.308 Norma 215Gr. Berger Hybrids

Jud96

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Jun 30, 2013
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Michigan
Hey all! I’m creating this thread to follow my load development and work up with 215 Berger Hybrids in my custom Remington 700 chambered in .308 Norma Magnum wearing a Bartlein 1-9 twist barrel. My current load is with 208gr Hornady ELDs, RL26, Bertram brass, and Federal 215s. This load goes 3050FPS, has very low ES, and shoots 3/8” groups. I have decided to test the 215s after having such awesome luck with Berger 175 Elite Hunters in my .284 Win. I also have heard nothing but praise for the 215 Hybrid, so I’m giving it a try.

I’ll be using Norma brass this go around and will continue using RL26 and Federal 215s. I have started off at 68.4gr of RL26 and have loaded one round each up to 71.0gr, which is my load with the 208s. The Norma brass has ~2gr more case capacity over the Bertram, so I suspect I’ll need more powder to reach pressure. I still have a lot of room left in the case even with the 71.0gr load. I’m shooting for at least 2950FPS with the 215s while having an ES under 20 and groups under 1/2 MOA, preferably 3/8 MOA. The 215 @ 2950 equals my 208 load out to 1000 yards. Any added velocity over 2950 will be great, just as long as the load meets my criteria and there’s no excessive pressure

I started off by truing the primer pockets in my new Norma brass, mandrel sizing the necks, trimming the cases to the minimum 2.540” spec, and chamfering the inside and outside of the case mouths. I used a Lyman VLD inside chamfering tool to leave a nice smooth chamfer. I have found it doesn’t ever cause the bullet jackets to be smeared by the case mouth.

I had to use the press to seat the Federal primers in this brass because the primer pockets are tighter than any others I’ve ever experienced. We found this the case with newly manufactured Norma 7mm Rem Mag brass as well. My Dad has 10+ firings on some of his Norma brass in his 7mm pushing 162s @ 3070FPS and his primer pockets are still super tight. I believe Norma has improved their brass because this is some heavy duty and top notch brass! I hope to see at least 10 firings with a 215 @ 2950+ in my Norma Mag.

I loaded my rounds in 0.2gr increments and trickled charges to the kernel using my Bald Eagle scale that has resolution to 0.02 grains. I seated the bullets 0.010 off the lands and will do seating depth work after finding my velocity node and getting a consistent load. The Berger 215 fits this chamber nearly perfectly with the boattail/bearing surface junction seated just at the neck/shoulder junction with the bullet 0.010 off the lands. I seated bullets with a standard Redding seating die.

These rounds have 0.002 neck tension and my loaded necks have 0.005 clearance from the chamber walls. These 14 rounds all have base to ogive measurements within 0.001 of each other. This ammunition is loaded to very high standards and is using some of the best components available. I have high hopes for this bullet and this load! I’ll keep you guys posted.

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Jud96

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Jun 30, 2013
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Here’s my initial load development with the .308 Norma and 215s today. I started at 68.4 and worked up to 71.0 grains. Below is 13 shots from 68.4 to 70.8 inside that ragged hole. My first shot is the one at 12 o’clock and the second shot is the one just outside at 9 o’clock. The first two were on a cold, clean bore. On shot #14 I adjusted down to get a zero for the next round of load development. Half of these shots were fired from me, and the other half from a buddy. As you can see, this rifle and bullet wants to shoot bugholes. I’m very impressed with this level of performance from loads that varied over 2 grains of powder and 145 FPS difference. I believe when the powder charge is finalized and seating depth work is complete, this will be a sub 1/2 MOA load.

My next move is to load up from 71.0 to around 72.6 grains. The last picture is showing my starting load of 68.4gr next to the 71.0gr case. I believe at this point 2950 will be easy to hit and I should reach it by 71.4-71.6 grains. By the way this brass looks, I have at least 1.0-2.0 grains left to go before seeing any pressure signs like stiff bolt or ejector marks. I’ll continue to keep you guys updated!
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Jud96

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Jun 30, 2013
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What are your reamer specs?
I don’t know the exact details to be honest. I ordered it years ago from PT&G before I knew anything about freebore and all of that. I believe it’s just the CIP standard reamer. My fired cases have a neck diameter of 0.342 and my best guess for freebore is around 0.140-0.160 based on my OALs with the bullets I’ve tried.
 

Edd

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Jan 26, 2011
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Here is a CIP reamer print. I have 250 new 308 Norma cases, a Krieger 9.0" twist barrel, and a new reamer of my design laying on the shelf, thinking I might build a rifle someday.
 

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Jud96

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Here is a CIP reamer print. I have 250 new 308 Norma cases, a Krieger 9.0" twist barrel, and a new reamer of my design laying on the shelf, thinking I might build a rifle someday.
Well if that’s the CIP reamer, then mine is definitely different than that. I guess I could email PT&G and ask them based on the reamer number. I really love this cartridge and it has never failed to impress me. I have one thousand new Norma cases for it, so I’ll be shooting a .308 Norma for the rest of my life haha.
 

Jud96

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Load work up and pressure testing is complete with the .308 Norma Magnum, Berger 215 Hyrbids, RL26, and Norma brass. I started seeing a slight ejector mark at 71.8gr and it was just noticeable. I decided to continue working up to see how high I could make it before the ejector mark became more pronounced and until I got a stiff bolt lift. The ejector marks looked the same from 71.8 to 72.8 and there was a nice node there. I do not like loading at these pressure levels and only continued working up for data. At 73.0 grains I felt a stiff bolt lift and a shiny and more apparent ejector mark was present. I called it there and ended my load work up. I was very happy with how well these 10 different loads shot! All of them went into that ragged hole and this bullet is showing promise! My second photo is my charge and velocity notes. The third picture is the 71.6 grain load showing no pressure and the final is the 73.0gr load showing pressure signs.

I see a couple potential nodes in my data. My next step is to load 5 rounds at 71.4 grains. That is right in the middle of a 0.4gr wide node and 0.4gr below where I first saw pressure. I’ll be testing that load looking for less than 20FPS extreme spread and single digit standard deviation. I’m thinking velocity will be right at 2940-2950, where I originally sat my goal for this bullet.
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shawnb

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Jun 27, 2010
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Did you hunt with the 215s this year? How did you loads turn out. And how do you like the 215s compared to the 208eld
 
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