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308 Reloading Advice and Help

 
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  #1  
Old 06-04-2011, 09:50 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: MD
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308 Reloading Advice and Help

Hi Guys,

I am about to start reloading .308 cal. As a beginner in that caliber (only reloaded revolver and auto pistol in the past), I am open to any help and advice. My main need for help is about gages for col/case length. I have been looking at Lyman cartridge gages as I was using them for my handgun needs but saw that many people were using gages like Hornady's fitted with a "modified case". Also, I understand the need for a case trimmer but what about a neck turner?
I am using a bolt action so I guess I only need to neck-size, not full length (please confirm this).
By the way, I forgot to mention: my press is an Hornady LNL-AP and rifle Howa Talon Thumbhole Varminter which mainly be used to "hunt" paper targets.
I know that many will surely yell at me for using a progressive press with a rifle round but I want to use my existing equipment before investing more.
Ok, it's open season, shoot out!
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 242
Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

Mirage,

I use the Hornady guage and love it. I really allows you to find and control the Case Over All Length (COAL) at the ogive of the bullet. This way ogive to tip variance doesn't torment you when loading bullets because the ogive is more consistant.

For starting loads I'd use Varget and 175grain Sierra Match Kings (SMKs) and Federal Match or CCI BR-2 primers. Your accuracy load will be around 43.0 grains. This load has worked well in two .308's that I've owned.
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:17 AM
436 436 is offline
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Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

Imperial wax for case lube. {Or buy a stuck case remover}
Lee factory crimp die {optional}
Any good factory full length die set. {I like a long elliptical expander ball}
Neck turning is not going to be a “have to” at this stage.
Case trim... Just mic and trim case to spec’s in your reloading manual. Be sure to chamfer and deburr the case mouth
After you get comfortable then you can move up into a little more high speed low drag reloading of the .308 Win.
Good luck
436
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

My advice is to get started with what you have and work up.

Many of us (I for one) spend excessive time and effort with our gadgets for loading while some just load and spend lots of time practicing with the same or better results.

Let the rifle tell you what it needs. You may be surprised at how well it shoots just following basic/safe handloading practices.

As stated above, start with good components that have been successful for others.
... lapua brass, fed 210m or cci br2 primers, varget

Your best LRH bullet may be limited by your twist. So, check that first.

Here's one of MANY related threads...
advice needed

There are many more specific threads here about specific tools and methods.

The HNL COAL and headspace gauges are great. But if not used correctly, they can be counter-productive. e.g. The modified case may have excessive headspace. So, you need to account for that or you won't be as close to the lands as you think because you're checking the distance from the shoulder to the lands rather than from the bolt face to the lands. Loading a dumby round to check COAL may be as good or better. But as with any tool/method, it all depends on attention to detail.

A methodical procedure for load development will be more rewarding than trying too many varied components.

Once you get started and have more specific questions, the quality of the responses will continue to improve.

Have fun and be safe.
Richard
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  #5  
Old 06-04-2011, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: MD
Posts: 17
Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

ok, second try with this answer. Managed to delete all my typing. Bummer!

First of all, thanks guys for your answers. They confirm much of what I had been researching with the hardware/components and it's always nice to have people in the knowledge sharing some of their mind.
Just to make sure: could you confirm that, for a specific bolt action rifle, I will only have to neck-resize and not full-length? Regarding lubrication, I have noticed that all manufacturers were offering "mica" lubrication for case necks. Is that needed or just a "plus"?
Sorry with the barrage of questions but, like rscott528 mentionned, I am trying to start with rifle rounds reloading with the minimum of equipment that will provide safe and reasonable accuracy and avoid noticing when getting ready to work with them that I am missing one and have to order it. Improvement in "gadgets" will surely come later. I have experienced that with handgun loads in the past!
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2011, 11:08 AM
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Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirage33 View Post
ok, second try with this answer. Managed to delete all my typing. Bummer!

First of all, thanks guys for your answers. They confirm much of what I had been researching with the hardware/components and it's always nice to have people in the knowledge sharing some of their mind.
Just to make sure: could you confirm that, for a specific bolt action rifle, I will only have to neck-resize and not full-length? Regarding lubrication, I have noticed that all manufacturers were offering "mica" lubrication for case necks. Is that needed or just a "plus"?
Sorry with the barrage of questions but, like rscott528 mentionned, I am trying to start with rifle rounds reloading with the minimum of equipment that will provide safe and reasonable accuracy and avoid noticing when getting ready to work with them that I am missing one and have to order it. Improvement in "gadgets" will surely come later. I have experienced that with handgun loads in the past!
Imperial sizing wax and dry neck lube are some of your best investments. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and use spray lube. But, I always use the dry neck lube.

Any excess stress on the neck due to the expander button will tend to impart eccentricity (opposite of concentricity) on the neck. So, polishing your expander button can be very useful. But, you don't want to "grind" it down resulting in increased neck tension.

There are many schools of thought on sizing. Full-length, neck-only, partial neck sizing, bushing dies, collet dies can be and are all effective when used properly.

I like Lee collet dies which are excellent. But, they can be a little tricky to set up.

I also like Redding Type-S bushing dies for a little extra control. And, for some rifles, I only size part of the neck.

Full-length sizing is not required for bolt guns. But, it can be a good method if you're carefull not to over-work your brass.

-- richard
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2011, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: MD
Posts: 17
Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help

ok, I think I now know everything I was unsure of.
I'm going to put an order and will try to apply all that knowledge!
I'll let you know how it went.
Thanks
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