The Loading Log



  • @norcal_in_az said:

    Not the best round of testing, but I think its pretty obivious where I should be looking. I was having a hell of a time with my shots pulling left of right yesterday.

    You guys think its worth doing another round with 41.8g, 42g, and 42.2 to see if I'm really in the node? Or should I just stick with 42g and work on seating depth?

    28695959524_5756c70fc8_c.jpg

    This target looks like the first 600 rounds or so that I shot through my r700. The thing that tightened the groups up was loading long.

    Seating depth made more of a difference in my r700 then charge weight ever did. I would try seating .010 or .020 off the lands if you can...or at something like 2.950" if you can't reach the lands. Any longer than 2.950" with a 175 smk and you won't have enough in the case to hold on to the bullet. you will be single loading these, but I will bet that the longer they are loaded in that rem the better results you will get. With load development one will typically find a good charge weight first and seating depth last...however with the long throat of the r700 you might not get good results at all until you load the bullets a little longer. If loading long does not tighten up those groups then you either have another problem with your rifle or your shooting needs some more practice. ANY charge weight should be under 1" with your setup and I bet it will be if you load longer. Then you can start dialing the powder charge...and then fine tune the seating depth (if you can even get close to the lands at all).

    If I remember right you are shooting 175 smk's, varget, and lapua brass. Is that correct?

    If so...I would want more velocity than you will get from 42 gr. I would try to find something in the 43.5-44 range. I am loading to 44.5 right now and don't have any pressure signs at all. I got slight ejector swipe at 44.9. HOWEVER...you really should not change more than one thing at a time...meaning if you load longer then I would stick with the 42 gr for now.



  • @dddoo7 I'm using IMR4064 and 178 Maxes, and yes I know I can go longer. But I don't want to single load is the problem. I think I'm at my longest now, but I'll check later and see if I can go longer. I have no pressure signs either, so I wouldn't mid taking it up a bit as well.



  • my remington 700 would not do better than 1.5" with mag length loaded rounds. I tried different powder, bullets, and loads for right at 600 rounds before I tried loading long. The first group loading long was under 1/2"...the second and third 5 shot group after loading long were in the low .4's...and I eventually got it where it would shoot that way consistently with a few groups in the low .3's.

    If you try the longer ones and they shoot well...then you can do the alpha type 2 mag conversion and feed longer rounds. If they don't shoot well then you know to try something else.

    Are you running aics mags already or BDL bottom metal?



  • @dddoo7 still uses the BDL. I want to do a mag conversion but I'd rather do it to a stock thats worth it. Maybe I'll just go Magpul...



  • my bro shoots a r-700 like mine...but his is in an HS precision stock with a bdl bottom metal. The throat on his rifle is not quite as long as mine was...but still way over the bdl mag length. He shoots single shot every time. It is not convenient, but on a budget it works. I would have trouble going back to either a single shot or a bdl, but I would do it if it was the only option in my budget.



  • As much of a Hornady fan as I am, I have to say if your shooting a Remington 308 you should probably stick to the 175 SMK, that bullet is just so easy to load for.

    If you want some to try I may have half a box or so I can send you free.



  • @rhyno Greg sent me a box and I got similar results a while back. I got a good amount of Amaxes so I'm going to stick with them for now.



  • Just to give you an idea of how far off the lands my BDL length is. Jammed my COAL is 3.010". So back it off what 0.020"?

    29244151921_a61390bc39_b.jpg



  • Not too far from being a 30-06. Geez



  • @norcal_in_az

    You want at least as much bearing surface in the case as the bullet is in diameter. Therefore you want .308" plus the boat tail seated into the case to insure that they are going to stay where they should. If you can load 0.020" off or 0.010" off and still maintain .308" bearing surface in the case then that is where I would start. With a 175 smk the longest they can be loaded and still have .308 in the case is roughly 2.950".

    but yeah...I will bet that jump is killing you. From my understanding 178's are more sensitive to the jump than the 175's are too...but either way it is worth a try.



  • @dddoo7 so the boat tail is approx 0.155" so I want .463 of the bullet in the case, correct?

    Case length 2.015 + bullet length = 3.336 - .463 = 2.873 COAL.

    Compared to my current COAL of 2.828.



  • ok. I went back and checked my old dummy load for the 700 I sold. It has been a while so forgive me. The bullet is seated to 2.955. a 175 smk is 1.239". That leaves .924 hanging out of the case and 0.315 in the case. with a 1.67 boat tail that only leaves 0.148 bearing surface. Maybe I was thinking .308 total in the case which would have been close. Sorry for the confusion.

    If I were you...I would try loading to 3.000 or 2.990 with the amax. That will leave .336 in the case which is more than I was using when I shot that load (over 400 rounds). That will also leave you ten or 20 thousandths off of the lands. Amax's are quite a bit longer than smk's. They will not load into an Alpha mag loaded that long, but it will tell you what your rifle is capable of.

    BTW-- notice the donut starting to form on the dummy round from using bushing dies?

    A02FCD07-1BC7-40CF-B020-791A7E5A8651_zpsozuxjgnj.jpg



  • It may not be worth it but for shits and giggles I emailed my local smith to see what he would charge to do a barrel set back.



  • Well since Travis and my local smith both said don't set back a factory barrel, I said f it and bought a Magpul DBM. I'll get a little more length with their mags. Then I can try longer ACIS as well. This should at least get me by for a while till I get the fund to do build a new rifle or re-work this one.

    I'm going to do another round of testing with higher charges and the longest I can in the Magpul mag.



  • Hey guys give these the once over for me before I go higher. I had no sticky bolt and these look fine to me but I want to make sure. These were the highest charge from my last round of test. Lyman says 44.3g is max, and I'm going to set these new rounds out about .020-.030 longer.

    42.8g of IMR 4064
    29380628226_4b9379932b_c.jpg



  • Pic is a wee bit fuzzy and dark to really be able to tell, but there's nothing alarming there. Maybe some very mild flattening of the primers. ... but as I say, it's tough to tell from that pic.



  • Well its a phone pic, sorry lol.

    The primers on these look the same as the ones on the lowest charge 41.2g. The edges are for sure flatter than a unfired primer. But all my WLR primers look that way.



  • That is how the WLR primers looked on both of my LC and Lapua brass loaded with 42.0 grains 4064; a bit flattened but no other signs viewed thru a loupe.



  • I should be good to keep going then, correct?

    Maybe go 43 - 43.3 - 43.6 - 43.9 - 44.2



  • Be aware of any other signs of pressure and try to keep your ammo cool in that AZ sunshine.



  • What do you guys trim your .308 brass too? 2.005 or 2.015? I've always went to 2.005 before, but thinking the extra bearing surface may be nice to have.



  • If you gauge your chamber length you can go even longer.
    Just trim to the shortest brass for uniformity of neck tension or cull the short ones.
    Leave about a.010 length from end of brass to end of chamber for safety.

    or this
    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2015/06/how-to-craft-your-own-chamber-length-gauge/



  • I trimmed to 2.017 with my R700, but I knew where my chamber was too. Don't leave them longer than 2.015 unless you know what you have.



  • @mamalukino thanks for the link. I'll do that now.

    Been doing this for 3 years now and it still learning shit all the time.



  • Well my chamber is set to 2.050, only .035 longer than it needs to be lol.

    I'll for sure be trimming to at least 2.015. Thanks guys.



  • The case on the left is at 2.015 and the case with the gauge is 2.047. This is the length of one of my .308s chamber. It definitely allows for a longer neck. The brass is Lapua, the one on the left has been FL sized (Redding Body die and Lee collet neck sizer) and the one with the gauge is neck sized only and shortened per the instructions that come with the measuring tool.

    kW6feE4.jpg



  • FL sized my Lapua, bumped them back .010 +/- a thousands or two. They all came out pretty constant. But is that further than I want? I know they'll work fine, just trying to make sure I get this brass to last.

    BTW, I'm almost like reloading more than shooting lately, lol.



  • @norcal_in_az said:

    FL sized my Lapua, bumped them back .010 +/- a thousands or two. They all came out pretty constant. But is that further than I want? I know they'll work fine, just trying to make sure I get this brass to last.

    BTW, I'm almost like reloading more than shooting lately, lol.

    You want to bump the shoulders 0.001-0.002 for a bolt gun and 0.004-0.005 for a semi=auto.
    Some full length dies will not allow this as they may be too long.



  • @mamalukino Another question, are you running the O-rings on just your FL die, or on both the FL and seating dies?



  • @norcal_in_az
    I am not running the o rings on the seating die because I am using a Forster seating die that aligns the case and bullet in a sleeve.
    9mXLdxV.jpg



  • @mamalukino Yeah new dies are on my list of things to buy. I was just wondering if running a O-ring on the seating die could help. Everything I found through Google was talking about just the sizing die.



  • @norcal_in_az said:

    FL sized my Lapua, bumped them back .010 +/- a thousands or two.

    Yes, that is definitely too much setback. That kind of set back will induce case head separation. As @mamalukino said, .001-.002 is desirable for a bolt gun.



  • I could see a situation where the headspace was set back so far that the primers would not be hit by the firing pin. I would not think that 0.010" was that far, but could be.



  • @orkan said:

    @norcal_in_az said:

    FL sized my Lapua, bumped them back .010 +/- a thousands or two.

    Yes, that is definitely too much setback. That kind of set back will induce case head separation. As @mamalukino said, .001-.002 is desirable for a bolt gun.

    So I screwed up. I was going off memory and I was wrong. Not much I can do about it now is there?

    Do I shoot these for lader loads of set them aside and just load them up later after I do my testing? I still have 200 unfired new Lapua cases I can use for testing.



  • @dddoo7 said:

    I could see a situation where the headspace was set back so far that the primers would not be hit by the firing pin. I would not think that 0.010" was that far, but could be.

    That is quite rare, as the extractor will hold the rim back at some point and the firing pin protrusion should overcome that.

    @norcal_in_az said:

    So I screwed up. I was going off memory and I was wrong. Not much I can do about it now is there?

    Do I shoot these for lader loads of set them aside and just load them up later after I do my testing? I still have 200 unfired new Lapua cases I can use for testing.

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. .010" is pretty small in terms of headspace when firing. The damage is generally done during sizing... so that damage is done already. If you want to minimize the chance of case head separation, use a "forming load" with the bullets jammed at least 20 thousandths into the lands. This will keep the case head firmly against the bolt face. You'll feel the bullets seating as you close the bolt. Trying to extract a round from the chamber can result in the bullet being pulled and dumping powder all over the place. So you need to be sure of what you are doing. ;)



  • I wouldn't use those for load workup, but they should be alright to fire. I have used machine gun brass in the past that needed more than .010 to get them to fit into a chamber.
    I would check the inside of the case after firing with a bent L shaped paper clip to feel for case stretch. If you feel a ridge or rough spot then shit can the brass.



  • The thing I don't understand is if you setup your die the way the instructions say to, your bumping your brass back at least .010 if not more. Is that just a case of using your basic/cheap dies?

    So the damage being done, once I fire this brass again, it should fill back out to the chamber. Then the next time I size it, I just really need to make sure I only bump it .001-.002, correct? Obviously annealing will help with the brass being work harden.



  • @norcal_in_az said:

    The thing I don't understand is if you setup your die the way the instructions say to, your bumping your brass back at least .010 if not more. Is that just a case of using your basic/cheap dies?

    So the damage being done, once I fire this brass again, it should fill back out to the chamber. Then the next time I size it, I just really need to make sure I only bump it .001-.002, correct? Obviously annealing will help with the brass being work harden.

    Correct.



  • @norcal_in_az

    Annealing helps the neck and shoulder. Annealing will not help with case head separation because it never sees the heat.

    A lot of dies are cut to minimum headspace while some chambers are closer to max headspace...hence the problem with just screwing the die in to the case holder.

    I have a gsi sizing die with upwards of 30,000 cycles on it. After about 25,000 sizing I had to grind the bottom of it off in order to get the proper headspace. All dies are different.



  • @norcal_in_az take a look at this video.



  • So he was using a body die. But the thought process is the same for a FL sizing die correct? Also if you don't have the Redding comp shell holders, your just cranking down the die to make your adjustments?



  • @norcal_in_az Yes, the comp seats make it easier but turning it in will accomplish the same thing.



  • If you need a set of the comp shell holders I have an old set that is useless to me now that I have the Co-ax.

    Depending on your press they are handy, if you press doesn't have a positive stop it'll be hard to set the bump and have it consistent.

    The shell holders help, but depending on your sizing die they may not be enough.

    But let me know and I'll mail them to ya, like i said they're useless to me know.



  • If memory serves, a 7/8-14 threaded die will move linearly about 70 thousandths in one full rotation. That should give you an idea on how much you need to move it to get a couple thousandths. Pro Tip: It's a tiny movement. ;)



  • @rhyno said:

    If you need a set of the comp shell holders I have an old set that is useless to me now that I have the Co-ax.

    Depending on your press they are handy, if you press doesn't have a positive stop it'll be hard to set the bump and have it consistent.

    The shell holders help, but depending on your sizing die they may not be enough.

    But let me know and I'll mail them to ya, like i said they're useless to me know.

    I have a Lee, and it does have a positive stop. If you want to get rid of them, I'll take em.



  • So I did a few more case in my RCBS FL die. I got one to bump back .002, but then the next 3 cases went .004.

    So whats a good die set? I don't think these RCBS dies are going to cut it.



  • I am using the Redding body die and the Lee collet neck sizer die. I also have a Forster FL die. I prefer the Redding and Lee but it takes 2 operations to size.



  • Whidden or Forster FL Sizing die (non-bushing).





  • @norcal_in_az said:

    This set?

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/350471/forster-bench-rest-2-die-set-308-winchester-national-match

    I may be wrong here but you will want the regular .308W fl die; I believe that the national match set is tailored toward the M1a's chamber.

    https://www.precisionreloading.com/cart.php#!l=FRS&i=005591
    https://www.precisionreloading.com/cart.php#!l=FRS&i=004501


 

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