OCW Testing .308



  • Hello all, new here & looking for info on my OCW testing on my 308. The articles have been very helpful & i look forward to learning more about long range handloading.

    I am new to long range reloading but have been handloading for revolvers for many years now. I am fairly well tooled up for rifle reloading as i have acquired a friends tools who was very much into long range 308. But again, this is new ground for me, tools or not. My first .308 rifle. R700 5R Mil spec 24' 1/11.25 twist. Leupold Mark 4 4.5x14x50, leupy mounts & a 20 MOA nightforce base, Tac ops cheek pad. Long range rifle experience purely recreational so no training other than books/articles & forums.

    So after much reading i have chosen SMK 175 BTHP, Lapua brass & Varget powder. I started at 41g & worked my way up to 45g in .5 g increments. 5 rounds a piece. Nice rest, weather was 40 degrees & sunny, no wind. Mirage was sumpthin fierce though. This is my first time doing this so any advice would be appreciated, i didnt see as much vertical movement as other pictures posted but what i did notice is the clockwise movement of the groups as the charge level increased. Some of these rounds could be shooter error, i felt stable & comfy but who knows. Rifle had 40 rounds of factory ammo prior to this test. I skipped 44g & 44.5g due to time constraints.

    UGaANdS.jpg
    0I1q1Nz.jpg



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  • Thx for the help, think i got it now!


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  • @db2 the 42.5 - 43.5 looks to have promise. Plus if you read around the net, that is the sweet spot for that load combo. Doing 1/2 grain jumps means you can jump right over a node and not even know it. So I would go back with loads from 42.4-43.4 in .2 grain increments. Your goal is to find the middle of the node. That way when you go from batch to batch of loads your have leeway on both ends.



  • The whole point of a node is that it is consistent over the course of at least .5 and hopefully a full grain. If .5 grain increment skips over it...then it wasn't a good node.



  • Makes sense. I will try the 42.5-43.5 & see if i can get honed in. I will print up some of those dot targets also, might make it easier to read. This brass was brand new, i didnt mention that. I will continue testing with the once fired Lapua..

    So low node or high node? Either is fine or is there a preference to the high node?



  • My preference is the low node. Just less wear and tear on the brass and rifle.



  • 43 grains looks very promising but I would also shoot they 44.5 load. I found that with my OCW test for my 308 that by tweeking the seating depth I was able to get closer group out of 44.6 grain of varget, however this was shooting 168gr BTHP.
    Pictures for reference.
    w4BYAKY.jpg
    G5kBZKL.jpg
    5 rounds same brass, bullets, seat depth, and distance. Roughly same temperature. 1 inch edge to edge.
    Rifle is a Savage 10 in 308 with a 24" 1 in 10 twist.
    All fired from a bench off bipod.
    During initial OCW test 43.5 grains shot better with 44.5 coming in second. Tested seating depth and found that 2.78 coal shot best in that load. Decided to try that Coal with charges ranging from 44.4 to 44.6 with the top picture being the best result which I am now pursuing.



  • i will do some more testing for sure, thanks for your input. i enjoy the science behind reloading & the reduction of all the variables. again, i am new to the whole long range gig & i dont expect to find the "honey" load right off the bat.

    For example, i do not have the tool to check the OAL of my chamber but read about guys slitting their case necks & chambering the round to establish an OAL to figure bullet jump. Well after multiple times i have come up with a measurement of 2.913..............thats 113 thousandths over recommended OAL of my cartridge, isnt that quite a "jump" for the bullet? So, i have read that R700's are known for deep throats (like some of my HS girlfriends) but i also read that as a general rule you should have a caliber width of bullet seated into the case. Well i barely have that at 2.800!

    sheesh.....



  • @db2 Welcome to the deep threat Remington club.



  • Been awhile but im back with a more fine tuned OCW test. As mentioned above i tested from 42.5 to 44.5 in .2 grain increments.
    I5QzBhd.jpg
    The results this time seem more conclusive to me than my last test as i can easily see the vertical dispersion. It seems i started on a high node at 42.5 and POI lowered until 43.1 and this run was done with one shot every 2-3 minutes. Then rifle was allowed to cool for 10 minutes during a target check. 43.3 to 43.7 were also done with 2-3 minutes between shots, but it appears i started on a high node again with a little less drop the before. Another cool down period than i shot the bottom row. I noticed some ejector wipe & several sticky ejections on the 44.5 load. All my load info is on the target. Weather sucked.....had to clean the lens several times of rain. Many of the fliers are me, no questions about that.

    Thanks!



  • @db2 44.5 looks nice. I would back down a few grains from that and see if you still get pressure signs and if it still shoots. Maybe 44.3. 43.7 also looks like something to tinker with if you can pull that flier in.



  • Where would you say the widest node is on this example? Does the node have to be the highest vertically?

    Thanks in advance guys, trying to learn.



  • I'd like to hear @orkan 's thoughts on which group to chase.



  • In this kind of test, the main thing to look at is vertical spread. To me, it seems that the groups from 43.3 to 43.7 have the least vertical spread. I would load up 20 rounds at 43.5, shoot all of them in groups of 5 and measure velocities. Then I would move to varying the seating depth to see if the groups tighten up. My $.02



  • I would be interested in all the comments i could get.

    I have a lot of work to do in the sizing department, all these rounds were neck sized only & research suggests that FL sizing is recommended. I have FL resized 10 of these fired cases but the necks are sizing to small IMO.......all ID's are measuring .304 so again i have some investigating to do & also i do not have a case length gauge for my calipers........(face palm).......but will have one soon.

    Great suggestions so far, much appreciated, I dont feel the rifle shoots to awful shabby considering the handloading variables i have been feeding it.

    Thanks!



  • x2 on hearing Orkan's call on the target. I don't know that I'd want to rely on a rainy day target results to pick the high and low of an accuracy node for the next stage of load development testing.



  • There's a few problems with trying to eval this target.

    The presence of 5-shot groups pushes a lot of heat into the rifle. I typically discourage this. There is also some noise present. The group at 43.5 has a ton of horizontal stringing which indicates the rifle driver is having some trouble with NPA. If that NPA problem carries over to vertical, then it's not unreasonable to think NPA could be responsible for the vertical shift between the top row and second row of targets. This could be evidenced by the presence of wild fliers 1moa out from group.

    Ignoring all else and just looking at the target, it would appear there's something workable around 43.5gr, as the groups on either side are dead level with it. Though as I said, that target has lots of white noise.



  • @martino1 said:

    x2 on hearing Orkan's call on the target. I don't know that I'd want to rely on a rainy day target results to pick the high and low of an accuracy node for the next stage of load development testing.

    Yea, not ideal weather conditions & my NPA is certainly in question. Front bipod slid some & i need a monopod for the rear or something to shore it up better than i am currently.

    As mentioned before, i have a lot of changes to make reloading wise, but good news is i found my headspace/case length gauge! So i will get my sizing operation under control, and probably run this very same test again.

    Thanks for taking the time & i will report back.



  • If you don't have a solid rest, and good technique you're going to get some white noise on your targets.

    Keep good notes on each shot and if you feel you pulled one, make a note on that hole on the target. That will help the gurus in analyzing your targets.

    When I did load development for myself I looked for a dog bone pattern on my targets regarding the vertical spread of the holes, looking for a big group then 2 or 3 small groups followed by a big group. Then I followed Load development protocol to dial in where the middle of the node was. Your groups looked like there was something else at work. Orkan saw it calling it white noise. I couldn't see my dog bone pattern, but Orkan has a heck of a lot more experience doing this kind of analysis than I do.

    The point is if you have white noise, something else might be going on and you might want to check your technique, or other equipment components, then address your loading.

    Just my.02.



  • Let's see what you guys think of the OCW test I did for my 260 recently. I shot it a little quicker than I probably should have and the gun got pretty warm. Shot with new Alpha munitions brass, H4831SC, and Nosler 140 grain RDF seated for a COAL of 2.83. Gun is a Tikka with 20", 1:8 twist barrel shot off a bench with iPod and rear bag. Sun was pretty brutal as I was shooting into the sun. Started at 40 and bumped charge weights up. All 5 round groups. Atmospheric data included taken by geoballistic weathermeter.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/85QRO



  • @m.mccarthy The 40.3 to 41.2 looks real good, expect the 40.6 group. Was that you?



  • @m.mccarthy said:

    Let's see what you guys think of the OCW test I did for my 260 recently. I shot it a little quicker than I probably should have and the gun got pretty warm. Shot with new Alpha munitions brass, H4831SC, and Nosler 140 grain RDF seated for a COAL of 2.83. Gun is a Tikka with 20", 1:8 twist barrel shot off a bench with iPod and rear bag. Sun was pretty brutal as I was shooting into the sun. Started at 40 and bumped charge weights up. All 5 round groups. Atmospheric data included taken by geoballistic weathermeter.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/85QRO

    Clearly a very forgiving rifle. Wide nodes for sure.

    I'd start hunting around in the 41gr area.



  • @m.mccarthy said:

    Let's see what you guys think of the OCW test I did for my 260 recently. I shot it a little quicker than I probably should have and the gun got pretty warm. Shot with new Alpha munitions brass, H4831SC, and Nosler 140 grain RDF seated for a COAL of 2.83. Gun is a Tikka with 20", 1:8 twist barrel shot off a bench with iPod and rear bag. Sun was pretty brutal as I was shooting into the sun. Started at 40 and bumped charge weights up. All 5 round groups. Atmospheric data included taken by geoballistic weathermeter.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/85QRO

    Is that the Tikka TSR-1 you have pictured in your profile?

    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

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  • @norcal_in_az I would definetly say the 40.6gr was me seeing how the other groups around it shot.
    @orkan I was thinking I would play with the 40.3 gr and 41.2 gr and see if seat depth would bring it a little closer or at least bump up the velocity some. Thought about maybe even 43.6 for that same reason.
    @flyinphill yes that's the Tikka TSR-1 from my profile. It has a Gen-1 Razor on it now.



  • @m.mccarthy I just got the exact same gun, gray in 260 like yours. Or at least I think yours is gray, tough to tell for sure in the picture. Mine has been out of the box exactly once, as I still need a bipod, scope, etc. before I can do anything with it. I am in the middle of buying a house so I have had to put all hobby stuff on hold for a few weeks. Hopefully all of that will be resolved by the beginning of December and I can get back to it.

    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

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  • @flyinphill well here's your load development lol. Mines gray, its a fun gun to shoot for sure.



  • @m.mccarthy Yeah, it will be interesting to see how similar my results are to yours. I don't have any reloading equipment either, so it will be a while before I get to the point of an actual custom workup.

    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

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  • @m.mccarthy said:

    well here's your load development lol.

    r9id6xt.jpg



  • @orkan hahahahaha! I know obviously his situation and conditions are going to be completely different. This gun also has almost 500 rounds on it and he's starting fresh.



  • @orkan said:

    There's a few problems with trying to eval this target.

    The presence of 5-shot groups pushes a lot of heat into the rifle. I typically discourage this. There is also some noise present. The group at 43.5 has a ton of horizontal stringing which indicates the rifle driver is having some trouble with NPA. If that NPA problem carries over to vertical, then it's not unreasonable to think NPA could be responsible for the vertical shift between the top row and second row of targets. This could be evidenced by the presence of wild fliers 1moa out from group.

    Ignoring all else and just looking at the target, it would appear there's something workable around 43.5gr, as the groups on either side are dead level with it. Though as I said, that target has lots of white noise.

    OK, i have a new batch loaded up for testing. 3rd fire lapua brass/175 SMK/FL size .002 bump/cases trim to 2.010/.003-.004 neck tension with all having .001 or less runout/43-44 Varget in .2 grain increments/bullets seated COAL of 2.820 which according to my gauges puts me .045 off the lands.

    Cleaned with rice.

    Once i got my RCBS FL die set right i had .001 or less of runout on all cases, all bullet seating pressures were very similar in feel in fact they all felt identical.

    I will be doing the same test, 3 rounds each instead of 5. I have some improvements in my rest system, so if i can do my job i should eliminate most of the "white noise".

    How long cool down between shots & how long recommended between the 3 shot strings?



  • @db2 said:

    How long cool down between shots & how long recommended between the 3 shot strings?

    Depends on a ton of factors. Basically just don't let the rifle heat to the point where it starts stringing.



  • I purchased a mono pod thinking that would help settle my NPA down, which it did but what it also did was amplify the shortcomings of my bipod......I have a harris & i cannot get that nut tight enough that the gun doesnt roll on me & the monopod makes it worse. So i had a great group at 43.5 grains @ .040 off the lands & that made me happy but there was certainly some shooter issues & rest problems. Looks like im in the hunt for an Atlas & some proper training.......LOL

    I will post the target later on but i think the white noise is still very much present. Here is a pic of the 43.5 group.

    PJugUBz.jpg



  • Get a pod lock to fix that. Or an atlas.

    I prefer a rear bag over a monopod.



  • @db2

    Yeah I'd be happy with that.



  • Wow, sweet, pod loc ordered. Thanks sir!

    Much to learn.



  • @martino1 said:

    @db2

    Yeah I'd be happy with that.

    I just have to make it repeatable now. Trust me the rest were not that pretty. Its just like a golf swing, when you dont care or rather arent trying to change something things seem to go better.....i am trying to change to much here at once & have a hell of a time getting comfy. "too many minds" as they say.

    Ill keep workin, lots of variables to remove from myself & the equipment.





  • @orkan said:

    http://www.primalrights.com/training

    I'll have to dig up an xtra 12-15K cuz i wont leave ur showroom empty handed...... :-)



  • @orkan said:

    http://www.primalrights.com/training

    Planning on being there myself. Hopefully ATF will do their frigging job and get me my stamp so I can bring by Can.



  • @db2 said:

    @orkan said:

    http://www.primalrights.com/training

    I'll have to dig up an xtra 12-15K cuz i wont leave ur showroom empty handed...... :-)

    You won’t be sorry for either one. The class or spending $12k for a setup from Greg. However...either wait for the class to buy the new rifle or ask Greg what you need and buy exactly what he recommends with no deviations.

    Btw...That is me second from the top in the training pic.



  • @martino1

    Cans are nice for the class, but you don’t have to have one. Just don’t bring a brake or you will have to go off by yourself on the hill to shoot.



  • LOL



  • @dddoo7 said:

    Btw...That is me second from the top in the training pic.

    And since Greg preferred to show damn trucks and a pond, instead of this handsome guy with a Savage, I think I am gonna need a therapy puppy...LOL



  • @dddoo7 By the way that is me in the red shirt next to truck. The training class is worth well more then being charged. The techniques you learn are spot on. I will be returning to this class in the future. Proper Repetition is the mother of all learning.



  • Sounds like valuable time spent.

    Any good beer/food joints around there?? :-D



  • @db2 we all pretty much ate meals provided by Greg amazing wife.

    They were delicious, @gash is an astounding cook.



  • @rhyno said:

    @db2 we all pretty much ate meals provided by Greg amazing wife.

    They were delicious, @gash is an astounding cook.

    I second that. The food was really good and they were very generous. I don't think anyone went hungry at all for the weekend, at least I didn't.



  • @dddoo7 said:

    @martino1

    Cans are nice for the class, but you don’t have to have one. Just don’t bring a brake or you will have to go off by yourself on the hill to shoot.

    HEY HEY HEY NOW these are not like the older Barrett brakes that come back at an angle. I've been at the range when one of those goes off. Sux being next to those guys.

    These are Thunder Beast brakes that go off to the side. Besides I don't think i'm brining the 300 Norma to the class. Probably just the 6.5CM which is just a light puff. Should be a distraction to real shooters. :)

    On a hill by myself..... nice.


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