Welcome rgm! Both to reloading and to TFF. Lots of good folks around here to help ya get started. Don't forget to dig around in the old posts here too...lots of good info.
.308 Shooter gave you a pretty good rundown on what to watch for on the trimming issue...not bad considering he's another new guy!
Just kidding ya .308...old-timers need to ask for help too!
In my opinion, you can't have too many reloading manuals. Most of them have a very good section on how things work inside that rifle chamber when you pull the trigger. The Lyman manual is pretty good, but the Hornady manual probably does it best. That one would be a good investment for reading material. Reading those sections will give you most of the basics and you can build from there.
Originally Posted by rgm19
I'm just getting started, I need some help. Im loading .308 I have two books
Lyman (came with my reloading kit) and a Nosler. I want to reload the Silver balistic tip for hunting this year. The Lyman gives a trim to length, but the Nosler doesnt just a maximum.
The trim-to length will be the same for a cartridge regardless of what manual the info comes from. Not sure why Nosler left that out of their manual...probably going by the general rule of thumb that it's recommended to trim cases 0.010" shorter than the max case length listed.
They both give suggested starting loads, both are different.
Use the load data for the specific bullet you're using. Even if a bullet from one maker is the same weight/profile/etc, it may behave differently than the same weight/profile bullet from another maker. Differences in material used, nose profile, flat-base or boat-tail, etc...all of these can throw variables into the mix that might get you into a dangerous spot with your particular rifle and loads. Since you're interested in the Nosler bullet, stick with the data from that manual when loading it. Also, different brand brass or primers can change the recipe too...stick with the specific brand primer listed for the loads in the manual you're using.
You can usually
substitute brass of another brand, but since you mentioned that you're also reloading the .308 then I'll also add a warning about using NATO 7.62x51 brass for your loads. The military brass is usually built thicker, which means it'll have a smaller internal volume than a commercial .308 Winchester case does. This can cause a dangerous high pressure condition, and your powder charge will need to be lightened up accordingly. As a new guy, just stick with commercial .308 brass for your loads until you have a little more experience/knowledge under your belt.
My first question is do you trim all new brass? And what if the manual you want to use doesnt list A trim to length? I want to use the nosler book because its their bullet. The Lyman book gives OAL for each bullet design, but the nossler book only gives one OAL.
If you're using brand-new brass, it is recommended to full-length resize them and then check the length before the first loading. You probably won't have to trim them but it's better to be safe.
Like the powder charge data, stick with the brand bullet you're using for it's recommended cartridge OAL. Once you're a little more familiar with how things work you might want to try fine-tuning this a bit, but for starters it's best to stick with what's listed in the manual.
My second question is: For both Powder charge and OAL what are the acceptable variances to Specifications? Sorry if I'm rambling guess Im just getting overwhelmed with all the data. Thanks in advance for any help
There aren't really any standard tolerance levels for either charge weight or OAL.
Most every manufacturer of reloading components will develop loads around their products and while some of it will co-relate to data from other makers, some will also be higher or lower. This can be due to differences in the firearm used to develop the data or even variations in different manufacturing lots of the same item over time.
Different rifles can have different length "throat" dimensions...meaning that the rifiling starts either closer or further away from the mouth of the cartridge. If you go shorter than the recommended dimension, you can run into high-pressure conditions due to the bullet taking up more space inside the case. If you go longer, again you can run into high-pressure conditions due to the bullet touching the rifling. Both can be dangerous, so another warning to stick with what the manuals say until you've got a bit more experience.