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Faster than expected load

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Unread 12-05-2011, 09:46 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Boise Idaho
Posts: 2
Faster than expected load

So I have a savage model 10 in 308 that's giving me some faster than expected results with 175 SMK's. 43.5 grains of TAC loaded to 2.800 should give me 2650 according to Ramshot's data. Im getting 2795 as an average with less than a 10FPS E.S. from my last loads. I know that some barrels will give faster velocities than others but 150 FPS seems like a lot. I checked my scale twice and I know the load is correct. No sticky bolt lift, no primer problems at all. So far this load holds MOA out to 600. My question is, Has anyone had a load differ this much from the manual? should I be concerned? Or should I just keep shooting this load because its a hammer so far?
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Unread 12-06-2011, 12:18 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,830
Re: Faster than expected load

Should you be concerned? Possibly.

There are a few things to concider.

1: Make sure your chony is consistent with another chrony.

2: It is very possible that you can see 150 FPS of difference between rifles with the same factory ammo. Even the 308. Even more so when you handload. One lot of powder can be much hotter than another. Add a rifle's unique character and you have a huge variation in pressure/speed.

3: Near 2800 FPS with a 175 is a pretty stout load for the 308. That said, with a good barrel length, proper chambering, quality barrel, and the right powder, 2800 is not out of the question but its getting there. I have pushed the 178 as fast as 2850 in the 308 with notellum powder without any sticky bolt lift or cratered primmers but it was still a very hot load. Safe or not, it is hard on barrels.

I wont tell you if you should or should not change your load. If it were me, I would verify my chrony was not screwed up. If not, then I would drop my charge a bit to lower the pressure till I found the next good zone of accuracy. There is really no point in tearing up your barrel from high pressure loads. Everything has a price.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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