Looking for a different 308 load

Mike2763

Private
Minuteman
Jan 18, 2020
11
0
2
I’m fairly new to the game. I have a R700 SPS Varmint 308 26” 1:12. I don’t reload and I’m not quite ready to make that leap.

I’m having great results (sub-MOA) out to 800 yds shooting factory 168 FGMM SMKs. I’m not seeing the same consistency at 1000. I suspect it’s due to going transonic somewhere around 900 yds.

I’ve tried the 175 SMKs and have had poor results. According to ballistics calculators they should be stable from my setup, but the 175 groups are about 2-2.5 MOA at every distance I’ve shot them. Since I have good results with the 168s I don’t think it’s an equipment or operator issue?

Wisdom from the folks here is greatly appreciated. With my setup and results, what would you recommend to make the next stretch without reloading? Do you think I’d see better results with a different factory loaded 175, or should I be looking at 155 options? Something else? Thanks for the help!
 

culater

Sergeant
Belligerents
Oct 18, 2012
627
168
49
47
I would rebarrel to a 1-10 twist then you can use any bullet under 200 gr. 168 smk bullets have a hard time in the transonic zone unless you have a tighter twist.
 

Mike2763

Private
Minuteman
Jan 18, 2020
11
0
2
Thanks for the input. I’m going to pick up a couple boxes of the ELDs and see how they do. I haven’t seen them locally, had to purchase online.

I figured I’d shoot this barrel out and then switch to 6.5. I guess between hitting the limits of 168 and the shipping on non local ammo it might happen sooner than later..hate to waste a perfectly good barrel though! Let’s see how the ELDs run.

Enjoying the journey...
 

krw

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 28, 2004
909
106
49
Arkansas
Your where we were at 25yrs ago. We were shooting Sendero’s and Varmint Special’s. Had Terry Cross build a 308 w Kreiger 1-11. He told me to load 43.3gr Varget w SMK175. Rifle went to an apprecitive home. Still shoot same ld in my other 308.
 

AMAC79

Private
Belligerents
Feb 14, 2017
116
21
22
Also check of the Hornady 155 Eld ammo as well as the Berger 155.5s
 

918v

Manipulated by Variables
Belligerents
Jul 15, 2007
2,908
682
219
Miserable CA
Maybe it’s the way you assemble your ammo? There are several steps that make or break a load. What is your process?
 

isofahunter

Get Tough or Die!
Belligerents
Jun 11, 2010
623
670
99
Hill Country of Texas
I had same experience with GMM 168. I moved to 168 TMK and much improved for your twist rate. My 1:12 never liked 175's so I bought enough TMK to wear out the barrel. It holds up to 1100 then runs out of gas in my rig.
 

Kbh

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Apr 2, 2017
100
35
34
Central Texas
I would try fgmm 185 juggernaut or the berger 175 or 185 loads. Berger says the 185s will stabilize in a 1-12. The fggm load is very accurate in my 1-10.
 

Mike2763

Private
Minuteman
Jan 18, 2020
11
0
2
Maybe it’s the way you assemble your ammo? There are several steps that make or break a load. What is your process?
I’m shooting factory loads.

Lots of great recommendations for me to work through. Quite a few that I didn’t know existed. Thanks all!
 

xdeano

Sergeant
Belligerents
Oct 26, 2005
1,093
105
169
39
North Dakota
I started off back in the day with the 168 fed gmm, then went to the 175 fed gmm. Then started reloading my own. Then I found the 155grn lapua. It has the same bc as the 175smk. So a win in the bc and velocity. Now there are so many more bullet offering than there was 15-20 years ago. I sold off all my 308s 10 years ago and went lighter, faster. I just recently purchased a 308 with a 12twist again. I dont know what I was thinking.

Another thing you can make your 308 do, and I use to do this all the time before the 300blk came out, but when the whisper was in the shadows is slow bullets down subsonic using trailboss and drilled out primer holes. Now with all the cool subsonic bullets from lehigh defense it makes it even more fun.

If youre wanting to stay with the 175ish range take a look at the a
Hornady 176grn Atip when theyre available. They have a good bc and theyre suppose to be 12twist minimum. The Atips have been working very well in my 6.5. Otherwise id stick to the 155s and get the velocity out of it.
Xdeano
 

nn8734

nn8734
Belligerents
Feb 26, 2013
1,388
1,093
219
Las Vegas, NV
+1 for ammo featuring the Berger 185 jugs. Couple of my buddies shoot them out of M40 clones (12 twist, 6 groove Schneider’s) and report single digit SDs and more consistent hits at 1000-1200 vs M118LR/175 smks. Will be picking up some 185s for load development in my A5 soon.

 

glock63

Sergeant
Hessian
Belligerents
Sep 5, 2008
333
18
22
37
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Factory loaded hornady 178 grain ElD loads are exceptionally accurate and more than capable of 1k yards in my experience. I'd still be using them if I didn't reload.