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SPS 308 load development

 
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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Panhandle,WV
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SPS 308 load development

Ok just got my new sps 308 and am dying to get it to the range. I'm not new to shooting by any means but am as far as reloading goes. I was curious how you guys go about finding a load that "works" Recently i have been loading up 3 loads of various powders,bullets but have yet to really fine tune the art dialing in my loads for the group i want. Whats the simplest way to go about finding the perfect load? I'm sure this has been discussed thousands of times on here just looking for a simple cost effective way to enjoy reloading. The range i go to only has a 100 yard capacity. Kinda sucks as i would enjoy shooting more long range targets. Any help i sure appreciate.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:06 PM
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Location: Western NC
Posts: 135
Re: SPS 308 load development

Personally, I have my own routine on load development, as everyone probably does... a quick version of mine goes as such:

1- load 3 rounds of test round starting load, 3 rounds +.5gr., 3 rounds +.5gr., etc, until I reach maximum published charge... if I have already settled on a charge weight, and am testing for a certain bullet's accuracy in relation to freebore, I load 3 rounds at normal C.O.L., 3 rounds at +.05", etc. until I reach the length that gently kisses the lands.

2- Set up your chronograph (a VITAL tool for accurate load development), and fire the first set. Check the velocity and examine cases for overpressure signs (leaking or blown primers, split cases, expanded caseheads; a good quick way to check for casehead expansion is to bring your shellholder along... if the fired case is hard to get in the shellholder, it has expanded and is too hot). Do this for all test groups and record all data (velocity, group size, personal notes such as recoil, muzzle blast, wind, etc.)

3- Take the data for the best grouping loads that exceed the velocity you need, and load 10 - 20 more rounds of those. Final test on those rounds to decide on one using 10 shot groups minimum, giving plenty of time for the barrel to cool in between groups, a at least 20 seconds between shots.

I do this same process whether I am testing for the best charge on a particular powder, or testing to see what C.O.L. shoots best for a certain bullet, testing cases, primers, pretty much anything. Just remember, if you are testing for powder, make sure to keep ALL other components the same (case, primer, etc), and the same goes for testing for bullets, keep all other components identical, so the only variable is the item being tested.

I have a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308 w/ 26" heavy barrel, with a Jewell trigger (2 lbs), Bell&Carlson A5 stock (best stock for the money out there), with a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x50 SF mounted on it. The loads I found out that worked best for my rifle were:
For Target shooting:
168gr. Sierra Matchking
44.8gr. RL-15
F-C. cases, CCI BR2 primers
C.O.L. - 2.83" (to fit magazine, well off the lands), no crimp,
I am getting .4 MOA @ 2630 FPS, ES@8

For hunting:
165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip (deer>250 yds) or 165gr. Hornady SST (deer<250 yds)
45.4gr. RL-15
F-C cases, CCI BR2 primers
C.O.L. - 2.80", light crimp on SST's, no crimp on Nosler BTs,
Getting .7 MOA @ 2700 FPS, ES@11

These loads a little hot, and were worked up in my rifle. Always start low and work up.
The .308 is among the easiest rounds to load for. Theres a ton of great powders available: RL-15, Varget, N140, N540, IMR 4064, 3031, H-4895, Win 748, H-BL-C(2), and H-4320 just to name a few.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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"It can be - done quickly, done correctly, or done inexpensively ... Pick any two."

"A government big enough to give you what you want, is strong enough to take what you have." -T. Jefferson

Last edited by Damascus; 12-05-2012 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Correction
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Panhandle,WV
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Re: SPS 308 load development

Great advice. I have heard of different ways of measuring max COL what do you find that works best. Ive seen people remove firing pin and finding the sweet spot with bolt drop. Whats your thoughts? I definatly need a chrono maybe santa will read this.....
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 366
Re: SPS 308 load development

Prep cases true primer pockets, cut flashholes on the inside and slight cut to flashholes,
resize necks with bushing dies.
Varget and Rl-15 have been my choices in powders for 155-168 gr and RL-17 for the 180gr
bullets.
Do a work up at .5 gr loads using three bullets to find the best group then work each side
to refine the sweet spot.
Final is to start with bullet length from max lenght to 20-40 thousands generally 3-10 thousands
off the lands ihas been the norm.......
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:38 AM
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Location: Eastern Panhandle,WV
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Re: SPS 308 load development

Thanks nomad i'll give it a go
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western NC
Posts: 135
Re: SPS 308 load development

To find c.o.l., i take thebullet i am using, drop it down the chamber, it will stop when the ogive contacts the lands. Stick a rod down the muzzle, carefully, until it touches the bullet tip... u may have to use a pen or something to hold bullet in chamber, then mark the rod. Remove bullet, install the bolt, reinstall rod till it touches bolt face, mark rod again. Now, remove rod, use calipers to measure the distance between them... this is you max length using that specific bullet, loading at that length means bullet willbe contacting lands. Be careful, seating into lands causes pressure to increase... i usually back off 0.01" from this point, and load a few sets of 5, variating 0.03" - 0.05" between groups. Use the length with tightest group. I usually get the best results between 0.1" - 0.07" off the lands... only one rifle of mine benefits from seating into the lands, and even then, only when shooting Berger VLDs.
Hope this helps! Remember, after u find an "area" where groups tighten, start using 5 or 10 rd groups to ensure consistency, and start varying powder charges to only 0.1 - 0.25 gr instead of 0.5gr.
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"It can be - done quickly, done correctly, or done inexpensively ... Pick any two."

"A government big enough to give you what you want, is strong enough to take what you have." -T. Jefferson
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Eastern Panhandle,WV
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Re: SPS 308 load development

That is a great idea. Simple but effective i like it. This site has been great for a newbie like me. Thanks again Damascus...
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