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So i think i'm ready for 308

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wilburt, Mar 6, 2008.

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  1. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    I have done hours of searching all over and just wanted to make sure i grasped everything. I am new to rifle loading and will be loading .308 for my new SA58.

    I think i will use:
    WLR Primers
    IMR4895 from gibrass (~ 40 gr)
    once fired american eagle brass
    pulldown or otherwise cheap plinking bullets from:
    http://www.ammunitionstore.com/pricelist_reloading_supplies.htm
    http://www.goldenwestbrass.com/GoldenWest/GoldenWestWEB/bullets.htm
    or gibrass if they get any


    i have a trimmer (giraud) on the way and rcbs x-dies. will trim to 1.995 for the x-die.

    I will use my rock-chucker to FL size w/lube. then trim (first time), tumble clean, then run everything through my LNL AP for the rest. I don't have a crimp die and from what i've read that's ok. Just put a little presure from the seating die?

    what am i forgetting?
     
  2. Urbana John

    Urbana John Member

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    I suggest using RCBS Case Lube 2, and lube the INSDE of the case mouth. Makes resizing easier, and it will help prevent the brass from streching.
    Afterwards wash in soapy warm water,,,,,dry throughly,,,,then tumble.
    Oh,,,,you will need a way to check the OAL of your brass after it's been resized.

    UJ
     
  3. Bowfishrp

    Bowfishrp Member

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    There are a few good articles on the internet for reloading 308 semi-autos....you really need to full length size and always trim your brass. The Xdie should help this too. I use Lee lube or Hornady (not one-shot!) and try to always touch a little lube on the opening of the mouth.
     
  4. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    Wilburt,

    I have loaded a lot of rifle for military semi autos using military surplus brass, bullets and powder. I've cut and pasted your post and shared some thoughts with you that'll make things safer for you.

    "I think i will use:"
    WLR Primers good
    IMR4895 from gibrass (~ 40 gr) good, but the one thing you want to do different is to work up a load from 10% below the normal minimum load. Why? Because this is bulk powder and even though they cann it 4895, it won't quite behave exactly like cannister (the stuff you buy new) powder. The 10% from the bottom gives you a margin of safety so you won't blow you or your gun up with over pressures. Work your loads up (10 cases or so to test) and when you're firing, look for excessive pressure signs around the primers.
    once fired american eagle brass good as any, hard to get milsurp lake city these days
    pulldown or otherwise cheap plinking bullets from: good as any, but don't expect match grade accuracy, after all, these are milsurp bulets and not match. To wring the top accuracy out of your rifle or to find it out, buy yourself some match boat tails.
    http://www.ammunitionstore.com/price...g_supplies.htm
    http://www.goldenwestbrass.com/Golde...EB/bullets.htm
    or gibrass if they get any


    i have a trimmer (giraud) on the way and rcbs x-dies. will trim to 1.995 for the x-die. The X-die will work as promised after the first sizing and trimming. I use a standard die to size before the first trimming, then switch to the X-die. I've been happy with the amount of trimming it eliminates.

    I will use my rock-chucker to FL size w/lube. then trim (first time), tumble clean, then run everything through my LNL AP for the rest. I don't have a crimp die and from what i've read that's ok. Just put a little presure from the seating die? A couple thoughts:

    1. I'd use Imperial sizing die wax to lube the cases and put a dab inside the mouth of the case. No cleaning necessary, except a few minutes in your tumbler after you've trimmed, which also cleans the primer pocket a bit.

    2. Your process as described is pretty much the same as mine and I've been loading .308 and 30.06 for years on my LnL. You can save some time by using the LnL to FL resize as well (yes, it speeds up the process a lot, because you only handle the brass once instead of twice), but make sure your die is screwed into the press enough. One issue that comes up is folks don't run the resizing die in enough on semi autos and tend to have brass where the shoulder is too long from the base. An extra quarter to half turn on the die will eliminate this issue.


    what am i forgetting? Another thing you might do, if you have the book semi metallic cartridge reloading, is tune the seated length to fit your chamber. You'll be limited by the magazine, but should be able to seat it out a bit more and thereby gain some additional accuracy.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave
     
  5. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    Good info dave... I guess i could use the lnl to FL size. I would just take all the other dies out. 10 % safety sounds good. Not Hornady One-Shot? I have a can laying around and i think i have some rcbs cae lube with pad. i've heard good things about imperial but it's hard to get off? Just tumble?
     
  6. shc1

    shc1 Member

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    Boat Tail bullets make it easier. (my opinion)
     
  7. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    If you don't already have one, I'd recommend getting a Hornady Headspace Comparator for you calipers (formerly sold under Stoney Point's name). If you can fine tune the headspace of your loads, not only will you be able to increase the accuracy of your rifle, but you should be able to ensure a long lifespan for your brass.

    MidwayUSA currently has them on sale for $30 instead of the usual $40. Considering the price of brass these days, it's a worthwhile investment, not to mention the safety element it adds.
     
  8. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    I have thought about an comparator but i am mainly looking for general fun and plinking load. It a 16.25" .308 barrel so i'm not too worried about accuracy, maybe one day. I just want to go out and shoot a bunch of rounds without it costing an arm and a leg :D
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Get your self a cartridge headspace gage, a Wilson is fine, pictured is a Dillon, and set up your sizing dies using this. For a gas gun, size to gage minimum.

    You will find that sizing to the shell holder, or the shell holder plus a quarter turn, will often over size cases, or undersize cases. Seldom will the case be sized between "Go" and "No Go".

    Oversize cases will delay bolt closure, as the action has to crunch the case to fit. If the case is way oversized the bolt won't go fully into battery. Case head seperations will happen with undersized cases.

    The FAL action is hard on brass anyway, even when properly sized case life is around five firings before case head seperation. Might as well get the length right and get as many firings as you can.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. toecutter

    toecutter Member

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    Good stuff... The only two things I can say, get a small-base die, this will guarantee your brass is "undersized" so you get more reliable feeding. While it may not be necessary to use this on the same brass already fired from your gun, it's a worth-while step.

    Also, when it comes to case lube, either make your own (lanolin and alcohol) or dillon lube. I've used the RCBS no2 and found it to be good, the problem is you need to use acetone to wash it off. The lanolin lubes come off with soapy water or a few seconds in the tumbler.

    +1 on imperial sizing wax... That stuff makes turning 24ga brass shotgun shells into 577-450 martini-henry a breeze.
     
  11. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    I load .308 for a couple of DSA FALS, PTR91 and a RFI SMLE, nothing to add but really make sure the primers are seated well. I use a small mirror to stand all my semi loads on, if there is any wobble they have to be reseated.
     
  12. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    Good info dave... I guess i could use the lnl to FL size. I would just take all the other dies out.
    That's exactly what I do.

    10 % safety sounds good.
    Yep, you'll be glad you did. I have been on a couple of surplus powders, while with others, they acted pretty much like cannister powder. Thing is, finding out the difference by blowing up your new gun ain't the way to do it.

    Not Hornady One-Shot?
    I used to use one shot, but after getting a case stuck in an M1 carbine die, I tried the Imperial sizing die wax. After using it, I'll not go back to the one shot. The imperial is much more economical and is a better lube, though it's not quite as convenient, it doesn't take much and lasts way longer than one shot.

    I have a can laying around and i think i have some rcbs case lube with pad.
    If you've got it around, I'd use it, but replace it with the Imperial. The RCBS stuff works good, but is basically STP oil treatment.

    i've heard good things about imperial but it's hard to get off? Just tumble?
    That's what I do, but you can also wipe it off with a towel or rag when you're trimming. I have a tumbler bowl (I Have several bowls for different purposes for my midway tumbler.) that I use to tumble lube off of bullets.

    AS far as the small base dies go, I wouldn't bother. After experimenting with problems related to an M4 Carbine and brass sizing, I tried a small base die with no joy. Turns out I hadn't been aggressive enough turning the die into the press to get enough shoulder bump.

    There's another thread related to this going right now on the forum. The gentlemen posting there urging turning the standard die in more is correct. Save your money and turn the die in a 1/4 to 1/2 turn more to get the press to cam over a bit. This solves the chambering issue for most semi autos. Machine gun brass as well in most cases. The small base die specification range runs from a "tight" standard FL sizing die to factory minimum specs for the brass. Your brass lasts longer if you size the area near the case head less. You can figure it out from there.

    Regards,

    Dave
     
  13. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    Good stuff. i'm glad i asked. I'm always learning something new
     
  14. USSR

    USSR Member

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    +1. I'd be willing to wager that more cases have become stuck in dies due to One-Shot than any other lube. Imperial is simply the best lube you can buy.

    Don
     
  15. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

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    Imperial without question for large rifle calibers in full length dies.
     
  16. Wilburt

    Wilburt Member

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    So i just appy imperial to to case neck and mouth? or more places?
     
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