Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, went to get some more 150 gr hornady SP's and the shop was out. they were out of nearly everything. so i grabbed a box of 165 SGK SPBT's and i'm really confused about load data.

My gun groups very well with the 150's running 44.5 gr varget and 45 gr RL15. neither load shows signs of pressure, both are sub 1" consistently. I cracked my books today to start loading and was going to start the ladder loads again. I'm not liking what i'm reading.

hardcover Lee manual 2nd edition shows:
150gr
varget (start)44.0gr, (NE)47.0c
RL15 (start)37, (NE)46.3

165gr bullet
RL15 (start)36.5, (NE)45.5
Varget (start) 42.0, (NE) 46.0

I feel like the varget start loads will be too hot...anyone load these four combinations before and can validate the numbers in the manual?

To further confuse the load, the alliant manual shows RL15 under a speer 165 BTSP, 47.0gr RL15...
hodgdon duplicates the Lee data with 42.0(start) and 46.0(MAX)
Sierra shows accuracy loads for both powders (http://www.6mmbr.citymaker.com/f/Sierra308Win.pdf) at 43.0 Varget @2700fps and 43.1 RL15 at 2700 fps. Sierra closely matches my findings with the 150's..may start just a tad under their suggested load and see how it goes.

help....please :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
981 Posts
I can't speak to the Varget loads, because my 308 likes 4320 under 150gr Hornady SP, and 44grs or Rel-15 under the 165gr Sierra HPBT.

If you want to try something different for your 308, if shots are under 200yds, try some of the various 170gr Flat points available. They're meant for the 30-30, but they work well in the 308 too. I killed 2 deer this year with them and it hits deer like a hammer and don't blow things to pieces. I get 2500fps out of my "X" gun carbine with them and MOA accuracy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,974 Posts
I have used Varget with 165gr - 168gr bullets in four different .308's through the years. My load favorite in three of those rifles was 44.0 gr of Varget. Start lower and work up of course. Not sure why you think the starting loads you listed for Varget are going to be "hot."

bjm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I, too, use 44 grs of Varget under a Sierra 165 gr Gameking with no pressure signs at all. This is a very accurate load out of my Winchester 70. I probably could go a little hotter but with 1" - 1 1/2" five shot groups I don't bother. Dropped every deer that I've shot with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
well, the loads I mixed up were 42, 42.5, 43, 43.5 and 44.0, 3 rounds each in Varget and RL15. one of these MUST shoot well :)
Hitting the range this week some day with calm winds and light temps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
I've never used that particular bullet....but with 165 and 168 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips...46 grains of Varget is not too hot in my guns. I have also used 47 grains of RL 15 with no issues, but that one is getting warm.

Use the start loads and work up...none of those loads will blow your rifle up, at the worst...you'll get some stiff extraction, maybe a sticky bolt lift...if you do, back off a little, you've found the max for your gun (which is a good thing to know IMO)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
one thing i should note...i'm not a big fan of squeezing as much velocity out of my rifle as possible at the expense of some accuracy. i feel that a load cooking along at 2600 fps will have little difference on the end product compared to a bullet moving along at 2800 fps. My goal is single hole or close to it. My rifle has an accuracy node on the lower end of the acceptable 308 velocity curve and I'd rather have sub 1/2moa over 1moa with a couple extra fps. By "too hot", i mean this with my particular rifle.

I also noted while loading these that i can actually seat bullets all the way out to 2.850 without hitting the lands. I have seated to 2.80" with a light crimp from the Lee FCD. Thumper seems to like a jump into the lands and I'm going to continue checking this. Gonna try to hit the range today if the weather and workload cooperate. Traffic was a nightmare today and my commute to the office has me REALLY wanting to go punch some holes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,953 Posts
Have used 45 & 46 grains of Varget for years without problem, with various 165 & 168 grain bullets from my .308 Win.

There is a long-standing discrepancy between Sierra and Hodgdon about what exactly is a "max" load of Varget with a 165 class bullet in the .308 Win. After Working Up, I long ago settled on 45 grains as my standard Varget load.

This, and a similar load with 155 gr bullets, have seen me through literally THOUSANDS of rounds, and several barrels. Something in the area of 15,000+ rounds over the years, almost all with Varget, almost all with either 155's or 168's.

RL-15 is another excellent choice in the .308 Win, capable of outstanding accuracy. Whichever powder you choose, work up as usual, watching for pressure signs. You should see very good accuracy, good velocity and relative temperature insensitivity with either RL-15 (which has been re-mixed in recent years, it used to be more temp sensitive, not so anymore) or with Varget. One caution about Varget - it tends to have some pretty strong lot-to-lot variation, so when you figure out that you like it, buy several pounds of the same lot at once. I just buy it in 8# jugs and enjoy stable performance through the whole 8# of powder.

Oh, the 165? It's a great bullet choice for the .308 Win. That Sierra is typically very accurate and does a fine job on medium game, such as deer.

Regards, Guy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
just got back, and overall, pretty mediocre performance across my loads, except for 2. 42 grains of RL15 was a 1/4" group at 50 yards...and very light recoil.
43.5 started tightening back up again, i need to run a 44 and a 44.5. i've not shown any pressure signs yet. 43.5 RL15 was another sub half inch, only slightly larger than the 42 grain load. I like the RL15 best out of the two so far, but again, i need to run a little more thru it to validate the results...but it's really hard to argue with the 42 grain load. two in the same hole, with the third a slight pull to the left. Pics soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
981 Posts
Considering that 45 grs is giving my 308 only about 2500fps with a 170gr bullet, your load is probably only doing about 2200-2300fps. That's hardly better than a 30-30.

You should be able to see groups like these and still have good velocities. ;)




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
The two targets together is my wifes .308 with boyds stock, the action is glass bedded. All groups are 3 shots. They are all with 150 grain TSX tripple shocks boat tails. The top is 48 grains of RL-15. The bottom is 47.5. I have found with Barnes bullets that you can get at least two tight groups at different velocities. My daughters has the factory stock no float or bedding. It liked 47.5 grains of RL-15 but did not like 48 grains. I wish they both have liked the same load but will deal with it. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I figured I'd add my confusing results to the mix. I'm using IMR 4064 powder, Winchester WLR primers, Remington UMC brass, COAL 2.800", 168gr Sierra Match Kings, 5 shot groups. All shots fired at 100yds w/ 3-9x40 scope at 9x, off a Lead Sled Plus.

In the 6/17 pic:
Center: Remington UMC factory ammo
Top Left: 38.0 grains
Top Right: 39.0
Bottom Left: 40.0
Bottom Right: 41.0

In the 7/1 pic:
Center: 37.5
TL: 38.0
TR: 38.5
BL: 39.0
BR: 39.5

I'm not sure what to make of it since the groups from the second set don't really match the first set. I don't have velocity data since I don't have a chrono. I'm also confused because everywhere I read, people are saying their best groups are with charge weights over 40gr, but my 41.0gr load started showing a little primer flattening. I'm thinking of dropping down to the 150gr or 155gr Sierra Matchkings next, maybe they'll work better with our slower twist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
my .308 likes 44grs of varget, cci 200 primers, .264" group @ 100yds, 168gr barnes TTSX, coal set at 2.810 crimped. I have used 46grs of varget and started getting flattend primers but know other problems other then the grouping opened up.

The tsx bullet are ok but the TTSX are great
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top