.308 Winchester

Jun 13, 2012
82
11
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31
Kentucky
Working up some 175 smk over varget, fed brass and wlr primers. At 44.9 started gettingsoot rings around primers and ejector marks. Being its federal brass wasn't sure if the soot was from pressure or loose pockets. Haveing the ejector marks I called it pressure and stopped, going back down to 43.5-44.5 and check closer.
 

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918v

Manipulator of Variables
Jul 15, 2007
1,685
71
48
Miserable CA
I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but you need to learn how to understand brass weight and internal case volume and how it relates to data found in reloading manuals.

FYI, 43.5 is max in these cases and you’ve just destroyed them.
 
Feb 13, 2017
291
40
28
Orlando
i ran through the last few pages but does anyone have a pet load for 168ELDm and varget/h4895

if it matters 22" proof barrel federal brass till my I buy lapua
I run them in BH brass at 44 of H4895 in my 22". Get 2800. QL has it above 62000 psi so work up. Not bad ballistics for a 168. Shot well.
 
Jun 13, 2012
82
11
8
31
Kentucky
I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but you need to learn how to understand brass weight and internal case volume and how it relates to data found in reloading manuals.

FYI, 43.5 is max in these cases and you’ve just destroyed them.
I started at 10% below listed max of 45. And increased 2% for 3 rounds, after that I increased 1% every 3 rounds. At 44.9 I got these signs and stopped. Obviously incorrect? Without measuring the actual case capacity, how do you determine 43.5 is the max charge fort brass?

Not being argumentative just here to learn
 

Skookum

Knuckle Dragger
May 6, 2017
536
404
63
I started at 10% below listed max of 45. And increased 2% for 3 rounds, after that I increased 1% every 3 rounds. At 44.9 I got these signs and stopped. Obviously incorrect? Without measuring the actual case capacity, how do you determine 43.5 is the max charge fort brass?

Not being argumentative just here to learn
918V was being a little harsh, but what he said is true. Federal brass is really soft, and it has big primer pockets. Only use CCI or Federal primers in Federal brass. I load mine at 43.5 for the hot loads and still only get 3 firings out of them from a match chamber.

I mostly use Federal for my gas guns. I load them light (39.5 - 40.5 grains) with the slightly faster 4895's and still don't shoot them more than 4 times.
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
2,469
695
113
42
Pierce County, WA
I know some of you may have programs that can make short work of these questions, including velocity, pressure, etc.

So I just wanna get you guy's feelings on this load of mine. It's a 175 SMK over 41.8gr. RE15 in new Lapua brass w/CCI 34's loaded to ~2.2" off the ogive for 2.8" or right about at mag length for an SR25 mag. Rifle is a 20" SR25, one of the new ones. When I worked the loads up the most accurate loads were at 41.8 and 42gr at about 2500-2550fps; the book says for the bullet 41.3 is max but other data went even higher, as high as 44gr. and velocities of 2700fps and up.

The M118LR load chasers tend to use 42.8-43. Should I consider trying hotter loads, since those are pretty much the exact components for the match ammo, would I get better results doing that? Or just wear out good brass faster?

I used to use Varget and knew it well, but when it got impossible to get a while back I got ten pounds of RE15 instead. So that's why the choice on it.

I decided on the 41.8 because it was the lower of the two most accurate I tested with this combination. I tested it in December and I have a couple hundred and planned on loading all of them with this load and a 168 load for the once fired cases, since they'll only ever be used in this SR25. Then I'll get more serious. Don't wanna prematurely wear out the brass, but should these be worked up closer to 43 and not 41.8?

ALSO, is there a good load for these components using 168 SMK's? I have some data on it but not much, the chrono wanted to stop working. Again, army load chasers call for 43 and 44gr.... 43 sounds manageable and I may have worked up to that one but I never found an accuracy node with the handful loaded and got little data other than visual inspection of the primers, brass, which looked fine.

My brass is extraordinarily filthy but I attribute that to use of the suppressor. The primers looked okay to me and the brass wasn't damaged by the loads tested.

Thanks.
 

Skookum

Knuckle Dragger
May 6, 2017
536
404
63
I know some of you may have programs that can make short work of these questions, including velocity, pressure, etc.

So I just wanna get you guy's feelings on this load of mine. It's a 175 SMK over 41.8gr. RE15 in new Lapua brass w/CCI 34's loaded to ~2.2" off the ogive for 2.8" or right about at mag length for an SR25 mag. Rifle is a 20" SR25, one of the new ones. When I worked the loads up the most accurate loads were at 41.8 and 42gr at about 2500-2550fps; the book says for the bullet 41.3 is max but other data went even higher, as high as 44gr. and velocities of 2700fps and up.

The M118LR load chasers tend to use 42.8-43. Should I consider trying hotter loads, since those are pretty much the exact components for the match ammo, would I get better results doing that? Or just wear out good brass faster?

I used to use Varget and knew it well, but when it got impossible to get a while back I got ten pounds of RE15 instead. So that's why the choice on it.

I decided on the 41.8 because it was the lower of the two most accurate I tested with this combination. I tested it in December and I have a couple hundred and planned on loading all of them with this load and a 168 load for the once fired cases, since they'll only ever be used in this SR25. Then I'll get more serious. Don't wanna prematurely wear out the brass, but should these be worked up closer to 43 and not 41.8?

ALSO, is there a good load for these components using 168 SMK's? I have some data on it but not much, the chrono wanted to stop working. Again, army load chasers call for 43 and 44gr.... 43 sounds manageable and I may have worked up to that one but I never found an accuracy node with the handful loaded and got little data other than visual inspection of the primers, brass, which looked fine.

My brass is extraordinarily filthy but I attribute that to use of the suppressor. The primers looked okay to me and the brass wasn't damaged by the loads tested.

Thanks.
You are in a good spot with that load. Velocity is right where you should be with that barrel length.

M118, in all it's variations throughout the years, has always been a hot load. It is not one that I would feel the need to duplicate. The military has always had some pretty unrealistic expectations from the 308. They want it supersonic to 1000m, at sea level, at 0 F, and not lock up bolts when it's 120F in the desert. I don't know of a powder that will do that with a 175 grain bullet.
 

918v

Manipulator of Variables
Jul 15, 2007
1,685
71
48
Miserable CA
I started at 10% below listed max of 45. And increased 2% for 3 rounds, after that I increased 1% every 3 rounds. At 44.9 I got these signs and stopped. Obviously incorrect? Without measuring the actual case capacity, how do you determine 43.5 is the max charge fort brass?

Not being argumentative just here to learn
The listed max is for Winchester commercial brass, not Federal. The former has less brass in it, hence more case volume, like 2grs of water more.

When you go to reload your FC cases you’ll find the primer pockets are loose.
 
Dec 5, 2017
107
25
28
AZ
FC cases are indeed "loose" compared to other's . . . especially compared to brass like Lapua or Peterson. Though FC cases are known to be "soft" and have "loose" primer pockets, I'm on my 8th firing of some I've had for some time now and the pockets seem to be maintaining their particular dimension as I swag the pockets after every firing to find any that are just so loose they shouldn't be used. On the 4th firing I found one that I had to throw away and on the 7th firing I found another "one" to throw away. I use FC cases mostly for my lighter charges (e.g. 40.5 - 41.5grs Varget). And I inspect the cases after firing and so far they look good. Because of their "softer" brass, I do notice that after firing the necks lengthen by around .002 after firing and after sizing (either neck or full), it tends to grow to where I feel I need to trim them every time to 2.005 to keep them consistent. And BTW, I have only neck bumped and next size this brass. . . no full length sizing for the most part.
 
Dec 5, 2017
107
25
28
AZ
Thanks. I haven’t tried below 42. I found a node between 43.8-44.1. .03 off
Hav you ever noticed an explainable flier? Using them at .01 off.
Haven't had any that I can actually explain . . . except for shooter error (poor shooting mechanics). But addressing as many variables and uniforming the cartridges as much as possible has helped a great deal in removing unexplainable fliers (e.g. sorting bullets based on Bearing Surface Length, consistent neck tension, maintaining concentricity close to .001, seating depths within +/- .001, powder measurements within +/- .02 gr, etc). Cartridges with these kinds of specs, it's invariably shooter error causing the flier.
 
Feb 19, 2017
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Good enough for me I think.:cool:

185 Juggernaut bullet
Lapua Palma brass, sized x 2
CCI SRMag primer
Varget 43.9gr, charges thrown on RCBS Chargemaster ( Use my load at your on risk!!!)

10 shots, 600yds 3.59"x 2.88", measured from outer edge of holes, greatest dimensions.
Rifle AI/AT 26" barrel
Avg velocity 2432fps, STD 8.2

(Patched holes are from shots with my hunting rifle checking scope settings) these Splash targets are expensive!, so I try to get max use and patch the heck out of them.

 
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Aimsmall55

Gunny Sergeant
Oct 23, 2010
2,640
5
38
Meridian, MS
Custom built .308. Stiller Tac 30 , 28” 1:11.25 Bartlein HV. SAS Arbiter suppressor.
Load is 43.8 varget. 1x Lapua brass bumped back 2/1000”’s with a .334 bushing. CCI br2, 178 ELD-M at 2.865” (2.242 to ogive ).
Running 2745 fps. Confirmed G1 of .531.
Zero at 111 yards. It was dead on at 2.15 mils at 426 yards.
 

Unknown

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2009
3,056
127
63
Pacific Northwest,USA
I know some of you may have programs that can make short work of these questions, including velocity, pressure, etc.

So I just wanna get you guy's feelings on this load of mine. It's a 175 SMK over 41.8gr. RE15 in new Lapua brass w/CCI 34's loaded to ~2.2" off the ogive for 2.8" or right about at mag length for an SR25 mag. Rifle is a 20" SR25, one of the new ones. When I worked the loads up the most accurate loads were at 41.8 and 42gr at about 2500-2550fps; the book says for the bullet 41.3 is max but other data went even higher, as high as 44gr. and velocities of 2700fps and up.

The M118LR load chasers tend to use 42.8-43. Should I consider trying hotter loads, since those are pretty much the exact components for the match ammo, would I get better results doing that? Or just wear out good brass faster?

I used to use Varget and knew it well, but when it got impossible to get a while back I got ten pounds of RE15 instead. So that's why the choice on it.

I decided on the 41.8 because it was the lower of the two most accurate I tested with this combination. I tested it in December and I have a couple hundred and planned on loading all of them with this load and a 168 load for the once fired cases, since they'll only ever be used in this SR25. Then I'll get more serious. Don't wanna prematurely wear out the brass, but should these be worked up closer to 43 and not 41.8?

ALSO, is there a good load for these components using 168 SMK's? I have some data on it but not much, the chrono wanted to stop working. Again, army load chasers call for 43 and 44gr.... 43 sounds manageable and I may have worked up to that one but I never found an accuracy node with the handful loaded and got little data other than visual inspection of the primers, brass, which looked fine.

My brass is extraordinarily filthy but I attribute that to use of the suppressor. The primers looked okay to me and the brass wasn't damaged by the loads tested.

Thanks.
Your information mirrors my testing. I keep records of all rounds tested or fired in notebooks that go back many years. An almost a universal finding is that loads under max give the best accuracy. With my 308 gas gun and 308 bolt gun they seem to favor a velocity of right around 2550-2625 fps with a 175-178 grain bullet. I'm currently using the Nosler 175 RDF and having really good success with it as it seems far less sensitive to jump to the lands for best accuracy. I like that because I don't have to load one lot of ammo for the gas gun, and another lot of ammo for the bolt gun. I can get to 2700 fps with the bolt gun, and 2650 with the gas gun (20" gas gun and 26" bolt gun barrel lengths) without pressure issues or signs.

My gas gun used to have a 24" barrel until I had it cut to 20", and even at 24", the gas gun developed higher velocities than the bolt gun that had a 26" barrel..I guess it was just a faster rifle.

With the 24" barrel, my gas gun liked to shoot the 175's at 2620 fps, now that it has a 20" barrel, velocity is around 2550-2570, which is fine with me. I prefer accuracy over velocity in any case. The only powder I have been using in both rifles for the past 3 years is Varget, mostly because I have plenty of it in stock. CCI BR2 primers, LC match cases. Right around 43.3-43.5 Varget.
 

Crose5817

For Sale Access
Mar 4, 2018
16
1
3
Cuyahoga Falls, OHio
Hey y’all. Currently running Hornady 168 bthp, Hornady brass, 42.5 grn varget, and cci primers out of a 20 inch Rpr. Velocity wise I am getting right at 2500 FPS. Groups seems to be reasonable. Most of my shooting is done sub 700 but on occasion we will stretch it out to 1000.

There seems to be so much load data around using what I am using but with 44 grn varget. My question is, is it worth it to bump up the 1.5 grn. Does anyone have similar success running these loads? Does anyone have velocities??? I appreciate all the advice.
 
Likes: DRandi
Feb 10, 2017
206
26
28
I personally don't shoot that combination, but my Hornady Reloading manual lists it as the max load for your combination. Since reloading manuals are typically on the safe side, I'd say that it will run safe in your rifle but I would still work up to it and watch for pressure carefully.

Hodgdon's Reloading website (I recommend it and use it a lot) lists 46gr as max load (but with Win. cases)

Hornady says 2600 fps (22" barrel) at max, and Hodgdon lists 2731 fps at max (24" barrel). From your 20", I'd say you'll get right under or at 2600 fps. Run the numbers through a ballistic calculator. Is 100 fps going to help you out? On one hand, the 308 can use every advantage you can give it. On the other, the 308 shoots rainbows pretty much no matter the velocity.
 

918v

Manipulator of Variables
Jul 15, 2007
1,685
71
48
Miserable CA
Hey y’all. Currently running Hornady 168 bthp, Hornady brass, 42.5 grn varget, and cci primers out of a 20 inch Rpr. Velocity wise I am getting right at 2500 FPS. Groups seems to be reasonable. Most of my shooting is done sub 700 but on occasion we will stretch it out to 1000.

There seems to be so much load data around using what I am using but with 44 grn varget. My question is, is it worth it to bump up the 1.5 grn. Does anyone have similar success running these loads? Does anyone have velocities??? I appreciate all the advice.
Did you work up this load? Seems awfully light. What’s the ES? I’m running 208’s at your speeds. That’s a 55% higher BC.
 
Jul 16, 2012
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have to prove it with more groups but after OCW test this is what i got, i haven't seen much for this bullet so posting and will update after more groups.

168 Hornady ELD Match
43.7 gr Varget
Winchester twice fired brass
cases trimmed to 2.005
length to ogive: 2.245
chamber length to ogive: 2.308
Federal 210M primer
temp 73 F
Hum 87.79%
Pressure 101182 Pa
wind: none
Barrel 20" 1:12 remington sps tactical factory barrel
group size was just under .5" center to center (spotters are 1.5" spotters with .75" inner circle"

rounds were fired at target 1-5 then 5-1, let barrel cool and repeated. 5 shot groups. unlabeled groups were for unrelated testing. shot from bipod with rear bag (sock full of poly beads) Will update with velocities when i chronograph on next trip. hope this helps someone

could probably tweak it in more by searching around the 43.7 and playing with seating depth more

16 aug.jpg
 
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