Favorite powder/loads for .308 18" 1/10 auto?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Howland, Dec 9, 2017.

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  1. Howland

    Howland Active Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    I'm hoping to draw on the experience of members who have walked the same path I'm going without repeating everyone else's mistakes. Lazy me.

    I haven't reloaded for a number of years but am getting back into it now that I have access to a longer range. I used to reload extensively but primarily for bolt actions and pistols. Now I've picked up an AR-10 and want to maximize the effective distance. I'm going to go for a high BC but need it to double as an effective hunting bullet. I'm thinking of trying the 178gr ELD-X or something in that weight class as a starter because even though the range is only 400 yards, the club has monthly 600 & 1,000 yard matches. I didn't splurge on the rifle as most modern rifles are usually capable of MOA or better accuracy with proper care and feeding. I did splurge on glass and a mount/baseso I can get to 1,000+. I spent double the price ofthe rifle on those two items.

    I did pick up some PMAG M118 mags (and the empties drop freely from my PSA Gen2), so I'm limited to the 2.83" COAL of those.

    Does anyone have experience working up similar loads for a similar setup? Should I start with the faster powders on the spectrum or slower? Repeatable accuracy is more important than another 100 fps MV. I'm strongly leaning towards the Hodgdon Extreme lineup due to their development as relatively temperature insensitive. I've rarely found accuracy nodes at the upper end of the pressure spectrum but autoloaders are a whole different animal for me, this might be different.

    I've already picked up some BR-2 primers, chosen to avoid the slam firing of the free floating firing pin. I also picked up a die set from the shelf of theLGS that I picked for the TC designation thinking less lube and likelihood of stuck cases. I loved using no lube with titanium carbide pistol dies. What I didn't notice until afterwards was the SB designation. Will the small base dies overwork the brass in your experience or should I stick with them to ensure proper cycling and compatibility with other rifles?

    Any observations from your experiences will be greatly appreciated.