308 loading advice

Reloading equipment, methods, load data, powder and projectile information.

Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 17 Nov 2018, 8:19 pm

Was thinking the same. Will use that 20thou jump as the basis for my development and see what the groups do. I will also take my time as I think the barrel heat might be coming into play a little.

Interesting about the pressure but makes sense.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by bigfellascott » 18 Nov 2018, 12:53 pm

I'd play with the action screws - a fella I knew had trouble getting his 223 Savage to shoot well, I had a fiddle with the action screws (only just lightly tightened the front screw and a little firmer on the rear, also bumped the stock on the butt to make sure the action was fully seated rearward and it went from shooting 1.5in groups to 20c piece groups straight away.

Some firearms don't like to to torqued to death in the stock, I've done the same with my Howas and they seem to shoot pretty well as a rule, I don't over torque any of my action screws.

Might be worth seeing if it makes a diff to your outfit. :drinks:
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by TassieTiger » 18 Nov 2018, 3:10 pm

marksman wrote:
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:


Thank you!
From what I had read, didn't realize this was the case and was a little paranoid.
If you were loading up the bullet and the projectile was long, wouldn't jamming the projectile into the case in the rifle end up seating the projectile itself deeper into the cartridge - effectively utilizing the rifling as a "press" to some degree ? Or at that stage - it would be extremely hard to close the breach, so dont ?
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 20 Nov 2018, 7:50 pm

bigfellascott wrote:I'd play with the action screws - a fella I knew had trouble getting his 223 Savage to shoot well, I had a fiddle with the action screws (only just lightly tightened the front screw and a little firmer on the rear, also bumped the stock on the butt to make sure the action was fully seated rearward and it went from shooting 1.5in groups to 20c piece groups straight away.

Some firearms don't like to to torqued to death in the stock, I've done the same with my Howas and they seem to shoot pretty well as a rule, I don't over torque any of my action screws.

Might be worth seeing if it makes a diff to your outfit. :drinks:


Will give this a go. One minute job so with trying. I've done it to spec but as you say, some don't love being torqued up.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 04 Dec 2018, 7:50 am

So still no trips to the range but hope to in the next two weeks. In the meantime, picked up some SMKs from everyone's favourite gunshop North of Brisbane. Thought I'd give them a go as everyone raves about their SMK go-to load. $38 it's a good practice projectile.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 04 Dec 2018, 9:22 pm

SMK seem to be pretty forgiving regarding seating depth. Get them going as fast as you can and you should be pretty close to a decent load. What weight of SMK are you going to use?
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 11 Dec 2018, 4:56 pm

Hey mate, picked up 168grainers.

Just a thought. Alot of my projectile weights have been around 150-165 grains. My barrel is 1:10 twist. Perhaps I've been too light? I do have a box of 180g sst sitting in the garage but never thought to try them as they won't be moving particularly fast. In saying that 300yds is my max distance when hunting. Might still be moving fast and hard enough. Thoughts?

Hoping to get to the range again on Friday to test out a few more loads.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Dec 2018, 5:47 pm

You can try the SST but they do not have a great track record for accuracy. Spinning your lighter bullets fast is only a problem if they have a lot of runout. A 110 grain bullet would be a more likely candidate for this type of problem.. I don't think that is holding you back. I will be interested to see how you go with the SMKs.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 11 Dec 2018, 6:15 pm

SCJ429 wrote:You can try the SST but they do not have a great track record for accuracy. Spinning your lighter bullets fast is only a problem if they have a lot of runout. A 110 grain bullet would be a more likely candidate for this type of problem.. I don't think that is holding you back. I will be interested to see how you go with the SMKs.

Sorry mate, excuse my ignorance but what do you mean by runout? Was looking at picking up some Speer 130gr HP for a good price this week. Might be worth a try. Thought they may be too light though.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Dec 2018, 7:00 pm

Runout is the bullet being a little out of round, just like a rim on your car having a small wobble in it. At low speed you don't notice it but as soon as you go over 90 kph it shakes the steering wheel. When you spin a bullet at 300,000 rpm you can wobble it off course. It is worse when you have a high twist rate and shoot light pills fast. The 308 doesn't suffer from this much because most barrels are 1:10 or 1:11 and it has not got the power of a Magnum.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 11 Dec 2018, 7:27 pm

Makes perfect sense. Thanks mate. Reloading is certainly a big learning curve. My foolish school of thought always thought the slower the twist rate the lighter the bullet as I know they often won't stabilise heavier bullets. I naturally thought the opposite with faster twist rates. I assumed they would be ok with heavier bullets and worse with lighter.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Dec 2018, 7:44 pm

I have a 1:8 243 barrel and I shot some 62 grain projectiles through it for a bit of fun. As soon as I increased the speed over 4,000 fps I found not keep it on paper, the rpm destabilised the bullet. Slow it down to 3,900 and it shot well out to 300.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Dec 2018, 7:51 pm

When hunting with frangable bullets, like the 30 cal 168 grain ZMax, the high rpm can make for some very impressive explosive hits. I saw a friend using them in a WSM and blow stuff up. If I had a 308 and access to these ZMax I would buy as many as I could get my hands on.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 11 Dec 2018, 8:34 pm

Thought the zmax was an amax in the heavier 168gr? Been told to stay clear for hunting purposes. Not the case?
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by SCJ429 » 11 Dec 2018, 9:17 pm

The old Amax is an excellent hunting projectile and I would use it on most game in Australia. Not for buffalo or scrub bulls but most other stuff. The ZMax is great quality for a budget projectile, makes me wonder what Hornady did differently with the SST which is double the price. I have never had any luck getting the SST to shoot, it works well when you hit something but not a accurate round.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 13 Dec 2018, 6:23 pm

Good to know. Can get them for a great price. Will try pick some up.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Cal-ApeR » 19 Dec 2018, 4:30 pm

SUCCESS! At least I like to think so. Still a little work to be done but definitely heading in the right direction.

These are the best of my 2 development loads after today's range visit.

The image with the string like cluster is Speer 165gr BT- 43.5gr 2208 OAL 2.90" (20thou off lands).

Second image was Speer 130gr HP - 47.0 gr 2208 OAL 2.69" (20 thou off lands).

I've come to realise a few things below which I feel all have played a part in my accuracy issues.

1. The Seat Depth. This has probably been the biggest factor I've noticed affecting my accuracy. So far it seems 20thou off the lands is its happy place. I've never encountered this before. All of my other rifle are happy with SAAMI lengths. It's been a good thing to learn though and one of those things you only learn from others more experienced. Thanks to this forum in this regard.

2. Scope magnification. My eyes definitely struggle to see a small dot at 100yds on a 3-9 scope. I still feel this my favourite choice in magnification just getting harder to sight in and determine the best group. Anyone have any cheat methods around this?

3. There can be a multitude of things that with together to affect accuracy. For me I feel initially the standard Stevens trigger was far too heavy. Replacing that took another variable out of the equation. I also had issues with the scope moving in the rings early on. This clearly wasn't good. A drop of silicone solved that problem.

Many thanks for everyone's input. Very happy after today's effort.
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Re: 308 loading advice

Post by Oldbloke » 19 Dec 2018, 5:18 pm

:thumbsup: For hunting that smaller group is plenty good enough. You should be happy with that..
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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