Buying 308 ammo with intention of reloading

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by metalvelo, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. metalvelo

    metalvelo Member

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    Hey,
    Researching the past hour or so and not finding the answer I'm looking for so thought I'd just ask.
    Have a new rifle coming. 308 24" w/ 1:11.25. Supposedly it prefers 175g and also does well with 168g. I've got some Federal Gold Medal Match .308 175gr Sierra MatchKing BTHP coming along too which is supposed to be great. I've read though, with mixed opinions, that reloading this brass isn't the greatest. (soft case and loose primers). My local range is 10min away and has 100-300yd and plan on going elsewhere to get longer distances. Purely target shooting. (for now)
    My question is:
    I was thinking about getting some bulk ammo with the idea that I'd save the brass and reload later as opposed to buying the components separately. Basically, buying it based on the fact that the brass would be great for reloading. (note: total newbie to reloading) Lapua is probably out of my price range, but the next few runner ups are probably more of my budget.
    Good or bad idea?
    If good, then what do you buy? Winchester, Lake City, etc?
    Any suggestions from who to buy from?
    Thank you very much for any guidance you can pass on to me. This site rocks.
     
  2. tackb

    tackb Well-Known Member

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    if i was you as a newbie to reloading i would get whatever brass you can find at an affordable price to start with and go with that, brass is a fine tuning part of reloading so i wouldn't worry too much about it to start with and concentrate on the basics like finding a powder and charge plus seating depth your rifle likes ?

    168 amax and varget is a good place to start or the sierra matchking with varget?
     
  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what you want to accomplish with your shooting and why you want to reload.

    Provided you already have reloading gear, it doesn't make sense to buy loaded ammo.

    If you are saving for reloading kit and

    (a) just want to shoot some now and be able to load later in order to shoot more for less, then you're on the right track.
    or
    (b) want to load for long range precision, then Lapua and Norma brass are well worth the money.

    Lapua 308 loaded ammo goes for about $37/box. That doesn't sound too bad to me. ...about the same as Fed GMM, but better brass for reloading. IMO

    -- richard
     
  4. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    I use Winchester Brass it may not be what you use, but it been good for me.
    you can stop into the range for a little shooting and pick up a few dozen.
    The used brass that I find, all I do is clean and trim a titch short and they work great.
     
  5. Ian B

    Ian B Well-Known Member

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    Laupa and norma is less prep work so its worth the extra money to me. Thats what I go with generally last longer to its just better quality than anything made in the US I hate saying that.

    Some one mentioned picking up range brass Your lucky man at the ranges I go to every one picks up anything thats not 22 or steel case/berdan primed.
    On a rare occasion I can find some 223 or 45.
     
  6. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    KC,

    I've heard people strongly advise against doing that.

    Why do you suppose that is?

    Richard
     
  7. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    I reload for a friend of mines .308win and he started with hornady tap ammo and the brass has been great. I am not opposed to picking up brass at the range as long as it isn't tarnished and I can be sure it hasn't been exposed to the elements for long.
     
  8. metalvelo

    metalvelo Member

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    Thanks for the replys!
    I do not have any reloading equipment yet. Need to recover from the purchase of my new rifle, scope, etc. So, yes, the plan is to buy ammo now, with the plan of keeping all the brass and having a mini stock pile when I begin. I was mainly looking for known "winners" and known "losers" as far as the brass and reloading was concerned.
    Thanks again and feel free to keep adding any other thoughts.
     
  9. tackb

    tackb Well-Known Member

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    Good plan , due to our anti gun government I've been stockpiling for a while now unfortunately this has been compounded by restrictions from the USA on export of firearms related stuff to the UK which has allowed the escalation of prices here to an all time high, not to mention ebay's self righteous restrictions!!!

    Try this recipe once you start ?

    Basic prep of case ie clean trim chamfer , if it's from you rifle I would only neck size if I was you and I only neck size about 2/3 of the neck which I think helps with concentricity in the chamber.

    Match primer under 45grains of varget and seat a 168 Amax on top and seat to max col your rifle/mag can handle

    I've yet to find a rifle this load won't shoot well in?
     
  10. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Federal brass has been exceptionally good. So it's a bit softer than others. I reloaded one Federal brass .308 Win. case 47 times full length sizing it and using max loads. Never annealed the neck. Muzzle velocity spread was about 30 fps with metered IMR4895.

    It doesn't matter how one sizes a .308 Win. case neck, or any other rimless bottleneck case for that matter. The round's perfectly centered in the front of the chamber by its shoulder mating perfectly with the chamber shoulder when the firing pin drives the case forward hard into the shoulder. Neck diameter of chamber and case don't matter; the neck floats someplace in the chamber neck. And full length sizing further ensures the case neck will be centered on the case shoulder as the case body's held in line with the neck when it's full length sized. Plus, as there's no such thing as a perfectly round case or chamber, full length sizing ensures there'll be enough clearance between case and chamber body to prevent interference.

    This may be why Sierra full length sizes all their cases (Redding full bushing or standard dies nowadays) used to test their bullets for accuracy; does anybody get better accuracy with Sierra's than they do? And the smallest 10-shot plus test groups with .308 Win. ammo I know of have all been done with full length sized cases in standard SAAMI chambers. Same for belted cases as far as I know.

    I'd stay away from once fired Lake City cases if good accuracy is your objective. They've all been fired in rifles with bolt faces not squared. Their heads are quite a bit out of square and don't get squared up by resizing them. Top military teams tried resizing their 30 caliber match cases but they never shot as accurate as new ones.
     
  11. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    You can get RWS loaded ammo at Midway on sale and the brass is the best made. The 150 grain is reasonable accurate.

    Winchester brass has three benefits. It has a larger case capacity so you can get a little more speed out of it. It has a very hard base so the primer pockets stay good and it is reasonably cheap. Downside is you have to sort through it and discard the irregular and nonuniform cases to get you enough good ones that group well together.
     
  12. metalvelo

    metalvelo Member

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    Thanks again for the replies. They are really helping me out. Knew if I posted here I'd get some good answers. My new rifle should ship today so I'll see next week. Soo excited. I can't wait to get reloading too. Something I looked in to a few years ago for my pistol needs, but now that I'm getting in to rifles and longe range reloading seems a lot more important. Plus, to be able to tweak the load and find the perfect recipe for a specific rifle sounds like it can be a little aggravating as well as really really rewarding. Thanks again.