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Thread: 308 168 gr SMK. Need some load data

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    308 168 gr SMK. Need some load data

    I just picked up some 168 SMK for my 308. I don't have a Sierra book yet so I could use a little data.
    I have Varget, 3031, 4064, and 4895.

    On the Internet I am seeing varget loads from 38.7-44. Is that about right

    I am shooting a SPS tactical rem 700 with a 20" barrel. Shooting paper.

    I really want to use varget but I will use which ever groups the best

    I saw the OAL is 2.80 is that correct?

    Load ranges would be great and a proven load would also help narrow down my starting points


    Thanks in advance

    "You don't have to be scared to die"

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    My Savage 20" 10FP loves 45-grs Varget, Fed210 and 168gr of choice.

    I would start with 44grs and work up .5 increments. This gun and load makes me look like I can shoot!

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    Go Here : Sniper's Hide Reloading Depot To the Sniper's Hide reloading depot. The 5th Sticky down has 13 pages of 308 loading data.

    As far as a 2.800" COL, that to about 2.815" or so will feed from your magazine. Your factory Remington has a very long throat, although you should measure it before loading single loading bullets out past 2.015" to get closer to your lands. For my factory Remington Rifle, I load 168's to magazine length. I don't worry about getting near the lands since I want my ammo to feed from the magazine.
    Last edited by FLIGHT762; 04-07-2013 at 12:06 PM.

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    I have one rem 700 that likes 43 varget the other likes 45 grains. I would work up from 42 to 46 grains in .5 grain increments and see what works . A chrony helps fill in the blanks too.

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    I just loaded up some 168 gr SMK's using IMR 4064 & Hornady brass.

    43.5 gr IMR 4064
    Winchester LRP
    2.810" OAL
    2.220" ogive

    My .308 loves this load.


    43.6 gr H4895 + 168 gr AMAX
    Hornady brass
    Remington #9 1/2 primer
    2.810"

    My .308 loves that one too.


    42.9 gr Varget + 168 AMAX
    Hornady brass
    Remington # 9 1/2
    2.810"

    Loves it!!
    Last edited by NoFail; 04-07-2013 at 01:13 PM.
    I do not always handload using heavy bullets, but when I do I prefer them over CFE223.

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    Go to Hodgdon's reloading data center on their webpage. It has all the info you need. Hodgdon Reloading Center

    If you want to see people's load data there are about 16 pages of .308 load data in the Reloading Depot section of the site just below this section on the main page.

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    How far are you shooting?

    For my SPS tactical I have found a ton of luck with starting loads out to about 300 yards.

    I shoot 168 SMK's under starting loads of IMR-4895 and will do .5 MOA at 100 yards if I am doing my part, .3 MOA if I get lucky.

    I never understand why people who shoot inside of 300 yards push their brass and run through excessive amounts of powder if you can achieve
    .5 MOA... I get that not all rifles will do this but most who reload for .308 Win learn early that its not a tricky caliber to load for accuracy.

    I shoot cheap with 150's under a starting load of 748, still shoots at 2630-2650 FPS and will still do MOA out to 300 yards. It's easy on the brass
    and saves my shoulder after a day of shooting 200+ rounds

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    42grs RE15 shot better than 42grs Varget with 168MKs in my 700 Sporter, 2.800-2.820 is good for oal.
    Longrifles Inc. 6Creed, 28" HV Bart, X-treme S/S action,T4 Manners, 8-32 Sightron Tac w/2MOA reticle, TPS 30mm rings, CG 2 stage trigger.
    Longrifles Inc 6 Creed, trued 700 action, 26" HV Bart, T2 manners, Jewell trigger, TPS rings and 20moa base, Sightron 10-50x60mm.
    700 SPSS 308, H-S stock, Jewell trigger, 6-24 Sig. TPS rings & 20moa base.

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    I concur w/JGorski. My palma barreled Rem 700 piled up a huge x-count at 500 yards using 44 grains RE15 and 168 SMKs. Shot better than my Varget loads...

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    Well of course some rifles will shoot better with one powder/bullet combo over another but you don't know until you try and do proper load development.

    42grns of Varget with a 168 is the printed starting load. Max is 46grns and I would bet you would find a better load in the 44.5-46gren area with the 168s. Rarely is the starting load anywhere near the best load.
    Last edited by Rob01; 04-08-2013 at 05:43 PM.

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    I haven't had much luck with Varget either, I have had 3 different 308's that liked 42.5 of 4895 and 2.80 COAL. Nothing fancy but seems to work for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob01 View Post
    Well of course some rifles will shoot better with one powder/bullet combo over another but you don't know until you try and do proper load development.

    42grns of Varget with a 168 is the printed starting load. Max is 46grns and I would bet you would find a better load in the 44.5-46gren area with the 168s. Rarely is the starting load anywhere near the best load.
    When I first got my SPSS I actually worked up a load with Varget and 168AMAXs, started at 42 and ended with right after I shot 3 with 44grs and observed a sticky bolt and a 3" group at 100yds.
    With my Classic stocked 700 I did a little test after reading a statement by some fellow on a forum or something that 42grs of varget was the go-to load for every 308 he's ever seen,(No, he said it was the "Classic load") so I pulled some 168MKs from my 06 loads and I also loaded 42grs RE15 which I knew was a good load from a buddies test, it was just 3 shots each but the RE15 load was about 1/2", varget load was over an inch, that same load of 42grs RE15 loaded in Lapua brass gave me a inch group at 300yds with my SPSS(5 shots).
    Longrifles Inc. 6Creed, 28" HV Bart, X-treme S/S action,T4 Manners, 8-32 Sightron Tac w/2MOA reticle, TPS 30mm rings, CG 2 stage trigger.
    Longrifles Inc 6 Creed, trued 700 action, 26" HV Bart, T2 manners, Jewell trigger, TPS rings and 20moa base, Sightron 10-50x60mm.
    700 SPSS 308, H-S stock, Jewell trigger, 6-24 Sig. TPS rings & 20moa base.

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    I tried 44, 44.3, and 44.6 all three shot under .750. Oddly enough the middle load had the largest group.
    3 shot groups at 100.
    44- .692"
    44.3- .750"
    44.6- .642"

    Should I go up to 45?

    "You don't have to be scared to die"

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    I just picked up some 168 SMK for my 308. I don't have a Sierra book yet so I could use a little data.
    I have Varget, 3031, 4064, and 4895.


    The data Ive got from Sierra shows 42grs RE15 to be the "Accurate load"(I found the same thing to be true) and 43.5grs Varget as the max load.
    So id back down to 42 and work up to 43.5grs Varget, or get some RE15.
    Longrifles Inc. 6Creed, 28" HV Bart, X-treme S/S action,T4 Manners, 8-32 Sightron Tac w/2MOA reticle, TPS 30mm rings, CG 2 stage trigger.
    Longrifles Inc 6 Creed, trued 700 action, 26" HV Bart, T2 manners, Jewell trigger, TPS rings and 20moa base, Sightron 10-50x60mm.
    700 SPSS 308, H-S stock, Jewell trigger, 6-24 Sig. TPS rings & 20moa base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JGorski View Post
    When I first got my SPSS I actually worked up a load with Varget and 168AMAXs, started at 42 and ended with right after I shot 3 with 44grs and observed a sticky bolt and a 3" group at 100yds.
    With my Classic stocked 700 I did a little test after reading a statement by some fellow on a forum or something that 42grs of varget was the go-to load for every 308 he's ever seen,(No, he said it was the "Classic load") so I pulled some 168MKs from my 06 loads and I also loaded 42grs RE15 which I knew was a good load from a buddies test, it was just 3 shots each but the RE15 load was about 1/2", varget load was over an inch, that same load of 42grs RE15 loaded in Lapua brass gave me a inch group at 300yds with my SPSS(5 shots).
    Again some rifles will be different. Some will take more powder and some won't as there are lots of variables but I wouldn't state that 42grns of Varget is a"classic" load. It's the Hodgdon listed minimum.

    If you want data for Hodgdon, IMR or Winchester powders look at Hodgdon's site. It's more real world than the very conservative Sierra manual. Here is a link.

    Hodgdon Reloading Data Center

    Dan if you don't have any pressure signs then try 45grns.

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    My Remington 5R loves 42 gr H4895 behind 168 SMKs.
    …How many people go to the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border and hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization? Over two-dozen military-aged males... let's not be naïve. Let's leave it at that.
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    I looked at a friends Sierra book and it lists the max load with varget at 46??

    It has the most accurate loads listed as BLC2 at 46.5 gr

    "You don't have to be scared to die"

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    43.5 RL 15 pushing 168's gas gun loves it

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    I started shooting my 700 tactical with Federal GMM ammo. Then started reloading after I had all my brass and bullets. I didnt even move my scope zero at 100,going from the FGMM ammo to my reloads.

    More testing this saturday and Sunday.

    2.80 or as stupid close I can get without binding it against the bottom of my reciever.
    168 gr SMK
    44 grains RE15
    CCI primer

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    42gr of RE15 for me with the 168 SMKs.

    It's what the Sierra manual says is the most accurate. Of course I didn't believe them and tried every imaginable wt I could think of "safely".

    For my 20" it was in fact 42gr.

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    Just sent you a PM.