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Federal Gold Match .308 - dumb question?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Motega, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. Motega

    Motega Member

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    Why do they offer this ammo in 168 and 175? Both are HTBP and I assume both are using the same amount of powder? Seems kind of stupid to produce a round with 7 grain difference?
     
  2. fractal7

    fractal7 Member

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    The majority of .308 barrels, for Remington 700s at least, at 1:12" twist and do really well with the 168s. You can find some rifles with 1:11.25" twist that handles the slightly heavier bullet better. Also the 175s will be a little less affected by wind and I know are easier to try to push out to longer distances like 1000 yards.

    7 grains of difference doesn't sound like a whole lot, but it will also make the bullet longer and have a higher BC as well.
     
  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The 168 bullet is a tack driver out to 300 yards. Shoots very well at 600 yards but the 175 has a slightly better ballistic coefficient, which means it is a tiny bit better bucking the wind.

    Out to 300 yards I have never seen any difference on target and the 175 kicks more.

    I cannot push a 168 fast enough in a service rifle to keep it from tumbling at 1000 yards. But the 175 stays stable, even through the transition from sonic to sub sonic. So, if you are going to shoot at 1000 yards, you better use the 175.
     
  4. brian923

    brian923 Member

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    Anyone know what powder is used in the federal gold match loads and how much?
     
  5. Whiskey11

    Whiskey11 Member

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    Brian, last I heard it is not any brand of powder, but some non-cannister grade powder. I've heard reports it is close to IMR 4895, to RL15. I think it is safe to say, the powder they use is nothing we can get a hold of. The target velocity you should shoot for is around 2650 FPS with the 168gr SMK, that will give you the "closest to" load to FGMM factory loads. Obviously seated to 2.800 COAL. My pet reload using the Federal Brass and CCI 200 primers is 43.4gr Varget with the 168gr SMK seated to 2.815 COAL. My Remington 700 is impossible to seat the bullet to the lands thanks to Remington's "lawyer proof" throat. But this load puts out, according to Quick Load, approx 2700 FPS. Faster than FGMM, but close enough :)
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    As previously stated, the 168 grain load is good out to about 600 yards, but will not get you to 1,000 yards (I spotted for a guy using that load at 1,000 yards, so I have personally seen it). The 175 grain will get you to 1,000 yards, but just barely.

    Federal is owned by ATK, which also owns Alliant powder. So, the powder used would be a noncannister grade of an Alliant powder, more than likely RL15.

    Don
     
  7. Motega

    Motega Member

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    Here is the comparison from Federal's web site. Looking at all these numbers there is no justification that I see to indicate the heavier bullet performs significantly better at 1000 yards. I can't seem to find ANYTHING here that makes sense as to why the 2 offerings in Federal Gold are so close. Anyone?
     

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  8. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Motega,

    It has to do with 2 things that are different with the 168SMK and 175SMK: the BC, and the boattail angle. The 168SMK was developed to be used in 300 meter competition. It's low BC causes it to shed velocity at LR, and it's boattail angle causes it to become unstable as it goes transonic at LR. The 175SMK, on the other hand, has a higher BC and the same 9 degree boattail as the M72/M118 bullet which was used for LR shooting by the military for many years.

    Don
     
  9. Motega

    Motega Member

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    So are you saying that there are dramatic differences past the 500 yards that Federal measures to? Because at 500 they are -51.5 vs. -51.8. One has a 9 degree BT and the lighter bullet has a different angle?
     
  10. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    Also, they will not be using the same amount of powder with a 175 as with a 168. Heavier bullets = more pressure = less powder.

    And for some firearms, different bullet weights will shoot better than others. When you buy factory you have to accept what comes in the box, and load A might not shoot well but load B very well could.

    (As said, the 175gr SMK is a better long-range load in the .308. Heavier bullet, better BC, enjoy your flight.)
     
  11. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yep.

    Don
     
  12. Motega

    Motega Member

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    Thanks Don!!!
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I shot with a guy who had a large supply of a lot number of 168 SMK (They and we used to call it the International because it was optimized for 300 metre ISU shooting.) that would actually hold up at 1000 yards. He did pretty well until they ran out but he was very disappointed to see that new production would not cut it.

    The 175 gr SMK is the open point commercial equivalent of the old 173 gr fmj M1. Which was designed for long range from the Springfield, M1, and machine gun. Open point construction is generally more accurate than FMJ because of the clean base and rear CG.
     
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