Reloading for a short barrel .308 WIN

Drjones65

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Mar 28, 2016
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West Point, Utah
I have been reloading for many years and various calibers; always longer barrels.
Recently bought a .308 WIN with a 20" barrel. I am having incredible trouble getting a good reload. I have never loaded for a short barrel before.
It will shoot the factory Remington Core-Lokt quite well and will group consistent - not tight but a workable hunting load.
I have tried several different powders with varying ranges of powder fill and a few different bullets.
Any suggestions for loading with a short barrel?
TIA!
 

YZ-80

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This is surprising, as the .308 is typically a very forgiving round to reload for (at least IMHO). I have .308s in 20” and 24” configurations and generally shoot bullets in the 168 grain class with more than acceptable results. I use a lot of Varget in the 42-44 grain range. IMR 4895 also works well for me. I’m sure others here are getting good accuracy out of their 20” barrels at extended range but at around 2550 FPS my shortie kinda gets wonky out past 600 yards. I generally shoot 168 ELD-Xs or Ms. I wish you luck in figuring it out. Barring any issues with your rig, the answer is out there.
 

jpfrog

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In my 20" 12 twist I use a 168 Amax over ~42 grains of IMR 4895 with lapua brass and Fed primers. It is fantastic. About 2610fps and groups in the 0.2xx" if I don't drink too much coffee.

Factory Rem700 Tactical barreled action that now has a Timney trigger, Magpul Hunter stock and bottom metal, and runs a can.
 

Drjones65

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West Point, Utah
The rifle has a 1:10 twist on a 20" barrel.
I have always loaded IMR 4895 for my 30.06 and .308.
I have tried the IMR 4895 and Varget with varying loads.
The closer I get to MAX load the worse the group spreads.

The rifle will be used mainly for mule deer and an occasional cow elk.
Been trying to find a combination of powder and between a 125 gr. - 15 gr bullet.
I have tried flat base, boat tail and Barnes tipped.
The spire point flat base 150 gr. Remington Core-Lokt is giving me the best groups at 100 yards,
 

Sako284

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Mar 16, 2020
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Tennessee
My go to load with a 308 is a 185 berger over rl16 from a. 20” barrel velocity is 2610 FPS. That’s a 20” Hart barrel on a 700 action in a HS precision It beats half MOA all day long out to 400 yards.
 

Laguna Freak

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South Central Texas, just north of the Wall
If you’re like many of us, I bet you’re loading much shorter jump than the factory ammo. If the Rem Core Lokt shoots best, you might think about adjusting CBTO / Seating depth in .003 to .005 increments both sides of your Core Lokt CBTO and see if that yields better accuracy. I’d probably start out with a .010 to .015 range both longer and shorter to see if there is a node to be found.
 

YZ-80

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My go to load with a 308 is a 185 berger over rl16 from a. 20” barrel velocity is 2610 FPS. That’s a 20” Hart barrel on a 700 action in a HS precision It beats half MOA all day long out to 400 yards.
That seems like pretty good speed out of that RL-16.
 
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