308 Load Help

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by LaSouthpaw, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. LaSouthpaw

    LaSouthpaw Member

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    I am at the very early stages of getting set up for long range shooting. I figured that I would start practicing with my 308 and then move up to something bigger at a later date. What loads are you guys using? Which bullets seem to work the best? Thanks for any info.
     
  2. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest

    You're in luck .. i Just got done yesterday shooting out to 1150 with my 308...

    My loads are 44.5 grs of varget and a 168 Nosler J4
    same powder and a 168 SMK works well too...

    My gun seems to shoot the J4's better

    I have a 23.5" barrel and I was getting 2800 fps yesterday!!

    I just weighed and sorted a bunch of Nosler J4's and SMK's. Noslers were between 167.9 and 168.2

    SMK's were from 167.5 - 168.4

    The J4's seems to have better consistency...

    My gun has always liked varget the best and I have talked to a bunch of guys who have said the same thing about the 308 and varget...

    I was busting volleyball sized rocks from 920 to 1150 .... the 308 is about outta juice at 1150 but it still make a big exposion on the sandstone rocks!!!
     
  3. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    We have quite a few new shooters trying 308s in the factory class, to include some of the top of line sniper/tactical rifles. Quite a few of them end up with 168 grain bullets tumbling and key holing at 1000. However, when they go up to the 175, no problem, they can make it to 1000. If I was going to try 1000, think I would start with the 175.

    BH
     
  4. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest

    I havn't had any problems with key holing or tumbling as of yet ..

    If you have a 12 twist in your 308 you should be able to get the 175 to work...

    the 168 really seedm to like the 12 twist though...
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Bounty, have pretty well switched to the 175's for shooting past 700. We shoot a steel target at 1100 and found that the 175's need less wind and seem to shoot better. Have never found any sideways looking splats on the steel with either bullet (expect that might mean keyholing).

    Let's face it, the .308 is an 800 yard cartridge, accuracy starts to go rather quickly after that distance.

    Like Wyo, we use Varget and have not found anything better. 44.0 - 46.0 grains is usually where the accuracy is. We load to an O.L. of 2.830" since we want the rounds to feed thru Win. and Rem. actions. Have had very good luck with Winchester brass and standard Winchester primers in our rifles. 4064 is the Federal match ammo powder loaded but Varget will usually do as well. There is also a powder called Benchmark from Hodgdon that is supposed to be excellent but we stick with Varget.

    Don't forget the 155's, in Nosler, Lapua, Sierra and that slick A-Max from Hornady. I haven't used them but all the target-weenie shooters use them exclusively.

    You are on the right track using the .308 Win. as your entry cartridge into long range shooting and hunting. You would be surprised how many guys buy a big honking magnum so as to get into LR shooting and then find that the game is way more difficult than they thought. Learning the skills (wind reading is the big one) is much easier with a moderate recoiling rifle than a bruiser.

    If you need any info re drops, wind etc. we got 'em. Good luck.
     
  6. dbhostler

    dbhostler Well-Known Member

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    A couple of guys in Pueblo Colorado are shooting gongs at 3000+ yds with a .308 AI and 220 Sierra MKs [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] .
    db
     
  7. LaSouthpaw

    LaSouthpaw Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. You gave me just what I needed to get started. I have the brass, powder,primers, and a new pact scale and powder dispenser to get started. I will order some bullets today. I plan on loading some rounds while I conitue my search for a scope. How much scope do I need?
    Ian, I had thought about getting a 300 RUM, but figured I could start with my 308. Glad to see that my thinking agrees with someone with more experience!!
     
  8. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest

    as far as a scope....

    20X is as powerfull as you want ot get. after that mirage will kill you...

    I was using my Nightforce 3.5-15X50mm I had it on 15X and the mirage was bearable in it.. I was killin small rocks to 1150...

    for a 308 15X is as much as you need..

    Not sure of your $$ situation.. but the 3.5-10 lupy tactical M1 would be a good place to start... the new 4.5-14 LRM1 is very nice but not available until April.

    I know guys that like the atarget scopes.. but I like mine without caps...

    just my .02

    DB i think you're joking right???

    I'd venture to say it can't be done with consistency... but some guys claim some pretty unbeleivable things...
     
  9. Darryl Cassel

    Darryl Cassel Well-Known Member

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    DB

    I think the case your talking about is not the 308 Winchester case.

    The 308 or 300 A was an improved 300 Weatherby case with a sharp shoulder that would hold upwards of 100 grs of powder.

    The 308 Win case just don't have the boiler room area for enough powder to get to 3000 yards and seat a 220 gr MK in it too. [​IMG]

    Later
    DC
     
  10. *WyoWhisper*

    *WyoWhisper* Guest

    scccwweeewwwww... thanks DC.. I was running tables like crazy trying to figure out if that was possible and no matter what i did ..it just ain't possible... but I am know to be wrong believe it or not... [​IMG]
     
  11. jcpython357

    jcpython357 Well-Known Member

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    LA, I would agree about using Varget in your 308, I've used 47gr. 4064 with 150gr.BT which is pretty close to Varget and got 3/4"groups(3shots) @100yds with my Browning stalker(don't laugh you LR guys, please) And yes Benchmark is supposed to work exceptionally well for the 155Palma bullet, I will try some someday since I bought some for my 223Rem. I don't want to start up a big discussion on scopes again, but I don't think you need to spend 1300+ on a NF, As I said in a previous post my lowly Burris Signatures in 4-16 and 6-24 will compare to any scope out there, they got your Fully-multi-coated lenses that will rival any scope and are repeatable with the best of the best, God at least I hope anyway, he,he. But seriously, they are a great scope without paying exorbitant prices. Jay [​IMG] 1-888-228-7747 for a free catalog
     
  12. LaSouthpaw

    LaSouthpaw Member

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    Thanks again for the info guys!! This is a great board. I was leaning towards a leupold, but still debating on which model and reticle. Any suggestions here? If not I will start another thread on this new topic.
     
  13. jcpython357

    jcpython357 Well-Known Member

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    LA, That thread was already started, 6 pages and 78 posts ago, at any rate with my Burris 4-16 Sig. w/Balmil-dot or a Black Diamond w/same reticle you can zero your rifle @400yds or maybe a bit higher since your using a 308 and where the bottom(thick part) of the reticle joins up with the thin part could be your 1k zero, you can call Burris to get any advice on setting it up for a 308 if you go with the Burris, my scopes are holding zero very well as they should, getting .217-.322" 5 shot groups w/6mmRem stock barreled action, and I'm sure they're maybe alot of scopes out there that when you point the scope towards the sun you'll get zero glare, same for Burris. Friend has 243Win. 700 Rem. w/8.5-25-50mm, getting similar groups and he paid $400 more, I think he got mad when I showed him my .217" group cuz he knew he paid too much for his Leu., told me he would be mad if I shot as good as him months before, but yes he has more elev. I'm getting more light coming through than he is(brightness). Both outstanding scopes, got a Leupold 3.5-10 pre- Multicoat 4 myself. I'm just value minded I guess. [​IMG] Jay
     
  14. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    LA,

    Not sure if someone mentioned it, but what seems to work well in more than a few rifles is Varget, w/ SMKs. Some rifles won't go as high w/o showing pressure, but what shows good accuracy in my Rem700Vs is this: Winchester cases, CCI BR2 primers, and then either 46.0gr Varget for the 168SMK, or 45.0gr for the 175gr SMK. Others have had good results w/ up to 47.0gr Varget and the 155gr Palma SMK, but my gun doesn't do well w/ 155's [​IMG]

    4064 is a great powder for the .308, and has been for years. Accuracy is often phenomenal, though velocity is a little less than some newer powders, and it would be a courtesy to say it meters like hell. Definitely a weigh-every-single-charge-and-trickle-up affair, which may be a non-issue for you, as many/most LR shooters do that anyway.

    Alliant RL-15 has been around a little while, and it is another of the short-cut extruded grain powders like Varget and Viht N140. I think the official U.S. sniper round for the .308 Win now uses the 175gr SMK and RL-15. Not quite as accurate as Varget in my particular gun, and has a funky smell to it also [​IMG]

    Vihtavouri N140 works well in the .308, and I've talked to some HBR shooters who got phenomenal groups using it. Lately I've not heard much about it beyond some rumors that it was turning out a bit more temperature stable than Varget.

    Varget is part of Hodgdon's 'new' (last couple years "new" ' Extreme powder line manufactured down in Australia. Very temperature stable, about the only downside I've heard to it is that every new lot seems a little cooler than the last. Haven't really noticed it myself, but then again, my chronograph is on the fritz, and I don't have detailed LR data of my own to compare against. Each can I get still puts them in little holes w/ the 175gr SMK.

    If weighing every charge (4064) doesn't appeal to you, try something like Varget, RL-15, or N140, as they throw to acceptable tolerances in most powder meters (i.e. +/- 0.2). 'Acceptable' depends entirely on the load, and how sensitive it is to slight variations. I really didn't see much in the way of SD/ES (sorry, can't remember the numbers) difference btwn thrown +/- 0.2gr, and weighed down to the gnat's ass every charge. Lastly, if throwing charges vs. weighing is what you want, but you don't like the +/- of Varget and the other short-cut extruded powders, try Ramshot Tac. Their powders are all supposed to be pretty temp stable, and are a ball type powder, so they meter about like water [​IMG] Velocity was down around 4064 in my gun, which wasn't bad, it's just that Varget was sooooo much better [​IMG]

    As for the scope, well, different strokes for different folks, i.e. depends on who you ask. S1 *really* likes the NightForce scopes, and has used them in professional (read as: taxpayer dollars) applications. Other knowledgeable folk, like Darryl Cassel, have a preference for Leupolds. At least one serious shooter here uses Nikons, Bausch & Lomb, etc. As you probably figured out, Jay is the resident messiah for Burris. Me, I've had Leupold LR/Ts, had some issues w/ them (not quality, just compatibility btwn them and me) and plan on getting a NightForce most likely. Meantime, the stopgap measure for me is a Sightron 6-24x. Not a first choice, and it does have some limitations, but so does my budget at the moment [​IMG]

    Check out the models that interest you. 30mm main tube is a plus, as is side-focus and target turrets, though none are absolutely essential. Lots of elevation adjustment is nice, and drives the price up rapidly on the higher-magnification units. I'd say about the only absolutely-must-have feature that you should not go with out is parallax adjust, whether in the form of an adjustable objective (AO), or a side-focus. Fancy reticles are neat whiz-bang items, and take some time to master completely to the point where they save time and ammo rather than waste it, but they do have a time and place.

    As always, your mileage may vary (YMMV)

    Monte

    [ 03-17-2003: Message edited by: milanuk ]