Favorite powder/loads for .308 18" 1/10 auto?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Howland, Dec 9, 2017.

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  1. Howland

    Howland

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    I'm hoping to draw on the experience of members who have walked the same path I'm going without repeating everyone else's mistakes. Lazy me.

    I haven't reloaded for a number of years but am getting back into it now that I have access to a longer range. I used to reload extensively but primarily for bolt actions and pistols. Now I've picked up an AR-10 and want to maximize the effective distance. I'm going to go for a high BC but need it to double as an effective hunting bullet. I'm thinking of trying the 178gr ELD-X or something in that weight class as a starter because even though the range is only 400 yards, the club has monthly 600 & 1,000 yard matches. I didn't splurge on the rifle as most modern rifles are usually capable of MOA or better accuracy with proper care and feeding. I did splurge on glass and a mount/base so I can get to 1,000+. I spent double the price of the rifle on those two items.

    I did pick up some PMAG M118 mags (and the empties drop freely from my PSA Gen2), so I'm limited to the 2.83" COAL of those.

    Does anyone have experience working up similar loads for a similar setup? Should I start with the faster powders on the spectrum or slower? Repeatable accuracy is more important than another 100 fps MV. I'm strongly leaning towards the Hodgdon Extreme lineup due to their development as relatively temperature insensitive. I've rarely found accuracy nodes at the upper end of the pressure spectrum but autoloaders are a whole different animal for me, this might be different.

    I've already picked up some BR-2 primers, chosen to avoid the slam firing of the free floating firing pin. I also picked up a die set from the shelf of the LGS that I picked for the TC designation thinking less lube and likelihood of stuck cases. I loved using no lube with titanium carbide pistol dies. What I didn't notice until afterwards was the SB designation. Will the small base dies overwork the brass in your experience or should I stick with them to ensure proper cycling and compatibility with other rifles?

    Any observations from your experiences will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. J. Gunz

    J. Gunz

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    175 smk with 44 gr of varget using Winchester brass and Remington 9 1/2 primers OAL 2.810 Gives me 1/2 groups.
     
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  3. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

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    My friends dpms lr-308 with the stainless bull barrel shoots factory federal gold 168 and 175 really well. As far as hand loads he liked the 168 A-MAX with around 42 grains of reloaded 15.
     
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  4. Kurz

    Kurz

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    Mistakes! We don't make no stinking mistakes!!!!!:rolleyes:;)

    Best accuracy combination was Berger 175 Hunter VLD over a nearly full load of IMR-8208XBR, second and third was Norma 202 and Alliant AR Comp. None of these are super velocity combinations but the shorter barrel is the limiter here. My accuracy nodes for these powders were always near the top of the pressure range which was just as good as the lower nodes at slower velocities.

    Enjoy!
     
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  5. Zero333

    Zero333

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    My go to load for my M14 is...

    168 gr of any Match bullet (amax most of the time)
    2.795" coal
    41.5 gr H-4895
    FC brass
    CCI-200 sparkplug

    My backup load is...

    178amax
    40.5 gr H-4895

    I use the 168 gr load more because 168 gr bullets are a hair cheaper than 178 grainers.

    You can substitute the 178amax with the 178 eld-X and you'll have a good hunting load that will be gentle on the action and deadly on the game.

    You can also substitute H-4895 with IMR-4895 with out any problems.
     
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  6. Zero333

    Zero333

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    Forgot to mention... My M-14 has a 18" barrel. Because it's not the real deal M-14.
    It's a Norinco M305 "shorty" (18" bbl).

    It's not a "true" knockoff because Norinco bought from the US all the tooling and everything else related along with leftover parts and started making them for export to places like Canada. $650 new was impossible not to buy.
     
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  7. Shynloco

    Shynloco You can lead a horse to water, but ........

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    You can also substitute RE15 or Varget for the 4895's and tune the load for the 168's in your particular rifle.

    Alex
     
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  8. shtnrlse

    shtnrlse

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    Getting any form of consistency is my biggest problem in my R25 (20"/X-caliber 1-11).
    You may find an adjustable gas block to be a big help. Closing it for load development, and opening up to enough to cycle reliably. T/C on your dies is for taper crimp. I keep my brass annealed and do not crimp. Most out there are able to bump shoulders back about .003" on fired brass and use standard base dies, I have to use small-base to get out there.
    IMR 3031/168's/CCI 200 has done very well on paper. ARcomp/125 gr. ballistic tip's/Fed210 are my varmint hunting set up.. Zero333 and Shynloco's recipe is one I use as well.
     
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  9. Howland

    Howland

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    Thanks for clearing up my confusion between titanium carbide and taper crimp. I've never crimped rifle brass before. Only pistol brass that had to be belled for seating. I'm at a loss to why crimping at all is necessary or desirable.

    Thanks for your input on the load and recommendation for the adjustable gas block.
     
  10. Texan

    Texan

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    My Mega Maten with a 1:10 20" Mega barrel likes the following:

    Bullet: Sierra 175gr Match King
    Powder: 42.0gr of IMR 4064, each charge weighed
    Case: NATO trimmed to 2.010"
    Primer: Cheap S&B
    Seating Depth: Loaded long...0.020" off lands

    This produces around 0.5 MOA at 2530 FPS with an ES of 9.

    I use the Redding Type-S FL match bushing 2-die set with a 0.336" TiN bushing, expanding button removed, and no crimp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  11. seymour fish

    seymour fish

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    Zero, with you on the H4895 !
     
  12. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sellier & Bellot primers may be inexpensive, but they're pretty good primers. I use the LRMs often and they produce string statistics that are as good or better as the other mainstays.
     

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