New to Reloading- .308 Baseline

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Blkz06, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Blkz06

    Blkz06 Well-Known Member

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    Just started out with reloading, and want to try and dial in my .308 rounds for hunting.

    I have Redding single stage stuff, along with various other RCBS scales and LE Wilson trimmer.

    Most of my research suggests that 165-168 grain bullets with Varget powder seem to work the best.

    I'm using a Bartlein barrel, 1:11.25 twist, 24" long. Probably going to shoot Barnes or Nosler bullets. I already have Lapua brass, but not sure what powder to start with.

    So, question is....what powder should I invest in to start off with, and is 160-168 grain bullets considered to be the most accurate round in general? I have no problem using 150-155 grain bullets for hunting, but I'd like to have small MOA groups since its a custom rifle.

    Any other advice?
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    You're already there. Varget is an excellent powder for these bullet weights (150 to 175s, and even beyond), and you'll probably have a harder time working up an inaccurate load than an accurate one. Assemble them straight, with minimal run out and decent neck tension and you should be good to go!
     

  3. sbhooper

    sbhooper Banned

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    The 165-grainers were made for the 308 in my opinion. Try a load of Varget just under max and you will be happy, happy, happy!
     
  4. Blkz06

    Blkz06 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply Kevin.

    Do I need to worry about using a comparator and seating the bullet right off the lands?

    I invested in a Match die set but haven't used it. I'm not sure how much I will get by using it, but I am very OCD and a perfectionist....one of the main reasons I wanted to handload.
     
  5. Blkz06

    Blkz06 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
     
  6. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Well you can't go wrong with Varget, but the same can be said for IMR4064. Use your Lapua brass and a match primer. I only use Federal Match.

    Consistent neck tension and the right seating depth will be your ticket. IMR4064 is my go-to powder for my 308 but Varget is only one shelf away.

    My barrel is 24" D3 contour Obermeyer, Sako M591 action.
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Blkz- the 308 is one of the most forgiving rounds to load for. combine that with a bartlien barrel and lapua brass i believe you will find a LOT of loads shoot .5 or less. varget, I4064 and a 168 CBT. (or many others) . enjoy
     
  8. Blkz06

    Blkz06 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ron, and than you Derek.
     
  9. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    I just worked up a great .308 load for same barrel but 22". I know you are looking for a hunting load but this is what I use for target. You've chosen your components well. My best load was the following:175 gr Sierra Match Kings
    Varget
    Lapua brass
    CCI BR2 primers (will try Federal 210 M as well when I can find them.)
    .013” jump was best.
    My rifle like 175 better than 168. Could not get it to shoot 155 gr Scenars.
     
  10. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Varget was my 308 go to powder, but the lots started having slightly different burn rates and its dirty as hell so I keep about 16#s of Imr4064. It has been more consistant/accurate and cleaner and works equally well with CCI200s, BR2s, 210s, and 210Ms. My hunting load is 46grns under a Berger 168 classic hunter hybrid on a .030" jump in Norma brass with a 210M, but a 168 nosler ballistic tip works just as well with 45.5

    The newer powders like AR comp and PP2000MR are also showing a lot of promise, accurate and stupid fast for a 308, PP2000MR makes your 308 think its a 30-06. I also got a 28" 10 twist for the sole purpose of shooting 208 amaxs over rl17, kicks like a 300wm! Some have had decent results with this combo in 24" 5Rs as well. Also the 185 Berger classic hunter hybrid I hear works well with PP2000MR and CFE223 but I haven't tried that one yet. Good luck to ya.
     
  11. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    How is PP2000MR's temp sensitivity? Varget is definitely dirty but I clean a lot anyway.
     
  12. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Its about as good as Varget and 4064 from 35-85 degrees, gets a little spike above 85. Time will tell but I asked a few questions about it at first but I can get almost 3000fps with 168s in a 28" tube with it but accuracy is right at 2900. I went all the way to 50.5grns with no pressure signs but 49 is what worked and that's above alliants listed max.
     
  13. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding. Thanks!
     
  14. Blkz06

    Blkz06 Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys....really appreciate the sharing of opinions.