308 COAL



  • For my first real venture into precision bolt guns, I picked up a Howa barreled action a bit back, and now I am looking to pick up a stock/chassis for it. It seems that everything I look at has some positives and some negatives. Maybe I will start another thread in a more appropriate section about what I have found as far as choices for the Howa. But for now, I am looking for a bit if information on the reloading front that may help me rule out one of the options.

    MDT makes several different chassis for the Howa, but every one of them is limited to using their proprietary polymer magazines. This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, even though they only hold 8 rounds. But what concerns me is that, according to their documentation, their polymer short-action mags have a maximum COAL of 2.800". Now I have yet to venture into reloading, but I suspect that when I do start doing my own loads, that 2.800" is likely to be a limiting factor for my load workups. Now I know that no one can tell me what the gun will like for COAL until I actually start experimenting. But is it a reasonable assumption on my part that 2.800" is likely to limit the COAL to below a range that the gun may like?

    There are other options out there that use standard AI mags. I can't see even keeping the MDT in the consideration list if there is even a reasonable chance that this COAL limit will come to haunt me down the road. But I am less than a newbie on this, so I am hoping to get some reasonable guidance on this from those with real-world reloading experience.



  • @flyinphill
    Welcome to the addictive world of precision shooting. I would definitely recommend going with a chassis system that accepts the aci mags. I have been very pleased with the XLR industry chassis and have had several of them. Chassis’s are like most things it’s what fits your fancy and functions best for you so by all means look around and the different models. That’s a fairly common rifle so selling a chassis to fit it wouldn’t be a issue if you didn’t like it.



  • If you know what bullet you plan to use and have a Hornady OAL gauge you can see what OAL you need to get to the lands. Keep in mind that the bullet you choose may or may not be the best shooting bullet for the rifle.

    If you don’t have the OAL tool, then you ought to go buy one with the appropriate modified case as you will want it when you get started loading.



  • The new TRG Bravo Chassis takes ACIS mags, and there is a few mags out there that can get you a slightly longer COAL. Bell and Carlson makes an adjustable cheek riser stick with the Howa inlet. You'll need it inletted for a bottom metal, but that's easy stuff for Travis. If you want to go all out Manners or McMillan also makes stocks that will fit your action and can be inletted to take a DBM.

    2.800 COAL is SAMMI spec, so technically speaking a properly cut chamber should be fine. But this is all a guess at this point. You need to measure your chamber with the bullets you intend to use. That will tell you where about you need to start loading at.



  • @bull81 My biggest issue with the XLR products is that they all use an AR carbine-style buttstock. Maybe that is an unfounded concern, but I am really looking for something that uses a more robust, and more adjustable buttstock.



  • @flyinphill a Luth AR or Magpul PRS buttstock really shouldn't concern you about being flimsy. Both those stocks are well made.



  • @flyinphill said:

    @bull81 My biggest issue with the XLR products is that they all use an AR carbine-style buttstock. Maybe that is an unfounded concern, but I am really looking for something that uses a more robust, and more adjustable buttstock.

    Like I said it’s whichever one suits you and your needs, the stick that comes with the XLR chassis’s is extremely rigid and completely adjustable. I’ve been very pleased with mine. I do like the standard over the lite though due to the shape of the bottom of the stock, it’s rides bags better for me.



  • Strapless mags such as those provided by Accuratemag can pull a bit longer than 2.800... but only by about 40 thousandths. Short action is what it is. Factory chambers are what they are. Plenty of jump-tolerant projectiles out there, and none of this stopped me from getting sub-3/4moa performance from factory stuff back in the day. There were significantly fewer options for me back then, so I suspect you'll be able to find success.

    I have a few thousand extra 175gr SMK's that would suit you nicely. ;)

    I would make sure you have AICS mag compatibility. Even if you choose to go the accuratemag route, you'll want that setup rather than something reliant on a specific non-standard mag.

    The KRG chassis are quite good from an ergonomic standpoint. XLR less so, MDT less so.



  • @norcal_in_az The XLR chassis only have fitment for carbine-style attachment, so I am not sure if the PRS will work. And interestingly, will have a chance later tonight to see a Luth-AR for myself.

    As to your above post, KRG is actually what I am considering the strongest right now, only I am looking at the 180-XRAY. The Howa inlet Bravo is not out until Feb according to the guy at KRG I spoke to last week.

    I can also get the 180-XRAY with the fully adjustable Whiskey 3 buttstock for a couple hundred more dollars. That setup would give you basically every adjustment possible, and all of them except the left-right on the cheekpiece are tool-less. For a new shooter trying to learn position, easy and quick adjustments seem like a good plan. Maybe all that adjustability will make me tinker with things when I shouldn't. But I would rather have it and not use it, than need it and not have it.



  • The main gripe with the XLR is the wide cheek piece. It tends to push shooters out of center line, and there's no way to correct for it. Especially an issue with people that have wide faces/heads.

    The KRG is much more appealing in that those adjustments typically allow for a true proper firing position behind the rifle. Most chassis systems fall miserably short there... requiring some pretty drastic work-arounds on the part of the shooter.



  • I’ve used the KRG whiskey 3 as well and it’s a nice chassis, It didn’t feel as comfortable to me as the XLR but is a great chassis non the less. Friend of mine has had excellent results with one. I like the modularity of the XLR and have not noticed any issues with the check piece being to wide like @orkan pointed out but can definitely see where that could be a problem with some. If your looking for something that doesn’t use “AR style” stocks then the KRG would be an excellent choice that’s still affordable. Chassis are hot right now and are easily sold used so try the one that you think best suits you, if you don’t like it you can get the majority of your investment back and try a different one.



  • @bull81 said:

    have not noticed any issues with the check piece being to wide like @orkan pointed out

    ... and almost no one does, until they come to one of our courses.



  • @orkan said:

    @bull81 said:

    have not noticed any issues with the check piece being to wide like @orkan pointed out

    ... and almost no one does, until they come to one of our courses.

    Well that’s on my list of things I like to do in the near future



  • Excellent. :)



  • Alpha type 2 are the AICS pattern mags that I have used that allow for longer COAL. They were fine, but I am very glad not to need them any longer.



  • @orkan said:

    The main gripe with the XLR is the wide cheek piece. It tends to push shooters out of center line, and there's no way to correct for it. Especially an issue with people that have wide faces/heads.

    I've modified the XLR Tactical stock so that I can laterally move both the recoil pad assembly as well as the cheek piece.
    These mods have made a noticeable positive improvement.





  • I like my KRG, haven’t played around with many other chassis though, my biggest gripe was the AR pistol grip. Not a fan.

    The one thing on the Howa KRG 180 or whatever it is, it doesn’t have a full length aluminum rails all the way out to the end like the others, it’s still has an aluminum bedding block the action goes into, where exactly it stops i don’t know since I haven’t played with it. They’re trying to use a full aluminum backbone out to the tip on the Bravo, but i don’t know if they succeeded I haven’t heard.

    From all reports I’ve read it’s still very stiff , but it’s something you should be aware of.



  • @rhyno said:

    I like my KRG, haven’t played around with many other chassis though, my biggest gripe was the AR pistol grip. Not a fan.

    I modified a Sierra precision AR grip to fit the XLR; would prefer a straight angle grip like the custom wood grips the tube gunners use.



  • @flyinphill said:

    @dddoo7 Are you talking about this:

    https://www.hornady.com/reloading/precision-measuring/precision-tools-and-gauges/oal-gauges-modified-cases#!/

    That's it. You also need a modified case, and I would get the bullet comparator as well. The modified case will screw onto the OAL tool. The comparator allows you to measure the bullet from the ogive, which is much more consistent than measuring COAL on hollow points.



  • @mamalukino said:

    @rhyno said:

    I like my KRG, haven’t played around with many other chassis though, my biggest gripe was the AR pistol grip. Not a fan.

    I modified a Sierra precision AR grip to fit the XLR; would prefer a straight angle grip like the custom wood grips the tube gunners use.

    Might check this out (sorry op for detailing your thread a bit)

    https://masterpiecearms.com/shop/mpa-enhanced-vertical-grip/





  • @rhyno said:

    @mamalukino said:

    @rhyno said:

    I like my KRG, haven’t played around with many other chassis though, my biggest gripe was the AR pistol grip. Not a fan.

    I modified a Sierra precision AR grip to fit the XLR; would prefer a straight angle grip like the custom wood grips the tube gunners use.

    Might check this out (sorry op for detailing your thread a bit)

    https://masterpiecearms.com/shop/mpa-enhanced-vertical-grip/

    No problem. Info is info for me at this point.

    Since you brought up Masterpiece Arms and this thread has somewhat deviated from Reloading already, does anybody have any experience with their chassis? They also make a Howa inlet and use AI mags. I don't really see much said about them good or bad, and certainly nothing from anyone that I trust. Such is the disadvantage of the modern internet age, you see all this stuff, but you can't actually touch it and get a real feel for it.



  • @dddoo7 said:

    @flyinphill said:

    @dddoo7 Are you talking about this:

    https://www.hornady.com/reloading/precision-measuring/precision-tools-and-gauges/oal-gauges-modified-cases#!/

    Yup.

    That stuff happens to be on sale at Midway right now. I will order it tonight or tomorrow. What about a comparator? Is the Hornady the way to go as well?



  • @flyinphill

    Hornady works fine. I would get a bullet comparator and a headspace Gaige as well. I like having a red body for each comparator/gauge so I don’t have to switch them as well.

    This:

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012743827/hornady-lock-n-load-headspace-gauge-5-bushing-set-with-comparator

    Or just the specific bushing you need.

    And this

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012754129/hornady-lock-n-load-bullet-comparator-body



  • I bought a set of these Stanley organizers from our local Ace Hardware. One is full of nothing but the Hornady set of comparators and head space gauges and it's barely big enough. I have a hard time keeping up with stuff so I try to keep everything in these things. Just depends on how much space you have as your addiction grows. I built cabinets for a pharmacy one time and that's what I need in here but I don't have the room. Lots of drawers with sections in them.
    GCd3ik4.jpg



  • l9XFnmwh.jpg



  • @orkan iblike those plastic trays, where did you find them. Or did you make them on a 3D printer



  • @bull81 said:

    Or did you make them on a 3D printer

    Yup. that.



  • @dddoo7 said:

    @flyinphill

    Hornady works fine. I would get a bullet comparator and a headspace Gaige as well. I like having a red body for each comparator/gauge so I don’t have to switch them as well.

    This:

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012743827/hornady-lock-n-load-headspace-gauge-5-bushing-set-with-comparator

    Or just the specific bushing you need.

    And this

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012754129/hornady-lock-n-load-bullet-comparator-body

    Last night I bought the OAL gauge, a modified case for every gun I currently own (308, 7mm-08, 260 Rem, 223), the 6 piece comparator set plus the 260 comparator to cover all of those chambers, the 5 piece headspace set, and an anvil base. It already shipped, so I should be able to start at least beginning to understand this stuff by next week. Thanks for the helpful info.



  • @orkan said:

    l9XFnmwh.jpg

    What are the non-anodized tools in the back? Are they some type of custom-made headspace gauges?



  • They are headspace gauges that come with whidden die sets. Normally they just have a set screw installed, but I added thumb screws for ease of use. This is more convenient than swapping hornady headspace inserts between comparator bodies.



  • @orkan
    That's the ticket! Do the trays pull out or do they have stops? I can see several applications where those would be handy.



  • said:

    Do the trays pull out or do they have stops?

    Full extension w/stops.

    0m1vWIJh.jpg



  • Nice. You could build a cigar humidor with pull out trays. Eeenie meenie minee moe, which one of these fifty dollar babies am I fixing to smoke. If it could be sterilized might have a medical application where it could replace stainless steel. Not saying something like this isn't out there but I haven't seen it. Even put a cross hatch pattern on the pulls. I went to the ASME tool show in Houston when I worked in a machine shop years ago and similar machines like you created these on were there but I think they were called solid modeling machines, something like that. I am sure they have evolved into more advanced tools since then. I stood there and watched one building a V8 engine block that took several days to finish. That's a small show compared to the one in Chicago according to my old boss man, never made that one.



  • That is a nice setup. If there was enough interest from members here, I could CNC machine something like these drawers out of aluminum, nylon, etc. Additive manufacturing is great for low production runs, but the cost quickly outruns conventional manufacturing processes once the volume gets beyond a handful.

    All of this is assuming Orkan follows the idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.



  • I'd give you the cad files, and you could make them...

    As long as Primal Rights has exclusivity on selling them. :)

    I've been approached by a number of folks that want an organizer like that.



  • @flyinphill I have 3 Masterpiece Arms Competition Chassis. I would not have 3 if they did not work for me. I find them to be very comfortable. One has a Rem700 action .308, one has a Stiller action 6.5 Creed and my Favorite is a Fuzion action in 6br. All 3 are shooters. I really like the new grip and all the adjustment is awesome. They have some nice add on features also. This is just my opinion and I was able to play with one before purchasing.
    Nh2gYYA.jpg
    6br
    s0t7Dcu.jpg
    .308 I did put the new grip on it since this pic.

    Any questions let me know.



  • @orkan said:

    I'd give you the cad files, and you could make them...

    As long as Primal Rights has exclusivity on selling them. :)

    I've been approached by a number of folks that want an organizer like that.

    What format are the CAD files? Doing design work, prototyping, and low-volume CNC manufacturing is right in my wheelhouse. I can easily reproduce this in CNC aluminum parts.

    And they would of course be yours to take to market it do whatever you want with them. It is your idea, and I am not in the business of selling gun-related stuff. You do the gun thing, I will stick to motorcycles. :)



  • I design in Autodesk Inventor. I can export them in whatever you want. I would also suggest some definite changes.

    You have skype? If not, get on it using your phone. PM me your username and we'll plan to get together to talk it over.



  • @rhyno said:

    I like my KRG, haven’t played around with many other chassis though, my biggest gripe was the AR pistol grip. Not a fan.

    The one thing on the Howa KRG 180 or whatever it is, it doesn’t have a full length aluminum rails all the way out to the end like the others, it’s still has an aluminum bedding block the action goes into, where exactly it stops i don’t know since I haven’t played with it. They’re trying to use a full aluminum backbone out to the tip on the Bravo, but i don’t know if they succeeded I haven’t heard.

    From all reports I’ve read it’s still very stiff , but it’s something you should be aware of.

    After seeing your post, I got to looking around. I could not find any specific information or good pictures of the Howa 180-XRAY, but this YT vid shows a good angle of the stock from the top starting at about 46 seconds into the video. It appears that the aluminum stops at the recoli lug. So the recoil force would be supported by a monolithic aluminum section, but the force of the bipod would be supported by a cantilevered polymer forearm in front of the recoil lug. Properly-designed polymer components can be quite rigid, so this may be acceptable, and may be terrible. Who knows.

    I also wasn't overly impressed with some of the fitment issues he shows in the video. I get the fact that it we are talking about a bit of a budget-minded injection-molded component. But it looks like the fit could still be better, even taking those considerations into account. That is the bad thing about the modern internet world. So many more options available to the end user, but in so many cases there is no way to really examine what you are buying.



  • @flyinphill
    I have the XLR Element chassis for a Howa SA. It uses the AI mags, so you can run Alpha mags that give you some more magazine COAL.
    The one complaint I had was what Orkan pointed out; the cheek piece pushed me off center line.
    I modified the adjustable cheek piece so that in addition to standard height adjustment, I can adjust it laterally.
    I also made an additional plate for the recoil pad that allows me to adjust laterally and add height to the recoil pad. These are in addition to the Tactical stock's standard height and cant adjustments.
    End result is excellent.



  • @mamalukino said:

    @flyinphill
    I have the XLR Element chassis for a Howa SA. It uses the AI mags, so you can run Alpha mags that give you some more magazine COAL.
    The one complaint I had was what Orkan pointed out; the cheek piece pushed me off center line.
    I modified the adjustable cheek piece so that in addition to standard height adjustment, I can adjust it laterally.
    I also made an additional plate for the recoil pad that allows me to adjust laterally and add height to the recoil pad. These are in addition to the Tactical stock's standard height and cant adjustments.
    End result is excellent.

    I ordered this for my very recoil-sensitive 115lb miniature human being wife and it just came in yesterday:
    NESIq6n.jpg
    alt text
    It is a 20" 223, so she can easily handle it. She can run an AR 15 as long as she wants with no issues, this will be a breeze for her. As you can see the APC is very similar in design to the XLR stuff. I want to have the opportunity to experiment with as many different setups as I can to learn what works and doesn't for myself and for others. So I have basically ruled out anything else using an AR carbine-style butt. It is just too similar to this. Now I am sure we will play around with some different stocks, maybe even an XLR since they seem to have some interesting looking options. But I am going to go a different route with my Howa 308.



  • @mamalukino Almost forgot: I would be interested to see what solution you came up with to allow side adjustment of the cheek piece. The first thing I noticed when I pulled the APC out of the box last night was how wide the cheek piece is on the Luth-AR stock. There is no scope on it yet, but you can sight directly down the centerline of the barrel and forearm to get an idea of center. I may be getting a false reading with no scope on there, but I immediately noted that I had to either really forcefully compress my face into the cheekpiece, or slightly screw my head counter-clockwise (left-handed shooter) to get a perfect centering alignment. The amount required is not a lot, but it is there. I doubt I would have even noticed it if Orkan had not brought it up. So for me, the width would appear to be a problem, and I am not a big dude. We will see how accurate that assessment is when I get a scope on it.



  • @flyinphill
    Here is a thread with the mods.
    https://forums.gunhive.com/topic/1432/recoil-pad-offset/2
    I can't upload pictures of the cheek piece but it is made as Orkan describes.
    As soon as I can figure out how to upload pictures to this machine I will take some and post everything relevant.



  • Figured out how to download pictures...the usb card reader I am using will not read an sd card unless there is an usb flashdrive in one of the hubs slots....???
    Took these today of the cheek piece and the butt stock.

    gDYneve.jpg
    QozKdv5.jpg
    FdRIPV0.jpg
    gDYneve.jpg



  • I got this stuff yesterday. Now I can at least start playing around with measuring cartridges and chambers. Just a first step into the various aspects of reloading:

    alt text

    And I have quickly come to realize something about this hobby. It is not so much the big-tickets items like $3-4K scopes and custom rifles that get you. This hobby will $200-400 you to death. As I said to Greg the other day, I am literally starting with nothing, so I bet my investment in the various equipment to play this game will cost 2-3 times what a TS rifle with a TT scope would cost.

    Oh well, you can't take it with you, and your kids will just blow an inheritance. And it is still cheaper than motorcycle racing. I think I am going to keep a spread sheet of everything I spend, it will be interesting to see what the number ends up being to have everything needed to properly produce custom rounds. Of course, that spread sheet will be password-protected from the wife.


 

Looks like your connection to Gunhive was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.