.308 / Berger VLD's of differing weights

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Mike6158, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    I recently picked up one box each of 4 different weights of Berger VLD's for my .308. They are:

    168 gr VLD
    185 gr VLD
    190 gr VLD
    210 gr VLD

    The rifle is has a 26" barrel with 1:12 twist.

    I have just started the process of determining a load to start with and I ran into a snag of sorts. When I started checking the stability factor of each bullet I discovered that the two heaviest bullets required a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps to be stabilized. My Sierra manual stops at 2,400 - 2,500 fps for Sierra bullets around this weight. Now I'm not certain if I can achieve 3,000 fps mv without having pressure problems. On the other hand, they make the bullet so it can apparently be shot with some reliability.

    The 210 VLD is a hoss if it can be shot at 3,000 fps mv :D Lots of energy and lots of distance available with it.

    Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  2. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    I shoot a 208gr A-max in a 1-11tw 28" Hart using RL17 for a MV of 2610fps. But that's as fast as I can go while still being comfortable.

    Powders to try for .308win heavy weights are:
    RL17
    VV-N540
    VV-N550
    W760
    H4350


    Have researched heavy weights in the .308win a lot and those are the powders I've come up with.

    Oliver
     

  3. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    Thanks Oliver,

    I have good stocks of RL17 and 4350 so I'll give them a try.

    While perusing the Berger site I found a good read on bullet weight / .308 / Palma vs Service Rifle. The 210 gr bullet is not recommended for service rifles due to the pressures required. That said, the 190 grain bullet is a strong performer so I'm good to go there.
     
  4. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    I might be talking out my ass but I dont think you will get 3000 fps with any one of the bullets you listed out of the 308 win. I would say at best with the 168g VLD you could get 2800.

    If it where me and I was shooting Bergers for hunting from the 308 win I would go with the 155g but thats just my opnion.
     
  5. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    Yeah... 3,000 fps ain't happening. Not with decent (safe) pressures and the barrel that I have anyway.

    That said- The Nosler manual lists some pretty interesting numbers for the heavier bullets. 50 grains of 4350 (compressed load btw) and a 180 gr bullet = 2,698 fps.

    The point of going to a larger bullet is to be able to carry lethal energy to a large target at much farther range than my "normal" hunting bullet is capable of (150 gr Sierra ProHunter).

    A quick trip to the Berger website will give a graphic representation for "why" I am investigating max loads with heavy bullets.

    At least now I have a starting point...
     
  6. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    You will have no problem getting the 190's to stabilize even at 308 velocities. The 210 really needs a bit more like 11x.

    The Berger VLD's in a 308 will limit your range with the 308 since the starting velocity is low and the expansion requirments are high.

    If you need a heavy load, look to the 200 SGK. If you need a long range medium game load, look to the 168-178 AMAX.
     
  7. bassin93

    bassin93 Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    No offense dude but your post pretty much says that because they make a bullet in the calibre you want to shoot that it should be able to run at that speed in your cartridge just because it is the same calibre. Thats how people get hurt with that type of thinking. If that were the case, why would we need all the different cartridges
     
  8. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights


    LOL... no, dude, it doesn't. It says that when I check the velocity required to stabilize the bullet that I have on hand, in a barrel with 1:12 twist, the velocity requirements are well outside of the maximums listed in 3 load data books (Nosler's manual, btw, has the hottest loads listed, by a good margin). Since lawyers have their inevitable say in the data that is published it's not much of a stretch to wonder how conservative the load data is and how far I can push it safely. Obviously 3,000 fps is not going to happen. Since Berger recommends a 1:11 twist or faster for their 210 grain bullet my 1:12 twist barrel probably won't shoot them well and even if it did there's not enough gain in energy and distance to pick the 210 grain bullet over the 190 grain bullet when loaded to safe velocities.
     
  9. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    The 190 will be stable from a 1:12" even at .308 Winchester velocities (~2600 fps). What stability calculator are you running that suggests you need 3000 fps?

    The 210 is the only bullet that won't work from your 1:12".

    Cheers,
    -Bryan
     
  10. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    Thanks for replying Bryan.

    I'm using the analyzer/twist and stability module in Loadbase.

    Here's the parameters that I used:

    Bullet diameter: .308

    Bullet Length:
    1.375 (I mic'd a few of the bullets and they were all within .001 of this value

    Bullet Weight:
    190 gr

    MV: 2,600 fps

    Environment Conditions
    29.92" Hg
    59°F
    33% RH

    Twist Rate:
    1:12

    Miller Method results: 1.35 Under Stabilized
    Greenhill Method results: 1.49 Under Stabilized

    At 2,900 fps the results change to:

    Miller Method results: 1.40 Under Stabilized
    Greenhill Method results: 1.49 Under Stabilized <-- didn't change

    At 3,000 fps the results change to:

    Miller Method results: 1.41 Under Stabilized
    Greenhill Method results: 2.14 Fully Stabilized <-- Big jump


    On a side note- without blowing myself up or damaging my firearm, I determined the max charge for IMR 4350 and the 190 gr VLD this morning. 48.5 grs has slight primer flattening but no other indicators. I'll back off 10% from there and work my way back up to a load that shoots well.
     
  11. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    Mike,

    The Miller formula is quite accurate, but sometimes the results get mis-interpreted.

    In theory, SG only needs to be above 1.000 in order for the bullet to be stable. An SG of .999 or less is unstable, SG greater than 1.000 is stable. Because of the potential inherent error in the formula (up to ~10%) and because we shoot in a range of environmental conditions, we add a 'safety margin' to the SG so that we don't get close to 1.000. Some think that a margin of .3 is enough, and advise to keep the SG above 1.3 in nominal conditions so you don't dip down to 1.000. Others advise a safety margin as high as .5, and say you want the SG to be 1.5 or higher in nominal conditions so it doesn't dip down below 1.000. Personally, I advise a safety factor of .4, meaning you should aim for a stability factor of 1.4 in nominal conditions.

    In other words, the label "under stabilized" that appears in the Loadbase calculation for SG's above 1.3 and 1.4 is very conservative. The only way the bullet won't actually be stable from a 1:12" twist is if there's more than 30% error in the Miller formula which is highly unlikely as 10% is likely to be the max error. If the calculated SG gets below 1.1, I'd start to worry that there might be a problem, but 1.3 and 1.4 is pretty safe.

    I hope this discussion of the judgment calls involved in safety margins applied to SG helps to ease your mind about shooting the 190's from a 1:12" twist.

    Take care,
    -Bryan

    PS, in your shooting this morning, did the 190's group well and make nice round holes?
     
  12. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification Bryan. I've seen similar info in your book and the LB help files however the "under stabilized" text in the program threw me off. I'll keep this post in mind in the future. My 3,000 fps comment resulted when I incremented up the mv value in the program until the program gave me a stabilized indication. I applied "if they sell them and they indicate that they'll work in my rifle then maybe 3,000 fps is possible" logic or illogic to the result. I asked "if" with no real plans to try to achieve 3,000 fps. The Nosler manual generally lists the most aggressive loads and they didn't come close to 3,000 fps for a 180 gr bullet. They don't even list a 190 gr bullet. The top of my box of 210 gr VLD is scratched so the recommended twist rate wasn't apparent. I went to the Berger site and found the twist rate there, which pretty much eliminated the 210 gr bullet from my tests.

    I only made one round hole. My .308 has pretty good cold barrel manners so I was happy with the shot. I was looking for max load and the slightly flattened primer that I got was enough for me. The bolt was not stiff. The case did not grow (just resized it). All in all I think I'm being fairly conservative but this is MY test and I don't recommend anyone follow "internet advice" nor is this or any of my posts "advice". I've backed the max load value down to the load that I shot. The original max (my number not from a manual) was 50 gr's. My test shot was backed down from my selected max. For what it's worth I doubt if I could get 50 grains of 4350 in a .308 case. 48.5 was a compressed load with very little room.

    Onward through the fog
     
  13. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

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    Re: .308 / Berger VLD's of differning weights

    For some of these powders, you need a drip tube to get enough into the case. W760 also needs around 50grs to bring performance above your normal .308win powders. Also, what brass are you using? I'm having good results with Winchester brass. I get over pressure with .7gr less in my rem cases and near that with federal cases. Am thinking about trying lapua and the new lapua with a small primer pocket .

    -Oliver
     
  14. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

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    I'm using nickle plated Remington brass. I have been pleasantly surprised with the Remington nickle plated brass I picked up a few months ago. I bought some for .308, 7mm Rem Mag, .223. and .270. I haven't tried .270 yet but the rest has been very consistent. I check neck concentricity and thickness on all of my new brass. I "cull" anything over .003 neck variation. Cull means, unless it's really bad, I use it for foulers and sighters. I've had very few culls. Less than 5 in a 100.