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Author Topic: .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?  (Read 3720 times)

Offline inuhbad

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.308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
« on: 10:59 AM, 08/19/10 »
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  • I recently got my hands on a LOT of 155gn Berger Target bullets, and Sierra 155gn Matchkings dirt cheap!!!

    I did about 12 to 14 hours worth of some custom 1911 work on a friend's Colt.  It turned out beautiful using the old 1908 Colt hand-bluing technique after all the parts were fitted.  In exchange, he gave me 1000 Berger Target 155gn bullets, and 1200 Sierra 155gn Matchkings, and 200 Sierra 180gn Matchkings!

    My rifle really LOVES the new 168 grain SMK loads all of you gave me here a couple weeks ago!  I need to do more shooting, testing, adjusting, and then I'll post some results & targets on those 168gn loads.  The rifle LOVES those 168's, and it matches the ballistics of the Shepherd Scope on the rifle.

    However, these 155's will likely fly a lot flatter & faster...  I'm curious to see what you'd recommend for a good 155 grain load???  I usually fire Federal GMM Brass, with CCI BR2 primers, and Varget powder.

    I suspect these could be some decent varminting bullets/loads, and I'll save the 168gn & 180gn SMK's for more serious distance shooting.  I'm excited - the local range just opened up a new 500 yd lane

    Any advice on powder charge & overall length?

    It's a Savage 10 FCP-K 308.
    -Finally making that jump from 'basic bulk loader' to 'precision' handloader.  It's a whole new world!


    Offline memilanuk

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #1 on: 11:22 AM, 08/19/10 »
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  • Offline ChrisNZ

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #2 on: 02:03 PM, 08/19/10 »
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  • As for a load, most NZ NRA shooters use 45-46grs of Varget (ADI-2208) behind 155s.

    If as your post suggests you're after a light load, maybe start at 44 but going much lower may not produce acceptable accuracy.

    Chris-NZ


    Offline 40X Guy

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #3 on: 06:33 AM, 08/20/10 »
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  • My .308 loves the Berger target 155's just touching the lands over a charge of 44.5 grains of IMR4064, very accurate combo in my 24 inch Brux barrelled Remy. I had started off lands about .020, then .010, with decent results, then touching lands was far and away the load my rifle loves.  You will have to experiment with seating depth and as already mentioned, the Bergers seem to like it best into the lands.

    Offline 2506

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #4 on: 05:15 PM, 08/21/10 »
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  • If those Berger 155 VLD's are the older ones they are what is now called the HUNTING VLD. These are the bullets that Berger recommended I use in my 308 Win and 30X47 HBR for white tail deer. They blow GREAT BIG HOLES through deer. In the 308 Win 43 to 44 grs IMR 4895 is what shoots with these bullets for me. Berger's will shoot backed waaaaay off the lands also. They don't have to be jammed.

    Offline CJ6

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #5 on: 06:37 AM, 08/22/10 »
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  • With 155.5 Bergers , 43.7 grs XBR, Fed 210, -.01 lands , 12 twist. XBR has shrunk my groups .3 MOA from my previous Best load useing Varget. The PPC guys might not like it But it's (XBR) has shown it's worth in the (mine at least)308.
    Roger T


    Offline inuhbad

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #6 on: 12:21 PM, 09/28/10 »
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  • Thanks for the great information, guys!

    I've got a decent load starting to show promise.

    I'm using 45.2 grains Varget, CCI BR2 Primers, Federal GMM brass, and seating them about 0.015" jump.

    I'm going to load 20rds of 0.010", then 20 of 0.005", and see what happens!

    I can't get much more precise than ~0.002" to 0.003" with my basic FL 308 RCBS die set for bullet seating, so I'm going to have to play around a bit to find what works best.
    -Finally making that jump from 'basic bulk loader' to 'precision' handloader.  It's a whole new world!

    Offline camac

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #7 on: 03:45 PM, 09/28/10 »
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  • As a rule of thumb 45-47 grains of varget behind a 155 and 20 thou off the lands has worked well in every 308 I have seen - fine tune from there with seating depth. Go to the range and generally 45.5-46.5 seems very common and the "go to" load over here.

    Offline memilanuk

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #8 on: 10:23 PM, 09/28/10 »
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  • I can't get much more precise than ~0.002" to 0.003" with my basic FL 308 RCBS die set for bullet seating, so I'm going to have to play around a bit to find what works best.

    If your seating depth is inconsistent, you'll probably be better off jumping more rather than less.  The longer the jump, the less it matters if you are 'right on'.  Up near the lands, that variation could put you at 0.005 or 0.002" off the lands - right where things get touchy and may lead to inconsistent behavior.

    By comparison, I use a lot of Berger 155.5 BT Fullbore bullets, and jump them ~45 thou.  Does it matter if they are jumping 45 or 48?  Not really... they still go where I aim 'em...

    I'd say move the other way... 20-30 thou  instead of 5-10.

    YMMV,

    Monte

    Offline Steve Blair

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #9 on: 01:16 AM, 09/29/10 »
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  • Monte's point is well taken. One of my .308s shoots the Berger 155.5 FULLBORE exceptionally well seated .020 off the lands. In Lapua brass with 55.7 gr H2O capacity, I load 45.4 grains 8208 XBR for 2990 from a 26" barrel. I shot the attached target prone from a bipod with no bag. The first seven shots were .852 during a lull and then my old enemy, the wind, had his way with me on the last three.  :(
    Sleepygator

    Offline inuhbad

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #10 on: 10:49 AM, 10/20/10 »
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  • Thanks again for the excellent advice here!

    I played around with a few more batches with different seating depths recently.

    I tried the following seating depths:
    ~0.018"
    ~0.015"
    ~0.011"
    ~0.009"

    I also increased the powder load to 45.6 grains as recommended here.

    Then after helping my father move his company into their new office building, we decided to hit the outdoor range.  Since this was his first time shooting the 308 after finally getting some education on breathing, trigger, and shooting techniques, I decided to let him try out the loads & see what works best for him.

    There was a 10 to 15 MPH inconsistent wind coming from the right, so it took us 2 shots before we got the Shepherd Scope dialed in for the windage, but once it was dialed in okay we got some decent groups!

    The top two holes were from the first two shots getting the scope adjusted better for the windage.


    We learned that the two best loads we shot were seated at 0.018" and 0.011"!  When we got any closer to the lands, as Monte noted above - the shots were starting to hit all over the place!

    Let me preface this - my father had NEVER shot precision rifles accurately in the past.  He usually wound up getting 3 MOA groups with a sub 0.5 MOA rated rifle.  After getting some training, and after we tested some of our own hand loads he was absolutely SHOCKED to see this above shot grouping!

    A VERY inexperienced shooter, finally learning some precision shooting techniques, and finally starting to appreciate accurate, precision loaded ammunition with match-grade components...  This grouping measured about 0.42" to 0.43" at 100 yards (Center to Center) with about 10 to 15 MPH 90 degree cross wind with occasional gusts up to 20+.

    He was EXTREMELY excited that he was able to produce this shot grouping!  So much so he started Emailing it off to all of his friends!  After the life he's lived thus far, my father had become a fair bit cynical in his nearing-retirement age, and no matter how hard he tried - he couldn't seem to find much of anything that can put a smile on his face!  But he sure as heck was grinning ear to ear like a 10 year old kid after producing that shot grouping!

    We proceeded to produce several more good shot groupings on Saturday, and the 0.011" seating appeared to produce just SLIGHTLY better groupings than the 0.018", but about 1 out of every ~15 shots produced quite a WILD flyer.  The 0.018" didn't produce any notable flyers, but the shot grouping wasn't quite as small.

    I'm thinking that either of the two seating depths COULD produced even more dramatically improved shot groupings - if I get more meticulous & systematic in my brass preparation.  That's an area where I'm not quite sure I'm being as precise as I possibly could.  I'll have to find out how to go about measuring case capacity & consistency as well.

    In the meantime, I'm still quite happy with nearly about 90% of my groups hitting under 0.5" at 100 yards!

    Soon we'll start pushing our loads out to greater distances & see how they perform.  The range we shoot has lanes out to 500 yards, but we'll progress out that direction slowly.

    Thanks again for the great information & advice!
    -Finally making that jump from 'basic bulk loader' to 'precision' handloader.  It's a whole new world!

    Offline Steve Blair

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    .308 'light' 155gn Load Data?
    « Reply #11 on: 11:40 AM, 10/20/10 »
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  • Good results. Don't get too hung on seating depth with the FULLBORE, it is pretty tolerant. I just seat them .020 off and they work well. Eric Stecker of Berger Bullets said the following in a 2006 post.

    Quote
                               
    We created our own monster.


    When the VLD was first introduced in the late 80's Walt would  receive reports that the bullets would not shoot well.  During this time  it was much more common in reloading to jump the bullets.  Walt along  with many other BR shooters knew that putting a bullet into the rifling  could produce improved precision so this is what he recommended to those  having trouble with the VLD.

    In many rifles this change worked so we started recommending that  everyone put the VLD into the lands.  This is where the phase "VLDs are  not magazine friendly" was born.  To seat the bullet out to touch the  rifling required a COAL that was too long to feed through the magazine  in most rifles.

    When shooters reported poor performance when putting the VLDs into the  lands we concluded that not all rifles/barrels would shoot the VLDs.

    This is where we made our mistake.  The thing we ignored was that many  shooters were very successful shooting the VLDs with a jump.  It just so  happened that these folks weren't calling with problems.  For years we  told folks "jam the VLDs" and that "VLDs are not magazine friendly."   Today we know the truth.

    The truth is that VLDs ARE sensitive to seating depth.  VLDs shoot best  in a given "sweet spot."  For some this is jammed into the rifling while  others find the best precision by jumping the VLD as much as .150. 

    This truth has become clear to us as the VLD becomes more popular as a  game hunting bullet.  Hunters with top quality rifles who have never  jammed a bullet in their lives (due to problems this can create in the  field) are reporting excellent precision.  At first we thought this to  be a lucky circumstance from those who made initial reports but then we  started paying attention to competition shooters who were saying the  same thing.

    Our current published recommendation is to try the VLD at both .010 into  and .010 off of the rifling.  We are changing this recommendation.  When  shooting a VLD you will get the best performance at a COAL somewhere  between .020 into the rifling or .150 off of the rifling.  It is well  worth the effort to find the right spot.  If you do this, you will see why VLDs are so popular among those who do.

    I do not relate this to a change in dies as this result occurs in all  calibers in which we make VLDs.  Shooters have been saying this for  years but we just didn't stop talking long enough to hear them until  recently.

    Regards,
    Eric                                                                                                                                  
    Sleepygator


     

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