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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2017 at 18:30
Wolf2 View Drop Down
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Hello my fellow reloaders, I started reloading for a new Savage 12FV in 308 (Cabela's exclusive) and have been having a heck of a time. I have two problems.
1. I have been having trouble finding a load.
Components: LC'16 Once fired brass, IMR-4064, 178gr AMAX, WLR primer. I have tested loads multiple times. From 41-44.5 grains. The new brass would not chamber in my rifle at all as it was fired out of 7.62 rifles. So I kept bumping the shoulder back until there was no resistance when closing the bolt. I do not have a headspace gauge. Load development at 100 yards was normal. 42gr of IMR 4064 at 2.800" was giving .5"-.8" groups on multiple occasions. But when I backed out to the 200yds and 265yds the groups were huge (2 MOA). So the muzzle velocity must not be consistent. I have played with seating depth but my chambers max COAL is 2.817" 

2. Last time I shot the cases started showing case head separation at the 4th firing. Only 1 case had a extremely visible slit around it with a few others showing a shiny line.  It appears that I am bumping back the shoulder a little too much. Should I size the brass so there is some resistance when closing the bolt? I know lake city brass is not the best brass but its all I have. Maybe the 2 problems are linked

Next I am going to try different brass (R-P) and probably the 168 Hornady HPBT.
I have some pictures but not sure how to post them. I will try to get them up.
I know reloaders love problems so please give me some advice.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2017 at 20:08
anweis View Drop Down
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I don't shoot a .308, but i used LC .308 brass to make my .338 Federal cases. I read your post carefully, i have a few comments based on my own experiences reloading for 11 rifle calibers. 
1. If your rifle shoots slightly less than 1" groups at 100 and 2" groups at 200 and further, the load is very good. The groups are not "huge", they are normal and as expected. At 200 yards, the slightest shooter error in technique and slight wind would account for your expecting 1.5" groups and  achieving just slightly larger groups. Also, ambient conditions and barrel condition may have been different. 
2. You cannot assume that your loads have inconsistent velocities based on group size at 200 yards. You need to use a good chronograph, preferably one that gives good readings regardless of weather or ambient light. 
3. 4064 is a good powder for .308, but with that brass, bullet, and rifle, other powders may shoot better. I usually try 3 powders and 3-4 bullets before i make up my mind about a rifle.    
4. It does sound like you are doing something wrong with the brass. You may need to squeeze the body in a small base die or a tighter full size die, rather than bumping the shoulders so much. Better yet, with a good rifle, trying to achieve best target grade accuracy, buy a lot of Lapua (the best), Nosler, or Starline brass.  Starline sells very good brass, 250 cases for a bit over $100. Between a full body die and a neck die, a good lot of brass will last 12-20 firings and give better results. 
I cringe when i think where that LC brass may have been, or how it was used.  It may come from different lots, could have been fired in different sized chambers at different pressures, etc. Not conducive to longevity and best accuracy. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2017 at 20:10
anweis View Drop Down
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Oh, how many kinds of primers have you tried? I have several loads where switching primers turned 1" groups into one hole groups, if i shot properly. Shot over a chronograph, i could not tell much difference in velocity or consistency. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2017 at 20:47
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I had bad luck with some LC brass and realized it there was no way to know how many times it had been fired (since I bought it through an estate sale). Buy new brass (Lapua is fantastic). Every .308 I've ever loaded for, bolt or semi-auto, has thrived on Varget, CCI BR primers and 168-175 gr. bullets. I never load past 2.81". With proper, safe load development Varget can be taken up to mildly compressed loads. But you've got to watch for the signs relative to your rifle. You already know that, I realize...just can't say it often enough for those new to handloading.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/06/2017 at 22:53
Wolf2 View Drop Down
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At first I used Winchester Large Rifle, then the last outing I used Seller & Bellot primers ($25/K)!!!
Reviews said the S&B's gave lower SDs in muzzle velocity. But I didn't really see a difference in accuracy. Load data research showed that people were getting great result with IMR-4064 around 42-43.5. 
I did try Varget and got weird groups at 100 yards. I loaded up 5 rounds of 43.5, 44, 44.5 as this is were most find the accuracy node. 43.5 shot 3 round in .25" (cloverleaf) the next 2 opened up to 1"
44 did the same thing, 3 into .25" and the next 2 opened to 1.2". Then 44.5 same story. I have about bullets left to test Varget at 200 yards see what happens. I may be expecting a little too much out of the savage.
I also reload for my AR15 and the cases last 8-10 reloads. (Privi and Remington)
I know I need a chronograph and lapua brass but I am strapped as a 18 year old. Cool

Also how do you guys go about bump sizing?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2017 at 09:00
anweis View Drop Down
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on your bolt action, distance between bullet ogive and rifling also makes a difference. I noticed that sometimes a 0.010" difference can turn the load from good to outstanding. Loaded COL or OAL makes a difference. 

Considering circumstances, i would not spend for a chronograph. I would just find a moderate load that shoots well from a good batch of brass and i would focus on practical shooting. I see many people get caught up in bench shooting and sub MOA groups. Relax. Your rifles are not bench rest competition rifles. Take shooting sticks or bipod, or rest them on a backpack and bang some steel gongs at 200-400 yards. It would be fun.  
1'-1.5" on a benched load is just fine for that. 

I bump shoulders or squeeze the lower portion of the body on brass depending on situation.  I use either full body die or neck die adjusted up or down accordingly. I have both types of dies for each caliber. It pays off on the long run, because i buy the best brass available and i can make it last longer.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2017 at 10:55
Wolf2 View Drop Down
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I will do some more load development with different components. I will also try sizing it less as savages tend to have very tight chambers. I love field shooting. I am lucky to have a  wheat field near my house were I can shoot to about 470yrds with my AR. I recently read a article on precision rifle blog that talks about how group size is really not a big a factor as you think. http://precisionrifleblog.com/2015/04/15/how-much-does-group-size-matter/
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2017 at 10:36
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With that bullet you might want to try some 2000-MR also!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/08/2017 at 22:35
Wolf2 View Drop Down
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I loaded 15 rounds with Varget with 3 different charges in Remington brass. 43.5, 44, 44.5 All of which did much better.
44 and 44.5  were about equivalent. At 211 yards both showed vertical dispersion of 1.5". Drop was around 2-4 inches with 4" being lowest. On JBM this put me around 2725fps (26" barrel).  Midway has some 178gr Seconds for a good price that are worth a look. I will definitely check out that powder.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2017 at 08:04
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Lake City 7.62x51 brass is military brass with thicker case walls and heads, so it doesn't have the same dimensions as commercial brass, and will generate higher pressures than commercial brass with the same load. It also has crimped primers, but that's another issue. If you're getting brass that came from a military source, then it was fired in a machine gun, that have huge chambers compared to commercial rifles, and they are very hard on brass, especially in the firing, extraction and ejection process. 3 firings is about normal for this brass, as the first time it went through that MG, it took a lot of life out of the brass.
Military brass should be used for practice/blasting ammo, as you are never going to get any decent accuracy out of it. I tried using 7.62NATO brass that I fired out of a M1A, to come up with practice load for a Savage FP10 to shoot steel plates at 500yds.. I tried bullets, powder, primers, and tweaking the cases, and nothing was going to get to 500yds with any reliability. I finally switched to new Winchester .308 brass, and my groups shrunk dramatically. I finally got my groups down  to 1 or 2 hole 5 shot groups at 100yds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2017 at 08:39
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Yep for .308 I use Varget with CCI LR primers... 16" barrel might be a TAD SHORT FOR OPTIMAL BURN...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2017 at 19:35
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I tend to use Varger or IMR 4350 and while I do load some 168 I prefer to shoot 190 and 200 gr bullets. Better brass would be a good choice. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2017 at 00:13
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H4350 would be a good powder if your using a 16" barrel.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2017 at 05:27
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I shoot the 308 a lot, and have tried many brands of brass. The brass that has given me the most consistent results is the Lapua Palma brass with the small rifle primer. Extreme spreads in velocity of around 10-15 fps, and some times 5 fps. The brass is not that cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2017 at 14:02
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Originally posted by nralifer nralifer wrote:

I shoot the 308 a lot, and have tried many brands of brass. The brass that has given me the most consistent results is the Lapua Palma brass with the small rifle primer. Extreme spreads in velocity of around 10-15 fps, and some times 5 fps. The brass is not that cheap, but you get what you pay for.

I get that with my son's 308,using cheap zq Turkish brass.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/13/2017 at 19:43
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I get good results using new Winchester brass. Yeah it's not machined brass like Lapua, but it can be worked up to give me really good results, and I can have a lot more brass for the same cost of Lapua, and get a lot of firings out of the cases too. I think of unfired, unprimed Winchester cases as the poor man's Lapua brass that needs a little work.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2017 at 11:45
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I have about 20 cases of Remington 308 brass that I am working with right now. Capital Cartridge had Winchester Headstamp 308 brass for $14/100 which is great(last week). But they are out right now. But they still have some R-P. Would you say that Winchester is superior to Remington? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2017 at 13:56
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Buy some gold medal match in bullet weights to compare some factory loads as well. I like to measure off of as well, plus good brass when done.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2017 at 06:13
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Originally posted by Wolf2 Wolf2 wrote:

I have about 20 cases of Remington 308 brass that I am working with right now. Capital Cartridge had Winchester Headstamp 308 brass for $14/100 which is great(last week). But they are out right now. But they still have some R-P. Would you say that Winchester is superior to Remington? 

Probably not a nickles worth of difference. In the past, I didn't get as good results with Remington as I did with Winchester, but that was a long time ago.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2017 at 14:30
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I'm gonna load some with cfe223 once hunting season is over.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/19/2017 at 02:58
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Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

I had bad luck with some LC brass and realized it there was no way to know how many times it had been fired (since I bought it through an estate sale). Buy new brass (Lapua is fantastic). Every .308 I've ever loaded for, bolt or semi-auto, has thrived on Varget, CCI BR primers and 168-175 gr. bullets. I never load past 2.81". With proper, safe load development Varget can be taken up to mildly compressed loads. But you've got to watch for the signs relative to your rifle. You already know that, I realize...just can't say it often enough for those new to handloading.

My sentiments exactly. I'd also recommend a case gauge from here on out. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2017 at 21:27
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Well because I'm out of Varget and the local cabelas either stopped selling it (which would be weird) or just out of stock. But there was a ton of CFE 223 so what the heck I bought a pound of it. Loaded some today with 46gr, 46.5, 47, and 47.7(idk why) which is .2 over max. I shot at 260 yards and they did not do as well as I was hoping. This was with 178gr hpbt, S/B primer, R-P brass. 46.5 was the best but even that group was just over MOA and with 1 fly opened to 5". 44 and 44.5 gr of Varget did better then that. 47.7 of cfe 223 on the first shot blew the primer right out and hard bolt lift with ejector mark. So I say to you THE MAX IS LEGIT. stop at 47.5. However I will continue to test with the CFE223 and 4064 I still have on hand. I will also test CFE223 with the 75gr hpbt. Please comment if you have any CFE223 experience. 
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