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Reloading Berger Bullets


first time .308 loading

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Unread 01-03-2009, 01:34 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 6
first time .308 loading

I will be making my first handloads here in a few weeks. I am looking to replicate the accuracy of Federal gold medal match, which I was quite satisfied with, but $28 per box was prohibitive of shooting. I am planning to use old Federal Gold Medal brass, 180gr match king bullets, and Federal gold medal primers. I figure this way I should be good to go if I can do a correct assembly proccess. What I don't know is what powder to use. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks

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Unread 01-03-2009, 02:44 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,787
Re: first time .308 loading

I think you will find that most people go with a couple powders, Varget, IMR 4064, being the top two and IMR 4895 and RL15 are good. F210, BR2 or WLR primers and the 175 SMK instead of the 180. OAL is 2.80 or so depending on your gun.

My 308 likes 44.5 of Varget, BR2 and the 175 SMK and runs 2698 fps out of a 26 Rock barrel.

Most loads with Varget are between 44 and 45 grains.

Most loads with IMR 4064 are between 42.4 and 44.0

Most loads with RL15 are 42.8 to 44.5

IMR 4895 seems to be around 44.5 g

Varget and 4064 seem to be the powders of choice with either the BR2 or WLR primers in Winchester, Lapua or LC brass.

All depends on your gun.

Hope this helps.

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Unread 01-03-2009, 04:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,830
Re: first time .308 loading

Fed GMM brass isnt bad brass but my opinion is that the Lapua brass is much more concistent not only from case to case but lot to lot. Also with the GMM you will need to debur the flash holes where as you do not need to with the Lapua. I have found the Lapua brass to last longer as well.

I like the Fed 210 GMM primers myself.

RL-15 has been my 308 goto powder. Varget was good but RL-15 was cream. Lately I have been using BENCHMARK with smashing resulst. Little less velocity, stellar accuracy.

If I were in your shoes, I would try VARGET, RL-15 and BENCHMARK in that order.

If none of those made you happy, then try H4895 and IMR 4064.

You will have a hard time beating ANY of the 155's. AMAX, SCENAR or PALMA or VLD's. The 175 SMK or VLD and dont overlook the 178 AMAX or 190 SMK either. All of the above are awesome 100-1000 yard performers.

For hunting look to the 150-180 ACCUBONDS.

Good luck and let us know how she shoots!
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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Unread 01-03-2009, 05:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,400
Re: first time .308 loading

I will second bounty hunter on the IMR 4064 and R15 I use both in my 308's

42.5g of IMR 4064 in my M1A with CCI #34 primers and 175g SMK

In my bolt gun I was running 44.0g of R15 with BR2 primers and 168g AMAX but its getting rebarrled I am planing on the 185g VLD for hunting when I get it back.

I like the R15 more than the IMR 4064 bracuse it flows better.

What were you going to be usuing the gun for again?
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wampum, PA
Posts: 1,530
Re: first time .308 loading

Originally Posted by djbcqc View Post
I will be making my first hand loads here in a few weeks.

You have already got some great advise from these guys. I was in your shoes (reloading for long range for the first time) about a year ago. I kept notes and made a post. If you read it you may find something to help make it less frustrating. Although I don't think you'll have too hard of a time anyway given the cartridge and advise you already have.

Here's the post:

reloading from a newbie
"I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid." - Terry Bradshaw
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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:27 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 166
Re: first time .308 loading

My primary relaod for wood chucking with my Remmington 788 (18 1/2 barrel) was 47.5 grains of 748 powder. Which was the mid range between the hottest load and the middle load. My projectile of choice was a Sierra 150 grain HPBT.
DEADLY out to 300 yards.
For deer, I most likely could have used the same recipie. I primarily used grand slam 180 grain projectiles, but I never wrote down that load.

I think the precipitated powder will do well in your .308, you should not pass it up as an experimental round to see where it will wind up in the standings.
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