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  1. #1
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Super Moderator
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    Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    This new .308 M700 I recently picked up is going to get the best ammo I know how to put together, and I'm soliciting all the input I can get for suggested loads.

    The next reloading press will be one of the O-framed single-stage jobs, a far cry from my faithful Lee Turret press. Dies will probably be an RCBS neck-sizing 2-die set, supplemented by a Redding Precision (Micrometer-style) seating die. I'm also thinking about using a Lee Collet Die to keep brass distortion to a minimum, anyone have experience with it? Brass, at least early on, will be once-fired Federal Match cases, and the primary bullet I'll be using is the same Sierra 168 BTHP that Federal loads in their match ammo. Primers will likely be standard LR primers, unless Match primers are indicated during testing.

    Thus far with the Federal stuff, groups are under a half-inch once the rifle and I settle down. After I tune/upgrade the trigger and put some better optics on it, I think I can get consistent groups with handloads that may shade that. My hope is for 1/2 MOA at 200 yards, with the ammo it likes.

    Of the four people I've asked about favorite loads so far, all have said one word about powder selection..............Varget. I had already planned on trying it, plus the IMR versions of 4895 and 4064, but now I think 44 grains of Varget sounds like a good place to start.

    So let's hear about your favorite components..........bullets, powder, brass and primers. It might also be useful to know what rifle you're using, barrel length, and velocity. There are a LOT of .308 reloaders on this forum, I want to hear what works best for you!
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    Varget works well with the Sierras and also the 178gr AMax for me. 4064 works a little better with the AMax. At 600yds, it's a toss up but at 1K, the AMax is noticeably better. I would start at 43.5gr and inch up to ~44.5gr with the Varget.

    Savage with a 1:10 Benchmark 24" barrel and Stockade stock.

    Funny but the same loads also work very well in my factory 22" Savage.

    Edit to add: I should mention that my loads were in Lapua brass.

  3. #3
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    Pretty much what kelbro said about the Varget/SMK combo.

    I found my best accuracy (factory 22" Savage) is close to the max load under a 158 gr SMK.

  4. #4
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Super Moderator
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Janitor
    Pretty much what kelbro said about the Varget/SMK combo.

    I found my best accuracy (factory 22" Savage) is close to the max load under a 158 gr SMK.
    168?
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  5. #5
    Drivin my life away... Super Moderator
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    Varget is pretty good...but I'd start at 43 grains. It may not be a barn burner, but if accuracy is all that matters...many rifles hit a sweet spot somewhere between 43 and 44 grains.

    Even if the MV is only 2,500 fps...800 yards is well within reach with a 168 SMK. Past 800 you'll want a different 168 grain bullet or a 175 SMK...

  6. #6
    Wrangler
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    I load 43.0 GR H4895 under a Hornady 165 GR SST in processed .mil LC cases.

    My Savage 10FP shoots them like this:





    My Armalite AR10 shoots them like this:




  7. #7
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    My reference is shooting out of my 16" M1a, so I don't load specifically for accuracy... Minute of Body Cavity is my goal.

    ...but! Selecting components for longevity sake... the general consesus is to avoid Federal brass, the primer pockets open up. Semi-auto shooters usually steer towards once-fired military brass, Lake City (LC) brass being the favorite. Military brass is thicker so loads have to be developed specifically with that brass. I originally bought 500 RP cases for my M1a, but have put it back in the bin and aquired some once-fired LC cases, instead. The primary issue with military vs commercial is case head separation... something you typically don't have to worry about with a bolt rifle, but I thought I would mention it.

    Most of the accuracy shooters use 168grn or, some, 175grn quality HP's. Sierra Match Kings (SMK's) are a favorite, but the Lapua Scenar [sp?] has a pretty rabid following, if you can afford the price of admission.

    I won't comment on powder. IMR4895 is my standard, although I'm experimenting with IMR's 4064 and 3130 with the shorter Socom barrel, but much of my powder choice is based on gas volume to operate the action, not necessarily accuracy. You have the entire middle of the Burn Rate chart to work with... you being the Grand PooBah of Powder Hoarders... that should get your heart racing!

    I see a Savage Model 10FP in my future... so let us know how it goes!
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  8. #8
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    If for some reason Varget doesn't work out or isn't available, Reloader 15 is equal in all respects. Excellent powder, and no longer temperature sensitive.

    The once-fired Federal brass usually produces good accuracy, but is a bit "soft" and tends to open up the primer pockets after only a few firings - particularly if you're loading on the warm side.

    For anyone interested in precision shooting & loading with the .308 - here's a link to an excellent article on the subject: http://www.6mmbr.com/308Win.html

    PJ - seems like you're making a real investment in some high quality loading gear for this new .308 of yours! Cool. Hope it works out well. Seems like it should if you're already at the half-MOA level of accuracy... Very cool.

    Guy

  9. #9
    Deadeye
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?

    Good results with Re15 in my Ruger M77 Mk II International. MOA accuracy at 100yds. 50.0gr and 130gr bullets at 3000fps. Also 45.0gr and 180gr bullets at 2600fps (as always, safe in my particular rifle only). I use a Redding neck sizing die, CCI 200 primers and Winchester brass.

    Shown here with a Bushnell Elite 3200 10x scope, and a Nikon Monarch 1.5x4.5 scope.




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  10. #10
    Team Marlin Express Co-Capt'n Team 45-70 Big Buck Contest Winner 2012
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    Re: Your Favorite .308 Accuracy Loads?


    We know your going to try several types of powder but I vote with M700 and slamfire.
    My 308 has an MX behind it instead of WIN and I found RL15 to work better than Varget
    I think the Military chose RL15 for their 7.62-LR ammo back in the 90s

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