How interested would precision shooters be in another M118LR 308 option?

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I recently applied for my manufacturing FFL's and a gentleman that will be a customer of mine, suggested that I look into offering M118LR.

The bulk of my ammo manufacturing will be 300 BLK 220 Subs so - I could easily source the bullets and go from there.

I have liability insurance and what-not lined up already...I also have the capital.

I was part of the Southwest order and ultimately never received my ammo so, I obviously don't want to create that situation again.

I actually know and have the military workup for M118 LR to spec - So, it'd be legit M118 LR, not the commercial shit you buy from Lake City or Federal that are "seconds". - There's a post somewhere on the forum about how they're undercharged and inconsistent...This will not be that.

I know the 6.5CM game is big right now and demand for that is booming...Maybe I'll switch over to 6.5 since it's the same powder - If the demand is there, but for the time being, I know I can bang out an incredibly consistent M118 LR to spec.

I completely understand that I don't have a big name like Prime or Freedom, Hornady or anyone else - I want to keep this low key, for shooters.

How many would be interested in picking up a box? A few boxes?

Real M118LR goes for like $1.50/round. I can do 175 SMK's or 178 Amax and since I'm reloading the case, it will all be LC - I could probably swing it at $1 even/round.

Satisfaction guaranteed - Match Ammunition. Sub MOA.

Any comments/suggestions/interest?
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Honestly, I'd say there are better options out there for LR now than M118LR clones. The 175SMK works without a doubt, but it's been surpassed by other projectiles - 168 and 178 ELDs, 185 Juggernauts, 175 TMKs, etc.
 
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Okay.

I could do any 308 projectile - I just happen to have 175 and 178 stockpiled.

At this point, from my 10 minutes of google-foo, it seems in general that the M118LR available and the clones are very inconsistent...My last box of LC M118LR was garbage - So I can speak from experience there too...

Would there be a specific projectile you guys are interested in?

Thank you.
 
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OLD308

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FGMM can be found often at $17/18 a box. Berger loaded ammo is $1.30 a round and cheaper in bulk orders. As a die hard 308 guy, I can’t say your proposing a better or equal option than what is available. My .02, focus on a MK12 5.56 make up at a cost at or below .75 per shot. That would be great. Good luck, keep us posted.
 

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5.56 match ammo that's 77 grain would be money, especially so if the primers aren't staked so people have no hassle saving brass. That being said, I get great results with the M118LR bulk packs I have from mass ammo considering its .80 per shot and I can save the brass. If you could cut the sd and es on that, and I can save the brass, I'd buy.
 
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equilibrium

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In regards to TMK’s vs SMK’s, does it still hold true that the TMK’s are finicky on seating depth and jump from gun to gun?
 

OLD308

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TMK are longer, more expensive, and offer minimum real world benefits in my experience. So I stick with the classic. For the same money as TMK you can get Berger or Lapua Scenars L on sale. Better option in my experience.
 

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Before I type this - I'm not trying to be argumentative, please nobody take it that way, I'm just having an open discussion.

FGMM can be found often at $17/18 a box. Berger loaded ammo is $1.30 a round and cheaper in bulk orders. As a die hard 308 guy, I can’t say your proposing a better or equal option than what is available. My .02, focus on a MK12 5.56 make up at a cost at or below .75 per shot. That would be great. Good luck, keep us posted.
So per my knowledge, FGMM is using a different powder and doesn't load the round to Mil-Spec.

They're a match load and are close, but I feel like my tolerances would be much tighter.

I'd be offering a legitimate to spec M118LR - With a bullet of the buyer's choosing. - Obviously at that point, the price is going to vary...but, it's doable.

5.56 match ammo that's 77 grain would be money, especially so if the primers aren't staked so people have no hassle saving brass. That being said, I get great results with the M118LR bulk packs I have from mass ammo considering its .80 per shot and I can save the brass. If you could cut the sd and es on that, and I can save the brass, I'd buy.
Hrm.

The bulk packs are actually what I was referring to in my OP.

Before I sold my AI, I took a bulk pack out - It was absolute garbage so, I did a workup myself.

I'll think on 556 match in 77 grain. - If there's enough interest, I'd definitely be willing to move forward.

*****Update***** I actually do have the correct powder to reproduce a MK262 Mod1 to spec. Looking at the cost of powder, bullets and primers - I'd definitely be at about 0.70-0.75c/round.

In regards to TMK’s vs SMK’s, does it still hold true that the TMK’s are finicky on seating depth and jump from gun to gun?
They always have been but, OAL will stay constant so there won't be too much variation.
 
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OLD308

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Correct, FGMM is no a true M118LR. The point I was attempting to make was it does not matter. M118LR is a novelty item at this point. Why would me, your targeted audience, by a reproduction of M118LR from an unknown producer when I can buy other similar options from known manufacturers. The Berger comes with Berger bullets, Lapua brass, vitivorian powder. The FMMM come with good brass, SMK bullets, RL powder, and resale is easy. I’m all for continued support for the 308. But your not offering me anything I can’t get elsewhere.
I truly wish you the best in your venture. As one person in your targeted demographic, you haven’t sold me. Yet!
 

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Correct, FGMM is no a true M118LR. The point I was attempting to make was it does not matter. M118LR is a novelty item at this point. Why would me, your targeted audience, by a reproduction of M118LR from an unknown producer when I can buy other similar options from known manufacturers. The Berger comes with Berger bullets, Lapua brass, vitivorian powder. The FMMM come with good brass, SMK bullets, RL powder, and resale is easy. I’m all for continued support for the 308. But your not offering me anything I can’t get elsewhere.
I truly wish you the best in your venture. As one person in your targeted demographic, you haven’t sold me. Yet!
I wouldn't exactly call it a novelty item, but I see where you're coming from, the 308 market is flooded right now.

My point was that nobody is touching 2600 with a 178 SMK or similar, with a consistency or price point that I can.

It's fair that you can get other ammo from known manufacturers that's similar enough - That's true.

I'm offering LC brass, annealed on all ammo - Same lot. Bullets - Same lot. Military primers. Military powder. - I'm essentially offering the to-spec military round.

I thought that would garner a bit more interest than FGMM or a "clone". - Sort of a you can get the real thing here, deal, but I get where you're coming from as well.

I can accomplish the same for the MK248 Mod 1's and the MK262 Mod 1's.

Again, I'm not trying to make it into a business, compete with a major manufacturer or take anyone's market share - I'm simply going to have some extra time and I have certain resources available to me - If it's worth my time and there's enough interest - Okay, cool. If not, it is what it is.
 

Sixfivesavage

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For reference, I'm not sure what numbers you saw but from my cut back AI 308, that's 18" including the tenon, I'm getting 2550 from the M118LR bulk I have here and like 30 es. not great, but for the price and what I'm shooting it at I'm alright with it.
 

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I don't shoot much .308 anymore, and I've never shot 6.5CM. I've been committed to the .260 since 2001 and can't see my way clear to adopting another 6.5 that does nearly, but not quite, the same thing.

For practical point of view, I'd recommend servicing the 6.5CM market.

Later on, I wouldn't mind having a source of .308/178ELD-X loaded to an identical OBT as the M118LR.

FWIW, my 175SMK load is commercial brass, 210M, 42.2gr IMR-4064. I have also substituted 210 with no discernible difference in performance. I use the same recipe for the 168SMK.

Greg
 
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For reference, I'm not sure what numbers you saw but from my cut back AI 308, that's 18" including the tenon, I'm getting 2550 from the M118LR bulk I have here and like 30 es. not great, but for the price and what I'm shooting it at I'm alright with it.
That was a generalization, but I get it. The 308 that’s available is close enough to the real deal that you’re all satisfied with what you can get your hands on.

The Mk262 Mod 1 - Aka the 556 - Is actually a real possibility.

Let me reach out to my suppliers and see what I can do.

I can definitely beat the prices that I was able to find.
 
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I don't shoot much .308 anymore, and I've never shot 6.5CM. I've been committed to the .260 since 2001 and can't see my way clear to adopting another 6.5 that does nearly, but not quite, the same thing.

For practical point of view, I'd recommend servicing the 6.5CM market.

Later on, I wouldn't mind having a source of .308/178ELD-X loaded to an identical OBT as the M118LR.

FWIW, my 175SMK load is commercial brass, 210M, 42.2gr IMR-4064. I have also substituted 210 with no discernible difference in performance. I use the same recipe for the 168SMK.

Greg
Yeah, the more and more people I talk to, the more that want a 6.5cm option or a 5.56 option.

Thank you everyone for your opinions thus far!
 
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308pirate

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Zero interest. I make my own ammo and it's better than what any factory can make.
 

brianf

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for whats its worth;

matching military rounds seems to be "15 years ago".

for some reason everyone had to match military rounds even though there were commercial offerings that were better

kind of like saying your 1911 is all milspec although there are better parts available, makes no sense

over the past 10 years or so it seems that the military is starting to follow the civilian innovation and testing.

we used to match 118lr now the military is looking at 6.5 creedmore
 
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lennyo3034

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Before I type this - I'm not trying to be argumentative, please nobody take it that way, I'm just having an open discussion.


So per my knowledge, FGMM is using a different powder and doesn't load the round to Mil-Spec.

They're a match load and are close, but I feel like my tolerances would be much tighter.
The people that care about having ammo that much more consistent than GMM are handloading anyways.

Since the Prime 6mm Creedmoor never made it out, there may be room in that market segment.

Also, lots of people have .223 bolt gun trainers. Something with the long heavy bullets (80 grain eld/smk/vld) loaded relatively hot does not exist. There is potential in that. You will have to make sure it doesn’t make its way into the mainstream where fudds try to shoot it in their ARs.
 

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I am not anyone interesting, not a generally competitive shooter, etc. but FWIW: I'd consider it if I saw your stuff offered.

I shot LC M118LR for a couple years. Before the last change of operations, when they still had a QC department. Not contract over-runs per se, and back then, pretty good ammo. Ran out, couldn't get more. Bought a box of four different 175 SMK clones of it. Shot them all with some measurement. Did the GM308M2 because it shot best from my gun. Franchi was second best, but always had a flier. Nope, very much not Black Hills. I bought a case of all the same lot.

If you are dead serious about quality, demonstrate it and back it. If you guaranteed impossible standards of the things that result in accuracy then it would be up on the list for sure.

Being a known quantity, with the components, even if something else might sell better and be the new cool thing, this might be a good thing to start with and try out. Do the math: how successful does it have to be to be worth it? Can you handle the risk if it doesn't go well, etc?
 

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If you could make Mk262 Mod 1 at .70/round or close I’d be all over it.
 
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1moaoff

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If you can do custom orders with repeatability you will have a niche to hold customers in with. At the same time come out with basic loads that perform for
6.5 creed
6 creed
223

The loads you are asked to do custom will help you find a niche to produce in others arent.
 
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I’ve run the numbers - I could do a high quality Mk262 Mod1 within 100fps of spec and keep it at @75-80 cents a round.

Doing a legit MK262 means it’s going to be too hot for a standard 223 chamber so, I’m going to have to ask the lawyer.

I have the liability insurance - I’m doing 300BLK exclusively for a private customer. So, that’ll be good to go.

I can guarantee MOA or better, I can guarantee tighter tolerances than most.

I don’t mind shooting people a box to get it out there - maybe give the first box at cost.

Let me see what my lawyer says and I’ll update you guys.
 
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brianf

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If you can do custom orders with repeatability you will have a niche to hold customers in with. At the same time come out with basic loads that perform for
6.5 creed
6 creed
223

The loads you are asked to do custom will help you find a niche to produce in others arent.
Think prime before the mess.
 

Masked

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If you can do custom orders with repeatability you will have a niche to hold customers in with. At the same time come out with basic loads that perform for
6.5 creed
6 creed
223

The loads you are asked to do custom will help you find a niche to produce in others arent.
I, unfortunately, don’t have a 6.5/6 to develop on so, I need to do more research on those two.

At the moment I can guarantee a M118LR and a Mk262 with better tolerances than anything currently available.

If someone local tin CT is willing to do some development with me, I can definitely push out a 6.5/6mm offering.
 

Nik H

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I, unfortunately, don’t have a 6.5/6 to develop on so, I need to do more research on those two.

At the moment I can guarantee a M118LR and a Mk262 with better tolerances than anything currently available.

If someone local tin CT is willing to do some development with me, I can definitely push out a 6.5/6mm offering.
Depending in what you mean, I am in RI. I can test any 6.5 CM you are willing to provide as long as it is safe
 

Masked

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Depending in what you mean, I am in RI. I can test any 6.5 CM you are willing to provide as long as it is safe
It’ll be safe and I’m insured - You have nothing to worry about. This isn’t some fly by the seat of my pants operation.

Let me do some research on 6.5CM and if a couple people are interested, - PM me and we can develop and push a load out.

I obviously can’t chrono at your location so, I’d need people with chronos that are decent shooters.

Maybe I can send Frank a free box of each and see what he thinks.

We’ll see - i have some free time, have a shitload of M118 brass sitting in a box - This started as a two birds with one stone type of deal - Now are going a bit further than that!
 
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Nik H

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It’ll be safe and I’m insured - You have nothing to worry about. This isn’t some fly by the seat of my pants operation.

Let me do some research on 6.5CM and if a couple people are interested, - PM me and we can develop and push a load out.

I obviously can’t chrono at your location so, I’d need people with chronos that are decent shooters.

Maybe I can send Frank a free box of each and see what he thinks.

We’ll see - i have some free time, have a shitload of M118 brass sitting in a box - This started as a two birds with one stone type of deal - Now are going a bit further than that!
I can chrono it and can shoot 0.5 MOA or better (10 shot groups) and would be glad to participate and help you out
 

MK20

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I would highly suggest going with the MK316 Mod 0 loading instead. M118LR uses RL 15 if I remember correctly and is somewhat temp sensitive. Its replacement, MK316, uses IMR 4064 and is much more temp stable. The military has largely switched production to the new MK316 round. I would also suggest going with the Hornady 178 HPBT Match projectile as it has a higher BC, and is normally cheaper than the 175 SMK, at least on the retail market. It also tends to be fairly tolerant to a large jump to the lands from mag length in my experience.

If you end up loading some up I can test it side by side with 118LR
 
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Floglock

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I’d be happy to pay for and chrono any Mk262 or similar you produce. Or perhaps lend you a Magnetospeed
 

Masked

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I would highly suggest going with the MK316 Mod 0 loading instead. M118LR uses RL 15 if I remember correctly and is somewhat temp sensitive. Its replacement, MK316, uses IMR 4064 and is much more temp stable. The military has largely switched production to the new MK316 round. I would also suggest going with the Hornady 178 HPBT Match projectile as it has a higher BC, and is normally cheaper than the 175 SMK, at least on the retail market. It also tends to be fairly tolerant to a large jump to the lands from mag length in my experience.

If you end up loading some up I can test it side by side with 118LR
Some of the most accurate loads were done with Varget as well.

I have an abundance of 178’s and access to much more so, we’ll see how it goes.

The advice is appreciated!
 

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I’d be happy to pay for and chrono any Mk262 or similar you produce. Or perhaps lend you a Magnetospeed
I’d be happy to spread the love and get some more results - I have a magneto, I just don’t have a 6.5/6 rifle at the moment.
 

MK20

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I have a load somewhere that I tested with 178s and 4064 that chrono ed out at 2600 FPS and had an SD of 6. It was a little warmer than the mk316 load spec though, although still within saami spec.
If you want it I will dig around.
 

Steel head

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I don't shoot much .308 anymore, and I've never shot 6.5CM. I've been committed to the .260 since 2001 and can't see my way clear to adopting another 6.5 that does nearly, but not quite, the same thing.

For practical point of view, I'd recommend servicing the 6.5CM market.

Later on, I wouldn't mind having a source of .308/178ELD-X loaded to an identical OBT as the M118LR.

FWIW, my 175SMK load is commercial brass, 210M, 42.2gr IMR-4064. I have also substituted 210 with no discernible difference in performance. I use the same recipe for the 168SMK.

Greg
The M118LR With the ELD would be interesting.
As another 260 shooter I agree with the 6.5 cm recommendation.

Soooo many more 6.5 cm guns and shooters now.
 

Masked

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The M118LR With the ELD would be interesting.
As another 260 shooter I agree with the 6.5 cm recommendation.

Soooo many more 6.5 cm guns and shooters now.
I agree that, that would be a cool combo. Definitely are some better bullets than the 178s our now.

I have no issue accommodating custom orders - i just don’t want to overreach like Southwest did. I also want complete and utter transparency.

I’ve got kids, some weekends I’m not around - Some nights we have karate - I’ve got a life.

So as long as everyone operates under that understanding, I have 0 issues knocking out 1000rds on a Tuesday night.

If you need loads for a match, I’d really have to figure it out.
 

strikeeagle1

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I don't reload so when I need consistent 7.62 ammo its expensive!! Just purchased several hundred rounds of Applied Ballistics sourced from LaRue.....have used it before. Single digit MV variation is important when I shoot a 16" OBR at 800 -900 meters. Do you think you could spec similar ammo with at a significantly lower price point ? Thanks.

Applied Ballistics Munitions copy.pngApplied Ballistics Munitions .308 Specifications copy.pngApplied Ballistics Munitions 2 copy.png
 

Masked

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In my experience, Military ammo has a significantly higher QC than civilian ammo. I’ve shot real m118lr and it’s a lot hotter than what’s offerred to the public. It’s a lot hotter than anything I’ve been able to buy off the shelf, ammo packs and cans of “m118lr” included.

With that being said, I understand the stigma and I get it. There are better bullets, better cases, better product available than civilian available “m118lr”.

Ideally I’d be looking at offering: LC Brass lot 11/12, CCI military primer, varget, with whatever 178/180 bullet you want.

I can guarantee varget will perform and will achieve @2600 and be more temperature consistent than anything else out there right now.

I can guarantee a consistency round to round that most other manufacturers can’t.

Right now, I’d price you at $1/rd with the components that I have - If it’s a bullet that I don’t have, that price will go up more than likely.

I have 0 issues going custom, but again I have a life and thus, time constraints.
 

Luvman

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I’m shooting FGMM 175gr from my 1:12 20” AI barrel. I generally buy it by the 200rd case @ ~ $1/rd or less. It runs 2535fps at 45*F with an SD of 10.

I’ve got some 185gr FGM Berger to try. If it’s accurate in my 1:12 I had planned to switch.

If you can produce .308 that’s accurate and consistent and also gives me a few FPS for ~$1/rd delivered I would be all over it.

I would also be interested in a .308 load with a 155gr bullet.

At some point I’ll screw on a 6.5CM barrel as well. I favor shorter tubes so I would be interested in 130gr class bullets. I’ll most likely run 20” when I add 6.5 to the stable.

I would be happy to help test the .308 loads for accuracy. And would buy a few boxes to do so.

I have a 1:12 20” and a 1:10 24” barrel on hand. I do not currently have a chronograph though.
 

MK20

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Just FYI, military ammo is actually loaded weaker than lots of civ counterparts because it has to function in legacy systems such as the M14.

Actual M118LR has a muzzle velocity of around 2550 FPS out of a 20 inch barrel with a SMK 175.
Not really that hot.
 

Masked

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Just FYI, military ammo is actually loaded weaker than lots of civ counterparts because it has to function in legacy systems such as the M14.

Actual M118LR has a muzzle velocity of around 2550 FPS out of a 20 inch barrel with a SMK 175.
Not really that hot.
So, what actually happened is that in 04 - During Freedom, our snipers were finding that it was so hot in Iraq/Afghanistan that the rounds were dramatically under-performing. Re-15 is very sensitive to temperature variation.

The charge was lowered to give more room in the case, thus promoting more expansion. If I remember right, it was about a 0.6gr reduction. They used RE-15 almost exclusively.

This is why the new M118LR you find on the shelves is anemic and "under-performs" because every once and a while, you get a pre-04 pack and go "woah".

This is where MK316 comes in - It's the new adapted round with 4064.

I'm discussing returning the round to it's pre-04 glory and swapping powders from RE15 to Varget.

If someone requested a large enough order, I wouldn't mind using RE15 either, but my guarantee will waver a little in that regard because RE15 is hyper sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

With Varget, we can eliminate the temperature variation issues and push an accurate round to @2650.

This is "fun" for me. I'm not really doing this to make money off of you guys. I want to build a reputable brand, help other shooters and give you guys some quality ammo. I won't be pounding out 10,000RD orders overnight, nor will I sell anything without product in hand so, this will be a process.

So far, I can see MK262 Mod1 being a go and M118LR being a go.

If anyone is interested in 300 Win Mag - I can make a to spec Mk248 Mod1 for dramatically less than Black Hills or anyone else at the moment.
 
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GhostFace

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I would highly suggest going with the MK316 Mod 0 loading instead. M118LR uses RL 15 if I remember correctly and is somewhat temp sensitive. Its replacement, MK316, uses IMR 4064 and is much more temp stable. The military has largely switched production to the new MK316 round. I would also suggest going with the Hornady 178 HPBT Match projectile as it has a higher BC, and is normally cheaper than the 175 SMK, at least on the retail market. It also tends to be fairly tolerant to a large jump to the lands from mag length in my experience.

If you end up loading some up I can test it side by side with 118LR

This right here, or the 178 ELD match. That would get my attention for when I have to have factory ammo.
 

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I've done the math...Talked to a couple distributors and ironically, both Midway and Brownells are cheaper sources of components than the distributors are - LOL.

So, right now I'm looking at:

@$1/rd on M118LR to spec.
This will be a custom load, guaranteed at 2600fps +, with a std deviation of no more than 0.01.

@$80c on MK262 Mod1
This will also be a custom load, guaranteed at 2800fps +, with a std deviation of no more than 0.01.

There will be a disclaimer on both rounds since they're loaded to military specifications. Thus, use of a MK262 Mod1 in a 223 Rem chamber, will not be guaranteed or covered by me.

I'm also willing to do custom loads for a large enough order.

Right now, I can also push out a MK248 Mod1 to spec that'll reach about 2900-3000fps. I've shot this myself, it's sub MOA and a monster. - I unfortunately don't have a rifle to test it on anymore (Sold my AI AXMC), but I've loaded enough to know the round is GTG as it sits.

Prices are subject to change slightly, not by much.

Talked to Frank - Going to work something out and get my vendor-ship going on SH as well.

If there's any more input - This is the route I'll be taking for right now. If there's any interest in custom loads, I'll go that way once I'm a little bit more established and I have my thumb on things.

Right now, I'm just some asshole in his garage that thinks he knows what he's doing with some extra time and a rock solid insurance policy.

I'm also open to returns. If I ship you ammo and something doesn't work, it won't chamber to spec or there's an issue - Communicate that to me, ship it back and I'll make it right.

--- Now --- Some asked why I'm not willing to work on the Mk316.

Few reasons.

The Mk316 Mod 0 is a 175 SMK in Federal brass with federal primers using 41.75gr of IMR 4064.

While I value NSWDG and the wisdom of DEVGRU - Federal brass is not as good as LC brass (in my experiences), CCI primers always go boom where Federals don't and 4064 is okay, it's not great.

I'd rather be giving my customers a product that I'd rely on 24/7/365, personally - It's just not MK316.

I might do a 6.5/6 down the road. I'll keep everyone informed - Right now, I want to get started on product that I can absolutely, soup to nuts, guarantee.
 
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rth1800

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Sir,
Can you please explain how/where you are going to get the powder to load Mk 262 ammo? No one else has ever gotten it. Most utilize RamShot TAC, which is close but does not have the flash suppressant coating and cannot quite get the actual Mk 262 velocity.
 

Masked

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Sir,
Can you please explain how/where you are going to get the powder to load Mk 262 ammo? No one else has ever gotten it. Most utilize RamShot TAC, which is close but does not have the flash suppressant coating and cannot quite get the actual Mk 262 velocity.
My contract for 300blk allows me exclusivity to some components not available to others. I actually have access to the ball powder used for MK262's.

That being said, I've been talking to a few reloaders and other ammo manufacturers and it seems as if the MK262 powder to spec is rather finicky...It doesn't like being shipped and it's incredibly difficult to work with.

So my plans have changed in the last @30 minutes.

I'll be looking at Varget almost exclusively and we'll be looking at about 2650fps.

One of the reloaders made a good point - Since I'm not officially loading to spec anymore of either round, I should change the names. If anyone has any good ideas, there you go - Otherwise, I'll think of one.

Again guys, this is a process - Some adaptations are going to have to be made to get the quality I'm looking for.

Thanks!
 
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PhOnEpHrEaK

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I have a LabRadar, .223 bolt gun that’s capable of .5 or better, and a 6.5cm that is .5 or better. So if you need volunteers just let me know.