I did it! 1st reload attempt .308

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by new308handloader, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    I just shot my first reloads and I think it is pretty good! See pics below......but now I'm not sure what to do from here. All groups were pretty good but not great. Each group had two holes touching and the 3rd 1/2" to 1" away. Can some of you experienced guys take a look at the groups and the load data for each group and tell me where you think I should start developing my next load from?
    All brass was .308 Win Hornady Match from factory ammo fired once in my rifle. Brass was trimmed to 2.005 to 2.007, flash hole deburred and primer pocket uniformed. Used Lee Collet neck size die and Lee bullet seater on an RCBS Rock Chucker. All primers were CCI 200 BR, all powder was H. Varget, all bullets were Hornady A-MAX 168gr. Speer said max load 46gr and Hornady said max load was 44gr.
    Rifle: FN PBR .30, 20" barrel with 1in 9 twist. Scope 2.1" over bore
    Shot from bench at 100 yards using bipod in front and rolled up towel for back end support.
    Nine 3-shot groups each with a different load
    Load/Group 1 - 43.0gr Varget, 2.797 OAL
    Load/Group 2 - 43.5gr Varget, 2.800 OAL
    Load/Group 3 - 44.0gr Varget, 2.805 OAL
    Load/Group 4 - 44.5gr Varget, 2.805 OAL
    Load/Group 5 - 45.0gr Varget, 2.805 OAL
    Load/Group 6 - 45.5gr Varget, 2.805 OAL (2 bullets in 1 hole)
    Load/Group 7 - 46.0gr Varget, 2.805 OAL
    Load/Group 8 - 46.0gr Varget, 2.810 OAL
    Load/Group 9 - 46.0gr Varget, 2.815 OAL

    Another thing I noticed.....The rifle was zeroed 1/2" high at 100 yards with Factory Hornady TAP FPD 168g A-MAX. All the groups started high at 43gr. and keep getting lower and lower as the amount of powder in each group increased. This is exactly the opposit of what I thought should happen?

    Attached Files:

  2. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    Not bad at all !! ;) :)

    .308, did you notice a pattern taking place with the one shot that was out of your groups. Was it the first shot, cold barrel? Were you cleaning the rifle between groups?

    I've had the same problem with my cold barrel shots.
    I throw my first shot away, then shoot a 5 shot group.
    I'll do some thing like shoot all my cold bore shots at the center of a sight-in target and shoot my groups in the 4 corners of the target.

    I would shoot 5 shot groups. They would give you a better repersentation of the loads accuracy. Just my $0.02. :)

    I won't lie, I have quite a few groups that I cheated on by stopping at 3 shots. I figured I'd choke on shots 4 and 5. ;) :D



    Art
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  3. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    Thanks Art. I shot 2 cold bore shots to get warmed up. then shot the 1st 3-shot group waiting 1 minute between shots. then waited about 3 minutes between groups. But I do not recall a pattern in the shot placement. I usually shoot 5-shot groups but this time didn't because I thought the difference in groups would be different enough that the "sweet spot" load would be easily identified. I guess group 6 was the best because 2 shots went in the same hole and the "flier" was the closest to the group. One thing I didn't do was sort the brass by weight...and there was a 3-4 gr difference in the bunch I had. I think I am going to load more with 45.5 gr Varget (group 6) and and try different OAL but load enough for 5-shot groups.
  4. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    i guess its getting to be about that time for a crony:D:D

    good job!:D
  5. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Hay 308.

    I was wondering about the other part of your post. The 1/2 inch high at 100 yrds and your impacts falling. Look at your shots. There is another pattern developing here in addition to what Art has noticed. Your impact has moved from the right high to the left low. Do you think your scope is moving?

    Yep I looked at it again. Your groups are moving rt high to left low.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  6. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    Cyclone,

    Your right, I didn't notice the high right to low left pattern. I thought it must be due to the different powder weights in each group. I checked the scope and it is tight. You know, I am shooting bipod and only using my right hand and cheek and this lets the rifle "jump" with each shot. My stock is rubber which gives great grip but allows the rifle to easily cant if I grip it tighter.
  7. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    I guess it may be too early to tell yet. I am interested to see what happens on your next trip to the range. It's just something I thought needed to be pointed out. As far as your falling impact goes.......... Well, i don't have a theory yet. Need to see what happens next trip.

    Are you ever going to hunt with this rig?
  8. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    You might want to think about giving the gun a little more time to cool between groups, although if they were shot in Ga. over the last few days the barrel might have had plenty time to cool. :D

    Somethings that may be changing your point of impact is shifting your point of aim. It sounds like a "D'uh" statement but it's true. You are shifting the way you are holding the gun. Adding a little scope cant possibly.
    Could be change in sun angle, maybe mirage.
    Your change in charge weight definitely would have some effect.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of the Fraternal Order of the Brotherhood of Headscratchers. I swear this cr*p will lead to baldness. ;) :D

    I wouldn't put much worry into sorting brass yet. I'd find a load that looks like it has the most promise. Then work on seating depth. Work on one thing at a time. Trying to do too many things at one time will turn you into a nutcase.
    If you make 2 changes at one time, which had what effect? ;) :)
    Best of luck and keep posting. :)


    Art
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    Thanks Cyclone and Art.
    I loaded up some more last night and am going to the range again today.
    I will concentrate more on my shooting consistancy of how I am holding the rifle.
    This time I will be shooting all 5-shot groups and all loads have 45.5gr of Varget.....I have changed the seating depth only....and I did sort and load by brass weight. I'll post the results later this afternoon.
  10. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    Well shoot! (no pun intended)
    Drove all the way to the range today....it is normally open to member on Sundays, but they had an M1 match going on and I couldn't shoot. Not sure if I can wait until next weekend so I may take a day off work this week and go shoot these loads.
  11. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    looks like you got my kinda luck.:confused:
  12. Shellback

    Shellback New Member

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    I am very interested in the new results as well, you are on the right track, looks very promising.
    Tim
  13. guitstik

    guitstik New Member

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    I usually take a box of factory loads that I like with me to the range. That way I have something to compare my first loads of a new ammo with. It is always good to have a control group for base line comparison any time you try out new loads.
  14. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    Good idea.....I am going to try to get to the range tomorrow, but rain is coming tonight and it will be a big mud pit....but I don't think that will stop me. I wanted to go this Saturday but the wife said something about it being Valentines day and we should be together for the day.....so I asked her if she wanted to goto the range!
  15. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    new308 - If I may ask, what range do you use? I belong to the Elbert County Gun Club in Elberton, GA. It may be worth your driving time to go there. Anyway check out their website, I put the link below.

    http://www.elbertcogunclub.com/
  16. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    gd - thanks for the link....I may try that one but it may be just a tad farther then the one I go to near Cartersville.....Creekside firing range.http://www.creeksidefiringrange.com/
    It is about 30 clicks north of Atlanta and I live in North Atlanta.
    You must know the guys at Patriot Arms? They have done some work for me and it seems to be close to this range you go to.
  17. new308handloader

    new308handloader New Member

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    OK....I got to the range again today with my new loads and I have figured out two of the three problems I was having. (see pic below for results). The only difference in the groups of this load was OAL.
    1st batch issue #1 - each group had increasing amount of powder....groups went from high and right with less powder to low and left with more powder...I thought it was my shooting, but as you can see below all groups are low and left.....so it must be only because of the amount of powder which stayed constant this time.
    1st batch issue #2 - I expected the groups to get higher and higher the more powder I used....but they got lower and lower...I believe this is because with more powder the bullet is leaving the barrel quicker prior to the rifle "jumping" with each shot.


    .308 - All Hornady Match brass, trimmed to 8.005 to 8.007, Primer pocket uniformed, flash hole deburred, and neck sized with Lee Collet dies. CCI BR primers, 45.5gr Varget, Hornady A-MAX 168gr. bullet.

    5-shot groups
    Group 1 - OAL 2.800
    Group 2 - OAL 2.805
    Group 3 - OAL 2.810
    Group 4 - OAL 2.815
    Group 5 - OAL 2.820
    Group 6 - OAL 2.825
    Group 7 - OAL 2.830

    From the results below, and not great groups I agree, the rifle seems to like group #1 the best which is at an OAL of 2.800". However, this group did something strange....shots 1 & 2 touching but shots 3, 4, & 5 are an inch higher but all in the same hole (.028" group!) I have never shot a three shot group even close to this! I thought I had somehow missed the target until I went out and saw close up. So this will be my new load......but the question remains...Why the spread between shots 1 & 2 and the last three? I can only assume it is neck tension....using the Lee Collet dies you must put the same amount of pressure on each sized case and this can be difficult. Neck size on my sized cases ranged from .332 to .335.5......so this very well may be the issue.

    Center group is factory ammo used for cold bore shots.

    I love reloading!

    All please take a look and tell me what you think.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
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