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Old 03-01-2017, 11:37 AM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Default Precision guys....308 loading...help

Ar 10 specific info needed.


I'm not new to reloading handgun cartridges...been doing it for a decade, from 38 to S&W 50cal...

But rifles are a different animal,...so I'm a rookie in that aspect.

I'm looking for SPECIFIC information from you PRECISION members,....which primers, bullets, powder, and load data?.....any SPECIFIC info would be greatly appreciated.

I own a Dillon 550B,...but I need to purchase a few small things that I didnt need when loading for my pistols...like a case trimmer....what else?

As for ammo construction, please recommend your prefered loads and supplies...thanks.


My bench







My Brand new hungry 308 teenager (Falkor Alpha)


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Old 03-01-2017, 11:53 AM
Huskerhunter Huskerhunter is offline
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One thing you'll learn is that each rifle is its own individual beast--SPECIFIC load data for an accurate load in my rifle is not likely to be accurate in your rifle. That said, there are some very tried and true recipes for 308.

First I'd suggest this source:

.308 Win Cartridge Guide within AccurateShooter.com

Rifle is really a different beast.

And since you're reloading for an AR type rig, I'd watch the David Tubb videos on youtube:


It will help you understand the very different world of reloading bottlenecked rifle cartridges for accuracy.

Third, I'd suggest picking up a single stage press. While you can crank out some good ammo from a Dillon I'd suggest starting out with a single stage press so you really learn and understand each step necessary for bottleneck rifle reloading. Especially if you interested in maximum accuracy.

Good luck! There's nothing more satisfying than shooting a great group with your own handloads:


Last edited by Huskerhunter; 03-01-2017 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:28 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Hunting or target shooting?

And, while it's possible, a progressive press is not designed for loading up many 4-5 round batches of varied loads, something you would be doing a good bit of if you're interested in accuracy.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:52 PM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
Hunting or target shooting?

And, while it's possible, a progressive press is not designed for loading up many 4-5 round batches of varied loads, something you would be doing a good bit of if you're interested in accuracy.
Target for now....

I just put the scope and everything else on the weapon, so everything is way off, I need to make adjustments to EVERYTHING'S, including the stock.

I hastily threw everything on the weapon, in a mad rush to take it to the range. I brought 150rnds thinking that would get me close-ish....but...I was wrong...I forgot all my tools at home to make the needed adjustments.

So...not having anything adjusted, not being able to get comfortable,....I had sub 4" groups at 100yrds....which is not acceptable...lol
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:33 PM
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I just replicate military M852....42 gr. of IMR 4895, LC casing fully sized and trimmed to length, Large Rifle Primer..usually Federal, and a 168 Sierra Match King seated to magazine length so as to function properly in my M1A Super Match.

Have yet to find a rifle of any manufacturer that didn't shoot well with this....some better some worse, but that all shoot this load quite well.

I use a Dillon 550 to assemble all of this with GREAT results in all of my .308's....Springfield Armory M1A Super Match, Remington 40X, Remington 788, Remington 742, Winchester Model 70 and a Savage 110. Will usually hover in the Minute of Angle mark back to 600 yards if I do MY part!

Randy
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:34 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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For targets only, I've had very good luck with the Hornady 168 Match bullet in one bolt-action .308. I'd would suggest a Hornady manual to go along with the bullet. I've found best powders to be H4895, Varget, and Reloder 15, more or less in that order, but that could vary from gun to gun. In most .308's, in my experience, CCI-200 primers have usually provided slightly better overall accuracy than Fed. 210 Match. However, if you have other primers on hand, try those first.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:39 PM
Huskerhunter Huskerhunter is offline
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Originally Posted by TANKLEGACY View Post
Target for now....

I just put the scope and everything else on the weapon, so everything is way off, I need to make adjustments to EVERYTHING'S, including the stock.

I hastily threw everything on the weapon, in a mad rush to take it to the range. I brought 150rnds thinking that would get me close-ish....but...I was wrong...I forgot all my tools at home to make the needed adjustments.

So...not having anything adjusted, not being able to get comfortable,....I had sub 4" groups at 100yrds....which is not acceptable...lol
So if you were shooting as pictured above, from a folding table and bipod with no other support the next thing I'd do is properly clean the rifle's bore (you DO know how to properly clean a precision rifle bore, correct?! ) and shoot from a proper rest/table. Or shoot prone.

I did a little research on that rifle. It sure looks like it's capable of amazing accuracy. I assume it has the proof research Carbon Fiber wrapped 1:11.2 twist barrel? I would try a box or two of Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr cartridges, possibly 168gr's too. That'll give you a pretty good baseline for it's accuracy.

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Old 03-01-2017, 03:10 PM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Originally Posted by Huskerhunter View Post
So if you were shooting as pictured above, from a folding table and bipod with no other support the next thing I'd do is properly clean the rifle's bore (you DO know how to properly clean a precision rifle bore, correct?! ) and shoot from a proper rest/table. Or shoot prone.

I did a little research on that rifle. It sure looks like it's capable of amazing accuracy. I assume it has the proof research Carbon Fiber wrapped 1:11.2 twist barrel? I would try a box or two of Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr cartridges, possibly 168gr's too. That'll give you a pretty good baseline for it's accuracy.
I left all my tools at home to adjust all the new add-ons..., so I didnt feel the need to go prone...I just wanted to rip off a few rounds while being comfortable. When sighting in with good ammo, I wont be shooting like in the picture..lol

...as for cleaning....I run a bore snake after every 10th round for now...if you have any better tips,...I'm all ears.

Yup...Proof Research 18" Carbon Fiber barrel as you listed...and I have been looking at the same factory ammo you suggested, seems as if everyone agrees....I'll be ordering it for sure.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:24 PM
Huskerhunter Huskerhunter is offline
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Originally Posted by TANKLEGACY View Post
...as for cleaning....I run a bore snake after every 10th round for now...if you have any better tips,...I'm all ears.
Oh gosh. This is is crazy topic in the accuracy rifle world. I'll again point you to accurate shooter. MAKE SURE YOU GET A GOOD BORE GUIDE AND A GOOD ONE PIECE ROD!

Bore Cleaning Methods and Materials within AccurateShooter.com
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:25 PM
younggun22 younggun22 is online now
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I typically shoot 168 gr SMK and have found great results in all my rifles.

I start with the load below and make adjustments from there:

LC Brass
Federal Match primer
43.5 gr. Varget

And usually loaded to mag length in an A.I. mag

Hope this helps
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:36 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Bore snakes may work okay for emergency field use. They're a distant second to good cleaning equipment.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:54 PM
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Ignoring the choices available in primers, brass, bullets and powders, two very important factors in grouping performance improvement for any load are uniformity in case length and proper bullet jump to the start of rifling. You have to determine the optimum bullet jump by trial and error, as every rifle will be different. Many bench rest shooters also regard uniformity in case weight and neck wall thickness as important, and some believe in making primer pockets and flash holes uniform.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:06 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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My Bolt action 308 likes Hornady 165 A-Max and Sierra 155 PALMA bullets with Varget and Hornady Match Brass Trimmed every 2 or 3 firings. I use Federal 210 M primers but the CCI BR primers are the best! I get 2" or better groups at 500 yards!

My Windham AR-10 doesn't like these loads, So back to the drawing board for me!

Ivan

PS: reloading junk brass gives junk results! Use New or one fired Match Brass! Lake City Match, Hornady Match, Federal Match or any Lapua, all produce very good results!

Last edited by Ivan the Butcher; 03-01-2017 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:17 AM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Thanks for the info guys, keep it coming
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:49 AM
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A few thoughts:

1) A lot depends on the how far you want to shoot.

The 168 gr SMK for example is an excellent bullet at the 600 yard line, however in the rather under powered M852 loading (2550 fps) it goes subsonic around 825 yards and it's transonic around 750 yards. Unfortunately, due to the angle of the boat tail on the 168 gr SMK, it does not transition to sub sonic flight all that well, and the resulting instability as it transitions has a negative impact on accuracy beyond 800 yards.

That's where the 175 gr SMK and some of the more modern VLD bullets come into their own. These slicker designs also start out slower but retain more velocity down range, so despite the extra weight it's still a win-win in for a .308.

For ranges under 750-800 yards the 168 gr SMK is fine, even at M852 velocities. And if you have a 26" barrel you can get 2700 fps out of it. You can also get 2650 fps out of a 22-24" barrel, and that extra 100 fps makes a significant difference. At 2650 fps it will stay supersonic out to 1050 yards.

I have from time to time bought Mil-spec's copies of the M852 and M118 (173 gr BTFMJ) projectiles, but I do so knowing what I'm getting into. Sierra 168 gr SMKs will vary maybe .1 grain from 168 grains from bullet to bullet, while the Milspec bullets, will vary by .5 or .6 grain from bullet to bullet, and will vary from the advertised weight by as much as 2 grains.

That's basically what I saw with issued M118 ammo after Lake City's tooling for the 173 gr BTFMJ got worn.

So you can save a little (and sometimes a lot) of money with them, but you'll have to hand sort them by weight and then adjust the loads to get the target velocity for each weight range, and keep them separated if you want optimum accuracy. Mostly it isn't worth the trouble unless SMKs are in short supply.

2) Consistency in velocity matters.

Standard deviation in velocity isn't a big deal at short ranges (400 yards or less), but it starts to be a major factor at long ranges. For my long range .308 loads I shoot for an SD of 10 fps and while I'll live with an accurate load with an SD of 15, I'll reject any old with an SD higher than 15 fps.

In short, 67% of the bullet fired will have velocities +/- 1 SD, so if the average velocity is 2600 fps and the SD is 10 fps, it means 67 out of 100 rounds will have a velocity between 2590 and 2610 fps. 95% of the rounds will fall between +/-2 SD, so in other words 13 or 14 out of 100 rounds will have velocities between 2610 and 2620 fps and 13 or 14 out of 100 rounds will have a velocity between 2580 and 2590 fps. For all practical purposes all the rounds will fall within +/- 3 SD, so int his example you'll end up with 2-3 rounds with velocities of 2570-2580 fps and 2 or 3 more with velocities that fall between 2620 and 2630 fps.

So that 10 fps SD creates an extreme spread of about 60 fps. That means if your SD is 20, your extreme spread is now 120 fps, and with an SD of 30 it's now 180 fps. I've seen shooters who find a very accurate load that shoots wonderfully sub MOA groups at 100 yards but don't realize the impact of an SD of 45 fps - leading to an extreme spread of 270 fps and the effects it has on both horizontal and vertical dispersion at long range.

The moral here is to get a chronograph, learn how to use it, and then test you precision loads not just for group size but also for consistency in velocity.

3) A chronograph also does some other nifty things for you.

- It will allow you to see if the results you are actually getting are close to the results you expect to get based on the load data.

- It will give you accurate numbers to put in a ballistic app or Whiz Wheel, which will help you develop the ability to have a higher percentage of first shot hits at long range, rather than walking rounds on to a steel plate when shooting at long ranges.

- It will help you learn over time, the effects that temperature actually has on the velocity of your load in your rifle.

- It will let you see the actual differences that occur due to changing primer brand or type and the effects of things like uniforming flash holes, or neck sizing or partial resizing versus full length resizing.

- It will let you load for an actual velocity rather than just saying 42 grains of IMR 4895, and ignoring the fact that even canister grade IMR 4895 varies from lot to lot.

- It will let you identify the velocity in your rifle that produces the best barrel harmonics for maximum accuracy, and then develop a load that achieves this velocity.

4) Some people say you can't load precision ammo on a Dillon - they are right and wrong, as it depends.

Part of it depends on your definition of "precision" and what level of accuracy you are ok with. Personally, I'm happy with a 1 MOA load (as measured by 10 shot groups at 200 yards) that has an SD of 10 fps. Sure, a half MOA load is nice, and a 1/4 MOA load is really nice, but in the real world where wind estimation is still "estimation", that extra 1/2 or 3/4 MOA is not the limiting factor.

There have been times I've put in the time (and money) at the reloading bench turning a 1 MOA load into a 1/4 MOA load by uniforming flash holes, sorting case by volume, inside and outside turning necks for perfect concentricity, indexing the case from the chamber through the entire loading process, hand weighing powder and bullet, etc.

But mostly I put in less time at the bench loading more 1 MOA ammo so I can spend more time actually shooting. There is a point of diminishing returns in precision reloading and you need to find a point you are comfortable with.

There are some great third party tools for the Dillon 550B and I use billet tool heads and a clamp kit on all my rifle caliber tool heads, and I use a floating tool head for my precision calibers.

I also use a 3/4" powder measure adapter and a BR-30 powder measure on my precision rifle loads. Depending on the end use I may also hand weigh the charges, which doesn't take long on a 550B if you've got a electronic scale, a powder trickler and a funnel.

I will uniform the flash holes on new or once fired brass when I receive it, and trim it to minimum length, but I don't waste time cleaning primer pockets because my chronograph data has shown in makes absolutely zero differences in consistency. If it adds nothing, don't waste your time on it - but don't tell that to the companies that market "case prep centers" or the people that wasted money on them.

5) Powders and primers

Bench rest primers are nice, but whether you need to spend the extra money depends on whether you need it to get an acceptably small SD with a load.

IMR-4064 is my preferred .308 powder but that dates back to my M14/M1A Service rifle competition days.

IMR 4895 also works great and if you're shooting it in a .308 Garand it's a lot easier on the operating rod.

RL-15 is another excellent .308 powder, particularly with a 175 gr bullet.

6) Cleaning and barrel break in.

Not all barrels are the same. Hammer forged barrels have very smooth and very durable bore surfaces, but they must be perfectly stress relieved to prevent them from changing the point of impact as they heat up. Broach rifled barrels are also stressed in the process and must be properly stress relieved. They are also much rougher and benefit most from being hand lapped. Cut rifling induces the least stress but still benefits from hand lapping. In all cases, hand lapping can be used to create some "choke" near the muzzle which generally improves accuracy by helping the bullet exit more consistently.

The crown of the muzzle is also vital as any damage or un-evenness in the crown will cause gas to exit asymmetrically around the bullet at exit. That will induce yaw, and the resulting yaw in a spinning bullet create precession that take the bullet off its line of flight.

Similarly, you want to be kind to the throat in the chamber and avoid any asymmetric wear on the throat and the start of the rifling. It's throat erosion that eventually spells the doom of an accurate barrel and poor cleaning can accelerate the process.

On the other hand, you also want to break in a barrel to help iron out the rough spots and reduce the tendency of the barrel to accumulate copper fouling. That's a post all by itself. Do some internet research and you'll find a number of methods and opinions. But in general it will involve a process of shooting a small (and usually increasing) number of rounds and then cleaning for a specified protocol before you're done. And once done, you don't want to over clean the barrel, nor do to want to let copper fouling build up until accuracy falls off, so again it's a balancing act.

As a result you should clean from the breach whenever possible and you should use a bore guide. This helps ensure the cleaning rod is centered in the bore as it enters the throat to eliminate asymmetric wear, and it keeps cleaning solvents from dripping into the action and on to the bedding in the action.

If you've got a rifle that has been bedded, take it out of the action only as needed and for most rifles that means maybe once or twice a year - unless you've gotten it wet, etc. The more you take the action in and out of the stock the more wear you inflict on the bedding.

You also want to use a quality one piece cleaning rod that is close to the ore diameter. If the rod is too small it will flex and wear on the bore. If the rod has joints, those joints will wear on the rifling.

There is some debate about coated rods versus stainless steel rods. The "coated" advocates cite the soft coating won't harm the bore. The uncoated stainless rod folks point out that the rubber plastic coating on a coated rod can hold grit that can abrade the barrel.

Personally I like one piece stainless rods. If you use a coated rod, be sure to wipe it down with a clean cloth after each pass.

No precision shooter advocates aluminum or brass rods. They are too flexible and they are soft enough to hold grit so they have the worst traits of both coated and stainless rods. If you have an aluminum cleaning rod, just put the rifle down and walk away.

I put bore snakes in the same category. The have their uses, but those uses are strictly related to cleaning a barrel quickly in the field to remove sand, dirt, or other foreign matter that may have gotten there. They are probably not going to do much harm on a chrome bored 3 or 4 MOA service rifle, they have no real purpose with a precision rifle.

Last edited by BB57; 03-02-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:42 PM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Excellent...just the specific response and info I needed...thank you
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:42 PM
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This load will shoot 1 MOA to 1,000 yards in my F-Class rifle, bolt action, 30" bull barrel, with Palma chamber.

Bullet: 155.5 Berger Fullbore
Brass: Lapua - weight sorted and trimmed to 2.010"
Powder: 46.8 grains Varget
Primer: Federal 210M
Seat bullet 0.015" off lands, needs to be checked every 500 rounds due to throat erosion.
Use Redding Competition Bushing 3-Die Neck Sizer Set with 0.336 neck bushing.

These won't fit a magazine and aren't what you're looking for but you asked for accurate load specifics

Edit: Don't try this at home. This load is hot and may cause damage to a standard rifle

Last edited by BradLH; 03-14-2017 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
A few thoughts:

1) A lot depends on the how far you want to shoot.

The 168 gr SMK for example is an excellent bullet at the 600 yard line, however in the rather under powered M852 loading (2550 fps) it goes subsonic around 825 yards and it's transonic around 750 yards. Unfortunately, due to the angle of the boat tail on the 168 gr SMK, it does not transition to sub sonic flight all that well, and the resulting instability as it transitions has a negative impact on accuracy beyond 800 yards.

That's where the 175 gr SMK and some of the more modern VLD bullets come into their own. These slicker designs also start out slower but retain more velocity down range, so despite the extra weight it's still a win-win in for a .308.

For ranges under 750-800 yards the 168 gr SMK is fine, even at M852 velocities. And if you have a 26" barrel you can get 2700 fps out of it. You can also get 2650 fps out of a 22-24" barrel, and that extra 100 fps makes a significant difference. At 2650 fps it will stay supersonic out to 1050 yards.

I have from time to time bought Mil-spec's copies of the M852 and M118 (173 gr BTFMJ) projectiles, but I do so knowing what I'm getting into. Sierra 168 gr SMKs will vary maybe .1 grain from 168 grains from bullet to bullet, while the Milspec bullets, will vary by .5 or .6 grain from bullet to bullet, and will vary from the advertised weight by as much as 2 grains.

That's basically what I saw with issued M118 ammo after Lake City's tooling for the 173 gr BTFMJ got worn.

So you can save a little (and sometimes a lot) of money with them, but you'll have to hand sort them by weight and then adjust the loads to get the target velocity for each weight range, and keep them separated if you want optimum accuracy. Mostly it isn't worth the trouble unless SMKs are in short supply.

2) Consistency in velocity matters.

Standard deviation in velocity isn't a big deal at short ranges (400 yards or less), but it starts to be a major factor at long ranges. For my long range .308 loads I shoot for an SD of 10 fps and while I'll live with an accurate load with an SD of 15, I'll reject any old with an SD higher than 15 fps.

In short, 67% of the bullet fired will have velocities +/- 1 SD, so if the average velocity is 2600 fps and the SD is 10 fps, it means 67 out of 100 rounds will have a velocity between 2590 and 2610 fps. 95% of the rounds will fall between +/-2 SD, so in other words 13 or 14 out of 100 rounds will have velocities between 2610 and 2620 fps and 13 or 14 out of 100 rounds will have a velocity between 2580 and 2590 fps. For all practical purposes all the rounds will fall within +/- 3 SD, so int his example you'll end up with 2-3 rounds with velocities of 2570-2580 fps and 2 or 3 more with velocities that fall between 2620 and 2630 fps.

So that 10 fps SD creates an extreme spread of about 60 fps. That means if your SD is 20, your extreme spread is now 120 fps, and with an SD of 30 it's now 180 fps. I've seen shooters who find a very accurate load that shoots wonderfully sub MOA groups at 100 yards but don't realize the impact of an SD of 45 fps - leading to an extreme spread of 270 fps and the effects it has on both horizontal and vertical dispersion at long range.

The moral here is to get a chronograph, learn how to use it, and then test you precision loads not just for group size but also for consistency in velocity.

3) A chronograph also does some other nifty things for you.

- It will allow you to see if the results you are actually getting are close to the results you expect to get based on the load data.

- It will give you accurate numbers to put in a ballistic app or Whiz Wheel, which will help you develop the ability to have a higher percentage of first shot hits at long range, rather than walking rounds on to a steel plate when shooting at long ranges.

- It will help you learn over time, the effects that temperature actually has on the velocity of your load in your rifle.

- It will let you see the actual differences that occur due to changing primer brand or type and the effects of things like uniforming flash holes, or neck sizing or partial resizing versus full length resizing.

- It will let you load for an actual velocity rather than just saying 42 grains of IMR 4895, and ignoring the fact that even canister grade IMR 4895 varies from lot to lot.

- It will let you identify the velocity in your rifle that produces the best barrel harmonics for maximum accuracy, and then develop a load that achieves this velocity.

4) Some people say you can't load precision ammo on a Dillon - they are right and wrong, as it depends.

Part of it depends on your definition of "precision" and what level of accuracy you are ok with. Personally, I'm happy with a 1 MOA load (as measured by 10 shot groups at 200 yards) that has an SD of 10 fps. Sure, a half MOA load is nice, and a 1/4 MOA load is really nice, but in the real world where wind estimation is still "estimation", that extra 1/2 or 3/4 MOA is not the limiting factor.

There have been times I've put in the time (and money) at the reloading bench turning a 1 MOA load into a 1/4 MOA load by uniforming flash holes, sorting case by volume, inside and outside turning necks for perfect concentricity, indexing the case from the chamber through the entire loading process, hand weighing powder and bullet, etc.

But mostly I put in less time at the bench loading more 1 MOA ammo so I can spend more time actually shooting. There is a point of diminishing returns in precision reloading and you need to find a point you are comfortable with.

There are some great third party tools for the Dillon 550B and I use billet tool heads and a clamp kit on all my rifle caliber tool heads, and I use a floating tool head for my precision calibers.

I also use a 3/4" powder measure adapter and a BR-30 powder measure on my precision rifle loads. Depending on the end use I may also hand weigh the charges, which doesn't take long on a 550B if you've got a electronic scale, a powder trickler and a funnel.

I will uniform the flash holes on new or once fired brass when I receive it, and trim it to minimum length, but I don't waste time cleaning primer pockets because my chronograph data has shown in makes absolutely zero differences in consistency. If it adds nothing, don't waste your time on it - but don't tell that to the companies that market "case prep centers" or the people that wasted money on them.

5) Powders and primers

Bench rest primers are nice, but whether you need to spend the extra money depends on whether you need it to get an acceptably small SD with a load.

IMR-4064 is my preferred .308 powder but that dates back to my M14/M1A Service rifle competition days.

IMR 4895 also works great and if you're shooting it in a .308 Garand it's a lot easier on the operating rod.

RL-15 is another excellent .308 powder, particularly with a 175 gr bullet.

6) Cleaning and barrel break in.

Not all barrels are the same. Hammer forged barrels have very smooth and very durable bore surfaces, but they must be perfectly stress relieved to prevent them from changing the point of impact as they heat up. Broach rifled barrels are also stressed in the process and must be properly stress relieved. They are also much rougher and benefit most from being hand lapped. Cut rifling induces the least stress but still benefits from hand lapping. In all cases, hand lapping can be used to create some "choke" near the muzzle which generally improves accuracy by helping the bullet exit more consistently.

The crown of the muzzle is also vital as any damage or un-evenness in the crown will cause gas to exit asymmetrically around the bullet at exit. That will induce yaw, and the resulting yaw in a spinning bullet create precession that take the bullet off its line of flight.

Similarly, you want to be kind to the throat in the chamber and avoid any asymmetric wear on the throat and the start of the rifling. It's throat erosion that eventually spells the doom of an accurate barrel and poor cleaning can accelerate the process.

On the other hand, you also want to break in a barrel to help iron out the rough spots and reduce the tendency of the barrel to accumulate copper fouling. That's a post all by itself. Do some internet research and you'll find a number of methods and opinions. But in general it will involve a process of shooting a small (and usually increasing) number of rounds and then cleaning for a specified protocol before you're done. And once done, you don't want to over clean the barrel, nor do to want to let copper fouling build up until accuracy falls off, so again it's a balancing act.

As a result you should clean from the breach whenever possible and you should use a bore guide. This helps ensure the cleaning rod is centered in the bore as it enters the throat to eliminate asymmetric wear, and it keeps cleaning solvents from dripping into the action and on to the bedding in the action.

If you've got a rifle that has been bedded, take it out of the action only as needed and for most rifles that means maybe once or twice a year - unless you've gotten it wet, etc. The more you take the action in and out of the stock the more wear you inflict on the bedding.

You also want to use a quality one piece cleaning rod that is close to the ore diameter. If the rod is too small it will flex and wear on the bore. If the rod has joints, those joints will wear on the rifling.

There is some debate about coated rods versus stainless steel rods. The "coated" advocates cite the soft coating won't harm the bore. The uncoated stainless rod folks point out that the rubber plastic coating on a coated rod can hold grit that can abrade the barrel.

Personally I like one piece stainless rods. If you use a coated rod, be sure to wipe it down with a clean cloth after each pass.

No precision shooter advocates aluminum or brass rods. They are too flexible and they are soft enough to hold grit so they have the worst traits of both coated and stainless rods. If you have an aluminum cleaning rod, just put the rifle down and walk away.

I put bore snakes in the same category. The have their uses, but those uses are strictly related to cleaning a barrel quickly in the field to remove sand, dirt, or other foreign matter that may have gotten there. They are probably not going to do much harm on a chrome bored 3 or 4 MOA service rifle, they have no real purpose with a precision rifle.

Great information from a fellow service rifle competitor! Are you a High Master? Distinguished? etc....

Randy

PS...I have worn out 4 barrels on my M1A (2 Douglas, 1 Krieger and the original which I think was also a Douglas) and am on my 5th which is an Obermeyer 5R SS and what an incredible performer it is! It even surpasses the Krieger....

Last edited by growr; 03-15-2017 at 12:42 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:26 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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1. trim all cases to the same length
2. uniform primer pockets so as to allow proper seating of primers.
3. uniform primer pocket flasholes to remove any burrs left by the drilling of flasholes.
4. weigh or throw powder charges
If you really wanna get picky weigh all your cases across a bell curve to eliminate both the lightest and heaviest cases.
5.Bell the cases slightly so as to allow seating of bullets and to avoid scratching/scraping of the bullet.
6. Use handheld primer tool,rotate case 180 degrees after primer is initially seated in primer pocket then finish seating primer. Some shooters feel that doing it this way you can feel the primer when it seats and maintain better control over primer seating pressure.
7. Seat bullet using one of reddings micrometer seating die. in other words the exact same length of bullet is seated out of the case neck.
8.in certain cases neck turning may be required. Turn the outside of the neck.
9. Wilson makes a seater that can be adjusted to give you your seating depth. small circular base upon which the die itself rests,seat bullet loosly in the case neck then push on plunger to seat the bullet. Bench rest shooters do this. This is a step that you depending how well your rifle is shooting using the redding seating die.
10, when making changes no matter what they be only change one thing at a time and keep accurate records. I use steno pads for this.
The rest is up to you the shooter. Hope some of this helps. Frank
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:43 AM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Thank you sir!
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:12 AM
pbcaster45 pbcaster45 is offline
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Lots of good information here but since you are shooting a gas-gun some things require more attention. Adequate headspace clearance is critical with a semi-auto, typically I like to have at least .003 - .005 on my loaded rounds. Uniform primer pockets for safety, not accuracy - I use a tungsten carbide cutter from Sinclair. I've also noted that AR-10s are a little different from the M1A I usually shoot, they seem to need heavier charges of slower burning powders to function. I use IMR-4895 and H-4895 in my M1A but had to go to IMR-4064 to get my friends S&W MP10 to function. Semi-autos are pretty hard on brass too, so I prefer military brass such as Lake City, IMI, or the new Starline Lake City equivalent.

If you don't have it, this pdf by Zediker on loading for the M1A explains a lot.

http://www.zediker.com/downloads/14_loading.pdf

Last edited by pbcaster45; 03-15-2017 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbcaster45 View Post
Lots of good information here but since you are shooting a gas-gun some things require more attention. Adequate headspace clearance is critical with a semi-auto, typically I like to have at least .003 - .005 on my loaded rounds. Uniform primer pockets for safety, not accuracy - I use a tungsten carbide cutter from Sinclair. I've also noted that AR-10s are a little different from the M1A I usually shoot, they seem to need heavier charges of slower burning powders to function. I use IMR-4895 and H-4895 in my M1A but had to go to IMR-4064 to get my friends S&W MP10 to function. Semi-autos are pretty hard on brass too, so I prefer military brass such as Lake City, IMI, or the new Starline Lake City equivalent.
I'll build on this a bit.

Powders for the M1A and M14

The M1A/M14 gas system isn't as sensitive to gas port pressure as an M1 Garand, where slower burning powders can bend the operating rod, but there is still a fairly narrow range that will produce reliably cycling without beating up the tappet or operating rod.

M59 Ball, M80 ball, M62 Tracer and M276 Tracer (dim) all used WC 846 powder with their 146-150 gr projectiles.

M60 HPT and M61 AP used IMR 4475.

M852 Match ammo used IMR 4895 with the 168 gr SMK.

M118 Match used IMR 4895 and the later M118 Special Ball used WC 846 under a 173 gr FMJBT.

BLC(2) is essentially the canister grade equivalent of WC 846, while H335 is essentially the canister grade equivalent of WC844. Bear in mind however that WC 844 is just one end of what used to be a broader specification for WC 846, so the original M59 loadings encompassed the whole spectrum with the powder charge adjusted accordingly to develop the desired pressure and velocity. That's why you need to take any nominal loadings for a military cartridge with a large grain of salt.

Even with canister powders 42 grains of BLC(2) from one lot is not necessarily going to develop the same pressure and velocity as BLC(2) from another lot.

If look at powder burn rate chart the range between BLC(2) and Reloader 15 is where you probably want to stay with an M1A.

My preference was always IMR-4064 with my M1A match rifle and that was reflected by most of the M1A match shooters I knew back in the day.

Brass issues

The 7.62x51 chamber is .013" longer than the .308 Win chamber. You do not need this much excess headspace if your rifle is clean and well maintained, and I order my service match barrels with a .308 chamber, in the USMC fashion. I then use a small base sizing die to bring the brass back to new dimensions.

If you have a 7.62mm NATO chamber you will get significant stretch on firing new brass or ammunition in the chamber, and if you set the shoulder all the way back to the new condition, you'll get that stretch each time you fire the cartridge. However, if you don't set the shoulder back far enough it won't feed reliably. If you don't also reduce the base diameter enough, it also won't feed, so full length resizing or even small base resizing to new dimensions are the only valid options - and that means short case life.

That initial stretch is one of the reasons military brass is thicker (the other is to survive the more energetic extraction forces on some full auto weapons - the M60 and M14 in particular. But it's not thick enough to endure repeated stretching in the .013" longer chamber, so case life is seriously limited in an M1A or M14 - about 3 reloads and 4 firings in total.

The HK 91 and similar clones use a delayed recoil roller locking system that has rollers that are designed for very narrow recoil parameters. If you shoot a load with excessive recoil, the bolt will open while the chamber pressure is still too high, and the brass will both take an incredible beating, and be ejected about 25 yards. In that condition, the striations on the brass will be so deep and the brass so deformed that reloading is very difficult if not impossible. If your ejection is that strong, your recoil impulse is way too strong for the locking system.

This means that while the HK 91 is not powder sensitive, it is very load sensitive and the total recoil impulse has to match the engineering of the rollers. It also means that brass like in the HK 91 is also very short.

Primer pockets

You do need the primer to fully seat so that it is not standing proud above the base of the cartridge, but again I've never seen any need to clean primer pockets to accomplish this. In fact, tumbling media stuck in the flash hole is far more likely to create a primer or flash hole issue.

You will however need to remove the primer pocket crimp from any non-match brass as this will interfere with seating the primer. I prefer to swage the crimp rather than a cutter to remove metal from the cartridge head and I use a primer pocket swage from RCBS.

Last edited by BB57; 03-15-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:00 AM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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Ok..gents, I appreciate the info.

Which of these posts should I ignore? Because they dont relate to my specific 308 AR10 rifle?

The last thing I need is to follow info that is for a bolt rifle or M1 Garand...and end up hurting myself.

Please list the posts I should ignore...post #
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:23 AM
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BB57's remarks are spot on! Also take the time to download and read the Zedicker pdf that is mentioned in post #14...it is VERY well done.

By staying within these parameters your AR10 will be just fine and probably very accurate as well.

Randy
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:57 AM
Road_Clam Road_Clam is offline
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I shoot an handload a lot of varied .308. From my R700 26" Varmint bolt to 308 subsonic and for my M1A semi. A few questions, first what exactly is the barrel length and twist in your AR10 ? Secondly if I could offer some precision shooting tips moving forward, I strongly suggest ditching the snack table as a bench. You will get a lot if excessive movement and you will get rifle "bounce". You will gain far more rigidity shooting prone off a mat. Shooting bipod is a bit more challenging than shooting off a rest. With a bipod you want to "load" the bipod by gently forcing your shoulder into the buttstock. Many precision bipod shooters will loop straps from their shooting mat around the legs of the bipod to prevent movement. I shoot benchrest so I screw a piece of 1x3 strapping 20" long right to the wooden bench, then rest the bipod legs against the 1X3.

Last edited by Road_Clam; 03-16-2017 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:56 AM
TANKLEGACY TANKLEGACY is offline
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18" Proof Research Carbon Fiber barrel.
1:11.2 twist

I normally shoot from a matt, not using bipod, Caldwell sand bags front and rear.

Last edited by TANKLEGACY; 03-16-2017 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:49 AM
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I have never loaded for a "precision" semi-auto, only a bolt gun, but I expected 1/4" at 100 yds that held up proportionately out to 500+ yds.

Case prep, including flash hole deburring, trim length, case mouth deburring (inside and outside), primer pocket uniforming, and proper case cleaning. Most prep work needs to be done on new brass only, but trim length and cleaning every time. Neck size only on fired cases, which keeps the fire formed to your chamber intact. Over All Length measured for the proper distance off the rifling for bullet seating may or may not be possible in your semi-auto for magazine feeding. Hand weigh every charge and trickle to exact load.

This is not going to be "fast" reloading, but will be "precision". A single stage press may work better than your Dillon.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:39 PM
Road_Clam Road_Clam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANKLEGACY View Post
18" Proof Research Carbon Fiber barrel.
1:11.2 twist

I normally shoot from a matt, not using bipod, Caldwell sand bags front and rear.
So my R700 Varmint is a 1-12" twist, and it shoots best with 155's and 168's. I never had much success attempting to shoot 175's. Faster twist barrels favor heavier (longer) bullets. I think you will find the 168 SMK or Nosler CC will be a sweet precision bullet with your barrel. The 168 gr match bullet is the "do all" precision match bullet for 1-10" to 1-12" barrels. If shooting off a sand bag get yourself a rear "rabbit ear" bag to support the rear of the buttstock. After that it's all about trying powders and charges. I have excellent success with Win 748 , Varget and 2000MR with the 168's in 30 cal. When loading for the 30 cal semi's you want to makes sure you have the proper casing shoulder setback to ensure the cartridge fully chambers. A case guage is a great tool that guarantees you have the correct shoulder set back. You can also test by loading and empty resized casing and verify the bolt fully closes and locks. Good luck

Last edited by Road_Clam; 03-16-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:51 AM
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@Tanklegacy,

I am afraid that you may be expecting more from your AR10 than it is capable of delivering. I am not knocking your equipment, but basing my comments on almost 30 years as an NRA competitor.

After an accident 10 years ago left me disabled, I can't shoot service rifle matches any more, I am shooting F class matches now. I now shoot the following load in my Remington 700 BDL Varmint at 600 yards and 1000 yards, and it should be safe in your AR10, if you don't load via the magazine. I have replicated M118LR ammo with this recipe: 41.8gr IMR4895, CCI benchrest primers, and Sierra 175gr MatchKings loaded a hair long, in GI Lake City cases, with a 24" barrel muzzle velocity of 2558 fps. WARNING: this load tailored to MY rifle!

Things to keep in mind:
1. Your cartridge overall length is limited to the size of your magazine, IFF you plan to feed from the magazine. If you plan to load every round singly, you have no limitations.
2. You need to know your rifle's leade, if you are going to load long and feed each round through the ejection port. This can be achieved using a Stoney Point style C.O.L guage.
3. You need to both chronograph your load, and shoot a waterfall target noting vertical displacement at distance. Vertical displacement and minimal extreme velocity spread indicate your load with the greatest accuracy potential!
4. Back when I was able to shoot service rifle, I shot a M1MkII Garand and an M1A. I tried to load match grade ammo with my Dillon 550B using IMR4895 (stick powder), but I could not get consistent weight charges. Consider a single stage press for precision ammo using stick powder.
5. You need a barrel length that will allow the powder to burn completely to give maximum velocity. You want the bullet to stay supersonic at target, you may be short changing yourself with an 18" barrel. I have been able to keep the aforementioned load supersonic at 1000 yards with a 24" barrel in my Remington 700 Varmint, but it goes subsonic by 1050 yards.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:16 PM
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WOW ! ! And I thought this was a handgun shooters forum.

Great information and Thank You to all the experts.
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