I am using the following: Winchester case, CCI BR2 primer, Sierra 175 MK, and 45.0gr Varget. From a factory Rem 700VS, this nets about 2750fps, good ES/SD, and what I considered pretty good accuracy (1.25-1.5"@300yds). I seated this batch to 2.810" (listed magazine length) which unfortunately leaves a jump to the lands of 0.155"!!! Amazingly, the load still shoots!
My next step will be to experiment w/ IMR 4064 and 4895, as I have some of each on hand, and fiddle w/ seating depth, possible out to the lands, as the 175 SMKs are long enough to do it and stay in the case [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I am mostly using Winchester large rifle (standard and magnum) and have had no complaints, kind of like the color... Fact is I have never tried to determine how much effect varying the primer brand will make to my reloading, I usually load what I have on hand. Must a lazy streak, I just don't feel like micro-managing primers...
This might not be the best but so far I have been stumbling along OK. Use magnums in magnums, that is about all.
Fact on primers probably is, like Darryl and some others mentioned, we all have our favorites for very real or imagined reasons.
I saw a lot of Winchester primers being used at Black Hills Ammo when I visited there a while back.
Seems like the .308's start to crap out accuracy-wise past 800, I start using a lot more of the steel plate.
42.2 grains of 4064 works best in my .308
.323 best 5 at 100 yards group to date.
168 grain sencars out of laplua brass, with federal 210 primers.
Have shot sub.500 with the federal matches.
Target below is Federal Match 168 grains.
This is what I have found works the best in my rifle.
46.5 gr of IMR 4064
CCI BR2 primer
E.S. in the 10 to 14 fps consistently
bullet seated .015 off lands
1/2 MOA or a little better load in my rifle and several other shooters around here.
40.7 gr. of IMR 4895
CCI BR-2 primer
have seen consistent single digit E.S.
crushed into the lands .005
shoots in the .3's with occasional bug holes
48.8 gr. of H4350
CCI BR-2 primer
again consistent single digit E.S.
off the lands .003 to .007 in the rifles around here. Mine likes .003
None of these loads show any pressure at all in either one of my rifles and the are chambered with short throat Palma reamers. As always work up to the loads listed. I have the most consistent results with CCI BR-2 primers as far as E.S. sperads and accuracy goes. The loads listed above have shot very well in more than a few rifles. All were short throat rifles. But throat length is easily dealt with. I hope this helps someone. I have tried Varget, and that while it give more than acceptable results it will not match the other powders in my experience.
I hate to add to your dilema, but there are a few new powders that are supposed to work really, really well in the .308. First off is Vihtavouri N140, which the local HBR crowd is quite enamored w/. I would like to try this, but I'm waiting til I can either bum some off of another shooter or buy $5 worth off of somebody, as it is sold in 2lb cans, and $42 is a lot IMHO to pony up for a powder that if it doesn't work in this gun, won't work in anything else I have, and be stuck w/ 2 lbs of it to boot! Second is Ramshot Tac. My neighbors Howa varmint rifle in .308 shoots disgusting little groups w/ Tac and 125gr Nosler BTs. No need to go out and check for bodies when shooting chucks w/ this one... the whole freakin' rock is crimson!! Others have had extremely good luck w/ the 168gr SMKs. The big benny of Tac over the others is it is a ball powder, so you can once again throw charges accurately (unlike 4064), plus the Ramshot powders are really clean, in my experience (Xterminator, .223). I just picked up a jug, and after I shoot up the rest of my 4895 and 4064 (couple hundred rounds) next week, I intend to start trying it. If all goes well, I could be down to three ball powders here soon: Xterminator, Tac, and Big Game.
The 125 gr. load that works well for me is as follows:
125gr. Nosler B.T.
51.5 gr. WW748
CCI BR-2 primer
Seated at .020 off the lands
Veloctiy 3185 fps
E.S. runs in the mid 20's
This laod will a shoot in the high .5's to high .6's with a short throat Palma reamer chambered barrel. the OAL is 2.850" It still runs through the magazine of a 788 that I had rebarreled with a 1 in 12 twist #4 taper Douglas premium air guage barrel. Superb coyote medicine. I have played with the 125 Speer TNT seated at the CorrBon factory lenght it will shoot in the .6's to .7's and is REALLY destructive at 3215 FPS using the same components as listed above. I have tried seating the 125 Speer to a longer OAL but I havent had any luck getting it shoot any better than the factory lenght. Either bullet is a legitamite 300 yard coyote load. I do prefer the 125 Nosler due its higher B.C.
165 Sierra HPBT hunting bullet
47.1 gr. N550
OAL of 2.710
E.S. in the high teens to the low 20's
This load will shoot consitently in the .6's from three different rifles. I have shot 3 groups (five shot) that are what I call accidents on paper with this load that went in the .2's . Performance on game is terminal big time.