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.308 Hand loads for long range

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 09:39
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So I have a question for long range shooters, I'm wanting to get in F-class comps, and I'm doing some load data now. The problem is I only have a 100 yard range that I can get to regularly and a 1000 yard range that I can get to about 3 times a year. So I'm wondering if there is anything I am looking for in my groups at 100 yards? Is a tight group at 100 yards a tight group at 1000 yards? or is there no correlation?
I'm shooting a Savage 10fcp-k.  .308, it's 1:10 twist, I'm loading both Hornady 168gr HPBT and SMK 175gr HPBT, the Hornady's are .4 moa with 45gr of Varget, and the SMK's are .5 moa at 43.5gr of Varget. Do these sound like 1000 yard loads? 
I know it's a lot of questions, I would just like to ask the pro's instead of wasting a bunch of time and money hitting dirt at 1000 yards. 
Thanks for any input guys. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 09:57
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Im not a 1000 yard shooter, but from what ive heard 168s are not 1000 yard round, There are much better more knowledgeable shooters here who can give you better data. From my research hot 155s and 175s both better than 168s at 1000. For the 175 weight range SMK should be good, maybe comsider berger VLD.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 10:03
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the 168 has a rough time for 1k, the 175, and 178 amax is great though. and my load is 43.5 varget, and plain cci LR or federal match primers. on LC brass.

the 168, gives me wind problems at 600. but thats on me, not being able to call the wind good enough. the 168 will have a lot more adjusting, than the 175 or 178.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 10:48
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The bullet I've had the most luck with out to long range with the .308 is the Berger 175 gr. OTM. It's designed to be seated to mag length and to still work well at trans-sonic speeds. You won't have to mess with seating depth (just go to 2.8 or 2.81). Unlike the 168 SMKs, it won't tumble as it goes sub-sonic. The ballistics are pretty decent too. It has a G7 BC of .259.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 10:59
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with a 10 twist you can probably get heavier bullets to stabilze which would help at long ranges.  I've shot up to the 208's in my 10 twist 308 and they stabilized fine out to 600yds (as far as I've taken them)  I wouldnt hesitate to look at th2 190's or around that to get a better BC bullet for long range.  Even if you don't shoot them all the time finding a load that your gun likes using heavies will help at 1000 when you get there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 11:56
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Thanks for all the input guys. I will keep the 168's for my plinking rounds then. I hadn't even really considered a heavier round, but I will look into them. On a 190-220 grain bullet what load are yall throwing? I'm still using Varget, but am willing to try some new stuff after it runs out if it's not the best for my needs. 
I've also been keeping OAL at 2.800 +- .002.   Does anyone have a thread about a way to determine the length of my chamber to see if I'm jumping or sitting on the threads? I have read a few things, but they all confused the hell outta me.
On a different note, I appreciate having a place like this to go to obtain knowledge I woulda taken 10 years to figure out for myself, so thanks guys. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 12:32
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I would stick with a 175 gr for LR shooting and plinking or what ever. stay with the same its easier in the long run. Hornaday make a tool just for bullet jump. Ill pm you the link to it. Also you will need a crono to get the FPS of your loads. You will want to keep your SD as low as possible.I try to keep mine 15 to 10 FPS. also you might need to buy powder and primers and bullets in bulk so your load stays the same. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 12:55
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+1 what Bigdaddy said. I have had good luck with WW-748 if you want to try a different powder.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2012 at 13:14
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I have had good luck with the 175 SMKs and Varget.  I am working with the Hornady 178 gr BTHP right now just to see how well they work with Varget and I have some CFE 223 that I may try with my 308, it works well with my match AR loads.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2012 at 00:35
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I have had good results with 47.1gr of VV N550 and 175 SMKs with FGMM primers. This powder may add some extra speed to your bullets but it is pretty darn expensive. You should try Reloader 15. I hear good things about it and I plan on trying it myself.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2012 at 01:26
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The one thing you're going to notice as you go up in weight is the recoil. Depending on the shooter and the rifle, that can be a detriment to accuracy. Go up as high as you can but no higher. That's why shooters are switching in some cases to 7mm or smaller. They can take advantage of higher BCs without going too high on bullet weights. I'm seriously considering chambering in 7mm-08 on my next build, particularly because it will have a 16.5-18" lightweight barrel.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2012 at 22:55
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Palma shooters (800, 900, & 1000) using the .308 Win are restricted to 155 gr bullets and a common load is (hot) 47 gr. Varget with the Sierra 155 Palma bullet. When fired from a 29 inch barrel rifle velocities approach 3000 fps.
 
A long time ago I call Sierra about long range loads with the .308 Win and was told that the 175 gr. Sierra MK would remain supersonic at 1000 yds when fired from M14 or M1A type rifles.
 
For long long ranges with the .308 I would go for Varget powder, and 175 gr bullets. Other bullets that might work would be the 178 Hornady AMax and 175 Barnes match burner. I have had real good results the the 178 Hornady in my 1-10 twist rifle but have not tried the 175 Barnes bullets yet.
 
My .308 Win rifles are usually good for less than .75 inch at 100 and sometimes I can get all 5 bullets touching.
 
Despite consistently good groups at 100 with the .308 I like the 6.5-06 & 6.5-.308 for long range with 123 and 140 gr bullets using H4350.
 
Most times I use sorted Win brass and WLR (non magnum, non match) primers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2012 at 23:28
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By threads I take it that you mean rifling at the end of the chamber.
 
In regard to bullet seating to engage the rifling - get some cases that have a moderate amount of head space that allow the bolt to be closed with little or no resistance, remove the firing pin from your bolt (assuming a bolt action), make up several dummy rounds, coat the bullet ogives with felt tip pen ink, and then gently begin seating the entire round into the chamber, if you get a round stuck into the chamber it can be tapped out with a cleaning rod with no danger because the round is inert (no primer or powder), seat the bullet deeper until no or very faint rifling marks are found on the bullet. As mentioned Hornady makes a solid brass dummy round with attachments for determination of seating depth.
I have seen loaded and stuck rounds go off when pounded on with a cleaning rod.
 
When the right depth is obtained stop and tighten up the seating stem on the seater die.
 
Best not to make too tight a fit because the ogives might vary from bullet to bullet.
 
Best also to get the seater dies moderately tight to avoid seater die movement in the press. Check for bullet "run out". Surprisingly rolling the loaded rounds ontop of a mirror will show moderate amount of run out or bullet wobble.  I like to use Lee locking rings on my seating dies that I get moderately tight using a cresent wrench. I use either Lee or Hornady seaters - relatively cheap but they make good ammo.
 
With the .308, 175's are the biggest I shoot because of velocity. 190's may not be supersonic much beyond 800 or so.
  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2012 at 00:49
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One reason I switched to bullets like the Berger OTMs is because I didn't want to get stuck in that game of seating off the lands. Then having to have a smith set the chamber back to combat throat erosion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2012 at 09:39
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shooting long range is percentage situation. some guns and calibers when used together have a higher percentage of hits at 1000 yds. If you assume all things being equal, as in your question, the only concern would be cross winds. If you limit yourself to the 308, go to a good ballistic program and play around with combinations of bc and muzzle velocity to see how things change and also drift. cross winds are rarely constant from 1 shot to the next. A good group at 100 has little meaning at 1000 yds, as a random variable (change of wind) could blow a bad shot into the target, and you will be uncertain as to what is causing the dispersion (chasing your sights) to say little of having a scope good enough to see any difference at that range. What ever time and money you have spend getting your groups to the small size at 100 yards, expect to throw 10 times the assets to get the same level of performance at 1000 yds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/10/2012 at 10:03
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you could try the 190MK, but the hornady 178 is pretty good, a lot cheaper than the match kings.

i read somewhere that a guy pushed the 208 from a 308 to 1700, but that seems pretty far fetched. i shoot the 208 in a 300, and it's pretty bad ass, better than the 190 for sure.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2012 at 09:19
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you can push a 22lr to 1700, but your percentages drop dramatically. Few here have the need for a cold bore first shot hit at 1000 yds. Given a good scope anybody can mortar in 45-70 to that range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2012 at 15:07
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Love this thread try the Bergers. 
175's LRBT load to 2880-2890 and you still get 1400fps @1000yrds and have a 300M PBR...  800ftlbs and you can recover the bullets (wouldn't suggest reloading them)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2012 at 19:27
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use varget in that fat savage chamber to push 175 matchkings to 2600 fps.  Win, BH, Federal, Hornady brass are all good.  Stay away from milsurp brass when chasing long range accuracy.
Won't need anything faster, you'll be below the precession curve of the bullet, and well within the velocity to operate to 1200 yards at sea level.
Go for consistancy over velocity......it's virtually impossible to push a 175 grain bullet fast enough to achieve any worthwhile gains when trying to exceed the 2600fps mark.
Don't worry about paper ballisitcs, place your faith in what you see at the range.  I promise there's no comparison between the two...........
Good Shooting!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/11/2012 at 19:48
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At 100 yards you are really not going to be able to see exactly what the bullet and its performance is.  You really need to get out to around 300 yards.  Most important item to look for is "vertical dispersion."

Tight groups at 100 yards?  How tight?  Example:

1 MOA @ 100 yards = 10" at 1,000 yards

.5 MOA @ 100 yards = 5" at 1,000 yards

You are going to need a bullet that will handle the transonic speeds.  The only way to find this out is to be able to shoot at those distances that the bullet has the chance to enter those speeds.  The name of the game is wind, not speed.  Elevation is a constant variable, wind is not.  Look for a bullet with the highest BC that you can get and still maintain performance.  I would recommend JLK 180's for what you are doing.  The Berger 175 OTM's are great as well, but the JLK 180 will out perform it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2012 at 11:50
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wow, I go on vacation for a week and the thread takes off!! that's awesome. I really appreciate all the input. 
I went to the range last friday, and perfected my load down to 43.4 grains of Varget with the 175 SMK at OAL of 2.8, I do not have a chronograph yet, I know I know, I really need one. I was surprised that at 43.2 grains my group opened up to 1.2 moa, where as my 43.4 is holding right at .78moa, which I believe most of that is shooter error. I'm going to my 1000 meter range in the next week or two and see if I can do anything with the round. 
So I bought a scope and changed it out before I went to the range, I changed from a vortex viper 6.5-20 which was a SFP with mil/moa adjustments and changed to a Falcon Menace 5.5-25 FFP mil/mil with a TPS 20 moa scope base and burris xtreme tactical rings. I have never written a review before, but I was thinking about writing one for the scope because there aren't a lot of a reviews for a falcon menace. Yall think I should write one? or leave it to the pros?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2012 at 11:58
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oh and I'm using both win and federal brass, I annealed all of my cases as soon as I buy them and then I will every 5 rounds fired. I'm tumbling them in corn cob, then neck sizing only, but will full length every 5 shots fired as well, I;m cleaning primer pockets every time, resizing and dechamphering (or however you spell that) and then priming with federal large rifle (should I change to benchrest? what's the true difference?) and then weighing every round and no variance with powder, it has to be right on the mark. anything else I should be doing? again, I'm not in competitions yet, but would like to at some point. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2012 at 12:01
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We always compete against ourselves.

With reloading goes the excuse of its the ammo.
 
So your challenges(personal) will get harder as you get better at reloading.
 
It sounds like you are on your way...
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2012 at 14:03
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Might notice some improvements on accuracy if you jumped the powder charge up a bit, between 44 and 45 grains.  You're not going to see any problems at this charge.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/12/2012 at 15:38
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I actually tried a 44.5 and 45 grain load with the 175's and was not happy with it, it was holding at about .95 and 1.0 moa, and this was with my initial load development, so it was all in the same day with same barrel temp on each individual load. and wind was not an issue. where as the 168's I tested were at .69 moa with 45.2 grains of varget. So I think my barrel just likes a lower powder with the 175's. 
I'm curious to hear some other peoples recipes for 308, varmint, long range or whatever.. please share, unless it's a family secret. :)
mine is:
Rem/Fed brass
Federal 200 large rifle primers
SMK 175 grain
43.4 Grains of varget
with an OAL of 2.8 inches +-.002
Used for: Accuaracy
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