m limited due to having to load for mag length as this is a hunting load, not a target load.

    I’ll take 43.5 and validate it at 200 with a larger sample size.

    I’ll still work up some more loads with the 165 Nosler and 4064 when I get some time
     
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  18. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    All the data you need is right there on paper. IMO
     
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  19. murf

    murf Member

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    do you always use the best group from the wide node? i'm assuming the wide node is best for long-range shooters because of the wider range of minimal vertical dispersion.

    just picking your brain here,

    murf
     
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  20. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I generally don’t look at the group size. I chose a charge weight in the middle of the node as defined above. If this was a target load I’d shrink the group in the next step by adjusting seating depth. As it is, the middle of the node here, 43.5g, was also the tightest.

    Picking a charge in the middle of the node gives me the best chance that changes in conditions won’t take my load out of tune. That would apply to either target shooting or hunting. Overkill for a hunting load for sure, but it’s part of the hobby and I enjoy it so why not, right?
     
  21. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    If that holds together at 200, I wouldn't even bother.
    I like IMR4064, but I doubt it can improve on that. Especially for hunting.
     
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  22. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Nice shooting Nature Boy!
     
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  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The data I have on RL-15 says it temp stable at 50F and lower. Above that it starts increasing at a rate of ~1.5 fps/deg F. I used it in my 6.5 CM till I started blowing primers when the ambient temp raised into the 90's. As you know here in Texas it can be in the 30's in the mornings, and 90's by mid afternoon or reverse. Did not look to see where your at in the load range, but suspect the upper end. So be careful when the temp hits the upper 80's 90's.
     
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  24. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I thought about that temp stability issue. I'm trying to get some of my seldom-used powder inventory into rotation and that's the reason for my selection. Even doing the load development serves that purpose, whether I end up hunting with it or not.

    My plan is to hunt hard the first half of December out west of Brownwood. It could be a blizzard or a heatwave or both
     
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  25. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    If you decide to use RE-15 with some 155's, I found 45.0-46.0 Gr. was also a very accurate load. Seems my recommendation for the 168's wasn't far off.

    I have a couple of#'s of RE-15 to use up. It also works well for heavy bullet loads for the 223 Rem.
     
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