.308 - Lapua or Winchester Brass? Factory FGMM or Handloads?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KPK, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    What are your thoughts on this. I'm working on a custom 20" 1/10 .308 for hunting, target, etc. I've got all the reloading stuffs (press, etc) less the .308 dies and am wondering about loads/brass/etc.

    Do you shoot Factory Federal Gold Medal Match? Handloads or what? The way I have it figured I can reload with Winchester brass and be about $.15/rnd cheaper than factory FGMM or reload with Lapua and be a little above FGMM. I'm wanting to shoot the 175g SMK, etc.

    How does Winchester brass compare to Lapua? I know Lapua is the best, but I can get two bags of Win for $37 (100) compared to $65/100 of Lapua. Is it really that much better? I think I'd rather be able to get 2x the brass and have a ton of ammo as opposed to a couple hundred rounds of Lapua, but if it's that much better I will do it!

    Say I did the FGMM route. Is the brass good enough to reload a few times or is the Win and Lapua both much better?

    Give me your thoughts!
     
  2. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts are that win brass SUCKS. If you dont want to fork the coin for Lapua brass, Remington cases have been very good the last couple of years. You still need to de-burr the flash holes etc....but the consistency from case to case and lot to lot has been very good. I do like the Lapua brass quite a bit but since the price for 100 went from 35 bucks to 80 bucks, I am not sure I like it that much more than the Remington brass.

    As far as GMM ammo, it is good stuff. I never had any luck with the 175 GMM ammo despite having great luck with the 175 in hand loads and the 168 GMM ammo. The best thing here is to try it and see if your gun likes it. Personally, I like to hand load. I can fine tune a load and use other match bullets such as the 190 SMK which in my opinion is a much better 308 match load than the 175. The 208 AMAX is even better.

    Hope that helps!

    M
     

  3. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    Michael, you're the dude that did the tests with the 208's. I couldn't find that thread today...

    I am really more interested in the 190-208 more than anything! I didn't mention it in my original post for some reason. Can you tell me if you can load a 190 smk and/or 208 amax with a COAL short enough to fit in an AI mag and still be successful/get the most of the bullet? What's your thoughts on this? Some loads to get started on before my gun is built?
     
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I think you have mistaken me for somebody else. I have worked with the 208's but I am not the guy who 'pioneered' them in the 308. I think that may have been MontanaRifleman? Not sure.

    You can easily load the 190 SMK to the standard 2.800". I am not sure what an 'AI' magazine is but with the Wyatt box in my 700, I can load them to 2.975 which allows them to feed in and out of the magazine just fine. The only way I have been able to do that and still keep the speed up is to use VV N550 instead of RL17. The kernals are smaller which settle better and it takes a grain or two less to hit 2600-2610 FPS allowing for more seating depth.

    M
     
  5. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    Cool thanks for the info. AI is Accuracy International. Maybe you where someone that was talking in the thread? How do you like the 190smk and/or 190 bergers?
     
  6. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    Could you load the amax to 2.965" and do well?
     
  7. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

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    Lapua is worth every penny. Best brass I've ever used hands down.
     
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    If you could live with a compressed load, sure. At 2.975" they are just starting to crunch powder.

    M
     
  9. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    Think I would be better off just using 190 Bergers or SMK's? I haven't even taken my stuff to the gunsmith yet, but will in the next few months. Want to really figure out how I want it throated, etc. Been reading great things on these heavies compared to the 175's...

    Oh and I think my mags are right at 2.88" ID. That would fit 190's just right correct?
     
  10. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    With a 2.880 you should be able to run a given load at 2.850 without any trouble. The 190's will work just fine with that.
     
  11. sakotrg308

    sakotrg308 Active Member

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    Ive used winchester, remington and lapua 308 brass. Granted I have a tight chamber 308 but I have over 30 reloads on the lapua and counting...
     
  12. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

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    Would you recommend that with my application? I'd like the heavier higher bc's, but don't know much about compressed loads, etc.

    Is there a problem with compressing the load other than not getting velocity, etc? Over pressure?
     
  13. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    A modest compression isnt a problem. Can it change the burn rate a bit? I think so so just dont over do it. The biggest problem is if you compress it too much you can get really inconsistent OACL since the powder is pushing back on the bullet. With a modest compressed load it isnt a big problem.

    You may end up using a load like that as a single shot. Or you could use a different magazine.

    M
     
  14. zupatun

    zupatun Well-Known Member

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    I paid $65 at Aurther Brown for Lapua 308 brass...much better than $80. Also, it's been very consistent in my measuring weighing process for reloading...much more consistent than Federal or Win brass I have in stock...maybe I should do some statistics...

    Can't go wrong with either though...but have to sort the Fed/Win brass a little more. I like both, but I Love the Lapua brass.

    I have only one firing on my current stash of Lapua, but it sounds from others that I will have to work less and get more firings out of the Lapua than Win/Fed brass...that in itself is something I like. I can check things periodically and not worry so much. Sometimes that's worth the upfront costs...in my case it is...others probably not.

    Matt