308win N-150 or N-550 Poll

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Zero333, Feb 8, 2020.

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Prefer N-150 or N-550 for 308win with 168-175 gr bullets

  1. N-150

    85.0%
  2. N-550

    15.0%
  1. Zero333

    Zero333

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    I've always used Varget, H-4895 and W-748 in the 308win but have the itch to try a new powder for with 168 VLD, and local store has N-150 and N-550 available.

    I don't care about velocity, only accuracy.
    It's for target duty only, and most all the time it will be shot from 109 yards (100m) to 328 yards (300m).

    Which Powder should I choose ???
    Or should I just stick with Varget ???

    They are in 1 kg bottles ( 2.2 lbs) so I don't feel like getting both since I'm in Canada and each bottle costs $ 104 Canadian Loonies.

    All comments and load data welcome.

    Thanks in Advance !
     
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  2. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    The consensus I’ve read is to go with the 150. It is a good bit slower than Varget almost as slow as 4350 so cases get close to full with 168 and 175s. 550 is so full you get compressed loads and those are a bit problematic.
     
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  3. daleboy

    daleboy Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sorry, I can't help you...

    But, Going to watch this one . I am a H4895 fan but have a pound of N150 I had thoughts of trying . Figured if I can get a load developed I would explore deeper.
     
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  4. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    One thing to remember, 150 is a bit slow for gas guns. 140 is better.
     
  5. Zero333

    Zero333

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    Thank you riflewoman. I should of specified this is for a bolt gun.

    I have a M1A and I feel the action is not as smooth when using Varget compared to H-4895 and W-748. So Varget is about the slowest burning I would consider for a 308 gas gun.
     
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  6. Ranger188

    Ranger188 Silver $$ Contributor

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    The 150 & 550 burn a slower than Varget. You might have to try and see what case fill will be.
    The 550 is a double based powder and will burn hotter than the 150.
    Sorry, never used either powder in my 308
     
  7. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just bite the bullet and buy both, you will not regret it. I have almost every powder available except 4064 and i don't want it. The advantage in having many powders is that your gun/bullet combination will (like) one powder over all the others. I have seen this phenomenon hundreds of times. I can show photos of testing where many powders are (ok/good) but one powder will be like magic and make super tiny groups.
     
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  8. Zero333

    Zero333

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    I took inventory of my powders recently...

    RL-15
    RL-19
    RL-22
    RL-25
    RL-33
    IMR-4064
    IMR-4831
    IMR-7977
    H-335
    H-4895
    Varget
    BLC-2
    H-380
    H-414
    H-4350
    H-4831
    H-4831sc
    H-1000
    Retumbo
    W-748
    W-760
    Titegroup
    Universal
    N-320
    N-330

    I suppose 2 more will not matter much. :oops:

    At the same time I was wondering which powder would be more suitable for my application, and @riflewoman mentioned about case fill and compressed loads where N-550 would be fairly compressed and N-150 would be the better option for 168-175 gr bullets.

    But you're right. I'll try the N-150 first, and if accuracy is not satisfactory I'll get the N-550 and try again.
    I have other cartridges I can always use them in for curiosity sake's.
     
  9. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sibpnce you have IMR 4064, find some 165 grain cases (Federal, Winchester, perhaps Lapua) and load 42.2 4064 behind a 175 grain bullet. Work up to that p, but if you can get there and your rifle doesn’t shoot, you need to fix your rifle.
     
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  10. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    I don't know if you've ever tried lightweight bullet's in the 308 but i always recommend them for ranges out to 300yds. 112Bib bullet's ,118 Bib. 112-118 Bart's bullet's. 115-125 berger. And last 125 sierra mk. The heaviest i shoot is the 150 fb. Berger for 300 yds and less. I recently shot some 110 vmax with 56 grains cfe223 out of a factory Tikka and got a group about .160" Wow! Believe me lightweight bullet's do make teeny tiny groups. Even my factory 30-06 will make .325" groups with 110vmax-68 grains (Hunter) powder. Hope this information helps.
     
  11. Zero333

    Zero333

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    I just loaded some OCW loads with 150 Berger FB with Varget in Winchester brass and 210m primers. They're sitting in the box, waiting for the next time I go to the range !

    Loaded from 44.0 to 46.4 gr in 0.4 gr increments.

    I agree lighter flat base bullets are more accurate. But unfortunately I'm not willing to buy light 30 cal benchrest bullets because I only have 10" twist barrels.
    I've had bullets blow up from too much spin.
    That was in a 8" twist 243win shooting 80 gr Berger FB. In the freezing winter cold they shot like a laser and were the most accurate loads I've ever shot. But once the mercury raised and barrel temp got hot, many of them never made it to the 200m target.
     
  12. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Very good, my 308 load for my Tikka with 150 berger was n135- 44 grains , very accurate indeed. 20200125_233914.jpg 20200125_233847.jpg
     
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  13. Sandstorm

    Sandstorm Silver $$ Contributor

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    The N150 worked well for me in my Tikka T3 with Starline small primer brass.
    44.0gr @ 2650 pushing the 168 Smk @ CCI Br4
     
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  14. Capt. Oblivious

    Capt. Oblivious

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    I use N540 with a 168gr hybrid and amax, crazy accurate and consistent from 100 to 300
     
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  15. coldboreshot

    coldboreshot

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    During the Varget drought several years ago, a benchrester turned me on to N140 as a temp or permanent replacement for Varget. Load data was literally identical to Varget, matching accuracy and velocities. Yes there is a small temperature sensitivity difference between the two, Vihtavouri being more sensitive but now I use the N140 primarily for my 308 tac bolt gun platforms. Fine by me, helps free up the Varget for 6BR and 6.5x47. I use Sierra 175 MK's and Lapua brass with the N140 my Stiller tac 30 rifles and it rocks at 1000 yards.
     
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  16. hpshooter

    hpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    "One thing to remember, 150 is a bit slow for gas guns. 140 is better"

    Ran N135 with 168SMK's in the M1A when I was using it in service rifle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    Zero333 likes this.
  17. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    N150 is amazing for 308 bolt guns with the heavies. I can't speak for the 168s though; never tried it.

    I will say with N150 my SDs are stupid low. Across multiple 308 barrels with Berger bullets & Varget I'm not able to achieve sub ~7-8 second SDs consistently (and that's doing all the prep using top of the line gear/components). With literally everything else the same, just using N150, I almost never see SDs above 7-8 FPS, and that's across all weather conditions I've shot it in (~30s-high 90s).

    Some of my rifles seem to really like certain powders better than others, so I don't use it in all my 308s. If N150 works in yours, I'd say it's a blessing.
     
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  18. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    If shooters at this forum keep extolling the virtues of N150 and heavy bullets in .308 Win, it may soon become extinct and disappear from the planet just like the dodo, passenger pigeon, and Varget. ;)
     
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  19. SGK

    SGK Silver $$ Contributor

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    I was going to ask about N540 or 140 with 168gr bullets. Which would be more stable?
     
  20. XTR

    XTR

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    The burn rate charts are wrong for N150, it is nowhere near 4350 most FTR shooters running N150 are loading within 2/10 of a grain of the shooters running Varget with the same velocities.

    N150 is bulkier than any of the other powders mentioned here. With usual seating depths you will be limited to around 44.5 grains before you start to compress unless you can load up in the neck in Lapua Palma brass
     
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