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.308 hunting load work up

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

  1. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Any news on the .308 front?
     
  2. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I have another round of tests loaded and ready to go with the 165 Noslers and another with some 165 Sierra Game Kings using IMR 4064

    I’m taking daughter to the airport today to head back to school but hope to get back in time to shoot them
     
  3. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Nice Nature boy!
     
  4. Joe Texas

    Joe Texas Member

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    I just shot a ladder yesterday with Sierra 165 grain SP Gamekings (#2145) over IMR 4064.

    My Savage .308 12FV (unmodified Cabela’s $419 special) with 26” varmit barrel has a measured (Hornady overall length gauge) maximum COL with that bullet of 2.835. I seated them .025 shorter to 2.81.

    I used new Winchester brass (fully prepped) and regular CCI 200 primers. Air temp was 52 degrees.

    I loaded 5 rounds each with charge weights from 41.0 to 43.5 (Sierra’s max) in .5 grain increments. (30 rounds total)

    I used a Caldwell long bag in front and just my shoulder in the rear with a Sig Sauer Whiskey 3 3-9x40.

    41.5 shot the best for me. The 5 shot group was .75” center to center at 100 yards.

    41.0 and 43.0 were honorable mentions at 1.25”. 42.0, 42.5, and 43.5 were all over 2”. I am not a great shot but that surprised me. I figured they would all shoot < 2 MOA. I understand .308 is a pretty forgiving cartridge. Maybe with a better shooter.

    I neck sized, tumbled and prepped those 30 cases last night and reloaded all 30 with 41.5 grains of IMR 4064. I loaded 10 each at COL’s of 2.80, 2.81, and 2.82 to try to tune it up a bit. Smallest 10 shot group at 100 yards wins.

    Sierra uses a 26” Savage barrel for their data. I should be close to 2637 mv with the 41.5 charge. Sierra’s accuracy load with another powder was 2600 fps so maybe I found that node in my gun. I will chronograph the final load along with a few others I have developed at some point all in one session.

    I try to load for accuracy first then worry about velocity second for calculating drop once an accurate load is achieved. With my 100 yard zero, 2637 fps muzzle velocity with that bullet should have about a 1.5” drop @ 150 yards (4 clicks up on my Sig scope for POI elevation adjustment) with 1967 lbs of energy and 4.5” drop (9 clicks up) @ 200 with about 1800 lbs of retained energy. That should easily drop Bambi’s dad with good shot placement.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  5. Joe Texas

    Joe Texas Member

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    Update - .025 off the lands or COL of 2.81 produced the best 10 shot group @100 yards of 1.125”. Final load is:

    Savage 12 26” 1:10 twist varmit barrel
    Sierra 165 grain Gameking #2145 SPBT
    41.5 grains IMR 4064
    Winchester brass
    CCI 200 primers
    COL 2.81
     
  6. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    165 Nosler BT, 44g Varget, 200 yards. I’ll be hunting with this one.

    89KGNEY.jpg
     
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  7. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I would to that’s some damn fine shooting nature boy!
     
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  8. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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  9. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    @Legionnaire i love Varget but alas my .308 is not in love with it :oops:.......

    it does love IMR 3031 though :D
     
  10. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I never could get anything with IMR 4064 that I was happy with.
     
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  11. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    ... proving again that unless you are willing to experiment, hand loading probably isn't for you!
     
  12. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    To your point I went back out to try 150 Accubonds with Varget. 42.5g will work too. 5 at 100
    UO0xnil.jpg

    mt1XN9o.jpg
     
  13. murf

    murf Member

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    glad to see you spend as much, or more, on the scope as you do on the rifle.

    nice shootin and good luck on your hunt.

    murf
     
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  14. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Very nice!
     
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  15. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    love that rifle and it looks like you have another good combo
     
  16. Joe Texas

    Joe Texas Member

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    Another load work up:
    Savage 12 FV .308 26” varmit barrel
    150 grain Sierra Game King SPBT (#2125)
    IMR 4064 (5 rounds each @ 40.5 - 44.5 grains in .5 increments)
    Federal 210M LR primers
    Starline neck-sized brass
    .025 off lands (2.78 COL)

    41.0 grains - 1/2” 4 shot group @100 yards 2619 mv
    (One bad shot total operator error. Other four touching.)
    43.5 grains - 1” 5 shot group @ 100 yards 2775 mv

    I like the accuracy and lower recoil of the lighter charged node. I like the good ‘nuff accuracy and higher velocity of the 43.5 grain load.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  17. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    IelQ8Mf.jpg

    Final hunting load for this season. 42.5g Varget, 2.810 OAL, 2,657 fps, SD 8.6

    5 shots at 200

    fNodh6A.jpg
     
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  18. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I am just the
    I am just the opposite. I have tried Varget in several different calibers and have not been impressed. The same for BLC-2 in the 308. Had better results with IMR-4895. I have a target shot with 4895 and 150gr Speer that measured .65". This was out of a cheap Mossberg Patriot.
     
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  19. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    I have had similar uninspiring results with Varget in my .308's. IMR-4064 has been my preferred powder with 168 and 175 gr bullets. I haven't tried BLC-2 yet, but with 125 gr Speer TNT's, TAC and IMR-8208XBR have shown some potential.
     
  20. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    I've only loaded with IMR 4064 varget and h4895 in my 308.

    My most accurate load was a low end charge of 4895. followed by 4064 and then Varget but Verget had the most consistent groups
     
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  21. Joe Texas

    Joe Texas Member

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    F724A721-6D9D-40CC-A895-57CD6AFF4B57.png DF1075B1-AB4C-455C-B2C0-2912F03C6B3C.png Update on 150 grain GK / IMR 4064 loads

    Because I am shooting through a 26” barrel like Sierra’s published data, I posted estimated velocities from their data. My G2 chronograph showed different results.

    41.0 grains - 2409 avg (not 2619) SD 5!
    43.5 grains - 2681 avg (not 2775) SD 20.8

    Looks like 41 grains will be a great 100-200 accuracy load. Looks like 43.5 will be my hunting load.

    I posted screenshots from that chrono session and one other. .223 loads were shot from a single shot Henry. It was about 45-52 degrees those days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
  22. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    The 150g Nosler Accubond load got it done this morning. West Texas 9 point

    9zwuYyg.jpg

    IPKVovT.jpg
     
  23. Lee Q. Loader

    Lee Q. Loader Member

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    Very Nice! Congrats!
    Please tell us more. How far was the shot? What did you think of the terminal performance of the Accubond? How was your shot placement?
     
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  24. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Shot was 140 yards, broadside behind the left shoulder. He ran about 30 yards and went down. Lots of blood.

    I was surprised to find no exit wound and I didn’t dig through the guts to find the bullet.
     
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  25. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Surprised the 308 could make it to the animal at 140 yards, much less terminate him. ;)

    That is interesting no exit wound, with the 150 Accubond.

    Nice work, good balanced antler. You going to mount it?

    I know you've probably stated this somewhere in a thread, but what Swarovski scope are you running on that FNchester?
     
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