308 loading advice

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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 12 Nov 2018, 3:08 pm

So as always, other things get in the way. I only briefly made it in the shed so wasn't able to get much done.

I did measure a Sierra pro hunter 150g sp using Old blokes method (I also since found out my old boy has the Hornady gauge). The Sierra measured between 2.825" - 2.830". I did it multiple times and didn't really move outside this range.

My records for this projectile had me seating it at 2.770 and 2.750".

Edit: I've just measured another one.

Speer 165g BT - 2.920" previously seated at 2.770"

Very different ogive to the sst.


I'll load some this week and seat them further out. Wondering if this will really make much difference.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Oldbloke » 12 Nov 2018, 9:28 pm

Cal-ApeR wrote:So as always, other things get in the way. I only briefly made it in the shed so wasn't able to get much done.

I did measure a Sierra pro hunter 150g sp using Old blokes method (I also since found out my old boy has the Hornady gauge). The Sierra measured between 2.825" - 2.830". I did it multiple times and didn't really move outside this range.

My records for this projectile had me seating it at 2.770 and 2.750".

Edit: I've just measured another one.

Speer 165g BT - 2.920" previously seated at 2.770"

Very different ogive to the sst.


I'll load some this week and seat them further out. Wondering if this will really make much difference.


Yep, I always do 8 or 9 to ensure I'm getting an accurate average. Your previous loads/bullets are jumping a long way.
So now you know what they are touching the land I would seat them about 20 thou off the lands. Keep in mind this may well increase pressure so I would back off the powder about one or two grain and work up again. No guarantee it's the answer but worth a try. If 20thou shows promise I guess you could then try 30 or 10 thou jump. But personally I wouldn't go closer than 10thou jump.

I think I'm correct to say if you load them touching the lands pressure will increase a fair bit. (read lots)

All 3 of my rifle shoot about moa or sub with a 20thou jump. Every rifle is a law into its self though. And everyone has an opinion. :allegedly:

Good luck. Keep the reports coming.
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 13 Nov 2018, 7:59 pm

Cheers old bloke. I'll be loading up Thursday and heading out to the range on Friday. Will report back with the results. Thanks for the advice.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Oldbloke » 13 Nov 2018, 8:16 pm

Cal-ApeR wrote:Cheers old bloke. I'll be loading up Thursday and heading out to the range on Friday. Will report back with the results. Thanks for the advice.


Just watch your pressure signs. Good luck. Can be a bit frustrating getting them to shoot some times. :lol:
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Dan_351 » 13 Nov 2018, 10:28 pm

Tend to find 2208 works a treat with 150gn. Any heavier I would consider 2209.
Seems to be the case for most 08 cases
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 15 Nov 2018, 10:49 pm

Off to the range in the morning. Had an unexpected trip pop up so i've been busy loading up 223 instead of the planned 308.

I'll try 12 or so rounds of the 308. So far i've loaded up 4 - seated 165 speer BT at 2.90" OAL. That is starting with 20thou jump. They look awfully long compared to SAAMI standard size. I've backed off the powder to starting loads. I'll see what i've got in my records around start loads and compare my groups after tomorrow.

Likely do the others at 30thou jump, maybe 40 as well just to see what differences the jump makes.
Maylook at 2209, got some at the old boys but unfortunately my groupings have been poor with all weights.

Appreciate the input gentlemen.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by bigrich » 16 Nov 2018, 4:42 am

reloading is a funny old game. The easiest to load for in my safe have been 222 and 6.5x55 . At 3.100”, with 142 MK’s, the rounds look like a knitting needle :lol: Using long projectiles , 6.5 is not sensitive to bullet jump. 308 has been a bit frustrating at times recently though. Following this post, I’m starting to think about trying different projectiles to 150 sst’s in my 308. Keep up the research guys..... :thumbsup:
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Oldbloke » 16 Nov 2018, 12:50 pm

Like women. Their all different. Lol
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by bigfellascott » 16 Nov 2018, 2:02 pm

I've still got to get around to reloading for my 308 mind you the lack of use hasn't seen me finish one box of factory ammo yet, I think I still have at least half a box of that to go :D
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 16 Nov 2018, 5:13 pm

G'day fellas,

Snuck out to the range today. Was a bit hot but good to test out a few things. I took my Savage 223, my new CZ452 which has been in the safe for a year unfired and ofcourse my dreadful Stevens 308.

As my reloading time was cut short due to an upcoming trip I was only able to load up 10 rounds all the same load - 42gr 2208 for 165gr Speer BTs.
I only played with the seating depth.

1st group (4shots) was seated at 2.90" or 20thou of the lands with a spread of 1.9" however 3 shots were just under an inch at approx 0.844". With the flier being the 1st shot.

2nd group (3 shots) was seated slightly deeper - 2.890". I got a little vertical stringing which i'd attribute to the little pencil barrel heating up. That group sat spot on 1 inch.

3rd group - 2.880" ha, well it grouped off target so i have no idea what happened.

I have only used this projectile once before with a best group (4) around 1.8".
My next trip to the range(which won't be for a few weeks at best) will probably focus on seating them 20thou off the lands and developing that load. Hopefully i can tighten things up. I have about 5-6 other types of projectiles to try with different seating depths so lets just saying, this could thread could go on a LONG time!

Although nothing outstanding, i kind of feel this grouping was slightly better than i expected by just adjusting the seating depth. I was also very suprised to see the bullet now dropping a whole target in height from where it was sighted in last week.

I am hopeful this may fix my accuracy problems and give me a decent hunting rifle. Cheers again for all the wisdom.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Wm.Traynor » 16 Nov 2018, 7:10 pm

Vertical stringing in both groups, although the moa group is not to be sneezed at.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 16 Nov 2018, 8:24 pm

The first target looks like the wind was blowing the bullet sideways, unless the target was orientated that way.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 16 Nov 2018, 8:28 pm

Target was stapled straight. Not the best photographer.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by TassieTiger » 17 Nov 2018, 2:12 am

I’ve just gone through this looong process myself with a 260.

I’m relatively new to reloading / shooting, so I asked for a lot of advice as I went, so My outcomes/findings may/may not be relevant but I think the process I followed might assist...

I attempted the bullet in the fired cartridge measure - but the projectile consistently got hung up in the barrel...So I smoked the projectile black with candle carbon and then looked at it under a mAg glass to see contact points as assisted with my mentor who is so old, he recalls when the titanic was but a dream...

Getting this part right is so critical because I’m the end your talking about very very small variations- and I’m still not convinced I got it 100% right...my coal ended up being LOT longer than saami and I had to dremel a tiny edge into my magazine to allow the longest bullets to cycle.

Anyway.
I settled on 45.5 grains of powder and loaded up 7 rounds each of 69.8 mm, 70.3, 70.8 and so on up to 71.90 (lightly touching lands - which I was cautioned on).
I load 7 rounds so I can fire the first round from the hip as a safety precaution and then 2 groups of 3 - second group to be a direct comparison to first.

My results really, really opened my eyes as to how critical bullet seating depth is. At least in this rifle but I suspect in most rifles results would be similar...

At 69.8mm coal, I was grouping sub moa...as I went along, grouping started getting bigger right out to 1.5 moa but then, as I got to the longer bullets, accuracy came back to me and by the time I was shooting rounds that were kissing the lands - my grouping was down to 10mm at 120m. Amazing difference.
I shot a group of 3 across all sizes allowing for barrel heat, captured my data and then repeated the same exercise to see if I was emulating results, which apart from a flyer - I was.

My problem now is obviously - my most accurate seating depth is touching the lands and pressure spikes are a real possibility so, do I back off .3 mm and live with slightly decreased accuracy or pull right back to 69.8 and let the projectile jump a couple mm’s - which in my “green horn” mind just seems wrong lol.

In regards to your 308 - I had a similar 30-06 that would shoot 2 bullets moa but the 3rd would always ruin the group. I was using 08 powder at the time - On local advice, i changed to 09 powder and the rifle just completely changed. It blows my mind how these tiny changes can impact - it’s fascinating to me at least lol.
I hope (am sure) there is a recipe out there to sort it and prove the old fella wrong.
I’ll be watching thread with interest - please post your results. Cheers TT
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 17 Nov 2018, 10:12 am

Cheers Tiger. I feel there is definitely room for improvement with the loads just by finding the right seating depth.

I was cautious to seat then so they touched the lands. I may try 10thou off the lands next time. Every other load showed now pressure signs but again it they were all starting loads.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by sungazer » 17 Nov 2018, 11:06 am

To measure the Coal using the bullet in the case and closing the bolt method. you really MUST remove the extractor. If the extractor is left in you will never get the bolt to close really easily and the little click on opening. But regardless of that the FEEL will be misleading and you will most likely be about 20 thou out as the extractor pushes the bullet forward. I know this from experience doing it both ways and trying to avoid the removing the extractor. The results were evident on paper when I did a complete seating depth test.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Oldbloke » 17 Nov 2018, 3:30 pm

"1st group (4shots) was seated at 2.90" or 20thou of the lands with a spread of 1.9" however 3 shots were just under an inch at approx 0.844". With the flier being the 1st shot."

Mmmm. Maybe try this again but shoot a fouler first. Could be your rifle likes to get a fouler first.
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by marksman » 17 Nov 2018, 4:29 pm

TassieTiger wrote:
My problem now is obviously - my most accurate seating depth is touching the lands and pressure spikes are a real possibility so, do I back off .3 mm and live with slightly decreased accuracy or pull right back to 69.8 and let the projectile jump a couple mm’s - which in my “green horn” mind just seems wrong lol.


you wont get pressure spikes from kissing the lands with your projectile if you are already touching and have no pressure signs
what you may see if your ogives are not identical length and all touching the lands is the occasional flyer as the pressure drops when the bullet does not touch the lands, there is nothing wrong with your projectile touching the lands, even for a hunting rifle, its when you are jamming into the lands that you may get a stuck projectile that stays in the throat when you eject a cases that you do not intend to fire,

good luck with it :drinks:
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