150 gr. ETip .308 Win powder choice?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by davkrat, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    I've been using the ETips for a few years now with a 45.5 gr. charge of Varget. I started noticing some pressure signs and decided I would try some other powders. I've always shot Varget in the .308 seems like over and over again that is all that is suggested. I have not had the stellar accuracy others have claimed with the ETips and can not get anywhere near the book velocities. I'm shooting a Remington 700 SPS with a 24" barrel using Win brass and CCI 200 primers. My 45.5 gr Varget load was getting around 2730 fps. Hornady's reloading data shows 2670-2914fps with 42.3-46.5gr of Varget. I tried a lower charge of 44.5 today and averaged 2642 fps. I wish it was higher but I can live with that, shot right at 1 MOA at 200 yards today.

    In search of better accuracy and maybe higher velocities without pressure signs I tried BLC-2 and H4895. Others have suggested that ball powder and the ETips do not play nice. Here are some photos of the results. The lower charges of BLC-2 show potential for accuracy but only got in the 2550 fps range. Okay for targets but I'd really like to be in the 2750-2850 range if possible. The H4895 gave amazingly low SD but sprayed the bullets all over the place. At the upper ends of the H4895 loads it started flinging bullets 5" high and right. With those groups and flatter primers I only shot one of the highest H4895 near max loads.

    I only shot 2 round of each charge mainly to see potential velocity and pressure limits. I may take the mid load H4895 and the lowest BLC-2 loads and play with them a bit. Looks like my gun just can't get past the 2700 fps. mark with the ETips. Might just stick with the Varget loads. Tried getting photos of the primers and what looks flat in hand does not look nearly as flat in the photos. I'll pop them later and am sure I'll find a ridge around the edge of those top loads.

    Anyone have similar results with the ETips and pressure signs/low velocity. I know I can't safely match cup and core velocities but trying to find the max velocity and accuracy I can live with. Going to start playing with the 150 ETips in 7mm Rem Mag soon too, hope I can get 300-400 more fps. than the .308 is. Also thought it was odd how the H4895 loads started marching high and to the right as the charge increased.

    200 yard groups (I've started using masonite painted white, makes the holes visible and no paper to blow off)

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    Chrono results

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    Primers

    H4895
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    H4895 starting
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    H4895 max
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    BLC-2
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    BLC-2 starting
    [​IMG]
    BLC-2 MAx
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    My go-to powder for 308 is IMR4064. If you can not find a load with that powder and bullet wt I'll be shocked.
     

  3. Shortmagman

    Shortmagman Well-Known Member

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    Is there any reason that you are stuck on the e-tips? I have always gotten very good accuracy and velocity out of any rifle that I shot Barnes TSX or TTSX bullets. I have not loaded Barnes TSX's in my 308 but I have loaded and shot the 168 TTSX out of a number of 30-06s and 300WSMs. I have been able to get very good results.

    I have used N550 in my 308 with 168 and 175 match bullets. It works well in a 308.
     
  4. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Never tried the Barnes but maybe I will. Always been a fan of Nosler bullets but the target never lies right. At this point it's sort of like a challenge too but maybe my gun just doesn't like them. The performance on deer has been great but wish I could increase the range and accuracy a bit. Gun loves Partitions but being in California and wandering in and out of lead free zones I want to try and stick with lead free bullets for everything.

    My old .270 was definitely easier. 130 grain Ballistic Tips and H4831..... DONE!! LOL!
     
  5. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    The Barnes TSX/TTSX have done so well in my rifles I have not tried the Hornady or Etips. Barnes had such a mixed rap for a long time with their original X and then their blue bullet, the XLC I believe, that I wanted to give them a chance when the TSX came out. It did the trick for me and I have nothing but good things to say about them.
     
  6. mhiltz

    mhiltz Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Derek M on the powder. IMR 4064 works great with my 308. 150gr. SST's and Accubonds are well under MOA at 100yds. I haven't had the luck with the TTSX's yet, but I hope to find the correct OAL soon.
     
  7. Hardbawl

    Hardbawl New Member

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    Davkrat:

    What kind of condition is your weapon? Now, I am no expert, but I have gotten flatter primers from Winchester White Box factory loads. Please note from your exellent pictures that the primers are not extruding into the bevel of the primer pocket. Their edges are still rounded. There are no bolt marks on the case heads. The cupping around your firing pin strikes is unusual with a Remington. Could it be possible that you have a weak firing pin spring?

    Just thinking out loud. Varget is good stuff for the .308.
     
  8. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Hardbawl

    Gun was bought new in 2006 I believe. Probably shot about 1,000 rounds through it. Seems to be in like new condition. I wouldn't think that amount of use would have worn out the firing pin springs. The primers did not seem scary flat to me either but in the past while shooting in hot weather and testing some primer and powder combos with the ETips I have had some massive pressure jumps. The barrel was hot and probably getting dirty but I went from 2800 fps to a sudden 3150 fps with a very flat primer. That was using magnum primers but the sudden jump of an otherwise normal load surprised me. I've also noticed some bulging in the case web area. Perhaps I have a lousy chamber? I'm going to get some new brass and load up only Ballistic Tips in them and try to compare. The thing that really disappoints me is as I get up towards the high range of the suggested ETip-Varget charges my velocity is barely at the suggested starting load velocities. Maybe I have a slow barrel or a lousy chrono as was suggested on another thread.
     
  9. Hardbawl

    Hardbawl New Member

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    Davkrat:
    I have a Winchester M70 that shows cratering with WW factory loads. Usually a bolt with a smaller firing pin hole [AKA Remington] does not show cratering early on. The Savage I'm working on now looks like the chamber will bulge before primers crater. Rifles are different.

    Ken Waters outlines a pressure measuring system in Handloader Magazine that has worked for me over the years. Basically you fire a factory round and measure [with a ten thousandths mic] the pressure ring. Size the case and reload with your recipe. This will reduce the pressure ring back to unfired condition. Now fire and measure again. Most work up loads will not equal the expansion of a factory load. A hot load will pop positive on the pressure ring. Anything more than .0002 over factory expansion is cause for concern.

    This is not a perfect system. But it does give us a handle on what is going on in the case. Yes, you have to full length size. And yes, brass work hardens so you probably should only trust a case to test pressure once.

    This may be a way for you to "see" exactly when your personal rifle "pops hot." Hope this helps.
     
  10. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks that's basically what I was thinking of doing with BTip reloads. May as well pick up a box of factory and compare the way you said. I've been proud of the fact that a factory load has never been down the tube but who cares.

    Thanks

    Dave
     
  11. kweidner

    kweidner Well-Known Member

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    8208 xbr is a possibility. Some say it's a little slow but it is consistent for all I load for it. I personally like the way it meters. Get stupid low ES in a load of 175 SMK in a .308.
     
  12. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Looking at the velocity (2766 and 2765) and grouping of the H4895 43.9 grain load I may have to give it a try. Still think it's odd how those higher loads of H4895 started shifting high and to the right. I shot the loads round robbin style so a dirty barrel or temp should have effected all the loads.
     
  13. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    The firing pin cupping is very common on the newer rems I've seen. The older rifles, not so much. Loose manufacturing tolerances on the newer ones. Varget, 4320, vit 540, vit550, 4064, 4895,rl15 and a few of the aa powders are all pretty good in that class of cartridge.
    The e-tip develops a heck of a lot of pressure for it's charge, and I had trouble hitting 3200 fps in the 300win with it. The barnes tsx variants are a lot better, and the hornady mono's are similar.
    Check your barrel length in relation to the book barrel, if your barrel is shorter, you won't make full velocity.
     
  14. RTK

    RTK Well-Known Member

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    Being a left coaster as you davkart, I occasionally hunt in the lead free zones too. I have been using Barnes for the last few years with good accuracy but my seating depth for accuracy puts a smaller amount of neck on the bullet than I care for.
    This year I bought some E-tips and have been working on a load for them, although I haven't found the magic one yet, they are not too bad so far.
    Cutting edge has solid copper bullets, a bit pricey, that I will be giving a try hear in a week or so. Supposedly they have a 100 or so feet per second speed increase over other copper bullets.