Re: 308 Reloading Advice and Help
ok, here's a quick reloading overview...
1. determine the primary use of the rifle (you've done that - paper punching)
2. determine best bullet for the job based on all factors (budget, BC, etc). For the sake of this post, lets use the 175SMK as the go-to bullet since it has been mentioned earlier and is a good choice for punching holes in paper with the 308. (remember that bullet choice is paramount since it's the bullet that will ultimately be doing all the 'work')
3. determine maximum overall length of cartridge. I use the hornady COAL gauge (the one with the modified case). This will give you a measurement of 'on the lands' (this means where the bullet actually touches the rifling). From this measurement you will probably want to start at .010 off the lands. Remember that you MUST go through this step for every type of bullet you will shoot in the rifle. this means in your log book you will record a COAL for 175SMK of 2.XYZ" and COAL for 190VLD of 2.ABC". Also, I use the Hornady Comparator to measure all cartridges as it measures on the ogive (the part of the bullet that would touch the lands). The ogive is a more reliable place to measure rather than the tip of the bullet.
4. determine powder and primer you wish to start with. As suggested earlier, Fed210M and CCI BR2 primers are good choices. Varget and RL17 are good powder choices. Whichever you choose, start low and work up.
5a. brass prep - determine proper case length from your reloading manual and measure/trim each case to that dimension.
5b. brass prep - I use Redding Competition dies to neck-size only. Be sure to chamfer and deburr the case mouth.
5c. brass prep - uniform primer pockets and deburr flash holes. there are specific tools for both of these steps and they are inexpensive.
5d. brass prep - neck turning. if you choose to take this step, just turn them enough to clean up the necks. you want to be careful not to remove too much material.
If you use Lapua brass you will not need to go through steps 5c and 5d. Initially, you probably wouldn't need to go through 5a.
6. seat primers - there are lots of tools to accomplish this task. Since you have reloaded before you probably have an appropriate tool. Just be sure that it is set up for large rifle primers (handgun primers are much smaller)
7. powder - measure each charge and drop it in the case.
8. bullet seating - I use Redding Competition Seating dies (the one with the micrometer on top) so that you can seat the bullet precisely at the length you wish. Because there is some variation in bullets, you may wish to measure each of your finished cartridges and make any necessary adjustments. This is especially true if/when you start loading VLD type bullets and they need to be closer to or 'on' the lands.
9. put cartridge in rifle, pull trigger, measure reasults. By measure results, I would encourage to do most of your testing over a chronograph. To shoot without one is like shooting with your eyes closed. Having the rifle shoot small groups at 100 or 300 yards is nice, but if the velocity is all over the place, then 1k is going to be difficult and give you lots of veritical stringing. Finding a load that will shoot .5moa with an extreme spread (ES) of <15fps is great.
Notes - once all of these steps have been completed and you're left with fired cases, be sure to track how many firings each case has. I check case lengths and trim as necessary after three firings and will also anneal all cases after three firings.
Good luck, have fun, be safe.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!