My .308 absolutely loves 42.5 grs. of IMR 4064 with the 168 gr SMK.
Fed 210M primers.
.010 jump to the lands.
NRA Life Member
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature, who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
John Stuart Mill
In my 308 with 168gr SMKs, I am running 46gr of Varget. Accuracy was darn good from 44.5gr on up to my current load, with 46gr just slightly better for me. Be sure to work up to this load, as it is fairly hot.
With 175 SMKs, I am using 44.5 gr of Varget. OAL is also 2.810 if I recall correctly.
Loading both in Winchester brass right now until it wears out, then switching to Lapua brass (and backing off the load accordingly).
Just remember though that what may produce tight groups for some rifles may not work as well in your rifle.
What I do when I get a new rifle is load 3 rounds each of differing powder charges in 1/2 grain increments. Then I place a target at 25 yards and shoot the 3 rounds at it, then switch to another target for the next 3 rounds and so on and so on. You will see your groups get smaller as you aproach the optimum charge for your gun and bullet weight that you have chosen. Then you will see the groups get larger again as you leave that optimum charge. This narrows it down for you but now you start over and load from the 1/2 grain below what looks like the optimum to 1/2 grain over the optimum charge in 1/10 grain increments and go back to the range and do it all again. This time the spread in groupings won't be as pronounced but try to pick the best one and load some bullets. go to the range again and sight in at 100 yards and see how tight you can hold your group then move out to 200......300.....+ what ever you are wanting to shoot at.
Keep in mind that different powders may also influence the groups. as has been stated here Varget and IMR powders are both good choices.
Get yourself a reputable loading manual from the bullet manufacturer you wish to use and approach the max loads with a great deal of caution! look for presure indicators as you work your way through the loads and if you see signs of over presure stop and disassemble the higher charged bullets ASAP.
I am not sure what it is that you want to do with the rifle but the 168 SMK goes subsonic at about 900 - 950yards. The 175 SMK will make it past 1000 yards unless you have a light load and or a short barrel.
Wow, you guys are getting 46gr of varget in a case w/o any pressure problems what brass are you using? With Lapua brass and CCI primers 44.6 is my max summer load. I worked up a load for another member here a couple weeks back and ran into pressure signs right at 46gr. I havent used any brass other than lapua in the 308 since I started using varget, but would suggest starting a little lowerer than 46gr if your using lapua brass. If your using win brass that is probably right in line. I tell everyone if your 308 will not shoot 168s with 45gr of varget into little bitty holes the gun is broke.
I used to use RL 15 before I tried varget, and it worked well also, just not quite as wide of a load window it seems.
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
Not sure if anyone of you have seen my site yet, but I bought a 700 VTR in .308 win. Here's a review, and load data for the .308: Remington model 700 VTR.
My accuracy load with new stock is a 178gr. A-MAX, over 42.5gr. Varget with a CCI BR2 primer in Nosler Custom brass @ about 2500fps. Down to about .25" @ 100yds after cleaning. I need to update the site with recent data for all guns. So keep checking, as most of it is on-going.
I also shoot a M700P TWS in 308. I know your looking for a SMK load but I have a SGK load thats pretty accurate. Mine rifle has a 26" BBL that has to be consider as well. The load is 43.7 grains Varget, 168 SGK 0.050 off lands, Hornady Match brass, CCI BR2 primer. Average velocity was 2720 on 4, 5 shoot strings. All cases had 0.001 or less runout and all had the same weight. All bullets also had the same weight and same ojive measurement to the base of the bullet. This load shot 1/8 CTC "5 shot group" @ 100 meters
The load was worked up this past January and it was 23 degrees at the time. Varget is not sensitive to temp & humidity so this really shouldn't matter but you should really work it up anyways. Not only did the 168 SGK produce 1/8 CTC groups I also tested the 168 Barnes TTSX and the 165 Swift Sirocco II and they were both right there as well.
NRA life Member
US Army 79 - 85, 368th Combat Battalion, Sarget Spec-5, Combat Engineer
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.